DNA Lounge: Wherein Christmas came early for Live Nation.

What's most surprising about this story is that the DOJ is actually pursuing antitrust action. That's very off-brand for this administration. Hasn't the DOJ been dismantled by now? Maybe this means that Live Nation forgot to renew their Mafia-a-Lago membership.

DOJ preparing legal action against Live Nation

The U.S. Justice Department is preparing to take legal action against Live Nation Entertainment on allegations the concert promoter has sought to strong-arm concert venues into using its dominant Ticketmaster subsidiary. The department believes the concert promoter's conduct has violated the merger settlement Live Nation and Ticketmaster reached with the government in 2010 and plans to file a decree enforcement action, the source said. [...]

The Justice Department allowed the companies to merge on condition they abide by a range of conditions to keep ticket prices in check, including agreeing here to be barred from retaliating against venue owners who use a competing ticket service.

As ticket prices rise and the settlement is set to expire next year, the government now plans to extend the restrictions by several years and prohibit coercive conduct by Live Nation.

"Extending the restrictions" means "Stop! Or I'll say 'stop' again." But hey, baby steps.

Live Nation Consent Decree Review Requested by House Reps to DOJ

The effectiveness of the consent decree's antip-retaliation provision has been the subject of debate in recent years as its July 2020 expiration nears. Besides forcing Ticketmaster to divest several assets and temporarily license its technology to AEG, the company was barred from retaliating against venues and promoters that didn't use its technology.

"The decree gets a lot of misconception," Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino said. "It says we can't threaten venues. We can't say to a Ticketmaster venue that says they want to use a different ticketing platform, 'If you do that, we won't put shows in your building.' It also says we can do what's right for our business, so we have to put the show where we make the most economics and maybe that venue [that wants to use a different ticketing platform] won't be the best economic place anymore because we don't hold the revenue."

"Nice venue you've got there. Be a shame if something.... happened to it."

That distinction -- between retaliating against companies that go with competitors (not allowed) and rewarding clients that do go with Ticketmaster (allowed) -- critics argue has essentially given Ticketmaster the de facto monopoly position in music and the ticketing supply chain that many feared 10 years ago.

I'm old enough to remember that time in 2018 when Live Nation got caught scalping their own tickets and then literally nothing happened. But, at least some imaginary money went back to imaginary-money-heaven: "Live Nation shares fell 7.3% on Friday [...] The drop shaved about $1 billion off Live Nation's market cap, which sits around $13.8 billion."

You may recall from my earlier round-up on the corporate consolidation of live music that TicketMaster sells 80% of all tickets in the US, and their parent company, Live Nation, own 117 venues and exclusively books 33 others, including The Fillmore, The Masonic, Cobb's, Punch Line and August Hall.


Update, a week later:

Live Nation and the DOJ reached a "settlement" that does nothing but extend the time period of the consent decree, with no fine. So it goes like this:

    "You have to follow these rules for ten years."
    "Hey, you didn't follow those rules at all!"
    "Ok, now you have to follow them for another ten years. Please?"

"Live Nation's stock immediately rebounded after the story broke, up nearly 10%." So all that imaginary money came back from imaginary-money-heaven, with interest.

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Patients die as lawyers ransack hospital

Not a metaphor.

More than 200 lawyers wielding sticks stormed Lahore's Punjab Institute of Cardiology at midday on Wednesday. Hospital officials said the lawyers forced their way past security and split into groups, attacking various departments and wards. [...]

There has been simmering anger among young lawyers since 20 November when half a dozen of them accompanied a colleague to the hospital for the treatment of his sick mother, says the BBC's M Ilyas Khan in Islamabad. There they got into an argument with hospital staff and a doctor on duty, leading to a fierce fist fight in which the lawyers were outnumbered by the hospital staff. Both sides filed police complaints against each other but no arrests were made.

The lawyers said they were avenging an attack in November by doctors and staff of the hospital, after the lawyers demanded preferential treatment.

Some of the lawyers involved in Wednesday's attack said they were moved to act by a viral video by one of the doctors, who mocked and ridiculed them through reciting poetry and belittling remarks. [...] "Look at the sea of lawyers, doctor," the lawyer said in a bombastic tone. "Today, we will insert stents in the doctors." [...]

In recent years, lawyers in Pakistan have not shied from resorting to violence and taking the law into their hands. Lawyers have attacked judges over disagreements during court hearings. Clashes with police are frequent.

Previously, previously, previously.

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"Link In Bio" is a slow knife

Its presence is so subtle, and so pervasive, that we barely even noticed it was an attempt to kill the web.

For a closed system, those kinds of open connections are deeply dangerous. If anyone on Instagram can just link to any old store on the web, how can Instagram -- meaning Facebook, Instagram's increasingly-overbearing owner -- tightly control commerce on its platform? If Instagram users could post links willy-nilly, they might even be able to connect directly to their users, getting their email addresses or finding other ways to communicate with them. Links represent a threat to closed systems. [...]

But killing off links is a strategy. It may be presented as a cost-saving measure, or as a way of reducing the sharing of untrusted links. But it is a strategy, designed to keep people from the open web, the place where they can control how, and whether, someone makes money off of an audience. The web is where we can make sites that don't abuse data in the ways that Facebook properties do.

Links take us to places where we can make choices that Instagram never would.

I wrote basically this same article three months ago, and four years ago, so yeah, all of this.

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

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DNA Lounge: Wherein some ancient Hubba lore is presented.

This Friday is the Hubba Hubba Revue Holiday Spectacular, and that reminds me of a story I don't think I've told here before.

You may be aware that most people in theatre say "break a leg" rather than "good luck". Well, here at DNA Lounge we say something else.

It is some time in the mid-oughts. One of the Hubba Hubba Revue performers is doing a bait-and-tackle show: she's doing an aerial routine where she is suspended by large meat-hooks stuck under the skin of her back. She does her routine, and as a finale, she pulls a knife out of her boot, reaches up and cuts the rope. She drops ten feet to the stage, and lays there. BOOM! Very dramatic!

Meanwhile, squatting down on the stairs to the right of the stage is the guy who was belaying her, holding the other end of the rope. Well... she never told him that this was how the act ended. So he thinks he did something wrong and now there's a dead girl on stage with her back ripped off. He's white as a sheet.

Someone goes over to him and asks if he's ok.

"I just shit my pants."
"You what??"
"I just shit my pants. I have to go."

Then he gets up, waddles out the front door, and gets in a taxi.

And that, Ladies and Gentlemen, is why we at DNA Lounge don't say "break a leg". We say "shit your pants".

In this season of giving, won't you support DNA Lounge by increasing your donation to our Patreon? You're not going to get local live entertainment like this with your Disney Plus subscription, I'll tell you that much for sure.

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Today in Vampire Capitalism

Harvesting the Blood of America's Poor

Blood now makes up well over 2 percent of total U.S. exports by value. To put that in perspective, Americans' blood is now worth more than all exported corn or soy products that cover vast areas of the country's heartland. The U.S. supplies fully 70 percent of the world's plasma, mainly because most other countries have banned the practice on ethical and medical grounds. [...]

"The people who show up are a mix of disabled, working poor, homeless, single parents, and college students. With the exception of the college students who are looking for booze money, this is probably the easiest and most reliable income they have. Your job may fire you at any time when you're on this level of society, but you always have blood. And selling your blood doesn't count as a job or income when it comes to determining disability benefits, food stamps, or unemployment eligibility so it's a source of money for the people who have absolutely nothing else." [...]

Desperate Americans are allowed to donate twice per week. But losing that much plasma could have serious health consequences, most of which have not been studied [...] Around 70 percent of donors experience health complications. Donors have a lower protein count in their blood, putting them at greater risk of infections and liver and kidney disorders. Many regulars suffer from near-permanent fatigue and are borderline anemic. All this for an average of $30 per visit.

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

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jwz mixtape 210

Please enjoy jwz mixtape 210.

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Current Music: as noted

Facebook rate limiting

Apparently Facebook would prefer that nobody use their API, because they just rolled out rules that apparently mean I'm only allowed to load 200 URLs per hour. But it's even worse than that, because it's reporting:

X-App-Usage: {"call_count":58, "total_cputime":0, "total_time":152}

which means I only made 58% of the allowed calls, but because "total time" is over 100, now I'm locked out for some length of time that I am not allowed to know. I can't even tell what "total_time" means or how I can possibly be expected to adjust it.

What is happening and how do I make it stop?

I think maybe the same thing is happening with Instagram, but they just say "Oops, something went wrong" so who the fuck knows.

Previously, previously.

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DNA Lounge: Wherein we have DNA Lounge branded liquor!

Vodka, Rum and Gin for now; Whiskey will be arriving next month. The labels are by our pal R. Black. Each of them is a custom blend, and we had a few of our bartenders do a taste test to pick the mix they liked best. Our drink specials for the next few months will be our staff experimenting with cocktails that compliment the new product, so check those out!

Here are some recent photos. I haven't posted a photo round-up in a while because I was waiting for the last batch of Halloween photos to come in (the ones actually on Halloween) but I think it's time to admit that I'm never going to get those. Photographers are a fickle lot, and sometimes it's just too much 'puter for them. So here are the Halloween Week photos that have surfaced:

So Stoked
Booootie
Death Guild
Turbo Drive
And some more photos from the last couple of months:

Sequence: Sullivan King
Bootie: '80s vs. Now
Hubba Hubba: Witchcraft
Non-Binary Burlesque
Kristeen Young + Vanessa Silberman

Eyehategod
Bootie: Madonnapocalypse
The Hammerbombs + Morrissey's Cock
Hubba Hubba: Video Games
Tnght + Kučka + EPROM
The Tnght show was a pretty odd event. It was thrown by these promoters from LA called Brownies & Lemonade who only rarely do shows in other cities. They sent out an announcement saying "We're doing a show in San Francisco, and we're not telling you who's performing or where." And then the sold a thousand tickets at $40 each, in like, a day.

What.

They didn't actually announce who was performing until the event was half over, but people seemed to get what they expected I guess? Kučka was awesome! They put a ton of production into it, and brought a huge, blinding light show. And here was something that I haven't seen before: they sent us a pre-visualization of the light show based on my 3d Sketchup model of the club!

Contrary to the above renderings, the performers were wearing pants.

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  • Previously