Seems legit

PLEASE NOTE: We've moved a few books around. Travel is now in the Fantasy section, Sci-Fi is under 'Current Affairs' & Epidemiology is in the Self Help area.

Previously, previously, previously.

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DNA Lounge: Wherein the antivaxxers are still trying to make this nightmare last as long as possible for all of us.

We had a show booked for next week with Flotsam and Jetsam, Suburban Paranoia and Rage of War, and then we learn that several members of Flotsam and Jetsam are unvaccinated. That's right, they are on tour, traveling through who-knows-what COVID-19 hotspot hellholes, and they're not vaccinated.

But wait, the story gets stupider.

We ask their agent, "So, are they planning on getting vaccinated?" He says he's not sure. Which means we can't even reschedule the show for a later date when they have their shit together, we have to just cancel. Great.

So then after cancelling, we also learn that one of the members of Suburban Paranoia was unvaccinated "because his doctor recommended against it". Uh huh.

Meanwhile, support act Rage of War was talking shit about their own show on Facebook, saying that our vax policy was going to "kill the turnout" and that "at least people will 'feel' safe..... right lmfao"

And then...

Wait for it...

Now one of the members of Rage of War has been hospitalized with COVID-19.

In the Before Times I probably would have been feeling some kind of schadenfreude about this, but I don't. It's just tragic and sad and stupid and completely avoidable and I want it to stop!

If you want to feel terrible about the state of the world, just read the comments on this Blabbermouth article about the cancellation. Apparently it's a "poison jab" and we're "commie libturds" when we're not "nazis". Good to know that that the metal community still has that same old MAGA problem. Good job everybody.

We have another metal show coming up tomorrow, with Lich King, and as far as I know, everyone involved is vaccinated. So, fingers crossed on that. But that's only after we had to kick Helsott off of that bill for being unvaccinated. They tell us that their name means "Fatal Illness" in Old Norse, and while I appreciate their commitment to the bit -- guys, you're taking it too far.

By the way, before you comment here telling me to "do my own research" about drinking bleach or whatever, let me remind you that as of yesterday it is the law that all customers, performers and staff be vaccinated.

That had already been our policy for some time. It just took the law a while to catch up. But at least now I get to stop arguing about it.

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DNA Lounge: Wherein your band's bio sucks.

(I've posted most of this before over the years, but it's time for some updates.)

So you're performing at DNA Lounge, or booking a show here. Great! We want people to come to the show. To accomplish that, we want to tell people who are unfamiliar with the artists why they should attend.

For that, we need blurbs.

Here are the DNA Lounge Rules For Writing a Blurb That Does Not Suck:

The target audience of these blurbs is a potential customer who is not familiar with the artist, and who is trying to decide whether they would enjoy this show.

So please do include things like:

  1. What genre of music do they play?
  2. How would one describe their music? Quotes from reviews in the press are great here. Failing that, influences or other performers that they sound like.
  3. Names of previous projects, if any.
  4. If there's something special about their stage show or instrumentation, mention that. (People want to have some sense of, "Am I going to see a full band, or some guy standing behind a laptop?")

Things that are OK to include, but that we feel are not like to cause someone to attend the show, are:

  1. Where are they from,
  2. What other bands have they played with recently;
  3. Did someone say something nice about their latest album.

If you have answered at least questions 1-3 in paragraph form, you will have written a decent blurb. Congratulations!

Things that you should not include in a blurb are:

  1. That they are performing at DNA Lounge;
  2. The date that they are performing at DNA Lounge;
  3. Also performing are "X, Y and Z" or "On tour with X, Y and Z".
  4. "Don't miss this great show", "be there or be square", "please please please attend", etc., etc.

We've already established that they're playing here, on what date, with whom, and it should go without saying that we'd like people to show up. Don't just repeat all of that in sentence-form.

Also please omit:

  1. They have been remixed by XYZ;
  2. They have "caught the attention of" XYZ;
  3. They were played on radio station XYZ;
  4. Last year they toured with XYZ;
  5. They have ten zillion streaming plays;
  6. They won an award (unless it's a Grammy or something).

Tell people why they will like them, not a list of other people who like them.

Nobody in the history of ever has said to themselves, "Well I wasn't going to come to that show, but now that I have read that they have ten zillion streams, I have changed my mind."

And to illustrate how this can all go wrong, here are some egregious examples of blurbs that we have been sent, mildly censored to protect the guilty. These are all terrible in that they do not communicate anything that would make someone attend the show if they weren't already planning to.

If your blurb sounds like one of these, your blurb is bad and you should feel bad.

  1. The "Come to this party, it will party more than any party has partied" blurb:

    Join us on DATE at DNA Lounge for PARTY, featuring all the new rising Bay Area talent! This month come check out up and coming dubstep sensation SOMEONE! Also joining us will be SOMEONE ELSE and many other local artists that are ready to lay down some heavy bass lines and fat beats.

  2. The "I will assert greatness without saying anything" blurb:

    Three Bay Area GENRE bands, A, B and C, come together under one roof at DNA Lounge for an incredible showcase on Thursday, SOME DATE. Expanding the beautiful realm between SOME GENRES, these hand-picked bands push the boundaries of buzz bands right through to the bigger picture: great indie music, created by lovers of great indie music.

  3. The "appeal to authority" blurb:

    BAND is the name of CITY's AGE-year-old producer, REAL NAME. NAME works out of his bedroom creating his unique brand of music. His music has been featured on LONG LIST OF WEB SITES YOU DON'T READ and many more. His breakout album has gained worldwide praise and attention from superstars like THREE FAMOUS PEOPLE and many more. Don't miss this rare showcase of raw talent!

  4. The "I plagiarized this directly from Wikipedia" blurb:

    BAND is an American GENRE band that was formed in CITY in YEAR.

    Yeah, I'm gonna stop you right there. The Wikipedia house style is intentionally dry and stultifyingly boring, and while it may communicate certain facts, it will not convince anyone to come to a show.

  5. This one's evocative, I guess, in that I can actually smell the dirty scalp and ball-sweat and skunk-weed just from reading it:

    DUDE has been in the right place at the right time. The avid skater met esteemed workaholic producers WHO? and WHO? at a 2007 PARTY in CITY and later became immersed in CITY'S weekly hot spot CLUB, witnessing the SOME DJs tear it up on the regular. An INJURY forced DUDE to take a year off from skating, which allowed him to focus on his music. He eventually ended up rooming with WHO? and WHO?, absorbing the rampaging, wonkily funky sounds he heard in his living space and then peace-ing them out into more blissful configurations.

  6. The "exhaustive timeline and list of members" blurb:

    BAND was founded by DUDE and OTHER DUDE in 2004 as an outlet for experimenting with electronic music. With the addition of THIRD DUDE in 2005, BAND released their first album WHATEVER on the WHO CARES label in 2006. After several weeks of topping SOME INDUSTRY CHART YOU'VE NEVER HEARD OF and a handful of shows in the U.S. and Mexico, BAND went on a long hiatus while DUDE starting putting together material that would advance and not copy other electronic music. In 2010 ANOTHER DUDE joined BAND and the genre-bending album WHATEVER was written and conceived. Upon the release of THAT AGAIN in 2011 BAND divided audiences and critics.

    ...and it goes on like this for three more paragraphs.

In summary, blurbs are a land of contrasts. It is difficult to write a good one. Writing about music is hard. Writing about yourself can be even harder. But getting it right will help the shows attract new fans and succeed, so you gotta do it.


This week's heavy-handed climate metaphors

How it started / how it's going, Bay Bridge edition:

And in Denver: 1) a truck, 2) hauling SUVs, 3) parked in a protected bike lane, 4) on fire.

The husk sat in that bike lane for 8 days because DPT "didn't know about it."

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

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jwz mixtape 230

Please enjoy jwz mixtape 230.

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Current Music: as noted

The first ever use of dress codes for good

Texas school district to require masks as part of dress code:

"The Texas Governor does not have the authority to usurp the Board of Trustees' exclusive power and duty to govern and oversee the management of the public schools of the district. Nothing in the Governor's Executive Order 38 states he has suspended Chapter 11 of the Texas Education Code, and therefore the Board has elected to amend its dress code consistent with its statutory authority," the district stated in a press release after the meeting.

The change is not permanent as Trustee Dr. Bert Strom said the dress code will be revisited at each monthly board meeting. Strom, who made the motion for the change to the dress code, said the wording -- "For health reasons, masks are required for all employees and students to mitigate flu, cold, pandemic, and any other communicable diseases" -- came at the advice of the district's attorney.


If they're considering mask wearing a choice, then ladies you better put on your tiniest spaghetti strap crop tops, Teeny tiny skirts and challenge that dress code since they're unable to enforce a choice.

@nytimes: "Wearing a mask is a personal choice, and there is no practical way to enforce a mandate to wear them," the superintendent of a Georgia school district wrote in a letter after a widely circulated photo showed a packed hallway on the first day of classes

Previously, previously.

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Please vote NO on the MAGA recall of Newsom

After the last year of hell, you're all still registered permanent absentee, right? So you got your ballot in the mail yesterday, right? It is extremely thin.


The "leading Republican" replacement candidate is a far right extremist talk show host who doesn't support science in fighting COVID or believe in climate change. The "leading Democrat" is a landlord Youtuber. Neither should be Governor. Please vote NO on this recall.

He's famous on YouTube because he does videos about being a landlord and flipping houses. He's a landlord youtuber, like that's his genre.

The SFBG editors just can't help themselves and devote the first eighteen paragraphs (!!) to their Two Minutes Hate about how awful Newsom is -- and hey, they're not wrong -- but that's maybe not the best strategy to get out the vote.

He was a bad mayor and is a bad governor -- but the alternatives are way, way worse and the national implications are scary.

So now we are stuck with a series of far-right-bordering-on-looney Republicans who might possibly win governing the largest state in the nation at a critical time. We're talking about people who don't believe in the minimum wage, who don't believe in science, who are supporters of Donald Trump.

There's no way right now that any Republican can get elected governor in this state -- unless the recall succeeds. And if it does, the outcome would be terrible.

Let's not forget: The US Senate is split 50-50. If -- and it seems more and more likely every day -- Dianne Feinstein is unable to finish her term, a GOP governor would put a Republican in that seat -- until 2015. That would be the end of the Democratic majority. [...]

There are two questions on the ballot: Should we recall Newsom, and who should replace him. Because of the cowardice of Democrats, there is no credible alternative. There is nobody you can choose on the back side of the ballot. We are leaving it blank.


Nobody spends a quarter billion dollars to put a hack radio host atop the world's fifth biggest economy unless they're planning to do some *incredibly* serious damage to the people who live there.

Just to facilitate the Republican driven recall in California against Newsom, we are going to spend $215 million of tax payer dollars.


Seeing people asking over and over who they should vote for in the replacement part of the California governor recall, "in case" the recall succeeds. The answer is no one. None of the official candidates are acceptable, by definition. There is no "least bad". They are all bad.

You can leave the second part blank. It's not a test, you won't lose points. Or, you can write in Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis, who should be the replacement anyway according to the state constitution. But do not vote for any of the clowns.

When a recall succeeds, lieutenant governor should step in:

Under the law today, we elect a lieutenant governor, who runs separately on the ballot (as in 17 other states) to serve in case the governor is unable to fulfill his or her duties. Eleni Kounalakis was elected in 2018 for just this situation. Being recalled clearly creates an inability for the governor to serve and should trigger the state's constitutional provision on lieutenant governor ascension. [...]

For those voting not to recall Newsom, it's still best to write in Eleni Kounalakis. They can express a preference for commonsense reform to the recall by doing so. Otherwise, the ballot looks like a multi-candidate GOP primary election in which the winner has significantly less than a majority of votes.


I've been pointing out that the CA State Constitution already says the Lt. Gov. becomes Gov. on a successful recall. I hope Kounalakis takes this to court.

Federal lawsuit seeks to stop or dramatically alter Gavin Newsom recall election:

"[California's recall process] flies in the face of the federal legal principle of 'one person, one vote,' and gives to voters who vote to recall the Governor two votes -- one to remove him and one to select a successor, but limits to only one vote the franchise of those who vote to retain him and that he not be recalled, so that a person who votes for recall has twice as many votes as a person who votes against recall," the lawsuit states.

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

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Glüme, Orion, Desire

Hey, remember in the Before Times when I used to post crappy phone photos of awesome bands I saw? Maybe I'll keep doing that. Even though my 5yo phone can't get a focus lock to save its life.

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nginx 404 handling: hls shenanigans part 2

I posted a few weeks ago with an idea for how to make sure that a video stream stays alive even if the source has disconnected. A few folks pointed out that this is unlikely to work very well, but I figured I'd give it a try anyway.

I have an "infinite colorbars video stream" working now, I think. Does it work for you on your various devices? Video stream is embedded above, source. "Works" means "continues playing looping colorbars for longer than two minutes."

Second problem is, how do I get nginx to redirect to this when an index.m3u8 file goes 404? I tried this and it is not working:

location ~ index\.m3u8$ {
  error_page 404;

Under normal circumstances, nginx is filling up /var/run/hls/live/ with several .ts files and a single index.m3u8 file. When the source disconnects, the .ts files expire one by one, and when none are left, the .m3u8 file and the the enclosing directory, /var/run/hls/live/ also disappear. So maybe that's causing problems with the 404 handler?

Update: I got the 404 handling working. The file /live.m3u8 normally contains a list of the two sub-streams, a full and a downcoded version. But when it would have gone 404, it instead contains the contents of /video404/index.m3u8, which is the looping colorbars. But, it doesn't really work. First, the transition from "video" to "colorbars" is not immediate; one has to click play again, which kind of defeats the purpose. And second, the transition back from colorbars never happens! The colorbars just keep playing on a loop forever (until one hits reload), even after /live.m3u8 no longer has colorbars in it.

So, it was a long shot, and everything sucks.

(And yeah, apparently no browsers except Safari support .m3u8 files natively; it only works if the VIDEO element is wrapped in videojs witchcraft as I do on the webcast page. Here it is by itself.)

Previously, previously, previously.

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Now I'm just an unfrozen caveman, your PRNGs frighten and confuse me, but can someone explain to me how this constitutes "two factor" in any meaningful sense? They are sending the code right back to the same device.

Previously, previously.

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