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Dann Says: Summer Fun In Beijing!

Hi Beijing! How are you? Is it scorching hot and full of fun? I bet it is! My travels have landed me in Prague in the Czech Republic, which is a great place for historical buildings, walks by the river, quality beer and bars where women dance on tables and take their clothes off because they’re paid to. It’s an interesting scene and quite different from Beijing, I can tell you. But hey, one thing Prague doesn’t have is Chinese rock and roll, so let’s get down with what’s kicking in Beijing.

Today is Wednesday, so that means you can kick it at ‘Pet Vaccination Day’at MAO from 8:30p.m with Antu, OOC, Liu Minghui, and Hack buteer blasting out the jams. So this was the first time I’d actually been to that kind of bar, you know, a naked dancing lady bar. It’s not really a thing in the UK, unless you go to really expensive London clubs, and seeing as I’ve spent the last seven years hanging around basement rock clubs in East Asia eking out an existence teaching and writing the opportunity had never come up to go to such an establishment. Prague offers all kinds of possibilities to go to such establishments. In fact they have advertisements on the street for them. They are ,in effect, all about it.

Tomorrow should be Thursday and that means you can pre-game for some weekend fun at School with Last Resort and Overkids from 9p.m. (I expect). The fine establishment I went to happened to be in the basement of a hotel. A family hotel, that happened to have over priced drinks and topless ladies dancing on a bar in the basement. Aside from the over priced beer, steroid pumping bouncers, banal Eurotrash techno, the only thing of real note (apart from the girls dancing on tables) were the amount of weird dead ends and rooms off of rooms. Rooms for privacy. Yeah, that kind of vibe.

Friday, first on your list should be the full on l-l-l-l-adies par-tay at MAO with Pisces, L-Gentlemen, and Miss Mix. Hot pants and windmill power chords from 9p.m. For something a bit more far out and psych/grunge/noise whatever check in at School for Glow Curve, SNSOS, The Eat, Baxian Fandian, The Grinding Ear from 9p.m. The dancing ladies were supposed to be attractive, kind of how a Big Mac is supposed to be attractive. Yet once you look past the artificial additives and preservatives the lasting sensation is one of malnourishment. The only thing that Mc Donalds could add to make this comparison even more apt is a high heels. I mean there are heels and then there are those bizarre twelve inch mutant foot sculptures, like something out of a Lady GagGag video. Who even gets turned on by that?

Saturday, fresh on scene label Borderless are throwing down another genre blending showcase, this time stepping up the big place out in Chaoyang, Mako Livehouse. It’s a mixed and eclectic card with CNdY, Baxian Fandian, Rhonda, and Chuchu from 9p.m. At Yugong Yishan you can catch some blues vibes from Dafay, who’s releasing a new album of fresh jams from 9p.m. And it’s a hit parade of established bands and the new guard at School with Hedgehog, Da Bang, and The Diders from 9p.m. The main emotion I was getting from the dancers was boredom. Absolute, mind numbing, boredom as they moved “provocatively” around poles (that weren’t really used much) to generic dance music, occasionally breaking their thousand yard stare at the room’s back wall to make fleeting obligatory eye contact with one of the half-cut perverts huddled in front of them.

Sunday, forget going to church, go to Sunday School, I mean School Bar on a Sunday. You get what I mean right? Whatever. First off there is a afternoon matinee show with Birdstriking, Jajatone, and Zhang Shouwang and Shi Lu from 3:30p.m. A Maybe Mars/post D-22 hoe down while the sun is up. And when the sun goes down you can catch Mexican Hong Kong transplants Deer, who are apparently on the same label as me or something. Transnational electronic duo, School, 9p.m. Needless to say, the audience who were gawking at a couple of half naked girls dancing on a bar on a Sunday evening were an odd bunch to say the least. Mostly slackened ties and gold jewelry, sipping mixed drinks under the pulsing neon lights, drinks so watered down you could sit there sipping Long Island Ice Teas all night and not feel a thing.

Next week is starting off quiet, with nothing of note going down on Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday it’s back to School for a midweek blast of rock and roll with Summer Warz, Mr. Odd, and Screaming Kong from 9p.m. Screaming Kong, that’s a good name. The customer that stood out the most on that particular night was a four eyed white man rocking a bum bag/fanny pack. I don’t think he was wearing it in an ironic hipster throw back kind of way either. He kind of looked like Michael Pettis, the finance dude behind Maybe Mars, although I’m sure when Professor Pettis rocks through Europe he ain’t hanging out at any dancing lady bars in the basements of unremarkable hotels. This gentleman had his eyes closed the whole time, swaying back and worth to the music, clinking his fingers in time with the music, dance with himself like Billy Idol. Even the dancers were making eyes at each other and pulling bemused faces in his direction. Yet that man was having the time of his life. Afterall, as the Talking Heads once said, “Heaven is a place where nothing ever happens.”

I’m off to Poland so I’ll stop talking about dancing lady bars and switch over to my D&D cat-fan fiction. Bye Beijing.

The light blinded her and the din rang in her ears. The cat raised her paws to shield her eyes. As her pupils adjusted she discovered that she no longer had paws but instead long slender fingers, covered not in fur but rather in flesh. She looked down and saw a human body, curves hinted at beneath a yellow dress covered in red splotches. Furless legs disappearing into a pair of flat black shoes with white laces.

She looked up at the gigantic space she found herself in, flooded with light and sound. Before here was a huge platform of some shining polished stone over which hordes of people continually passed. Not cats, rats, and pigs but humans, the kind she’d heard about in hushed tones around campfires, with their long faces, naked skin and slow legs. They rushed, male and female, black, white, yellow and brown, dressed in all manner of shapes, sizes, and colours. Many came up a staircase yet the people stood motionless and the stairs did the walking, endlessly churning out more and more of them. All of them flocked towards some grey gates in front of which they queued. Beyond sat some huge grey and yellow boxes into which they disappeared. High upwas a roof of metal and glass that seemed that stretch on forever,blinding daylight beaming down. A voice appeared out of the air,

“Welcome to St Pancras International...”

She took a few uncertain steps forward as they continued to rush by. She looked back over he should. Instead of the dark tunnel she’d stepped into she saw a narrow wooden red door. Chevrons ran up it, pointing to the tip of the red and white brick arch that framed it. Miniature columns carved from stone flanked the door, just like on the other side, except instead of being set in a wall of rock the door was perfectly framed by a wall of red bricks. Her eyes followed the bricks as they stretched up to ancient rafters and supports. She took a step backwards and bumped into something. She wheeled around and a face that was almost completely circular. A bloated slab of pink and red flesh, balanced on top a massive orb dressed in a black suit complete with a silver chain trailing from a waistcoat pocket. She then noticed a neat bowler perched on top of the great slab of flesh. She peered into the eyes hidden between rolls of flesh and recognized the pig instantly. He said nothing, simply reaching into his waistcoat and pocket and bringing out a little card and handing it to her. She looked down at the orange and lime piece of card and the strange characters written on it. He then wordlessly took her by the arm and started walking briskly towards the queues before the gates. She stumbled and tried to keep up. So many people, so many faces, eyes, hands holding glowing slabs of glass.

The people piled towards the gates, each one queueing and pausing briefly before passing through. She cast a nervous glance back over her shoulder. Crowds, faces, that all seemed to blend together, except for a glimpse of something else. She kept watching, and again see saw it, a face hidden behind a white mask with a long beak like nose protruding. She turned back but the man pig only stared ahead, waddling along briskly. She stole another glance over her shoulder and saw it again, this time closer. Face hidden behind waxen mask and beak. Then she saw another beak amongst the crowd, and another, moving towards. One of them pointed at her, but not with a finger or paw but a giant pair of black pincers, glistening in the light. None of the people paid them any mind and just seemed to stare ahead as they went, unaware of the monstrosities lurking amongst them.

She felt the pig tug her as he broke into a plodding run. She instinctively reached for the writing brush she kept stashed inside her cloak, but she wasn’t wearing her cloak and the brush wasn’t there. She felt very cold all of a sudden. They came to the gates and the queue of people in front, the metal arms of the gates blocking each person from passing. She peered through the shoulders and arms and saw that the arms remained closed unless one of the orange and green cards were fed into a little mouth next to the gates. Upon gobbling it up the arms would snap open letting one person through before closing again. It was all very slow, too many people, a bottle neck of bodies. She looked back and saw the beaks were almost upon them, a pair of pincers suddenly lunging for her. She could see the hairs bristling on its surface, the slime dripping off of them as they opened wide coming straight for her face.

She turned just in time to see the pig flinging people aside, grab her with both arms and barge towards the gate, flinging his shoulder against the metal arms and forcing them through. Shouts and hollers followed them as they stumbled past the long grey and yellow boxes. She ran as fast as she could and didn’t dare to look back, yet managed to catch a glimpse of her reflection in a window running along the side of one of the boxes. Long hair, a neat slim face, orange in a sea of white eyes staring back at her. Something black and glistening appeared in her peripheral vision. She felt herself lifting as he pig picked her up and bundled her through a door into one of the yellow and gray boxes and the only thing she could feel was falling.