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Dann Says: Cassette Store Day And Other Frolics

Hi there Beijing, what’s going on with you? Have you eaten one of those vegan hotdogs they’re selling outside School Bar? You should, they’re really good. Like, they’re vegan and they taste good, so you can enjoy a hot dog without having to worry about eating pigeon meat. You can drink a beer, watch a punk band, and eat a hot dog. It’s living the actual dream. Someone’s dream anyway. Probably, I dunno, you should try one. Anyway this Saturday is International Cassette Store Day, so you should get a hot dog and get some tapes too. Let’s talk it through.

Today is Wednesday and that means you can catch some French afro-reggae fusion jams at DDC with Amazigh Kateb Trio as part of that jazz festival thingy. Fusion of African/Caribbean/Europe music, that’s a thing in France, slick grooves for sure. DDC also has hot dogs but as far as I know they’re not vegan so I can’t comment on them. They warm and not made from actual dog, so that’s a start. 8p.m doors.

Thursday, forget going to one of the fancy pants new restaurants on/around Gulou that Smart Beijing recently wrote up, that’s way too middle class. Instead take your date to School Bar, get tanked on Beer Lao and see how many vegan hot dogs you can stuff in your face. Meanwhile your significant other can catch Swedish interpretive dancers Lerin/Hystad express their emotions from 8p.m. Or follow the same process at DDC except with IPAs and non-vegan hotdogs to the Luoning Latin JazzTrio from 8p.m. Either way so long as you end up tanked and full of hotdog you can count the night to be a success.

Friday, Friday, gotta get down on Friday. Apparently. I’m going to be mucking around with tapes and Gameboys while my wife plays tracks from the TRON:Legacy soundtrack off her iPad in a really small bar. That’s our deejay duo thing. Pretty groundbreaking. Yet I doubt most of you could give two headless monkeys over that one, so instead I’ll point you toward Long Arm from Russia who will be living it up at Yugong Yishan from 8p.m. School has a tasty line up to the tune of The 16th Floor, The Eat, SNSOS, and Nakoma from 8p.m. And if you’re down for checking out a show in a shopping mall you’ll be moist as a very moist thing in a very moist place for folkers Low Wormwood at ModernSky Lab from 9p.m.

Saturday, yippee, it’s Cassette Store Day! Imagine it’s like Christmas/Hanukkah/Spring Festival but way more depressing. The basic concept is to celebrate music on magnetic tape with events and stuff so the Nasty Wizard Kult (which includes me) decided to take one for the team and organise the Beijing one this time around. As well as tapes from Nasty Wizard Recordings we’ll have cassettes from 87dei87, Zoomin Night, Reproduce Artists (India) and Noise Mongers (Malaysia) on deck. The celebrations will be split over two shows: the first is an afternoon rager at Fruityshop featuring Noise Arcade, Dan Taylor, Extremist Religious Group and Bit Tuner from 4p.m. Around 6p.m DDC is going to get cooking with a BBQ and a tape DJ set from DJ GUIGZ (yeaaah, we’ll see how that one works out) and then about 8p.m the live music will be start banging out withThe Eat, Lonely Leary, Fake Weed, Juju. If you want you could also purchase a hot dog. Other stuff about town at a similar time: Penicillin at School from 8p.m. Get your fix. Of vegan hot dog.Casino Demon, Residence A, Larry’s Pizza, and Finger Family at MAO from 8p.m.

Sunday, wake up late and marvel at all the exciting additions to your cassette tape collection. So many sound investments. After you’re told everyone on your social network sites about it and called your grandmother to tell her tapes are still a thing you could stagger over to 69 Cafe to check out student grunge revivalists Baxian Fandian at from 5p.m. Gnarly. And after that cartwheel your way down the street all the way to School Bar forShochu Legion, Last Resort, 0190, and TOSS from 8p.m. Plans for dinner? Nope? Don’t worry, there’s plenty of vegan hot dogs for sale.

Monday, do your homework, visit a petting zoo, go to MAO to check out Route 17 from 8p.m. Tuesday get that hot dog shaped gap inside of you taken care of with a visit to School and the jam out to Fanzui Xiangfa, Laisee, Free Sex Shop, and The Diders from 8p.m. It’s what Jesus would have wanted. And Wednesday, stick around at School for the The Nightcrawlers from 8p.m. It’s the middle of the week so why not celebrate? How about a hot dog?

Enjoy your cassette tapes and hot dogs, Beijing. See you next week.

The cat and the pig looked down on the valley below. For hours, days, or maybe even weeks they had walked the gauntlet. They had walked with neither food nor rest in a perpetual twilight where time seemed to stretch and slow to the extent its passing was barely noticeable. The whole time they had been watched by the stone terrors above, waiting for any sign of weakness. They had passed and now were utterly drained.

The cat crouched down, struggling to keep her eyes open. The pig collapsed in a heap. They didn’t bother looking back, they knew there was nothing for them there. Instead their tired eyes studied the horror below. Under a ruinous grey sky where thunder rolled and lightening flashed, at the center of the vast valley, sat an immense plateau. A fortress of grey rock with unscalable, sheer walls. On a top sat an untidy tower of dark, jagged rock, a spiteful blade aimed straight for the heavens. Before them stretched a rocky trail, snaking down into the valley and along the flat bottom, past rocky outcrops, and straight for the dark portal in the side of the plateau that served as the mouth of the death city. The pig’s voice came out slowly, sounding tired beyond tired.

“Maybe there are darker places in other worlds dearest...deeper sorrow in the hearts of fallen champions perhaps...”

He took a deep breath and coughed.

“But in out realm there is only the Necropolis.”

He slowly hauled himself up on his rake, swaying back and forth ever so slightly. Staring out into the horrors below and he spoke some more,

“It’s been too long since I’ve seen your pretty’s been too long since I had a place... these are my last days here...”

The pig seemed to be speaking to someone other than the cat in a droning monotone, trailing off. The cat looked up and frowned at him. The pig snapped back to the here and now and turned around, blinking a few times and then looking upon the cat.

“The Necromancer is building an army, sending his agents further into the mountains. I doubt they’ll be too welcoming to two living guests such as ourselves.”

“So what do we do?” groaned the cat.

“We die, dearest. Or at least we look like we have” The pig said with a smirk.

They slowly wandering around the desolate waste land, collecting broken branches and dead wood. Later they settled into a small cave that and made a fire, lighting it with the cat’s writing brush. Time seemed to pass more normally in this place and it grew dark but the storm clouds over the Necropolis remained. They finished the last few morsels of food they had and took turns to sleep. The cat had troubled dreams that took place in poorly lit dungeons lined with prison bars behind which robed figures roamed about, whispering and chanting to themselves. She couldn’t work out who was prisoner and who was jailer. Later when the fire had died down they scooped out the white ash and smothered their faces and hands with it, turning the pig’s pink flesh a deathly pale colour and hiding the cat’s silver and black fur beneath a coat of grey dust. They then used charcoal to colour their noses, mouths and around their eyes so that from a distance they might resemble ghouls. With their disguises complete they kicked out the fire, readied their weapons, and set off for the valley below.