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Dann Says: Cut The Air With A Knife

Hey ho Beijing, meow’s it going? Enjoying the ‘fog’ as of recent? Yes, it’s a fun thing that ‘fog’ isn’t it? Like it seems to only cling around the big cities, but hey maybe that’s a good thing. Like you can pretend you’re in the city in the clouds from Star Wars or a Sherlock Holmes story yet with less homoeroticism. Yes, that’s right, the ‘fog’ makes all your dreams come true. It can also make the dream of rock and roll in Beijing all the more real. Yippee!

Today is Wednesday Temple is having a midweek indie blow out with Duan Pian, Spinning Glasshouse, and Wang Shi and Band from 9p.m. Bring a towel. Bring many towels. Wrap one around your heard (ala Total Recall — the original with Arnie, not that mess with Colin Farrell) and wet the others, then prance around flicking them at the backside of fellow patrons of Temple. You’ll get so many‘likes’on Weibo.

Thursday, all the way from the US of A is Neon Indian who is going to be getting eclectic electric at Yugong Yishan around 8p.m. I remember Neon Indian came through Korea once. Or it might have just been another drunk I was sharing the bar with who claimed he could glow in the dark and was of Indian descent. Strange things happen in Koko Korea once the sun goes down y’know. Back at Temple it’s Marshall’s Psycho Showcase #3! where Gulou’s resident cross-dressing anthropologist is going to encourage Alpine Decline, Endless Square, and Elenore, to play from 9p.m, at gunpoint. Just joking about the gun bit. Maybe.

Friday, get that party started and tuck ‘it’ between your legs. If you don’t have ‘it’ borrow somebody’s else ‘it’ and tuck that between your legs. Make sure they buy you breakfast. Blackwater at School 9pm, free, Irish folk. Free. It’s means you can spend more money on booze. Do it. Over at Yugong Yishan it’s Sleep Party People, a Danish bloke whose hobbies include cutting the heads off of rabbits and then dances around on stage with them from 9p.m. And December, Japanese post rock at DDC, from 8pm, in November. December in November. Oh the irony. THE IRONY.

Saturday, you’re probably flying low, so sort that out before you do anything else. At DDC it’s The Beijing Underground Showcase No. 2 where Djang San gets just about every underground musician in Beijing in a room and then challenges each and every one to a head to head Riverdance competition. And wins. Every time. He’s working up to the day he can kick Michael Flatley’s ass. This time he’s going to wipe the floor with Nakoma, Horse Radio (Two Horses Duo), Djang San, Noise Arcade, Charm, Little Punk, Orange Bud, and J個 from 4p.m till late. Oh yeah, as well as frantic Irish dance off all those bands will perform as well. P-Town and D-Crash at School from 9pm, only dancing there will be The Pogo, The Angry Kid In A Black Tee-Shirt and Ohgodithinki’vegonedeaf. Rad. And Black Minty, Summon Soul, Muppet, Hot Line, Steely Heart, and Children’s Cinema will be collectively celebrating the return of Mako, which should be fun for all the family from 8p.m.

Sunday, Yugong Yishan is the place to catch Xiao Meng, the Ed Gein of singer songwriters. Don’t believe me? Check this line from his bio: “He skilled in guitar, the girls under the stage, no one can resist the temptation of his music.” Translation: Yeah, he sKILLED the guitar along with the remains of those poor girls he stashed behind the base bins. The slaughter commences from 8p.m. MAO is meanwhile having a massacre of indie sounds with Tea Jelly, Time Street, Children’s Cinema, and T.R.I.B.A.D from 8pm. And 69 Cafe has something genuinely linked to the horror movie genre with a noise improv set as score to the silent masterpiece Nosferaru, in my opinion one of the greatest films ever made. Damn, no jokes on this one, that actually sounds banging. 8p.m start.

Monday and Tuesday, nothing. Sorry. If you’re bored you could stay home and make your own improv noise set to classic films and television shows. Maybe a grindcore soundtrack to Cheers! or Norwegian death jazz score to Seinfeld. The possibilities are endless. And next Wednesday Hot Pot Music, those fiends who bring out all those rambunctious young punk bands, are holding their seventh anniversary at MAO with Chunk! No, Captain Chunk! (France), Obey the Brave (Canada), and Flesh Juice Machine (Taiwan). Names Of The Year all over this one. 8p.m start.

That is it. Purchase some long underwear soon, you’ll need it.

The sky boat ran out fuel just about the time that the towers appeared in the murky distance. Once the propellers stopped turning the pig used the sails to slow their descent downwards in the hope they wouldn’t fall out of the sky like a rock to the wastelands below. He guided them down the best he could, the boat’s hull violently impacting with the ground and ploughing forward, digging a trench into the dirt, wooden planks cracking and splintering until they finally came to a halt, a trail of decimated earth and splintered planks tracing their return to the ground.

They picked through the wreckage salvaging whatever supplies they could carry. The hare was given an ill fitting purple uniform that the Flavour Rangers were seen in when far away from their home back over the mountains: a pair of loose trousers and a jacket with four pockets and five buttons, both made of cloth, topped off with a peaked cap with the emblem of a clock set in the center of the front. He was also given a crossbow with a quiver of bolts, yet the way he dragged it by the stock with shirt sleeves that hung over his paws didn’t instill either the pig or the cat with much faith in his combat abilities. Compared to the pig and cat’s magical weapons the boat’s arsenal held little interest for them, apart from a satchel of bombs , like little black apples with neat stubby fuses protruding out like stems.

Despite the pig’s sincerest efforts to eat everything in the boat there were still large quantities of rations and water so they stuffed as much as they could into packs and bindles and began their trek towards the towers. The tower’s outlines reached into the grey skies, out of the soup of black smoke that they seemed to nestle in. They stood like a jaw line of broken teeth, reflecting whatever light happened across their cracked faces, as if winking at the approaching party in a lurid manner.

Slowly the towers grew taller as the air became thick with toxic black smoke, drifting from the smoldering fires and heaps of slag that at first peppered the wasteland but became more and more plentiful the closer they drew, the heat become intense at places. They passed a large wooden cross stuck in the ground. Nailed to it was a humanoid skeleton, from its back a huge pair of rotting wings dropping down. A swarm of jet black flies were busying themselves over its bones.

“T-this place is more phobian than I remember...” the hare whispered in a trembling tone.

The pig let out a hearty guffaw followed by a large belch that seemed to echo off the towers in the distance.

“I would have called it deimonsian personally. When did you last set foot in this dump?”

“A long time before, before...before...” The hare trailed off.

The cat looked back over her shoulder at them, frowning. The pig grinned. She snorted in contempt turning around and striding on, wondering what phobian and deimosian meant. As she went she felt the writing brush quivering ever so slightly beneath her cloak. She walked a little faster for fear the others might notice.

Soon they found themselves walking along a cracked blacktop not at all dissimilar from the one tracing to the Necropolis. It appeared out of the dust and debris, coming from nothing and leading straight to the towers. Every now and again between the fires there were metal corpses like that of the machine the cat and pig had ridden through the wastes. However while back West there had been snaking columns of hundreds of them here there were only a few here and there suggesting a great migration to else where.

The trio could now clearly see what huge monoliths the towers were, perfect lines and hard edges wrought of metal and mirrors, reaching up out of the smoke. The cat could now see the faces of the towers were divided into grids, each section holding a mirror, a few of them intact but most cracked, broken, or missing, leaving empty eye sockets like the those of the Necro King’s waxen mask. The cat wondered why they called them the towers of glass when they were covered in mirrors. She also wondered why somebody would put a mirror on the outside of a building when it would be of no use to the occupants. She soon put it out of her mind as another question she didn’t have time to pursue.

They paused before a huge crater in the scarred earth. A glance within revealed a blackened center, charcoal and ash still smoking, blackened bones scattered all around. On the other side of the crater stood the ruins of building, a single wall still standing. Many words were painted high up in an unpleasant shade of crimson:


,which had been crossed out, underneath somebody having written:


,which in turn had been crossed out. Underneath somebody had painted a perfect circle with two dots for eyes and a curving line for a smile to form a beaming face, the symbol of the pleasure cults. Directly beneath that was written:


The cat had heard whispers about the cults in the alleys and taverns of the Delta Kingdoms, about the decadent orgies of violence and murder, how the great lands of the East had burnt themselves to the ground, falling into overindulgence, succumbing to the most carnal of emotions and urges. Ghost tales to control the serfs. Or maybe not.The hare concentrated on his feet. They walked around the edge and only the pig spoke, in a little more than a whisper.

“Sometimes the most sentimental souls do the cruelest things.”

Low buildings and streets appeared around them now, the smoke stinging their eyes and filling their nostrils with noxious fumes. They looked up at the sheer faces reaching up into troubled clouds, passing between two of the silent giants. Through blasted windows they saw the drip drop of dirty water adding to lakes of filth on the rubble strewn floors, twisted metal and broken glass, shadows and decay.

They emerged from between the towers on to wide ruined street. As the smoke drifted by they were greeted by the sight of hundreds of towers crowding the distance. Thick smoke billowed from the fires burning in the lower levels of many of the towers. On the ground between splinters of wood, shards of glass and thousands of dead insects, twisted horrors wrought from metal that may have once represented proud animals lay deformed and forgotten. Slowly out of the smoke came a figure moving in their direction. It moved on all fours and something about the way it moved suggested it had not always travelled this way. They saw the rags wrapped around its body that may once have been clothes or some kind of uniform. As it came closer they could see its long boney limbs ending in thin claw like digits that reached out and prodded at the glass and debris before it took each step. When it looked up at them they discovered why: its face wrapped in filthy yellow bandages, a crimson stain spreading out from where they would have expected its eyes and mouth to be. It stopped mid step and angled its covered face towards them. It remained still for a moment and then let out a shrill howl that echoed off the towers high up into filthy sky for what seemed like an age. And so the trio’s arrival amongst the towers was announced.