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Dann Says: Yay For Frozen Rain!

Hey Beijing! Well spank my backside and call me Marilyn, we’ve found ourselves in a winter wonderland! Suddenly all those grimy hutongs and depressing buildings take on a whole new vibe as a wintery paradise emerges around. Until it melts. Then you’re just reminded of what awful drainage the city has, especially at crosswalks and on university campuses. And for the love of god don’t eat snow. It’s frozen hutong water after all. However it’s perfectly fine for children and small animals to stuff their faces. In fact they should be encouraged to. So in this wintery wonderland let the rock and roll ring like a bell.

Today is Wednesday and the main card of interest has nothing whatsoever to do with rock and roll: Caravan, the fancy Moroccan fine eating/boozing joint run by Badr of Beijing Daze fame is hosting noise/experimental jams for the first time along side the lamb and wine. It’s the album release for DMH, aka. Dong Mohan aka. Richard Doran, that bald Irish man who used to be on the TV. He’s back in town screaming about mental illness and he’ll be flanked by pipa-toting backstreet-flirt thruoutin and miracle-making super-villain Noise Arcade. Somebody is going to have a breakdown from 9p.m.

Tomorrow Thursday at fRUITYSHOP there’s going to be the sonic equivalent of hot chocolate around the fire (the equivalent here being electronic sounds in a really cold hutong space) with Kōlya X LAZER LIGHT and another round of Noise Arcade’s mind bending glitched beats with visuals from Jefske who once ate seventy two potatoes in one sitting and than and ran himself over (only joking, that was Brian Harvey from East 17). There are going to be tapes and everything. Tapes. TAPES! 8pm start for reals.

Friday, the big shin dig at Yugong Yishan will be China Drifting, a festival to celebrate the Chinese nation’s gradual break away from the Eurasian continent as it drifts out into the Pacific ocean. Everyone wants to go to Australia right? Well, why not just make our own shanzhai Australia? Yangjing and chuan’r instead of BBQ’d shrimp and VB, the tourists will love it. To celebrate this Brandt Brauer Frick (Germany), Re-TROS, and None of Them (Sweden) will be jamming out from 9p.m. Meanwhile at School it’s That Fuckin Tank (UK), who are apparently super DIY. Who cares? They get my vote on name alone. Nice one lads, 9p.m start. And DDC is opening its stage or Emilie Calmé , a jazz world music singer/flutist from France. What did you do with that flute at bandcamp Emilie? Played it? Sure. Suuuuuure. 9p.m start.

Saturday, Caturday, Nevousbreakdownday. The winner is hands down School with Shanghai future gazing heroes Duck Fight Goose and local dreamers Alpine Decline. If this show had been at DDC there’d have been a chance we might of seen an actual duck fighting a goose in the hutong outside, but as its School we’ll just have to settle for some drunk people sneering at the hoighty-toighty types who actually try and drive their Audi down Wudaoying Hutong. 9p.m start. Meanwhile at Temple Beijing’s cross dressing answer to King Crimson/Jethro Tull/ The Spice Girls, the duplicitous taints frequently known as The Harridans will be getting sweaty. Wear protection from 9p.m. And if that all sounds way too loud you could dig the reasonably chilled folk vibes of Milk Coffee at 69 Cafe, who are grooving down in NLGX as part of their national tour. 9p.m start.

Sunday, fight crime in the hutongs, build a castle for your cat, give Filthy Bill a careers talk, leap frog a street cleaner, start a break dance circle at the menopause dance in the square, give Morgan Short a careers talk. Choose life. And then go to Yugong Yishan to witness the uplifting sound of Euphoria (Japan), who will hopefully be allowed to rock out. Hopefully. Fingers crossed from 9p.m.

Monday, c’mon bro, last time something awesome happened on a Monday was when thruoutin and Djang San challenged a pair of chengguan to a mud wrastlin’ match and became the loincloth-clad heroes of Beixinqiao for a night.

Tuesday, a special invitation to you:

GUIGUISUISUI is going to be performing at DDC for free. We’re going to be recording and filming our live set because our sound has changed up some so we want to capture our jams as they are right now: boy and girl, costumes, gameboy and guitar, animated visuals depicting a journey through time dripping over everything. We’ll be there getting liminal and you’re welcome to come and watch from 8p.m. This will be our last Beijing show for sometime.

Finally, next Wednesday, country vibes at Jianghu with Kirk Kenney fiddlin’ the night away from 9p.m.

That’s it Beijing. Remember, despite what the big kids might tell you the yellow snow does not taste like lemons. And it never will.

The trio paced quickly through the shattered streets that decayed between the towers. They weaved around fires and trenches, broken glass and insect shells crunching under their boots,thick orange flames in the windows of the towers belching black smoke into the heavens, the corpse of some long forgotten civilization. The urgency of their current situation seemed to have quieted the hares’ woes, if only for a moment, kicking his mind into action. He had explained that in order to ride the Bone Road they would need to make their way to the Cathedral of the Great Architect and seek the consul of the Maker. This didn’t mean very much to the cat, but she cared not so long as they could be on their way and out of this wretched place soon enough.

The hare had insisted he knew the way but after they rounded a corner into the same square with the same smoldering remains of what might have been a giant statue of a adorable caricature of a cat in the center the cat and pig began to doubt the hare’s way finding skills. The half melted ribbon on a fragment of skull below a rounded ear still recognisable amongst the debris,. Above them set high up in a tower the twisted hands of a clock somehow still managed to creak round, albeit the wrong way. Unexpectedly they crunched to a halt and a trap door sprung open in the brickwork beneath the clock’s face. Once upon a time something might have lived inside that was meant to pop out for their entertainment but that too had died or else departed. We’ve come to a time when time is meaningless the cat thought.

Every subsequent time they rounded the corner and saw the remains of the cat idol and the carcass of the clock tower the herd of crawlers grew larger and larger. Each and every one of them shrieked and wailed its it own tortured way, horrific calls muffled by the filthy gauze that bound their faces, forcing their long fingers to grope blindly before each shaky step. There was no perceivable pattern in their yells, in the length, pitch or volume, yet it seemed to have the desired effect of drawing more to their location. From a few lone crawlers, to a dozen, to over a hundred and counting, they flocked to them as if there was giant neon arrow flashingtheir heads. They moved slowly, groping blinding, bumping into each other, their boney backs curved in a manner that suggested that walking on all fours was breaking their spines. It was easy for the trio to stay ahead providing they kept a good pace, yet the crawlers number only grew and once they had found the trio they followed relentlessly without fatigue.

When they turned a corner to be greeted by an entire horde of the tortured beasts crawling towards them the pig became noticeably agitated. He let out a squeal and whipped his rake off of his back, swinging it back and forth, lightning crackling off of its teeth. Still the crawlers kept coming. For that instance the hare was rooted to the spot with fear while the cat lost no time in grabbing him by the shirt collar and propelling him down a narrow alley way that divided two of the colossal towers. They stumbled between the huge buildings, single file, leaping over piles of rubble, tripping over rocks , the pig plodding along at the back, rake in hand, panting and sweating as he tried to keep ahead of the crawlers excitedly cramming themselves into the passage way, clambering over one another, spidery fingers pushing and pulling on bent backs and bandaged faces. They filled the air with their cries and shrieks, the sound rebounding off the walls and echoing up to the towers above. The hare’s crossbow slipped from his shoulder disappeared and tumbled underfoot. They didn’t even look back after it.

The alleyway abruptly spat them out into a huge, open space. Silence. Here the air was thick, like a mustard coloured sea of haze through where one could barely see twenty paces away. It felt thick and heavy as they breathed it into their lungs, causing them to splutter. The towers on the distance were masked from view, hidden behind this impenetrable veil of toxic smog, yet they could just about glimpse the outlines of the low buildings at the other end of the space. One of them stood out, the outline of two towers rising from a cube of monumental proportions. Despite the faint impression through the smog the hare suddenly seemed very excited.

“That’s it!” he squeaked, jumping up and down with excitement.

As soon as he said that a tortured shriek rang out behind them. The cat turned to witness crawlers tumbling out of the alley, falling over one another as they scrambled towards them. This time the hare needed no encouragement to begin sprinting for the strucutre at the other side of the square. They ran head long into the poison soup, lumps of rock and twisted rebar appearing suddenly underfoot and sending them sprawling and staggering as they went. The crawlers were coming on quick now and as the sprinted the cat saw the outline of hundreds of crouched bodies and bandaged heads looming out of smog on all sides, an army of bandaged cannibals all homing in on them.The cathedral became clearer, the great arched front door with a huge circular window setit. Nearer still they could see how the outer walls were not made of bricks but a lattice of many short short, thin objects that were not quite straight, giving the whole strucuture a strandly organic appearence. Together they looked imperfect, irregular and yet fit together in a perfect manner. They neared closer and the cat realised the cathedral was made of bones.

They staggered under the great archway of bones up to the great iron doors, the skeletons of gargoyles sneering at them from the gutters up above. Their paws quickly began to trace the thin sliver of darkness between the two sides of the door or else pushing the surface in the vain hope of finding some hidden doorway. The intricate tales of the dead beings rising to confront the living that were cast in surface of the door were ignored. The pig stepped back and wedged the teeth of his rake into gap. He began to grunt and heave, electricity crackling off the rake and traveling across the door’s surface, metal groaning and warping. The cat took a step back and remembered their pursuers, turning to be greeted by a sight of hundreds of crawlers, anonymous behind their bandages and shrieks, looming out of the fog. The front row formed a half circle only a dozen paws away from them. She went for the writing brush and in the blink of an eye it was being whipped back and forth through the air. She finished her invisible painting and let out a snarl as the brush came to rest in her outstretched paw, the tip pointing directly at the nearest crawler.

Nothing happened.

She waited, her eyes flickering from the writing brush to the approaching horde. Still nothing. Again she slashed the brush back and forth through the air, more violently this time, tracing the lines of a beast that she hoped would appear before them, wrought from burning flame, and dispense her enemies. This time a tiny ember lit at the tip of the brush. Nothing more. The lone beginning of a flame burned bright in the toxic stew but did nothing to deter the screeching terrors about to pounce upon them. She felt the handle of the brush begin to tremble in her paw. This was it, the day at last. The day the brush refused to did her bidding. She could see the glistening wet crimson on the gauze of the nearest crawler, the dirt beneath its chipped and tarnished finger nails as it groped excitedly for its next step.

Without warning the hare appeared in front of her, his purple uniform in stark contrast to the bitter scene that approached. He ducked beneath the writing brush, the stubby fuses of the bombs he held in each paw kissing the lone ember. He twirled around and sent the two black orbs sailing into the front row of crawlers, sparks trailing through the air as they went. Before the cat had time to drop her white chin in awe the hare had turned her around and shoved her forward as a loud explosion sent her sprawling forward, followed shortly by another one.

She pushed herself up. She heard nothing except a loud ringing but she saw the smoldering arm before her, spidery fingers charred and blackened. She looked up and saw the pig standing in the open doorway, his mouth opening and closing. She stumbled forward as the hare disappeared into the darkness. She leapt forward after him, the useless writing brush clasped firmly in her paw. The door swung shut with a heavy thud, rattling the bones walls.