Friday nights are consistantly exceptional. Last Friday I was in the second largest venue of the tour so far, and last night I was at the KK club which I had heard about since arriving in Xiamen; and surprisingly the place actually lived up to the reputation. Clubs are almost always crowded to capacity here on weekends, but one thing I’ve really learned in the last few months is how much of a difference a really receptive crowd is.
We arrived at the club in the afternoon for sound check and to test their projectors for the VJ show and were out of there pretty quickly, but definitely noticed the organization of this particular venue. It actually operates like a club in America would – it’s apparently managed by people who have a genuine interest in the club, which was really pretty nice. They had a large billboard outside and photos of the three of us (myself and the Kims) all around the club, even in the bathroom over the urinals. When I left the club at 5:30am I took one of the smaller vinyl billboards that was positioned on the ground; one of the employees help me cut the zip ties that kept it in place. I think I’ll mail it to someone, but I don’t know who. I won’t skip ahead to that far yet, though.
The club was arranged into two floors, the top area being a concert-stage area with performers and the bottom floor being the club area with the DJ. They had a variety of shows on the top floor as they always do, which included one routine with a group¬†of a dozen girls¬†dressed as sexy marines doing synchronized Britney-esque dance moves. Kim and Kim did their “sex dance” (this is where they pretty much dry hump eachother for 5 minutes to upbeat Enya – Chinese people absolutely love this) and the place went nuts.
At 12:30 I started DJ’ing and didn’t finish until 2:30. I used Serato Scratch and played a lot of new tunes that I’ve recently bought from Beatport, which went down really well. I remember a group of girls with one guy who were going absolutely nuts the entire time, right up on the glass a few feet in front of me. Most of the rest of the crowd did their psuedo-dance wiggle/jump thing and held up their hands a lot which Chinese people also do. Oh, also. The group directly in front of me kept trying me to give them a glowing rave-toy ball-thing which was next to me in the booth. It was about a dozen glowing bracelets tied together with some plastic piece to make it into a ball. They kept wanting me to give them this, pointing at it, etc. About half way through I played Everybody, which is a track by BBB released a year or two ago on IHR and during the breakdown held the ball up in the air like I was going to throw it in the crowd. The place goes absolutely nuts, it’s like this glowing ball is the anti-virus to the disease which will kill everyone in the room in 30 seconds. I toss it out and a small handful of people fight over it momentarily before one person triumphantly holds it up in the air with a look on his face like he’s won a gold medal. What great fun.
After DJ’ing we had to go back to the hotel because Coors has a rule where we have to leave the club as a group and we’re forbidden from staying to hang out. I didn’t want to go to sleep because the club was still jumping and I was filled with free beer, so I went to the hotel, changed out of the Coors shirt, and went back to the club.
I spent half of the time dancing and the other half talking to people, and about half of that was talking to a girl who worked there named Jojo. We played the dice game for a while and she taught me how to play a new game which I haven’t played before – similar to connect four, except it’s played on a board with black and white pieces and the object is to line up five of your color in a row while preventing your oppononent¬†from doing the same. Simple, but fun. I actually hung around until 5:30 for some insane reason. I had a great time hanging out with Jojo though, what struck me most about her was that she seemed very genuine. We’ve been exchanging text messages on and off today and I’ve been able to learn a few new characters, including ?í¬µ and ?Ö¬?. The sweet thing about that second character is that it’s written in pinyin as “o”, but in conversation it’s just an acknowledgement, so it works the same way as “oh” in english.
I’ve been in Quanzhou for 7 hours and haven’t seen or done much here, but the most notable thing about this place so far is that tonights club is inside my hotel, on the fourth floor. It looks like one of the nicer hotels that I’d imagine to be in this city¬†and I’m surprised that Coors would be classy enough to put us up in a place like this. Champion form, Silver Bullet.
I have another Moleskine that’s nearly full. Another six months of this and I could probably combine all of my journals into a full size novel, although no one but myself would probably care to read my abstract, personal, and completely disjointed observations.
I’m learning to play xiangqi. That’s Chinese chess in the west, but here it’s elephant chess. It plays pretty similar to western chess but the pace is much faster. Also, elephants.
Currently listening to: Almost-silent-but-not-quite Counter Strike (they’re using headphones)