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Dann Says: We Build This City On Rock and Roll

Hi Beijing. How are you? I’m just swell and Paris was lovely, thanks for asking. Hey, you’ll find some fun facts about the French capital peppered below because I want to make this guide as informative as possible! Information about all the jaw dropping awesome live shows in Beijing over the next seven days; information about Paris; information about the adventures of an anthropomorphic cat. Which other guide gives you that? None. That’s right, uncle Dann has a spot for you right on his knee, so come grab a perch and we’ll take about the first thing that comes up.

The first thing would be today: Wednesday. “Since 508 A.D, Paris has been the capital of France, the largest country of Western Europe with 550 000 km2 (the second in population with 66 millions inhabitants).” DDC is celebrating its birthday and it’s on for a Maybe Mars Showcase from 9p.m. I expect some tap dancing, some stand up comedy, magic tricks, Michael Pettis pulling rabbits out of hats, that kind of thing. The rabbits will be wearing Sonic Youth t-shirts, of course. Oh and maybe some band about nauseated automobiles or something.

Thursday: “Paris has 2.275 million inhabitants (last census in 2011). ‘She’ is the core of the Paris metropolitan area, known as Ile de France region (11.9 million people)”. At School Bar you can catch the fun fun times of SOLARIS, Jajatone, Pork and Lilium from 9p.m. Grunge with the best name ever (Pork) and a band that is able to make everyone in a room roll their eyes at exaclty same time (SOLARIS).Temple is celebrating four years of doing their thing with Scare The Children and Galaxies in Coma. 9p.m start.

Friday: “The Catacombs of Paris were created in the galleries of the former quarries whose stone was used to build the capital. Situated some twenty metres below ground, the ossuary contains the remains of approximately six million Parisians, transferred there gradually between the late eighteenth and mid-nineteenth centuries as graveyards were being closed because of the risk they posed to public health. The first of these was the cimetière des Innocents graveyard in 1786.” Bedstars finally release their album after a wait of like ten million years or something. It’ll be at School with Chinese Modem Guys and Click £15(when I try to enter a hash tag on my Mac it inputs a ‘£’ so to those of you who understand British English we’ll pretend this band is called ‘Click Fifteen Quid’). Whatever, everyone will be blackout drunk by the time it’s the 9p.m start. And Temple continue their party harding with Steely Heart, Pacalolo, Lonely Leary and Death Narcissist from 9p.m.

Saturday: something that I think is pretty bitching about the Catacombs of Paris is that in the long maze of dark galleries and narrow passages “visitors can see a tableau of death with bones arranged in a macabre display of high Romantic taste. The alexandrine verse ‘Arrête, c'est ici l'empire de la mort’ [Halt, this is the realm of Death ]the entrance to the ossuary is just one of an extensive series of maxims, poems and other sacred and profane passages giving pause for thought” in between taking selfies and wondering if anyone has made an adult video in the catacombs (I think the answer is yes). Meanwhile the birthday battle between DDC and Temple continues. DDC will be hosting favourites Li Dong, The Harridans, Djang San, MC Dawei, Li Gaoyang and DJ Demone from 9p.m. Meanwhile Temple will be grooving to the tune of Perpetual Motion Machine, Pokemon Dad and The Eat from 9p.m too. Compact Dicks might be there or might be bro hugging thin air. Who knows.

Sunday: speaking of dead people, every year hordes of faux-hippie shit-heads flock to Père Lachaise cemetery in Paris ( claimed to be the most visited graveyard in the world). Their motivation is to visit the grave of Jim Morrison, yet upon arrival even the most die hard fan may consider Morrison’s drunken and lackluster later contributions to music and literature to resemble a small child pissing in a vast ocean when they discover that Frederic Chopin and Oscar Wilde are buried in the same cemetery. DDC round off their birthday celebrations with a performance by psych rock alternative trio The Push, who no doubt really, really dig Jim Morrison. 9p.m start.

Monday: “The Eiffel Tower was originally built as the entrance arch for the World's Fair in 1889.It is named after Gustave Eiffel, whose company was in charge of the project.The Eiffel Tower is 320 metres (1050 feet) in height and was the tallest man made structure in the world for 41 years before being surpassed by the Chrysler Building in New York.” Sadly there are no shows in Beijing on Monday but you could read a book after the Eiffel Tower.

Tuesday: “The Chateau de Versailles, which has been on UNESCO’s World Heritage List for 30 years, began as Louis XIII’s hunting lodge before his son Louis XIV transformed and expanded it, moving the court and government of France to Versailles in 1682.The chateau lost its standing as the official seat of power in 1789 but acquired a new role in the 19th century as the Museum of the History of France, which was founded at the behest of Louis-Philippe, who ascended to the throne in 1830. That is when many of the chateau’s rooms were taken over to house the new collections, which were added to until the early 20th century, tracing milestones in French history.” There are no shows on Tuesday either, but I bet the internet has a ton of interesting shit about the Palace at Versailles too.

Wednesday: the French street artist Space Invader was featured in fellow street artist Banksy’s film ‘Exit Through The Gift Shop’. Space Invader’s pixelated 8-bit styled tile art can still be found all over the city of Paris, as well as in around sixty metropolitan cities around the world. Temple is having a mid week hoe down with Ghetto Blaster and Hell Gates. Blues and death metal from 9p.m. Wait, that sounds awesome!

I’m off to York to look at stained glass windows and hum death metal riffs. Bye.


The skeleton scrapedup a handful of ancient dried berries from a dusty earthenware bowl. A few fell from between the long white finger bones as they were brought to a jaw locked in a permanent sinister grin. It snapped open and the berries were thrown into the darkness, rattling around the empty ribcage and plate armour below. Never ending night stared out of its eye sockets. The skeleton was flanked by two more just like it, one on either side of it, decked out in weathered chainmail. Flickering candle light reflected off the less rusty sections, as well as the jade goblets and silver candle sticks that littered the table. Reflections and flashes of colour were cast on the millennia old harlequin chess board that was the centre piece of the table. The skeleton guards were waiting for the next move.

The cat’s paws were clasped nervously around a wide and short cup, painted gold and decorated with jewels of various sizes and colours that managed to catch the light any and which way it came. It was half full with sand, which she didn’t find very refreshing. Still, she felt it rude not to accept. Despite the meter thick walls of the monastery she could hear the devil wind howling outside. Very occasionally she could catch sight of a snowflake drifting down from the darkness up above, past the pillars carved with arcane runes she hadn’t seteyes on before. The intruding snow flakes twinkled and died in the darknessbefore they came any where near the chess set.

The cat slyly glanced out of the corner of her eye at the pig, seated next to her and intently studying the chess board. The cat didn’t recognise any of the game pieces but the pig seemed to know this game well — indeed he’d been playing against the skeleton for countless hours at this point. The cat couldn’t be sure but it seemed like the game had reached a stalemate. Neither the pig nor the skeleton had touched any of the ornately bone game pieces for some time. The pieces themselves resembled little men, in various guises, but mostly in suits andties, carrying umbrellas and briefcases. The skeleton kept staring and going through the motions of eating while the pig continued to stare at the board, occasionally grunting and stroking his chin with his chubby digits.

After a few more wistful snowflakes had drifted down the pig tentatively reached out for one ofthe pieces. One of the infinitely complex crystal structures evaporated farthe candle just as the pig laid his digits on a carved figure of a suited man in a bowler hat. The skeletons shuffled to life and clanged and clanked in their armour as they leaned forward in intent interest. The pig’s digits remained on the bowler hat figure for some time, yet he did not move it to any of the adjacent squares painted with flickering candle light. Then without warning the pig swept his hand across the board, seized another piece entirely — one of a man in a flowing cape and dropped it onto a square firmly located on the skeleton's side of the board.

The cat had no idea what this meant but noted the smug look on the pig’s face as he sat back and crossed his arms. The skeletons stared at the board for sometime before inunison their chins dropped to their armoured chests and they became very still,as if whatever force had been animating them had unceremoniously left them torot once more. The pig stood up, pushed out his chair, walked around the table and right past the still and silent skeletons, headed straight for a huge doors that lay beyond in the gloom. In the low light it was still possible to make out the scenes of great warriors riding mechanical birds dueling to the death in the skies that had been carved into the ancient wood.

The cat quickly placed her cup down on the table and ran after the pig, sparing not a moment to glance back at the defeated bone soldiers. She caught up with the pig just as he began barging his shoulder against the great door.

“Well my dear cat,that’s three times I’ve saved your hide by my count. I feel it’s going to be quite an expensive candle light dinner you’re going to give me in return!”

The cat rolled hereyes and hissed.

“Shut up.”

She threw her shoulderinto her side of the door and it swung open with a mighty groan, letting in ablast of snow and frozen air, revealing the other side of the mountain and the trail that led to the wastes below.