Ways to survive until Paper Gods: 11 days and counting!

Eleven days to go!

Now that we’re down to mere days before Paper Gods drops and we celebrate, I can’t believe we’re finally here. (Just imagine how the band must feel!) There were moments during the past three years that I would secretly (or not so) share my worries with Amanda.  “Do you really think they’re ever going to finish this album?”  or “What if they never say anything and just fade away forever?”  While it seemed like the recording might never be completed, that was nothing compared to the virtual “radio silence” we were getting on social media. After a period of time when it seemed as though the band actually wanted to connect with fans, we were left with almost nothing.

Unfortunately, that seems to be an ongoing issue with no end in sight. Sad for those of us who enjoyed seeing them…but for the band, perhaps it’s a necessity for sanity. As someone who has occasionally seen the less-behaved side of fandom, I can understand even if I don’t always like it. The point being, we were starved on many fronts, and after feeling like we’ve been crawling through the Sahara desert for many, many, months….we’re near relief!

Amanda and I have been trying to celebrate these last several days by creating a sort of calendar of “tasks” for each day. If you’ve been following along, we suggested listening to a Duran album per day, starting with the first album, moving on to Rio yesterday, which would mean Seven and the Ragged Tiger today.  Perhaps you can listen while you complete today’s task – adding your own personal countdown clock to the release of Paper Gods to social media!  

This can be as simple as copying and pasting the little countdown post that the band has been doing on Facebook, doing something like I did for Daily Duranie (it’s in our left-hand side bar, and if you click it, you’ll be sent to the Duran Duran store to preorder your own copy of Paper Gods!), or even doing your own. The one I created for this site was done through a “plug-in” for WordPress (another word for app, really), and while I would love to make it all fancy with the Paper Gods coloring and design – I am no web designer. So, we’re sticking with the basics.

I encourage everyone to get in on the act – create your own countdown clock and post it! If you make one that you’d like to show off, feel free to post it to our Daily Duranie Facebook page (if you haven’t already liked our page – check out the link in the sidebar and LIKE us!) There are even apps right in Facebook that let you make one, or you can create your own online and have fun with it!  Let your Duran Duran flag fly!

Here are a couple of websites for countdown clocks:

time and date

Powr

web countdown

Or just run a search for “customizable countdown clock” like I did.

I’m off to go give a listen to Seven and the Ragged Tiger…

Eleven short days, my friends.  Eleven days!

-R

 

Ways to Survive Until Paper Gods: 12 Days to Go!

Yesterday, in this blog here, I described the need that many/most/all of us might be experiencing as we move closer and closer to the release of Duran’s latest.  That need, of course, is a way to settle the restlessness and to make it until September 11th!  The way I mentioned yesterday to help all fans deal is to listen to an album a day.  The first album was played yesterday.  Today, we should all listen to Rio cause we are going in order!  Listen to it here:

Of course, though, we need something else.  We need more to distract from our anxiousness.  Thus, I suggest the following:  Go back and reread the important blog posts about the album.  I might suggest these:

Insights Part 1

Insights Part 2

Paper Gods A Plenty

Cherry Ice Cream Smile

Of course, if you want something more official I suggest these articles from the band’s official site:

Official Primer

Full Details

Personally, I have gone back to those insights and official articles more than once since I have heard the songs off of Paper Gods.  It helps me to reach greater understanding of the songs, as well as, in many cases, helps me to appreciate them better as well!

Good luck to all of you!  Hopefully, this suggestion helps you get through your day and gets you one day closer to the new album!

-A

 

Question of the Day: Sunday, August 30, 2015

Yesterday’s winner:  JoSi9

JoSi9

 

More JoSi (John and Simon) to vote on!  Which picture do you prefer?

Ways to Survive Until Paper Gods: 13 Days to Go!

Have you ever taken a long road trip?  I used to routinely drive about 8 hours from my home in Madison to my parents’ house outside of Detroit.  I developed a pretty good system with toll money at the ready, tunes in the car, specific places to stop and more.  I was always rather content when driving despite the usual traffic around Chicago and the potential for lake effect snow around Northwest Indiana and Southwest Michigan.  Yet, the same thing always happened to me.  Once I hit the last 30 miles or so of the trip, I thought I was going to die.  I needed to get out of the car.  I began complaining about being tired, being bored, that my back hurt, that the temperature in the car was wrong.  Basically, I was restless.  Very restless, indeed.  I knew that I was close and I just wanted to be there RIGHT NOW.

I suspect a lot of Duranies out there have this exact same feeling in regards to the release of Paper Gods.  Many fans were cool, calm and collected the entire time between the release of the last album, All You Need Is Now, and this one.  They had faith that Duran Duran was taking the time they needed to create a masterpiece, to create a fabulous album.  Even once information came out about the album, including the title, the song titles, the release date, and more, many fans were cool.  Yes, of course, they were anxious for the album, but it still seemed so far away!  Yet, clearly, it isn’t so far away now!  The entire fan base has been able to hear five tracks off the album and now, they are seeing a daily countdown from Duran Duran on social media that looks like this.

Day 13 countdown

This, of course, is a reminder that we are in the final stretch, people!  After all the waiting, the wonderings, the discussions, the rumors, the speculations, everyone, everywhere will soon be able to hear the entire thing!  It is like we are 30 miles away from our destination after driving for 400 miles or more.  We can see the finish line.  We are so close that we can practically taste and smell it.

We figured that many of you out there might be feeling pretty restless right about now!  Therefore, we came up with some ways to survive this countdown, to survive until Paper Gods is officially released!  Each day, we will be presenting a different idea of how to harness that restless energy that you might be feeling.  Today’s idea is a simple one, but one that will carry over each day until September 11th.  Since the band has released 13 studio albums before Paper Gods and because there are 13 days to go, you could and should listen to a different Duran album each day.  I recommend listening to them in order.  Today, then, we would start with the debut, the self-titled first album.  Tomorrow, then, I will post Rio.  Monday, Seven and the Ragged Tiger will be posted, etc.

Here’s hoping our little countdown helps you survive the last 13 days and get yourself ready to hear Paper Gods!!!

-A

Question of the Day: Saturday, August 29, 2015

Yesterday’s winner:  JoSi8

JoSi8

 

More JoSi (John and Simon) to vote on!  Which picture do you like better?

Question of the Day: Friday, August 28, 2015

Yesterday’s winner:  JoSi1

JoSi1

More JoSi (John and Simon) to vote on!  Which picture do you like better?

We Can’t Stop Believing

It has been a banner morning thus far!  I’ve been on Twitter and Facebook, contributed to a “delightful” conversation on gun control, and defended Duran Duran’s right to make music that challenges our comfort zone(s).

Yesterday, I wrote about how this album is a struggle for me. I’m trying to bond with it, and I’m still trying to figure it all out. There’s the music, which in a lot of cases, I really like even though I can’t necessarily hear the magic 5-piece band I fell in love with.  Then there’s the lyrics, which admittedly I hadn’t paid as much attention quite yet.

For me, Duran Duran is about both. The music that stays with me and touches my heart most are the songs that just hit me like a ton of bricks both musically and lyrically. I need both, and typically Duran delivers in one way or another. Take Last Night in the City, since the band released that song today (you can hear it below)

Last Night in the City (Stereogum)

Since I have nothing else to do at all (lies, all lies)…I took some time and wrote out the lyrics. I am not going to swear that these are 100% perfect, but it’s what I heard.

Last Night in the City

I’m not gonna sleep tonight, til the morning fills the sky
No ones getting left behind, this our time, this our time

We gotta live this night. Yeah, living like it’s our last night
Cuz nobody cares, if there’s no tomorrow

I’m not thinking ‘bout the future (the future) it’s somewhere out there
We’re all busy being human (human) we remember
Hearts beating all around me (together) now, they surrounding me
This is how we get connected, running out the shadows into light

We gonna live this night, yeah, living like it’s our last night
Cuz nobody cares, if there’s no tomorrow
We gotta love this night, yeah, loving like it’s our last night
Stars up in the air, yeah, it’s our last night in the city

I’ve been traveling all around now, big world, with my brothers
Always moving to a new town, no time to put the roots down
We can’t stop believing (can’t stop) no we believe in you.
Cuz when you’re standing in the spotlight, the only thing that matters is tonight

We gotta live this night. Yeah, living like it’s our last night
Cuz nobody cares, if there’s no tomorrow
We gotta love this night, yeah, loving like it’s our last night
Stars up in the air, yeah, it’s our last night in the city

I’m not gonna sleep tonight, til the morning fills the sky
No ones getting left behind, this our time, this our time

We gotta live this night. Yeah, living like it’s our last night
Cuz nobody cares, if there’s no tomorrow
We gotta love this night, yeah, loving like it’s our last night
Stars up in the air, oh yeah, it’s our last night in the city

Yeah, last night in the city

Yeah, last night in the city

I am not going to tell fibs here – when I first heard this song, I wasn’t really sure about it. To my ears, the song leans way to the electronic side of life that I try to avoid like the plague. That said, Kiesza’s voice is amazing and I kind of think she forces Simon to rise up to the challenge…which is fabulous. Even so, I still wasn’t sold on the song. I definitely wasn’t bonding with it. Last Night in the City was just another song that could have been by any band. I don’t know what made me try it, but I forced myself to sit down and listen to the lyrics. I don’t just mean hear the song, but I mean listen, which is when I discovered that this song has special meaning for Amanda and I.

Ever heard the phrase “burning the candle at both ends”?

When I leave this house and meet Amanda for a Duran Duran road trip, we really do burn that candle. We have a great time, we stay up all night (we like to reach up for the sunrise!) and no, we really don’t care if there is a tomorrow…and nobody gets left behind! I can see myself in these lyrics, and that my friends, immediately pushed this song from being just another tune to something that I will sing (and likely quote) with abandon whenever possible.

So, getting back to my struggle with this new album…I’ve taken part in more than a few conversations over the years where I’ve lamented that in some ways, I wish the band would just be who they are instead of trying to be on the charts. The trouble, at least what I see from where I sit, is that the band has never really been that type of group. Every single album they’ve ever made has consisted of taking a little from where they’ve been, and applying it to new territory they’ve yet to visit. Sometimes the end result is amazing, and other times, yeah maybe it falls short. But are we really going to fault them for trying? Some call it an identity crisis of sorts, and others say they’re just challenging their comfort zones.  Personally, I think they’re challenging mine.

-R

 

 

Question of the Day: Thursday, August 27, 2015

Yesterday’s winner:  DoJo18

DoJo18

 

Moving back to JoSi (John and Simon) to finish round 2!  Which picture do you prefer?

Bonding with Paper Gods

Lately I have come to the realization that there are remarkably few songs that I fall in love with immediately….”love at first listen”, so to speak. I don’t know if it has always been that way and I’m just now noticing; or if it is that my tastes have changed, my condition more stringent, and it just takes much more to impress me.

I’ve sat back over the past couple of weeks, eyeballing Twitter and Facebook, observing comments that many fans have excitedly and/or begrudgingly posted about the new material. I’ve seen both ends of the spectrum and everything in-between, feelings ranging from disgust to euphoria. Publicly, four songs have been released with eight more to eventually arrive. We’re sixteen days away from release of Paper Gods, and the general mood amongst fans is that of anticipation, whether anxious or otherwise.

I share in that anticipation to some extent, as I wait to see what others think of the album in full. In the meantime, I’ve been listening, digesting, contemplating and coming back around for more. I can’t lie, it’s been a struggle….a term I’ve used a lot lately while discussing Paper Gods amongst friends.

Let me put it another way: for me, Paper Gods is a bit like a newborn baby. When you’re a parent, you’re given this infant and, as nature goes, parents are expected to love and care for it. That feeling is inherent as you stare down at that wiggly little bundle, but the whole experience feels foreign. It is assumed that love is immediate, but I can say that at least for myself, it was something that needed to grow over time. Those bonds aren’t quite there yet, other than what you know you’re supposed to have.

Right now, that’s exactly where I’m at with this album. There are elements I really like. Songs I actually enjoy. Then I start really listening and wondering where in the hell the bass REALLY is (I know, I know, there’s a lot of synthesized bass on the album), and why there’s not more “real” Roger…and don’t even get me started on guitar…or more precisely, who SHOULD be playing guitar. Then I start feeling like I’ve completely missed something somewhere. This is a band that likes to reinvent themselves with each album. I prepare myself, as best as I can, to keep an open mind with every single release. It’s not easy. My gut reaction with hearing “You Kill Me With Silence” simply is not the same as when I hear “Girl Panic”, for instance.  When I listen to “Pressure Off”, I start feeling those warm fuzzies and continue to look for more with other songs off of the album.  The more I listen to “What Are the Chances”, the more I fall in love with everything from lyrics to guitar. Then I remember that Dom isn’t even playing the guitar, and I feel guilty as hell…but then I remember Dom is listed as co-writer and I start to feel at least a little better. (I am begging you, Duran Duran – please play this live and let the boy play it!!!)  There are quite a few of those moments throughout the album for me.

For me, instrumentation matters. I fell in love with a five-piece band. Drums, bass, guitar, keyboards and vocalist. When I listen to their music, I want to hear those elements. I’ve seen many people compare this album to others in the past – and even Nick himself mentions Red Carpet Massacre. Amanda and I have kind of dubbed this album “RCM-lite”, because many of those elements are contained within Paper Gods, but for us it is a much more palatable album overall. It’s still Duran Duran somewhere in there…and we didn’t find that as much with RCM. John Taylor mentions in a couple of interviews lately that for him, it was about finding where to fit in (something he also said about RCM). He says that current, modern music doesn’t really have traditional bass, so he looked to using more of a synthetic bass. Roger, someone who I think is completely open to whatever has to happen and making it work, used a stick with his bass drum at some point or another on this album. There is also a ton of electronic drums and perhaps a drum machine in there somewhere. I guess for me, it comes down to the fact that the Duran Duran I know and love uses traditional instruments right alongside the synthesizers and keyboards. I don’t know if that is always made clear on this album. The mix throughout the entire album really leans heavily towards the electronic end in many ways, which screws with my own perception. A lot of what my ears hear is Simon and Nick with whatever guest they happen to have playing with them at the time, and yet my heart and head know John and Roger (and Dom, thankyouverymuch) should be there somewhere. My hope is that while playing live, they’re all there front and center, running wild and free. No guesswork, ear buds, or fancy headphones needed.

I look forward to breathing in the excitement as the opening notes begin and the screams release the nervous anticipation, just like an uncorked champagne bottle. We will celebrate the release of this album, welcome the band back to us, and revel in the moment.  Songs that we may have once questioned will become familiar, and those wonderful bonds will become second nature, adding another album to the soundtrack of our lives.

-R

Question of the Day: Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Yesterday’s winner:  DoJo16

DoJo16

 

More DoJo (Dom and John) to vote on!  Which picture do you like better?

Two Duran fans with a lot of opinions!