Yesterday’s winner: Before the Rain
Which song better represents All You Need Is Now: The Chauffeur or Come Undone?
Yesterday’s winner: Before the Rain
Which song better represents All You Need Is Now: The Chauffeur or Come Undone?
I’m still in the process of listening and blogging about the year end Katy Kafes. So far, I have blogged about John’s and about Roger’s. Today, I will move on to Nick. As always, I am not sharing everything. I’m focusing on what struck me and what I reacted to. If you want to want to know about the whole thing, please head over to DuranDuranMusic and listen for yourself.
Event of the year:
Nick mentioned that there were a lot of “ghastly political things” that he doesn’t want to remember. Instead, he would rather remember the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. He distinctly remembers being a little kid watching it, which he believed had a massive impact on what he thought about life. Additionally, it was “such a significant achievement that was positive for everyone.”
Like John, Nick loved Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. While he acknowledged that it was a little long and slow, in places, he enjoyed every minute of it. He feels that both the writing and acting were great.
Favorite TV Show:
While Nick does not typically find a lot of time for TV, he made a point of doing so this past year. He mentioned two shows: Black Mirror and The Crown. He raved about the latter stating that it looks amazing with casting that it right on.
Leave it to Nick to talk about a book of photography. In this case, he talked about the latest Stephen Gill book that focused on photographs taken in rural Sweden.
Billie Eilish was Nick’s choice in this category. Fascinating. He acknowledged that she is very young but finds her clever and more interesting than others. When questioned about this choice, he stated how he believes that female singers are leading right now.
Favorite Thing Saw:
In this category, Nick focused on museum and art gallery shows. Nick discussed the various shows he saw in great detail. I took note of a couple including the Stanley Kubrick exhibit with props and clothing from his movies and seeing The Last Supper in person in Milan.
Favorite Duran Duran Moment:
Shocking to no one, Nick chose playing at the 50th anniversary of the launch of the Apollo 11 rocket to the moon. He described it as surreal, being at that exact location with rockets all around them, a big choir, a string section and a full moon. He shared a little about how this happened. Apparently, he had visited NASA a year earlier and the NASA people mentioned the idea of Duran playing at this and he jumped at the chance. Fascinating.
Looking Forward to the Most in 2020:
The first thing Nick popped out with was a nap. As someone who has been grading all weekend, I definitely could relate to that. Of course, he turned more seriously to the fact that they have spent a lot of 2019 working on the album. He said that he 100% thinks that the album will be out in 2020. His prediction is that it will most likely be between April and June. The worst case would be September. They have about 6 songs all set but have to battle to decide the rest. Katy asked how that happens. He explained that it was a democracy that works (unlike the UK and the US, he added!). Either they work on a song until everyone thinks it is the best it can be or it doesn’t get added. One story Nick shared was how he loved Northern Lights but Simon did not agree with a certain part. Apparently, they compromised by including it as a bonus track which Nick thinks it is the right way now.
All of the album talk got me excited! Maybe I’ll have new Duran music by my birthday. I would approve!
Yesterday’s winner: Blame the Machines
Which song better represents the All You Need Is Now Tour: Before the Rain or Careless Memories?
Before I dive into today’s blog, I want to apologize again for yesterday’s lack of a blog. I had hopes that I might be able to do a quick blog of sorts in the morning before I left for work but the brain and computer weren’t working. It might have something to do with me being overwhelmed with finals (many of them still await my grading). Anyway, I apologize.
The last couple of weeks have meant finishing up the first semester and getting ready for the next one. Part of me hates this time of the year as the grading is way too much but another part of me likes that we get to restart. It also means a number of meetings to reset there, too. In the middle of one of these meetings, I had a realization. Bear with me as I try to explain this. It seems to me that there are some fundamentals in which people build their lives. For many people, this foundation of sorts includes family, friends, a career, a community, etc. If all of those are working as they should, life feels good. It doesn’t necessarily mean that everything is perfect, just that it feels normal, safe, relatively predictable.
In thinking about all of this, I realized that my foundation has been shook over the last decade or so. In some cases, there have just been little cracks like my parents have both had health concerns and I recognize that they aren’t getting any younger. Other areas have been more dramatically affected. In teaching U.S. history, we discuss how the United States have ideals that include liberty, democracy, equality, etc. Through actions both at the state level and nationally, those ideals seem like nothing more than pipe dreams, at times. Even with my career, aspects that I expected no longer seem possible, forget about probable. All this has left me feeling shaken, disturbed, anxious, unsafe.
Where does that leave fandom? Good question. When I first started touring, it was all about fun. Life was relatively good and going on tour, posting on message boards just made life a little better. Then, as more and more has happened to shake my foundation, fandom has taken on a different role. For awhile, when the rest of life began to be so uncertain, I looked to fandom to provide the one “normal” part of life. I could count on it to be an escape, a fun time with friends. I desperately clung to it. If you even look back to blogs I had written in 2011, 2012, 2013 you could sense this. I needed the band to finish an album, go on tour, etc. It was the only thing that felt right. Now, I’m not even sure that fandom feels that solid as well and I don’t even know why. Maybe it is simply because the rest of my foundation is so badly shaken that the cracks have hit even fandom. I don’t know. I know that if I were to go on tour, it would still be an amazingly fun time but the going on tour part seems uncertain for the first time.
I don’t know where this goes from here. I have no clue. Really, the only thing I know is that I would like some part of my life to feel safe, that I could trust it. I would the ground to stop shifting beneath my feet. I would welcome it if that part would be fandom. One hundred percent. But like everything else, I have more questions than answers about whether or not that is possible and what if anything can be done about it.
So what about the rest of you? Has fandom changed in terms of where it fit into your life or why you participated? How do you feel about your fandom moving forward?
Yesterday’s winner: All You Need Is Now
Which song better represents the All You Need Is Now Tour: Being Followed or Blame the Machines?
If you’ve escaped the news regarding the US Senate Impeachment Trial, it is entirely possible you have heard about another scandal. Deborah Dugan, the recently ousted CEO of the Recording Academy, claims that the Grammy award system, among a myriad of other very serious allegations, is rigged.
Dugan filed a complaint with the Equal Opportunity Commission this week. She is alleging sexual harassment and discrimination against the Recording Academy. This was following her own untimely exit on January 16. She was placed on administrative leave following another female staffer complaints of misconduct (by Dugan). Complaints of sexual harassment in Hollywood are not new. Given the complexities and drama enveloping the situation, I suspect there will be more news to come. However, I did find the allegations about the awards system worthy of comment.
With each passing year, I pay less and less attention to the music award shows. Call it aging, call it a lack of care or concern. The fact is, the awards, and certainly the visual spectacles they create for television, are boring to me. They resemble circuses of excess, complete with clown-car acts of try-hards, attempting to outdo whomever stepped onstage before.
I used to force myself to watch. Desperately trying to stay informed, as well as exercise and maintain a decent ear for new music. I never could quite understand why I had zero trouble listening to music from my parents day and prior. I appreciated the history and where music has traveled since. Yet listening to modern music (at least the most “popular” being heralded on these awards shows) makes me crazy. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve found plenty of new music to enjoy – just not the stuff pedaled on these shows for mainstream audiences.
As I’ve watched shows like the Grammy Awards, I’ve sat back in wonderment over some of the nominees, and most definitely the winners. I can’t count how many times I wondered how fill-in-the-blank-here actually got nominated, much less won. That isn’t about my own personal taste, either.
I can’t ignore the fact that people of color dominate many of the categories. Yet far too often it ends up being white people getting the award. Yeah, I’m playing the race card because it’s been way too damn obvious to ignore. Certainly, I could never prove a thing; but if me, “little-white-woman-from-California” was wondering about it, rest assured, I wasn’t alone.
Granted, I don’t have my finger on the pulse of mainstream music these days – but some of the choices felt (and sounded) completely out of left field. Sadly, it didn’t surprise me when news reports about this alleged “rigging” began surfacing this week. In fact, I believe my sarcastic comment was, “No. You don’t say!!” I mean, come on. Who DOESN’T think these shows are a joke??
Did you know that the membership in the Recording Academy (according to Slate) is only 21% female, and only 28% people of color? Interesting, given those groups of people often dominate entire categories. Yet, their role in the voting and governing body is minimal. The process is that the full membership casts choices in all categories. Then, for each of those categories, committees cull through the top 20 choices, down to a final 5-8 nominees.
What I found interesting here, this committee meets and the members push forward their own choices. So for example, if you’re someone who works with say, Ed Sheeran – you’re going to push forward his nomination in whatever category you’re working on, regardless of whether or not he’s truly the best example of this years artists in that category. Doesn’t matter because, well – this is a popularity contest. It also doesn’t matter if Ed (again, just an example!!) was even in the top 20 voted by the entire membership body for that category. Dugan’s complaint claims that for the 2020 Grammys, 30 of this year’s nominees were added to the final list of nominees, despite not making the initial cut to the top 20.
I wish that were all, but she also claims that this year, one of the nominees for Song of the Year came in at #18 in the top 20 (meaning that the entire membership made their choices for this category, and this nominee was the 18th most popular choice). Yet they made it through to the top nominees. Maybe when faced with the choices that were in the top 20, this particular committee of people decided that #18 was really one of the top 5-8 choices for the category. Sure. I suppose in this day and age, anything is possible. But really??
While I’m the first to say that I think the award shows are a joke – it is a little numbing and disconcerting to read that they’re REALLY this messed up. I’m a lot less surprised that Duran Duran didn’t win more of them during the course of their career, I’ll say that much.
No, I’ll even go one further. We already know that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is political. Getting on that nomination ballot is an exercise in futility. At the very least, you’ve got to have the hearts and ears of all the white men in the room. Then there’s the Grammy Awards, which has also now proven it’s own irrelevance, assuming that even some of the allegations are true. I can’t imagine they’re untrue at this point. With so many patterns of behavior emerging, it is difficult to imagine otherwise.
I guess that at least for me, I have to wonder when it stops. Will it stop? When does the public finally say no more? Or, perhaps it doesn’t matter enough to anyone to bother? “It’s just music.”
Yes, it is music. This week, it is the Recording Academy in the crosshairs…it’s also The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, The Oscars, the entertainment industry, business, and beyond. It is about equal opportunity, People of Color, LGBTQ, white people, women, men….about humans. Our behavior, our history, our collective culture, and our future.
Sure, it’s just music and this is just an awards show. All of it superficial and irrelevant…except it’s not.
The song that best represents the Paper Gods Tour: Pressure Off
Which song better represents the All You Need Is Now Tour: All You Need Is Now or A View to a Kill?
Yesterday’s winner: Pressure Off
Which song best represents the Paper Gods Tour: The Universe Alone or Pressure Off?
One of the things I miss most about MTV is their Music News. Sure, I loved the videos. Yes, I miss the exposure to new music. However, I really miss hearing the news. Most notably, I miss Kurt Loder. I remember John Norris, and even Tabitha Soren, but for me – music news came from Kurt Loder. I learned from him, and appreciated the snapshots of what was going on in the world that I cared about most. These days, I struggle to keep up. I don’t have time to scour the internet in search of who/when/how, and I don’t have the patience to sit through much.
I don’t think I’m alone. Whether it is because there is a lack of concern or interest for new bands, or a lack of attention given to bands of ,*ahem*, MY generation, there’s not a lot available…until now.
If you have checked out our home page within the last several days, it is possible that you will already know that our very own Jason (VelvetRadio) has signed on with Strangeways Radio/TV to do music news each week! This is huge, as Strangeways Radio is an outlet of Slicing Up Eyeballs, and Matt Sebastian – the owner and founder of Slicing Up Eyeballs – hosts DarkWave on SiriusXM’s First Wave channel. I’m a huge fan of Slicing Up Eyeballs as it is, and couldn’t be more thrilled for Jason.
Jason knows music. He is incredibly knowledgable. While I arguably may know a little bit about Duran Duran – he knows Duran Duran, along with everything else. It is the reason why he was the first and only person I thought of trusting (outside of Amanda, of course!!) to take over one of my blogging days. I continue to learn from him, and appreciate that he still takes the time to write a little something for us to read and ponder each week.
From the outset, before a single click, I knew his music news would be worth watching. I wasn’t wrong! Immediately after watching, I subscribed to Strangeways Radio onYouTube. Jason has a delivery similar to Kurt Loder, and I think that his show and audience will continue to grow from here. Jason knows his stuff, and the best part of it is that the news he curates is directed towards new wave/alternative fans. You’ll hear about the bands and music you love most. I really couldn’t be more excited for him, and proud to say he blogs here, too!
As we all know – the internet is a massive, fat pipe. Information cascades our way at a breakneck pace. It isn’t easy to stand out as one music news outlet amongst hundreds or thousands. This is why I’m asking you to click on his videos, take a look, and subscribe.
Here’s Jason’s latest!
Best of luck to you, Jason. I can’t wait to see where this all goes from here!
Yesterday’s winner: The Universe Alone
Which song better represents the Paper Gods Tour: Last Night in the City or Pressure Off?