Category Archives: Coachella

Let It Shine–2011 Highlights

Last Sunday, I talked about the documentary featured on Duran’s latest DVD release, A Diamond in the Mind.  I questioned why it wasn’t talked about more and then I introduced the main topics of the documentary.  Before I dive into the first of those big topics, I want to explain what I learned after last Sunday’s blog.  The reason that many people aren’t talking about this documentary is because they don’t have it.  Apparently, the iTunes version, for example, did not include extras.  Thus, the only people who have access to it are people who bought actual copies (DVD or Blu-ray).  There was also some confusion between this and the commentary.  Let me do my best to clarify.  The commentary is not included on the actual copy of ADITM.  The commentary was played on the day that ADITM premiered through the Qello application on facebook.  Later, it was made available to download on Eagle Rock.  This was/is the only means I know of obtaining it.  The commentary is much like a movie commentary in which voices talk about the show over the original visuals.  The documentary, on the other hand, is available only on actual copies and features interviews with the band as well as other footage, including behind the scenes shots. 

The first main topic of the documentary is the 2011 highlights, according to the band.  Nick introduced this topic by talking about how the year was so exciting and renewed their music and live show.  Simon then listed many of their highlights, including the release of All You Need Is Now and their participation in some American festivals like South by Southwest and Coachella.  Nick and John later discuss the Unstaged show with David Lynch.  After watching, I wondered if I agreed with their assessments and what my own highlights were.  Let’s take each of those 3 highlights, one at a time. 

The first highlight that the band mentions is the release of All You Need is Now.  I would think that anytime the band releases an album that must be THE highlight of that year since they haven’t released that many albums.  It isn’t like they release an album a year or more than one album a year.  Writing, recording, mixing, and putting out an album must be an incredible amount of work.  I really can’t wrap my head around how much work it must be.  I know how hard it is to write a book.  Maybe I could compare book writing to album making.  Like recording an album, you can’t just sit down and publish a book.  You have to take time to outline the book/chapter, then you have to write it which often takes a great deal of time as serious revisions can happen.  You start thinking the chapter might be one way only to have it go in a completely different direction.  I am sure the same thing happens to songs.  Then, you still have to edit, perfect, add, change, fix everything that is written.  Even after that, there are more details to add.  In our case, for example, we add quotes to separate sections of a chapter.  Perhaps, this is like all of those little sounds, pieces that get added to Duran songs.  Once all of that is done, there is still all the packaging that needs to be figured and what is going to be included, etc.  My point is simple.  Releasing an album is a ton of work and a super big deal.  Of course, the other important detail to this highlight is that the album is FABULOUS.  Frankly, this album should always be a Duran highlight and not just for 2011.  It is a career highlight, in my opinion.  It is filled with quality music that feels like essential Duran.  If anything, I was surprised that they didn’t talk more about the album on this.  Although, maybe they felt like they shouldn’t because the iTunes version was available at the end of 2010. 

The next highlight was American festivals.  They mentioned South by Southwest briefly before spending more time talking about Coachella and the scene there with the sunset that really created a special moment for the band.  I wasn’t surprised that they talked about this one as I know John talks about it in his book.  (Hope that wasn’t too spoilerish!)  I also know that it was a huge crowd and that this festival is a big deal in comparison to many other ones.  It was one of those shows that aired online at the same time they played so that the rest of us, who weren’t there and wouldn’t step foot on a festival’s grounds even if paid, could watch it.  I enjoyed the show.  I did and I thought that the band sounded really tight that night.  Thus, I completely understand why it was a highlight for the band BUT I don’t know that it was a highlight for a lot of us, fans.  Obviously, fans, like me, would have a different set of criteria.  Festivals aren’t for fans.  Yes, some fans attended, including some friends of ours, but they typically don’t get to play a full set and include ONLY greatest hits and a few new ones.  Yes, I realize that appearances in festivals could broaden the fanbase.  I get all that.  Yet, when I think highlights, I think it has to either be something that had a HUGE impact on a large number of fans or majority of fans or really do or say something about the band’s success.  This event didn’t do it.  Frankly, they should have mentioned those rehearsal shows in the UK in the late summer of 2011 in which Simon practiced his voice for the first time since he had vocal problems and in which the band played lots of obscure songs in small venues filled with all fans.  I wasn’t there at any of those shows but I do know that they meant everything to all of us.  It was proof that Simon was going to be okay and that the band would continue.  That meant everything. 

The last big highlight that was mentioned was the Unstaged performance/production with David Lynch.  For this, the band played a live show in Los Angeles while the David Lynch production was streamed online with numerous effects and images shown on top of shots of the band performing.  Again, I wasn’t surprised that the band mentioned this one.  After all, many (most?  all?) of them are fans of David Lynch’s.  It also got a lot of attention.  I think there is something to be said for doing something different or showing something different.  I applaud it for that.  Yet, I know that when I watched it, I found myself either wondering what the heck was now on the screen or why I couldn’t just see the band perform.  In my opinion, it was too much style and not enough substance.  All of those images almost took away from the quality of the band’s performance.  As a Duranie, I don’t mind some additions to a live performance but this felt like it wasn’t a live performance and I was sad by that.  My full review of this could be read here.  As I said there, it was cool, to some extent, but I missed just seeing the band.

If I had to say what the band’s highlights of 2011 were, I think I would have to say the album’s release, the return of Simon with those rehearsal gigs and the UK tour at the end of the year.  I’m not surprised that my highlights for the band didn’t match theirs.  After all, we have different priorities.  My highlights have to impact a lot of us or all of us.  For them, they thought about their personal highlights or thought about those big events that are easy to pick out.  I get that.  I can understand that.  My highlight choices are personal, too.  Did those events I mentioned help the band’s career, though, at the same time?  I actually think they do.  It is a big deal to release an album and an album with super quality.  It is huge to be able to perform again after the fear we all had that Simon would never be able to sing again.  It is so cool to be able to play shows like they played in the UK at the end of the year.  It was the proof that they really are back and are 100%! 

What about the rest of you?  Do you agree with their highlights?  What are your highlights for 2011?

-A

Poker Face Made Me Hurl

No really – I did!

My plan was simple:  get home from a day out with the family in time to catch DD’s set at Coachella.  I was thrilled they were broadcasting their show on Youtube because it saved me the pain and suffering of having to be at the Festival in person.  (Please see my previous blog: The Top 10 Reasons I Won’t be at Coachella )  The plan worked well, I was home from a fantastic Earth Day hike around Newport’s Back Bay in plenty of time to rest up, put aloe on my sunburn and get myself a glass of wine for the show.  Then just as Duran took the stage – my stomach announced that the day was going to end badly:  FOOD POISONING.

As I clutched my belly and hunched over in my chair in pain, I watched the band take the stage at Coachella.  At first, I felt that they all appeared rather tentative.  Well, all except perhaps Nick Rhodes, who was barely recognizable behind the facemask – or hat – he wore on his face.  (Daily Duranie secret: I am still trying to understand the purpose.  I’m all about art.  My gosh I’ve taken enough art classes to count it as at LEAST a minor degree, but I still don’t get it.  I am positive that Nick Rhodes is going to show up here some day and revoke my Duranie card – if it weren’t due to my lack of fashion sense, it’s definitely going to be this!)  They just seemed a bit nervous and not quite at ease, but that feeling dissipated quickly as they blew through Planet Earth and on to HLTW.  The setlist didn’t really surprise me, since I had a fairly good idea of what they’d play from the Pomona show last week.  I still feel that it was smart for the band to intersperse the new music with “oldies” that the crowd might have heard over the years.   I think one can take the setlist in one of two ways and in many ways it IS a double edged sword to have such a great back catalog:  by playing the oldies such as Rio or GOF – perhaps kids in the audience said “Oh, that band plays this song?  My parents listen to that!”  therefore being turned off….or….the band won them over with the songs they’ve learned to sing along to in the car, and then snuck some new songs in to give them a taste of what they’ve been doing all these years.   Judging from what I saw in crowd reaction – this crowd was happy to hear whatever Duran Duran was playing.  I wouldn’t say the crowd was ridiculously with them, but on the same token – I saw a variety of reactions going from the Duranie who was likely both thrilled to see them as well as thrilled they’d made it through the weekend alive (props to those of you brave souls out there!!!); to those Coachella attendees that were thinking the band was OK but still not quite their favorite – so they stood there and watched; to those who might have started out thinking that the band was just OK but as the set wore on, they began to bob their head and clap their hands in spite of themselves.  At a festival, what more can you really ask for?

A few standout moments for me were during the Chauffeur – the band sounded as tight as ever, and definitely a whole lot better from some of the other acts appearing that weekend.  Safe – I am a HUGE fan of Ana Matronic after her appearance with them last night.  I wholeheartedly think she should just be on tour with the band so that they can play Safe the way it was meant to sound from here on out (I’m sorry but Anna Ross just doesn’t cut it on Safe)  and the AVTAK medley.  Simon sounded perfect, and that string section makes that entire song just work.  It was gorgeous, lush and all of the things that it should have been, and everything that shouldn’t really work at a festival, yet they did.  To perfection.

I’ve seen comments from fans saying that this was the tightest they’ve sounded yet.  Well, I can’t really agree with that – Pomona, overall, was the best show I’ve seen from them recently with regard to the bands performance, both musically and otherwise….but I might be a bit biased, since of course I was there in person and LOVED IT!  I just didn’t see quite the same amount of connection to the audience at this show, but again – it was a festival.  It’s a different crowd.  You’re not necessarily playing to a group of FANS as much as you’re playing to a group of interested bystanders who you need/want to win over.  Regardless, it was a great show for them, and if they didn’t earn any new fans from that festival – well, I’d be surprised.

By midway through the show, I was really convinced I was going to die, painfully. The show kept my mind off of the stabbing pain up until their Girls on Film encore though, in which case it was clear that my body wasn’t going to be keeping my lunch.  Or dinner.  I ran from the table just as Simon insisted on the sing-a-long that led to Anna and Simon’s version of Poker Face. Not my favorite moment of the show for a myriad of reasons as I look back on last night with a sense of infamy.  I still miss the intros – but even if we couldn’t have those, I just don’t think Duran pulls off Gaga.  (and before anyone asks, I actually like Lady Gaga)  Surely there’s got to be something else out there that could be done for a fun encore moment.

I’m much better today, thank goodness (2 of my kids are off school for spring break and they wait for NO illness!), and I look forward to my next review – which will be from Birmingham!!!

If you’re a reader of the blog and plan to be at any of the UK shows that Amanda and I will be at: Birmingham, Nottingham, Liverpool and London – let us know!  Let’s get some meetups organized – we’d love to meet you!!

-R

Happy Valentines Day and other updates!

A hearty (yep, it’s another pun!) Valentines Day greeting to all of you!  Truth be told, Valentines Day is really more of a holiday for my kids than it is for the adults in our house.  I always get the kids some little treat, and tonight we’ll do a chocolate fondue for a special dessert, but otherwise the holiday really goes unnoticed.  That’s not to say my husband forgets, but with his schedule, it’s very hard – and I’m OK with that.  The trade off is that next weekend, we’re going to my favorite place in the USA – and that’s Napa, California.  I can certainly live with that.

Today wasn’t a disappointment – Duran Duran “gifted” us with a rather lengthy Nick Rhodes update this morning!  If you haven’t seen it – you can view it here  Nick shares news of tracks being mixed, and tells us that different tracks are going to go on various products.  That seems to corroborate earlier information that Wendy Laister, their manager, indicated.  It would seem that the band is putting out several different versions of the physical album, and on each version there will be different tracks.  While yes, I know fans out there are likely unhappy with the idea of buying 10 different albums in order to collect all of the songs, if you look at it from the business standpoint of the band, it’s a brilliant move.  Why fight to have 350,000 people buy a single copy of the album when you can focus on getting 35,000 fans to buy 10 copies each, or 75,000 fans to buy 5 copies each?  Wait…is my math right? (yes, yes it is.  Good for a Monday).  Yeah sure, I suppose that following Duran Duran can be a pricey habit.  So can drug addiction, buying cigarettes, being an oenophile (a connoisseur of wine) or even going to Starbucks every day.  It’s about choices, people.  No one is forcing you to buy all 10 versions…or however many versions they are.  It’s just nice to have the option to do so!   Nick also shares their excitement (John Taylor’s excitement) over playing Coachella – can’t blame him there, and he is welcome to send Daily Duranie a postcard or love note from the festival.  I’ll be sure to catch whatever videos I can find on youtube!   While there is absolutely no chance I’ll be braving that show, it’s going to be a great day for them I am sure!   For all intents and purposes, Nick gave a great update, and I’m looking forward to hearing more about these secrets and surprises that will be coming our way….

Before I part ways this morning (it’s morning in California!), I would be completely out of character if I didn’t poke fun at not one, but TWO members of Duran Duran today.   Once upon a time on duranduranfans.com , a list was formed.  This list consisted of statements or musings that we had decided Nick Rhodes would never say.  I believe the thread title was “Things We’d Never See or Hear Nick Rhodes Say” – I have no idea if Robin archived the thread, it’s from a while back.  In any case, it became quite the lengthy list – and some of the comments were very silly, and others were more serious in nature.  One thing that I am sure made the list – and would now need to be removed *gasp* – was the word “Y’all”.  Never in my life did I think I’d live to see the day Nick would use the word “Y’all” in a sentence…and he has not once, but twice!!  *more gasping*    If that weren’t enough (and rest assured, it really kind of is!), today I was on Facebook and saw that my darling Roger Taylor had left a Happy Valentines message as his Facebook status.  In his status update, Roger used the word “lurve”.  I had to read it twice to make sure he’d actually written that word….and then I paused….because once again, it’s a word I never thought he’d use.  Hmm….I wonder how that sounds with his British accent…..

The apocalypse is coming, people.   This is just more proof.   Prepare.  Repent.    😉  *tongue firmly in cheek*  Don’t send hate mail.  Just get a sense of humor.

Happy Valentines Day!!
-R

The Top 10 Reasons Why I Won’t Be At Coachella this year (and conversely, the top 10 reasons why every Duranie SHOULD be there!!)

This has been a heavy week on the blog, so I decided to lighten things up a bit for today.  It’s good to laugh sometimes, right? I’ve had a few Duranies ask if I’m going to Coachella, and after I finish laughing and catch my breath, I calmly tell them no.  They always ask why….and so I’ve compiled a list for your reading pleasure.  However, I also am a firm believer that this is a fantastic opportunity for the band (again, see how my glass is half empty, but there’s still vodka left in there – and even an olive or two – which in my mind is very positive!), so in a style not completely unlike Mr. Nick Rhodes – I will give my reasons a good spin!

*********************disclaimer alert**************************
Before beginning, this is a reminder that the list is made in jest!  It’s meant to be fun, it’s really not meant to talk anyone out of going (except maybe to remind me, the author, of what would be waiting for me if I should get tempted.  *wink, wink*)…it’s all in fun, which we so desperately need from time to time.  Go ahead and chuckle, no one will take your Duranie card away, I promise!
****************************************************
My List:
10.  IT’S A FESTIVAL!!  This means shortened set lists.  I’m a big believer in a full set list, especially when we’re talking about Duran Duran.

9.  THE LINE-UP!!  I’m not going to lie here.  There are a ton of bands in this lineup that I don’t know, and quite honestly – don’t care a thing about.  Yeah, tell me all about how I should broaden my horizons, and I’d agree – but I’d sooner start doing it in the comfort of my own home.

8. PORT-A-POTTIES!!  I don’t think you’ve really lived until you’ve had to wait over an hour to be able to utilize a port-a-potty, and yes – they really are everything (and more) that you’ve worked them up to be in your mind.  The trouble here is that I’ve already been there, done that….AND I’ve waited up to 9 hours before finding a facility just so that I didn’t lose my place in the crowd of hell waiting for the band to play. (see #3 below….)

7. LACK OF FOOD!!  Seriously, do you think you’re going to leave the crowd waiting for the band to perform in order to grab some grub??  Think again….unless you do what I did for Inland Invasion back in 2003 and sit in the very back, which is not a very Duranie place to be when the band is onstage!

6. THE SUN!!!  This festival is out just past Palm Springs, people.  It’s nothing for temps to be over 90 degrees (F) during that time of year, and it happens regularly.  If you don’t think you’re going to be dying for shade for at least part of the day, I’ve got real news for you.  Yeah, you may have been lucky one year, or for even a FEW years….eventually luck runs out and then what?  SPF 50 won’t save your soul here…

5. TOUR TIME IS COMING!!  This is where I’m placing my bets this year.  I’ve heard all sorts of things about how the band can’t/won’t play an LA date due to this Coachella festival.  I have no idea if any of it is true, but MY cards are on the UK this year.  Anything else for me is a bonus…especially if it’s not a festival!

4. TWO WORDS: MOSH PIT!!  I went to Voodoo in New Orleans when Duran Duran played there.  My cohorts and I thought we were so smart.  We didn’t pay for those silly old VIP tickets, we just got there early, spread out a nice blankie to hang out on and wait the day out in.  All was good until the band before My Chemical Romance came on.  Then suddenly we were inundated with people….and even better, when My Chemical Romance *did* come on, the pushing, shoving and crowd surfing started.  All of my GA stance skills were put to the test that day, and I’m sorry to say they sorely failed me.  I was kicked, punched, shoved and scratched.  All in the name of a mosh pit and crowd surfing.  Hey, I’m alive to tell all about it though, there is that.  🙂

Here’s some photographic evidence of the joy that was the beginning of our day (I’m not actually in this photo -which means I’m likely to upset a few people by posting this…including my writing partner, Amanda…that’s OK.  I’ll take the risk):

3. THE CROWD!!!  For somethings, only pictures will suffice.  This was shortly before My Chemical Romance started if I remember correctly:

2. SWEAT!!!  Call me a purist, but I just don’t think that the sweat from someone else’s armpit should EVER be smooshed across another persons face unless he or she specifically requested said smooshing.  (smooshed and smooshing are in fact words, mainly because I said so, thank you.)  Yet another joy of festivals that I have lived through and am now able to joyfully share with my reading audience.  Oh, and in case there’s some question here – no, I did not request the smooshing, and no, I did not know the person who did it.  However,  I did introduce myself to them afterwards, just because I felt that if we were going to start sharing bodily fluids freely – it was high time to do so.  😀

1. ANOTHER TWO WORDS: HAMSTER BALL!!!  Until the day arrives that Simon puts himself into a hamster ball like the one I have pictured here and starts walking over the audience – I’m not bothering with another festival.  When he gets the ball going, let me know – I want to be there to take pictures of that nonsense!

And now, in true Nick Rhodes fashion – I will turn all of my “my glass of vodka is half empty” into reasons why Coachella is *the* place to be for the band!!  (If you’re wondering why I keep referring to Nick – it’s because he is truly the King of PR Spin for this band.  Need evidence?  Watch every video and interview leading up to the release of Red Carpet Massacre.)  I aspire to spin as well as Nick.  If the band doesn’t work out, I’m thinking PR would be a good back up plan….

I digress….

Top 10 Reasons why every Duran fan SHOULD be at Coachella!!

10.  ITS A FESTIVAL!!  It’s a really big concert over three days.  If that’s not a party….what really is?!?

9. THERE ARE A LOT OF BANDS THERE TO DISCOVER!!!  While we all know Duran Duran is *the* band on the bill, there are a lot of other bands to listen to, learn about and listen to when they’re in the studio for 5 years working on the next album!

8. PORT-A-POTTIES!!!  Who needs bathrooms – you need something quick, and there will be tons of those port-a-potties available.  Grab yourself a Depend and be on your way, man!   Besides that, who needs to take time out for that sort of thing and lose your place in the masses??  Start limiting that fluid intake now…..

7. FOOD?  WHO NEEDS FOOD??!!  As Amanda and I well know, food isn’t necessary.  It’s all about the music!!

6. IT’S A DRY HEAT!!!  No really, it is.  You won’t even notice that it’s 90 degrees outside when you’re amongst 80,000 of your new best friends anyway.

5. THE TOUR IS COMING – IT’S THE BEGINNING OF SUMMER FOR THE BAND!!  Nothing marks the beginning of summer like a festival, and this one marks the beginning of the tour!  What a great way to “warm up” for fans than to play in front of a huge, welcoming crowd at Coachella, that way they’ll be ready to go when they start playing regular concert dates!

4. TWO WORDS: MOSH PIT!!!  How many of you have actually seen a mosh pit at Duran Duran show?  Here’s your chance!!  😀

3. CROWD!!  There’s nothing that will energize the band more than looking out and seeing 80,000 people screaming for them.  What a great place to share that energy!  The band needs that after being in the studio for so long!

2. SWEAT!!  What is sexier than sharing sweat amongst new friends – and what could possibly be more entertaining for the band than looking out and seeing that sort of craziness going on?  It’s like a massive sweat orgy…

*trying to cast aside THAT visual….*

1. THE POSSIBILITY OF SEEING SIMON IN A HAMSTER BALL!!!

Ok really.  Who doesn’t want to see that?  I don’t believe you.   😉

See, all in fun!?!  If you didn’t at least crack a smile don’t blame me.  Go get yourself a sense of humor.  Have a good weekend everyone – I hear tour dates are imminent so next week is liable to be a barrage of “What?!?  Why are they playing __________ and not ____________”  (there might even be cursing involved….)

-R

Patience is a Virtue and other lessons of the day….

Last night, I was watching V with my family, and since it started to completely gross me out and disgust me (stay with me….), I grabbed my laptop and figured I could get some work done.  Ha.  I should have known better, really.  I hopped onto twitter only to find Mr. John Taylor spouting some sort of nonsense about sticking around for the “Official” Coachella announcement (because that clearly wasn’t obvious enough for me to understand that while John had also told us all – liar liar pants on fire – it was very “unlikely” for them to play Coachella, they really WERE playing!)  I’ve got your number now, mister….  It really was *unlikely* for them to ever play Coachella, but it was also really *unlikely* that they’d ever reunite with Andy again…and they did.  *sigh*   I really need to learn how to translate Duranspeak better than I currently do.  🙂  It wasn’t long after I tweeted back that yeah, he also had to stick around so that I and 3000 other buddies of his could give him a rough time playing Coachella after telling us that it was unlikely that he said Night Tweeties.  (oh John, you’re a funny one, aren’t ya?)  I won’t go into the number of times I refreshed dd.com until it was FINALLY announced that yes, Duran Duran is playing Coachella on April 17th…nor will I go into the myriad of reasons why I am not going.  No really, I’m not going.  Festivals and I are not friends.  Regardless, I do think it’s a fantastic opportunity for them, and while I do have some serious reservations – I will keep those to myself until after the rest of the tour is announced.  John says those dates are coming next week….we will see.

While bantering to John, I my mind wandered to a written “conversation” I’d had earlier in the day with Amanda.  I’m currently working on a chapter for the book about Facebook and Twitter, and I’m brainstorming the topics that I would like to cover.  I have quite a list going, but one thing we wrote back and forth about was that because of the fact there are so many of us who have been fans since our early teens or even earlier, many of us feel as though we know them.  I would argue that yes, we do know them – we know exactly what they wish for us to know about them.  The trouble is, and I think this is a common side-effect for any long term fan, we tend to feel as though there’s a relationship between the band and ourselves, and of course – as we know once we stop long enough to think about it – it’s truly just one sided.  As I’ve mentioned before, the band doesn’t have the foggiest idea who I am.  (probably a good thing)  I will say that I’ve been to a few shows in my day, and I’ve had the opportunity to be near the front enough to gain their attention. (I’ve been taught how to clap properly to Red Carpet Massacre by John, I’ve also sang with him a time or two…I’ve had Roger attempt to throw a stick to me, and I’ve laughed right along with Dom).  That said, they don’t really know me.  I can’t imagine any of them would recognize me, and I know they don’t know my name.  I might think that I know them, but the truth is – if they saw me on the street they’d walk right past me – and rightfully so.  What really adds to the confusion of where the line between fan and friend really lies is the premise of social networking.  Sites such as Facebook and Twitter initially began as ways to maintain friendship.  You add “friends” to your facebook account, and you follow people on twitter.  At one point, celebrities didn’t really utilize either facebook OR twitter – it was about friends.  So now, we’ve got Duran Duran on facebook; John and Roger are on facebook, as is Dom….and we’ve got Dom, John & Simon on Twitter.  Even I have a hard time remembering that these guys don’t KNOW me.  I’m bantering AT them as though I’m giving a friend a hard time. (as opposed to WITH them, because, let me be honest here – they’ve never retweeted something I’ve said or even acknowledged me at all)  I would never openly tell the guys they should stop coming to facebook or twitter, absolutely not – but I do need to remind myself from time to time that I’m just a fan.  I’m one of…well…a LOT of people out there.  I suppose this topic does tie in a bit with the validation topic from yesterday, but it’s an interesting facet of what social networking sites have done to change or evolve the definitions of celebrity and fan.

Which brings me to patience, of which I have very, very little.  Not sure if any of you caught that yet. Twitter is great in that we get almost instant gratification since it takes place in “real time” – but that 140 character limit thing can be a problem.  Then there’s facebook, which is much more an “at your leisure” sort of thing.  Messages can sit in my inbox for as long as I wish, I can reply at length, and the pace is less frantic.  In the past week, Amanda and I have expanded our horizons to include a new facebook page for Daily Duranie, and quite honestly I’m amazed at the differences in the fans so far.  There are people we’ve befriended that are active both on facebook and twitter, and then there are people who seem to stay mainly on twitter and mainly on facebook. What’s really fascinating to the two of us, being the social science observers we are – is that the types of fans we find in either place truly differ quite a bit!  It is a bit early for to draw conclusions on what I’ve seen so far, but it’s fascinating that the mechanics behind each of the social networking sites attract different types of fans altogether. I suppose it makes sense, but very interesting, nonetheless.  Are you a patient fan, or more like me where you want it all yesterday?  🙂

-R

Tour Date Rumor Reactions

I am dying for tour dates as are much, if not all, of the Duranie world.  I would like to be able to call my blog and touring partner who is away from home this weekend to give her some touring alerts!  I want to be able to figure out if I can go to whatever dates and how.  Of course, my desire for dates has increased by both the announcement of a show in July in London at the iTunes festival and by rumors.  Some of the rumors I have heard include the following:  1.  Duran will tour the States in the spring-possibly April.  2.  Duran will play at the Coachella Festival in mid-April.  3.  Duran is playing in Amsterdam in June.  4.  Duran is playing one or more shows next month in the UK.  Some rumors have indicated that there will be 4 shows in the following cities:  Glasgow, Manchester, London and Birmingham.  Others have said that there will be more than one show in London.  I have heard the middle of the month, around Valentine’s Day, and I have heard the end of the month.  Some of the rumor include that the shows will be like those on Broadway were in 2008.  While all of those are interesting to me as I try to figure out which ones might be right, what I find even more interesting is fan reactions to the people who provide the rumors.

It seems to me that each time a rumor about an upcoming show or tour is posted, the reactions by other posters is often fascinating.  Sometimes, the other people shower the rumor provider with lots of positive attention and often will try to get to know this person better in order to get more information.  Other times, the poster is slammed by fellow fans.  S/he gets slammed because they often announce some rumor without much evidence to back it up.  Often, s/he claims that the information came from a close friend who has some sort of connection but can’t reveal too much for whatever reason.  This seems to irritate other posters.  Some assume that the rumor is false and that is why the person can’t back it up.  In those situations, the other fans think that the person must be trying to have fun at their expense as rumors like these create a GREAT deal of excitement in the fanbase.  Perhaps, the real reason there is annoyance or anger directed at the rumor producer is because s/he only shared so much.  Maybe they voice their displeasure about the lack of support for the rumor when, in reality, they want to know more and are really angered that the poster didn’t say more.  Perhaps, it is because these fans want to be the ones who have the knowledge.  After all, who doesn’t feel superior to some extent when they know something as juicy as tour dates before anyone else.  Maybe it is a combination of all of the above.

Honestly, I can’t imagine being the person with the information as I have never really been that person.  I’m usually the one checking the band’s website over and over again or following the boards as closely as possible to see if any information has been given or if there were any hints provided.  Part of me would absolutely LOVE to be the person who knows something ahead of time.  Then, the question that pops up is:  If I had the information, would I share it?  What are the benefits?  What are the risks?  On one hand, by telling, I would be giving information that people are desperate to receive and MANY people would appreciate it.  (I know that I would love to know more info now!)  People might seem more interested in me, which is great, but would they just be using me?  Then, what about the people who just criticize the person who gives the rumors?  How would I deal them, especially if the information was actually correct?  Would the appreciation be worth the ridicule that could happen?  Would it be worth letting people in on your secret?  Of course, I suspect that for some people posting rumors, they might just be too excited to keep some info to themselves.  I can understand that! 

I think that, in most cases, it would be extremely risky to post a rumor without having something or someone to back you up.  From my perspective, though, I hope that people do continue to post these rumors as they are helping me get through this black hole of tour dates.  Of course, Duran could help out the situation for all involved if they were to just post the dates and ALL the dates, no matter when and no matter where.  The rumor debate would end and I could begin to plot my tour!!!

-A

Lounge Lizards and Grapefruit

It’s good to be back in true blogging form, I must say.  It’s Monday, January 3rd, and I’ve never been so happy to send my family off to work and school!  I’m almost finished putting the Christmas decorations away and it’s nice to see my house back to normal.  January is cleansing that way, and of course this year there is the added anticipation of news from Duran Duran in the form of tour dates!

This morning, I began my typical Monday perusal of the boards, twitter and facebook only to see that John Taylor had sent out a tweet regarding a discussion on the Coachella boards.  JT’s reply was only “interesting”, but of course it forced me to go and check out the situation.  There have been some murmurings of a rumor that Duran might play at Coachella this year, and this particular thread was deep in discussion over the idea.  Naturally there are some that are in total support of such an idea, and then there are some that think the idea is preposterous.

I was most amused by one comment/question that indicated Duran Duran must only play casinos these days.  Naturally, my initial reaction was that of disgust…”Ha!  Are you kidding me?!? What hole have you been living in, dude?”  But as I sipped my morning coffee, I began to consider the idea.  In 2009, I saw them at The Palms in Las Vegas.  They played at The Pearl, which is a fairly small venue inside of the casino.  Then I drove back to my home in  the good old OC and saw them at the OC fairgrounds, playing at the Pacific Amphitheater – a venue that is only open during the fair (although it’s a decent sized venue).  Prior to that, I flew to the east coast in 2008 and saw them at Foxwoods in Connecticut (a casino resort area), and at the House of Blues in Atlantic City, also at a casino.  In the recent past – they’ve also played at Morongo Casino near Palm Springs California (for the opening of the Key Club – a show I still kick myself for missing), and at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas more than once….oh, and there was also that Andre Agassi charity gig in Vegas at the MGM Grand Garden Arena as well.  Funny how my irritation began to dissolve into a smile as I drank my coffee and considered the situation a bit further.  At this point, I think it’s fair to say that yes, Duran Duran does play casinos.  They also play county fairs, the House of Blue venues, smaller theaters, arena openings such as the Sears Arena outside of Chicago, other arenas such as the Allstate Arena (also near Chicago),  Staples Center here in Los Angeles, Madison Square Garden in New York City, and even some festivals such as Lovebox in the UK, and Voodoo in New Orleans.

So, not only is it fair to say they play casinos, but they play a variety of different venues – and often times, all within the same tour.  Duran Duran isn’t a group that is likely to be pegged as just a casino band, nor are they the type of band that will only be able to play stadiums or arenas, and that’s just the way we like it as fans.  Let’s face it, it’s good to see the band being able to draw enough of a crowd to fill an arena, but it’s really fun to be in a smaller venue with them, too.  I can’t imagine that they can make the same sort of connection with fans in a huge stadium as what they can do at a small theater or at the House of Blues – but the fact is, they are versatile enough to be able to do it all and do it well.  I know some bands out there that are very popular and yet don’t have enough of a stage presence to be able to command their way out of a hotel room much less a small stage or heaven-forbid Madison Square Garden.

It’s funny that back when I was a kid – the only groups I knew of that played Vegas were the washed-up kind.  There were also visions of the Rat Pack, and older stars that found a final stage in which to perform their retirement away.  Vegas was a different place back then, though.  The super-resorts and attractions we see now were not much more than a glimmer in someone’s eye back then.  Nowadays, Vegas has a life completely of it’s own.  Concert venues attract artists of every genre, and the Rat Pack is remembered only by those old enough to have seen the transformation of Vegas from a small gambling town to a world-class resort destination.  As a direct result, other casinos across the country have gained respect and become far more than meccas for glitter, rhinestones, smoke and fanny packs.  My point being of course that Duran Duran are far more than lounge lizards – but naturally if you’re reading this blog on a regular basis, I probably don’t have to tell you that.

As for playing Coachella, which by the way is the grapefruit growing capital of the world (and is REALLY hot during the late spring, summer and early fall), I’m really not sure.  I know that with each year, the talk of the band playing Coachella has grown a  bit.  I know the festival attracts thousands of fans, as most festivals do.  There is a wide variety of artists and bands that play Coachella, but I wouldn’t be a fair judge of what would or would not attract a crowd. There was discussion about whether the band should be a headliner, a sub-headliner on one of the smaller stages, or if they should play at all.  I just know that Duran Duran played Voodoo in New Orleans a few years back, and I almost lost my life trying to watch them.  That’s where my interest in festivals ended, and it remains that way, Duran Duran or not!  I’m certainly of the age where I feel that it shouldn’t take so much work to simply watch a band – nor should it risk my life to do so.  That said, I’ll be waiting at the casino bar for them.  🙂

-R