Category Archives: Duran Duran Blog

In This Screenlit Room

I have very exciting news to share. Amanda and I have spoken at length about moving this blog to a “real website” for months. (Ok, so it’s really been years – but if the band can get away with “Durantime”, why can’t we???) I’ve tried several times to get into the mindset of “Website Developer”, and each time I would eventually give up, promising to come back to it at some point.

Since the very first days of this blog, we’ve gotten complaints from time to time about comments being “eaten”. I know what they mean – I’ve written more than one comment here that has been taken to the “Great Beyond”. Not only that, we wanted to be able to incorporate everything, the blog, our book progress, future news for meet-ups, gatherings and conventions, photos galleries, and whatever else we decide to talk about, in one place. So, there was more than enough reason to persevere and figure it out.

I’m happy to say that after a month of work, the new Daily Duranie site is nearly done!

The website itself is fairly simple, and is a huge improvement from the current format. I don’t want to give away all of the details, but we have a way to show off the posts we think deserve to be highlighted, yet it’s easy to see what we’ve been working on most recently. We also have pages for news on our book, a way to see photos from our past meet-ups and convention, and room for all kinds of things to come: such as future meet-ups and Daily Duranie road trip info (should the band ever tour again!), and whatever else happens to comes up.

As a helpful guide, I’ve come up with an FAQ of what to expect!

So when will this big change take place?:  We are glad you asked!  After conferring, Amanda and I have agreed to switch the blog on Sunday, January 19th. Now, since a good portion of our readers come from outside the US, we should probably make the caveat that we will be working on West Coast US time – that means GMT-8. For a significant portion of the day for the rest of the world, it is very likely you will still see this website. The plan is to make this a seamless switch, but there is certainly the possibility that at least for a portion of the day, www.dailyduranie.com will not work. Understand that we will be undergoing final “construction” at that time, and I will already be aware of what is or is not working. When the website is ready, it will come up as intended. Daily Duranie has never in it’s history actually “been down for maintenance”…so this is a first! We appreciate your patience, understanding, and support.

Our Email and RSS Feed subscribers: What our readers should be aware of is that as of Sunday, January 19th – if you are currently signed up to receive our blog by email or RSS Feed, you will likely no longer receive it until you’ve signed up on the new website. (If this changes, I will let you know – but for the time being, I believe you’ll need to sign up again) We apologize for that inconvenience, but there’s really no way it can be helped. The RSS Feed for the blog is something that I am still addressing, and once it’s ready, you’ll be able to use that as well if you wish to keep up with the blog that way. Also, for our readers who may not wish to share their email address with Amanda and I – you should know that while we’re able to see how many subscribers we have to the blog, we really do not have access to your email address, nor do we send out “junk mail”.  There is a form up on the blog that says “Follow by email”. You simply put your address into that window and you’ll be ready to go.

I’m already on WordPress, can I just use that account to follow?:The good news is that if you’re already signed up on WordPress, it’s very simple to follow the blog – there’s a button up on the blog for that. I’m still working on making sure the RSS Feed functionality is ready, but it should be all set up by Sunday.

What about mobile users, will the blog be able to be seen on mobile devices? I am  working on getting the mobile version of the site more readable. Right now it’s able to be seen but the formatting is downright strange. Unfortunately, that appears to be a common problem for users of this template, but I am aware of the issue and am working on it.

Will I still be able to see all of the old blogs and comments?: Yes!!! All of the blogs and comments that are kept here in archive on this blog have been moved. One small issue is that since we’ve already moved all of the archives and comments to the blog – any comments that are made on THIS blog as of last Friday (January 10) will not be immediately moved to the new site. I will be working on manually copying/saving to the new blog as time permits.

Will your email still work?: YES! Our email address will not change throughout the process and will continue to function as normal.

What is the new web address for the site?  Will that change?: Right now, the site is  “hidden”, and on Sunday, we plan to switch www.dailyduranie.com to see that website instead of this one on Blogger. For our readers, nothing should change other than what you see. Your links to our website should still work. That takes a little configuration on our end. While the plan is to do this switch seamlessly, on that day, there remains the possibility that the www.dailyduranie.com address will still point you here, or in the worst case scenario it may not work at all because it will be down for maintenance while the switch is occurring. When the site is ready, it will come up as normal, and with any luck, the site won’t be down for any length of time at all.

If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to post them here as a comment, contact us on Facebook or even on Twitter!

-R

It’s Loaded with Fame: Conventions and Celebrities

People go to conventions to connect with other fans, to participate in activities not readily available in daily lives and to escape reality.  Another very significant reason that people go to conventions is for the celebrities.  Many conventions, most conventions, have celebrity or “special” guests.  Some conventions might have just one or two special guests and others have many.  Typically, these celebrities interact with the fans in a variety of ways, including participating in panels or question and answer sessions in which fans can ask questions, holding autographs sessions in which fans can get an autograph and/or holding a photo opps session in which fans can get pictures with the celebrity(s) of choice.

In my experience, people do seem to like going to conventions to meet and see celebrities.  At the Wizard World convention I went to in Chicago, in August, a lot of people I talk with came to meet one or two of the celebrity guests.  Some people came back year after year to see the same celebrity.  Sometimes, the bigger name celebrities had very long lines to get autographs and pictures.  The lesser known celebrities still had people who were interested in getting pictures or even just an opportunity to exchange a few words.  Yet, it did seem that anyone interested in a particular celebrity could get to that celebrity eventually, especially if the fan had the time and the money for one of these extras.  Of course, many of these celebrity focused activities have specific times.  For example, if you wanted a picture of person X, you had to get it done between 1 and 2 pm.  Thus, people scheduled their convention activities even around the celebrities.

I wonder how important these celebrity appearances are to the fans attending a convention.  Do they get people in the door?  Do they get people to pay the money for a ticket?  Would people go if there is just one celebrity or one celebrity who people really cared about?  Is it the fact that there might be many celebrities at a convention that you like?  Does it matter which type of fan activity is possible–meaning that getting an autograph might be more important to some than a question and answer session or vice versa?  In many cases, autographs and photos are extras.  They do not come with the ticket.  You pay for each autograph and each picture.  In some cases, you might pay to attend a panel.  Would those additional costs matter?  Would it matter how MUCH those extras were?

Seriously, I would love to know.  Would you be more likely to go to a convention if there was a celebrity you liked?  What about many celebrities?  Would you want panels/Q&A sessions, autograph sessions and/or photo sessions with the celebrities?  Would you be willing to pay extra for those sessions?  How much for a celebrity you love, love, love (like a member of Duran Duran!)?  How much for a celebrity you like a lot?  Would you go to a convention if there weren’t celebrities there?

-A

Only change will bring you out of the darkness

It seems to be a pretty quiet day. That might have something to do with the snowstorm hitting a significant percentage of the US, or the impending cold (frozen tundra??), but for me it’s just the last Friday morning of winter break, before we head into the January doldrums of school, first semester finals for my two oldest, my daughter’s 17th birthday (HOW did that happen?!?), and so on.

I was on Twitter this morning, and thanks to @askkatybook – I have something to share with my fellow music fans. You see, she found an article about this 12-year old boy who does music reviews on YouTube. He’s not a fan of any specific band, or any specific genre of music – he is simply a fan of music. Here’s the article link.

I love Joshua’s exuberance and the sheer joy he shares for music. I wish I could capture just a little bit of that and put it into the reviews that I do for Daily Duranie, to be honest. There is something incredibly special to be gleaned from watching Joshua’s videos – and it’s refreshing to see the love for music being shared. It’s not about sales, it’s not about showing a certain level of musical articulation, and it’s not even really so much about being critical, either. The reviews come down to the basics of just sharing the joy of music. In a world where negativity seems to drive content (as well as response to content), it is truly a breath of fresh air to see positivity winning. I suppose that for Joshua, there just isn’t any point in reviewing something if he doesn’t like it – because to him, this is about what he likes, and what he recommends.

As a blogger, I’ve learned the power of writing a post that drives response as well as page views. I’ve very much seen what makes people react wildly. In our case, it sure isn’t the posts about how much we love Duran Duran. Think about that.

-R

Union of the Snake – Daily Duranie Review (R)

This being the first review of 2014, we have decided to mix it up a bit. Since we have fewer breaking stories from the band…*coughs*…we are going to break up our reviews into two parts. Each week you can look forward a review: one week will feature my review of a particular song, and the next will be Amanda’s review (of the same song). Additionally, instead of doing a separate category for production, we have incorporated production into the “Overall” section – found at the end of each review just before our final cocktail rating.

For the next two weeks, we are going to examine “Union of the Snake” off of, yes…Seven and the Ragged Tiger.  This was the lead single off of the album, released in October of 1983 and peaked at #3 on both the US and UK charts.  Rhonda will start off the review, followed by Amanda’s next week.

Musicality/Instrumentation:  The introduction to this song is intriguing to me, purely because of the dichotomy of Andy on guitar verses Nick on synthesizers. This is one song where there is a real “call and response” happening between the two – which I find plays into the theme of the song beautifully.  What I did not notice much of, though, is bass. There are moments when I can actually hear John’s bass, but it’s very faint (in my opinion). I think the sound would be better supported with a touch more of him in the mix, and it wouldn’t sound quite as top heavy. One element that I love in this song though, is Andy Hamilton on both soprano and tenor saxophone. He can be heard throughout the song, and rather than a guitar solo, we hear Andy Hamilton on soprano sax about 2/3 of the way through the song. The tenor sax is heard in several places and helps to provide some much needed depth and dimension to the overall sound. I also really appreciate the extra sounds – like the click/clack sounds of percussion that take place throughout – it’s an added element without being too intrusive and overwhelming. Speaking of percussions brings me to the drums.  Truthfully I would have not necessarily noticed Roger’s drums – they are there without being overly obtrusive.  However, I read that Roger took this beat from David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance”, and now that I listen to the song – I very much hear that influence, which works well with the instrumentation.

Vocals: I really like Simon’s vocals on this song – what I don’t enjoy quite as much though is the very loud backup singers in the mix.  They seem to overpower Simon, and I don’t know that it adds as much as it detracts. I’ve always imagined Simon singing the entire song with a sneaky smile on his face – as it very much sounds that way when I listen. He sings the song with emotion, but not so much that it becomes comical.

Lyrics: Ok, who here can tell me what in the hell this song really means?? In doing my initial research for this song, I ran across several suggestions online ranging from “tantric sex” (apparently Simon offered this up as a reasoning behind the lyrics) to the borderline being the area between the conscious and subconscious minds. Again…this courtesy of Simon Le Bon, who just loves to toy with us all. Thanks, Simon. I must fall to my own reasoning, which sadly in this case, is very much lacking. I think that I always felt the Union of the Snake was the band, and the line “The union of the snake is on the climb. It’s gonna race, gonna break through the borderline” was about the band’s upward movement. World domination and all.  “If I listen close, I can hear them singers…”  “voices in your body coming through on the radio”…I don’t know why, but I always felt that was about the fans. That if he listens, he can hear us.  We’re loud, you know. I joke, but I find these lyrics in particular to be a good example of the prose-type lyrics that Simon was famous (infamous?) for writing during this era.

Overall: As I mentioned, we are incorporating production into the “overall” category – which really is meant to be a survey of how the different elements fit together.  With that in mind, this is one of the songs off of this album that I feel was produced rather well. The overall sound is not overwhelming, and I can hear most of the instrumentation pretty clearly.  However, I do find it odd that John was not worked into the mix better to add more of a “grounding” to the sound.  I still think the background singers are incredibly loud at times, and while I can understand the reasoning for having them there – I don’t think the intention was to overpower the lead singer. I like the call and response between synthesizers and guitar, and I feel like entire song is more of a “it’s us against the world” type of anthem, which plays out well through the instrumentation and lyrics.  Overall, I have to wonder if this was truly the best song on the album that could have been the lead single – it was done at the last minute, with mixing taking place up to the last minute before EMI took the tapes for pressing, although to be sure, the song does not sound as though it was rushed together – and perhaps in that regard, the song was well-executed.  The song was never on my list of favorites for the band, but I believe that since this song was the first released from this album, Duranies were starving for new music – and this song met the need.

Cocktail Rating:  3 Cocktails!

-R

New Year, New You??

They say it’s a brand new day, and judging from the way it looks out my window and on TV as I watch the Rose Parade, it’s sparkling new at that.  Yes, we were blessed with good weather for New Years Day here in California – I think it’s supposed to hit the upper 70s today, and yes, you are allowed to be jealous and call me names. But yes, it’s a bright and beautiful day.

I’m not really one for resolutions – fact is, I never follow them, and often times I forget what I was resolving to do in the first place!  So, I’ve learned that even though I might try to go into the coming days with a new and improved attitude – the whole “New Year, New You” thing just isn’t my cup of tea. However, I do have some goals for myself, and one of which is getting our manuscript into the hands of a list of possible publishers. That is a project that I desperately need to finish, purely because in order to move forward, I have to complete what I’ve left behind. I’m very good at multitasking, but I’ve really hit my limit with what I can take on – something has to give before I can do more, and this year, it is the manuscript.

I think to Duran Duran and how so many times Nick will mention multiple projects he is working on, and those of us who have been around a while will raise our eyebrow and wonder to ourselves “I wonder how much of that will actually see the light of day…in my lifetime?” Of course we’re joking or poking a bit of fun with a grain of truth. There are a lot of things we all want to do, but when it comes right down to it, we can only commit ourselves to so much at one time. Nick probably does what any of us do on any given day, we add items to a list of things we wish to accomplish, and get through them as we can, and a lot of times -that list takes a lot longer to get through than we thought! Last year I overcommitted myself on several fronts – I am not someone who can spend all of my time devoted to outside things because I have three children, and they demand (as well as completely deserve) as much of my attention as I can give. I feel very lucky because I’m able to be a mom, homeschool my son as he needs right now, and still have a little time left for blogging and even some writing. A lot of people cannot even juggle that much because the demands of one thing far exceed everything else, and not everyone can handle the same amount of work and stress.  We all do what we can. The blog was never intended to be a full-time gig, and I work steadily to maintain that status quo for myself because quite frankly – this is supposed to be fun, and if it doesn’t stay fun, then it needs to go. There were times over the last year where I’d forgotten that simple, yet important detail. This is supposed to be fun. While I did enjoy the convention, it was a ton of work, and I can’t lie: I did not necessarily enjoy a lot of it towards the end of our planning process. It felt very much like a job and not nearly as much like a friendly gathering. Putting together a party or get together for friends doesn’t feel like that to me, and I think much of it was my own fault. I put a lot of pressure on myself that didn’t need to be there. Don’t we all sometimes?

So I am going into this year reminding myself that this blog is meant to be fun. For me, that means knowing when to say “when”, and when to say “I just can’t.” I’m not particularly good at saying those things – I hate letting people down when I feel as though they are depending on me. So I tend to suppress my thoughts of stress and anxiety, and continue to add things to my plate and juggle away. However, there comes a time when things start getting dropped on a regular basis, and that’s exactly where I’m at right now. That’s when it comes time to say, “What needs to happen right now, and what has to be put on the back burner for later?” So lately I’ve been sorting that out, both in my head, as well as with my loved ones here at home…and I’m learning that sometimes, I have to say “No, I really can’t right now.”.  It’s not always welcome or popular, but sometimes – it’s really the only answer that makes sense, and that I don’t really need to explain why to anyone but myself.

While I openly give the band a rough time about getting the album finished or wondering whatever happened to a particular project (Drama Americana anyone??), I need to remind myself of just how much I juggle sometimes, and that chances are, many of those projects I wonder about are probably just a little farther down on that list.  

-R

Some thoughts on New Years Eve…

So it’s New Years Eve. I recognize that I should have something incredibly profound to say on this day that somehow sums up the entire year, cleanses the soul and readies oneself for the start of a new year. On that note, I really don’t have much to say. I’m still really trying to sort out the past year for myself, much less on a broader scale. All I can really gather my thoughts to say is that I’m readying myself for quite a bit of change in the next year…and even more so in 2015. So, rather than look ahead, which is rather daunting, let’s look back.

In January, we conveyed a team of Duranies together with a common cause: to find a place for Durandemonium. This task proved much harder than any of us initially thought. We wanted Chicago. We had a difficult time finding a hotel that didn’t want my first born AND all of our blood as payment. We were back and forth between two cities for a while, finally settling (much later) on Chicago, the Amalfi Hotel and Harry Caray’s (not the easiest place to work with for a gathering, I might add…) Our convention planning took many months to work through, but by late spring we had the framework ready and a website was up.

In the meantime, the band was in the studio. Honestly – I could use this one sentence as their entire year, for the most part. The band did do the AMFAR charity event in Cannes in late May, and of course there was MoMA in November – where they had the meet and greet to end all meet and greets. I’m still kicking myself over not being there, so at least there’s that… but for the most part, the band has been relatively quiet, and according to John Taylor, it seems as though they actually like being at home and not touring. Well, then.

At some point in late July (I realize I should have the exact date engraved upon my memory but I do not.) we finished our manuscript for our “yet to be really named out loud…but we know what we’d like to call it and no we’re not sharing yet” book. Amanda is working to format the book into an acceptable format that can be sent to publishers, and I’m putting off going back to edit a chapter that is now out of date and needs reworked a bit. I’m also putting together a list of publishers that may in fact be willing to at least contemplate publishing our work…and biting all of my nails in the process. Good times!

This really sort of brings us to the fall, or as everyone else in the world calls it, “Autumn”.  (Why ARE we so different here in America anyway??) Moving on… in Autumn, we started panicking, realizing that we were closerthanthis to the beginning of Durandemonium, and we had a lot of things to accomplish. So we collectively worked our fingers to the bone, got ourselves together and pulled Durandemonium through by a shoestring. The good news is that we believe everyone enjoyed themselves, plenty was learned, and we survived!!!

No sooner did we get home and settled, and Unstaged at MoMA was announced. Friends planned their trip(s), while Amanda and I remained fairly unimpressed. Until the day after.  That’s when we heard that the band was actually present and mingled…in the same room as the VIP attendees. Photos were taken, conversations took place, while Amanda and I were at our respective homes. Away from the excitement, away from the energy. We truly have the BEST luck ever. (That, my friends…is sarcasm.)  No matter, we were excited for everyone who had their moment(s), and while both of us know there’s no way the band could do this every night of a tour, or even once a week – we hope they do it again, and that we have the opportunity to be there. Doesn’t everyone?

Since MoMA, we’ve been working on our bibliography and thinking about the future of the band. We’ve wondered about their album, what their plans might be for next year, such as: When will the album be finished and released? When will we hear new music? Are they ever going to get up out of their barcaloungers/recliners and tour again? What’s more, we’ve been considering what OUR future is going to be. Will we do another convention? Have we really lost our minds?? Do we continue with Daily Duranie or hang it up because it’s simply too difficult to come up with new topics every single day while the band is in the studio? Will Amanda keep teaching? Will Rhonda finally move out of California?? Will the book ever find a publisher, and will they write another???

All of these questions, and many, many more will be answered in the months to come. One thing is certain: life is never boring, at least not for long.

Happy 2014 to all of our family and friends around the world.  We look forward to a new year with new music (and maybe even some shows!), and plenty of surprises ahead.  Love, happiness and hopes of health and safe celebrating to all!

-R

Got Your Picture

One of the most common criticisms of Duran Duran and their fans is that their music isn’t good and that the only reason that they have a lot of fans is because they look good.  I think about that infamous press conference filmed in Sing Blue Silver.  During that press conference, the band was asked if they thought they would sell as many albums if they didn’t look good.  The band was always good about blowing off those kind of questions with a joke and a laugh, but I can imagine that it didn’t feel good to people working hard to create fabulous songs.  This is an insulting stereotype to both the band who writes and performs the music and to the fans who are assumed to be musical idiots.  We wouldn’t know good music, right?  It is all about how the band looks, or so it is believed.  I hate this stereotype because I completely believe that I’m a fan because I like their music.  I believe that most fans are the same, right?  Now, of course, I think that the band members look good.  I think most fans would agree.  Did that make me a fan?  I would say no but did their looks reinforce my fandom?  It probably did.  I won’t lie.  Yet, I will always say that the music matters more and it does.  Always.  Rhonda and I review their songs and not their photographs, after all.  Again, I assume that every fan is like me in that the music matters a lot more.  But does it???

As anyone who reads this blog regularly or is connected with us on social networking sites knows that we ask a daily question of this or that about a variety of topics related to the band.  We started out by asking about songs.  Girls on Film or Planet Earth?  We got quite a few responses to that.  In fact, when we asked about regular Duran songs (singles or album tracks), we would get about 60-75 responses or votes.  That isn’t bad.  More people could have contributed since we had a lot more than 75 friends/followers, but whatever.  Then, we started asking about Duran videos.  Those would get about 50-65 votes.  I was reassured that the stereotypes about Duranies was wrong.  We care more about the songs than we do about the videos.  Cool.  Then, we asked about side and solo projects.  Once we got passed Power Station and Arcadia, the responses, the votes decreased dramatically.  Then, we would get about 10-15 votes.  How did the side and solo project videos go then?  Even worse.  We would get about 5-7 votes.  I already hear people responding by saying that we aren’t all fans of every side/solo project and that we aren’t all familiar with those.  While it is true that not every Duran fan is a fan of every side/solo project, it still seems strange to me that the numbers would decrease THAT much.  As for familiarity, that argument doesn’t hold up to me.  In this day and age, we have so many songs at our fingertips.  We have instant downloads, online music sources and YouTube.  On top of that, for the side/solo projects videos, I went and put every single one of them up on a blog and referenced that blog every single day.  People didn’t even have to search to watch them.  Anyway, we have moved past the music and videos.  Now, we are asking about people’s preferences about pictures.  That’s right.  We are asking about image and image alone.

Since we have been asking about pictures of Simon, how many responses have we been getting and how do they compare to the music or videos?  We have been getting between 70-100 responses when we asked which pictures people like better.  This is 10 to 30 more than we got about Duran tracks and 20-35 more for videos.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love to have people participate.  We want that.  Ideally, I would love to have every single friend/follower vote.  We want people to say what they think.  That said, I have to wonder why more people participate when we asked about pictures over songs.  What is that about?  I fear that this might say that the stereotype about Duranies is true.  We do care more about what they look like than what they sound like.  Their looks appear to matter to us more.  Many of you reading this, I’m sure, are saying that this isn’t you because you participated through all of the questions.  Obviously, there are always exceptions to every stereotype.  Every assumed belief about a large group has many people in that group that doesn’t fit the assumption. My goal here is not to criticize anyone or to get anyone to stop participating.  I’m just trying to point out something that I realized about our fandom that makes me uncomfortable.

Maybe, I’m the only fan who is uncomfortable with this.  Maybe, for everyone else, this is completely fine.  After all, fandom is fun, right?  I’m all for having fun.  I appreciate how the band looks.  I’m not blind.  I’m human.  Yet, I just wish that what they create matters just as much, if not more.

-A

Away From Here: Conventions and Escape

Why in the world would someone spend the money to come to a convention?  The last couple of weeks I have dived into two really huge reasons.  First, people go to a convention in order to be with other fans.  They want to be around people who not only understand them and their fandom but who are just like them.  Conversations surrounding one’s fandom can take place all day and all night.  One of my fondest memories from both the 2004 Friends of Mine convention in New Orleans and our 2013 Durandemonium convention in Chicago was sharing and hearing stories.  Some of these stories included when and why people became fans, shows that they attended, meeting the band, etc.  I also enjoyed knowing that if I said certain phases, everyone there would understand me.  I didn’t have to explain myself.  Everyone got the inside joke, so to speak.  The second reason, though, that people go to conventions is the activities.  Conventions have activities that cannot be found in just a weekend with fans.  There are special activities.  The combination between both the activities and being with other fans is pretty enticing.  Yet, beyond doing truly cool things with other fans, there is also the desire to escape reality.

One can hang out with other fans anywhere, even one’s own home, if fellow fans live close by.  The activities might not be able to replicated, though.  Likewise, the escape from reality might be very short-lived, if at all.  How many times have I been at a meet up or hosted a get together when someone has to leave early due to some other obligation or something that comes up with family.  When one goes home or goes home within a few hours, reality hasn’t really been avoided.  Maybe, I’m the only one but I like to escape reality when I can.  My life is pretty busy and often stressful.  The breaks away really do matter. They not only make me happy but probably make me more capable to deal with everyday life tasks and whatever gets thrown my way.  I suspect that I’m not the only one like this, either.  Heck, it is a BIG reason why touring has such an appeal to me.  I get that escape.  I also get to travel to new, fun places.  
I am someone who has discovered that traveling truly can be fun and exciting.  I have been able to get a lot of that from touring.  Yet, as we all know, there hasn’t been a tour in a long time (in over a year) and no tours are in sight.  I will need something in between these long touring droughts.  Conventions could  provide the reason to travel.  They could also provide that escape as they are long enough that reality must be forgotten.  If they are far enough away, reality is not much of a possibility at all.  Thus, conventions could provide cool activities with fellow fans while providing an escape from reality and a reason to travel somewhere.  In many ways, traveling for a convention is much easier than traveling for a tour.  A tour, in most cases, requires one to get from one show to another.  Most of those shows are in different places.  Then, you are traveling almost everyday.  Sometimes, the travel in between shows can be quite lengthy.  Let’s look at our last tour.  We started out in New Orleans and saw shows in Biloxi, Mississippi; Atlanta, Georgia; Durham, North Carolina and Portsmouth, Virginia.  Anyone familiar with U.S. geography knows that that is quite a trek.  A convention allows you to be in one place for a weekend or longer.  
To summarize, conventions provide fans a chance to meet each other and to interact with each other with conversations about a common interest of passion, one’s fandom.  Then, conventions contain many very cool activities and opportunities that are not available for random meet ups and other fan gatherings.  Conventions are larger in scale and scope.  Lastly, conventions allow fans to escape from reality.  Sometimes, this escape gives fans a chance to travel and be somewhere different.  Of course, for many fans, in many fandoms, conventions provide one other really important thing—access to celebrities.  I will tackle that big aspect of conventions next weekend, assuming that there isn’t any huge news on the Duran front.  
-A

Year End Katy Kafe with Roger

With all of the excitement over Nick’s year end Katy Kafe and Christmas, it seems that we forgot to comment on Roger’s Kafe.  I don’t tend to think of Roger as one who shares a lot of tidbits or gives a lot of insight to what is going on with the band.  That could very well be my perception when I compare him to John who can give things away through the infamous Taylor leaks, or Nick who shared so much on his.  That said, does Roger reinforce my thinking or make me reconsider his ability to reveal info on this Kafe?

Roger’s Kafe starts much like the rest of the band’s with a discussion of how he has been home most of the year and working in the studio.  Because he has been home, he is more ready for Christmas than usual, which has been nice for him.  His youngest has also been enjoying the season.  Quickly, though, the discussion turned toward the band highlights.  He talked about how the last few weeks in the studio were really productive and that they have some really strong songs.  How strong?  Roger put his hand over his heart and said that it will be one of the best Duran albums and that some of the songs were the strongest they wrote since the reunion.  He did mention that All You Need Is Now was an amazing record and that this one is on par.  That works well for me!!  I like how Roger described how he knows if a song is done or needs more work.

Then, the conversation flowed nicely into when the album would be done.  Now, remember, John said we would hear new music in August.  Simon said May and Nick said May as well.  Roger’s response was March to mix.  Katy clarified and asked when we would hear a single or a song.  The response was early summer.  That seems pretty dang close to the May date from Simon and Nick, right?  He continued to say that the album would then drop by late summer.  Could that equal August?  I think it does.  It sure sounds to me that they are all on the same page.  This is how I interpret it.  They hope to have the album written and recorded so that it can be mixed by March.  Then, the first song would be ready by May with the full album out by August.  What do the rest of you think?  Do you interpret it like I do or did you hear something different?  Yes, I know that some of you will say “Durantime” and, of course, you are probably right, but I did think it was interesting that they all seemed to be on the same page.  I suspect that they get more on the same page when the album gets closer to being written completely, too.

After the discussion about the studio and album release, they did talk about the Unstaged screening and how cool it was to have a Duran film at the Museum of Modern Art before talking about Roger’s favorites with music, movies, TV, etc.  He mentioned many of the other things that the rest of the band said, including Arcade Fire for music and Gravity for movies.  Of course, he did talk about little Julian is into as well and compared it to what Katy’s kiddo is into.

Overall, Roger didn’t change my opinion about him revealing any super duper interesting Duran insight.  What he did do, though, which I am excited about, is confirm the timeline for the album release.  While I definitely wish that things were further along for the album release, I do appreciate having a sense of when things will happen next year.  It is good for planning and plotting!

-A

Play to Win: Review of Winners

Those of you who are friends with us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter know that each day, without fail, we ask a daily question.  This question is always part of a larger set of questions, in a bracket type format, to get to the fans’ favorites.  Over the course of two years, we have asked a lot of questions about a lot of topics, including songs, videos, merchandise, b-sides, album cover, side projects, etc.  I thought it might be fun to take some time to list and enjoy the winners.

Favorite songs from each album:

From Self-titled Debut:  Careless Memories

From Rio:  New Religion

From Seven and the Ragged Tiger:  The Seventh Stranger

From Arena:  Wild Boys

From Big Thing:  Do You Believe in Shame

From Liberty:  Serious

From The Wedding Album:  Come Undone

From Thank You:  White Lines

From Medazzaland:  Out of my Mind

From Pop Trash:  Someone Else Not Me

From Astronaut:  Sunrise

From Red Carpet Massacre:  The Valley

From All You Need Is Now:  The Man Who Stole a Leopard

Favorite Song:  New Religion

Favorite Merchandise that they should make:  Blanket

If they can do a beach towel, they could do a blanket, right?

Favorite B-Side:  Secret Oktober

Favorite Video:  New Moon on Monday

Favorite Album Cover:  Rio

Favorite Side Project:  Arcadia

Favorite Power Station song:  Some Like It Hot

Favorite Arcadia song:  The Promise

Favorite Andy Taylor song:  Take It Easy

Favorite John Taylor song:  Immortal

Favorite Neurotic Outsiders song:  Jerk

Favorite The Devils song:  Big Store

Favorite Dom Brown song:  Amazing
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dom-Brown-Music/184411543513?id=184411543513&sk=app_2405167945

Favorite TV Mania song:  Beautiful Clothes

Favorite side/solo project song:  Arcadia’s The Promise

Favorite side/solo project video:  Arcadia’s The Flame

Obviously, right now, we are tackling people’s favorite pictures of the band members, band, side projects, and combinations.  Once that set of questions, which will take awhile, is done.  I’ll update this list of winners.  Besides, who doesn’t enjoy seeing and hearing the favorites!!!!

-A