Category Archives: Hungry Like the Wolf

Hungry Like the Wolf: Straddle the LIne

According to Wikipedia, the song Hungry Like the Wolf was released in the UK on this day. This, of course, makes me both smile and cringe as the same time. Am I the only one who responds in that way? I’m sure that there are a lot of Duranies who love, love, love that song and others who might express outright annoyance or dislike. Why is there so many mixed emotions, though, within the fandom, at least from what I have seen?

Let’s start with the positives and why this song might make Duranies smile. It goes without saying that this song played a significant role in breaking the band in the U.S. We all know the story. It was all about the video, really, that did it. Before the video was released, Duran was getting minimal attention and radio play. Then, the video began to play on MTV, which I suspect the network was excited about. After all, it was an interesting video to watch with a adventurous storyline, exotic location and attractive people. I’m sure it would got more viewers than a basic boring in the studio performance. After the video got more play, then the band started to sell more albums and to get more radio play. So, I think we can all appreciate that this song/video helped make the band more popular in the States.

Speaking of the video, I’m willing to bet that it is a video that many fans fell for the band with. I’m not in the same boat on that but I will admit that the video is one that is hard not to love. I fell for the storyline and the Indiana Jones vibe with it, not to mention how good all the guys look in it.


So, if the song and video helped the band reach tremendous success and made people fans, why do so many cringe now when they hear it? If I had to summarize what I think the reason is in one sentence, I would mention how it is too often the ONLY song/video that people think when they did Duran. Let me give a couple of examples to prove my point. Recently, my school had a staff development day. The administration decided to welcome us to the day by playing songs to represent the staff. My song? Of course, it was Hungry Like the Wolf. People know I’m a Duran fan and the only song they could think of was that. Then, I think about the various Howl at the Moons I have been in. For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, Howl at the Moon is a chain of dueling piano bars where the audience makes requests and the musicians play them. Whenever I have asked for Duran, the song that has always been chosen is HLTW.

Then, there is the fact that Hungry Like the Wolf is the song Duran Duran has played most in concert, according to Setlist.fm. Why is that a problem? I think it frustrates some fans that the song is almost always played. Setlists are not limitless. The band cannot play as many songs as they want. They have to limit the number for obvious reasons. If the band didn’t always include HLTW, they could add a different song in its place. Fans could hear something different. Now, the reason that is often played include what I mentioned above. Fans get it but they aren’t always thrilled about it. All that said, in fairness, the band has tried to change it up a bit throughout the years as seen by the following videos:


There have been times that I really got annoyed when the song appeared in the setlist and allowed it to sap some of my enthusiasm. Now, I just try to remind myself that the song is played because it is well-known by fans and non-fans alike. It is a song that is significant to the band’s history and success. I cannot ignore that. Would I like something different in the setlist? Sure but it is not going to happen so I would be smart just to accept that and try to appreciate it. Of course, it really helps now that there is a lot of DoJo during the song. For some reason, that really helps make it better…

What about the rest of you? How are you feeling bout Hungry Like the Wolf these days?

-A

To be a fly on the wall…

There are times when DDHQ will post something, whether it’s a video, a picture or even an article from an online magazine, and I’ll wonder what it must have been like in the room at the time. I’m sure a lot of fans have wondered what it was like backstage as the band hammered out the setlist…or how awkward it REALLY was for the band when they filmed Girls on Film. Maybe you’re more like me, and wondered what it was really like in the studio when they recorded with Timbaland. Or maybe you are curious about what it’s like in those few minutes right before a show when they’re all backstage but can hear the audience screaming?

Today, for #watchitWednesday (catchy hashtag!) DDHQ posted the video from the Steve Aoki “See What Unfolds” concert from Terminal 5 in New York City. I don’t even remember what year it’s from – but I can tell you it was during the All You Need is Now “era”, so to speak.  We did a couple blog posts on it, here and here, where you can get an idea of the insanity that night.  As a refresher to those who have forgotten, basically Steve Aoki did a remix of my very “favorite Duran Duran song ever” – Hungry Like the Wolf (what else could it possibly have been?!?) and then had a concert where it was performed live.  I was not AT the show, but I can tell you what I know:

  • The band was there.  😀
  • Cake
  • Champagne
  • A raft (?!?)
  • There was pushing, shoving, and Duranies seemed to slip on the cake that was thrown AT them by Steve Aoki, and fell down (there’s a pun in there somewhere, I just know it.)
  • MANY Duranies did not like the remix.  (I did….I don’t know what that says, but I did like it, and I still do. It’s catchy and fun.)

Here’s the video from that night that DDHQ shared this morning:

Funny thing: I’m not sure I ever really watched the video until this morning. I must have at some point, I’d assume, but I’ve definitely forgotten. While I would not have wanted to be in the front…or anywhere on the floor for this show…I think it was fun for the Steve Aoki fans who were there. Expectations were both a good friend AND enemy for this show because while Aoki fans knew what was about to go down,  Duranies had their own ideas…and the two didn’t mix well, particularly combined with champagne on a concrete floor.

Even so, as I watched the video, I wondered what the band thought while they were up on stage that night. I’d seen a few comments from the band (and I think even Dom may have mentioned the show –  back when they all used to tweet and actually engage!) saying that they thought the night was fun. This is one of those times when I wish I were a fly on the wall backstage though, or in their heads as they happened to look up and see cake and champagne flying through the air at their fans…or when they saw people slipping and falling.  Maybe they didn’t even see that happen, and to be clear: I am NOT finding fault either way, I’m just wondering what they were thinking as they watched it unfold on stage. I know in the video there’s not much shown of that sort of thing. All you see are people in the front (presumably Steve Aoki fans, because let’s face it: I’ve been to “a few” DD shows in my lifetime and I’ve never seen that many young kids up front at a gig unless it was a festival) being completely carefree and having a great time. Whereas most of the comments I saw and heard from Duranies after the show had come from a much more cynical place….presumably because we are not young kids used to going to see EDM gigs. We’re Duranies. We’re used to being up front. We are used to cheering for the band and having to stand our ground so that other Duranies don’t try to take our spot. We’re not necessarily used to battling it out with kids half our age who look at the idea of raving or moshing as a big love session. They live for “the drop” and we live for JoSi. It’s a very different thing.

Where IS my “Get Off My Lawn” hat, anyway???? 

Let’s take it from another angle: what did Nick think when the idea of Steve Aoki remixing Hungry Like the Wolf came up? Did he cringe or did he look at it as the opportunity to have the dust shaken off the song? I wonder about Simon – how did he feel about being autotuned  so much? What about John? My guess is that to the band, this was just another opportunity to reach a new audience. I wonder how the rehearsals went – I mean, the remix is very different from the original song, so how did that work live?  That said, I wonder how many of these “opportunities” come up where the band just has to say no. Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

If you could be a fly on the wall at any point in their career…where would you have wanted to be and why?

-R

Hungry Like the Wolf – Covers!

I’m a day behind with my weekly post on Duran Duran covers, and I apologize. I could lie and say that I was really busy yesterday afternoon, but the truth is that I didn’t realize it was Wednesday until far too late in the evening to even try putting something together. Yes, that really IS what happens when you’re at home with the kids all summer. I live and breathe by the texts asking me to take them/pick them up from somewhere, and that’s about it!  After today, I’m going to take a two-week break from my blogs on DD covers, and so look for one again the week of July 28th!

When I first heard about the Making Patterns Rhyme tribute album, I’ll admit, I filed the information into the back of my head and went on my way. I didn’t know if I’d be that interested, because in the past, I hadn’t heard many covers that seemed worth my time. Like many, I felt that the only people qualified to do a Duran Duran song was, well, Duran Duran, so to hear someone else try – well, it almost always fell flat (for me). I’m really not sure when and where that really changed. It could have been when I first listened to Moby’s Rio. Now, don’t get me wrong – that song is about as far away from what I know to be Rio as possible, but I think when I started reading all of the negative and poison-filled comments, I recognized two things: 1. Fans can be very, very cruel. 2. I didn’t want to be negative.  I challenged myself to find at least one positive from every single cover on the album.  That doesn’t mean “Be fake and love it all”, it means “widen your effing ears and mind… and TRY.”  So I did. That doesn’t mean I’ve loved everything I’ve heard, but I can say that there have been elements within each song that I’ve enjoyed.

What really shocks me, and by now it probably shouldn’t…is what people will say directly TO the band (You think they’re not reading or noticing, and maybe you’d be wrong.). No, of course you don’t have to like what you hear, and I’m sure that various members of the band would agree.  There’s not really a lot of point in being flat-out mean, nor is there much point in listening to the first 10 seconds of a song, realizing that it’s not Simon singing and saying you hate it purely because it’s not Simon. We all get it: you’re loyal to this band. *I* am loyal to the band. Three decades as a fan would indicate that from all of us, yes! But it’s the band who is calling attention to these songs. It’s not hard to see this because they put the links up on their very own Facebook page, they tweet them out…and Patty Palazzo did the artwork for the album, for crying out loud. They’re proud of the fact that others are covering their music, and they should be! It’s OKAY.

So with that, let’s find some covers to listen and enjoy!

Let’s pick my favorite song this week…Hungry Like the Wolf.  (Heather, this is for you!) I was challenged to find one I like….let’s see if I can!  My challenge here is that there are about 50,000 covers of this song on YouTube.  It pains me to see that many, actually. (they DO have other songs, people…)  I trudge on…

I did hear that Dave Grohl did HLTW once.  I haven’t found it on YouTube. If you have it, send it!  Moving on…

Hungry Like the Wolf – Incubus

I smiled when I saw this on YouTube, because who would ever think – Incubus? Oh why the hell not?!?  They stick very close to the original (surprisingly), and while the song has a harder guitar than the original and the intro to the song goes on until the 2:10 mark…it’s not all that different. Huh.

Hungry Like the Wolf – Reel Big Fish

This one has been around for a long time now.  I’d come to the point where I could at least acknowledge it’s existence without needing therapy…a far cry from the days where I’d cover my ears and run screaming, but I pressed play with nervous trepidation.  I have to say, it’s not bad. I kinda like it even.  It’s very ska, and if you like ska – which I actually do – this might tickle your funny bone a bit.  If nothing else, applaud the musicianship, because they can play your face off.

Hungry Like the Wolf – Hole

 

I don’t really know what to say about this one…other than she doesn’t know the words much, and I am pretty sure it’s not the entire song (or else I phased out halfway through).  But hey, it’s acoustic.

Amaru – Hungry Like the Wolf

So this version is pretty true to the original, except for the mid-section.  Then they go all out on their own here.  I have to say that the sound of this band sounds very much like any other 90’s “hard rock” (not grunge) band I’ve heard.  It’s not awful, it’s just not very original.

Gothic Nights – Hungry Like the Wolf

This cover is proof that there really doesn’t seem to be a way to un-pop this song. I was truly expecting some crazy-ass metal with this one, but even here – it’s pop…like “The Nelsons” brand of pop (if you haven’t heard of them, Google!)  I’ve always wanted to hear the song without the “doo doo doo” and now I have.  *blinks* Funny how I didn’t think I’d miss it.  Until I did.  Damn.

Act as If – Hungry Like the Wolf

Talk about a surprise. It’s pretty much all electronic with a male singer and a female backup.  It’s a very different (yet similar) feel to the original…and after hearing Gothic Knights “nelson” this song to pieces…this isn’t half bad.  They keep the spirit of the original but play it in their own style, and it’s original.

As I said, there are thousands of covers out there. If you’ve got one that is incredibly different that I’ve got to hear (seriously, if you have that one of Dave Grohl, please send it!), definitely post it in the comments.  These are just a few that I found along the way.  In my quest, I found a jazz version (I would have posted it if I knew who was performing it – but there was no credit given.), an angry metal version (just…no.), and a TON of acoustic versions.  But one that I liked?!?

*sigh* this was a hard task, Heather…but Reel Big Fish might actually win that contest.

What say you?  Send in your favorite, even if it’s not listed here!

-R

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hungry like the Wolf — The Daily Duranie Review

Holy crap. We can’t believe that we are up to THIS song.  While I’m sure there will be many songs that will cause serious reactions from us and for the people who read this blog, this is the first one we have had to really review.  While it was difficult to objectively review Rio (the song), this one will be even more so. In general, Rio, while overplayed, is a song that creates a general positive feeling for both of us. This song, Hungry like the Wolf, is much more complicated than that. While we are both sick of it on many, many level, Rhonda has been much more outspoken of her disdain for it. Yet, this song has become an interesting one live, especially with Dom and John jamming out together in that way that gets our attention.  Like I said, it is complicated. No matter, we are going to do our best to distance ourselves from the memories, the experiences, the gut reactions we have to this song in order to do a real objective review of it.

Rhonda:

Musicality/Instrumentation: There is just no mistaking that guitar riff, is there?  Even when they screw with the beginning drums to fake me out when they play it live, as soon as that guitar starts in, I know where we’re headed. I can say what I will (and I do), but the riff works. It’s iconic, and it’s what the rest of the world knows to be Duran Duran. What is interesting about this song, is that there is no intro.  There’s that short giggle, and we’re off to the races…racing through the streets of Sri Lanka in search of that ever elusive lead singer. This is one song that I feel highlights the drummer more than the others on this album – and I love the effect they use on them. This song is much less bass driven than others on the album, although you can still hear John very clearly in the background. As for Nick, the synth loop used on this song is unmistakable – and when I listen they almost remind me, just the smallest bit, of steel drums. I think this song brings a lot of drama to the album – both musically with Roger’s drums and of course vocally – which I’ll get to in a moment.  There are added elements here that add just the right amount of anxiety, especially during the bridge – used in a way that really hadn’t been used prior.  For that notion alone, the song was groundbreaking, and it’s not really a surprise that it is a crowd favorite even today.

Vocals:  This song has the most brilliant use of stacked harmonies, which has become a hallmark of Duran Duran. Other bands did not use this method back in the early 80s, and the band continues to own this space even today.  It is exactly what we know to be Duran Duran.  There’s no mistaking Simon LeBon’s vocal qualities here – and this song is a fine example of his abilities. He has this brilliance in making this song sound incredibly easy, and the “do do do’s” (which truthfully drive me crazy) just make it seem as though he’s lazily singing or ad libbing his way through the piece.  There are other vocals here though – such as  a young girl laughing for about two seconds at the beginning that serves as the shortest intro to a song ever, and then the sound of someone breathing heavily during the bridge – this adds some of that anxiety and drama I wrote about earlier as though the song is telling a story. Lastly, there is the howling at the end of the song, which has always annoyed me and I feel cheapens the entire song…but the millions of you who love it can’t be wrong, and I’ve learned to simply ignore it.  Well, I try anyway.

Lyrics: I just want to know what Simon was doing when he came up with this crazy idea.  Then again, maybe I really don’t. All I know is that they are the craziest set of lyrics.  There’s this woman, the guy wants her and will do just about anything to chase her. What’s funny is that the lyrics work.  Show me someone who doesn’t have a clear image of what these lyrics mean in their head and I’ll show you someone with zero imagination. I’ll admit, the lyrics have grown incredibly thin and stale on me over the years, but back when the song first came out – I was hooked.  This was one of the very first videos I’d ever seen of the band – and if there was ever a video that looked just like what I had going on in my head – it was this one.  Some may say that isn’t the best…others might say it’s perfect…I just feel as though lyrically, it’s very thin. The story is obvious, and maybe that’s what they were going for with this one – and that’s OK.

Production: I think this song is just a smidgeon more produced than other songs on this album. There is quite a bit of echo going on everywhere, and while I think the song may have been production-heavy as opposed to others on the album, that does NOT mean I feel it’s over-produced.  I think that for what they were trying to create with the song, it was very well done.  Overall I think the song is balanced well, and the bass really does support the melody extremely well without being overly loud or punishing.  I like that I can still hear all of the instruments rather well, and while sure – this is a song for that guitar riff I cannot ever get out of my head – the rest of the band is present, accounted for, and playing together nicely.

Overall: I have been shaking in my flip-flops about having to review this since we first began the reviews. It is not a secret that this song is “not my favorite”, and it is not. I have a sort of hate/love relationship with the song…and I still sometimes forget my own promise that I would never again roll my eyes at the band when they play it live. While I believe there are many dozens of songs in the band’s back catalog that much better characterize the band and yet are still iconic “Duran Duran” songs, it is this song that people seem to remember most. It’s a fact I must live with. The song is pure pop – just on the hard edge of being a little bubble-gum for me – and pop can be fun. There’s not much of an argument I can make against fun, so I won’t even begin to try. I must remind myself that at one time, even hearing Hungry Like the Wolf on the radio would make me smile…and so the song can’t be all bad.  I just can’t say there is enough groundbreaking here to make me feel it’s one of their stronger songs. It’s one of their greatest hits, there’s no denying that, but some of their very best work are songs that no one but their most ardent fans have heard.

I still believe though that if there is a hell, and I’m sent there on the short bus…that this is the song that will be playing.

Cocktails:  3.5 cocktails

Amanda:

Musicality/Instrumentation:  Like many on the Rio album, this song kicks in pretty much right away. There is no intro, no lead in–just all instruments present and accounted for.  Of course, this is after the 2 second female laughter.  It is interesting to listen carefully to this song’s instrumentation.  Very clearly, there is that weird keyboard sound that is difficult to describe but sounds like something on repeat or something going over and over that goes throughout the song.  Then, of course, you really can’t ignore the guitars on this one.  I heard Roger describe Andy’s guitars in this one as “angry”.  I’m not sure if I hear anger there but I do hear more dominance than in other songs.  John’s bass is ever present but doesn’t get the attention that Roger’s drums do as they occasionally do that very dramatic roll as the song shifts from the verses to the chorus.  Overall, the instrumentation of this song seems and feels larger than life, more dramatic than previous tracks.  Nothing is really subtle.  Not even the bridge with the heavy breathing feels less intense.  At this point, Andy’s noticeable guitar is felt.  Not to be undone, though, Nick adds some effects with John’s ever present bass until Roger has an incredibly dramatic drum roll to end the bridge.

Vocals:  This is classic Simon, vocally.  His vocals blend so well with the instrumentation in this song. Of course, beyond the regular verses and chorus, he also has that do-do-do part that we all know so well.  This part, though, lyrically silly, vocally works as it adds to the intensity as it feels like there are many Simons as opposed to just one.  Now, Simon’s breathing of Hungry like the Wolf during the bridge is a little over-the-top but, obviously, done to match or go with the female heavy breathing that we hear more and more as the song gets close to finishing.

Lyrics:  These are definitely not the most complex lyrics that Simon has written.  There does not seem to much subtext.  Instead, the lyrics seems generally easy to understand with an obvious theme.  Now, this theme of humanity being animal like in some way will be repeated with other songs throughout their catalog.  So the lyrics are not difficult to understand, does that make them good or bad?  On one hand, the obvious “hunt” of one person after another person due to sexual attraction seems pretty intense and definitely fits with the larger-than-life instrumentation.  On the other hand, the musical quality is so high that I’m just not sure that the lyrics match the level of quality.  Yet, maybe, they shouldn’t.  The music here should shine, not the lyrics.  If one thinks about it that way, the lyrics do their job, I guess.

Production:  This song like every other song on this album features exactly what I love about Duran at this time.  All instruments are clearly present and noticeable.  At various points, some instruments are more noticeable than others but not in an obnoxious, ego-filled way.  The one thing that comes across to me in this song is the larger than life feel it has.  I like that.  Some of the additional, subtle sounds also work to create the typical Duran atmosphere from the heavy breathing female to her short laughter to begin the song.

Overall:  Here is where I will struggle.  How do I try to summarize this song?  Truly, I think the instrumentation, the feel of the song is impressive.  Why doesn’t it do anything for me now?  Obviously, part of it is that I have heard it TOO many times.  Objectively, though, part of it is the lyrics to the song.  It doesn’t feel as strong, as intellectual as they could have been.  Now, I realize that if the lyrics were too strong, the music might have been shadowed but…the fact that this song is one SO well known makes me wish for something deeper, lyrically.  I just wish that it was less obvious.  It doesn’t show Duran’s lyrical strength.  It seems, lyrically,  to be something that anyone would do.  It isn’t unique enough.

Cocktail Rating:  3.5 cocktails!

What do Before the Rain and Hungry Like the Wolf have in common??

I love when a good blog topic gets thrown at me as though someone turned on a light in a dark room.  The place becomes flooded with light, and navigation is much easier.

Yesterday Amanda dared to ask the question “Before the Rain or Too Bad You’re So Beautiful?” For the uninitiated, Amanda asks a daily question on our Facebook page as well as Twitter.  Those who wish to reply, do so – and a tally is taken.  The results are then posted the following day along with another question.

Yesterday my answer was Before the Rain.  I don’t think that I would have answered that way about two years ago (maybe slightly less than two years ago).  The album had just come out, and while TBYSB (I know there are those out there in readerland that hate the acronyms. I apologize and I’m not trying to ruin the spirit of the song. It’s just faster to type!) is a fun song that I liked immediately, Before the Rain was tougher for me.  I felt it was very dark, very mysterious, and just a harder song for me to really get into.  The compelling part of this tale is that here, two years later – I adore Before the Rain much more than I do TBYSB.  I still like both songs, I don’t skip TBYSB in the car or anything, but my nod goes to Before the Rain.

Why?

Here is the beauty behind these questions – it all comes down to experiences and emotion.  What hits each of us on an emotional level is what we will likely identify with best, isn’t it?  For me, when I hear Before the Rain, the very first thing I remember is that initial show (for me) last October in Valley Center, CA.  The band entering the stage, then Simon approaching center stage and singing.  I couldn’t even look up at him for fear of crumbling into a pile of nothing.  It was the first show I’d been to since the UK in May when Simon had his vocal problems.  It was a very emotional moment for me, and once I got past the initial swell, I was able to ride the waves of triumph.  Since then, every time I hear the song, I recognize what a special moment it is for Simon on stage – it’s just himself and the crowd.  The band stays in the darkness for the first half of the song, and it’s a great way to begin the show.  For me personally, I haven’t had that type of emotional bonding experience with TBYSB.

Yet on the other hand, our dear friend Bryony insists she’s had that moment. While the song was not sung at all on tour, it was performed in Oxford at the rehearsal shows.  Bryony had that moment of connecting directly with Simon while singing a line or two, and as she aptly puts “Took it to a whole new level!”  I think we all can relate to this!

Naturally, this is not the only song I’ve had the fortune…or misfortune given the anecdote I’m about to tell, to have a “moment” that changes everything.  I don’t think it’s any surprise that along with the hundreds of Duran songs I adore, there might be a few…a mere couple…that I’ve heard so many times that I probably could live a good life without ever hearing again.  Maybe.  I am also certain that most of you can name at least ONE of these songs. (If you’ve been reading this blog, you probably know.) I would say that prior to last October, it was getting to the point that when I would hear this song, my eyes would nearly roll back in my head – and not from delight.  I felt that it was time to let the song retire, I didn’t care that at one time in my own Duran Duran fandom “history” it was the first video I’d ever seen by the band, nor did I care that it was probably the song that launched their career here in America. I was over it.  The wolf would have been starved to death years ago, don’t you think??  I was no longer hungry, and admittedly, I was over it.

I don’t know how this news was made obvious to certain band members.  Perhaps it was the eye rolling. Maybe it was the crossed arms. I don’t really know for sure. All I do know is that in Valley Center, I thought I was getting a reprieve.  We’d made it through quite a bit of the show, and no HLTW.  I was excited!  Then they started playing a song with a drum beat.  I didn’t recognize the beat until a split second later, and oh was I mad when I realized they’d changed the opening of the song.  Damn them for tricking me. I must have pulled a face, because the next thing I know, I’ve got the guitar player singing the ever-delightful “do do do” section in front of me…like unmistakably right there in front of me.  Nice.  I am sure he got a lot of eye rolling out of me that night, but he laughed it off, as did I.  What can you do when they’re right there in front of you basically demanding that you sing?  I sang!

I felt certain that when I went over to the UK for the shows Amanda and I were doing last November and December (actually I think it was a year ago today that we were in Glasgow??), even though our seats were right in front of Dom Brown, he’d forget. There’s no way he’d actually remember me. I’m one person in a zillion, right?  Wrong. Every single night that damn song would begin he’d look over and grin at me while he was singing the chorus. (Not necessarily a bad thing, I might add.) Then he and John would play guitar and bass right in front of us – that part was just a part of the choreography that goes along with the gig, but even so – they made it nearly impossible for me to do much but enjoy the song. This continued through the summer shows we did in the southeastern US this summer – apparently I’m more recognizable than I thought – especially in the front row. Yeah, funny Dom. Now that stupid song plays when I’m in the car or here at home and I can’t help but grin with the memory. Nice. So I suppose the song can stay in their setlist, and as I’ve promised – I won’t even roll my eyes when they start the familiar chords.

(I am totally lying…but I’ll also give a small, sly grin.)

The point being that even if your experience with the band comes from watching a video at a certain time with your friends and giggling over something, or it’s remembering how you felt the very first time you watched Sing Blue Silver on VHS and you heard Tiger Tiger playing as the clip of all those semi-trucks were traveling down a road in the US – those are the emotions that drive each of us to love whatever song we love.  Some songs have those moments attached.  Other songs really don’t – for me I could say that Hallucinating Elvis is one of those songs.  I don’t completely dislike the song, but it doesn’t have any real meaning or memory for me.  For you, it’s probably another song entirely.  It might even be one of MY favorites, because that’s how this all works, isn’t it?

In celebration of the Glasgow show…here’s a clip from YouTube.  I’m sure you’ll recognize the song.  

-R

New York Werewolf on the Loose!

So, heard about any crazy gigs happening lately??

You’d have to be living under a rock not to have heard stories of green cake and champagne showers, rafting over audience members and mosh pits full of sweaty, cake lathered people at the Trident Gum gig last night at Terminal 5.

In my “expert” estimation, I would have to say the scene sounded as bad, and probably worse, as Voodoo was for me in 2006. That gig brought an end to my festival days. I just don’t need to be roughed up quite that badly in order to see my band of choice and get something out of the show.  Call me crazy.

Many came out of the show saying nearly the same thing – that it was great to see the band, but that if they never saw a Steve Aoki DJ set again it would be too soon. Are boycotts on Trident gum next??  (Of course not, but it’s an amusing thought all the same.) Another widely held opinion was that the DJ set (90 minutes) was far too long, and Duran’s appearance was of course, far too short. (Naturally, we’d all say that even if they had played a full-set, wouldn’t we?) Lastly, many were shocked and disappointed that not a single mention was made of John’s birthday, nor were there band introductions made, but again – this was not a Duran gig, only a special appearance. We have an extra-special blog coming from someone who was actually at the show last night in the next day or two, so watch this space. I believe it will be worth the wait and the read.

So that brings us to the reason for the appearance.  The newly minted remix of Hungry Like the Wolf. (Of all the songs on the planet…it had to be this one. Of course it did.)  I have to say, I’ve given it several listens, and it’s nothing like I would have expected to come out of the original song, yet it’s exactly like what Steve Aoki is known.  What I think fans need to recognize and respect before giving it a fair listen is that this really is not Duran Duran.  I mean yes, they collaborated on the remix, but this isn’t about Hungry Like the Wolf ending up to sound like Hungry Like the Wolf dance remix. The remix is very techno and electronica and even a bit trance-like. If you’re not into that type of music, this is probably not going to please your ears much. Me? I like it, but I’ve got to ask where the guitar went.  Did Dom melt in the New York City heat or something?  Normally I wouldn’t have expected to hear guitar on a remix like this one, but in the interview I heard in promotion for this, much was made about the fact that the remix incorporated each member.  I hear bass, but just as I believe in “More Cowbell!!” I believe in “More Dom!” Some have called the remix boring (um, how about trance-like??) and generic, and perhaps that is so, but it’s the type of music I can put on while I’m writing and it’s not distracting.  Yes, I can actually write and get work done to this.  I don’t know what that says about me other than it blocks out the sound that 3 kids can make in the morning running around this house in complete chaos.  

If you haven’t given it a listen, here’s your chance.  Hungry Like The Wolf: Steve Aoki vs Duran Duran — The New York Werewolf Mix.


Just as a point of reference, as much as I am sick to death of Hungry Like the Wolf – I’ll be buying this one.  If nothing else, it’s good music to keep me working!!  


-R

Not all that gleeful…

I’ll admit, I may have watched a few episodes of Glee over the past few years. I may even admit that I have actually enjoyed some of what I’ve watched. I’ve mentioned on the blog that my oldest goes to an arts high school near where we live, and this particular high school is the same school that Matthew Morrison (Mr. Will Shuester) attended. Matthew is a gracious alumni to the school, and so we’ve checked out the show a few times. It’s a very big deal that one of their alumni has done so well, and the school is very proud. I might even have Matthew’s solo album on hand here as well, because I’m nothing if not supportive of the kids who have gone to my daughter’s school, right?

I’ve been hearing a horrible, nasty rumor for months now that Glee is going to do a Duran Duran song or medley. I won’t lie, shivers went down my spine when I first read the rumor, and no, they weren’t good ones. I felt a terrible sense of foreboding, and so it took deep mental preparation (as well as the preparation of a reasonably large vodka martini) before the show began last night.

For the uninitiated, Glee is about a high school “Show” choir. This isn’t the choir of our generation where kids wear robes and stand on risers as they compete or sing concerts. No, Show Choir is a completely different animal. Show choir is as much about the theatrics as it is the singing – it’s similar to a musical but without dialogue and plenty of dancing. Naturally, the television take is that these kids are supposed to be the nerds of the school, but somehow because they are all together – they transcend the labels that come with participating in such a group, and they seem like the cool kids, even though they still get plenty of “slushie” tossed in their faces by the football team. The premise of the show isn’t horrible, but the execution is downright cheesy, and in my expert opinion as the closet marching band nerd I really am under this “super cool adult blogger” exterior – it’s gotten worse over the years the show has been on the air and at this point is an embarrassment.  The saving grace of the entire show (the ONLY reason to watch at all in my opinion) are the well-executed musical numbers. A select of the performances I’ve seen are outstanding and even go the distance to upgrade the original song to a better level. Most of the numbers are great. Then there are the stinky few that make you wonder why they bothered at all.

So before the show even began last night, I was hearing horrific rumors that the songs they’d chosen were Rio and Hungry Like the Wolf. Of course they’d choose those songs.  To begin with, the entire world is apparently on some sort of mission to make sure a single day never goes by that I don’t hear HLTW. I can be at the grocery store, minding my own business and it’ll come on. I heard it at the gas station the other day as I was filling my tank. The winery I visited over the weekend had it playing outside as I was enjoying a glass of wine with my husband.  I’ll have you all know that song even played when I was giving birth to my youngest, and it wasn’t a particularly easy birth – I literally flatlined on the table and that was the song I heard as I was coming back “to”. (I am so not kidding about this. I thought I was arriving in hell!) So sure, why wouldn’t it be on Glee? As for Rio – it’s pretty much a given, as that’s the main Duran Duran song outside of the aforementioned HLTW that every American citizen has to know. I think it must be some sort of preschool graduation requirement at this point. The truly frightening thing was that I’d read they were going to mash the songs together. I still get chills when I think about it.

Promptly at 8pm I took my spot on the couch next to my daughter, called the bartender for my martini, and prepared to face-palm my way through the show. As it turns out, I didn’t have to wait long. I really wish I’d had my husband take video of my response, because I just don’t think I can properly describe the type of horror that went through my body as my eyes and ears were assaulted by witnessing HLTW and Rio being smooshed together. I really can’t go on enough about how truly awful the entire idea to force those songs together really was – and I wondered why they’d even be so mean to even do that. Did someone on their staff feel as though Rio and HLTW personally attacked them at some point and this was their chance for revenge?? I know that Glee does song medleys quite often, and I know they do like to put new spins on songs so that they can showcase more than just one song by any particular artist. My problem is that there shouldn’t ever be a time when I hear Rio with “I smell like I sound” in the background. (Although in this case, I didn’t even have to be in the same room with the singer to know that what he was singing was indeed truthful.)  If the singing weren’t enough, we were treated to dance moves that not even Simon LeBon could replicate. I watch this show regularly enough to know that these kids really can dance, although some better than others. Let’s just say that I couldn’t decide if they were trying to do an impression a la Simon LeBon, or if they just didn’t know the dance. It didn’t help the song at all when the camera panned to show that Jane Lynch was singing right along (I love her character with all of my heart, but not even that could save this mess), or that Matthew Morrison genuinely looked happy to have someone singing Rio in his classroom. I’ll say it again – nothing was able to save this train wreck. It was as though whomever thought up this mess felt that Duran Duran was the cheesiest 80’s band out there, and this was that person’s way of making it even worse so it matched the cheesy-ness of the show. If that was the goal, it worked brilliantly. I can honestly say that this ranked right up there with the Jonas Brothers singing Rio completely off key for me. Even my daughter, after she was finished laughing hysterically, agreed that it was truly awful in every way. To make matters worse, I watched the entire show, and the very last song of the show was Gotye’s Somebody I Used to Know.  It was done beautifully.  It’s a shame they couldn’t have afforded Duran Duran the same luxury and dignity.

At 9pm, I promptly switched the channel and took to Facebook and Twitter to see what others thought.  There are actually fans out there that thought it was great.  I give those fans full credit for seeing the good in what I believe ranks up there with one of the worst Glee performances to date.

For those of you who thought you’d escape, fear not.  The video is up on YouTube and I have brought it here for your pleasure.  Misery loves company.

For those who think I’m being harsh, watch what they did with Gotye’s Somebody I Used to Know.

I’ve searched and searched, but I can’t seem to find Rockapella’s medley of Duran Duran on YouTube or anywhere online for that matter.  If you have the inclination, you should do a search and find it, because that is what could have easily been done by the cast of Glee, and it would have been a perfect way to do the band proper justice.

-R

**I feel the need to edit this post due to a large amount of comments I’ve gotten elsewhere in a relatively short period of time about this blog.

This is just a REVIEW.  This isn’t about me being a fan of Duran Duran, or even about Duran Duran songs.  It’s a critique of a performance that took place on a show. However, to constantly remind that we should all be thankful that a show is recognizing Duran Duran has absolutely nothing to do with a review.  I’d like someone to show me a review where a critic takes into account that a particular band or show has taken the time to create another album.  That simply doesn’t enter into the picture, and I wouldn’t be doing my job as a writer if I just allowed myself to be in full fan mode all of the time, even when our readers insist otherwise.

Secondly, this is one blog.  One person’s view.  There are thousands of fans out there.  I’m sure many of you enjoyed the song. That is OK. I don’t worry about that – nor should anyone else. My review should be read for the comedic benefit, and just realize that it’s not rocket science. It’s a television show, and it was one two minute portion of the show at that.