Category Archives: TV Mania

Out of focus fading in

Yesterday Amanda and I posted our reviews for TV Mania’s first video – Euphoria.  As I mentioned yesterday, one of my favorite things about video (and there are many), is that even though you’re watching a visual interpretation of the song (well, at least some of the time – I’m not sure that you can count performance videos, as in the song being performed in front of an audience and used as the official video, as an interpretation), there remains plenty of room left for imagination.  Amanda and I have mentioned many times here on the blog that we both love art.  She has it in her genes, and I, well…my love for art probably comes from my educational background more than anything. It goes without saying that when a new video comes out, we watch many, many times.  Probably not unlike any other fan, I am sure.

I can’t really speak for Amanda, but to begin with – just as when I read a book that I am excited to read, I find myself flying through – skimming a lot, trying to absorb as much as possible.  It takes me several views to start noticing the small things, and even more views to start picking out subtle nuances.  A lot of times, it is Amanda telling me about the smallest things before I even see them – I’m much slower. Sometimes I will see what she’s trying to show me, and other times, I see something completely different.  This shouldn’t really surprise anyone – art is meant that way. There shouldn’t be wrong answers – which is something one of my professors was very good about teaching.  We aren’t all meant to see or feel the same things.  The concept is incredibly freeing when you allow yourself the room and imagination to come up with your own ideas.

Just as Simon LeBon chooses not to explain each word of his lyrics, saying that they are meant to be open to interpretation – because while he may have written something with one idea in mind, when each of us hear his words, we come away with our own feelings – I think video can be remarkably similar.  I know many fans want to know exactly what he means, and so often I wonder if it isn’t because we’re afraid to be wrong.  How can your own feelings really be wrong?

Amanda and I thoroughly enjoy discussing video and song interpretation with other fans here.  I’m not sure if anyone actually caught that – what with Amanda picking a song each week or so to talk about – but the point is that while she might have an interpretation of something that she feels strongly about; so might other fans, and the hope is to discuss them.  I love the exchange of ideas without judgment.  Not an easy feat, but a worthy goal.

Yesterday, I had posted my thoughts on Euphoria, commenting that I believed it was Sassy in the video – although even as I wrote, I didn’t feel it was completely accurate.  I felt like I might be missing half the story, but in my own haste – I forged ahead and completed my portion of the review.  I figured Amanda would fill in missing details, and she found plenty to mention that I hadn’t picked up on at all.  Then yesterday Amanda messaged me, mentioning that someone had sent a comment in regarding my thoughts on the video.  I figured it would likely be someone disagreeing with my assessments, but instead it was someone willing to discuss what it all meant!  I love that!!  What I really craved and needed was someone willing to put themselves out there – just who was that blonde in the video supposed to be?  Cathy? Sassy?  The anonymous poster felt that she was indeed Cathy, not Sassy as I’d surmised…and later even gave a few possible scenarios for why she might really be Cathy, ending with the reality: we will probably never know for sure.  The point is while there is no way to really know whether we were way off or dead on, it was fun talking about the possibilities.  I wish that every day could be that easy.  I took absolutely no offense to reading someone else’s thoughts, and I am fairly certain that the poster didn’t mind my questions in return.  It is the way fandom really should work, but sometimes we all fall short.

My purpose with this post is to reach out to fellow fans. If you have something to add to what we’re blogging about, I really hope you do take the time to comment and begin a constructive discussion with us, even if it’s just by reaching out on Facebook or Twitter.  We are always happy to talk Duran…or TV Mania!

-R

The video for Euphoria (TV Mania) – The Daily Duranie Review

We have given everyone a few days so that they could go and catch a glimpse of the new video before we decided to tackle it in a review…we hope you’re ready!

Rhonda’s view:

The trouble with video – at least the trouble that I seem to have – is that they all seem to be about the same these days. There isn’t the rush to create something new or unusual. I think that at least in part that must be due to the relative lack of importance or priority that video is given these days.  As a child of the 80s, I have to admit, the thought is heartbreaking. I loved video.  I loved Duran Duran. The two go hand in hand like peanut butter and jelly. The thought that video has gone from being this obscure medium that only the very coolest bands  really did back in the very late 70s and 80s, to mainstream MTV in the mid to late 80’s…to now, where MTV has actually forgotten what their name stands for…or stood for…well, you get my point. Sure, there’s YouTube. It just isn’t the same, and I think that many bands out there really don’t know how to use YouTube properly in order to get the desired effect.  I’m just not sure. Regardless of my rambling, I wasn’t sure what to expect with Euphoria at all.

Here is the thing, the visuals are striking, so much so that even I, the cynical one, took notice. I adore the Marilyn-esque way that Miss Mosh takes up the main character. There’s nothing blasé about the colors: vivid red, black, white..even some yellow and blue in parts. It is visually stunning. There are even some very, very familiar things that no one but the most aware fans would notice. I saw imagery reminiscent of Too Much Information and Come Undone, for example. I did chuckle at the slightly crazed, demonic grin Nick gives from behind his slumber-mask, and of course I recognized Warren both with his guitar and in a hooded sweatshirt throughout the video. No fans should be disappointed, rest assured.

The storyline is also worthy of mention here, as it is carried out in this video. Miss Mosh plays the part of who I think MUST be Sassy (and if there is some question – there is a scene early on in the video where she is pictured just as on the cover design of the album.), and she is quite liberal with her usage of whatever drug she needs in order to feel that euphoria.  Aren’t we all. (My drug just happens to be in the form of a band with five guys…yours?) So the video and all of the visual contained within is about what that euphoria must be like.

There is so much in this project to be looked at and examined. I have read many, many comments from fellow fans who are less-than-enthused by the music…and to be fair I would have EASILY thought I would be amongst them, but what can I say? Nick and Warren have me sold. Not only did I enjoy the video, I find myself wondering what they would do with videos for “What about God” or my current favorite on the album, “Paramount”…or even perhaps the more obvious (but is it really?) “Beautiful Clothes”. I find myself curious about the story of this family – and admittedly, I recognize at least part of my OWN family’s story in what they are trying to convey. Like I said – I think we’ve all got a drug to keep us going.  Mine is just a little more exciting than Prozac these days.  (And I’m not at all bored!)

Well played Nick and Warren, well played.

Amanda’s thoughts:

I’m not sure where to start with this one.  We have been doing videos for the question of the day lately and I always wonder what makes people decide one video or the other.  Is that a particular band member looks better in one than the other?  Is that they can’t separate which song they like better?  Is it that one is more enjoyable than the other?  Maybe, it is that one is more creative or clever than the other?  Whatever it is, I knew that I couldn’t think about this video in the same way.  As I watched it, I was sad that Rhonda and I weren’t together to see it or even to discuss it as it felt way more like a piece in a contemporary art museum than an ordinary video.  You see it is very common for Rhonda and I to spend time in contemporary art museums whenever we are together or on tour.  Yes, it is also common for us to discuss the pieces and what they might mean.  I think the same could be said for this video.  The dialogue surrounding it could be endless.

As soon as I start watching the video, I am bombarded with influences or other things that the video reminds me of.  Of course, I could mention the ones that Rhonda did and she isn’t wrong with Too Much Information and Come Undone.  The focus on the female and clothing like her stockings certainly reminded me of The Chauffeur.  Yet, I also saw similarities to the Unstaged production that David Lynch directed, particularly with the smoke and the image of the tiny plane pointing downwards in the beginning of the clip.  It also reminded me of Dirty Great Monster performed live on Broadway.  I know that I will never forget that.  For that song, screens were lowered with the band in between.  On the screens, various colors were projected in an amazing, visually stunning way.  The colors were constantly changing and yet, the band continued to be shrouded somewhat by them.  It was a fantastic way to showcase that song and one that I’m forever bummed that I never had the chance to see it live more than once.  I remember my friend, who went with me and isn’t a Duranie, muttering, “wow” over and over after it was done.  Clearly, we were both in awe.  Obviously, the projections over Miss Mosh reminded me of that as did the changing colors of the smoke.  Did those projections over her expose her or hide her or both at the same time?  The other thing I thought about while watching the video was of Cindy Sherman’s art work.  Her work is so hyper realistic of people in modern surroundings with vivid colors that I couldn’t help but to think of her work when Miss Mosh is standing by the pool, still, wearing bright red.  I love that the video make me think of all of these other artistic pieces!

Beyond the connections to other elements, I was fascinated by the main character and what she represents in modern day life.  Obviously, she is taking a lot of drugs to get that sense of “euphoria”.  Is that what we all need?  Is that we think we all need?  What about the fact that she is in tight clothing?  (Yes, I know that she is a fetish model outside of this video.)  What does her clothing represent?  Does it represent that we are all restricted in some way but don’t know it or don’t care?  Then, of course, there are the words that flash across the screen, at times.  Here are the ones I caught:  “I am Euphoria”, “so much to see”, “watch it”, and “you 444 eee aah”.  I understood the first three but what about the last one?  No clue.  Yet, I like the idea that I might have to try and figure it out.  Obviously, the “so much to see” and “watch it” combined with even the logo of TV Mania with the bar code could show how much advertising is part of our lives and how we have to buy things to experience that “euphoria”.  Heck, even drugs are advertised on TV.

As you can tell, I definitely enjoy analyzing a video like this.  There is “so much to see” that I think more and more could be picked out each and every time that you watch it.  Is this a video like Hungry Like the Wolf with an obvious, don’t-need-to-think-much storyline?  Nope.  It isn’t.  I can appreciate both for different reasons.  I can appreciate this one for its artistic merits and that one for the fun aspect of it.  Both can and do have a place.  The one thing that I question about this video is adding Nick and Warren to it.  While they aren’t on screen much, I wish that they had left it just a purely artistic piece.  The fact that they are there takes a little bit of that away.  Every shot of either one of them I am reminded that it is a music video.  I wanted more pure art, I guess.  Overall, though, the video is fascinating.  I would love to see what they would do with other songs on the album.  I bet they would be equally, if not more, interesting and artistic.

Euphoria

I have been up since 4am, and not by choice.  Without completely incriminating a member of my family, all I can say is that it is a sincere joy to be the mom to a four year old. Right about now I am feeling what must be a very close opposite to euphoria.

However…and this is a big “however”… I love a day when a new video is sprung upon us!  (See what I did there?)  Today was the big debut for TV Mania’s “Euphoria” video.  I love video. It really is a very much underrated and misused form of art/media.  Underrated because of course at one time we had an entire television channel dedicated to such things and now it’s gone by way of pregnant sixteen year olds and other such pop trash. (Wow this is really going nowhere today…I almost hang my head in shame, but it is just too easy!!)  Misused because, well…have you seen some of the videos that are out today?  Where is the creativity?  The pride in workmanship?  Originality?!?  I like the videos that force you out of your comfort zone, make you think a little, but are pleasing to the eye.

It is out there. You just have to find it.  Luckily for you, I did the hard work and have it here for your viewing pleasure.

I need to let you decide if Euphoria fits that bill for you, but I will say this – there is much in this video that Duran Duran fans should find VERY familiar, and I’m not just talking about Nick Rhodes with his nearly demonic and slightly crazy grin, or Warren Cuccurullo with his double necked guitar.  Parts of the video remind me ever so slightly of the imagery used in Too Much Information, but there are parts that are even slightly reminiscent of Come Undone. Not that the video is recycling some of the best imagery of Duran Duran, my point is that the video should feel familiar…and it does.

Naturally, I won’t give a full-review until my counterpart has the opportunity to watch…but any day where I can say I’ve seen new work from a member of Duran Duran is a good day, even if it began for me at 4am.

-R

We Covered All the Angles

Fandom is funny.  Duranland is funny.  I don’t mean funny in a laugh out loud sort of funny but in an interesting, thought-provoking kind of way.  This week, it seems to me that the Duran universe has been truly scattered.  What do I mean by this?  I mean that the fans aren’t all focused on just one thing.  In fact, I would say that there are many different focal points with various people focused on them.  At least, this is how it feels, seems to me.  So, what are different groups thinking about?  Some are definitely into TV Mania.  Others are still talking about Simon’s facial hair of choice these days.  John Taylor’s lack of tweeting occupies others’ thoughts.  A couple of people might be thinking about the fact that the band is back in the studio.  There are a few of us who are thinking about the convention coming up in October.  For some fans, none of these matter.  Instead, they are thinking about Depeche Mode’s new album or another favorite artist.  Am I the only one seeing it like this?  If this does seem to be the case, does it happen during all downtimes?  Why are some people into one thing and others into something different?

I am willing to bet that this is a problem that is only really found during the times that Duran isn’t promoting an album or isn’t touring.  I think back to August when Nick was sick and shows had to be canceled.  This news was the ONLY thing people were thinking about and talking about in the fandom, from what I could tell.  Likewise, when All You Need Is Now came out, people were talking about the album, the songs they liked, the songs they loved, the songs they could have done without.  We don’t have albums or tours to center our discussions around right now.  Those people who are into TV Mania are probably arguing with me right now.  They are probably saying to themselves, “What is Amanda thinking?  Don’t we have TV Mania to talk about?”  The simple answer is yes.  We do.  That said, I have seen plenty of people say that they aren’t going to buy it and don’t care.  What is their reasoning, from what I could tell?  Some have listened to the samples and don’t like it enough to buy it.  Others, frankly, are not fond of Warren and don’t want to be reminded of him.  It also seems to me that those people who are really into it are Nick fans (meaning that Nick is their favorite member) or fans who loved the era of Duran when Warren was in the band.  For those fans, I’m sure that they are reminded of a time when they loved the music and line-up.  Maybe, it even reminds them of good times that they personally had.  I can’t knock that even if I can’t relate.  Heck, part of me wishes that I was that excited by the project. 

Simon’s current look is getting attention in some areas even though we have now seen the mustache for awhile.  Who might be into that topic?  This might be a big deal to Simon fans.  Of course, for every fan who is talking about his look, there is another fan who wishes that the fans would just talk about the music or would shut up about the band members’ looks.  Again, I really can’t fault either side.  If John grew a mustache, I bet be talking about that, too.  Yet, I get why people get annoyed with those who only talk about the band looks.

What about John Taylor and twitter?  Rhonda mentioned this one yesterday.  She talked briefly about how the band’s presence on social networking sites has to do with marketing, but that she misses their presence, nonetheless, and wished that real rapport had been established.  As I read that and people’s reactions to that blog post as well to other blogs on here about this issue, I realized how much this issue matters to people.  For some, this is a huge deal.  It is their fandom’s focus.  Like the TV Mania fans or the Simon’s mustache fans or anti-fans, I can understand their focus even if I don’t get it.  I don’t really miss the band on Twitter.  Why is that?  It is much the same reason that I haven’t been jumping up and down with excitement to TV Mania.  It doesn’t feel like my thing.  I never had any interaction with any of them on Twitter.  Ever.  Part of this was because my schedule didn’t allow it and part of it is because I wouldn’t tweet much to them for a variety of reasons.  Do I feel jealous of people who did have interactions?  I’m sure there is a part of me that is, to some extent.  I’m only human and I’m a fan just like everyone else.  What fan wouldn’t want interaction?  More than that, I just felt left out, which, in my opinion, is worse.  I didn’t feel like I was a part of the fandom as it seemed that everyone was tweeting them and getting responses from them.  While I was always excited for them, it always felt like hearing about the party and not being at the party.  So, part of me is relieved that I don’t have to feel that right now.  That said, I wish that my friends and other fans who did have those good times with the band could have it again.  I saw how happy they all were when they did get a response from them. 

Maybe, for some of these fans, they are frustrated by what they perceive as lack of appreciation.  This frustration might lead some to seek other bands.  Others might also go for other bands to fill in the time.  Heck, even Rhonda and I are thinking about going to see Depeche Mode.  Yet, Depeche isn’t where I’m focused.  I’m focusing on planning the convention.  Why?  Some of the reasons are obvious, including that I know how amazing conventions can be and that I want a place for all of us to be able to celebrate our fandom.  An additional reason, though, absolutely has to do with my desire to belong.  I don’t feel like I belong to those TV Mania fans as I wasn’t really into Duran much during the Warren era for a variety of reasons.  Simon isn’t my favorite so that mustache-gate doesn’t work for me.  The band members’ lack of social networking time isn’t my thing for the reasons mentioned above.  While I could turn to another band, logically, emotionally, I can’t.  My loyalty is with Duran and with Duranies.  The convention is my chance to feel like a part of this fandom.  I also feel like the convention could be an event, a time, a setting in which all fans, no matter their personal perspectives can come together to celebrate being a Duran Duran fan.  After all, no matter the focus, the perspective, we are all Duranies, right?  We all the love them and, in the end, that’s all that really matters.

-A

Bored with comparisons…AND the internet!

I think I’m missing something in the translation somewhere (and it’s probably that I completely misread!) because I could have sworn that today is March 11. I should be able to download TV Mania’s “Bored with Prozac and the Internet?”…yes?  I woke up knowing that I would need to download this and give it a listen – but some of the best laid plans never work out, including this one. I have been denied.  iTunes says it’s a pre-order, so I must wait.  Disappointing, but not world-ending.

However, this makes what I’m about to comment on that much more difficult. I’ve listened to the snippets of the album that are available, and yes – I’m curious about the complete album. I look forward to listening to it, as do many others.  Obviously, I’m not expecting to hear Duran Duran. I’m also not expecting to have my mind blown, either.  It is my belief that the most groundbreaking elements of this album will have nothing to do with the sounds coming out of the speakers – and maybe I am alone in that regard, but it is where I stand.  Firmly.

I did take notice yesterday when someone asked why Duran couldn’t ever be that interesting. (in reference to TV Mania)  If you’re on Twitter, you might have seen that question yourself.   Isn’t that sort of like comparing apples and oranges??  I love fruit in general, but I have my favorites – and I can’t really compare the flavor, texture, composition or juiciness of a mango with that of a blackberry.  Sure, they are both fruit, and they both have a certain amount of sweetness, tang and juice – but they are completely different otherwise.  I’ve been a musician for a very long time, and even I recognize that what I might not find terribly interesting or even “worthy”, others relish.

What does “interesting” really mean, anyway?  I know plenty of people who find this sort of electronica terribly boring and way too predictable. The samples and loops might not necessarily draw people in the way a band might.  Different people appreciate different types of music – and that doesn’t mean that one is by far better than all others.  I love classical music.  I can sit and listen to the same piece for hours and still hear new things with each listen, and to me – that is wonderfully interesting.  Is it more interesting to me though than say, “Before the Rain”?  No.  It’s totally different!  I have listened to “Before the Rain” for YEARS now and yet I still hear different things every single time it is played.  I listen with a different ear, and depending upon my mood – I feel different every time I listen as well.  Is one “better” than the other?  Let me put it this way: if you’ve read a brilliant review of a specific Rap album but yet you can’t stand Rap – it isn’t going to make much difference if the reviewer has said it is the best Rap album ever made, is it?  Interest only counts if you are, well, interested!

To try and somehow attract Duran fans to buy the album by downplaying the talent and writing of their favorite band seems a little…well…not-terribly-well thought out, no matter the intention. Pitting DD fans against TV Music is a bad plan, overall. Equally, I don’t think feigning ignorance over the chasm that certain guitar players have created within the fan base is exactly brilliant either.  It doesn’t take long to see that to this very day, there are some very deep seated feelings about the various guitar personnel that have taken the stage with the band.  Saying that one is better than the others or “more creative” is just trying to add fuel to a fire that should have died out long ago, no matter who you might name as personal favorite.  This is a completely different project with a completely different outcome that it has earned all on its own.

These two projects: Duran Duran and TV Mania, are incredibly different. It is perfectly OK to love both for exactly what they bring to the turntable. I am sure that there will be elements heard that are recognizable – and I’m excited to spend time listening. I think the album is bound to be fantastic, and very different from Duran Duran, which I applaud.  Pop, electronica, rock, blues – they are all fabulously different genres of music, and in spite of that, I think we can all find the “interest” within all of them without unnecessary judgment.

-R

What’s In the Future? (TV Mania)

I think it’s time for a little TV Media update, don’t you?  It has been quite some time since I last mentioned the genius tweets coming from “some unknown entity” behind the Twitter name @TVManiaMusic, or how much I admire the entire basis for the album.  I haven’t even heard the album in its entirety yet, and yet I find myself very much intrigued.

I know how Duran Duran fans can be – many aren’t interested in listening to other incarnations – if its not Duran Duran as they know it, forget it.  There are times when I can be just as judgmental so I won’t point fingers, but I recognize the attitude well. I think that in this case, I’m very curious about what Nick and Warren came up with, and yet when the project was first announced, I won’t lie – I’m fairly certain I rolled my eyes in response.  I suppose part of me felt that this project needed to be kept in the past, and even as Nick would say from time to time that they were going to release it, part of me thought it would never see the light of day. Durantime, right?

Truthfully, I don’t think I became “interested” until I saw that someone was posting from Twitter on @TVManiaMusic.  Now, I wasn’t too terribly concerned with whom was posting as much as I saw each tweet as a bit of a clue to something much larger.  I liked trying to connect the dots or see the meaning behind what I know a lot of people felt was pure madness.  Sure, some of what was posted was crazy and downright weird – but that only made me more curious!!  I was worried that once I heard the music I’d be turned off – I figured that anything Nick and Warren could work on together would be way too “out there” for my tastes (Which are far more down and dirty rock with plenty of guitar, drums, bass, etc.), so I almost didn’t want to hear music until the album came out.

I have really enjoyed seeing the photos, websites and other things that Nick or Warren…or someone has tweeted.  I love art, and I’ll admit – the stranger the art the better.  I love trying to decipher the story, which is why “Bored with Prozac and the Internet?” has been so fun for me personally – and once again I say, I haven’t even really heard the music yet!  I must have been craving a full immersion art/music project like this, and believe me – I am wishing that I had the funds and time available for a trip to London right now so that I could see Bei Incubi, a photo exhibition by Nick Rhodes that will be at The Vinyl Factory Chelsea from March 8 through April 6.  It is one of those times when I do wish traveling were easier for me, and I envy the UK folks that are able to attend.

Edited midday Thursday (CA time) to include a youtube link to a sneak peak of Bei Incubi, filmed by Mark Tinley!

The other day, I decided to take another look at the TV Mania website to see if it had been completed, and to my delight – it has been finished.  As I was looking around, I noticed a few things that I really want to share.  To begin with, if you have not taken the time to read the “Info” page – you really should.  Not only is the background history of the project explained, but just below, Nick gives a fabulous synopsis of the album storyline, with incredible detail.  As I tweeted to Nick yesterday – if the whole “Duran Duran” thing doesn’t work out, I think he has the beginnings to a great work of fiction here!

Something like this might be somewhat foreign to many Duran Duran fans since I really don’t believe that there has been an album project quite like this one – complete with a full storyline – in the band’s catalog. Some of the most influential albums in the history of music have been huge concept albums similar (yet not nearly as broadly carried out) to “Bored with Prozac and the Internet?”  The fact that the storyline and concept has been carried on through the music, the artwork on the album as well as the art that Nick has created to work in tandem with the album, and even on to social media is not lost on me. There is a place in history to be owned by TV Mania Music for being the first to carry a concept across so many dimensions of media.  Mark my words, without even hearing the entire album I would be surprised if someday there isn’t a space in rock (modern) music history books discussing this project.

Which leads me to the music, of course.  It is true, this music is going to be very, very different from anything we have ever heard from Duran Duran. We are going to review the album here on Daily Duranie, and I nearly shake in fear of the prospect purely because it IS so different. These aren’t necessarily songs you put on and sing along with on the radio (and if you do…I am just as curious!), and I think they have to be examined on the basis of artistic content as opposed to being held to a certain predetermined standard.  It’s just like visual art – like a modern painting – in that respect. I’m excited (and nervous!) by the challenge ahead.

Once again I realize that there are plenty of great fans out there that have no interest.  I can understand that, after all – Cubist or Modern or Dada (artwork) isn’t for everyone.  That said, generally speaking it is my belief that broadening horizons every once in a while is good for the soul – even if you don’t love what you hear or see, one can certainly appreciate the groundbreaking concept and execution.

-R

TV Mania, Side Projects and Cost

This week, despite Duran downtime, has actually been pretty busy in Duranland.  Obviously, the Wedding Album’s anniversary has been a big focus but there has also been a preorder for TV Mania.  A press release is up on dd.com, which I have linked here.  The press release describes the project but the big thing to note is that it was a side project of Nick and Warren’s in the mid-1990s that did not see the light of day until its upcoming release.  There are three ways to purchase the album.  The highest priced item is the box set, which includes:  a limited number of copies signed and numbered by Nick and Warren, box with screen printed cover illustration by Vania Zouravliov, a polaroid taken and signed by Nick, glossy photo of TV Mania, drawing of Warren’s on black PVC, booklet, white vinyl with remixes, and black labels.  The second highest priced item is the vinyl, which includes gatefold sleeve with cover by Vania and inner photo of the band, booklet, white vinyl, one remix and black labels.  The last option is to buy it on iTunes. Now, that this project is available for preorder, I started to think about a variety of topics related to it, including the fanbase’s reactions to side projects, in general, this side project, in particular, and the financial aspect connected to fandom. 

It seems to me that this fandom has a strange relationship with side projects.  Some people seem to get really into whatever side or solo project is the current one.  Others seem to ignore them.  Still, for others, it depends on where they are with their fandom.  For example, they might really be into it simply because their focus on Duran and Duran-related projects is high.  Yet, if a project happens when their interest isn’t high, then it gets basically ignored.  Now, I’m not criticizing or judging any of these reactions.  I’m just pointing out my observations.  Let me dive a bit deeper into all three groups.  Of course, there are fans who buy or get excited by anything the band or its various band members have ever done.  They buy anything and everything connected to the band.  I can understand this.  Perhaps, for these fans, if they are fans of Duran, they are fans of the individual members, too.  Thus, every project is worthy of attention.  The second group just seems to ignore the side and solo projects for the most part unless they really like the bits that they hear.  For them, these projects do not feel the same as Duran so there is no need to focus on them.  When asked about the projects, these fans would simply say that they don’t like them.  Lastly, the final group varies depending on where they personally are with the fandom.  These are the fans who might have really been into Power Station (the 1985 version) and Arcadia because they were huge fans in the early 80s but didn’t and don’t care about The Devils or Neurotic Outsiders.  There is no desire to go back and listen to them.  If these fans are paying attention now, then they might be interested in TV Mania, but wouldn’t have cared 10 years when Duran Duran was far from their minds. 

Now, of course, part of any fan’s feelings towards a side and solo project is the emotional piece as well as musical piece.  We all know that side and solo projects can either fill up extra time that a band member or two has or it can work to separate the band.  They can and have changed things.  I won’t lie here.  I am not quite in the first group of fans.  I don’t buy or get into every project in the same way.  Then again, I haven’t been into all Duran albums in the same way, either.  I do take the music and style into consideration in terms of how much I love it or am into it.  That said, I will listen to it all.  I will give it all a shot.  That said, I wasn’t super excited about TV Mania.  On a musical level, I was not a fan of a lot of what Nick and Warren came up with during Medazzaland and Pop Trash with Duran.  I also don’t want anything to rock the boat.  I like where Duran is NOW.  I don’t want to go back to 1993, 1995 or 1998.  I don’t.  I understand that there are probably plenty of other fans who preferred those eras to this one.  I get that.  I will say, though, that while I will attempt to have an open mind when I listen to this album (and I did preorder it, by the way), I know that I already have feelings about it.

No matter one’s level of excitement about this side project, one must acknowledge that to hear this project, money is needed.  On one end of the spectrum is the iTunes version and on the other end is the box set.  My understanding is that there are not a lot of the limited numbered box sets left.  This means two things to me.  First, it means that there are a lot of fans who are excited by this project.  Second, it means that they are willing and able to spend a significant (in my opinion) amount of money for it.  Again, I have no judgement here.  It just weighs on my mind as the convention committee has spent a great deal of time and energy lately thinking about costs and what people are willing and able to spend for what.  I don’t have any grand conclusions here other than to say that this does make me wonder.  Are there fans who will and can buy everything?  Are there fans who can’t or won’t buy much, if at all?  What factors go into the decisions to buy for all the fans in between?

One thing is certain.  All side and solo projects in Duranland bring up issues, questions, and discussion points within in our fandom.  It should be an interesting ride from here.

-A

Pixelated Lives

Just when I was pondering what to blog about today, an interview pops up!  This time, it is an interview with Nick featured on the Huffington Post and can be found here.  This is a rather lengthy article in which Nick talks about a variety of topics with many surrounding the upcoming release of TV Mania.  Overall, I enjoyed the article and loved all the different topics that were asked.  I was pleasantly surprised that the questions seemed more intellectual and thought provoking than what a member of Duran usually gets.  While I encourage all of you to read the article, I did want to comment on parts of the interview.

The article discusses how the TV Mania album really represents modern life even though it was recorded in the mid-90s.  The topics of prescription drug use and the internet are still very prevalent in today’s society and might even be more so than was the case almost 20 years ago.  This, of course, fascinates me.  After all, one of the questions many of us have had about the project is will it sound outdated.  This article says the opposite.  That certainly might be the case.  If so, I definitely give Nick and Warren credit for having a clue about which elements of culture would live on and even grew stronger.  That cannot be an easy thing to figure out.  For example, I’m sure that there might have been many songs written about MySpace when it was in its heyday as most people then did not think that any social networking site could overtake it.  Yet, a song about that would seem totally outdated now.  I think it is very dangerous to focus in on something so current.  The topics might seem to be the best thing to talk about do not always last and quickly get to be old news.  Perhaps, one way to not fall into this trap is to surround the current subject of interest around a larger, more universal concept.  It seemed to work with the discussion on New Romantics in Planet Earth, for example.  No one hears that song and thinks, “They talked about a very short-lived musical/fashion era.”  Anyway, Nick referred to the TV Mania album as a “bizarre time capsule”.  It sounds like that truly might be the best description I have heard yet.

Of course, Nick discussed how the project was originally designed to be a musical on Broadway with virtual reality sets.  (By the way, virtual reality is one fad that never seemed to catch on and would seem outdated today.)  This, obviously, didn’t happen but what a concept.  To me, this reminded me that Duran really wasn’t just a band in the usual play music sense.  They always were into the visuals right from the start, including when John had a slideshow of his geography field trip during an early gig.  They are a band that has been and continues to be influenced by art, photography, theater, film, fashion and more.  Part of me definitely wishes that the concept had come to life because it would have been a fascinating show, especially with the plot being scientists performing some sort of study on pharmaceuticals, reality TV and the internet.  Again, those topics remain completely relevant.  Technology has definitely changed our daily lives as this points out.  It has also changed songwriting and music.

One quote of Nick’s that really caught my attention was this one:  “I think the quality of songwriting is what we miss through the convenience of technology.”  This quote came in the same paragraph in which Nick discusses how quickly a song can be written, produced and ready for airplay these days.  His point is that these quickly made songs aren’t inventing anything new and don’t necessarily stand up to time.  While my gut says that Nick is right, I also recognize that I am biased.  I’m not a child of this era.  I grew up in a different time when popular music was written and recorded in a different fashion.  It is possible that I’m just assuming that what is different is bad.  I guess we will all know in 20 years time or so.  

Another part that caught my attention was when Nick commented about how their audiences don’t seem as engaged during their shows anymore due to being concerned about filming it.  Rhonda and I have talked about that very thing on this blog.  One of our favorite shows was one that we actually forgot the cameras in the car.  Was that because our only focus was the show?  Truly, that might be the case.  I know that I don’t take nearly as many pictures as I used to and that my general rule is to take them during specific songs that I don’t want/need to be as focused (coughComeUndonecough) or at moments that I know that I want to capture something specific (usually some crazed new dance move of LeBon’s).  It is interesting that the band, or at least Nick, has noticed a shift in the audience, though.  Does it affect their performance, I wonder?

The last part that caught my attention was the discussion about how anyone can really make an album and release it as opposed to how it was before in which bands/artists had to proof their worth to get an album made.  According to Nick, this makes it more difficult to truly tell the great ones.  I suppose that is true.  It also made me think about John’s comments on the Katy Kafe about how they would like to look for a label for their upcoming album.  Is this part of the mindset?  That it is a way to show that they are greater than the majority of artists out there?  I don’t know. 

While I have commented on quite a bit from this interview, there was a lot more to it.  There were questions about sports, MTV, Duran’s upcoming album and more that I didn’t even mention.  Truly, the interview definitely should be read as it is a solid interview with thought-provoking questions and answers.  I give the interviewer credit.  In general, the questions were well-thought out and not like the usual ones that Duran gets.  There was a maturity and a level of respect that I don’t often see.  I know that I appreciated it.

-A

I dream of ostriches and chariots…

The mystery continues…

I cannot help but comment once again on @TVManiaMusic – and if you’re not following them on Twitter, you really should. As I mentioned yesterday, the tweets are mildly chilling at times, probably over the fence in freakyland, but amusing all the same. The fact is, they get you thinking, even if you’re not into seeing broccoli shaped as a purse, or an eyeball looking at you on someone else’s blog.  
I tend to be curious about the actual content of what is being tweeted – I want to know why I am looking at a lady riding an ostrich-pulled chariot, for instance; or what is significant about a voice-activated tape recorder (although one of those saved my behind in college, and I don’t mind dating myself to say that!!)  Though I suspect that it isn’t the tweets as a whole that should be considered, but rather that each tweet is independent of one another…kind of in the same respect as what would happen if you changed channels on your TV.  (TV Mania…get it?!?) These tweets are sort of like sound bytes.  If they had sound…. 
Others are obsessed with trying to discern who is tweeting.  Is it Nick?  Is it Warren?  Is it Katy?  (I said that if Nick was emailing all of this to Katy who then in turn tweeted – she wasn’t being paid enough. I stand by that assessment.)  My Twitterfeed was all abuzz last night with friends discussing the possibilities, as well as the freak-factor, and I too wondered just who could be responsible. Yesterday there seemed to be a preponderance of tweets with subtle messages regarding art, fashion and even pop culture…but there were also at least a couple with regard to every housewife’s favorite drug – Prozac. (Hey, I hear that’s the case. Personally I wouldn’t touch the stuff, but those are my own control issues at work and I make no judgements otherwise.) I’m still slightly obsessed with the idea of an ostrich pulling me around on a chariot though.  I think I’d prefer a male peacock.  More showy…  I still haven’t solved the puzzle of whom is tweeting, but I have come up with a question of my own.
Does it really matter?
As I mentioned to some friends last night, I don’t think the point of @TVManiaMusic is to chat with followers.  Maybe that will change (I’m doubtful), but I think the point is exactly what it is doing – it’s getting us talking about it, and thinking.  While I think it’s natural to be curious of who might be working behind the scenes, the goal of the twitter isn’t necessarily to communicate on that sort of level with fans. It is to get the fans talking to one another. It’s to market the cause. The more we talk, the more we mention the name, the more our own friends and followers get curious, follow and so on. It’s funny because while I do think the band has gotten closer to the fans as a result of Twitter, I am not so sure it’s an effective marketing tool in so far as sales. Think about that.  How many of us who are following them right now (@DuranDuran, @ThisistherealJT, @SimonJCLeBon, @DomBrownMusic) would NOT have bothered buying All You Need is Now if it hadn’t been for Twitter?  I would argue that number to be very, very few – if any.  However, @TVManiaMusic seems to be utilizing the media much differently, and while right now their follower number is low (if you are reading this right now and are already on Twitter – follow them – and if not, go grab yourself an account and get following!), those who are following are curious.  Curiosity might actually lead to sales.  
I still hope, as do the rest of you who are obsessed with broccoli purses, eyeballs and ostrich-driven chariots, that Nick or Warren will make themselves known…but until then, I look forward to being baffled yet again, and in case you were wondering, I’m very curious about that album now!
-R

Fingers in my brain

Are you on Twitter yet?  If not, there’s still time…

A few days back, I noticed, thanks to Duran Duran’s Facebook, that TV Mania has it’s own Twitter. I won’t lie, I was curious. First of all, who would be tweeting and would I be able to tell? Secondly, what would they say?? Thirdly, I really kind of wondered if they’d use the account of all. Let’s face it, there are plenty of celebs out there that have Twitter accounts and never use them. So, I did what any other curious fan might have done – I followed @TVManiaMusic and heard nothing. At some point over the weekend, I wrote it off – figuring that someone on the “Social Media” team from the band set up the account, but that neither Nick nor Warren would ever tweet. Then I promptly forgot about the whole thing.

Well, yesterday late afternoon my time, I was on Twitter and noticed a few tweets in my timeline from @TVMusicMania. Surprise!! Let me share them with you…and more than a few came with their own photos to illustrate.

Is it possible that she’s been dreaming all this time? Heaven forbid that she ever comes down, for her fall will be all too sudden.


Wide eyed and restless, Sassy was in no mood to settle down.
















I found this in your purse.













They promised to keep all information entirely confidential.





















He would’ve been 32 this year. 




Job 17:14 “I have said to corruption, You are my father: to the worm, You are my mother, and my sister”















And finally….with bravado…
DESPAIR ONLY FOR AN HOUR A WEEK.


First of all, I want to know how they got hold of that first photo, clearly from in the middle of the night when my youngest snuck into my room. Back when she was about two, she developed this habit of sneaking into our room in the middle of the night. I would stir and there’d she’d be – staring at me. Scary.

Truthfully though, some of the tweets are very much on the other side of creepy. The “dark side”!  …“I found this in your purse.” I actually had to fight the urge to run to check!  ….”He would have been 32 this year.” And then there’s a blurred photo. No, that’s not creepy at all.  

If I have nightmares, I’m blaming Nick and Warren. Anyone else?

So I have to ask, dear readers – what does it all mean? Nothing? Something? And I forgot to mention that somewhere in the midst of the sudden burst of tweets last night, a very cryptic-but-not-really-so-cryptic map was shared. Not a single word added…just a tweet of a link to a map. Of Queens…because that’s not going to get speculation going at all, right?

I must admit, it’s all a little intriguing. (and creepy. Have I mentioned that?)  What’s even worse is that I keep going back to check for more! I have to applaud them for two things: getting my attention; and making me think. I like that. It’s been a long time since I was able to sit and overanalyze something to death, and obviously, we like that sort of thing here on Daily Duranie.  

On the other hand, I never thought I’d actually tweet Warren.  

-R