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Lessons We Have Learned (On Our FIFTH Birthday!)

It is that time of year again, and we can hardly believe it! This year is kind of a landmark for us because as we type, Daily Duranie has hit the five year mark. FIVE YEARS!! Where does the time go? How on earth did we really find that much to write about?!? (we have no idea…)

While we want to shout from the rooftops and celebrate exuberantly, we also find ourselves just the tiniest bit reflective. During this past five years, we have learned a lot. We’ve learned about the band, music industry, fandom, and most importantly,  about ourselves and each other. Since today is a special day, we’ve decided to share some of what we’ve learned (so far) along our way.

Knowing when it is time to take a break

We are hard workers. Some might even say we’re a little obsessed or OCD (both are true). We don’t take often take breaks, and we don’t cut ourselves much slack. The blog is titled “Daily”, and it took us quite a while to understand that even so, if the blog doesn’t get written…the world will not end. Sometimes, we need a break. So this past year, we took one.  It will not be our last.

Sometimes, wording matters

One of us is incredibly blunt and quick to react, and the other is carefully measured. One might think that between the two of us, we’d get it right. We try. Sometimes though, whether out of haste, impatience or downright annoyance, we miss. Sometimes we forget to soften our words or forget that not everyone else on planet earth (!) can see inside our heads. We can’t promise it’ll never happen again, but we try.

We must ask for the things we want

We are terrible when it comes to asking for help. Well, we’re actually terrible about asking for anything, actually. Time and time again we will run into fellow fans, etc. and they’ll tell us that we just have to ASK if we want something. (In that case, we have a list…) Both of us have a bit of a fear of being told no, but we’re trying, and sometimes, to our complete and utter astonishment, it even works.

We know it’s going to be OK

In the beginning, we were pretty nervous. After all, when we first started this blog, we were even afraid to sign our real names or have our pictures up online with it! Even the idea of a band member, someone on their team…or even a roadie reading our blog really and truly scared the crap out of us. We really were not writing the blog for the band to read. We weren’t really even writing for fellow fans at first. We wrote for ourselves, and to a large extent, we still do. It’s only when we stop writing for ourselves and begin thinking about what others might want to read or see that we get into trouble, and that’s something else we’ve learned along the way. (Sounds familiar to the way the band writes and records, now that we think about it!)  It wasn’t very long into the blog when Rhonda wrote something about how if the band were to ever read, she didn’t even want to know about it. That was five years ago now, and at this point, we’ve both achieved a little bit of comfort. It is no longer quite as frightening to know that our words are just “out there” for all to read…and so you know, if the band ever read the blog, we’re OK with that, even if they don’t always agree. We just hope we’re a little entertaining. We certainly make each other laugh!

It’s OK to still be fans

Once we settled into the act of writing the blog, we started noticing that writing from this space sometimes required a bit more distance from being fans than we were used to occupying. Granted, this wasn’t just because of this blog – but also due to the book we were writing. Without getting too much into what we were aiming for with the book, our “fieldwork”, so to speak, required objectivity in order to be more accurate and less “emotional”. So we got into the habit of examining behaviors and culture norms from that angle. The problem there of course is that once you stop being fans…it’s not all that much fun sometimes. Additionally, we wanted the blog to be taken seriously. If we fangirl over every last thing that’s ever done, it’s going to grow tiresome…and the last thing we want this blog to be is a pure sappy sweet love note to the band. That’s just not who we are or the image we want to convey.  We’ve been accused more times than we care to admit that because we don’t love every single blasted thing the band does, that we’re somehow “less” than fans. We’d like to challenge anyone who feels that way to run right out and set up your own blog – then write it DAILY for five years long with planning conventions, pre-concert meet-ups and writing a full manuscript on the subject of fan communities.  After that bar is met, we can certainly sit down and have a conversation about what qualities a “real” fan may or may not have. However, there are times when we desperately want to let that Duran Duran fan flag fly, and we’ve learned that on occasion, it’s not only appropriate – it’s FUN.  And if we’re not having fun…what is really the point?!?

We ALL like a little validation once in a while

We aren’t going to tell tales here: sometimes, we actually LIKE being noticed for our hard work. This doesn’t happen every day, every week or even every month, but there is a certain part of us that needs to know people like and appreciate our work, whether that acknowledgement comes from one another, other fans, other people in the media…or the band and management.  Don’t get us wrong, we love writing. We love this blog, and we love putting on events. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t bother, because it is a LOT of work.  We also love hearing that we’re doing a good job and that someone actually likes what we do. Those little moments are what get us through the day-to-day grind of figuring out how to maintain this blog and website along with raising a family, teaching a class, and being good and decent family members. We both love reading or hearing  that we’re on the right track, and that someone other than the two of us is laughing and having a good time! Especially notable are the comments from fans who have just found our blog, and are overjoyed to read that there are literally thousands of other people out there who still love this band.

Interviews are a lot of work

It never occurred to us that there are two sides to an interview: the part where you meet or communicate with whomever you are interviewing, and the part where you’re sitting down and transcribing that interview…and then writing it up. We ALL say we want to meet the band, and we ALL say we want to ask them questions, but we’re also pretty sure no one thinks about the research that goes into asking the right questions, or the fact that for every minute or two you’re interviewing – you’re also signing yourself up for about 20 minutes of transcription time.  All of that aside, Rhonda says she would be happy to interview Dom Brown again any time!  🙂

It’s OK if our opinions are different from everyone else

This is an especially timely and poignant headline for a week when Duran Duran has just released their 14th studio album. While there are plenty of fans out there that have left testimony saying that this is the best album the band has done, there are just as many fans who are less-than-thrilled. We find ourselves in the precarious position of having to be head cheerleaders AND camp counselors. We love the album, but we also know what it is like to feel as though you’re the only one who doesn’t. This isn’t a particularly forgiving fan community to voice one’s dissenting opinion, we admit. The reality is, it’s OK not to love everything the band has ever done. It’s also OK if readers don’t agree with everything we’ve written. However, we pretty much insist that a reader has actually READ the blog before choosing to take issue. So if you find yourself reading a headline and deciding that it’s time to leave us a nastygram on Facebook or Twitter or even here on the blog, don’t be surprised when we thank you kindly for taking the time and giving us the respect of actually reading our work before deciding to disagree. It’s really that simple. We don’t care if readers’ opinions are different from ours, and we really don’t mind if anyone shares their opinion. Thoughtful comments are always welcome.

Balance is important

Fun matters. Maybe some days we just want to laugh and squee over pictures of DoJo one day, or another time we post a video of Simon’s infamous dance moves (we do miss his chicken dance from Skin Trade or his infamous karate chops).  Fun is important, which is why we’re throwing ourselves our own birthday party!  Expect more fun this next year!!

Lastly, and most importantly for many reasons – the band can’t retire yet!

We mean it. We’re just getting into our groove now, and we see fantastic things ahead. Retirement? NO WAY!  There’s no quitting yet…do you hear us, Duran Duran?  We’re in this for the long haul, people!

 

SO….

Here we are, at the beginning of a brand new year of Daily Duranie. I (Rhonda) am not really sure what made me choose September 13th 2010 as the day to begin this blog, but I am glad I did. While I wrote the first post, Amanda had to agree to this insane venture otherwise I would have never even taken those first steps while she was at work on that fateful day. I remember shakily typing -R at the end of my first writing, not really sure what I had just done. Then I literally shut my laptop and didn’t look at it again until the following day. That was back during the time when I gave myself 30 minutes each day to write the blog. HA. It’s more like a half-day gig now, and some days, even longer. It’s been a wild, crazy ride so far, to say the least. With a brand new album and tour just ahead, I have no doubt that we will have a good many more stories and tales to tell ahead. Thank you for sticking with us, for supporting our efforts, and for just being good people. Huge hugs and thank you’s also go to our muses – Simon, John, Nick, Roger and Dom – without your work, the blog would never have been started. Even bigger hugs go to Katy Krassner and the rest of DDHQ, because we appreciate your help, the occasional retweet, and all of the shared information.

It takes a village to support a band. We are incredibly lucky to be a part of such a wonderful one.  🙂

-A & R

Steppin’ Out with Paper Gods

In preparation for tomorrow’s release of Paper Gods, we decided to offer our own quick “shot” in summation for each song.  Rest assured that at some point not far in the future, we will write full Daily Duranie song reviews with cocktail ratings to match, but until then, enjoy our Daily Duranie “Happy Hour”, and have some shots on us!

Paper Gods

Rhonda:

I tried to prepare myself for what Paper Gods could possibly sound like, and even then – I couldn’t have been farther off. I’m still stumbling over myself to try to fully absorb this song, but one thing is sure: these lyrics have the depth and emotion I’ve been craving. 

Amanda:

This song is one of three songs that we did a video review for when it first was made available.  My thoughts about it haven’t really changed.  I appreciate that this song is like the anti-single, the anti-radio focused track as it doesn’t follow much when it comes to standard radio friendly tracks.  It is long, has frequent changes and just seems unpredictable.  I like all that and I like that they just embraced the art, for art sake on this one, and added a social commentary on top of that.

Last Night in the City

Rhonda:

If there were ever a party song…or a to fully describe a road trip with Amanda & Rhonda…this is it. I know plenty of people have a love/hate relationship with EDM, and I’ve got to be honest…I just don’t care. It took me more than one listen to get into this song, but once I finally stopped trying to cram Duran Duran into the “box” that held them in the 80’s,  I couldn’t stop myself from wiggling in my chair or bobbing my head as I listened. That’s all that matters.

Amanda:

I’ll be completely honest with this song.  When I first heard it, I told Rhonda that it reminded me of a bad, meat market type club that I would never want to go to.  It didn’t sound or feel like Duran, initially, to me.  It is very electronic and I missed the feel of organic instrumentation.  Then, at the same time, Rhonda and I realized that the lyrics describe what it is like for us when we are on tour.  It is that complete focus on having fun and connecting.  The female vocals just makes me connect to the song even more.  Now, I still think the song is very different from what I think of when I think Duran but it is super fun and has become a favorite on the album.

You Kill Me With Silence

Rhonda:

So, we did already do a video review of this song, which were our first impressions. I had difficulty with the chorus/verse changes and felt it really watered down the song. That said, I must admit this one is slowly growing on me. On one hand, it’s like Simon LeBon lives in my head and I thank him for putting my feelings into words. On the other hand, this song has just enough darkness for me to make it interesting. Who doesn’t love that Nick Rhodes solo at the end? Come on now!

Amanda:

Again, this is one of the songs that we reviewed earlier in video format.  Like Paper Gods, my feelings about it haven’t changed that much.  One change is that I might not be as critical of the chorus now that I have gotten more used to it.  That said, I’m still struggle a little. Perhaps, the subject matter is partly to blame for that.  I have a hard time really loving a song with the focus of emotional abuse in relationships. 

Pressure Off

Rhonda:

I’m always amazed by the responses out there in the fan community. To me, this is the easiest song on the album to fall in love with, and I still say this has the strongest hook I’ve heard in a Duran Duran song since the 80’s. To others, “this is like listening to Simon sing High School Musical.”   If the band wanted me to dance, this was the way to do it! The one thing that has changed for me since I first heard is that it sounds nothing like the rest of the album, and as a result it is (still) a standout! 

Amanda:

In many ways, now that I have heard the album as a whole, this song doesn’t match the feel of much of the rest.  That said, it is still a favorite.  To me, the instrumentation feels very Duran and the lyrics are just fun.  I know that some have criticized all of the “oh”s in the chorus but that even feels Duran-like (Hungry Like the Wolf, anyone??).  This is one that I’m very much looking forward to hearing live!

Face For Today

Rhonda:

Maybe I lied about Pressure Off being the easiest song to love on this album… The truth is, I really like this song too. It’s very “Duran Duran”, complete with the stacked harmonies and soaring chorus…I just wish (and this goes for the entire album) that they’d create more of a balance with their instrumentation. There, I said it. Done.

Amanda:

I enjoyed this one as soon as I heard it as it is easy to like. Right away, I found the lyrics swimming around in my head as I tried to figure out what the heck it is about. Quickly, I began to feel that this was the band giving advice and well wishes to those young and super popular bands now. This added some depth to the song.

Danceophobia

Rhonda:

The tune is slightly catchy while the lyrics are very elementary. The addition of Lindsay Lohan does absolutely nothing to add to the song particularly when it’s clear she is having difficulty not laughing while “singing” the last portion of the song after her dreadful spoken part.  On the upside, it does add something to the album that magazine editors and trash TV “celeb” news shows LOVE to dish on. Cringe-worthy at best.

Amanda:

It seems to me with many of these tracks I had strong reactions as soon as I heard them.  For some, it was an instant like and others I had to hope that the song would grow on me.  It did for Last Night in the City but…I am not as successful with this one.  I start to get passed the silly lyrics and non-Duran music then Lohan comes in.  I just don’t think her part works.  Is she supposed to be taken seriously?  Is it supposed to be funny?  Sexy?  I just don’t get it.

What Are the Chances

Rhonda:

I fell in love with this song as soon as I heard it. As I said on Twitter, there’s only ONE thing wrong with this song, and it’s that Dom Brown isn’t playing the lead guitar part. I don’t know if I’ll ever quite forgive them. That said, I’m pretty sure I’ll forget all about this small oversight should they play this live with Dom playing the part that should have been his to begin with.  PS – These lyrics? Really??? Beautifully done.

Amanda:

This isn’t my usual song to gravitate towards.  I am much more of an up tempo, rocking out sort of person.  I have gotten bored over many of the more ballad type songs in Duran’s catalog over the years.  Yet, this isn’t really that.  It does have a “bigger than normal” sort of feel like an Ordinary World has with some really great lines in the lyrics that will keep me interested for years to come.

Sunset Garage

Rhonda:

When someone is able to tell me what a Sunset Garage is, I will be much better able to talk about this song. Until then, I’m still struck by how “not” Duran Duran this song really is…and how much I enjoy it, even though I still see the Brady Bunch “Silver Platter” episode in my head as it plays. Definitely a tune for a summer night taking a drive along the coast. Gonna keep on, keep on…. (if you don’t get the reference, click here)

Amanda:

This is a song that simply had not hit me.  It isn’t one that has created strong emotion in me, either super positive or super negative.  The song has left me more puzzled than anything else.  I don’t understand the message.  I will be interested to see if this one grows on me after time.

Change the Skyline

Rhonda:

From the first sounds of the synth intro, I think it’s pretty clear this isn’t your average Duran Duran tune. I can’t help but think about how this song might have sounded with Brandon Flowers…but Jonas Bjerre does a good job. This is a song that I’m still trying to hash out and find a comfy spot, but there’s a lot going on here to like. 

Amanda:

This is the one track that got lost when listening to the album.  I’m not sure why with that chorus.  At first, I wasn’t sure about having Jonas Bjerre on this track.  Yet, his vocals and the song is starting to grow on me.  I’m starting to pay more and more attention to it, which is leading to greater appreciation.  It is one that I’m anxious to take the time to really read and digest the lyrics. 

Butterfly Girl

Rhonda:

The best part of this song for me is that Anna Ross is featured, and I love her. She brings an energy that this song was crying for, and I can hardly wait to hear them play this song live. Oh yes, the guitar. It’s good even if it’s not Dom (but he is going to blow the audience away with this live)…and there’s only one kind of happy in a glass of wine. (we all learn something from Duran Duran, don’t we?)

Amanda:

This is one of my favorite tracks on the album.  Like Last Night in the City, I love the additional female vocal (Go Anna!) and I usually don’t go for female vocals.  Musically, the song grabs me but more than that is the picture of this girl that is created.  She seems so specific and, yet, so universal.  I think many people can relate.  Goodness knows that I certainly do.  What more can you ask for?

Only In Dreams

Rhonda:

This song starts off reminding me of Before the Rain, and then very quickly turns into this gorgeous dream-like scene. Definitely a favorite of mine on the album. Simon sings like it’s a lullaby (and I really want to know who is on backup vocals…), and I love the calm that comes over me until the funk hits after the intro. Then I’m completely in it for the long haul. Vampires, limousines, reminds me of some elements of fandom…and no, I don’t want to wake up. 

Amanda:

Like the previous song, this is another favorite.  I love the opening which reminds me of Before the Rain.  Of course, it quickly changes to something else completely different.  Then, there are more changes as the song moves further along.  I love all of the changes.  Even more importantly than that, I love the lyrics.  There are so many great lines in this one and as a whole it really feels like Simon is describing fandom.  With good times in fandom, it is like being in a dream that you don’t want to wake up from!

The Universe Alone

Rhonda:

Here’s the thing: this song is pure Duran Duran genius from start to finish. It is also the darkest and deepest song on the album. I listen and get this scary sense of foreboding that makes the hair on my neck stand up and my emotions run way high every time I listen. I’d forgotten that Duran Duran can write like this – appealing to the modern sound they strive for,  with some of the deepest writing (both music and lyrics) I’ve heard them do in decades. Well done, Duran Duran, you’ve managed to make me extremely uncomfortable (as all art should!) AND love the song at the same time. Thumbs way, way, up.  

Amanda:

The first and only word that comes to mind when I hear this song is haunting.  It feels like goodbye.  I don’t know if it is the end of the world type goodbye or individuals leaving a huge chapter in their lives but it definitely feels like closure of some sort.  The first line really sets the tone about how there can be beauty within dying.  That said, it isn’t an easy song to want to listen to because it creates so many uncomfortable feelings in me.  Despite that, I adore the ending with the distortion followed by the beautiful chorus.

 

We can’t wait to read your own thoughts as you listen to the album yourselves. It took both of us some time to adjust to the new sounds and feelings, and as you can see – we’re still adjusting, but we welcome the challenge. We also congratulate the band and look forward to seeing them LIVE in the coming weeks!!

-A&R

Bonding with Paper Gods

Lately I have come to the realization that there are remarkably few songs that I fall in love with immediately….”love at first listen”, so to speak. I don’t know if it has always been that way and I’m just now noticing; or if it is that my tastes have changed, my condition more stringent, and it just takes much more to impress me.

I’ve sat back over the past couple of weeks, eyeballing Twitter and Facebook, observing comments that many fans have excitedly and/or begrudgingly posted about the new material. I’ve seen both ends of the spectrum and everything in-between, feelings ranging from disgust to euphoria. Publicly, four songs have been released with eight more to eventually arrive. We’re sixteen days away from release of Paper Gods, and the general mood amongst fans is that of anticipation, whether anxious or otherwise.

I share in that anticipation to some extent, as I wait to see what others think of the album in full. In the meantime, I’ve been listening, digesting, contemplating and coming back around for more. I can’t lie, it’s been a struggle….a term I’ve used a lot lately while discussing Paper Gods amongst friends.

Let me put it another way: for me, Paper Gods is a bit like a newborn baby. When you’re a parent, you’re given this infant and, as nature goes, parents are expected to love and care for it. That feeling is inherent as you stare down at that wiggly little bundle, but the whole experience feels foreign. It is assumed that love is immediate, but I can say that at least for myself, it was something that needed to grow over time. Those bonds aren’t quite there yet, other than what you know you’re supposed to have.

Right now, that’s exactly where I’m at with this album. There are elements I really like. Songs I actually enjoy. Then I start really listening and wondering where in the hell the bass REALLY is (I know, I know, there’s a lot of synthesized bass on the album), and why there’s not more “real” Roger…and don’t even get me started on guitar…or more precisely, who SHOULD be playing guitar. Then I start feeling like I’ve completely missed something somewhere. This is a band that likes to reinvent themselves with each album. I prepare myself, as best as I can, to keep an open mind with every single release. It’s not easy. My gut reaction with hearing “You Kill Me With Silence” simply is not the same as when I hear “Girl Panic”, for instance.  When I listen to “Pressure Off”, I start feeling those warm fuzzies and continue to look for more with other songs off of the album.  The more I listen to “What Are the Chances”, the more I fall in love with everything from lyrics to guitar. Then I remember that Dom isn’t even playing the guitar, and I feel guilty as hell…but then I remember Dom is listed as co-writer and I start to feel at least a little better. (I am begging you, Duran Duran – please play this live and let the boy play it!!!)  There are quite a few of those moments throughout the album for me.

For me, instrumentation matters. I fell in love with a five-piece band. Drums, bass, guitar, keyboards and vocalist. When I listen to their music, I want to hear those elements. I’ve seen many people compare this album to others in the past – and even Nick himself mentions Red Carpet Massacre. Amanda and I have kind of dubbed this album “RCM-lite”, because many of those elements are contained within Paper Gods, but for us it is a much more palatable album overall. It’s still Duran Duran somewhere in there…and we didn’t find that as much with RCM. John Taylor mentions in a couple of interviews lately that for him, it was about finding where to fit in (something he also said about RCM). He says that current, modern music doesn’t really have traditional bass, so he looked to using more of a synthetic bass. Roger, someone who I think is completely open to whatever has to happen and making it work, used a stick with his bass drum at some point or another on this album. There is also a ton of electronic drums and perhaps a drum machine in there somewhere. I guess for me, it comes down to the fact that the Duran Duran I know and love uses traditional instruments right alongside the synthesizers and keyboards. I don’t know if that is always made clear on this album. The mix throughout the entire album really leans heavily towards the electronic end in many ways, which screws with my own perception. A lot of what my ears hear is Simon and Nick with whatever guest they happen to have playing with them at the time, and yet my heart and head know John and Roger (and Dom, thankyouverymuch) should be there somewhere. My hope is that while playing live, they’re all there front and center, running wild and free. No guesswork, ear buds, or fancy headphones needed.

I look forward to breathing in the excitement as the opening notes begin and the screams release the nervous anticipation, just like an uncorked champagne bottle. We will celebrate the release of this album, welcome the band back to us, and revel in the moment.  Songs that we may have once questioned will become familiar, and those wonderful bonds will become second nature, adding another album to the soundtrack of our lives.

-R

Daily Duranie Special Report: F.O.L.D. Festival

We know it’s been a couple of weeks since the F.O.L.D festival, but we don’t think anyone is going to mind revisiting the show in anticipation of upcoming tour dates! Thanks to our special correspondents “on the scene”, we’re able to bring readers a taste of these amazing shows!  -R

 

By Michelle Duran (Daily Duranie Contributor)

I hate festivals. I hate shortened set lists, I hate being surrounded by fans of other bands who only know ‘Hungry Like a Wolf’ (grrr!!!), I hate sitting through sets of artists I don’t like, and I absolutely hate port-a-potties. This isn’t just my mantra but that of many other Duran Duran fans I know.  Add to it the horrific New York – Long Island summer commuter traffic and why would any of us want to go to the Martha Clara Vineyard in Riverhead, Long Island for the two day F.O.L.D. (Freak Out Let’s Dance) Festival?

For starters, this wasn’t just any music festival. Organized by Duran Duran’s self- proclaimed big brother, and musical genius extraordinaire, Nile Rodgers, he promised it would be something special and it most certainly was. This was THE ONE, Duranies, the one that made the lack of indoor plumbing and the possibility of traffic congestion all worthwhile.

My friends and I opted for general admission tickets for Day 2, the day the band was to play. Parking lots were to open at 4 pm and the venue at 5 pm with the show beginning at 6 pm. Due to the winery being in a residential area, there was an 11 pm curfew, meaning that the concert would be no more than five hours. I’ve endured twelve plus hour music festivals in the blazing summer sun before so five hours in the evening at a winery sounded pretty good. While we were enroute to the winery, a friend messaged us that the lots opened early. What followed was a series of sharp corners and possibly illegal U-turns when I drove past the entrance for the parking lots not once, but three times. Finally, we made it, parked our car and were ready to queue. There were about twenty people in front of us, including several Duranies. The line was sheltered by tall shrubs along the vineyard, so not only was it a beautiful place to wait but it was also shaded and relatively comfortable. The festival staff, dressed in black shirts and shorts, presided everywhere. All were polite and professional. The stage was only about fifty feet from the entrance and we arrived to hear the incomparable Chaka Khan warming up, which was amazing.  After she finished, we were treated to something even better- Duran Duran’s sound check.  Thanks to Twitter posts by the band, we confirmed what our ears already knew,  Janelle Monae and Nile were with them running through Pressure Off several times. In addition, we heard snippets of Notorious, and Wild Boys. Try as we might, we couldn’t see the stage from where we were standing. However, we heard a crowd cheering and found out that VIP ticketholders were allowed in front of the stage to watch the sound-check. In true Duran fashion, the sound-check ran late and they were still on stage when the gates were supposed to open at 5 pm. By this time the line snaked down quite a distance. The only complaints I heard were from a few older fans of some of the other acts. The rest of us know Durantime is always in effect and took it in stride.  At 5:15, some of the staff came through the queue to apologize and hand out free bottles of water to those waiting, which was a nice touch.

Gates finally opened a few minutes later and we were in. Thanks to a tip from a friendly photographer (heyjoe.nyc) we’d met at breakfast, we knew the right side of the stage was only for VIP.  My friends and I bee-lined for the left side of the stage and found spots directly in front of where John would be, with only the photo pit separating us from the stage. The crowd itself was a mix of older fans of Nile, Chaka Khan, and the other “old school” performers; Duranies; music loving locals from the area; and a few younger fans there for the EDM (Electronic Dance Music) acts. Due to the selection of performers, I think the crowd was older than the usual age at a music festival of this nature.

After a few minutes, the music started with international celebrity DJ, Greg Cerrone, who fit F.O.L.D. Festival between gigs in St. Barth’s and Saint Tropez. The crowd was fairly small at this point, fewer than one thousand, but his enthusiastic attitude never waned.  I have to admit, EDM is not my thing. I may think I’m still twenty five but EDM proves I’m not. The heavy electronic bass pounding through my body and trying to take control of my heart isn’t something I enjoy, especially when I’m right in front of the speakers. However, there were plenty of people in the crowd enjoying the show as a slew of DJ acts such as Slander, Lea Luna, and Ultra Naté all took turns on the main stage. Later, drag queen Ginger Minj, best known from RuPaul’s Drag Race, performed; interacting with the crowd in a set that was a mixture of standup comedy and singing.

Finally, the EDM portion of the evening ended and Old School arrived as Grandmaster Melle Mel accompanied by DJ Prince Paul took over.  For the next thirty minutes, we were all raising our hands in the air and waving them like we just didn’t care- Oh yeah!  Melle Mel reminded us all of where Hip Hop and Rap began, performing the Grandmaster Flash and Furious Five version of White Lines, The Message and then leading the audience in a medley of some of the best known Old School rap.  Once his set finished, the DJ table was removed and it was time to move to the next portion of the evening.

While the stage was readied for Nile Rodgers and Chic, a youth dance troupe from Oakland, California, Destiny Arts, entertained the crowd with a high energy hip hop performance. This non-profit group combats inner city violence through programs in dance and martial arts.  Nile personally introduced them. In fact, throughout the night, Nile had been on stage, cheering on the various performers and even taking pictures. F.O.L.D. Festival was definitely a well-recorded event.  In addition to a cadre of professional photographers and videographers, a drone hovered above the crowd and a 360 degree camera captured every moment from every angle. In addition to heyjoe.nyc, also check out Jennifer Sheppard’s blog here.

Shortly before 8 pm, Nile Rodgers and Chic, currently comprised of singers Folami, Kim Davis, and musicians Ralph Rolle on drums, Jerry Barnes on bass, Bill Holloman on sax, Don Harris on trumpet, and Russell Graham and Richard Hilton on keyboards, began their set. Like many fans of Duran Duran, I consider Nile to be an icon.  Aside from the actual members of Duran, there is no one else more responsible for their sound, first as an influence when they were teens in Birmingham listening to Chic, then later as a mentor, producer and co-writer on everything from The Reflex, Wild Boys, Notorious, Astronaut and right up to their new single, Pressure Off. Nile had injured his knee the previous night so he apologized for not being able to dance around the stage and for wearing a tee and jeans with his signature beret, instead of his customary suit. Regardless, getting to finally see Nile Rodgers playing his signature Stratocaster, the Hitmaker, live with Chic was incredible. Tight doesn’t even begin to describe them- their sound, their look, their moves are all well practiced and well executed.  Everyone is in black and white with the singers, Folami and Kim Davis in matching print jumpsuits that recall the glamour of disco fashions.  Launching into Dance, Dance, Dance, the band wowed the crowd as they played hit after hit, not only from Chic but other songs Nile has written such as Diana Ross’s I’m Coming Out and Upside Down and Daft Punk’s Get Lucky. Nile teased us you’re all about to go crazy as he began playing Let’s Dance, which he wrote for one of Duran Duran’s other major influences, David Bowie.

Nile next introduced Janelle Monae, referring to her as his little sister while praising her talent and hard work.  If you’re not familiar with Monae, watch a few videos of her live performances and you’ll understand why she has earned such high acclaim from Nile Rodgers.  Also dressed in black and white, the diminutive Monae, who will be thirty this year, could easily pass for someone half her age.  However, she’s a powerful, dynamic performer, singing and dancing with intensity and skill. Performing with Chic as her backing band, along with her own charismatic guitarist, Kellindo Parker, Janelle Monae gave her all as she ran through her 4 song set, which included Q.U.E.E.N, Electric Lady, a cover of  James Brown’s I Feel Good, complete with the requisite cape, and finished with Tightrope.

As with Janelle Monae, Chaka Khan used Chic as her backing band and supplemented with her own guitarist.  Dressed all in black, she looked ageless with her trademark hair and beautiful smile as she sang four songs: I Feel for You, Sweetest Thing, I’m Every Woman, and Ain’t Nobody.  Unfortunately, Melle Mel had to leave right after his set so he wasn’t there to perform his “Let me love you Chaka Khan” rap during I Feel for You. Duran fans were also well aware that this meant he wouldn’t be there for a possible guest appearance with Duran Duran during White Lines.

After Chaka Khan finished her set, the Destiny Arts dancers and a number of family and friends joined the band on stage. After a moving speech by Nile about his aggressive cancer diagnosis and ultimate recovery, Chic played a rousing finale of Good Times. Nile even rapped part of the Sugar Hill Gang’s Rappers’ Delight, which famously sampled Good Times, bringing it all full circle and again emphasizing Nile’s influence on artists across many genres of music.  Throughout the night, you could really sense the camaraderie not only between Nile Rodgers and the other performers but the crew and staff as well.  Everyone working the show seemed truly happy to be there.

Once Good Times finished, the stage cleared and the DJ table was brought back for Chuck D. from Public Enemy.  Chuck D was originally scheduled to perform on the first night but couldn’t make it due to scheduling conflicts.  He began his set by telling us we had “twenty nine minutes to Duran Duran.”   With Nile again staying on stage and lending his support, Chuck D, backed by another Public Enemy founding member, DJ Keith Shocklee, led the crowd through some of the rap group’s biggest hits including Fight the Power as well as songs from their just released album, Man Plans God Laughs.  Chuck D rapped almost non-stop during his set, only stopping to tell the crowd how many more minutes to Duran Duran or to express his respect and admiration for Nile. As promised, he finished his set in just under thirty minutes and it was time for Duran Duran to perform.

Nile once again introduced the band, recalling how they met back in the early 80’s, and their long association with each other. Simon called the introduction the best they’d ever had before launching into an energetic performance of Wild Boys. The band looked and sounded fantastic. Simon, looking slim in white jeans and a black and white leather jacket, launched right into A View to a Kill as Nile Rodgers stood on the side of the stage clearly enjoying the set as the crowd, now at an estimated twenty-five hundred, sang along.

The next song on the roster was Girl Panic, which cause a minor panic of its own because up until this point, we had expected nothing more than the same five song set as all the other performers had given, especially with the time constraint of an 11 pm curfew. Therefore, we expected the Nile songs- Wild Boys, AVTAK, Notorious, Pressure Off, and The Reflex.  Girl Panic was quickly followed by All You Need Is Now and then Come Undone. We were getting a full set. F.O.L.D. Festival was suddenly even a better decision.

Following the AYNIN selections, the band rolled out three fan favorites, Is There Something I Should Know and The Chauffeur and Ordinary World.  It’s been exactly three years since the AYNIN tour ended abruptly with Nick’s illness in August, 2012 so it was fantastic to once again hear these live. The crowd, which wasn’t as familiar with the newer songs, was also thrilled to be back in familiar territory.

After OW, Nile walked back onto center stage as Simon announced “There’s one reason-one really big reason why we’re standing in front of you guys tonight…. And his name is Nile Rodgers.” Simon went on to describe the band’s reaction when they first heard The Original Sin by INXS, which was also produced by Nile Rodgers. They sent The Reflex to Nile and we know the rest. Simon finished by telling Nile “I love you, you are my brother” and hugged him, while every Duranie in the house raced to capture this Kodak moment.  They then launched into the song Simon describes as the complete “intertwangling of Nile Rodgers and Duran Duran”:  Notorious.  Nile went right over to JT and fans were treated to Nile and John playing together as Simon led the crowd.

Simon reintroduced Janelle Monae, describing her as a firecracker, as she returned to the stage and it was time for the premiere of Pressure Off.  The chemistry between them was fantastic.  Janelle’s high energy invigorated everyone and even Nile’s injured knee couldn’t stop him from dancing along as they played.

After once again thanking Nile and Janelle, the band continued playing, pushing well past the curfew as they played set list staples Planet Earth, HLTW, and Sunrise.  Finally, they said good night but were soon back on stage for their signature closing song, Rio.  Hearing it is always bittersweet since we know this is really the end.  The band thanked the crowd and the first F.O.L.D. Festival was officially in the history books.   Interestingly, the song many most associate with the relationship between Nile and Duran Duran, The Reflex, wasn’t on the set list.   I thought this was an odd decision since the song has so much history.  Also, the band once again didn’t play GOF and there were no band intros.  They skipped the intro again the next night at Musikfest and I’m told it was also skipped at the Capitol Theater shows.   It’s hard to imagine that they won’t add the intros back in for the main Paper Gods tour when it begins unless they’re looking to purposefully change their show ending.

Overall it was fantastic to finally be back in my favorite place on Planet Earth, front row at a Duran Duran concert.  My expectations for F.O.L.D. Festival were more than exceeded.  Nile Rodgers has already committed to bringing the festival back to Riverhead next year as a three day long weekend event, promising to bring back many of the acts that performed this time and grow the festival so that it’s one of the premiere destination events like Coachella.   Only time will tell, but if anyone can do it, it’s Nile Rodgers.

Set list:

Wild Boys
A View To A Kill
Girl Panic
All You Need Is Now
Come Undone
Is There Something I Should Know?
The Chauffeur
Ordinary World
Notorious
Pressure Off
Planet Earth
Hungry Like The Wolf
Reach Up For The Sunrise


Encore:
Rio

Nick Rhodes – Still Denimless?

I love seeing things get shaken up every once in a while, and this morning was no exception. Today, most people on the planet should have felt a rumbling from deep within because Nick Rhodes…yes, that Nick Rhodes, was on Twitter, answering questions from fans like he’d been on Twitter all along….

The announcement of Nick answering questions on Twitter went over like a lead balloon in the Duraniverse…and even better, people continued asking Amanda and I if we were going send in questions as well. Amanda had other things to take care of today, and so it was left to me – which is always dangerous. This morning proved no different than normal in my crazy household, and I ended up not being around for 90% of his Q&A. I did attempt to quickly send in a couple of questions, but he was finished before he could even see them, much less answer. Alas.

That said, I did see all of the questions and his answers. Rather than just be serious and boring (Nick, boring?? Is that even possible?), he took the attitude I really expected and went another, far more creative and witty route.

For example, @SweetRose1993 asked “Hi Nick, what’s your favourite place to shoot a DD video? And what’s your favourite DD single so far?”

Nick’s answer? “To shoot a video? A virtual reality floatation tank with dancing girls and a pocket universe. – NR”

Not too shabby with the wit there, Nicholas (and somehow I don’t think you’re joking).  I appreciated his wit, particularly when answering questions about doing a memoir (He answered that he just needs to dig a worm hole in between minutes) or about the health of his trusty Jupiter 8 (“I am happy to report all three are fit and well at present, however the emergency room is never too far away. – NR”) .  I especially loved his answer to a question that a fan asked about his joining Twitter (“Look for me on Wednesdays at 3am, I’ll be “my head is full of chopsticks” – NR).

Is that 3am my time, or yours, Nick??

And my most favorite, although they were all really good questions and answers )with far less “Please say hi to my mum” comments than Tumblr had the other day with John and Roger), was from @mondaymoon7609 who asked about time travel and where Nick would want to go. His reply, “The future, then I could fix a lot of things in the past. – NR” will keep me thinking for a while.

But then on second thought, maybe I really loved the question about giving Simon fashion advice…. “Only when we reach crisis point.It happened with a particularly nasty pair of crocs once. -NR”  And I did wince a little when Nick said “No. Absolutely not” to owning a pair of blue jeans.

Here’s the thing, Nick. I own enough pairs for both of us. You’re welcome. 

I had a few people ask Daily Duranie how we thought he did, and I thought he was great. He didn’t answer questions that probably couldn’t get a quick 140-character answer, and yet he did answer a fair amount of serious questions. In all fairness, I had no doubt that he’d do well. Nick is extremely quick-witted, and that works very well with an environment that can feel a little like a mass feeding frenzy. So yes, he did extremely well and I’m surprised it’s taken him this long to participate. I had to laugh because he answered a question about his favorite song off of Paper Gods by saying that on Thursdays it is “You Kill Me With Silence”, but if you’re in Australia it’s already a different song.” I sat there for a couple of seconds longer than I probably should have thinking, Wait, is it really Thursday already?!? 

(Yes, that is EXACTLY the type of week it has been.)

-R

Paper Gods – A Duran Duran Comeback?

There has been quite a bit of press for the band recently, and it has been fantastic seeing their name (and faces) in the news again promoting Paper Gods. As a fan, it is always exciting to see the band in magazines and on covers – although admittedly these days – I see very few “physical” covers, most of it (for me) has been what I’ve seen online. The days of sitting around carefully extracting centerfolds and pin-ups to add to my wallpaper is pretty much over, but I still love reading the articles online and seeing the new band photos, doesn’t everyone?

Since this blog is really an ongoing conversation regarding the “State of Duraniverse”, we comment as fans – which isn’t difficult considering that is exactly what we are. I don’t look at things from a public relations point of view or as an industry insider might, simply because I’m not. That’s the difference in this blog. I’ve never worked at a label or a radio station, and the closest I’ve ever been to management was working with a fledgling band who once opened for Duran Duran. It was like herding cats, I might add…to say the least. I leave planning promotional agendas to the people who are paid to do such things, and I react to things in the same way as any other fan…not as someone who works in the “industry”.  This is a point well-worth making because sometimes, I feel as though it is forgotten. Amanda and I are fans. Much of the time, we’re the lightning rod for the community-at-large, and at other moments, we’re the microphone.

One thing I’ve noticed with the latest round of press is that Paper Gods is a Duran Duran Comeback. The first time I read it, I skipped over the word, because let’s face it – media can be stupid. They assume that just because they haven’t noticed the band as of late, no one else has heard from them either. The second and third times, I wondered if a pattern hadn’t formed. After that I stopped counting, and then this morning I saw the word “comeback” again after another fan pointed it out on Twitter.

I realize that for much of the rest of the world, Duran Duran apparently ceased to exist after what…Ordinary World? The Reunion? I’m really not sure, but it is clear that even though the media has covered Duran Duran without fail (in varying degrees) for each album; and media has used the word “comeback” for more than one album in the past…they’re apparently using that word again to describe the promotion of yet another album release by my favorite band. It’s low-hanging fruit I suppose. Easy words to pin on a band that have not had a bonafide hit in a while, even though to those of us who have been loyal fans for several decades at this point know they’ve never gone away.

Does it really matter? Most likely not. As I continue to be reminded by those who actually DO work in the industry – it’s about the press and I should be thrilled that they’re getting out there on the cover again. Period. It doesn’t really matter WHAT is actually said in the articles about them, it doesn’t apparently matter whether the article is written with a snarky tone or with dignity and respect, it’s about getting their name out there. I did miss my classes on public relations in college, and I’ll be honest: I would have failed MISERABLY at them. My loyalty gets in the way when it comes to this stuff. I couldn’t be that person who sends notes to fans like me reminding them of how amazing it is that they’ve got the cover and that I shouldn’t be disappointed by the words contained within. (apparently no one actually reads the articles these days, which I should probably understand given my experience with this blog at times) I’m still stuck on someone calling Simon out for caring about lighting, or talking about each member of the band’s personal (and ancient) history rather than the music at hand. That’s why I’m a fan blogger and not someone working at a record label, and I’m fine with that, actually. My struggle with the press is real. Cognitively, I get it. Any press is good press. I don’t love the method…but I get it.  Emotionally? I’m loyal and it really bothers me at times. Is that negative? I applaud their covers, I applaud their PRESS. I just don’t care for some of the words used to describe my favorite band. So sue me.

Simply put, I’m a fan and I don’t like seeing my band disrespected.  They’ve worked their asses off to get here; and no, they never left. “Duran Duran Comeback”? Are you kidding? Just because the rest of the world may not have loved All You Need is Now or Red Carpet Massacre doesn’t mean those albums didn’t exist, and many within our community find those albums to be among their best. Comeback for the rest of the world, maybe??

I have no idea what is in the future for Paper Gods, and I’m certainly not going to Monday Morning Quarterback before the game even begins. The Duran Duran comeback the media is talking about could end up being that the new album is a runaway hit, which would be amazing!  I just know that as a fan, the word can be taken in multiple ways – and for those of us loyalists, we know the band has never left, and we’re still right by their sides on this journey. I’m just looking forward to seeing this band get back out on the road again. Let the celebration of #DD14 begin!

-R

Crisis Equals Opportunity: The Daily Duranie Facebook

Today has been quite a day. During the summer, Amanda and I have committed ourselves to working on projects together via Skype, and today was no exception. We got online, chatted a bit and settled down to work. That’s when the day was completely derailed.

Amanda went to log on to our Daily Duranie Facebook account like normal, only to find that she couldn’t get into our account. We were locked out and Facebook wanted to confirm our identity…something that has never happened before. It wanted government ID, a birth certificate or something similar. While we acknowledge that Daily Duranie has taken on a life of it’s own….it’s not quite THAT big. We thought we’d been hacked, to be honest.

So, we settled into trying to understand why this happened. In a nutshell, Facebook wants to “encourage” people to only use their real names for personal accounts. This is of course, because they want businesses, public figures, bands, magazines, entertainment entities, authors, etc to create a Facebook Page instead. Pages are more of an advertising type of entity as opposed to a personal account for regular ole folks. Pages are fine, but the main problem is that in order to get your posts widely seen – EVEN by those who follow – you must pay to have the posts “boosted”.  That’s great if you’re a business who has a revenue stream to support such activity, but if you’re a small blog like us?  That’s an issue, and that’s one reason Amanda and I agreed to stick with a regular account, and all was fine until today.  Today Facebook decided that we weren’t getting in. Period. No warning, no measure for helping or allowing us to just move the account to a page, nothing. We could try to appeal (which did not work), or move forward.

So we set about creating the new Daily Duranie Facebook Page, and fretting about all that we’d lost. Maybe none of you realize, but we’re talking nearly FIVE YEARS of hard work. Posts. Pictures. Nearly 2500 friends. Real friends from around the world. The more I typed, fixed profile pictures and cover photos, messaged Duran Duran pages and groups…the bigger the knot in my stomach and throat became. We have put blood, sweat and tears into this blog in a way that no one on the planet can really understand. It has felt at times that for every two steps forward, we’ve taken five backward. Yet, I couldn’t separate myself from Daily Duranie even if I tried, because it’s ME. It’s Amanda. It’s US.  And a large part of the two of us is now in Facebook jail. Welcome to Tuesday, my friends.

As I set about understanding the reasoning why our account – out of all the thousands of FB accounts who go by pseudonyms instead of birth names – was chosen today, I discovered that the only way Facebook really keeps track is if they were told about us. That means that someone, most likely a “friend”, made the point to tell Facebook about us and mention that we’re not a real person. Except of course, we are.

Upset? Yes. Wounded? Sure. Done? Not even close. We’re just getting started.

So instead of working on the other projects today, Amanda and I have been scrambling to get the page together, tell people what happened, we’ve BEGGED Duran Duran to retweet our page link (nothing yet, but we’re hopeful – surely they have to know how much we’ve done for this community in the past five years???), and mostly – WE NEED YOU.

Please, please, PLEASE come to the new page. Like it and then share the link with others. We’ve tried to go to some of the pages and groups we know, but to be honest – there are thousands of groups and pages, and only two of us. We need help. Desperately.  Here is the new link to the page, and we hope to see you there.  Send us a note, post to the page…make us laugh, and let’s keep this party going.

https://www.facebook.com/dailyduranieblog

Amanda and I like a good challenge, and maybe this will end up being a good thing in the long run. John Taylor has this saying that is from Eastern philosophy that is on the cover of his (solo) Feelings Are Good CD. Crisis equals opportunity.

We’re going to go with that.

-R

Through the City…

Today, Duran Duran is playing at the Night at the Park festival in The Hague, Netherlands.  I hope that everyone going has an absolutely fabulous time and that Duran plays an awesome set there!  Lately, when thinking about Duran playing shows, I have been noticing where a lot more than I have in the past.  Earlier in my life and like many fans, I went to shows only near my house.  In the last ten years, though, my desire for Duran shows has meant that I have been willing (and thankfully able) to travel.  Therefore, I have started to think about shows in slightly different ways than I used to.

First, I pay attention to WHERE Duran is playing.  Let’s face it.  There are cities that I would love to see them play for various reasons.  For example, in the U.S., I wanted to see them in cities that I knew would be fun and would provide a good time.  These cities included places like Vegas and Atlantic City.  Perhaps, some cities you want to see them play in just because the city is significant.  For example, I thought it was super cool to be able to see them in New York City.  Of course, many of the cities that people might want to see Duran might be out of the U.S.  Like many, for me, the ideal was to see the band play in Birmingham.  I know someday I would love to see them in places like Manchester.  Certainly, the Netherlands, like today’s festival would be a fun place to see them!  Of course, the venue might matter, too.

Is there a particular venue that you think might be really great to see them in?  Maybe, it is a place like Madison Square Garden in New York City.  For me, I am super excited to see them play at the Hollywood Bowl.  Some people really like the idea of small venues.  I can understand that.  Therefore, there is always more excitement when Duran plays theaters over arena shows.

Then, of course, there might be other factors that might enhance one’s desire to get to a particular show.  Am I the only one who is super excited to see Duran Duran play with Nile Rodgers?!?  To me, that is a once in a lifetime sort of deal, something extra special.  I remember really wanting to go see Nine Inch Nails with David Bowie because that was a combination that too weird not to see!  Plus, David Bowie is a legend, right?  Maybe a festival catches your attention.  Sometimes, a festival might have such a line-up that really appeals to you.

So, what factors make a show must see for you?  Is it the city?  If so, which cities are on your list?  The venue?  If so, what are special venues to you?  The line-up?  Maybe, it has to do with the fact that your friends are all able to get to a specific show and it is the company that matters more to you.  Do share–where would you want to see the band and why?

-A

All She Wants Is – The Daily Duranie Review

This review finds us examining the song, All She Wants Is. This song was the second single off of the Big Thing album and peaked at number 22 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart (but spent a total of 13 weeks on the charts in some fashion). Should it have done better? Should it have even been a single?  Read and find out what we think then share your thoughts!

Rhonda

Musicality/Instrumentation:

I’ve always thought it was interesting and unique how the song begins solely with tracks of Simon’s voice, slightly out of sync. The instrumentation grows from there, with drums and background percussion, then a distorted guitar, some bass and keyboards following. Oddly, for this song, the instrumentation is rather simple by Duran Duran standards. I like the roughness of the guitar – because here you’ve got a sound that is very much “club-like”, almost like house music, and yet Duran Duran adds a soaring rock guitar “solo” (so to speak) right over the top.  Risky? Maybe, but it works brilliantly for a song that could otherwise be boring.

Vocals:

I like the way Simon opens up the song with the monotone “chant” of  “all she wants is”.  I agree with Amanda when she says the song reminds her of Big Thing – I think it’s because of the chanting.  Out of all of the songs on Big Thing, this one reminds me most of House or Industrial club music that was popular in the 1990’s. (am I dating myself?? Goodness…) Vocally for Simon, I don’t think the the song is particularly difficult – it’s within his range, and really the song is far more a testament to the band’s willingness to take risks and try new styles than it is about vocal ability for Simon.

Lyrics:

I think the song is fairly obvious in that it’s about women who have to use whatever means possible to get ahead in the world.  Rather than focusing on the task at hand, they’re thinking about the goal farther down the line. This is a song that I can sing word for word, but I never really THINK about the words at hand. The band has always been very good at that – giving rather benign words to even the most controversial of subjects so that the listener can find whatever they need to find (or not find) in the lyrics.

Overall:

This is one of those songs that is easy to use as a club mix because it can blend well with other songs. That said, it is also easy to tune it out because of the fact it is incredibly repetitive throughout, but it has also earned its way as a crowd pleaser with the DD catalog for many fans. It does grab your attention, and is by far the best representation of industrial or house music within their catalog. Who knew Duran Duran could pull that off?!? Lyrically, it is easy to forget what the song is really about, which is unfortunate. I think the lyrics tend to get lost within all of the “All she wants is” chanting. My favorite part of the entire song though is the guitar – that saves it all for me because it is so different and really very unexpected within this genre. Overall however, this song has never been a favorite of mine, although I give high props to the band for going this route and trying something so different. Duran Duran is nothing if not versatile and willing to take risks.

Cocktails:

3.5 cocktails!

3.5 cocktails

Amanda:

Musicality/Instrumentation:
Like the first track on this album, it is difficult to even think about the music/instrumentation, especially in the beginning because the vocals are SO front and center.  It is really interesting, though, when you do focus on it to realize how minimized the instrumentation is for the first 15 seconds or so.  Then, of course, there is more instrumentation and then a few seconds after that even more.  The music builds and it creates a level of intensity, musically.  Once the song gets going, a couple of elements stick out to me.  First, there is the clapping sound that showcases the song’s rhythm.  Then, the instrumentation, especially guitars, sounds distorted in a way, creating almost an industrial feel.  Yet, the top layer of drums remind me of drums that would be found on Notorious.  The effects create a very danceable sound, even if a bit darker than the usual Duran sound.

Vocals:

Immediately, this song reminds me of the song, Big Thing.  You can instantly tell that they are from the same album/era.  Before the music totally kicks in, there is the chanting of “All She Wants Is” done with quite a bit of vocal effect.  Then, of course, there is the female moaning done mostly in the beginning but some towards the end, which definitely implies this something is sexual in nature.  This is a much more in your face sexuality than the Duran in the past.  Yet, Simon’s vocals during the verses remain smooth, easy.  The song ends with the chanting chorus, moaning and more creating a bookend to the beginning of the song, showing that the chorus really does dominate.

Lyrics:

This is one of those songs that I sing every word when I hear but never really thought about what the lyrics might mean.  When I stop and really look at them, it seems to me that it is about a woman who is trying to figure out a way to make it in the world.  Perhaps, this person is all alone and looking for that special job or that break.  Until that happens, though, she is left to do what she must do.  Could she be a prostitute or something similar?  I suppose it is possible with lines like, “You’ve been pulling ‘em by the hand inside”.  Yet, clearly, she wants so much more than she has.  What I find interesting is how easily the chorus and the repeating of the phrase “all she wants is” really works for Duranies and for fandom, in general.  It seems to me that the goal could have been to lure people, fans to the song by getting them to think it is about the band and about how Duranies want them.  Yet, of course, when you actually look at the lyrics, it has nothing to do with that.  They did the same thing with Big Thing.  Clever.

Overall:

This song definitely matches the other tracks on side A of the Big Thing album.  It has in-your-face vocals and lyrics that catch your attention.  Is it the most intellectual song?  Probably not.  Is it the most fun song in the Duran catalog?  Probably not.  Nonetheless, it is one that catches your attention and one that you can sing along with.  That said, it has also easily pass beyond the fun to the annoying.  I tend to appreciate the song more after not hearing it for awhile.

Cocktail Rating:

3 cocktails!

three cocktails