Category Archives: Uncategorized

Happy Anniversary Katy! (With Roger)

Today’s Katy Kafe features Roger!  Roger loves the word “incredible” (oh, I just like to tease…) and he does think it’s incredible that Katy has been with the band so long.  And it is…she has seen a lot over the past twenty years. Katy remembers that Roger had come in to do the Perfect Day video but that she didn’t meet him, and they quickly skip down memory lane, recalling that for a while, Katy was only working with Simon, Nick and Warren. Then the reunion happened, and Nick set up a phone call with Roger and Andy because Katy was very nervous about working with them since she didn’t know them. She says that Roger was very nice, and that she was struck by how funny Roger was, because that wasn’t something she expected.

Curiously, I think many fans (including myself) don’t really know how funny Roger is. He’s always been characterized as the “quiet one”, and Katy expands upon this, trying to explain that she thought he’d be shy and maybe a bit “Howard Hughes-like”. Roger follows up saying that she probably thought he was going to be weird, quiet, anti-social, etc, and that other people have told him that as well. Without getting too far off topic here, the reality is – I think a LOT of fans thought that about him at one point or another. Let’s face it, when Roger left the band, rumors circulated about him up until the time he returned. I heard every sort of sad story about him: “he went crazy and had to be hospitalized (in a mental hospital)” to “He’s a recluse”….and beyond. Who knew what was really true?  Certainly not fans. They don’t tell us those things, you see. Couple all that with the comments the media would say about Roger, calling him “brooding” and “super shy”…and need I remind anyone about the ITSISK video where, when it’s Roger’s turn to look into the camera and say “Please please tell me now”…..Roger kind of mumbles the words and looks away, and you’ve got the basis for lots and lots of conjecture over the years.

However, Katy tells us that Roger has a sense of humor. I’ll bet he is as sarcastic and dry as they get…I wish we’d see that side of him more often. Even in Kafe’s, I don’t hear much of Roger’s humor, whether that’s due to being in the Kafe or because there is nothing funny about having to talk about your job constantly.  (Duran Duran must be very serious business!) Once again, I enjoy the banter, you can tell there is a lot of admiration, love and friendship there, which is nice.

I can’t remember a lot from the Ask Katy’s over the years, but I do remember a series of blogs that Katy did – she described how it was working with each member, and she shared a little bit about them that we might not really see as fans. I felt at the time that they were some of the most enjoyable things I’ve read about the band, and that’s exactly how these Kafe’s, with Katy speaking with each member about her history with the band, tend to feel.  Incredible, right?  😉

-R

 

Proposition — The Daily Duranie Review

We have finally hit the last song on the Notorious album.  This week, we take a look at the song, Proposition.  This is one of those tracks that is often overlooked.  Is that fair or should people pay more attention to it?  Read to find out what we think!

Rhonda

Musicality/Instrumentation:

There is no mistaking that this song is off of Notorious from the very first notes of Nick’s keyboards. Anytime I hear a horn section, I know that chances are – it’s from Notorious. I like that I can really hear John’s bass, and there is one small section where you can actually hear the guitar, imagine that! I find myself missing the days when the guitar actually mattered to this band and was used for more than just texture, which is one reason I tend to struggle with the entire Notorious album – it is not one of my favorite Duran moments. I know they were struggling to find a new identity without Roger and Andy, but I do miss a more audible and noticeable LEAD guitar. Musically the song is incredibly funky and jazzy…and when the guitar is allowed to be up in the mix, it provides a good deal of rock to balance the sound. The drums are good and I love the fill/pick up at the beginning of the song.

Vocals:

I must be in the minority, but I really do not love the moments when Simon is singing in a high register. He loses all depth and dimension to his voice, and it becomes falsetto…which really doesn’t work at all, and it weakens the entire song. I think it would have been far more effective to have Simon sing in a range that actually played to his talents rather than have him do falsetto. He has such a strong voice, why not use it?

Lyrics

This song is tougher for me to really understand, but for some reason I get the feeling it is about society forgetting about their children.  We promise to take care of our children, and yet somehow – so many end up starving, dying, getting into trouble, left for the streets to raise as their own. The song makes me uncomfortable, which probably means the lyrics do their job – they make me think about subjects none of us may want to consider, but we really should. Whether that’s really what Simon was getting at or not, I’m unsure..but isn’t that part of the fun with Duran songs?

Overall:

I struggle with the Notorious album. It is very funky, and I know that is as much a part of Duran’s history as is punk…but I struggle. The album really marks such a huge departure in sound, in personnel and even in the band themselves as they go from being the number one band in the world to something a little farther down on the Billboard Hot 100 Charts. The song itself has some good: the bass, a guitar part that doesn’t mind being in the background and adding texture, a cohesive rhythm section, but it’s never been a favorite. The chorus quite honestly ruins the song a bit for me with the falsetto and tough to hear words, and the lyrics, while potentially interesting, never seem to hold my attention. I fade away whenever the song is on, which is disappointing.

Cocktail Rating:

2.5 cocktails! Two and half cocktails

Amanda

Musicality/Instrumentation:

As soon as the song begins, Nick’s keyboards are right there, front and center. As soon as the rest of the instrumentation jumps in, you know that this is a song off of Notorious. The guitars have the same style, for one, and horns are present and drums to help with transitions. Even with all of the instruments present, Nick’s keyboards still seem to play a major role. They are funky, for sure, and remain even when other instruments like guitar take the spotlight. One thing that is interesting to me is how little change there seems, musically, between verse and chorus. The only time there seems to be a real change is during the bridge about two-thirds of the way through. Then, the guitar really takes the spotlight along with keyboards. The funk is on high for most of the song.

Vocals:

I really like Simon’s vocals during the verse. It is at a good range for him and love how he emphasizes the last word in most lines in a very subtle way. Unfortunately, he totally loses me during the chorus. Why must the word “Proposition” and other part of the chorus be sung at that higher range? It doesn’t make show off Simon’s talents much. Why make Simon sing in such a high range? I find the words in the higher range even hard to understand. It is such a shame, too, since the verse shows great vocals. I have to wonder if the range of this song is the reason that I have never seen it on a setlist. (If you have, please let me know! I would love to know when and where they played this one live.)

Lyrics:

Before I take a look at the specific lyrics to this song, I refresh my memory about the specific meaning to this word. The meanings I found: a statement expressing a judgment or a suggested plan of action. Which definition matches the song? It seems to me that this song is about a crime. Is the baby dead? The baby’s head is cold, after all and this woman is to “pay for the crime of feeling”. Then, the next verse seems broader—more society and less individual. No matter who is to blame, the person is feeling guilty for something. I’ll be honest. I’m not sure what the song is really about. Could it be about a judgment? Maybe. I, generally, like lyrics that make me think, make me wonder, make me what to figure it out. Yet, these lyrics don’t intrigue me. I don’t know why. Maybe, it is the mentioning of the baby. Maybe the only interpretation I can come up with isn’t one I relate to or appreciate. Nonetheless, I find the lyrics disappointing.

Overall:

I want to like this song. I’m not a huge fan of the funk found on this album. If I was, I would probably love the instrumentation as it is full of the funk. The lyrics seem intriguing but the intrigue doesn’t last long. They are unable to keep my attention for some reason. Perhaps, the instrumentation and the lyrics don’t keep me into the song because of the chorus, which I don’t like. I want Simon to stay in the range of the verse. Yet, the chorus is at a much higher range and such that I can’t follow or sing along. I think the song has potential but doesn’t fulfill that potential.

Cocktail Rating:

2.5 cocktailsTwo and half cocktails

Time for Temptation: I Need a Duran Tour!

Isn’t it time?  Don’t you all think that it is time?  What am I talking about?  Simple.  I think it is time to be plotting…I mean planning to go on “tour”, to go to multiple Duran shows.  We know that the album is coming.  We know that the first single is coming.  We know that Duran Duran is playing a number of festivals in Europe this summer.  Thus, it just seems BEYOND logical for U.S. tour dates to come out, right?  (Please note:  I would love for Duran to release tour dates everywhere in the world.  I just mention the U.S., specifically, because that is where we live.)  Tour dates would be the next usual step in the Duran Duran new album schedule, right?  I think so.  Promotional activities could surround those tour dates as well.  Again, I think that seems logical.

Beyond where Duran Duran is at in their new album process, I, personally, would love, love, love to be planning a trip, a tour, a few shows.  There are two very big reasons for this.  Well, maybe, there are three big reasons for this .  First, I got a reminder, a taste, a tease about Duran Duran live a few weeks ago in Los Angeles at the Lynch Foundation show.  Clearly, this wasn’t enough.  I need more.  I admit it.  I’m weak.  I suspect that everyone who has experienced Duran Duran Live feels the same way.  Right?  Three songs are never enough.  Heck, three shows are never enough.  This event that took place a few weeks ago leads me to reason number two.  I am a fan.  Sometimes, I question this, for whatever stupid reason is occupying my thoughts.  Yet, this show reawakened my fandom spirit.  As the band played, it was like the fan part of me was being shaken awake from a very long slumber.  Now, that my fandom is awake again, I want to see them again.  Who can blame me for that?!  The third reason I want to plotting for a tour is to have something FUN to look forward to!  (In fairness, I have a couple of fun things planned in the upcoming weeks and months.  First, I’m having Duranies over next weekend to watch some Duran related videos, talk Duran, etc.  This is ALWAYS a good time and I am very lucky to have fellow fans nearby!  Second, Rhonda and I will be trying to find time over the summer to get together.  Of course, if we had tour dates to plan for, that would help tremendously!!!)  Beyond those events, I have to admit that I really think reality sucks.  I want to look forward to escaping the day-to-day grind and the less-than-fun aspects of family, work, health, etc.

I want to be making immediate calls to my partner-in-crime in which we scream, shout, swear while calling the band names and examining tour dates to see what is possible.  I look forward to the puzzle that tour dates brings us.  What shows can we do?  How do we get to them?  Would we need to fly?  What transportation would we use?  How many hotel rooms would we need?  Where would we need them?  What about those tickets?  When are they going on sale?  Who is doing what?  I want each and every aspect of planning.  My life doesn’t feel right unless Rhonda and I are sending messages back and forth and back and forth where we can’t decide some aspect of our plan, knowing full well that we do better when we just make a plan and commit to it.  Truly, after ten plus years of touring, this plotting has not gotten old and that tease we had a few weeks ago wasn’t enough.  I know…I know.  I need to be patient.  It won’t be long now.  They are getting much closer to getting the single and album out.  I try but real life, lately, has made me less than patient.  I’m only human.  Worse yet, I’m a fan.

Thus, In order to remind all of the joys of Duran Duran live, let’s take a look at some fabulous live performances from the All You Need Is Now Tour!

-A

Winter Marches On — The Daily Duranie Review

Our reviews continue with the ninth song off of the album, Notorious.  The song is Winter Marches On and definitely represents THE ballad off of this album.  Is this a good ballad or not?  See what we think below then let us know what you think!

Rhonda

Musicality/Instrumentation:

Is there really a more melancholy song in Duran’s catalog?  Probably. But for now, we haven’t gotten there yet!  I love the emotion produced by the music for this one. When I listen, I can hear the tambourine, keyboards, and of course bass…which really helps to provide a rhythm with the absence of any other percussion aside from the tambourine. I also really like the melody line – which sounds like it could be a synthesized woodwind (clarinet or even oboe…they should have called me!!).  The music is very slow, and I think that it’s easy to pass this song by unless you’re really in the mood to sit, listen and ponder. The song certainly isn’t boring (not by a long shot!), but it also isn’t the type of song you necessarily want to hear when you’re in the mood for playing Wild Boys loud and proud in the car.

Vocals:

I might be in the minority, but I wish a few more Duran songs were written in this key/range for Simon. He has a gorgeous voice. I know we’re all about the party, but I love this slightly darker and chilled timbre. His voice has a beautiful roundness, and he is really the best when it comes to portraying emotion in his singing. One doesn’t even have to know the words to recognize the emotion in the song – vocals and music work hand in hand here to do bring that home. I really can’t find anything to complain about here!

Lyrics:

Not gonna lie – I have no idea what this song is about. Lines like “Birth time rose; a thorn for coronation” or “Soon you’ll belong to the blest, spare us your lives while we need you”. In some ways it reminds me of motherhood. Mostly, I think I completely lost the plot somewhere. I really like the line, “dreams have frozen crystal in the morning”….beautiful.  I’ll admit that I read Amanda’s interpretation below, and she might be right. I wouldn’t be surprised that Simon used this sort of analogy to describe fame, especially given the changes the band has already seen by this point. I always think of the saying “Be careful what you wish for.”

Overall:

This is a song that I have to be in the right mood to enjoy. It isn’t a song I would belt out in the car, nor is a song that I find myself yearning to hear – but having done this review, I found new appreciation for it. (It is the best part of doing reviews!!) I love that the slowness of the song almost forces me to really listen to each subtle nuance, from the way the tambourine accents the beat to the deep bass. The song slows me down, encourages me to take the time to sink within the music and think.  The music and vocals work together to create a very different emotion from most Duran Duran songs, and I really enjoy that. The sounds are simple, but purposeful. Winter Marches On isn’t particularly loud, noisy or even overproduced – which I applaud. Well done and worth many listens!

Cocktail Rating:  4 cocktails!

4 cocktails rating

Amanda

Musicality/Instrumentation:

The first word that comes to mind as Winter Marches On begins is atmospheric with the melancholy keyboards and the slow hits of what sounds like a tambourine.  Right away, you know that this isn’t going to the happiest of Duran songs.  The song continues in this fashion even as the vocals begin with some additional keyboard sound until finally some other instrumentation is heard with the deep bass adding to the mood of the song.  At one point, it sounds like there is some strings included but it is clear that this isn’t the usual Duran song in that there is little noticeable guitar and drums.  That isn’t to say that it is boring.  It isn’t.  It is just different.  If the goal was to create a beautiful, haunting song, the music did its job.

Vocals:

This song starts out, vocally, with Simon’s “oh”, “ah”, “hmm”.  Normally, I’m not a fan of little vocal additions like that but, in this case, it sets a tone of emotion and sadness.  Then, his vocals are generally slow in tempo and much lower in his range than what he did for the rest of the album.  I love how he elongates a number of words to add emphasis and emotion.  This is one of those songs that Simon’s voice really adds almost additional instrumentation.

Lyrics:

These lyrics intrigue me.  Who is the she that is referenced in the first verse?  Could it be fame?  “She drains emotion.  To drink from her breast of fortune”.  Then, the rest of the song sounds like it is being addressed to the band.  “Spare us your lives while we need you.”  Could that be from the fans?  The industry?  The next couple of lines definitely sound like what they were experiencing:  “Loud is the music the crowd is bringing.”  While the lyrics are on the shorter side, I do like that they make me think.  I also always feel like I can relate to the line about sparing one’s live while needed.  I certainly feel that at work, when I have my teacher hat on.  I suspect others might feel that way with their lives or where they are in their lives.  Lyrics like this definitely show me the connection between this album and the previous one as so much of Seven and the Ragged Tiger subtly discussed fame, being in the spotlight, etc.

Overall:

Winter Marches On is one of those songs that I would have dismissed, if I had not done this review.  I’m generally not attracted to ballads unless they offer something more (think Before the Rain).  This one, though, has some merit.  The lyrics made me think and I enjoy Simon’s vocals on this one a lot.  Musically, it isn’t the most interesting or most complex, but definitely works to create a mood and an atmosphere.  Thinking about the individual elements of this song definitely made me appreciate it more.
Cocktail Rating:  4 cocktails
4 cocktails rating

The Dark Side of Social Media

Seriously, did he really just answer me?

I write about social media quite a bit. I’m continually astounded by its existence and the changes it has made for the entertainment industry as a whole. I remember the first time I realized that not only could I passively follow bands like Duran Duran, but I could interact with them. I would post responses to things they’d tweet whenever I felt like it, and figured that was as far as it would go, but it felt good to be able to say my piece. I remember being so puzzled when John Taylor actually responded to me for the first time, as I sat thinking to myself, seriously, did he really ANSWER me?? I mean let’s face it, I vibrated like a tuning fork at the idea that a member of Duran Duran actually noted my existence on this planet, my excitement was off the charts. Then it became a sort of challenge. I upped the ante for myself.  He answered me once, will he ever answer again??  Never MIND how I felt when other band members, or “not quite” band members answered, or still answer me. I don’t think it’s gotten old with me yet – even if they don’t necessarily talk TO you, just seeing them tweet and communicate remains exciting.  The possibility for interaction, the possibility that they might see or read tweets and/or Facebook posts makes it interesting.

Yes, I really AM <insert band member name here>.

Things have changed since the first days of social media. Does anyone remember My Space? I remember the platform well, as I handled the My Space account for a delightful little start-up band named Clear Static. That’s right, not only did I answer their mail, I interacted with fans. I answered fans as someone from Clear Static might answer them, because well, somebody had to do it. Let’s just say that the band was ready to be famous far before their music gave them the right to call themselves stars. They toured with Duran Duran, they gained attention and notoriety from Duran fans, and thought they had made the big time. They soon found out that being rock stars meant communicating with fans far more often than they wanted or felt was needed, so they hired me. I kept the enthusiasm going, put out the PR fires as necessary, and lied to fans on a regular basis, telling them that “Yes, I really am <insert band member name here>.” Remembering back to those days on My Space sheds a little light on the darker side of social media.

The band/artist is as big of a product as their music.

My Space was the very beginning of a time we still live in where the band/artist is easily as big of a product as their music. Their image,  online presence and personality matter as much as the music they create.  For a band like Duran Duran, that’s quite a change from the days of video – where we fans could SEE them, but they never had to actually interact, and certainly not with so many of us at one time. Image has always mattered to Duran Duran, but perhaps not the personal interaction. We fans were kept at arm’s length for the most part, and to be fair – can we really blame them? I still picture the scenes from Sing Blue Silver where they are in the limo and the fans are banging on the windows outside the limo.  Yes, it is likely a good thing that social media didn’t exist in the 1980s.

The connectivity piece has become an expected facet – and you know this because I write of it often. Fans want to know who it is behind the music, and let’s face it – the band was pretty interactive during the release of All You Need is Now.  We still want more. Maybe we expect too much, but I assure you – it isn’t just Duran Duran fans.  Have you seen Taylor Swift’s Twitter or Instagram lately? Those millions of fans aren’t following her because she never shares, I can guarantee you that. Interaction is expected. A daunting reality for a band that spent their earliest years running from the lot of us, wouldn’t you say? This is a time when so many other things matter besides the music, and yet if I asked any of you why you’re Duran Duran fans – I don’t think it’s likely that any of you would answer that it is social media.  But yet, for new bands out there – I read over and over again every single day that social media is easily as important as the music. Maybe even more so.  According to Wolfgang Gartner, a DJ, artist, producer and label founder, “an artist with a vibrant, thriving social media profile and personality and ‘so-so’ music may have a better shot at getting signed or achieving success than the artist with no social media presence and amazing music. It means that I don’t actually know if that person in my Twitter timeline composed that tweet, or if it was written by an intern at a social media management company.”

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked how I “know” it’s really John, Simon, Roger, or even Dom that answers us. In reality? I have no idea. Wouldn’t we all like to believe we know their voices well enough to know the difference?? Even so, I have to trust it really is them talking to us on their individual accounts even though the strong possibility exists that they’ve hired social media people to do it all for them. Let us all hope we never find out otherwise.

Each piece is a pawn in the social media game.

The sales engine continues to run, according to Wolfgang Gartner. In an article written for the website Medium Gartner expands, “Artists are often contractually obligated to say specific things on their social networks as part of agreements or contracts; artists are often encouraged by their publicists or managers to be active on social media even if they don’t want to, because it helps sell records and tickets to shows; artists who are constantly on social media interacting with fans thrive, and are effectively helping sell their product.”

Each piece: the music, the image, the connectivity, the branding, the artist – is used as a pawn in the game of sales. A social game of sorts. Artists essentially must become the role they play online, and many don’t want to play the game at all. They’d prefer to be in the studio writing music; up on stage playing music, and leave the rest behind the velvet curtain, safe from view. Not all artists are social, not all artists are even that likable or personable, but in this day and age – one cannot afford to be antisocial.

Gartner goes even further to describe just how far some will go to use the social ladder to further their own game, “Some artists formed bonds with their musical idols, many contacts and collaborations were made, artists were able to give each other praise for their work, and everybody got to watch it happen in real-time. However, a darker side of this trend emerged: artists strategically interacting with other artists in attempts to boost their own careers. Of course musicians and entertainers have been doing this long before the internet, but social media took it to a new level.”

We’ve all seen this happening. Some of it is organic and beautiful, like when Nile Rodgers comments to a band member and they answer. I love that because I can see it happening right on my screen. For some reason, it makes me feel as though we’re all connected, and that it is all real. Conversely, there are the times when Duran Duran picks Pages of the Week that are purely just celebrities on Facebook, or favorites tweets from celebrities mentioning Duran Duran on Twitter. You know (and I know) it’s not “the band” actually doing that, and we ALL should recognize it is grossly fake. In some respects it is an attempt to put the band on equal level with those they respect and admire, and in others it feels just slightly smarmy. Part of the business? Probably. Does it really work? That’s a good question. Overall, it remains part of the social media game.

For Duran Duran, quality music is the end game.

In many ways, I must give proper admiration and respect to Duran Duran, because even with all of the extraneous details, the music continues to be central priority for the band. Yes, they care about their image, they delight in the visual, but the music matters. There is certainly a danger in getting caught up in the current of social media to the point where one forgets what really matters. Many an artist has allowed his/her social media fame to override the music – thus becoming more of an entertainer than musician. While I wouldn’t argue that social media is completely immaterial, I appreciate that the band knows that quality music is the end game. So I suppose I can forgive them for being largely absent for the past few years on social media, and delight in the few moments where they let me know I’m remembered in one way or another.

-R

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fandom Representation: SNL

It has been awhile since I took a long look at something in the media and how it represents fans and fandom.  Over the years, I have analyzed books, TV shows, and movies.  This past weekend, like many in America, I tuned into the SNL 40th Anniversary Show.  It reminded me that there have been a number of skits on Saturday Night Live over the years that focuses on fans.  What are some of those skits and how are fans represented?

When I think of the fandom most often covered on SNL, I think of Star Trek.  That fandom has been discussed a number of times.  There are two skits that really stick out to me.  This first one involves William Shatner (actor who played Captain Kirk) who attends a Star Trek convention.

https://screen.yahoo.com/star-trek-convention-000000768.html

As you can tell, the fans at the convention are dressed like characters from the show and ask questions as if Shatner is actually Kirk.  They are unable to keep actor and character separate.  How does Shatner respond to this and more?  He tells them to “Get a Life” and that it is weird to dress in character.  In fact, they are so weird that they would never be able to have romantic relationships.  While, obviously, the skit is supposed to be funny.  Taking that into consideration, what makes it funny?  Simple.  It is based on stereotypes of fans and science fiction/Star Trek fans, most specifically.  While we all might laugh at the skit, does a skit like this reinforce those stereotypes?  I am not sure.  Probably.  What I do think is interesting is that this skit came out at a time in which geekdom wasn’t popular.  It wasn’t popular at all.  Now, it is much cooler to be into something in that genre.  Would be fans be represented in the same way now?

Speaking of more modern times, there was another Star Trek skit that sticks out in my mind.  This skit features Zachary Quinto and Chris Pine (actors who most recently played Spock and Kirk in the newly rebooted Star Trek).  In this case, they addressed concerns that the fans had about how the Star Trek franchise was changing.

https://screen.yahoo.com/feature-star-trek-000000010.html

Clearly, the idea behind this skit is that fans take things too seriously and are unwilling to change.  They refuse to accept a new direction.  Hmm…I am sure that there aren’t Duranies who are stuck in thinking that the only good Duran albums were the first three, right?  Again, this skit is supposed to be funny because it focuses on the stereotypes of fans, including that they take the object of their fandom too seriously.  In fact, they are so serious that they cross the line into scary.  Is there truth to this?  Perhaps.  Does this reinforce stereotypes?  Again, probably.

Of course, other fandoms have been featured on Saturday Night Live over the years, including musical fandoms.  Not too long ago, SNL took on the hysteria following the band, One Direction.  In this skit, an adult tries to prove that he is the band’s number one fan over the pre-teen girls.

How does this clip do in terms of representing fandom?  Obviously, his behavior is supposed to look silly since he is an adult.  Thus, he should not be doing the things that the preteen fans do like know trivia, compete over who is going to marry which band member, plan to name children after them, push through the crowd to get an autograph and more.  Since this particular clip hits close to home for most of us reading this blog, I have to admit that I laughed and laughed at this one, too.  Again, the jokes are funny when they are based on stereotypes.  Clearly, there are a ton of stereotypes about young, female fans.  Are some of them true?  Sure.  Does it then reinforce the idea that fandom is only for young girls who do silly things?  It does that, too, I think.

It is difficult to analyze comedy in terms of how it does with fandom because it is MEANT to be funny.  It isn’t supposed to be taken seriously in the same way that documentaries are.  That said, it can reinforce stereotypes, even stereotypes involving fandom.  Now, on that note, I understand that there was a skit on SNL about Spring Break in the UK in which Duran Duran shows up.  I believe Chris Farley was playing Simon.  Clearly, if my understanding is correct, the stereotypes in that skit weren’t about fans but about the band, or at least Simon.  I tried desperately to find it online but couldn’t.  If anyone has it, please share!

What do the rest of you think?  Are these portrayals of fans accurate?  Are they exaggerations based on commonly held beliefs?  Do they reinforce negative assumptions?

-A

New Duran Duran Events Page

Duran Duran events are beginning to trickle in, and we’re finding ourselves slowly ramping up to keep track of what/where/when…and if you’re like us…HOW are we gonna get there!  Today we are unveiling a new calendar on Daily Duranie in order to track what the band is doing and what might be coming up in the future.

We are constantly trying to improve the site, making it more informational and interactive, while also keeping a good sense of community. Our hope is to keep up with all Duran Duran events, shows, and appearances so that our events page can be a one-stop “shop” for seeing “where in the world is the band today?!“.  Additionally, we are completely open to posting and promoting meet-up and Duranie-party information for our fellow fans.  Basically, if you have a Duranie get-together or other Duran Duran events coming up and you want the world to know about it, let us know and we’ll put the dates on the site for you, where it will then be publicized to the Duraniverse.

You may continue to see improvements in the events page as we learn to use and customize it ourselves in the coming months!

-R

Why Seeing Duran Duran Live Matters to Me

I went to a funeral this afternoon for a former colleague.  Obviously, I’m saddened by her passing and very sad that she did not get to enjoy her retirement from teaching much.  Death always seems to be a reminder, not about death but about living.  I am well aware that my time on this planet is finite.  It is limited.  This acknowledgement of reality always makes me think of my choices.  At the end of my life, will I look back on my life and appreciate the choices I have made or will I regret how I have spent my life.

This past Tuesday, I received a number of messages from my partner-in-crime about a live appearance that Duran Duran is doing in L.A. on April 1st entitled, “The Music of David Lynch”.  I didn’t hesitate one bit when I declared that I would go to the show with her.  Yes, this means buying a plane ticket and spending a big chunk of my spring break away from home.  Some have subtly or not-so-subtly questioned my motive for this.  Will the band play more than one song?  Will they even play their own music?  Will you be spending a lot of your touring money for just one song or a brief  appearance?  If so, will that be a problem later on for you?  I calmly answered those questions both to the people asking and to myself.

If you have been paying attention to this blog lately, you might have noticed that I haven’t said much about the band at all.  Rhonda has been voicing her dismay about Durantime, the lack of social media presence and more.  Have I been quiet because I feel differently than her?  Not really.  I found myself in a situation in which I was almost afraid to start talking, to start really talking, for a number of reasons. A few years ago, I posted my concerns about a lengthy time between albums.  I mentioned how the facts show that this will be the longest stretch ever in the history of Duran in which they haven’t either released an album or gone on tour.  The response was overwhelmingly critical towards me (and Rhonda when she voiced similar messages).  How dare I not be supportive?  Don’t I think they deserve a life?  Don’t I realize that art takes time?  (For the record:  My mom is an artist–I know about art and about how she has deadlines just like other professions, at least if she plans to show her work in art shows.)  Thus, I opted to keep my mouth shut for awhile.

Then, over the fall, I spent a lot of time putting together that book that Rhonda showcased in a post here last month.  It meant going back through all of my scrapbooks, this blog, massive amounts of emails and more to be able to tell the story of us, Rhonda and Amanda, to tell the story of our fandom.  I realized how much each and every tour, how each and every step of this journey has meant to me.  I was overwhelmed by the power of the memories.  I missed it all so much that I physically hurt, at times.  The grief I was experiencing was such that I actually went through the typical stages of grief, ones that the family and friends of my former colleague are now going through.  I tried to deny how long they have been “working” on the album.  I became angry–at them for not understanding how much they mean to so many of us and for not seeming like they care.  (By the way, I’m still amazed that there has never been an acknowledgement of this blog that we do each and every day or the fan events we have organized and held.)  Has all of this been a waste of my time?  My energy?  At the end of my life, will I look back at the choice to focus on my fandom so much as a mistake?  Then, of course, there was bargaining and depression.

I don’t think I ever truly got to the acceptance part.  I’m still disappointed in many of their choices.  So, why go, you might ask?  If I don’t go, who am I punishing?  Them?  They wouldn’t know or care if I didn’t go.  Heck, they wouldn’t know or care, if I didn’t do the Daily Duranie anymore either.  No, I would be punishing me.  I would be punishing Rhonda.  The truth is that touring and going to Duran related events have been some of the truly best times of my life.  I have had the most fun ever on tour.  I don’t want to let that go.  Yes, maybe, this is me denying that all of this has been a waste.  Maybe, all of this didn’t produce the results that I thought might happen.  I know this much.  I learned a lot about myself.  I learned so much about our fandom and fandom, in general, that it isn’t funny.  I gained friends and long lasting memories.

Here is what I hope for with my trip.  I’m hoping and expecting it to be fun.  After all, I get to hang out with my best friend for a few days. I get away from work and other responsibilities here at home.  And, yes, maybe, just maybe, I will have a moment that will allow me to lose some of that disappointment, some of that frustration with Duran Duran.  Maybe, I’ll remember what started me on this journey in the first place.

-A

Bestival 2015 with Duran Duran!

Bestival-line-up

Just announced today, Duran Duran will be performing at Bestival 2015 on the Isle of Wight in the UK.  Performing alongside The Chemical Brothers, The Underworld and many others,  Bestival 2015 takes place September 10-13 2015. As seems to be typical, tickets go on sale – yep, you guessed it – today!  (I don’t think the short notice is fault of DDHQ but instead on the shoulders of Bestival 2015 organizers and promoters – meaning, it’s by design.)

Those who surmised that the band would likely play some scattered festival dates this summer in the EU/UK seem to be on the right track!  Daily Duranie guesses that by this point, if not by summer – new music from #DD14 should likely be featured in the set list! It is wonderful to see new shows being announced, with what I am sure will be plenty more announcements to come.

-R

Happy Anniversary Between The Lines!

So today’s Duran Duran history is all about Ordinary World, but something else occurred on this date that is worth mention. Also on this date, but in the year 2008, Dom Brown released Between the Lines. Happy Anniversary!

I know you, fellow fans. I see you sitting there, squinting at your screen as though you have no idea to whom (or what) I may be referring.  That’s fine. Consider this your primer for Between the Lines…and if you really need catching up, check out the interview we did with Dom back in 2012 (yes, it’s really been that long).

A few things you must know up front:

  1. John and Roger guested on the album. They played on two tracks: Amazing and Crocodile Tears.  If that doesn’t grab your attention as Duran fans, I don’t know what will.

  2. This is not a Duran Duran record. Dom’s own style is a little more rock, a lot less pop, and a little blues. This is also not Blue to Brown, which is a true blues band/album. I would put Between the Lines more in the vein of classic rock, but it has modern feel.

  3. He dedicated the album to his son Floyd. How cute is that?

  4. This album, like his others, are a family affair. His wife Martha, a very talented musician in her own right, also guests on the album.

We really haven’t reviewed Between the Lines yet, but for me, the standout tracks are Amazing (which has a much different production feel than the rest of the album) – and Day Turned Black. Amazing is the closest to pop you’ll hear Dom play aside from his work in Duran Duran, with it’s catchy staccato opening. This song has a true hook and could really stand on it’s own to be a single in the right market. Day Turned Black; however, is more of a ballad, and it is the type of writing that you might find on a B-side. It’s a deeper track, both in musicianship as well as in subject, and if the lyrics don’t grab you – Dom’s soaring guitar solo certainly will. If you haven’t given his work a chance and assume that what he brings to stage with Duran Duran is all there is – you’re missing out.

Overall, Between the Lines was Dom’s second – the first being “Touch the Flames”. One thing I really appreciate is that I’m able to hear the improvements in his recording and production between the two albums. Just as Duran Duran’s second album sounded far slicker and less raw – Between the Lines is the same. To be fair to Dom, there is still enough of a hard edge to give Between the Lines grit. After all, this is rock.

If you’re looking for some new music (it’d be new to you!), I highly recommend checking Between the Lines out…and I know Dom would appreciate the support from Duran fans!

-R