#DDAD19 Preview, Questions of the Day and more!

I am distracted this morning between having to pick up my niece at the airport, work related news and Duran Duran Appreciation Day. Normally, when I start to blog, I have a solid idea in mind along with a rough outline. Today, though, I’m sort of winging it. Maybe, I’ll address a number of random things.

Duran Duran Appreciation Day

It’s tomorrow! Is everyone ready? Did you read Rhonda’s blog yesterday? If not, it’s here. She gave you the scoop about our party details! I still have to go shopping for our drink suggestions. What about all of you? Again, if you don’t know, we are starting our online party at 1 pm Central or 11 am Pacific. We will tweet and post the YouTube playlist link in the morning. Then, of course, we will be live tweeting using the hashtag #DDAD19. It will be super fun to see how this goes with both Rhonda and I tweeting at the same time using the same Twitter handle. If nothing else, I fully expect Rhonda and myself to crack ourselves up and only ourselves. Cannot wait!!

How else are people going to celebrate besides partying with us? How many of you are wearing Duran Duran t-shirts, for example? I know that I plan to! I will be wearing it despite moving my niece into college in the morning. Maybe it will help to educate these youngsters about good music! I also noticed that Duran’s social media have encouraged people to change their profiles pictures to this:

I don’t know about the rest of you but I have seen a lot of people change to this picture on both Facebook and Twitter. It makes me feel really good to see all of the love for Duran out there. If you haven’t changed yours yet, there is still time.

On a related note, I asked the following question on Facebook and Twitter: What Duran Duran lyric describes what you appreciate about the band? If you haven’t answered yet, I would love to know what you all have to say. After all, while I can certainly write about what I love about the band but I’m just one fan who might miss a lot about what others appreciate.

The Best 9 Songs

Speaking of social media, I wanted to take a minute to address the questions of the day. The set of questions we are on have to do with picking out the best 9 songs from a particular era This idea came from a thought I had when thinking about Duran albums. It seemed to me that the first three albums were so solid because they only included 9 songs. The band might have worked on other songs but only included the top ones, the best ones. So, what if we did that with the rest of the albums? Then, I decided that I shouldn’t be the one to determine which songs are the best but let our voters decide. Now, here is where I need to add the frequently stated disclaimer. When I do questions of the day like this, it doesn’t mean that I think that Duran Duran songs are bad or that some of them are bad. It is just that some might be better.

The second part of the disclaimer goes like this: It is just for fun! There is a lot of serious, horrible things going on in the world. I do things like the questions of the day to escape a little of that seriousness. I want one thing that is not so serious. It really doesn’t matter which songs our voters choose to be included in the best of Astronaut. No one gets hurts. The band does not get hurt by this. In real life, in the real world, lots of people are getting hurt. That is not happening with our questions of the day. Now, all that said, if you don’t like what we are asking, okay. Cool. Feel free to not participate or to participate. We love to have people voice their opinions but I get that for some people, it just doesn’t work for them.

On that note, I probably should get this published and get to the store. I have supplies to buy including some mixers and snacks. Anyone know any fun Duran related snacks? “See” you all tomorrow!!

-A

Join us Saturday for an Online #DDAD19 party!

Welcome to Thursday! Before we get too much farther into it, I apologize for not posting yesterday. It was school registration day for my youngest.

Yesterday was a big day. I had a nervous but very excited tween, and my attention for the better part of the morning needed to be with her. Next Wednesday is “back to school”. I think she’s excited and I’m still trying to understand how she could possibly be in 6th grade already.

By the time I got home, I had to get on a conference call, and then I had a meeting with Amanda about Duran Duran Appreciation Day plans that I’m about to share!

This year, celebrate Duran Duran Appreciation Day with Daily Duranie! We are hosting an online video party, complete with a “suggested” cocktail list!

Who: EVERYONE!

When: SATURDAY, AUGUST 10TH. 11 am West Coast US, 1PM Central, 2PM East Coast US….please do the math from there to calculate the proper time for your area of the world. 🙂 This is a “Drop In” party, meaning that if you can’t make it at 11am, drop in whenever you’re able! We have a video viewing schedule that we’ll adhere to (see notes below!)

Where: ONLINE! We will be live tweeting throughout the day on Twitter, using the hashtag #DDAD19.

For ease of viewing, we compiled the videos into a single playlist, and I’ll tweet that out on Saturday. All you’ll need to do is hit “play”, then sit back, squee like a Duranie – and tweet with us! For now, here’s the general idea of what we’re watching and drinking.

Viewing Schedule with Progressive Cocktail Menu

  • Kennedy Space Center show (“Something Alien’s Happening” Pimms No. 1 Cup)
  • Behind The Music (“White Light Shining Bright” Gin &Tonic)
  • Off the Record from 1981
  • DD Talk Paper Gods (“High waters and neon” Green Screwdrivers)
  • Hollywood Bowl 2015 (“We drank all of the vodka” Vodka & Tonic)
  • Sing Blue Silver (“That’s what the band wants” Blue vodka lemonade)
  • Reunion documentary (“Why don’t we have decent glasses?” red or white wine of your choice)
  • Live from London
  • Diamond in the Mind (“If you made it this far, you’re probably drunk” Tequila shots to finish you off.)

No really, if you tried the entire menu, you’re done now. Go to bed and sleep it off. Trust us.

Cocktail Recipes and shopping list

Pimms No. 1 Cup

One part Pimms No. 1 base mix* (this is made with gin)

Two parts “fizzy lemonade”, or ginger-ale

Pour over ice in a tall highball glass. Garnish ideas: cucumber, mint, orange and/or lemon slices – whatever fruit you prefer.

*Simon’s recipe is to pour a “decent” measure of Pimms and top with ginger ale…. I’ll just remind everyone that the art of progressive drinking is a MARATHON, not a sprint.

Gin and Tonic

Does this really need a recipe? Just in case….

One part gin* of your choice, to two parts tonic in a glass over ice. Garnish with either lemon or lime, depending upon taste.

*Remember, it’s a marathon. 😀

Green Screwdrivers (there is a reason we went with a drink that is green in color for the corresponding videos. Maybe some of you will remember…) This drink has real measurements. A shot glass can be anywhere from 1.5-2 oz (or even more I guess. Good luck!!)

4 oz orange juice

1 oz vodka

1 oz Blue Curacao

2 oz lemon-lime soda

Pour over ice in a tall glass. Garnish with a cherry, sit back and enjoy!

Blue Vodka Lemonade

The name sounds more complicated than it is, I promise!! (although by now – you may have difficulty measuring. Best. Of. Luck.)

One part vodka

One part blue curaçao

Two parts lemonade

Pour in a glass over ice. Garnish with a lovely maraschino cherry!

Vodka & Tonic

By now, maybe you’re cursing at Amanda and I, and perhaps we even deserve it. We’ve chosen to make it easy on everyone, and just throw in our own personal favorite!

One part vodka

Two parts tonic

Pour over ice. Garnish with lemon or lime. (we usually go with lime)

Simple. If you’re calorie conscious, you could always substitute club soda for the tonic. At this point though, who cares?!?

Wine

This should be self-explanatory. I’ll just say here that mixing alcohol can be regretful and leave it at that.

Open bottle of red or white wine – your choice.

Pour in glass.

Done. Could it really be any easier?!?

Last but not least….

Tequila Shots

We can’t imagine anyone making it this far….but if you did, pour yourself a shot of decent tequila, get yourself some salt and a lime. Steady yourself, and see ya on the other side!

Shopping list!

  • Bottle of Pimms No. 1 Cup
  • Gin of your choice
  • Vodka of your choice
  • Blue Curacao liqueur
  • tonic
  • orange juice
  • lemonade
  • ginger-ale
  • lemon-lime soda (like sprite)
  • lemon
  • lime
  • fresh mint
  • cucumber
  • orange
  • maraschino cherries

We hope to see tweets from many of you on Saturday! Rock your fave DD t-shirt, listen to all of the music with abandon, and celebrate the sheer pleasure of Duran Duran’s music for the last FORTY YEARS. Even during these turbulent, screwed up times -we can take a day, or even just a few hours, to marvel in the music that as accompanied us along our way. Happy Duran Duran Appreciation Day!!

-R

July 2019 Katy Kafe with Simon!

(Yes, I know it’s August 6th. Bear with me.)

You know it’s bad when you distinctly remember seeing mention of a Kafe, even going so far as to comment on how you’re looking forward to hearing it….and then promptly forget about the entire thing. Welcome to my life.

Better late than never, I listened to the Kafe this morning, took detailed notes, and am ready to deliver the State of the Duraniverse for this month. Or last month. Whatever. Just remember that I make no assertion that my notes are complete – and the only way you’ll hear the entire thing for yourself is with a DDM membership!

Kennedy Space Center Show

Katy caught up with Simon on July 30th. He was presumably back at home in England after the excitement from the Kennedy Space Center show a couple of weeks earlier. They spoke a little about the show, beginning with Studio Drift and their drone installation for the concert. Simon explained that the drones were meant to look like starling murmurations (the way they gather and seem to suspend in midair). I’ve posted some videos of their performance during The Universe Alone – if you haven’t checked them out yet, you really should. Trust me, the video will send goosebumps up and down your arms, it is that good. Here’s some of just the beginning to give you an idea:

I wish this were the entire song…but even a minute of it gave me chills!

Simon also talked a little about the setlist, saying that they did a full “space” section including “The Universe Alone”, “Planet Earth”, “New Moon on Monday”, “Reach Up for the Sunrise”, “Astronaut” and a cover of The Police’s “Walking on the Moon”. He said that for himself, “Astronaut” was a high point because it hasn’t been played very often during the last few years, suggesting that it was due to it’s difficulty. (I’m just going to say that for a song that is tough to play, I think they do an outstanding job). He mentioned that while he didn’t think they’d play “Walking on the Moon” again, maybe…just maybe…”Astronaut” might find its way back into a set list. I hope so!

Another interesting, but not at all surprising, comment on the KSC performance was that Nick took the time to come up with the master plan for that evening. His nickname is The Controller, you know….

September shows, and mini tours

While Simon didn’t say much about the upcoming shows in September, he did say that these mini tours are very important to Duran Duran because it has been decided that they should never go more than three months without a live show – simply because (and I’m having to surmise this a little based on the conversation) John, Simon & Roger get out of practice with the physicality. If they don’t play live, I think it is probably difficult to maintain the stamina necessary to play a full set. Not that Nick doesn’t “glisten” back there on keyboards, but I think compared to John, Simon and Roger, he doesn’t have to move as much. Regardless, I’m going to applaud their commitment to live shows!

The New Album

With that in mind, according to Katy, after September they don’t have anything booked. Will they go back into the studio? Katy does her best to lead Simon into this line of questioning, and I have to say that the studio work MUST be going well because Simon doesn’t struggle before answering that it’s going really well. He says the new album is going great and that he needs to start “knuckling down” and coming up with some lyrics. He plans to get together with Erol Alkan to work.

Simon describes the new album as “quite a departure”, using the word “Experimental”. What I dearly appreciate most from Simon here though, is that he explains this by saying that for him – Rio was a mainstream album. The first album; however, was more experimental. Katy follows up by asking him to compare Astronaut and Paper Gods in the same terms, and Simon says that Paper Gods is far more experimental – but is quick to also say that this new album is a “completely different vibe”.

I don’t know about the rest of you reading – but I’m excited!! I can hardly wait to hear what they’ve been working on. From everything that Nick has said, along with what Simon has now mentioned, it sounds fantastic! As I said last month, I’m still finding it hard to believe they’re already at a point where they can talk about this album as though it is a tangible thing as opposed to more of a vague, undefined few things they’ve kicked around. It’s been four years as of September since Paper Gods has been released, but for whatever reason, it hasn’t felt like it’s been that long.

Perhaps a drink suggestion for Duran Duran Appreciation Day?

Katy ended the Kafe by asking Simon if he had a cocktail suggestion to share. Last year, Simon went into extraordinary detail, describing a cocktail that we should all try in order to properly capture the last few days of summer. I find myself in similar territory (as always) this year…so I was happy to get another suggestion that I plan to put into full use on Saturday!

Pimms No. 1 Cup

**as an aside: Simon couldn’t remember in the Kafe if it was called a No. 1 or a No. 2 cup. I looked it up, and it is a No. 1. Pimms made seven different products, all “fruit cups” differing in their base alcohol. The No. 1 cup is the most popular and is based on Gin. No. 2 was whisky, the original No. 3 was brandy (although now there’s a winter cup infused with orange peel and spices that is available seasonally), No. 4 was Rum, No. 5 was rye whisky, and No. 6 is vodka. Only 1, 3 (as the Winter Cup), and 6 are currently made.

Pour a “decent measure” of this over ice, top with ginger ale, along with a slice of lemon, mint, perhaps some orange, and a maraschino cherry.

Expect this as one of the drink suggestions for Duran Duran Appreciation Day. I mean….it’d be rude not to, right??

-R

You Can Make Your Rhymes and Paint Your Rules

It’s hard to feel like blogging today. I tried staying off of social media over the weekend. This morning it is definitely no better. Reading the same thing 50,000 times does little to heal, nor does it seem productive if you’re really wanting to change things. I would rather spend the time with people I care about, can see, speak with, and respond to in person. So that’s what I’ve been doing, and it is what I intend to continue – a lot less social media, and a lot more “in person”.

At one time, I was a huge proponent of social media. Direct-to-fan marketing? YES! Fan-empowerment? 100% on board. I believed that social media was the way to bond with fans, and a great tool for marketing and promotion. I loved it all. What changed?

Thought that I was in control

I was just sitting here mulling over my social media trajectory as I considered what I’d write this morning. The idea that we could connect with others from all across the globe, using this wonderful conduit, sparked something in me. Virtually “meeting” people that I would have likely never had the opportunity to talk with otherwise, made the Duranie world feel so much more tactile and real. Message boards and social media made fandom fun. I wanted more.

I don’t think things can stay like that forever. For example, writing this blog now isn’t nearly the “wide-eyed and bushy-tailed” experience it was when we started, and that’s okay with me. I can only control what I write – not how readers respond to my words. Social media is the same. What was once pure fun for me, has turned into something quite different. I am still able to see the joy when I see posts from friends and they’re speaking about things in their personal lives or sharing pictures and things. Every once in a while a blog resonates with someone, or a complete stranger finds the website and feels compelled to connect with Amanda and I to say thank you or to excitedly share their feelings. Those moments are still golden and I appreciate them greatly.

On the other hand though, social media is a minefield. Sometimes I have to wonder if it’s just me or if others feel the same. I see posts from people, and immediately internalize them. It is unhealthy, and I am well-aware of when I’m allowing it to happen. Ultimately, I’ve gotten to the point where social media isn’t a friend, but rather – a foe.

Another trick of fate

Self-confidence is attractive. Conversely, it is never good when someone seems desperate, has little poise, or self-assurance. If I am not careful, I can easily slide down that hill into the woe-is-me cesspool, and I have zero interest in wallowing there. I can see that social media is the kind of kryptonite that can throw me there. While it can, and has built me up over the years, social media has also helped to tear me down.

Not being mentioned in a list of people that inspired a friend didn’t shove me into a cavern of despair. Seeing posts from people who have long since stopped being close confidants doesn’t make me wistful and sad for what once was. Reading tweet after tweet suggesting that wishing “thoughts and prayers” are now horrible things to say didn’t hurt me directly. Knowing that we didn’t even go a full 24-hours without a mass shooting didn’t altogether drive me over an edge. No. It is all of it, actually. All of it – collectively – made me see that social media is no longer my friend.

Nearly everyone has asked at one point or another why the band isn’t on social media anymore – at least beyond more than a post here or there. This morning, the nicest thing I saw on Twitter was from someone (*cough* Dom *cough*) who almost never posts. They retweeted a picture from freaking 2012. That was SEVEN years ago…and it was the best thing I saw in my timeline, amongst of all the other tweets (not specifically aimed at anyone) filled with vitriol, anger and insults. Seriously? That’s the best?

Gotta break it all

People like to blame a specific troll, or say it’s the “crazies” that drove band members like John from Twitter. Did you ever ask him personally? (I haven’t) What if it wasn’t any one thing? Maybe it was ALL of it. What if they realized that it just isn’t that helpful, and it really isn’t much fun? That’s where I’m at.

I don’t know what I’m going to do, or how to handle it. I’m still online, of course. Regardless of what I do in my personal life, Daily Duranie won’t be affected. I’ve talked about taking a break before, and for the most part I think I did. Maybe I need another, but perhaps I also just need to unplug a bit more extensively.

I don’t like being dramatic and announcing an exit. Fishing or sympathy or reassurance isn’t something I like doing. I truly hate seeing people beg not to be “cut” from the friend list, or what-have-you. If I’m going to cull my friends and followers, or if I’m going to completely quit social media in my personal life; readers are probably going to be the last to know. I’m not going to tell you all so that you can “kiss the ring” and stay. That’s kind of the opposite of the point.

That isn’t even the purpose of my writing about it here. I’m just wondering if anyone else feels the same. Social media is an integral part of being a fan. We all rely on it to stay connected. I’m just wondering how it would feel to disconnect myself, I guess. It feels so extreme. I wonder how other people manage it all. Any thoughts or ideas?

-R

An outspoken examination and celebration of fandom!