So John Taylor tells Katy that the new album is to be named All You Need is Now. Quite a departure from King of Nowhere, I’d say. 🙂
Since the announcement of the South African tour dates, fans have been speculating about when exactly the new album will be released. The press release said that these dates will begin a “global campaign” for the new album. The common thinking is that the album will be released in early 2011. This would make sense since that is what the band have been saying in interviews and also what was stated in the presale email from the official fan community. Plus, this fits in the typical pattern for Duran.
On every message board I go to, there are references to “Durantime”. This is a term used to describe how Duran Duran takes an incredibly long time to release new material, no matter if that material is a new album or a new dvd or even a re-release of an old album. Everything Duran is connected to seems to take a long time. Of course, some of that time is because the band seems to seek perfection, which really could be a positive. After all, fans, including myself, want quality products. We don’t want things that look or feel rushed. Most of us would prefer quality over quantity. Right? If that is true, then we must accept this concept of “Durantime” even if we do not like it.
Like most fans, I accept “Durantime” (since I have no other choice) and I will continue to complain about it. At this point in time, though, I would LOVE the band to destroy this concept, at least a little bit, by releasing the album ahead of the common thinking. Perhaps, this is just my desire to get my hands on the album sooner rather than later. At the same time, I think it would be good for the band to be a little less predictable. It would keep the fans on their toes and more engaged in the fandom. After all, who can afford to turn away when something may happen at any time?!
Today, there was an official Duranie alert as the band announced tour dates in South Africa during December. While I’m not anywhere near there, announcements like this get me all excited as they do for countless other Duranies! People are thrilled with the news, even if they are unable to go, as it is clear that life in Duranland is about to pick up. It seems we won’t have to wait long for official word about the album and tour!
Fans have been discussing and analyzing both the announcement on duranduran.com and the email sent out about the presale from Duran Duran Music. Two lines, in particular, from the official announcement have captured people’s focus. The first line that grabbed people mentioned that this mini-tour is the beginning of a huge promotion campaign in regards of the upcoming release of their latest album. There seems to be universal consensus among fans that this means that there will be a ton of tour dates to follow! The only question seems to be when will those dates start and where exactly they will go. Will they do more shows before 2011? Around Christmas? Will they do them in the U.S.? Europe? People’s minds are already guessing about when they will be coming close to them, geographically, and then plotting about how to get to those shows, myself included! The other sentence that has captured people’s attention can be summarized by saying that the new album is going to be released shortly after these tour dates (December 8th-12th, by the way). Does that mean that the album will be released this year or in the beginning of 2011 as they have been promising? Time will tell but that certainly doesn’t stop the fans from speculating!
No matter what specifically happens in terms of an album release date or tour dates, I love when alerts like this come out! I get excited for what is coming and love that other fans do, too!!
Six years ago today, I met a number of really fabulous people, including my partner in this blog. We met in New Orleans at the Duran Duran Fans Convention. This convention was a three day event when Duranies from across the country came together to celebrate our mutual love for the band. There were many fun activities as part of the convention, including Duranie games, the vendor fair to buy merchandise, and the dinner/dance. In many ways, that weekend is a blur as it truly felt like one big party!
The thing that sticks out the most to me (and did then) is how many great stories were shared. I heard so many fans talk about their adventures as fans, including going to shows and seeing and/or meeting the band. Everyone seemed excited to hear about each other’s experiences and had their interest (obsession!) fed by them. We all wanted to have stories to share, if we didn’t already, and felt strongly that we would be able to soon with the album, Astronaut, coming out and a tour soon to follow. Would we all respond in the same way now? I suspect not.
It seems to me that when you join or rejoin a fandom, everything seems great in the beginning! All of the other fans seem so open and welcoming. There is no negativity and everyone seems considerate and honest. Of course, this positive energy was partly coming from the band at that time as they were, or seemed, happy to be back together. It all seemed new again for ALL of us. Since then, two new albums were released and many tours took place. Now, most Duranies recognize that things are not always happy-go-lucky within the fan community as more and more people had their experiences, both with the other fans and with the band, and some of those experiences were not positive ones.
Does that mean that there shouldn’t be anymore conventions? Should meetups no longer exist? Interestingly enough, a group was started on facebook during the summer about a possible Duran Duran convention. Currently, the group has over 550 members. Yet, I haven’t seen anything happening in regards to a convention. In fact, there are no administrators left in that group. Why couldn’t a convention happen now? Why didn’t more happen after that 2004 one? Is it because there is no interest? 550 people would say otherwise. Is it because it is difficult to plan? That could very well be true. Is it because Duranies are too negative, with the band and/or each other? That could depend on who goes, I suppose. Perhaps, people would say that they are interested and end up not going in order to save money for a tour.
Personally, I think that conventions and meetups still have their place and can be incredibly fun! I wish that there had some been one between the shows last summer and whenever the next shows happen. After all, a convention could end up not only being a ton of fun but also the beginning of great friendships!
Once again, information seems to have gotten out of the bag before it was intended…contrary to yesterday’s interview with Mark Ronson (as well as the MTV blog) that King of Nowhere was to be the title of the next album, officials from Duran Duran are saying that is not the case.
Ultimately, you and I will not know the album title until it comes out…but this kind of back and forth is very typical of Duran Duran in general. It’s almost laughable at this point because every time a piece of information gets “out” before management can decide to cross the T’s and dot the I’s, inevitably management will come out with a “That has yet to be released” statement to negate whatever piece of information was released without their say-so.
You would think that after so many years in this business, they would know to react faster (it’s been a full 24 hours since the blog and video were publicized), and you would also think that they’d have mentioned it to Mark Ronson….but hey, maybe not.
So, while I am absolutely not going to pull my prior blog from earlier today…. I do have to say that at least for now, we’re not sure what the album title will be.
I wonder if the band knows!
So there it is…the new album title. The news broke yesterday via an MTV blog, seen here. Overall, great news for Duranies who are chomping at the bit for new music.
That leaves me to ponder over the album title, just a bit. Without hearing the whole album it’s a little difficult to ascertain the reasoning behind choosing this song as the album title. (I believe at this point I’ve heard 3 snippets of songs, although don’t quote me on that because I am honestly not positive. Hey, I’m a mom – I lose count!) However, I do have some early ideas.
Ultimately, we know that the title comes from a song on the album – as if it were that easy. I know a lot of Duranies that take everything the band does at complete face value and never bother to look a little deeper – but that’s not my nature, and I’m certainly not going to be doing that in my blog. The fact is, the band rarely does things that should be taken completely at face value – just like Simon’s lyrics truly are RARELY just about sex. Yes, I realize that’s the party line answer he’s come up for giving whenever someone asks him about his lyrics. That’s just the point though – it’s his pat answer because as Simon has said, approximately half a million times in interviews at this point, he doesn’t explain his lyrics – they are up to the listener to decide what they mean to his or her own self. Quite frankly, I’m still amazed when I go on message boards and someone will ask what such and such song is about – only to be told by another brilliant Duranie that it’s about sex, because that’s what Simon said in _______ interview many years back. It makes me both sad for the person who asked the question because they are only getting about 1/5 of the truth (and probably a whole lot less depending upon the song!), and annoyed at the person who answered.
In my mind, the album title is extremely telling about the state of affairs after the band finished up promoting what I consider to be one of their weaker albums, Red Carpet Massacre. I realize that not everyone is going to agree with that statement, but the fact is – it did not do well on ANY front. Musically, the album truly lacked a sense of balance. Lyrically, I felt as though the album was written much differently than any of their other work. Simon has some beautiful lines throughout the album, but as a whole many of the song lyrics felt very rushed and not polished. Definitely not up to the caliber that I know Simon is capable of writing. Yes, it was to be a “dance” album of sorts, but the way it was recorded and mixed made it seem as though there were no live instruments used in the production. It truly could have been Simon and a synthesizer/beat box in a recording booth somewhere, and it would have sounded very much the same. That’s all fine and good, change is great, and experimentation is what has set Duran Duran apart from the droves over the years and I continue to champion and applaud that – with one exception: this is very much meant to be a 5 piece effort, and it is a shame that Timbaland had absolutely no idea how to record the band as such. He did them a sincere injustice, as did their label for allowing it to happen. With that in mind, when the band went on tour to promote the album, I think they were all very much aware of the uphill battle they had in front of them to convince their fans that it was still Duran Duran, and not Timbaland, that mattered. Truth be told, some fans seemed to love RCM, and while I don’t agree, I can see how they might enjoy the updated sound.
Imagine what Duran Duran was working through at the time and you may see where I am going with my assessment of the title. They had just come back from supporting Astronaut, their first effort with the original 5 since SATRT (Seven and the Ragged Tiger). While the album itself may have not had nearly as much success as Rio, SATRT or their first album – they were indeed filling very large venues on tour. Amazing what a reunion tour will do. I can see how they may have started to believe they were on top of the world again. They even played Madison Square Garden in New York again – a fantastic feat for an 80’s band! I know from everything I’ve read that they went back into the studio in earnest to do another album, and from all indications at the time, they seemed to feel that Reportage was going to be the album their fans wanted. As we all know, that album that has not seen the light of day, and it was announced Andy Taylor left the band once again. Try as they might, the band cannot really convince me that they didn’t feel SOME sort of let down when that happened. I know that as a fan, it knocked me for a loop even though I knew it was coming. Then of course, we all know they worked with Timbaland and Justin Timberlake to write and record Red Carpet Massacre.
My assertion is that the band went from feeling on top of the world, to feeling very much on the bottom of it, and that’s where the title comes from. King of Nowhere. Some might say – “how can you say that, you haven’t even heard the song!” That’s true, I haven’t. Then again, Red Carpet Massacre and Astronaut weren’t album titles purely because of the content of the song. They were titles because they captured an overall feeling at the time. Again, it’s up to us as fans to decide what that means for ourselves. I look forward to reading what other Duranies think!
This is a Duranie Alert.
Today is one of those days where I have a million things to do and about two hours to finish them before I become a chauffeur for my 3 children. In between my driving, I need to clean the house, do the laundry and cook dinner….almost impossible. That said, today’s blog is going to be short and sweet.
I found a YouTube video (aptly named Bruce Springsteen vs. Your Husband) yesterday – I swear the person who created it was eavesdropping in my house the last time Duran Duran toured. It’s word for word (sans the language) how any discussion involving my touring goes with my husband. I am having trouble getting the video to inbed here properly – so here is the link…if I can figure out how to get it to work here, I will post it later when I have a free second.
The fact is – as I mentioned above, I have three kids and 5 schedules to try and work out before I go on “tour” so to speak. (the idea of MY being gone for a week is ridiculous. The longest I’ve ever been gone has been 5 days – and my husband swore that wouldn’t ever happen again. We’ll see dear.) I have to start planning nearly a month before I ever get on a plane or in my car to go anywhere – and the schedule that I have to leave behind for my husband to follow is color coded, marked in red, highlighted, crossed out….and he typically follows NONE OF IT. My kids go absolutely crazy, and they are typically begging for my return about 3 hours into my trip. They love their dad, but I’m the one that keeps the ship afloat around here, and the kids know that.
One would think (one who isn’t obsessed with a rock band, anyway), that if it were this much trouble to tour – that I’d just give it up and see them when they were here in town and convenient. The fact is, and this is the one thing the video misses – is that it’s really not about the band anymore. Yes, I love going to their concerts, and yes, I enjoy getting the little bit of interaction that I have with them when they’re up there and I’m close enough to the stage to enjoy. However, when I go to see Duran Duran, it’s also “Girls time”….something I don’t have at all here at home. For the short time I’m “on tour”, I only have to worry about myself. I can actually let down my hair a bit, I can eat first without having to make sure everyone else is served and settled, and I can have a full conversation with my friends without it being interrupted half a dozen times. I get back a small part of the person I was before children, a husband and responsibilities beyond myself – and that my friends, is golden.
So that’s why *I* tour, and that’s why it’s worth the effort. Yes, it’s about the band, but it’s also about me.
Over the weekend, I received a friend request from a Duranie who lives in Italy. She and I have never met, and unless she makes trips to the US for shows – I doubt we will, since I don’t normally travel to Europe, shows or not. As I accepted her friend request, I thought about how far technology has come since I was 11 – in late 1981. Back then, computers were something that took up entire rooms, and I definitely do not remember ever hearing much about them in my 6th grade classes at school, other than they were something the government used. Twitter, Myspace, Facebook: all things that I am sure I never would have anticipated being my every day reality. Mail was conducted with paper, a writing utensil, an envelope, stamp and some hope that the letter carrier would get it to it’s proper address. Fan clubs of any kind were all done through the mail by newsletters, special little cards, pictures, and that sort of thing. If I think back on it, it’s no wonder I grew bored of fan clubs pretty quickly back then – they were almost completely non-interactive unless you were lucky enough to have friends nearby that were in the fan club with you! Fast forward to 2010, where I am coming down the pipes to the big 4-0, fan clubs are almost entirely online, snail mail is almost so non-existent that stamps keep going up in price (to account for the thousands of pieces of mail that are sent electronically), I work on a computer that literally sits on my lap and is thinner than a pad of paper, and I can keep up with Duran Duran’s happenings on a daily basis, and quicker than it takes me to make my coffee in the morning.
My contemplation for the morning is “Is it better to be a fan in the year 2010 than it was to be a fan in the year 1981…or 1984/85 for that matter?” I think each fan has to answer that for his or her own self, but here are my own thoughts:
I believe that in order to truly appreciate being a fan today, and vice-versa actually, I’m glad I was a fan in the 1980’s. Yes, I got to live through the bands hey-day. I was there when the videos started playing on MTV, I was listening when Richard Blade announced their albums on KROQ (Los Angeles), and I suffered the heartbreaks when Roger, Andy and much later John left the band. That said, let’s list what I did NOT get to do: I was too young to go to shows (according to my parents), I did not ever go back to their hotel after the shows were over, I didn’t know any other fans outside of my circle of friends in school, I certainly never traveled to shows, obviously; and I never met the band. Once again we fast forward to the 2000’s, just after the reunion was announced. I’ve gone to shows, traveled to shows, communicated with people who live in other countries, gone to their hotel after the shows (to hang out in the bar – not to their rooms, of course), and experienced many of the things I missed out on in the 80’s. I feel as though for the most part, I’ve had the chance to complete the circle of what it means to me to be a fan.
With that in mind, I feel so lucky to have gotten to experience my fandom in virtually two eras of my life. The first era being my childhood/adolescence, and the second as an adult. As much as I felt that I may have missed out on some very cool things back when they were the biggest band in the world, I’m almost relieved that I wasn’t older (like my late teens/early 20’s), because if I had been, I’m not sure I would still have the stamina to go and see them now. I would not have met the fantastic friends that I treasure, I don’t know if I would have gone ahead and created a facebook, a myspace page, or become friends with people in completely different countries. What some consider obsessive, I consider to be pure luck.
Last night, I saw a new “rumor” posted on the Duran Duran Message Board about Duran playing a show in South Africa in October. Interestingly enough, there is also a thread on the fan community board about whether or not the band should tour now or after the new album has been released. This thread includes a poll so that Duranies can indicate their preference. Surprisingly, only about two-third of the Duranies who answered wanted them to tour now. I don’t think this would have been the case a few years ago. 2006 is a good example. It was right after an extremely heavy touring year and in between albums. People were excited to go see them at any of the dates during the fall of that year, even though no new music would be played. What is different now? Perhaps, the fans burned themselves out by all of the shows they went to. Maybe, they are interested in other bands. Their lives might be filled with other things right now. Maybe they really do just want new music as they are sick of the setlist always being the same. Obviously, there can be a variety of reasons for people to not jump at the chance of shows right now.
The Duranies who indicated that they wanted shows now, new music or not, often expressed what was experienced earlier in the week on this blog. There is something special about a Duran show, especially when the band is “on”. For the authors of this blog, good Duran shows provide a high like no other. The shows can provide two hours of non-stop singing, screaming, dancing, laughing and, if you are really lucky, a moment or two of interaction with a band member or two. Of course, I have often said that Duran shows are like 3 shows in one (preshow meeting, show itself and post show fun with your close friends). Shows give us a chance to meet other fans or see people we haven’t seen in a long time, which usually happens in a preshow get together or dinner. After the show, while on the high, we find fun wherever we can. ;D The whole experience can be summed by a quote from the song Astronaut, “There is nothing gonna ace this.”
I would love to see Duran play a show or two in South Africa. I realize that I would not be able to attend those shows as they are too far away but they would give me hope that they would be coming closer to me before too long, new music or not!