Special Katy Kafe with TV Mania

I never get the chance to discuss a Katy Kafe, or so it seems.  Therefore, when a special edition popped up on my radar yesterday, I knew that I had to scrap my original idea about what to blog about to discuss it.  Of course, now that I have taken the time, I realize how challenging it is to figure out how to get started since there is a ton to talk about.  First, let me provide the link, in case you haven’t heard it and would like to.  Unlike most Kafes, this one is not just for DDM members.  If you would like to listen to it, you can go here.  Obviously, my discussion about it will focus on the most interesting moments and this Kafe did not had many of them!

There was, obviously, quite a bit of a discussion about the TV Mania project and how unique it is compared to other bands or to other side projects of Duran’s.  Part of its uniqueness is that there was this family created that truly reflected the society of the 1990s.  One of the questions that they were asked focused on who influenced the creation of their characters, specifically Sassy.  Nick explained how they were truly based on “extreme stereotypes” including the Dad is the “religious freak”, Mom is a “pill head”, the son is a computer hacker and online gamer and the daughter is a fame seeker through whatever means necessary.  While this wasn’t necessarily new information to me, I did find out that this family now has a space on Second Life.  Who knew?!  As someone who doesn’t go into Second Life ever, I had no idea.  My question to those of you do:  Can/have you interacted with them?!  Of course, the project is also unique because of the incredible focus on the visuals and how, musically, it creates a new genre, according to Warren, which I have to agree with.  He explains how it doesn’t fit into the electronic genre of the 1990s and doesn’t fit today.  Of course, the visuals for this project are everywhere.  Many of us are fascinated by Nick’s photography exhibit, which he discusses to some extent.  I didn’t realize that the images were divided into “vicious women” or “troubled women” but featured all the same model, who is the “Sassy” character.  Fascinating.  This is one of those moments when I truly wished that I could see this in person.  Of course, the vinyl packaging is also supposed to be something.  (I will discuss that when I receive my vinyl.  Anyone in the US get theirs yet??)  They also mentioned the video for Euphoria and how there is a video remix of that coming, along with the video for Beautiful Clothes.  I, for one, cannot wait for that!?  Nick also mentioned how there will be a “visual” surprise for What About God?

Speaking of which, the project unlike a lot of music out there really, obviously, reflects on society and popular culture.  While the project came out before a lot of the social networking sites were up, running and popular, they did talk about the current use of twitter.  For them, it is another visual.  They described it as a means to send out random thoughts and images to “stimulate the brand”.  That said, when asked about what they saw the future being like, Nick hoped that social networking still wouldn’t be as important as it is now.  Hmm…so he still isn’t a fan?  Yet, clearly, TV Mania is using it.  Is Second Life not social networking?  This is even more interesting as they introduced this idea of having TV Mania being a franchise with different TV Manias all over the world.  What would that be like?  It would be anyone who is interested in making music using samples, technology, different sounds and combining it with visuals.  There would then be a YouTube channel that would showcase these different ones.  Wow.  There is a lot to think about with this idea.  On one hand, I love the idea that everyone could do it.  It feels very punk rock in that sense.  I also adore the encouragement of art and creativity.  Yet, I wonder about the details.  How exactly would it work?  I’m sure there will be more information to come.

Of course, no Katy Kafe would be complete without some mention about what both Warren and Nick are up to.  Nick, as usualy, sounds super busy.  He mentioned how they were back in the studio with Mark Ronson with the hopes of releasing the album next year.  One personal project he has is to sort his photography archives, especially since they won’t be touring anytime soon.  Yet, the part that caught my attention is how he is working with John on some sort of elaborate musical project with a storyline!  Fascinating.  While they might be the oldest of friends, they certainly haven’t done much together outside of Duran.  In fact, when apart, they seem to have gone in opposite directions, musically, so I can’t wait to see what they could come up with together!  Warren is working with a singer from Stockholm on some sort of Missing Persons project and is busy with his production company. 

This Katy Kafe was jammed pack with both information and with interaction.  Katy, often, didn’t get a word in edgewise as frequently Warren and Nick would just keep discussion alive.  If you are a fan of hearing interaction, then, this is a good one to listen to.  Sometimes, it was hard to pick out the information through all of the interaction and, at times, humor.  I appreciated the little jokes like the idea that TV Mania would tour in 2031 since it seems to take a long time to do things surrounding the project or when Nick stated how it was -500 degrees there.  Oh, Nick.  Try living in Wisconsin the last few months!  There is still snow on the ground that has been around since before Christmas.  All of that said, I can see where Warren fans would enjoy this Kafe more than others.  For me, I just loved hearing that there is more to look forward to with TV Mania and other projects!

-A

13 thoughts on “Special Katy Kafe with TV Mania”

  1. Thanks so much for the review. I had no clue about this and thoroughly enjoyed it (it says something about the blog that I come here before DD.com!). Quick reactions:
    1. I, too, was intrigued by the Nick/John project. I wonder what it could be…
    2. It was great to hear Warren and Nick- they have such chemistry. And, lest we forget, when DD hired Katy, Warren was in the band so they all go way back.
    3. I was thrilled to hear them confirm the trilogy rumor. To think-as a huge fan of that late 90s DD sound-that there are 2 more albums of material in the vault…(“they're on the same masters as the Blondie material” Warren said…) is just incredible to me.
    4. Kudos to Rhonda for getting a question asked!
    5. I thought the story about DD's first recorded interview and Warren's description of Nick was funny (and interesting too).
    6. I hope, someday, there can be a similar thawing/reconciling with Andy as we've seen with Warren (maybe when they finally decide to finish Reportage).
    7. My wife is from Wisconsin and she says the same thing, Amanda!

    Chris

  2. Thank you for sharing an amazing review and congrats on your question answered!
    I did enjoy this Katy Kafé, it was a very special moment to me.
    I nearly forgot how deep Warren’s voice sounded, I didn’t forget Nick’s wicked sense of humor. I laughed with them when they cracked jokes.
    TV Mania is successful, because there is chemistry and immense respect within these two guys. I hope their work wouldn’t be underrated in the future.
    To finish, they were cool to make this Kafé open to the non-paying members off DDM, because Warren was back after 10 years…

  3. Welcome for the review! A few thoughts in return: 1. I can't wait to hear what Nick and John have in mind!!! 4. Yay for Rhonda for getting her question asked! I loved that I recognized so many names! 5. I thought Warren's description of that first interview (Have you seen it? It is easy to find on youtube.) was over the top and weird. 7. Glad I'm not the only one complaining about WI weather.

    -A

  4. Got to admit, I was very excited to hear that my question was asked! I don't always submit questions – but I really did wonder if they'd do more videos (I love them. Have I mentioned that here before??), so it's great to hear they've got plans! The big thing for me was that they mentioned SO MANY NAMES I actually knew. I love that.

    I am very intrigued about Nick & John's work…while I wasn't at all sure that I'd appreciate Nick & Warren's project (surprise, surprise – I love it), I can't wait to hear what Nick and John are working on. It's great to hear about so many things coming down the pipes. It keeps us writing!

    I'm not going to mention our weather. 🙂

    I must say that I'm not at all surprised by some of the comments I've heard about this project from other fans though. Many have absolutely nothing kind to say, and I guess I can understand that. I have to liken this to art – a LOT of people love impressionism, but not nearly as many love Cubism or Dada, or anything with a modern or contemporary edge. It's too “out there”. TV Mania is definitely not pop music, and it's certainly not Duran Duran even though I can pick out some definite parallels. I think for a lot of fans, it's just way too different. I think it's probably the same sort of dislike as I had/have for Red Carpet Massacre in a lot of ways – we like what we like.

    Personally, I think the project has been extremely successful for Nick and Warren simply because they released it! I completely agree with Warren – this music is a completely new genre (and I'd really like them to come up with a name for it, because it's awfully tough for this fan to describe!), and in my humble opinion the entire project is on a completely different spectrum from a “simple” album release. I know a lot of fans won't agree with me, but the way they worked the release – from the photography to the way they utilized Twitter to set a tone and send messages about the work – to the video(s) and then the music itself – is it's own wholly unique entity. I just can't applaud it all enough, even if a lot of DD fans don't quite get it. I can see the paving of the road for others who follow. Good for Nick and Warren.

    -R

  5. I would imagine the majority of current fans hate it and I can't blame them. If you're not a fan of the Medazzaland / Pop Trash sound you're not going to like this. I realize you can also approach this as an art project which might make it more palatable.. For me, I take the opposite approach: I love it musically! I'm treating this like a new DD album…not really into the whole Sassy/ Daddy/story.. Just love the songs…

    Anyway…I certainly can't begrudge any in the fan base who don't like it…just grateful that it's out and will help fill the void until the next album…

  6. Mmm..not sure I agree though, C.K. – I mean, yes – it's a definite departure from the current styling of the band, but I didn't care much for either Pop Trash or Medazzaland and yet I really like this.

    Ok, so maybe that's just me. I can accept that.

    You and I are opposite sides of the same coin on this one…but a good coin all the same! 😀

    -R

  7. Great review and cool interview ! I love it for all the informations and for getting and insight into the project and into that friendship between two of the great member of the band. I have to say it is awesome. And yes I am impressed by all the good preparation they did for presenting it. I would be a bit surprised as it is better than what they ususaly do for a DD album. Because I think you both will agree with me that the DD's albums are absolutly great but the lack of marketing is desastrous often. Now the two great news are the fact that not only there is somewhere two others record for Tv Mania and that Nick will do another project this time with John. What is great with all the band members present or past. Is that they each have very personnal style and a mix of two worlds give us something unique. This time with TV Mania and hopefully soon with John and Nick's project. All this is really cool and give us lot pleasure while waiting for the next DD's album.

    Pat

  8. I, too, am impressed with how they are presenting TV Mania. Yet, I hesitate to say that it is better than regular Duran. They are too different with TV Mania being much more art/visual. Duran usually does a lot of TV interviews/performances that wouldn't be appropriate here. Different.

    -A

  9. I will agree though – that this project has what I think Duran Duran's project lack in marketing – and that is creativity. I think that if they took even SOME of the ideas that Nick had in doing this project (not the actual work product, but the way TV Mania rolled out the release – from the way they handled their Twitter to the photography exhibit, to even the storyline) and applied some of it to the way they market new albums, it might be just different enough to stand out among the masses. In a lot of ways, I think that they had plenty to learn from this release – and it's not even so much that they should do exactly what TV Mania did (because in many cases it wouldn't be appropriate), but it's the creative concept in general, and there is nothing stopping the band from applying the general concepts (making an album a full immersion experience rather than just the music, for example) – and still doing the same interviews, etc. that they always do.

    I am really looking forward to seeing how some of this could be applied, and I think that Nick already has the gears turning in his head to see what can be done. I love that.

    -R

  10. I KNEW you were going to say that. I think you're an exception for a number of reasons:
    1. You're a musician so you might have a deeper appreciation than the avg. fan (like me), and as evidenced by your Blue to Brown review. You pick up on things the rest of us aren't going to…so you'd be open to TV Mania even though you weren't into the late 90s DD.
    2. You're very knowledgeable about art (and so is Amanda. Or maybe it's just you…I can't remember. You probably are both far more knowledegable than me.)
    3. You're more open minded. If you and Amanda didn't do this blog, do you think you'd be so quick to dive into TV Mania? Maybe you would because it's Nick and it's really the only buzz in Duranland right now. But I think you both also are doing your due diligence and giving TV Mania a shot because of this blog and its following (and that's great).

    So…in summary…I don't know that the average fan who wasn't into the 90s lineup, or didn't like the Warren sound/era, or isn't into art, is going to get into this project…and I can't blame them. And I think the way you and Amanda have approached TV Mania–taking it all in, from the tweets to the storyline etc–is exactly the way Nick and Warren would want. Me? I'm more of the simplistic, “give me more 90s sounding Duran even if I don't get Simon's voice.” And I've been pleasantly surprised…no, stunned…by this album.

  11. What you say is true, I am a musician and I do know a little about art. Not enough to say I'm an expert, but enough to say that I know what I like.

    I don't know if I'm really THAT open minded. I think that I'm more so now than I used to be, and yes – part of that is definitely because of this blog. I am the very first to admit that I would have thought for sure that I'd hate this album. I really thought it was going to be terrible (for me) before it came out. In fact, I actually ROLLED MY EYES when I first heard they were going to release it. Not kidding. I just couldn't see the point of reopening the past. Somewhere along the line though, and if I think back, I really believe it was when I wanted to review Dom's blues album, I realized that I was going to have to broaden my horizons if I wanted to review anything besides DD music forever more. I've tried to be as honest as possible – I had to LEARN to enjoy the Blues. (I listen to Dom's Blue to Brown album quite a bit now and I actually have found a few other bands I enjoy as a result) The same holds true with this music. It goes against my grain in a lot of ways, but I am learning to wipe the slate clean and listen with as open a mind as possible. It's not easy. The fact is, I want to be supportive…and I really want a better trained ear. So I'm trying to become a better listener and as a result get a better experience in general. Thank you for the compliments, but I really do think it's part of my job as a blogger.

    Does it always work? No. There are times when no matter how open the mind – the music just doesn't work for me. It happens. 🙂 -R

We (Amanda and Rhonda) appreciate discussion and differences of opinion. We respectfully ask that you fully read the blog before bitching us out. If you're only here to take us down a notch, note that we moderate replies (meaning we're not printing rude comments). Thanks a bunch!

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