Tag Archives: DD14

A few of my best moments of 2015

30th of December, 2015. We’ve got about a day and a half left in this year, give or take depending upon where you are in the world. Speaking for myself, I’m happy to see this one end. I have friends who look at New Years with some sort of wide-eyed optimism for possibilities, and I’m not sure I’m in that camp. I wouldn’t necessarily say that I’m looking for a do-over, but I do kind of think of January as a sort of reboot. It’s a good time to sort of purge the system, clean the slate, and start over. Before I move forward, I like to close out the year with a good look back.

This is always a sort of strange time of year for me because typically either I’m sick (as I am this year), or my kids are sick…or even the husband (I shudder to think). It all adds up to where I almost never leave the house for that week between Christmas and New Years, and it is typically right about now when I’m starting to get cabin fever….which I am.  The idea of going out shopping sounds great in theory, but then I take a deep breath and realize that I shouldn’t be going anywhere just yet. And I’m exhausted just thinking about it…so instead I’ll try to recap some of my better moments of 2015.  Granted, I have to actually try to remember all of last year. My memory seems to stop right at April 1st.

January 2015 Katy Kafe

The first thing that comes to mind is the January 2015 Katy Kafe with John Taylor. It isn’t often that I go back an re-read blogs, particular those that were written nearly a year ago…but in searching for something else, I re-read this one. I can remember writing it with absolutely no idea what Paper Gods, or as I fondly call it, #DD14, would have to offer. I wrote about how excited John seemed. How passionate he came across about the new music…and I clearly recall having a sense of real anticipation for the year ahead.  It was a good, breakthrough moment to start the year, without a doubt.

“It’s like riding a bike, Rhonda – you don’t forget!” – Amanda (while we were trying to buy pre-sale tickets to the David Lynch Foundation show)

I remember the day that Duran Duran announced that they would appear and play at the David Lynch Foundation Gala at the Ace Hotel in Los Angeles. To begin with, I nearly choked on my coffee. I just wasn’t expecting that sort of news on that particular day. Then again, I must admit I’m almost never expecting show announcements and they always surprise me! I can remember sending texts to Amanda, full-well knowing she was in class, but I didn’t care. I even sent it with the “bat-code” for CHECK THIS RIGHT NOW.  I also remember how overjoyed I was at the very idea that they were going to be coming to LA after so long. I always joke that getting show announcements feels similar to having been running through the desert and you finally see a drinking fountain or a swimming pool. Naturally, I blogged about the hilarity of the pre-sales being one hour after the band announced the date, which you can re-read here. (It’s even new if you haven’t read it before!)

Hearing a snippet of Pressure Off for the very first time

In all fairness, I can’t seem to remember when this happened. Was it before or after David Lynch?  I’m thinking before. I know they had announced “Pressure Off” being the single by then, but even as I tried to search our archives, I couldn’t find mention of it. Probably because we were on Spring Break at the time. No matter, I remember listening/watching to a horribly distorted snippet of the song that one of the radio DJ’s who attended some sort of party that Warner put on up in Northern California – this was right after it was announced that DD had signed with Warner for this album. I must have watched that snippet (and searched for other longer versions) 50,000 times. I can remember listening quizzically – as though that single 30 second “snapshot” was going to give me all of the answers I was seeking about #DD14.  The one thing I do remember feeling though, was hope. I liked the tiny bit I’d heard.

I know that not long after that snippet made its way through the internet, Roger commented in a Katy Kafe that he really didn’t like that it had been posted because the production couldn’t really be heard. Gotta tell you, Roger – with all due respect – it didn’t matter.  Here’s the thing: and I’m speaking purely from the point of view as a fan – when fans find things like that online – just tiny little slices of new music and so forth, it’s really not about getting a full taste of the production quality. It’s about just hearing the tune, so to speak. I don’t think anyone truly watched that video with the idea that they’d judge the whole album by what was seen. It was more about satisfying the urge. Imagine being thirsty – I mean REALLY thirsty. You don’t sit down and think about what you want to drink. You just need some water, and you guzzle it. Quickly.  And then you refill the glass.

The David Lynch Foundation Gala

We were expecting one song but ended up with three, and had a fantastic time with friends both old and new.  One of the best nights I’d had in a very long time, and of course we tweeted, blogged, and Instagrammed our way through.  Plenty of people chuckled at the idea that Amanda would travel all the way to California for a single song, and I say to them that they just don’t get it. The band was a great backdrop, and sure – they were definitely a motivating factor, but it still comes down to friendship. Amanda and I hadn’t seen one another since the previous summer, and it was time.  There are also those photos with John, Dom & Simon, too.  Of course then we wondered just how much longer it would be before we’d see them again.

Pre-Sales (for the US shows in the Fall)

Yes, I know…pre-sales are both the joy and stress of being a fan. That said, there was something that felt very good about getting online, blood surging through my clogged arteries as I had Amanda on speaker phone that morning in May, both of us working to get the best tickets possible for the shows coming up in October. It felt good. It felt right…and despite that moment when she couldn’t get the darn website to take her credit card expiration date…we survived….and to think we hadn’t even heard the entire album yet.

Listening to Paper Gods

It felt so good to finally have the album in my hand. I relished in taking the time to really look at the icons and the artwork. I read over the liner notes, and then played the album itself non-stop for weeks (from start to finish each time, thank you!). After three years, many of the songs being released early, it finally felt like we’d made it. I remember the exact moment I finally “got” the album – not just hearing it but actually GETTING it. I called Amanda, triumphantly acknowledging that the album wasn’t just about the BAND….it was about fans as well. The album, as a whole (not counting the bonus songs) very much listens as a musical journey throughout the band’s career. There’s a reason why Simon suggests we listen to the album as a whole, all the way through, at least once.  Pure, unadulterated joy…and profound respect are feelings I can easily assign to Paper Gods.

The US Fall tour

Rather than just pick one show – I’m choosing to just say all of them. After three years, seeing the band was one of the best parts of this entire year.  From standing there in second row center at the Hollywood Bowl to leaning my elbows on the stage at Agua Caliente – I don’t think I will ever be able to top those moments as a music lover. What more could I really ever ask for?  I’m really not sure. I just know that the band exceeded my expectations, and whatever I enjoy from here on out is bonus.

 

There were so many other little moments I could have mentioned, but these were the big Duran Duran moments for me this year.  I also want to make mention that while I didn’t include the moment I read that all of the band members were fine and safe after the Paris terrorist attacks – on a very personal level, I don’t think I’ve ever been so thankful. It didn’t seem right to include that in this list, nor did it seem right to include my pride in their decision to donate the their proceeds from EODM’s version of Save a Prayer to charity, but they are not forgotten. I will never forget that so many music lovers, like myself, did not come home from the simple act of going to a concert.

-R

Paper Gods a Plenty!

It looks like I’m going to be adding a couple of versions of Paper Gods to my ever-expanding Duran collection.  Anyone else??

Earlier today, I saw that Duran Duran announced the various versions of Paper Gods that will be descending upon us in the coming months.  For All You Need is Now, there were many different albums depending upon where you lived, where you shopped…and of course, how much you were willing to spend. The options seemed dizzying at the time, and I mentioned here on the blog that I might need a flow chart in order to keep track.  This time, DDHQ seems to be right on top of it by releasing a list today on Facebook of available versions, complete with track listings.

Basically, there will be four different configurations of the album.

  1. A standard 12-track CD, it’s digital equivalent, and a 12-track vinyl double LP.

  2. A deluxe 15-track CD and it’s digital equivalent. (this one has 3 bonus tracks)

  3. A limited edition, high-end deluxe Vinyl Factory box set LP.

  4. Limited edition “fan bundle” available through Duran Duran Music Store. This edition has special packaging, the deluxe 15-track CD, and a paper fortune teller. (because we all need one for trying to figure out and understand this band sometimes…am I right?!?)

The deluxe version of the album is available for preorder at participating retailers, and I read today that Pressure Off will be available through iTunes in the UK on July 24.  (I don’t mind saying that I think it’s ridiculous that people from the UK – DD’s HOME – have to wait until nearly the end of next month in order to get the single. Who plans this stuff?!?)

I can only imagine how “high-end” the Vinyl Factory box set will be – I’ve passed up their most recent limited edition vinyls because quite honestly, as nice as they might be, they’re atrociously priced and something has to give somewhere. Personally, I would have liked to have seen the band give a shot to Manimal Records for their vinyl and come in with a slightly less “high-end” version for those of us mere mortals who still hope to retire someday, but that’s just me.

The official track listing:

Paper Gods (feat. Mr. Hudson)
Last Night in the City (feat. Kiesza)
You Kill Me With Silence
Pressure Off (feat. Janelle Monáe and Nile Rodgers)
Face For Today
Danceophobia
What Are The Chances?
Sunset Garage
Change the Skyline (feat. Jonas Bjerre)
Butterfly Girl
Only in Dreams
The Universe Alone

Deluxe Edition Bonus Tracks:

Planet Roaring
Valentine Stones
Northern Lights

Also in breaking news, a second Capitol Theatre date in New York has been added for August 2nd. DDM Presales tomorrow at noon local time. Duranies, are you ready??  Are your credit cards ready??? We’re off and running….the Duran drought has officially ended!!!

-R

 

Killarney Festival of Music and Food 2015

Taken from the Killarney Facebook page 2/23/15:

Duran Duran to Headline Killarney Festival of Music and Food 2015

Killarney Festival of Music and Food 2015 is delighted to announce that Duran Duran will be joining their 2015 lineup, headlining the main stage at the boutique music festival on Sunday, 28th June. The iconic British rock band will be performing an incredible live set, presenting material from across their extraordinary career. This appearance will be one of only a handful of performances in Europe this Summer and their only show in Ireland in advance of their upcoming record release, slated for September 2015. 

The story of Duran Duran begins at the dawn of the ‘80s, when a group of young men in Birmingham, England formed a band that would quickly became a household name around the world. Three decades later, Duran Duran has sold over 100 million records, been honored with six Lifetime Achievement awards and continue to perform for screaming fans on five continents. They have proven themselves timeless, outlasting their contemporaries and never losing the desire to innovate. Their approach—a fusion of art, fashion, technology, and incredible music—that has always been far ahead of its time, and shows no signs of stopping.

Currently working on their 14th studio album, with superstar producers Mark Ronson, Mr. Hudson and Nile Rodgers, the band simply keeps on proving that there will never be another like them. Their unrivaled vision, celebrated songwriting prowess and incredible live shows have made them a truly global force to be reckoned with: a group with a unique and everlasting appeal.

MUSIC
Duran Duran will join a stellar line up of over 60 Irish and international musicians and bands at the Killarney Festival of Music and Food 2015. Bands and musicians already announced include Jools Holland & his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra featuring Gilson Lavis and guest vocalists Marc Almond, Ruby Turner, Louise Marshall & Mabel Ray, music legend Burt Bacharach, TEXAS, The Proclaimers, The Undertones, Father John Misty, Damien Dempsey, Wallis Bird, Mick Flannery, Gemma Hayes, Delorentos, Mundy, Paddy Casey, Declan O’Rourke, The 4 Of Us, Something Happens, Colin Devlin, The Frank & Walters, Walking on Cars, Morrissey & Marshall, Daithí, Kormacs Big Band, Gangs, Oh Boland, Steven Sharpe & The Broke Straight Boys, Tracy Bruen and Lloyd Yates, We Banjo 3, Ham Sandwich, Giulia, Elaine Mai, David Lyttle, Sleep Thieves and Gingerbeard Family. Many more additional acts will be confirmed in the months leading up to the festival.

DD14 Will Be Called…Paper Gods!

Anyone see anything interesting in last day or so?  My social media universe seem to once again explode with activity late last night.  No, it wasn’t new tour dates but something exciting, nonetheless!  The following picture was posted by Duran Duran:

Paper Gods

 

This, of course, alerted Duranies all over Planet Earth (pun…totally intended) that the Wild Boys (again intended) were really getting ready to release their next studio album, their 14th studio album.  This album we all have been referring to as #DD14 now has a name.  The baby has a name.  Paper Gods.

What were the reactions?  As with everything else in Duranland, there were some mixed reactions and some additional thoughts.  In general, the reactions were of two basic camps from what I could see.  Many were just simply excited by this.  It represents the end of a VERY, VERY, VERY LONG drought in between albums.  It will end this time’s Durantime.  It means new music, a tour and a flurry of Duran activity.  I assume that those fans would have been excited over anything related to the new album.  That isn’t a criticism.  I just think there were many fans who are too excited to even decide what they really think of the album title!!!  I get that!  I want the end of Durantime, too!  I love that there is so much to react to that I could be blogging every hour or so and still not run out of things to talk about.

The other general reaction is a new push for “when”!  The fans who responded with questions such as that are excited, too, but they are also impatient.  They want to know exactly when the album will drop, when the first single is being released, when more tour dates will come and more.  Again, I’m not sure the fans who reacted that way indicate what they actually think of the title.  The fact that the album title got thrown out there makes them want all information now.  It increases their anxiousness.  Again, I can’t criticize that.  I’m impatient, too.  Heck, we here at the Daily Duranie have been complaining about Durantime since like 2013.  Is it harder now that there is a tease?  Maybe so.  I think of it like driving.  If I’m on a long car ride, I’m fine until I get close to my destination then I can’t wait to get out of the car.  That’s how many are feeling about #DD14…wait…I mean Paper Gods.

The other reactions/thoughts/comments focus on either the title itself and what it means and the art.  First, what does “Paper Gods” mean exactly?  I don’t know.  I know that there are a lot of fans trying to figure that out.  Does it represent “money”?  Does it represent false or empty “gods” that people might worship like money?  Assuming that there is a song of the same name, will we get a better clue then?  I suspect so.  I admit that I will be looking to that song to give me a clue as to the meaning and even direction of the album.  Could the cover offer some clues?

If you look closely at the cover, you can see that there are images in the background.  Many are calling these images “subliminal”.  Let’s take a look at the other pictures that are also flying around social media that could be showing these background images.

10408136_10207145350059230_1988963854257282923_n
Posted by Eden Folwell

 

Paper Gods sub 2
Posted by Dan Jones

Many are speculating that these images mean something.  For example, “cherry ice cream smile”.  The bottom picture has a lot more pictures that directly represent Duran and their musical and visual history.  Now, if these background images represent Duran, either directly or indirectly, what does that say about the title?  Is an album cover “paper” and the musical genius behind the album the “gods”?  I, obviously, have no idea.  Not a clue.  I do also wonder about the use of blue and pink.  It does remind me of those phones in the Rio video with Simon using the blue “boy” one and the woman using the pink “girl” phone.  Will those be the colors of the album?  Are they a reference to Duran’s history?  Again, I have no idea.

What are my thoughts then about the title and the image that went along with?  I’m not sure about the title.  I am anxious to hear the song to see what it is a reference to.  I would love for it to be a subtle social commentary that Duran is so capable of.  While that shade of blue and pink aren’t my colors, I do love that there is something to speculate about, something to wonder about, something to discuss.  This is a BIG part of what I miss with Durantime!  I’m ready for many, many discussions about all of it!!!

What do you think???

-A

 

 

You Want Duran Duran Tour Dates?

There are some days when I honestly and truly should not leave the house, and yesterday…particularly the afternoon…was indeed one of those times.

If you haven’t heard yet, please allow Daily Duranie to be the first to break the news (to you)…

You should probably grab a beverage of choice and sit down. Trust me.

DURANLIVE IS COMING!!

I know, I know….you might need oxygen. I understand. You were expecting it…but at the same time you were starting to wonder if they were really going to do anything at all, and certainly nothing else besides festivals right??  Take a breath and know that we’re all probably feeling the same way right now.

Before I give the list of confirmed (yes, confirmed) of dates, I very much want to commend DDM. Not only did I receive the dates by email (not smoke signal, not listed on a variety of different social media, and not just haphazardly stuck up on a website without notice or fanfare), but they wanted to give them to fans first. Granted, you needed to be a member of DDM in order to get them last night before anyone else, but to be fair – people are PAYING for some exclusivity with that fan club. Getting an email with the dates listed seems fair. The email thanked us for being members, then explained that while these dates will not go on the public site until Monday (which means I suppose I’m giving a spoiler, and I really hope I don’t get into trouble for doing so, they are literally posted ALL OVER Facebook right now anyway), DDM wanted members to have them first in order to plan and even called it “their version of a leak”.  (Well DDM…now this is Daily Duranie’s version.)

The email was split into two sections, the first explaining the various ticket packages. As with previous tours, you can either buy straight pre-sale tickets, or go for one of the upgraded VIP packages, which have several different pricing levels. Keep in mind that not all VIP packages are available for all shows, and in certain markets and/or places, pre-sales might not even be available. Those are the breaks, and so pay close attention to what your particular show of interest offers. I really don’t want to see anyone complaining on social media that some show in Timbuktu doesn’t have a pre-sale or Platinum VIP and that DDM sucks just because someone didn’t bother to read closely.  Caveat Emptor (Let the Buyer Beware). DO YOUR HOMEWORK. 

1) The Platinum VIP Experience

US Pricing: $400 + Ticket Price
UK Pricing: £350 + Ticket Price
– 1 Front Row Ticket
– On-site VIP concierge
– VIP Pre-show cocktail hour with food, wine and beer
– Behind-the-scenes backstage tour
– Custom-designed Canvas Bag featuring artwork from the brand new Duran Duran Fall release
– An exclusive Duran Duran T-shirt
– The new full length album, signed by the members of Duran Duran
– A Commemorative VIP Tour Laminate with Lanyard

2) The GOLD VIP Experience

US Pricing: $260 + Ticket Price
UK Pricing: £227.50 + Ticket Price
– One Premium Ticket in rows 2-6
– VIP Pre-show cocktail hour with food, wine and beer
– On-site VIP host
– Custom-designed Canvas Bag featuring artwork from the brand new Duran Duran Fall release
– An exclusive Duran Duran T-shirt
– Commemorative VIP Tour Laminate with Lanyard

3) The SILVER VIP Experience

US Pricing: $150 + Ticket Price
UK Pricing: £131.25 + Ticket Price
– 1 Premium Seat in Rows 1-5
– Custom-designed Canvas Bag featuring artwork from the brand new Duran Duran Fall release
– An exclusive Duran Duran T-shirt
– Commemorative VIP Tour Laminate and Lanyard

4) The BRONZE VIP Experience

US Pricing: $65 + ticket price
UK Pricing: £57 + ticket price
– 1 Premium Reserved Seat
– 1 exclusive Duran Duran T-shirt.
– Commemorative VIP Tour Laminate and Lanyard.

5) Premium pre-sale tickets will also be offered with reduced service charges for our members.

 

Bottom line: YES, VIP can be pricey. My advice? Choose wisely.  DDM is bringing back the infamous cocktail party (please, please, please let it be something more like the cocktail party in NYC for the fan show) …they seem to have some fantastic merchandise lined up, including the ever-popular tour laminates, AND….if you’re really into front row, Platinum guarantees just that…a front row seat. Additionally you’re getting one of the coolest offerings I’ve heard of in a long time – a tour of backstage. I think that is going to be fantastic! Again, kudos for DDM because they have obviously been reading…um, I mean listening….to the fans.  Well done, in my opinion!

If you’re not into the idea of a cocktail party but still want a great seat – Silver is the package for you because you’re still guaranteed a seat in rows 1-5.  I’d love some clarification for Bronze because it just says a premium reserved seat with no real indication of what that means. Is that a premium seat in the same row 1-5 or is that a “premium” seat in section 300 in row ZZ?  I’m not really sure, so if anyone knows, please let me know in the comments.

Ok, Ok…time for dates.  Ready???

Dates? You want Duran Duran tour dates?  Here you go:

USA

Wednesday, August 5 – FOLD Festival (Freak Out! Lets Dance Festival) –  Martha Clara Vineyards,  Riverhead, NY (with Chic featuring Nile Rodgers, Beck, Janelle Monae, Pharrell etc)
No pre-sale or VIP Packages
 
Thursday, August 6 –  Musikfest – ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks, Bethlehem, PA (an “evening with”)
No pre-sale or VIP Packages
Ticket prices range from $59 to $79
 
Sunday, September 20 – Red Rocks Amphitheater, Morrison, CO (with Chic featuring Nile Rodgers and Clean Bandit)
Platinum, Gold, Bronze and regular pre-sale tickets will be offered
Ticket prices range from $49.50 to $125
 
Wednesday, September 23 – Washington State Fair,  Puyallup, WA (with Chic featuring Nile Rodgers and Clean Bandit)
Silver, Bronze and regular pre-sale tickets offered
Ticket prices range from $60 to $100
 
Friday, September 25, 2015 – Grand Sierra Resort & Casino, Grand Theatre, Reno, NV. (with Clean Bandit)
No pre-sale or VIP Packages
Ticket prices range from $75 to $150
 
Sunday, September 27 – Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre at SDSU, San Diego, CA (with Clean Bandit)
No pre-sale or VIP Packages
Ticket prices range from $39.50 to $129.50
 
Thursday, October 1 – Duran Duran at the Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles, CA. (with Chic featuring Nile Rodgers and Clean Bandit)
Platinum, Gold, Bronze and regular pre-sale tickets will be offered ((Pre-sale 10am PST on June 22nd)
Ticket prices range from $35 to $185
 
Friday, October 2  – Duran Duran at The Greek Theatre, Berkeley, CA (with Chic featuring Nile Rodgers and Clean Bandit)
Silver, Bronze and regular pre-sale tickets will be offered
Ticket prices range from $39.50 to $129.50
 
Saturday, October 3, 2015 – Duran Duran at Agua Caliente Casino, Rancho Mirage, CA (with Clean Bandit)
Silver, Bronze and regular pre-sale tickets will be offered
Ticket prices range from $95 to $185
 

U.K.

Friday, November 27 – Manchester Arena, Manchester
Platinum, Gold, Bronze and regular pre-sale tickets will be offered
Ticket prices range from £35 to £65
 
Saturday, November 28 -First Direct Arena, Leeds
Platinum, Gold, Bronze and regular pre-sale tickets will be offered
Ticket prices range from £35 to £65
 
Monday, November 30 -Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff
Pre-sale ticket with reduced service charges (no packages). General Admission
Ticket price: £49.50
 
Wednesday, December 2 – Brighton Centre, Brighton
Pre-sale ticket with reduced service charges (no packages). General Admission and seated.
Ticket prices range from £45 to £65
 
Friday, December 4 – Genting Arena, Birmingham
Platinum, Gold, Bronze and regular pre-sale tickets will be offered
Ticket prices range from £35 to £65
 
Saturday, December 5 – Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle
Silver, Bronze and regular pre-sale tickets will be offered
Ticket prices range from £35 to £65
 
Sunday, December 6 – The SSE Hydro, Glasgow
Silver, Bronze and regular pre-sale tickets will be offered
Ticket prices range from £35 to £65
 
Tuesday, December 8 – The O2, London
Platinum, Gold, Bronze and regular pre-sale tickets will be offered
Ticket prices range from £35 to £65
 
Wednesday, December 9 – Bournemouth International Centre, Bournemouth
Silver, Bronze and regular pre-sale tickets will be offered
Ticket prices range from £35 to £65
 
Friday, December 11 – Capital FM Arena, Nottingham
The floor in front of the stage is standing room only general admission. A limited number of those tickets will be available in our pre-sale with reduced service charges. In addition, we will offer excellent seated tickets as part of the bronze package. The only tickets offered in Nottingham will be the Bronze VIP Package (seated) and regular pre-sale ticket with reduced service charges (seated and general admission on the floor).
Ticket prices range from £35 to £65
 
Saturday, December 12 – Echo Arena, Liverpool
Silver, Bronze and regular pre-sale tickets will be offered
Ticket prices range from £35 to £65
I know you’re all wondering about those pre-sales.  Well my friends, they are mostly on Monday, June 15, with the exception of the October 1 show at the Hollywood Bowl. That presale is on Monday June 22. So you’ve got the weekend to ponder, plot, and plan.  Please note that the band is going through Crowdsurge for their ticket sales, and you absolutely must create your Crowdsurge account PRIOR to Mondays sales. Don’t wait!! Good luck!!

Not only do I think they did a good job in giving us the dates first (I want to give HUGE applause for this even though I am well-aware that there are people complaining that they still haven’t received the email. My question is this: are those people really and truly CURRENT members – because the few that have come to me asking for them have been people who realized that they’d allowed their membership to lapse.), I have to take pause on the fact that these dates are nearly ALL on the west coast…which quite honestly blows my mind to pieces. I don’t know how, I don’t know why…I only know that I’m going to take full advantage.  (“Honey, I’m gonna be gone for a couple of weeks….hope you don’t mind…” as I sneak out the door in late September…)

Truth be told, when my friend Krista sent me a text message yesterday, I was in the middle of a final school meeting for my son. I heard my phone buzzing, and I just knew. I had to do major self-talking, as in: “you will NOT look at that phone, Rhonda. FOCUS. You are talking to Gavin’s teacher about his final grades. You are listening to Gavin talk about his year end projects…no, no, NO don’t think about Duran Duran right now. Do not even ponder over what could be going on. Just don’t!”  As Gavin’s teacher wrapped up the meeting, I scrambled for my phone. Ridiculous. I hadn’t even left the building and had my phone in hand. I took one look at her text and sent the following:

“am going to scream and quietly rock in a corner.”  

As I’ve been going on and on all year – my oldest is about to graduate. Her graduation party is at my house on Saturday. Two days from now (as I nervously glance at my clock because I should be cleaning right this very second). I will have 70 confirmed guests in my backyard, most of them teenagers, but still plenty of family. I have about 5,000 things to do, none of which include this band. Until yesterday. So…I told Amanda to let me know what shows we’re doing…because that’s how much I trust her. I’m just thrilled that we’re planning something, and on Sunday, after the party is over…I can focus on Duran Duran.  YES!

I’ve already been asked if there will be Daily Duranie pre-parties and I think the answer is a resounding YES, when possible. We’d love to do them everywhere – but the fact is, Amanda and I are paying our own way, and both of us have “day” jobs. We are probably only doing three shows (out of these first initial dates), and where it is possible to meet up before or even after the show, we can certainly do that. We’ll have our own VIP cocktail party, rest assured! More info on those to come, so stay tuned!

Happy Weekend! I bid you farewell until Monday (assuming I’m still alive after this weekend’s graduation festivities!).

-R

 

June Katy Kafe with Nick Rhodes!

It is June 5th and we are just DAYS away from a very special birthday for a very special someone!  Nick Rhodes, who may very well be the busiest person I know (of)…took time to chat with Katy, even after having been in the studio until 3am the night before, doing the final tweaks to the final mixes of DD14!!

As always, I have to post my disclaimer – this is not a word for word reiteration of what Nick and Katy discussed. I am only giving what I feel to be the highlights, and if I wrote a quote word for word (these are the times when I wish that I had taken shorthand…does anyone even still DO shorthand???) , then you’ll get it in quotes, otherwise I am paraphrasing…and I am DEFINITELY going to add in my own comments, probably italicized, probably in parentheses. If you are looking for a word-for-word transcription, I strongly recommend that you get yourself a membership to DDM. It’s $35.00 a year, the band is going to be touring soon and pre-sales are coming…just saying.  <winks>

DD14

Let’s be honest: this is what we’re all waiting to hear, right? We want to know where that album is, and if we will get our hands on it sometime this decade, correct?  (I’m learning…at one point I would have said “this year”…but let’s just be honest. We’re all wondering if they’re really going to come out with it in September, aren’t we? Aren’t we??) Nick tells Katy that he left the studio earlier that morning at 3am, after keeping Spike Stent up and working nearly all night on the final tweaks to the finished album that is to be mastered the following day in New York City by Ted Jensen. (So, I believe at this point…the album is either currently being mastered or has already been finished. It. Is. Done.) At the time of the Kafe, Nick was hoping to be finished with it by midnight that evening. He says he is thrilled with it and that album is quite special.

It took longer than even we in the band had anticipated, but it is worth it….it is sometimes hard to know when things are done…we judged this one well. – Nick Rhodes

Pressure Off

Nick continues to say that after two years of work, he felt the album should be special, and Katy follows to say that fans will definitely hear a bit of the single in the month of June. (It has to be said that I think ALL of us are chomping at the bit to finally hear this song the way that it was intended…and I think the efforts to get this song to the fans so that we can be among the first to hear it will not go unnoticed, because once WE hear it, we can cheer from the treetops, rooftops, etc to spread the word about how special this album is going to be…and that’s golden for ANY band that wants to take advantage of the power and energy of their fan community.)

Speaking of Pressure Off, Katy asks a bit later in the Kafe if the band is planning to play any new music for the Sonar Festival later this month. As many may recall from previous Kafe’s over the past several months (years…), when asked this question previously, certain band members have said that no, they wouldn’t be playing new music at all, explaining that it takes time to perfect the live versions and so forth. As the months to festival performances have grown closer, it would seem that the tide is changing on that thought. When asked this time, Nick said that he certainly hopes to play the new single. They are getting together to rehearse in the next couple of weeks prior to the festival and if the song can be worked out and ready, he hopes they will play it, and in time as other songs get ready, he hopes that they will add those into the set list as well. (In no way was Nick committing to playing new songs right out of the gate. Hoping to play the new single and for sure getting it ready to play are two very different things. I think that it is very well in their best interest to get the song ready to perform; but if rehearsals go roughly….it may not happen. I think fans should not expect to hear it and then be completely thrilled and surprised when they do…. RECORD it for the rest of us sad sacks!!!)

Janelle Monae and Kiesza

Katy asks when the band first noticed Janelle Monae, assuming that Nile was the one who put them in touch. Nick mentions her appearance several years back on Saturday Night Live where she did her first single, “Tightrope”. If memory serves, she was dressed in a black suit a la James Brown, with an incredibly edgy haircut that was a bit of a throwback to the golden days of Motown. (Oddly, that is the first time I saw her as well, and I’ve liked her ever since!) He cites that the band had liked her since then, and when the idea of having a female vocal came up for a song on the album, her name was mentioned and it progressed quickly from there. Incidentally, her recording on that song was the one thing that Nick was not present for on the album.

On the other hand, Nick doesn’t recall how they were introduced to Kiesza. She seems to recall working out at the same gym as Simon, but Nick didn’t seem at all sure of that story…so we’ll just assume that they met somehow along the way, and when another vocal part came up, they knew she’d be perfect.

DD14 Promotion

It’s happening!! – Nick Rhodes

While DD14 itself will hit in September (and Katy, who just HAD to mention that she really has a date for it but isn’t allowed to say…tease, tease, tease if you must!!), Nick and the rest of the band are beginning to do promotion now, starting with promotion with the festival dates in mind. Katy asks Nick if promotion is “good or fun”, and Nick replies with what I firmly believe has got to be the most “real” answer Nick has ever given.  “…I don’t know if ‘fun’ is a word I’d associate with it. It is in the ‘best interest’.”  He goes on to say that it is interesting what they (journalists and music critics) make of things and how they perceive Duran Duran.  He makes mention that it’s also interesting to see what they ask and don’t ask, and that promotion can be challenging because you’re asked the same questions over and over. He says that it’s better at the start than a year down the road…and then he goes on to talk about how they’re still asked the same questions they were asked thirty years ago and that (you) wouldn’t believe it, but they really are.  (Oh Nick. I actually would believe it…and it drives fans CRAZY. You’d think by now there’d be enough research available so that questions about the Taylor “brothers” might be properly answered…but no.) 

The “Alleged” Birthday

Interestingly enough (probably only to me…but that’s fine), Katy asked Nick twice about how he will spend his birthday…and he answered similarly both times, which tells me he’s not joking when he said he wants to sleep. Fair enough, Nicholas! Judging from the list you’ll see below, Nick is a workaholic…which is a very “not nice” way of saying that this is a man who likes to be kept busy, which apparently isn’t too terribly difficult to do!

Here are “just a few things” that are currently keeping Nick from seeking the sleep he definitely needs (I could hear his weariness towards the end of their conversation. Just when I was CONVINCED he was alien and didn’t need sleep!!!<winks>)  

Musical with John Taylor

Nick and John have been writing a musical for several years now. Believe it or not, they are almost done with the first draft but haven’t been able to even touch it this year (I suppose this kind of knocks my idea of them doing a residency in Vegas where the musical is performed each night and the band/orchestra in the pit is actually “the band” right out of the water for now, huh? Damn. Yes, that’s more dry-wit at work there.) He is hoping to pick it back up at some point, finish it and get started preparing it into a musical.

(I happen to know a really good up-and-coming choreographer for this kind of thing. She’s excellent and reasonably priced!!! By the time this musical is ready for a choreographer…she’ll even have a degree. Inquire within…because I’m her mom!)

The Bloom Twins

This is a very young electronic duo that are into “dark pop”.  The Bloom Twins are currently unsigned, but Nick is certain that a label will snap them up quick. He hasn’t been inspired to get involved with an up and coming group in a long time, so he’s enjoyed working with them.  (When I hear them, I hear hints of Lorde mixed with instrumentation from Dark Circles in parts.  You should check them out!)

His own music

Nick has been working on a series of short electronic and instrumental pieces of his own. He describes them as dark and mysterious, but doesn’t know what he’ll end up doing with them.

GeneU

He is the Creative Director, and has thoroughly enjoyed taking this skin care line from the ground up, working on everything from artwork to photography, graphic design, packaging, etc. He likes the idea of the public having a more informed choice of what products really suit them as individuals.

Photography Book

Nick has been working on finishing his own photography book, which has been an on again, off again project since he finished his exhibition – he had so many photographs that he felt would be suited to a “coffee table” type of book. Recently he met with Rory McCartney and they were able to “lock down” nearly everything for the book. As Nick aptly puts it, he doesn’t like “loose ends”.

Katy asks about a possible Interference reprint, and Nick comments  that it’s a possibility. He’s considered doing a 2nd edition because he really only likes looking forwards, but recently he looked at it and was surprised by how contemporary the photographs still look.

It is plain to see that Nick NEEDS rest…so let’s all hope he has a wonderfully blissful rest for his birthday!  Happy Birthday Nick!!

-R

Here Comes the News

While I don’t have a lot beyond Duran Duran news crumbs to share today…I’ll do what I can!!

New Gold Membership Merchandise Package at DDM

Yesterday, DuranDuranMusic, the paid fan community for Duran Duran, announced a new “Gold” package membership. At $79.99 for the year, the package includes all of the exclusives from the Silver level ($35.00 a year) below:

  • Full Access to the Duran Duran VIP community
  • Access to Presale Tickets, tour and show updates, set lists etc. when band is on tour
  • VIP Ticket Packages (including amazing seats, exclusive items) when band is on tour
  • Exclusive Content JUST for community members including a monthly band audio interview
  • Monthly Contests to win personal items, signed merch, Meet & Greets when band is on tour and more
  • FAN2FAN Features (Personalize and customize your fan site, create your own fan blogs, journals, and photo albums that you can share with other members, participate in forums, and private messaging)
  • Communicate and share with other Members

Plus the exclusive merchandise “Gold membership” bundle listed below:

  • An exclusive NEW custom designed T-shirt featuring a silver foil design
  • Logo’d lightweight, digitally powered 1800mAh Power Bank for cell phones and digital products (Note: Phone not included)
  • Custom Giant Telescoping Umbrella with new silver DD logo
  • Laser Engraved Logo’d Keychain Bottle Opener
  • Fridge magnet with new DD logo
  • Logo’d Micro Sticky Pad for those “important” notes
  • Grip “Roller Plus” Pen with DD logo
  • Reproduction of Simon’s handwritten lyrics to “Pressure Off” (Not pictured)

This brought me to a quandary. Do I wait until August, when my membership expires, or do I get it now? Truth be told, I’ve never done anything other than Silver level membership (my partner-in-crime bought gold last time, see her review.) Why now, you ask?  I wanted that umbrella. Yes, I live in So CA. Yes, I know the chances of my using it (here) are slim..but I wanted it anyway.  I also figure that chances are, I’ll have learned the lyrics to Pressure Off before the band even releases the single, with this package!  (I kid, I kid!!)

DDM clarifies that if your renewal isn’t up for several months, you can go ahead and renew now, and they’ll add another 12 months to your existing membership date – so in my case, I won’t be up for renewal until August of 2016. That seems fair, but what about the people who have already renewed this year at Silver because there wasn’t a new Gold package? You can either renew again and yes, they really will extend your membership renewal date out another 12 months, OR you can long in to DDM and there is apparently supposed to be a link you can click on to receive only the merchandise upgrade to your existing membership.

There has been a little confusion on the part of members about memberships renewed earlier this year, so don’t be afraid to ask DDM for answers to clarify; although sadly, I’ve also been told that the responses from DDM have been incredibly rude at best. That’s unfortunate given that fans are truly the site’s bread and butter, and it is just a part of customer service. I really wish the folks in charge of the fan community would just LEARN that and put it into practice, and if they can’t be bothered – hire people who WILL. It continually looks bad for the band when the people in charge of their fan club are rude to the very people the club is meant to attract: FANS.

Bottom line on renewals: they aren’t adding extra months to an existing membership, but they’re also not going to change my membership renewal date to June because I happened to renew now instead of waiting until August, either. Fair enough. Sold!  I’ll let you all know what I think of the merchandise once I receive it…hopefully I will get it faster than that 4-6 weeks mentioned, but we’ll see!

Still In The Mix

Have you been wondering what Duran Duran are up to?  Well, it turns out that they’re still working with Spike Stent in the studio, mixing the new album. I’m not sure if they are only working on Pressure Off, or if it’s all of DD14…or something else entirely, but they’re definitely working. AND…if you were wondering if Nick is still The Controller…I think this photo and the caption (from DDHQ on FB) speaks volumes.

"Spike Stent is a very patient man" - Nick Rhodes
“Spike Stent is a very patient man” – Nick Rhodes

The appearance of this photo on Facebook stirred some comments because many (including myself) had thought that the album had already been finished – including mixing – but you know, things change. We’re still closer now than we were a year ago, and surely live dates will be coming.

Along those same lines, there has been a kerfuffle of activity on Twitter today with regard to the single, “Pressure Off”.  As many may have noticed, all signs of said single have vanished from the stratosphere we know as “The Internet”.  Unless you managed to rip a copy of one of the less-than-clear files roaming YouTube and the like back in March – I doubt you’ll find hide nor hair of the song online. So, we all continue to wait in anticipation for the single to be released sometime in July. However, on a recent Katy Kafe, mention was made that perhaps maybe there would be a taste of the song for fans to hear sometime “soonish”.  Not much has been mentioned since the Kafe, but today a fan asked about the possibility of such an appearance, and they were told “Well maybe. but definitely THIS MONTH” by DDHQ.  Listen Duranies, you can take that comment however you want, and wish for whatever you’d like; but I’m going to point out that it is now June 2nd. July is less than 30 days away right now…so when they say THIS MONTH….I think we can count on hearing that single in another month, you know?

Residency?

Lastly, I’ve been catching up on my reading…and with the summer festivals nearly upon us, #Duranlive is coming. Yesterday I caught up with an interview on DTLV with John Taylor done in promotion for their upcoming performance at the Life Is Beautiful festival in downtown Las Vegas. (Incidentally, despite the corny title, “Duran Duran is Still Hungry” the article is very good.) John discusses the idea of doing a residency in Vegas. He likes the idea of the venue building the room around them, and being able to “really experiment” with the performance.

This is something Amanda and I have been talking about for years, actually.  We would love to see them settle somewhere and do a residency. Yes, I’m aware they did one in NYC a few years back. It would be nice to have them acknowledge that the rest of the country matters – or even their OWN country for a change, don’t you agree?  No matter where they chose to do one, it may give fans an opportunity to travel, see the band for a show or three, AND see the city.  It would cut travel for the band, and maybe even give them the chance to experiment with different set lists and even entire performances.  It might even be a great way to introduce a musical written and produced by Nick Rhodes and John Taylor….just thinking “out loud” here…

DDHQ says to be on the lookout for more press now that the Summer festivals are nearly upon us, so keep those eyes open!

-R

Can You Deal With It?

Shout out to DDHQ for starting my Monday off right with a cute new fortune-telling game, which ever-so-gently hint at tour dates being announced soon. The game also serves as the new front page to duranduran.com.

I can remember making these folded origami-like masterpieces back in junior high. We’d write our favorite colors, numbers, maybe favorite bands or other “favorites” on the folded sections (the band did numbers and the band members themselves), and in the middle we’d write the names of the boys we liked – which would be the “fortune” of whom we were going to marry. For the record, I am 100%  certain my fortune lied, because I am definitely not married to Roger Taylor.

On the band’s version, the game ends with a fortune that has something to do with live shows, or cute song lyrics. For example, I picked “Roger”, “5”, and then “7”, and my fortune was “Your friends will be here when you need them most“.  I tried it again (to be fair, this is the fourth time I’ve done it today….research, you see…) using “John”, “3” and “5” and ended up with “You will be at a beautiful event in the near future“.  Maybe a live show…I hope! Are tour dates finally imminent?!?

I have to applaud DDHQ on this one. Not only does it take me back to junior high, which for me were the days when I discovered Duran Duran and spent my spare time reading any pop magazine with the band prominently featured on the cover, but it also woke up the Duraniverse a little with the possibility of tour dates being announced. Sometime. Hopefully soonish.

THIS IS A PROPER TEASE!! This is how you get fans talking and sharing, and this is how to stir excitement! So many of us have felt that their website does very, very little for fans. Not interactive, not terribly informative in a unique way…and even a bit cumbersome (I am thinking specifically about the discography section when I use the word “cumbersome”). This is Duran Duran. This band should be all about the visual. All about the “interactive experience”. What happened?!? Their website should be the most kick-ass thing I’ve ever seen online, and yet it has always fallen a bit flat. It gets the news out there, but there’s very little flash and even less interactivity. This is a great start.

I think it also has to be said that with this #DDFortuneTeller game, they know their demographic. They know to whom they are playing, so to speak. Give a kid in the 18-30 year old bracket this game and they would look at you quizzically. Paper? What in the hell is that for?!?  The “good news” is that while it looks like paper….I suppose it’s also an app…so to speak. You can take the technology out of the band, but you can’t take the band out of the technology.

Or is it the other way around?

I’m just not sure…ANYWAY…

I think this is a huge, huge win for the band, and subsequently for fans. Say what you will about Durantime, as well as promotion and how it may be directed at future audiences as opposed to long time fans, the band wins with this one, and I love it. Little things have potential go a LONG way.

Naturally, this stirred a little discussion online, as I mentioned the game on Facebook. A friend reminded me that the band was working with Crowdsurge and wondered if this was the start of some new and innovational engagement with fans. Long time fans will remember the days of buying tickets directly through DDM, then having the platform moved to Artist Arena, so we’ve certainly seen our share of ticket engines. Crowdsurge offers fan engagement and seamless built-in platforms for the artist so they are able to monitor and manage their own sales with no extra work. They also promise that the cost is shouldered by the attendees (meaning the cost of working with Crowdsurge is built into our ticket price), but then they also say it can be up to 71% cheaper for the fans. I’m still struggling with Common Core Math a bit…so I’m not exactly sure how they’re figuring, but until I myself go through a ticket-sales cycle and understand Crowdsurge, I’m not going say they’re fudging numbers. Crowdsurge is a big proponent of auctions because they tend to up the sales price of tickets by about 185% on average. Quite frankly, that’s fine with me as long as I am not paying. They also really love the idea of ticketing “experience” bundles (think VIP). I sincerely hope those bundles do a good job of delivering what they promise. I do have a nagging concern that there will be little opportunity for similar “experiences” for fans who are on a budget. Unfortunately though, that is often the case.

I’d like to see contests for “The Common Fan”. You know, people like me who cannot pay $5,000 in a special auction bundle, regardless of the endless amount of joy that is promised for that price. I’ve participated in a few raffles/contests through Tunespeak, which is a really cool fan-engaging platform for contests. It’s tagline? “Win for being a fan”. Basically, bands/artists set up contests through them, and you have to share the contest, tweet about it, watch predetermined videos, listen to music that the band sets up as “tasks”, etc…and you earn entries for each item that is completed. The goal of course is to rack up as many entries as possible. I would be hard pressed to beat many of the Duranies I know out there…but I like the idea that it’s based on experiencing whatever the band wants us to listen to or watch, because for Duran Duran I think that would be helpful in the long run.

So…. if I promise to go out grocery shopping and not check my phone at all, can we get some future show dates…like today?!?

-R

To Keep Me Company

This weekend, I will be spending it with a couple friends of mine.  I have mentioned these particular friends before on this blog.  One of them lives in Chicago and one of them lives in Minneapolis.  They are around the same age that I am.  Where did we meet?  How did we meet?  Simple.  We met online around the year 2001 on a fandom message board.  At first, we were just screen names and avatars to each other.  Then, we started finding out information about each other beyond what we saw on  the message boards that we frequented.  Finally, we decided to take a chance, to meet in person.  In 2002, this wasn’t something I did.  Ever.  It was weird to me and to other people.  The thought of driving to see people I had never talked to in person or met seemed not only strange but slightly dangerous.  What if these people were psycho?  What if they were creepy?  Would I feel trapped?

Yet, we got together, despite any and all reservations we might have had.  Like many other meetings in fandom, we had an instant connection, an instant understanding of each other that, at first, seemed to be connected to our fandom of choice (we were all part of the Roswell TV show fandom), but quickly expanded beyond.  Roswell ended a long time ago as did our participation in that fan community.  Would it return, though, if the show did?  I think about all of those X-Files fans who are super excited that X-Files is returning in some form.  Did they remain in the fandom the entire time or did the return of the series spur some people to rejoin and reach out to other fans?  Or was it other fans who actually brought them back to the fold?

I don’t really follow much about Roswell in social media anymore.  I don’t frequent message boards about the show.  If, for some crazy reason, the show, in some way, shape or form, returned, would I even hear about it?  It is doubtful, especially when I’m super busy and don’t even check into social media for days on end.  How then would I hear about it?  Simple.  I would hear about it through my friends, the people who once were fans and could be again.  This might be the case for X-Files, too.  This might be the case when Duran Duran releases #DD14.  I know a lot of people who used to be involved with the Duran Duran fandom who have left for a variety of reasons. How would they hear about a new album?  Through people like me!  For some of those friends/former fans, all they would need to hear is that Duran Duran has a new album and they will check it out.  Others, though, would need more.  They might need me to be even MORE enthusiastic than I normally am about a Duran Duran album (and that is saying something since I am one-half of a blog that posts daily about being Duranies!)!

What would cause me to be even more excited than normal about a new Duran album?  I don’t know.  Certainly, I talked a LOT more about All You Need Is Now than I did about Red Carpet Massacre because I liked AYNIN more.  Thus, a good album would help me and people like me talk about a new Duran Duran album and get others interested.  Similarly, if I was going to see them live a bunch, I would definitely be talking about them and the new album more.  For the record, I would be talking about Duran to lots of people then!  Not only would former fans hear about them and the album, but so would colleagues, other friends, family, etc.  Of course, if there was a really special event planned that I was fortunate enough to attend that worked to get me really excited, then no one would be able to shut me up.  NO ONE.  I would love that, too.  I would love to see former fans come back to the fold.  It would certainly mean more fun times for me, but for other fans, too.  I think we would all feed off of each other!  Our excitement would build and build and build!

Ah, yes, sometimes, I do think it is fans that promote, bring back old fans and, maybe, even gather some new ones!  That would happen if Roswell returned for my little group of friends from that fandom.  I’m willing to bet that it happened for the X-Files fandom.  It could happen with Duranies, too!

-A