Tag Archives: Dell World

You’ll see I’m right some other time

Last night wrapped up a brief two-date stay for the band in Austin, Texas as they played a gig at Dell World, headlining with none other than Weezer. I don’t keep up with the day to day travel plans of the band (Yes, you all can heave a great sigh of relief because I still have my feet firmly planted in reality), but I would imagine they must be headed back to…well…where ever it is that they’re going next. I’m hoping that means back to the studio to finish up #DD14 (not even going to mention that they still haven’t even told us it’s name yet…if it has one…I hope it’s got one…) and that we will hear that the album is FINISHED SOON.  (too emphatic??)

What I would like to use this post to comment on is not how well the band did last night – I hear it was a great gig, by the way – but instead on a review for the show at ACL on Saturday night. The review, as Dom tweeted, was mostly glowing, which is always nice to read.  The pictures that accompany the article, taken by Suzanne Cordeiro, are simply outstanding – and if you haven’t taken a gander yet, you really should.

The article makes a point though, that I, as one of those “rabid fans” the writer mentions – must take issue. The article quotes, “Also laudable was the absence of backing tracks which the synth-heavy act could have easily employed without complaint from their rabid fan base.” I’m certainly not going to argue over backing tracks, but I am *definitely* going to say that the large portion of THIS particular fan base would (and does) absolutely know. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I really dislike it when critics assume we’re stupid. I’m a fan. I’m not deaf, blind, crazy…or really even very rabid. I certainly don’t bite. At least not hard.

The truth is that we do know when backing tracks are used – we can hear it even if we don’t acknowledge. It is really difficult to stop yourself and say “Hey, is Nick REALLY playing synths here?” when you’re busy screaming for John Taylor to marry you or you’re too busy staring into Nick’s gorgeous eyes or watching Simon’s infamous dance skills, but we still notice in the back of our minds. We might excuse it, but let’s face it – in the very same way that we know when Simon skips a line or fumbles lyrics, we know when something is up with the sound, and to assume otherwise is just really discounting our intelligence, whether or not we choose to comment on it one way or another.

Secondly, and perhaps just the slightest bit more important to me for reasons that are about to be crystal clear, the article says something else that I (and plenty of others) keyed in on.

“…with core members Nick Rhodes, John Taylor, Roger Taylor and Simon LeBon along with touring guitarist, now full-time member, Dom Brown the band has soldiered on…..” 

Yes, I did see that “full-time member” comment, as did many other readers and fans. On one hand, the fact remains that even when asked directly, John said that Dom is a permanent member of the band for as long as he wishes to remain. What he is not; however, is a “founding member”…which apparently is the sticking point for many fans out there who still insist on calling him everything from the “stand-in guitarist” and  “touring guitarist” to the less-kind comments such as, “not-Andy(or Warren)”, and “the hired-gun”. Any time the mere mention of Dom being a “full-member” of the band comes up, another fan is quick to say that he’s not a member of the band and that he never will be. The band themselves drive this point home entirely when they post press picture after press picture of Simon, John, Nick and Roger without any sign of Dom.  In doing so, they make the point that he’s “just” a touring musician without even needing say the words. (Albeit a touring musician that has writing credit on more than one of their albums at this time…but apparently that’s different.) For me personally, it makes Dom’s situation with the band seem slightly precarious, because it never really FEELS like he’s permanent. I spent the better part of a year wondering if he was even going to be on this next album because the band never mentioned him, and Dom himself was fairly quiet and didn’t say much about working with Duran – instead focusing on his own studio and production work. Then of course we were slammed with the big news of John Frusciante working with DD, which wasn’t necessarily comforting if you like Dom’s work with the band. (The band did come out with AMAZING quickness to say that Dom was still going to be touring with the band, though…which my heart appreciated.)

On the other hand though, is it possible that the band is finally beginning to see the light? I must admit that seeing the number of people reacting to that short one line comment and asking Dom directly if it’s true startles me. When I read the review, I immediately assumed that the comment was made purely because Dom has been around now for the better part of the last ten years. It’s pretty difficult to call him temporary after that length of time. I assumed that like me, the writer considered him part of the group, even though the band has never once officially communicated his permanence, which is well overdue and would settle a lot of the chatter. It is very difficult to even begin to accept a new guitarist when we’re constantly being shown that there isn’t one, at least not one that the band values enough to include in their press material, merchandise or otherwise. We take our cues from the band, and in this case – if the band doesn’t appear to value Dom, it is no wonder that many fans still think of him as another stand-in or less.

While I have my own doubts as to whether this was a subtle way to really solidify Dom’s position in the band or if it was really just a carelessly made comment by someone who is relatively unaware of the real situation – there is no doubt that other fans saw it and are wondering for themselves if this really means something….and the chances of getting real answers from the band at the moment seem slim.

-R

 

 

 

October Katy Kafé with Simon LeBon!

It’s that time again! Today I listened to the October edition of the Katy Kafé with the birthday boy this month – none other than Simon Le Bon.  I took notes, shook my head several times, and came up with some highlights to share.

Now for the disclaimer: this is not going to be even remotely close to word-for-word. I picked out what *I* wanted to comment on and share, and if you’re looking for something a little more inclusive, I strongly recommend getting your membership to DDM.

VENICE:  The band went to Venice last week for a private party – it was actually the party of Simon’s friend and it sounds as though a good time was had by all. I guess if you’ve got to play a private gig, I can think of worse places to have to play. If you follow Dom on Twitter or Facebook, you can see a photo from the water “taxi” that took him from the airport to the hotel. Yes, I can definitely think of worse places to have to go for work.

NILE: Katy asked Simon about working with Nile on the album. Simon said that Nile seemed very happy to reconnect with Duran Duran, and that the process of working with Nile is very easy. Nile loves music and he stays current. Given Nile’s current popularity, I would say that the band was lucky to have him work on the album. The man is incredibly busy!!

Simon also said that currently, it appears that Nile and Mark are on two or three tracks for DD14, and that he hopes that they “make it onto the album”.  Between these tracks and the potential of what John Frusciante worked on, I have absolutely no sense of what the finished product will sound like, and I’m sure I’m not alone.

MR. HUDSON:  He has been the main drive with the album and has become a good friend of Simon’s, helping him with “getting the lyrics right”. Mr. Hudson (Ben) is currently working with Spike Stent to mix the album. (Rhonda asks, does this mean it’s really finished being written and recorded?!)

which leads to….

WHEN WILL THE ALBUM BE READY?: Simon begins with this song and dance about how he’s a great writer, lyricist, etc…but he’s not a businessman, he doesn’t manage his own career, and so therefore he hasn’t a “fucking clue” when this album will be done. He says that HE thinks it should be ready in a month, but that he’s also the optimist. They still have to find a label, and labels want a six month lead time. (Six months?!? This waiting thing is just going to go on and on, isn’t it??) Then he goes on to say that he has been going around playing the album for anyone who will listen. (That’s funny, I don’t remember anyone asking ME….) Katy mentions that she wants to listen, and that launches Simon into a short discussion of how nobody gets sent roughs anymore. “No digital files”. It’s too risky. Yeah, you know why it’s risky?? Because fans are productive and downright sneaky. We get hold of things and the next thing you know, everyone in the community has it. Anyone remember Astronaut??

THE BIRTHDAY: Simon will be 56 this year, for those who have lost count. There was a lot of talk about cake and some innuendo about the shape of the tiers of the cake…but if you want that, you can go listen to the file yourself. I just shook my head and willed the topic to change. Simon is going to spend the day with his dad, which he does every year, since they share a birthday,

FASHION ROCKS: Simon said this was a fun show and that he met Gene Simmons, who declared (more than once) that Simon would be popular with the guys in jail.  Good to know….

FORMULA-ONE FAN EVENT IN AUSTIN: For those who only read our blog for the Kafés, the band is playing November 1st at the ACL/Formula-One FanFest in Austin, Texas. They play at the Moody Theater in Austin, which is an intimate venue, and it should be a fantastic show as long as you’re comfortable parting with the $325-575 per ticket price. Simon made sure to say that this is the only public show for 2014. (unless of course you want to go see them at Dell World…which is STILL kind of a public performance, even though the show is at an industry trade event.  The general public, like you and I, can purchase tickets, so check out the details on the blog link above.)

LASTLY: Check out the October 2014 Vanity Fair if you haven’t already. Simon has a photo spread from the deck of the boat we know from “Rio” (Eilean) and an article in the magazine.

Til next time!

-R