Tag Archives: Duran Duran

Electric Barbarella over Sunrise??

I enjoy setting up the question of the day on this blog because I like doing the polls myself and I learn from them.  This week, I noticed an interesting result.  As probably most of you know we have been asking about video preferences.  While we had asked this question before, we haven’t done so since the most recent videos from Paper Gods came out.  Generally, I feel like I have a sense of which videos Duranies prefer.  For example, I expect New Moon on Monday to be popular based on previous surveys, word of mouth, etc.  Earlier this week, I asked which video people preferred between Sunrise and Electric Barbarella,  Interestingly enough, Electric Barbarella won by a LOT.  In fact, more people voted in that poll than the rest of the week’s combined.  What’s up with that and which video do I prefer and why?

Do Duranies really prefer the video for Electric Barbarella over the video for Sunrise?  I’m not really sure despite the result of the poll.  Obviously, the verdict was decided by the people who voted and not all Duranies vote on this site.  If I asked again, I wonder if I would get the same result.  What if I asked in a different way or with different fans?  What if I went to Facebook groups and asked or busted out the question on message boards?  Anyway, I have to wonder why we had so many more votes that day and why for Electric Barbarella.

Let’s take a moment to watch that video before I add my thoughts about this video:

All right, I’m just going to say it.  I don’t like this video.  I might even go so far as to say that I really dislike it.  It is definitely one of my least favorite Duran Duran videos.  (Don’t send hate mail.  I can be a fan and not like one video.)  I won’t lie.  It isn’t even a favorite song of mine.  While I appreciated the connection to Barbarella and to the band’s history, it isn’t enough for me.  Some of you might say that my dislike for both the song and video probably has something to do with the lack of John Taylor.  I’m sure that you might be somewhat right.  That said, I like Out of my Mind (the song mostly) and that doesn’t have John.

While the song doesn’t cut it for me, the video is WAY worse.  If this was the only video that I saw from Duran, I would not be a fan.  First of all, the video is too predictable.  It feels to me that it is follows the song too precisely.  The viewer isn’t forced to think or ponder anything as it is all spelled out.  I’m also not a fan of the premise.  Here’s a “woman” that can be bought and then directed to do whatever via a remote control.  Of course, I realize that it is a “robot”.  Still, the message is too close to objectification of women and that makes me uncomfortable.  Some of you might be pointing out that Duran often uses women in their videos.  That’s true.  I don’t find most of those women to be seen as objects.  The woman of Rio, for example, holds the power over the guys.  Even the women of the Chauffeur aren’t objects. One might even argue that they don’t need men at all.  Some might say that the models of Girls on Film show how awful models in real life can be treated.  I think the use of women and how they are shown can be explained, for the most part, in their videos except for Electric Barbarella.

Sunrise is very different.  Let’s watch that video to compare:

As you might imagine, I really like this one.  I don’t know that I would say that it is one of my ultimate favorites but I enjoy the heck out of it.  I love that the focus is the band.  It tells the story of each member traveling to come back together.  The storyline is not obvious but fits not only the song but what was happening with the band at the time.      Yes, I also appreciate that it featured the Fab Five, too.  It wasn’t just Simon, Nick and Warren like Electric Barbarella.  It also captures a part of the band’s history with the reunion.

I have a few questions remaining.  First, am I the only one who likes the Sunrise video over Electric Barbarella?  Am I the only one who finds the video for Electric Barbarella a little distasteful?  Then, if I am not the only one who prefers Sunrise, what do you make of the vote showing a vast majority favoring the other?  I guess one thing is true.  The Duran Duran fan community never ceases to amaze me or make me think.

-A

Question of the Day: Friday, May 26, 2017

Yesterday’s winner:  Night Boat

Which video do you like better:  Save a Prayer or New Moon on Monday?

Question of the Day: Thursday, May 25, 2017

Yesterday’s winner:  Girl Panic

Which video do you like better:  Planet Earth or Night Boat?

Manchester Reflection: Fear and shame becomes the violent breath

I want to first apologize for NOT making comments on the Manchester bombing when I wrote yesterday’s blog.  There were several reasons for this, most of which had nothing to do with emotion and everything to do with logistics.

However, 40-hours post bombing (give or take) now, I suppose I do have something to say.

First of all, as you all know – I’m American. I’ve been to the UK twice in my entire life, so it’s not as though I can count it as my home. But somehow, I do feel that way. No, I’ve never lived there, but I think part of my heart remains there regardless. It comes with loving this band, adoring the people I call my UK friends, and some of my favorite people on the planet being British. I love the UK. I love how different it is, yet so similar to “home”. I embrace the cultural differences, and the fact that even while being given a thorough tongue-lashing by a Brit – it STILL  somehow sounds far more polite and refined than when I call someone a jackwagon. Or worse. (probably worse, let’s be honest)  I wasn’t there in the Manchester Arena the night of the incident, I wasn’t in the UK at all. I was here at home, but when I read some of the tweets from friends who live in Manchester, my heart was with you. No, it didn’t happen to me. But somehow, it feels like it did. I witnessed it all unfold with friends online, just as I’m sure many of you reading experienced as well.

Secondly, I’m a concert-goer, just like many (if not all) of you who are reading. I think as Duran-fans, we know the significance of Manchester Arena. As concert-goers, as long time fans, we all know what it is like to be one of those little girls, or little boys, in an arena. As a parent, I know what it is like to send a child to their first concert, or to go along with that child and see their eyes light up as the show begins. As an adult, I know what a concert means to me. It is my safe place. I love music. I adore it. Music is what makes me come alive. The energy flows through my veins like blood, and when I’m at a show – yes, particularly Duran Duran – but any show is like this, it is when I feel like I’m the most ME. To have that space violated rocks me to the core. I know I’m not the only one feeling this way.  It doesn’t make me sad, it makes me angry. Very angry.

In 2015, when the mass shooting at The Bataclan in Paris happened, I was also here at home, working on a poster with my youngest for school. When the news broke, I can remember stopping whatever I was doing and slowly sitting in a chair because I knew the band was in Paris. When they mentioned who had been playing at the Bataclan that night, I felt a shiver go down my spine. It was far, far too close to home for my taste. I can remember frantically tweeting the band and Dom, hoping any one of them would respond. It seemed like hours before someone finally answered, assuring us that they were fine. I think when Dom finally tweeted that he and Martha were fine, I wrote back saying that if I could hug them both right then, I would. And that’s 100% accurate. All I could think about was that they had kids, and that they were both there that night. You’d have thought I knew them personally. I didn’t – and still don’t. I’m just some weird woman from the US to them. But I was relieved, regardless.

I just don’t know if I ever felt really angry about the Bataclan, though. At the time, I was just so relieved. I mean, in some ways it’s silly – the band doesn’t know me. They aren’t my personal friends, but even so, I felt relief knowing they were safe. I wouldn’t have wanted anything horrible to happen to them, in other words. That feeling of relief was far stronger than anger for me at that point. Sure, I was shocked and horrified by the incident – I still am when I think about it, which is exactly why I try not to dwell on it – but I wasn’t angry.

This time though, I’m furious.

This isn’t about being a mama bear, protecting my (or anyone else’s) young. It’s the idea that some asshole decided that his beliefs were more important, more “right”, than the lives of every other soul in that building and surrounding area that night. It is the fact that a concert is the one place where many can go and completely be themselves. It is the belief that music is healing. It is a place to go when the world is closing in, and escape can be found, if only for a few hours. A concert is a place of celebration, of hope, joy, and love. And that night, some idiot tried to ruin that for not only the people who were there in Manchester, but for everyone in the world.  Now, I’m angry.

Yes, I’m also sad for the lives lost and forever changed that night. I have a difficult time thinking about the kids, particularly because I’m a mom, I’m sure. But it’s also because at one time, I was one of them. Part of the reason I still go to concerts is because when I’m there dancing to music, I still feel like one.  My heart hurts when I think about how so many souls went to a concert in Manchester that night and didn’t ever go home. No one should have to die just because they went to a concert.

I’m also angry because no matter how much we say we won’t change the way we live – we are. It’s not about the damn metal detectors or about a simple bag check at the door, either. I see friends openly arguing on social media about whether or not they should continue to allow burkas to be worn on the streets of the UK, or about armed police presence.

I see racism in places that (quite frankly) know better. I’ve been called names purely because I didn’t agree with something someone else said, or because I wanted to stop being angry about an election for one single day so that I could enjoy a freaking holiday with my family. That doesn’t make me a Nazi, or a Nazi sympathizer, people. It makes me FUCKING HUMAN. I can see how our world is changing, and honestly – THAT is what scares me. It’s not the terrorists themselves. I have a better chance of being flattened by a bus than I do being killed by a terrorist. I’m far more afraid of what is to come from an argument between friends about building a wall or allowing refugees into a country than I am about some lunatic shooting up a nightclub.

I’m not about pushing my personal beliefs on others. I’m not going to tell you how I feel about walls, refugees, burkas, or praying to cabbages, for that matter. All I know is that fear is a strong motivator. It coaxes and lures us to act in ways we never thought we might otherwise, and I’m angry that fear is changing our world.

I will leave you with one last thought for today.  I find it hauntingly poetic that the one thing that has the ability to bridge all cultures, languages and beliefs – music – was targeted to display such violence and hate in Manchester.

I don’t have a lot of answers, I just know that fear isn’t going to solve this.

-R

Question of the Day: Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Yesterday’s winner:  Electric Barbarella

Which video do you like better:  All You Need Is Now or Girl Panic?

Night Boat with Smashing Pumpkins – were you there?

Sometimes, I just like to throw videos up on the blog for people to watch!

On this date back in 1998, Simon joined Smashing Pumpkins on stage to perform Night Boat. This was shown on MTV, and I found it on YouTube to share.

Personally, I think it’s kind of cool to see Simon up there with Billy Corgan. Night Boat was a perfect song for Smashing Pumpkins to cover. Thoughts, anyone?  Were you there? Feel free to share in the comments!

-R

Question of the Day: Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Yesterday’s winner:

Which video do you like better:  Electric Barbarella or Sunrise?

You can call me wrong, you can put me straight

During some of the six and a half years we’ve been writing Daily Duranie, I’ve wondered what the band would say if they read our blogs. I’ve written with the hope that they’d at least be proud to have fans reacting, but not expecting they’d agree with everything I said.

Nothing brought this to light more than a video I watched yesterday.  A friend of mine directed me to a video by FBE. They had Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park watching teens react to their videos.

First of all, allow me to set the stage. I believe the video was done due to the blowback from Linkin Park’s new album. One More Light. The argument is that the band has sold out and abandoned their core sound for something that is more commercially welcome or “pop”. Fans are furious. There’s a deep divide in their fan community at the moment between those who approve and those who do not. Any of this sounding familiar???

Linkin Park has been around since 1996. Chester Bennington, their lead singer, has been with the band since 1999. If we do the math, there are teens in high school right now that weren’t even born when the band began. I’ll go one step farther and say most teens in high school right now probably weren’t listening to music when they had their first semi-hit, “One Step Closer”, in 2001. I’m not even getting into the debate of whether they’ve evolved over the years, so don’t send me mail about that. I’m merely reporting what has been said to give context about the video. The teens in the video (link below) are probably not Linkin Park fans for the most part. They’re kids who the band is likely trying to reach with this new album. Again, any of this ringing a bell???

Teens react to Linkin Park video

So, my friend sends me this link, and of course I watch. At first, I’m amused. Not all of the teens recognize Linkin Park’s old videos. In fact, most do not. When a few do, they’re dismissive, saying that other kids “hate” on them. They might not even know the band themselves, but they know friends hate them, so they should too. (I had no idea, probably because I could be a parent to any of these kids!) Truly, if I didn’t know what year it was, or what band they were talking about, I’d automatically assume they were talking about Duran Duran.

Someone off camera explains to each of the teens that the first video they watched was their new single, “Heavy”, and that the band has gotten quite a bit of backlash from fans about it.  One guy, in a hoodie who clearly knew the band well enough to recognize their hits over the years, agreed. A girl – the one who talks about the haters out there – said that their music all sounds kind of the same, and that this new song feels like a sell-out because it seems like they thought about doing what is trendy right now.

At this point, Mike explains that the “trendy” comment is funny because their album writing cycles are anywhere from 12-18 months, and so it’s either that they are lucky and anticipate the trend, or they do something that was trendy 18 months ago. Good point, and not something I’ve really thought about.  Then other teens weigh-in, saying things like “bands evolve, and so fans have to suck it up” (point taken), and “there’s so many fans where if their favorite band doesn’t do the one thing, in the one category, in the one genre in the one sub genre they’re supposed to do, it sucks…and I don’t think they understand how music works because you’re supposed to change it up.”  Mike claps at that comment.

I couldn’t help but see the parallels.  We’ve had those moments with nearly every album Duran Duran has released. It would seem to be an impossible task, and Mike mentioned this when he talked about the vicious cycle of creating. There are always going to be a group of fans that like one particular “thing” the band does, and they’re going to demand the band stay within that realm. That said, Mike also explained that if they were to put out music that all sounded the same – it would drive them crazy.  Not every song can be “Rio”, in other words, but they’re then always going to have fans that scream “sell-out” when the sound isn’t what they expect.

At the end of the video, Mike says that as long as he loves what they’ve done – he has to keep that foremost in his mind as he goes on stage or releases work. Linkin Park is still going to get a certain amount of hate in reaction to their new material. He says that if at least he doesn’t love what he’s done, then he stands to be very disappointed. The whole video gave me a new dimension to consider going forward.

On the other hand, as a blogger, I went from being mildly amused, to nearly cringing. I recognized myself in those teens as they filmed their reaction. Duran Duran puts their blood, sweat and tears into a new album, and then two yahoos from America decide to review it on YouTube. I am one of those yahoos, by the way, and my reaction isn’t always the best.

In any case, the video provided some perspective on the evolution of a band’s material. As I said to my friend yesterday, I appreciated everything Mike Shinoda had to say on the subject. It was clear from the way Mike spoke that he wasn’t just carrying on the “party line” or “talking points” straight from management. He spoke from the heart even though he is directly in the middle of the market launch of their new album. The words hit home and made me think about reviews I’ve done in the past. I can’t say I’d change what is done, but it does make me think as I move forward. -R

 

Question of the Day: Monday, May 22, 2017

Yesterday’s winner:  Ordinary World

Which video do you like better:  White Lines or Perfect Day?

In This Place You Made

May is always an interesting time for me.  It is the end of the school year.  This means that the way life is right now will end soon, never to be quite the same again.  I think about my classes and the kids who come in on a daily basis to hang out.  Next year, I’ll have new kids with different kids popping in and out of my classroom.  Some of my colleagues will remain the same and others will change.  The end of the school year almost always means that I stop, look around and think about my life a bit.  I take stock.

One element that I have to acknowledge is my fandom and this place.  Most of the time, I don’t even really think of this blog.  It is just part of my daily routine.  There isn’t much questioning on my part.  No “should I still be writing this blog” or “should I take a break”.  Unlike my paid gig where I do take the time to look around, think about how things are and how they will be, I don’t here.  Maybe, I should, though.

Rhonda and I have been writing this blog for six and a half years.  We have created over 3,000 posts and have had hundreds of thousands of page views.  That is pretty remarkable, isn’t it?  While we have taken some time away for various reasons, for the most part, we have posted something daily.  On top of that, I look at the Duran fandom and see plenty of what we do here replicated, including Duran history or surveys.  Clearly, we have readers who check out what we write on a  daily basis and still others who read a few posts a week every week.

Beyond the statistics of the blog, I think about what it has meant to me.  On one hand, it has become a diary of sorts.  I have discussed many personal issues on this blog from political campaigning to my job to my parents’ health.  This diary has also captured the band’s history in the last six years.  Just the other day, Rhonda mentioned about the 2011 shows that had to be cancelled due to the fact that Simon lost his voice.  We documented that here.  In fact, we have documented two album releases and many tours, at this point.  Have we captured every single thing?  Of course not but we have talked about quite a bit.

Fandom is an interesting element in someone’s life.  For me, I have had some fandoms my whole life.  Those fandoms including Star Trek and the White Sox, represent my family, my childhood.  They are like comfort foods or a security blanket.  I feel safe when I think about them.  Then, there are the fandoms that I participated in for awhile that might have brought me great times and good friends but couldn’t last.  Duran Duran fandom, though, is in a category all by itself.  While it has existed in my life for decades, it is not as old as my family connected ones.  Like the short term fandoms, it has brought me amazing times and experiences along with good friends.  Yet, it has been so much more than all of those others combined.  It has a grasp on my heart and soul that the others don’t come close to.

When I think about why this fandom matters so much to me, I consider the history I have with being a Duranie.  Memories of tours, conventions and friends pop in my head.  I immediately think of all of the tremendous shows I have been fortunate enough to attend.  Yet, this blog is a big part of the picture, too.  It has kept me grounded into this fandom in a  way that all of the other elements of the fandom could not.  It keeps me always thinking about Duran.  I’m forced to pay attention to what the band is doing even when I’m distracted by real life or other concerns.  Some of you might view what see this as an unfun responsibility, but I don’t.  I’m thankful for it.  The blog allowed me to really commit to a fandom that I love more than words can ever show.

I don’t know what my fandom would have been like without this blog.  Maybe I would have walked away at some point.  Perhaps, I wouldn’t remain as involved or I would have dived deep into something else.  On top of that, I’m proud of what Rhonda and I have created here.  I think that 6.5 years is pretty impressive.  To be honest, I’m not sure where or when it would ever end either.  No, this blog and this fandom of mine are truly lifelong commitments.

-A