Tag Archives: Duran Duran

A Silhouette Begins the Show

So, show of hands….how many of our readers are at home because of snow/cold days?!? I hear that Chicago is going to be colder than the Antarctic this week. Amanda has been telling me about forecasts that have Madison’s wind chill at -50 (Fahrenheit) or more. That’s ridiculous!! I hope everyone stays warm!

I apologize for the lateness of the blog. I used to have this routine down – I’d be up by 7, blogging by 8. Nowadays, I’m dragging myself out of bed at 8:30 and I’m hard pressed to get the blog finished by noon my time. It’s not a great routine yet, but I’m working on it.

A fog is lifting

I came upon something today that reminded me about Reportage. It was a picture of what was obviously a fan-made cover for the album, and it was in turn on the cover a book titled Bootlegs. I’d never seen a cover of any kind for the album until today. That said, as far as I’m aware, no copies exist outside of the hands of the band. Naturally though, this photo got a few of us talking.

It would seem that very few fans have heard Reportage. Most everyone else continues to speak of it as though it is this hidden treasure. To find it is akin with finding the Golden Ticket. I think the expectations of the album have likely been inflated beyond maximum pressure. Those that have listened are usually quick to downplay, and not much of real substance is explained beyond a perfunctory, “Yeah, it wasn’t bad. You could probably find it if you wanted.”

Could I find it? Really? More importantly – do I really want to find it?

In the shadows

These are questions I was asking myself this morning, as I chatted back and forth with friends on Twitter. There are real collectors in the Duraniverse. They are people I very much admire because they work hard to find that obscure poster from 1981 or a specific promo copy of “Hallucinating Elvis”. I have a great deal of respect for people like that, and I tend to learn a lot when speaking with them too. There is a vast amount of expertise to be gained from the collectors amongst us! Me? Nah. I don’t spend a lot of time hunting for albums in old vinyl shops (although I do pop in and check the “D” section from time to time), I don’t hunt online for posters on eBay. I don’t have all of the tour books, pins, or even t-shirts. I do like knowing that I’ve heard all of the variations of music, though.

When it comes to unreleased music though, I’m not sure how I feel. On one hand, I love hearing how Duran Duran went from Point A to Point B. Hearing demos is one way of audibly experiencing that journey. I enjoy having that understanding, because when it comes down to it – I’m still a musician at heart, and I dearly love being able to hear the progression of a song from reasonable beginning to completion. On the other hand though, as I said this morning, if the band wanted me/us to hear it – I would think they’d just let us have it. So to get it from some other means seems, well, not right.

Lit by scandal

As my friend said in reply – I’m no goody-goody here. It doesn’t seem right or fair to the band to get hold of something that they weren’t ready to put out themselves. It is, of course, very different if John or Nick said “Hey, why don’t you take a listen?” But to just leak an album and broadcast its existence wouldn’t be right. As we know, that hasn’t happened with Reportage anyway. I mean, at least not that I’m aware. In some ways I still wonder if I’m among the last remaining DD fans that hasn’t heard it.

I suppose I haven’t really hunted much for Reportage. Several years ago I did try to sniff it out online, but came up empty. After that, I kind of let it go, only to be reminded of its existence every now and again. I’ll think of it for a few minutes, and then I’m off again. I would have figured it would have been leaked by now and be commonplace. It would seem that this is one of the better-kept “secrets” in our fandom, at least from my perspective!

So while I suppose I’m still curious about what it sounded like, I’m also more interested in what the band is working on now, post-Paper Gods. Hearing Reportage now would be like looking back, when really all I want to do is keep moving ahead.

-R


I Know What It Is Coming Over You

So, I hear that much of the country is reeling from snowstorms and ridiculously cold weather! I’m not going to tell you what it’s like in California right now, but there is no snow on the ground where I’m at…

I do believe that the winter doldrums are here. After John’s Katy Kafe last week, some are looking forward to shows in February. Still others are counting down the days until March, when the band may go back into the studio for more work on new music. We’re all waiting for something, I suppose. Whether that something is a trip to Grand Cayman, Miami, New Orleans or Las Vegas, or it’s March or even springtime, we’re waiting.

Look around

Even I’m feeling that anxious, bored feeling. I’m ready to take on a new project here at home now that we’re semi-settled in, but I’m also kind of still eyeing the bins in the garage, thinking we should have cleaned out more! So I started thinking of ways we might break up the monotony in the meantime. Over the weekend, DDHQ posted this picture of John Taylor:

It appeared with the caption “JT gets plugged in” with Power Station being one of the hashtags. As I looked at the picture, I agreed that it was the visual representation of Power Station for sure, and that gave me an idea.

Nothing can stop us

Admittedly, it’s been a long time since Amanda and I have done any sort of game on social media. There’s no time like the present though, so we thought we could try something just for fun on Facebook and Twitter. To begin, Amanda and I are going to decide on the name of a song, and your job is to wow everyone with a visual interpretation of that song. For example, once upon a time we stumbled upon this painting…

Amanda might better remember what museum we were in when we found that painting (was it Tate Modern? The Art Institute?? Why can’t I remember these things???), but as we stood looking at it – she looked at me and said “It’s Anyone Out There”. You can check out that blog in our archives here. Ultimately, she sent in a question to “Ask Katy”, and eventually got a reply that no – the artwork didn’t inspire the song (but certainly could have!) Regardless, we’ve found ourselves in similar situations over the years where we’ve seen things and immediately a song or line of lyric comes to mind. Now, we’re asking YOU to do the same!

You don’t dance…

So, if you want to join in on the game – just for fun – we will announce the name of the song for the week on social media, and you can post your pictures @dailyduranie with hashtag #DDinpics on Twitter, or you can post them on our Facebook page if you’d like. Either is fine. If I can remember how to post it to Tumblr, I’ll do it there too!

For this week, just to get you started – our song of the week is going to be “Danceophobia” from Paper Gods. Yes, I decided we’d better start easy and go from there. You have from now until next MondayNow go be creative! 🙂 There really aren’t rules to this, but if you can take an original photo to represent this, I would be wildly entertained. Regardless, we just want everyone to have fun.

Eventually, we’re going to do this the other way around – where all of you can post pictures and we have to guess what song you’re interpreting!

Hoping to see lots of great photos!!

-R

Hey Girl, Want it All: Fyre Festival

Like many, I had seen quite a few postings and tweets on social media about the documentaries on the Fyre Festival. I’d bookmarked them on the ever-lengthening “watch” list in my head. On Tuesday, I went to dinner with my friend Lori, who insisted I should watch them. Yesterday was my movie watching day, and the documentary did not disappoint.

In a world that is paper thin

The Fyre Festival was a luxury weekend promoted as an amazing opportunity for wealthy young millennials. It would take place on a private island in the Bahamas for three days. Let’s face it – that sounds fabulous. The festival contracted top bands like Blink182 to perform and promised a full line-up. Some dished out as much as $12,000 just for general admission tickets. Many others wanted full-VIP treatment with private villas, and other exclusives, and paid accordingly.

The branding for the festival was slick, glossy, and fabricated. Supermodels gathered together with festival organizers for a weekend on what was supposedly once Pablo Escobar’s (think Medellin Cartel) island, named Norman Cay. Film footage from that weekend was put together as a montage used for marketing. Festival organizers paid social media influencers such as Kendall Jenner to post a burnt orange color square on instagram. Social media worked it’s magic, and news of the festival went viral. An air of exclusivity wafted over millennials, and the festival took off.

It’s nothing to be glad about

Unfortunately for all involved, the luxurious weekend of music, sun and fun is not what unfolded (and I’m leaving a lot of the details out due to space). Guests flew in, not by private charter to a private island, but by commercial jet to an airstrip. Buses shuttled them to an area of Great Exuma in the Bahamas, where a housing community was being planned. As they drove up, they saw that their luxurious accommodations were leftover FEMA tents. Leftover tents used to house Americans who had lost their homes after natural disasters, like hurricanes or fires.

Dinner consisted of some sad looking cheese between slices of bread and a salad. Not sushi. Not lobsters. No champagne. There was very little water, and definitely no full-bars. The island area itself had very little infrastructure. There were no white-tilted, clean bathrooms. A sea of porta-potties awaited use, but not nearly enough to accommodate. The tent city was completely occupied by dusk. They still had 2/3 of their guests due to arrive the following day!

The final outcome for the festival is not what fascinates me most about Fyre. It isn’t that the young entrepreneur – Mike McFarland – is nothing more than a con artist, or that many others behind the scenes knew that there was no way this festival was going to happen and yet stuck with it until the very end. My fascination comes down to the realization that a similar disaster to Fyre could, and likely will happen again. We are begging for it.

It’s all on sale for dirty cash

I can’t speak for other countries, but Americans seek luxury. We desire VIP treatment. Many are willing to pay monumental sums of money to get it. Most of all, we want that exclusivity. Nearly every adult of gen-x age or older I know openly scoffs at the idea of social media influencers. In turn, ask most any millennial and they will immediately and excitedly explain why they work. The Kardashians didn’t just suddenly fall into a money pit. They made themselves relevant. While maybe you or I don’t care, PLENTY of others do. The Kardashians and many other “influencers” are followed by the millions on any social media platform. Their followers will do almost anything to experience even a small bit of what influencers do on any given day.

48 hours after Kendall Jenner’s $250,000 instagram post, (amount wired to her by festival organizers for that post) the Fyre Festival had sold 95% of their tickets. Coincidence or example of her influence? You decide.

The total human race became a basket case

All one has to do in order to see the possibility of something similar to Fyre happening again, is ask a simple question. If you had the financial means to go see Duran Duran in an exclusive setting and be in VIP accommodations – would you go?

If you haven’t checked out the documentaries on either Netflix or Hulu, I highly recommend them. Have a paper bag handy, because you might either gag, or hyperventilate from anxiety like I did!

-R

(I just wanted to quickly mention that Duran Duran wrote “Paper Gods” prior to 2015….yet here we are. The lyrics lent themselves SO well I had a hard time choosing what to use!)

I’ve Been Fighting All the Way

In a month, I’ll be in Las Vegas.

I can’t decide if I’m ready as-is, or if I should immediately resort to a month-long fasting exercise. It is a joke to me now, but in the past…I may have been at least half-serious. It’s weird, because I don’t mind admitting that my prep for previous tours included being semi-obsessed with making sure I looked my best. I worried about how I looked to other people. I would shop for new outfits, get my hair done well in advance, go have a pedicure, and of course – I would make certain I was at fighting weight. (or dancing weight, as the case may be)

I’m really not sure what “my best” means these days. Honestly, “alive” seems like a pretty good goal to me. My friend Lori and I were having drinks (training) and dinner last night (can I just say how wonderful it is to actually LIVE near a good friend?!?) and as I sat there, thinking about the upcoming weekend, I realized that for the very first time that I can remember, I am not worried about what I look like.

I mean sure, I need to lose a few pounds. I ALWAYS need to lose a few pounds. I’m not perfect, and I’m not a size 2, either. My weight is a struggle. The number on the scale is in direct correlation with how much stress I’m under at the time, and what my blood pressure is like. I have never been thin, though. I’m just average to “I’ve got a little extra padding because I fall down a lot!”, so this struggle isn’t new. The weird thing is, for the first time in forever, I don’t mind what I see when I look in the mirror. I’m satisfied. Happy, even. For me…that’s bizarre. Good, but bizarre.

There have been moments where I’ve wondered if I’m even that excited to go see Duran Duran, because I haven’t been overly obsessed with what I’m going to wear or what I’m going to pack. But then, I’ll hear a Duran-song or I’ll think about seeing them walk on stage and I can feel a little bit of that familiar giddiness. Yep, excitement is still in there. I just know I’m going to roll on into Vegas, and I’m going to have a good time with my friends. I guess my goal is to be happy with what I see in the mirror, rather than worry about what anyone else is going to see when I walk into a room.

Insecurity is a strange thing. Admitting that I have been insecure about myself more often than not leaves me pretty vulnerable, I suppose. I know it would be fairly easy for people to dismiss me because of that imperfection. Insecurity isn’t attractive, but I’m betting that more of us suffer from it than we individually might believe.

In the past, I worried about how posting that sort of thing might make me look to readers. The funny (well, not so funny) thing is that once you admit that you were well on the way to being suicidal last year – you kind of don’t give a shit about what people say or think anymore. Once you’ve gotten through that particular alley of darkness, you’re so thankful to see the sun again that you don’t want to waste a single second on people who don’t get it. Yeah, I’ve been insecure. My validation came from other people, not from myself, or from within. Oh well!

It can’t possibly be age that has forced my change in outlook and attitude. That would be crazy! I think though that the past year, feeling so incredibly low about everything, and then coming out of that, has given me a different prospective. Things I thought were important before really might not be, after all. I’m learning to say “Oh well” a lot. Truth is, I never want to feel like I did last year ever again. No matter what.

I think back to something that a dear friend of mine told me while we were traveling in 2012. She reminded me to never let anyone take my bliss away. I think about that statement nearly every single day. She probably doesn’t even remember saying the words to me, but I do. I’ve carried them all this time, and they’ve proven very useful lately.

Don’t get me wrong, I still have a long way to go, I suppose. It is easy to fall back into old habits. I am sure I’ll still swoon if a band member even sort of appears to look my way. There’s no doubt in my mind that I’ll smile at the band and welcome smiles in return. I mean, let’s not get ridiculous here.

-R


Muse is Hungry LIke the Wolf

Give me a sign

Has anyone noticed that DDHQ has been promoting a cover of Hungry Like the Wolf performed by Muse lately? I did – and filed the information in my head for later.

Today was that day, my friends. I had to mentally prepare myself. I would not only be listening to Hungry Like the Wolf, but sitting through an actual cover of it. Doesn’t everyone do that???

In touch with the ground

In full disclosure, I’ve liked Muse for a long time. They’ve been on my radar since the soundtrack for the first Twilight was released with “Supermassive Black Hole”. (Yes, I did actually read the books and go to the movies with my oldest. I’m a mom. It’s what we do.) I was a little surprised they decided to do a cover of a Duran Duran song, much less HLTW. It seems to be one that many bands choose for their cover. I was curious to see what Muse would do with it.

Covers usually take one of two basic routes: either they are rearranged to the point where they are almost unrecognizable, or they hold true to the spirit of the original. Maybe they have a little flair here and there, but the spirit of the song holds on faithfully. I really wasn’t sure which way Muse would go. I figured it would be a little different, yet recognizable.

I’m on the hunt

Clearly, DDHQ has been promoting the song to some extent – so I wanted to hear what it had to offer! I sat down with my coffee this morning, and clicked play, hoping I wouldn’t be completely disappointed or put off. (one never knows!)

Here is the link if you want to see and hear it for yourself! Muse is Hungry Like the Wolf.

The first thing I can tell you is that Muse held true to Duran Duran. I don’t even know if they changed a single drum beat, which surprised me. Obviously, I could tell it was Muse playing the song, but I don’t think they took much in the way of poetic license with the arrangement or even the rhythm. It sounded like Muse playing Duran Duran, and while that was comforting, it was also strange.

I think that bands are in a no-win situation with covers much of the time. If they take too much liberty – fans will hate it because the original is what they fell in love with, or what they know. If they don’t take enough, then they’ve got yahoos like me saying “Hey, how come you didn’t get more creative with it?”

Straddle the line

In my own defense, I like to see a band choose a song that inspires them, and pushes them to do more with it. Take the song to a different level, or a different place. Explore the sound, create a new environment – that sort of thing. That doesn’t necessarily mean that I want to hear HLTW sound like a ballad, but I want to hear them create something fresh.

In my opinion, the song was good. They didn’t perform it to make fun of it or to change it from pop to classical jazz. They wanted to perform in tribute to a band that they apparently respect and admire, and they were absolutely successful in doing so. I think Muse could have done more with it on a creative level, to be sure, but they chose not to – and I have to respect that because the song was performed incredibly well. Obviously they felt it is amazing as is, and you know, that speaks to Duran Duran’s own songwriting genius. I can’t argue with that!

Discord & Rhyme (my favorite line!!)

I did rather enjoy the end of it, as Matt Bellamy began to launch into a very familiar guitar riff/solo that Dom likes to do during the live shows…and I thought it was an interesting spin to have that part end the song rather than act as the bridge. So in that aspect, they did assert some creativity with the arrangement.

Overall, I enjoyed it, and I still say that “Hungry Like the Wolf” is indeed the song that will outlive all of us.

-R

Mish-Mash Monday!

Happy Monday, everyone. I have a house full of guests this morning, so I am going to need to make this post a quick one. It turns out – there are several things going on that can turn a week of winter doldrums into something a little less boring!

First of all, John is going to be a guest in an upcoming “All Fan Question” Katy Kafe. If you have a burning question for John, tweet it to @duranduran during the next 20 hours or so with the hashtag #JTJanKafe. I don’t know about other people, but my mind completely empties of any thoughts at all when Katy asks for fan questions. I will do my best to think of some, though!!

Secondly, DDHQ asked an interesting, thought provoking question this morning that I thought I’d share here. “What is the most cinematic of Duran Duran’s songs? What images does it conjure for you?”

There are obvious answers here, one of which being the Fatal Kiss version of “A View To A Kill”, or even “New Moon on Monday”. Then, there are other, less obvious, but very interesting choices, such as “Before the Rain”. I loved scrolling through some of the answers. As for my own, I am leaning towards “Before the Rain” because it is so grandiose on one end; deep, dark and brooding on the other. What about you?

Lastly, I have something new to suggest checking out. If like me, you appreciate a good discussion about the music, you might enjoy @Guy FansofDuran and his new podcast venture, “The D Side”. I’m intrigued and can’t wait to see where the podcast goes. With a new point of view, it provides a starting place for fantastic, ongoing dialogue about the music. I think “The D Side” will do extremely well. Check out “The D Side“. Best of luck, David!

As for me, I’ll be back full-strength tomorrow. Have a wonderful day, everyone!

-R

It’s a Lonely Burning Question

Our little corner of the world is certainly small, isn’t it? The longer I am a participant in the fan community for Duran Duran, the more I realize just how tiny it really is.

Unlike most other bands I go to see in concert, with Duran Duran I tend to be more involved. (Shocking, right?) I subscribe to their fan club (DuranDuranMusic), and I tend to buy VIP tickets to most shows because I’m greedy and I want the best seats. I can’t lie about that. The thing is, there are quite a few of you out there – many of you reading, actually – that are right there with me!

I am I myself alone

I don’t make it my business to introduce myself to the “who’s-who” in the fan community. I’m not buddies with each and every person who seems to be attached to the band in one sense or another. I’m not somebody who will go bouncing up to someone I’d call a “well-known fan” just because I recognize them and want to make nice. That’s not me. I hate approaching people as it is, unless I’m comfortable and actually know them.

There’s no way I’m going to just insert myself into someone’s evening just because I happen to know they’re friends with a roadie, married to someone in management, or is actually on “the team”. I would be a horrible politician, and it is very obvious that I’m not the greatest at making connections. All one has to do is look at my LinkedIn to know that I fail horribly at networking. I always assume I’m putting someone out, or that I’d be bothering them. I guess I’ve mostly stayed to myself, as much as one can when they write a familiar blog, I guess??

The thing is, and I’m going to be brutally open about this – the “It” list of fans, you know the ones – they tend to be at most of the shows, they always seem to know where and when to be, and how to get places that normal, everyday fans don’t – aren’t really on our reader list. At least, not that *I* know of. They’re not usually people who will even admit to reading this, or any fan blog for that matter. I suppose we might be a bit too pedestrian, maybe too wide-eyed, and probably far too “Fan” like. With a capital F. I get it.

Got to show now, got to move on

In a lot of ways, I’m more of a watcher than a participant. I remember a number of years back when I was in Chicago for a show. A group of us met up afterward and walked to a local bar. When we got there, the place was packed, to the point where we were turned away at the door because it had reached capacity. We stood outside for a bit, trying to decide where to go next. As I glanced towards the windows of the bar, I saw somebody inside. She was waving at me and kind of laughing. I could guess what she was laughing about. There I was, along with a small group of others, proverbially on the outside looking in. She was IN, along with several members of the band, I might add, and we were most definitely OUT. Weakly, I waved back and tried not to feel like a complete loser. Story of my life.

At every single show I attend, I’ll see quite a few of the same people. Over and over again. I silently marvel at how they’re able to be everywhere. It isn’t jealousy as much as it’s curiosity. I know how tough it is for me to be at the several shows I can attend each tour, and I can promise that from here on out – it will be far less than it was during Paper Gods. (Or so my husband assures) How do they manage?!? Even more so, I’ll watch other fans flock to these people, befriend them, and situate themselves near them. I don’t even know their names or who they are beyond their faces, and yet the fan-community-at-large are already Facebook friends with them, at the very least! On one hand, I’m surprised I don’t know everyone’s name by now, I guess. On the other, I am not one of those super outgoing and bubbly people.

Puts my faith in none of the above

The kicker for me, is when I’m online and happen to be reading a Facebook post or reading through a Twitter thread. As I go through it, I realize that most all of my friends are actually connected, to some of those people I mentioned above. They’re not just “social media” connected, but obviously know them. Or maybe I’m surprised by people who have not really been active in the fan community for very long (not that they haven’t been fans – that’s different), but are very connected to the “A list” of fans and people in the Duran Duran circle. Perhaps I’m shocked when I realize that the reason why so-and-so IS at all of the shows is because she’s married to somebody who works for the band. It could be a million other scenarios, because for as long as I’ve been in the fan community, or have been actively blogging – I know very little about the people within.

I know how people behave as a group. The trends and patterns of behavior are easy for me to recognize. I can, and have helped put together some really fun meet-ups and parties over the years. But do I really KNOW people?

Probably not so much. It is strange how one can blog for eight years and yet really still be on the outside looking in, isn’t it?

-R

Land of the free…until we disagree

Happy Wednesday! (it IS Wednesday, right??)

Let me just open this post by sharing that I did not sleep well last night. My eyes are still tired (and blurry), I woke up about an hour later than normal, and I’m finding that I am struggling to form reasonably understandable sentences. I’m also way late…. Good luck reading! 😀

Can’t wipe the wind blown smile off my face

From time to time, something will crop up that gets the community into a heated debate over political stances. Whether that was a shirt that John wore somewhere, or a political event that John attended (hmm…John seems to be the only example here that I can think of….), it gets fans in an uproar.

One thing I’ve noticed is that if a fan happens to agree with whatever is being said or supported, typically there’s no problem. It only seems to be an issue when you sit on the opposing side. Granted, I’m generalizing here, and I know it. (I did not stop to actually count opinions being presented verses the number of fans reading or actively participating. Shame on me!) That said, I don’t think anyone would disagree that it tends to create a discussion when one or more of them choose to be open with their political opinions.

Land of the free

Then there are the times when the band has released new music and a faction of fans don’t care for the new direction, collaboration, theme, etc. Basically, I mean every single time something new has been released. I mean, let’s be open and honest about that, right?

Imagine having both happen simultaneously. Can you envision the drama? A nightmare scenario indeed, yet, this is the very issue that fans of The Killers have been handling for the past couple of days. I’ve witnessed entire Facebook groups coming apart at the seams purely due to a single song and video. It has been both heartbreaking and eye opening on any number of levels.

The song (and video, directed by Spike Lee) is titled “Land of the Free”. It is a song directed squarely at the United States and was written by Brandon Flowers in response to the issues happening in our country as of late. My job here isn’t to embrace or lambast the song, it is purely to present the topic. For those who haven’t heard the song or seen the video, here it is:

Land of the Free by The Killers on YouTube

Walk the edge of America

The Killers are hardly the first band to present a politically charged song or video, they are just among the more recent to do so. I myself am a fan of The Killers, and to the best of my recollection this is easily the most political song they’ve done. Even Duran Duran has written a political song or two – but they’ve done it with far more finesse and subtlety (I’m thinking “Edge of America” – both the song and the video that was released late last year, or even “Paper Gods” – which they themselves said was politically motivated, albeit far less obvious). Even so, I’ve seen grumblings about how the band should stick to what they do best.

Having watched the video and listened to “Land of the Free” a number of times now, it isn’t hard to imagine why or how an entire fan community could be split. There’s no guesswork with the lyrics. They are strong and they are hurled directly in the faces of all Americans. They are a tough pill to swallow regardless of where you sit. It is not a pretty picture of America that is painted.

Concrete beach to scrape my hand

As one of their fans aptly put it, “Art is meant to provoke. It is meant to be controversial, and it is meant to be discussed and debated.” This is true. Their music and video is indeed art, and if it sparks discussion, that should be OK. We find common ground and understanding through communication, not by sweeping the topic under the carpet.

It is difficult to watch a fan community crumble over a single song. Comments range from dislike due to the song not sounding like it belongs in The Killers catalog to the topic of the song itself. On the opposite side there is joy and pride for bringing up a very difficult yet timely and necessary topic. Not many see that while this one song is rightfully controversial – it is only one song, and not the determining factor for where the band will head from here. It is easy to get so caught up in the details that you forget that The Killers are still a band. They’ll make more music.

I have to wonder what we would do as a community if a similar song was released. I believe the demographics for Duran Duran are a bit *ahem* older. But are we wiser? Do we realize that their opinions have just as much “right” as ours? Would we agree with the sentiment? Would we be able to get past the details enough to find common ground?

I’m just not sure.

-R

A Look Back at Girl Panic and Singles in 2011

I came by invitation

Remember the days when we’d hear of new singles? The internet – or at least our little Duran Duran corner of it – would be ablaze with excitement? Those days are hopefully coming just around the corner again, my friends.

I believe it was mentioned that the band would reconvene in the studio in the spring. (hopefully they do a better job of “hiding” this time than they did in December!)

That timeframe gave them a few weeks to themselves this month. Then they’ll have time to prepare and do the shows in February. Then perhaps they’ll be inspired once they settle back into life at home. I am still betting that we’ll hear new music in 2020, despite what DDHQ may have tweeted. Good music cannot be rushed. I can’t imagine that the band was in the studio long enough during November to release an album in eight or nine months. It’s possible, just not probable! I’ll wait patiently…and I won’t even go visit them at the yet-to-be-found studio if it helps! <wink>

General Chelsea mayhem

On this date in 2011, it was announced that “Girl Panic” would be the next single from All You Need is Now. I can remember taking part in a spirited debate on social media regarding that very announcement. Were singles even necessary? What purpose did a single serve in 2011, anyway? Why choose “Girl Panic”? These were all viable questions that came up back then, and they still make a good case today.

I am not sure that “Girl Panic” really got any sort of radio-time. There were two times that I know “All You Need is Now” was played before it dropped off of the radar for the LA area radio stations, but “Girl Panic”? I don’t know that I ever heard it, which is sad, really. There didn’t seem to be any sort of market or proper channel for Duran Duran, and that holds true even today.

I know I’m going nowhere

At least in Los Angeles, unless you’re U2, or The Rolling Stones, or maybe even Madonna…it is tough to find a station willing to play your new music. There are stations to play your music from the 80s and even the 90s, but new music? It’s really tough to say, and honestly the answer seems to change each week as Arbitron ratings are released. In this moment, there are two “Alternative” stations in Los Angeles, and both of them lean “male” friendly. (read: they’re not playing a lot of bands like Duran Duran, instead leaning towards Nirvana, Green Day, RHCP and even bands like The Killers, Foo Fighters and Linkin Park) While the characterization is 100% offensive to me personally, it also explains a lot about Duran Duran’s marketing as of late.

Anyone with a decent memory (I’m hoping that covers most of us), should recall during the promotion for Paper Gods, that the band relied heavily upon the use of how much their audience had changed to include males during their interviews. If we weren’t hearing about the guys in the audience, we were hearing about how YOUNG their audiences are now.

That was not mentioned by chance, my friends.

Clever words I never said

It is unfortunate, but even in 2015, it was better to have young males in your audience than hoards of women wiling to spend big dollars to be there. Don’t believe me? Excellent! Go and do some simple research on radio markets. See what and whom the stations in large metropolitan areas are catering to, and how. It took me all of five minutes to read up on the Los Angeles area.

I think this goes without saying, but just in case – I want to make it clear that I’m not really blaming Duran Duran here. It is the system, and I can’t help but understand what DDHQ (management) was trying to do. It IS a bit funny when you think about just how contrived it all really was. And is.

A crush panic

In 2011, Duran Duran tried to market a song about women being willing to fall all over themselves for them, to men. The video for the song was shot in a fancy hotel with supermodels acting as the band, while the band themselves were filmed in secondary-type shots as butlers, photographers, chauffeurs, and baggage carriers with women (who were all models of course) “in a panic” over them, complete with over-the-top parties, 1980’s-volumes of alcohol, and other sorts of debauchery. I can still remember reading comments regarding the disappointment of the video by fans – who in fact were still primarily female.

Don’t get me wrong, here. I actually liked the video, and felt it was very well done. The symbolism was hysterical, and I loved the cheekiness. I felt that the story of the video was smart, and perhaps people didn’t pick up on the subtle points they were trying to make. In hindsight though, it is also terribly easy to see what, or whom, they were trying to appeal to…without turning off anyone else in the process.

…and the title of the song was “Girl Panic”. Is that a dream for most men, then? Gee.

You just let it happen

Ultimately though, I still need to understand what the point of releasing a single really is, today. While I recognize the same can be said about albums in general (on platforms like iTunes – where individual songs can be purchased, what good is an album?), I think at least the purpose of an album can be to group songs together under a common umbrella or theme. The same doesn’t exactly hold true for a single.

It all makes me wonder what the future has in store. What about you?

-R


I’ve Been Now Sauntering

Hey, do you remember that time in 1984 when New Moon on Monday reached #10 on the US charts?? Believe it or not, that happened on today’s date, just a mere 35 years ago.

It takes me nowhere

Well, that should start your Monday off on the right footing of nostalgia along with the ever-familiar feeling of “How in the hell can that have been 35 years ago? I’m barely 30.” Yep!

I feel you, readers. Me and my back totally get you this morning. Oh boy, do I. My Advil bottle is within reach today. (For my out-of-US peeps – it’s ibuprofen. Think Paracetamol.)

I need a reason

I see people beginning to fantasize about set lists. Usually the band asks a question about songs off of a specific album, as they did this morning. Today they asked about favorite songs off of Big Thing, and tweeters responded. I saw more than a couple musing about whether or not they might be thinking about including something from the album on the list.

Some veteran fans and/or concert goers may scoff, saying that the set list isn’t going to change. Still others chastise, suggesting that everyone should be thankful that they’re playing at all.

It is actually possible to be thrilled and thankful that the band is playing a show somewhere you can attend, and still have hopes over what one may hear and see while in the audience. Nobody is slighting anyone else simply because they’re hoping to hear New Moon on Monday, or Planet Roaring, or whatever else happens to be on someone’s wish list.

Call it treason

For the most part, I don’t worry about the set list these days. I go to a lot of shows – as many as I’m able budget-wise, and willing to travel to attend. I had to get used to the idea that the set list doesn’t change that much.

However, it is also 100% true that at one time, I’d openly complain and lament over the song choices. I guess I learned that for me, in the grand scheme of things, it just doesn’t matter that much. I thoroughly enjoy the concerts regardless of what they play. By the same token, I also accept that for other people, it matters more. I have friends who only go to a few shows each tour because in their opinion, it isn’t worth it to go to more than that. They don’t need to see the same stage, same costuming, same set more than a few times. I totally respect that.

However thrilled I am to see the band, I will still occasionally ponder what songs might be switched out for other. The February shows are between albums, and even if I weren’t going, I’d still be curious. Isn’t it part of the fun?

Too many things, too much to know

On the safe side, I don’t think anyone should expect more than maybe a couple of songs to be different between the shows during the Paper Gods tour and now. The band tends to favor their hits, and there are plenty of them. I think they like to cater to the portion of the audience that comes to an occasional show every once in a while, than those of us who are diehard attendees. I can’t really blame them for that.

Duran Duran wants people up and dancing, not bored because they’ve never heard “You Kill Me with Silence”, or “Skin Divers”. That leaves precious little time for songs that the vast majority of the audience doesn’t know that well. I think that is the main reason why we only hear a new song or two thrown in over the course of a tour, like it or not.

Songs like “Hold Back the Rain”, “Friends of Mine”, “Careless Memories”, and even “New Religion” are fan-favorites. Maybe they’d include them in the right spots. Yet, they’re not so obscure that people would sit down, sucking the energy right out of the venue. There’s nothing worse than losing that type of momentum during a show, and it is difficult to get back on track when it happens. So I think they stick with these types of songs when they want to throw in something. Many, if not most fans, know the words and are so exuberant when they begin playing them that their vitality makes up for those who might not be as familiar.

Sometimes, they break out something from a newer album that they haven’t given a ton of playing time. Out of seemingly nowhere, they played “Only in Dreams” a few times during the Paper Gods tour, for example. So maybe they play their standards (read: hits), a couple of fan-favorites, and then one newer one or so. That’s three, maybe four songs out of the 16-18 songs they’ve been doing. I’ll let you all debate whether that’s enough or not, and see my own way out.

It’s us who make the noise

Amanda and I absolutely love to screw with the band by tweeting out our own hastily thrown together set list (sometimes even on paper napkins written with a marker!). We cackle and laugh the entire time as we tweet it out, full-well knowing there’s nary a song on the list that has a chance of being included. In turn, we also know that we’d have a far better chance of actually being accurate by just guessing a song or two. Even so, what fun is there in that?!?

I don’t know if I have a dream set-list these days as much as there are songs that I’d love to hear them play again. I’d really like to hear “Land” or Palomino” from Big Thing, but I know they’re not really songs that people can dance to, so I don’t expect them. “Red Carpet Massacre”, “All You Need is Now”, or “Planet Roaring” fit the bill for a live show far better, but who knows what they’ll choose. Hearing and seeing them play a song live that I haven’t for a while will be exciting. I’m not sure if it really matters to me what they play – I’ll be happy to see them throw in something new, no matter what it is.

-R