Tag Archives: Duran Duran

Shadows On Your Side — The Daily Duranie Review (A)

This is my turn to go ahead and review Shadows On Your Side as Rhonda did her review last week.  This is one song off Seven and the Ragged Tiger that I liked as a kid but never really thought about much.  It got hidden by the “hits”.  So, now, that I’m taking a long look at it, what do I think about it?

Musicality/Instrumentation:  This song starts like so many others on the album.  It is pretty immediate and inescapable.  There is no significant lead in, no time to get used to it.  No, it is full sound all at once within the first few seconds.  It is hard to discern individual instrumentation, except for the obvious keyboards and very occasional guitar when Simon seems to take a bit of a breath.  When it is played, the guitar is very cool.  At times, you can sense John’s bass but it is fleeting and subtle.  Again, like so many others, it feels like there was an effort to ensure that every little second of the song was filled with layer upon layer of sound.  The only time it does not completely feel that way is when the tempo slows down during the bridge and allows for some highlighting of guitars and keyboards.  I have always liked whenever highlighting seemed to be featured.

Vocals:  Classically wonderful vocals from Mr. LeBon here, I must say.  The thing about the song is that it always, ALWAYS makes me want to sing out loud.  Yes, that isn’t anything new when it comes to Duran or Simon, specifically.  Yet, there is something about THIS song that always gets to me.  Simon’s vocals feel like they are soaring just like the lyric.  The passion is clearly felt, especially during the chorus.  Then, I adore the low notes of the very end when he sings “shadows on your side” over and over again.  There is something haunting and emotional about it.

Lyrics:  These lyrics like so many on this album seem to focus, at least on some level, on fame and the effects of fame.  Lines like, “shining crowd”, “the music is louder than all of their roar” indicates crowds, fans, fame.  Yet, at the same time, there is distress about this fame with lines like “everybody to say that you’re having the time of your life when your life is on the slide”.  The shadows imply darkness, being hidden, at some level.  Obviously, at least how I’m interpreting it, the shadows are good, in some way.  Perhaps, they are good in providing denial.  Maybe, they are good in removing the spotlight.  If this interpretation is accurate, the fame the band was dealing with wasn’t always a party.  I have to say that I adore these lyrics.  I love that I’m able to analyze them and, maybe, get an insight into their lives then.  On a personal note, I have always felt like this song was something I could relate to.  As someone who deals with her own darkness, at times, I understand how the darkness can feel like it is on my side.  There is a comfort there.  I get it.

Overall:  There is much about this song that I really like.  The lyrics are fabulous and Simon’s vocals are great.  Musically, I like the guitar parts and feel like they add a very nice touch.  Yet, I struggle with being overwhelmed with all of the musicality coming at me.  As a kid, when I first got this album, I loved that.  Now, as an adult, I wish for more subtle, less tense.  I prefer the music to breathe a bit more.  Is this a result of the writing?  Possibly.  I suspect it is due more to the production.  All that said, I would SO love to hear this one live as it is one of the better tracks off Seven and the Ragged Tiger, in my opinion.

Cocktail Rating:   3.5 cocktails!

9c6d2-3halfglasses

Question of the Day: January 23, 2014

Yesterday’s winner:  Picture P

P

This Life is Stranger than Fiction

There are certain “hallmark” dates to my year, and it’s probably not a big surprise that while none of them are birthdates of band members – the birthdates of my children tend to remind me of where I was, where I’m going, and how in the heck I ever got to this point.

Seventeen years ago today, I woke up knowing that yes, the time had arrived, and my oldest was about to be born.  I went through the entire day thinking her birthday would be the 22nd of January.  Of course, little did I know she had her own ideas, and she wasn’t coming out unless forced, which happened just after midnight on the 23rd of January.  Funny, she’s still notoriously late (and stubborn) to this very day…

I had no idea just how much my life would change that day.  I don’t think you really can know until you’ve become a parent. There just isn’t any way to explain that for the next “several” years (I’m still waiting), your needs no longer matter,  and you willingly put aside the things you want, need or desire in order to make sure that your children are cared for. I suppose that even if someone had really sat me down and explained the details to me, I don’t know if I’d ever believed them anyway.

I cannot remember a single piece of music from this time period. I highly doubt I even really listened to the radio, much less paid attention to what was charting and what wasn’t. Even before I was picking out baby cribs and layette pieces, I think I’d stopped thinking about what Simon and Nick were doing.  I didn’t know when/how John quit the band. I didn’t really take much notice.  That blows my mind now when I think about it.  I mean, here I am, writing a daily blog about the band, and yet there was a period of time – a pretty lengthy one if I’m being completely honest – where I really didn’t keep up much at all.  I didn’t own Thank You until recently (sometime after the year 2000 – time runs together now, you see!), and I can still remember the exact day that I bought Medazzaland back in late 1997.  I put it in the car stereo, listened to the beginnings of each song, and then calmly removed it, putting it back into its packaging and thinking that for me, the period of being a Duran Duran fan had ended.

Famous last words.

-R

Question of the Day: January 22, 2014

Yesterday’s winner:  Picture N

N.

Let It Play a Little Longer

Did anyone have a chance to listen to the most recent Katy Kafé with John?  This month’s edition was slightly different in structure, in that Katy didn’t really talk with John about the band at all.  Instead, John spoke at length about what he believes to be his version of a “perfect album” – David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust.  Truthfully, I loved this diversion from what we’ve gotten used to being “the norm”.  I mean, how many times can you really ask the band for a scoop on the album – especially when none of them really want to give up any precious information just yet?  No, it was time to find something new to chat about, and I appreciated that John was more than willing to share his insight.

It is important to note that everyone has their own standards for what makes a perfect album – and John is very quick to emphasize that his choice of Ziggy is simply what does it for him.  I would imagine that for many of us, our choices would likely be very different.  This is likely very much the same as “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, and no one is really wrong.  There can be no wrong answer about what you think is a perfect album, which makes the topic that much more interesting.  I think the proper point here is that regardless of the album(s) chosen or why, the spirit and emotion is very similar.

John believes that a perfect album will take him on a ride. There is a real sense of a beginning, middle and end.  I very much got the feeling that listening to music is an escape of sorts for John, and I can appreciate the idea of being taken on a music journey.  He mentioned how making albums today is very different.  Back in the earlier days of vinyl, prior to the invent of CD – albums were shorter. 10 songs.  45 minutes, maybe 20-25 minutes a side.  Certainly one could sit through an entire side of music.  Then when CDs came along, the album length grew.  No longer could you count on being able to set aside just 45 minutes to enjoy a full album. Many were an hour or longer, and who can really set aside that much time without leaving the room, only to return and realize you never did listen to the entire album?  And now, with mp3’s, many people don’t even buy full albums any longer, so the effect of having that full journey or story told in an album appears to be a lost art to many in the industry.  (Obviously….I might add.)

From there, John goes into a slight description of each song.  I won’t dare to replicate the beautiful tales he weaves – I feel strongly that this is a Kafé worthy the cost of DDM membership.  I found myself, rather, thinking about what my own perfect album might be and why.

Katy asked John if he had more than one answer for his perfect album, and John seemed to indicate that yes, there was more than one in his collection.  She replied that her husband, Brian, had more than a few in his – and John seemed surprised by that.  As I mentioned  above, I don’t think there are really any right or wrong answers here.  Each of us has our own sentiments for what makes an album truly “perfect” to our ears and hearts.  So I began thinking of my own collection and what I would consider “perfect”.

I am very much right with John when I say that the album has got to take me on a ride.  I need to feel something when I’m listening.  There are a great many songs and albums that I very much enjoy and are likely among my most favorite, but for one reason or another that music can fade into the background – it doesn’t quite take me places or make me think the way that others might.  I like to listen to music intelligently, considering the words, the music, etc.  Then there are other days when I just want the music in the background.  I don’t necessarily want to “work for it”.  But for me, the music that I count as perfect is the music that I need to sit with, digest and actively experience.

So I have a  few albums that I would count as “perfect” in my book. They aren’t even albums that I listen to all that often – in fact some of these I haven’t sat with in a year or more, but when I do, I know that I’m getting quality.

Tears for Fears – The Hurting  This is not an “easy listening” album. I think that to get the full effect, you had better be present – and I don’t  just mean physically, I mean mentally. The ride with this one isn’t necessarily beautiful. It’s dark, it’s moody, it’s even violent in parts, but there is something about this album that really says all of the things that I think music should say.  I almost never listen to just a song or two from this album, in fact – I think the only way to really listen is to do it from start to finish and savor the whole way.

Styx – Paradise Theater An unlikely choice for this Duran Duran fan, huh?  I can’t help it.  I love this album.  It is Art Rock, it is American in all of it’s glory, it’s got the tale end of that 70s rock thing going for it, but it’s a story and I simply love the journey.  I never listen to a single song off of it unless I put the album on the turntable – which is rare, to be honest, but whenever I listen to it, I honestly think to myself that this is how every single album should feel.

The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band In all fairness, I could have picked a few other Beatles’ albums.  They are the one band that I feel has made more than one perfect album (for me).  I love this album to pieces – I’m singing or humming along happily with one, feeling moody with another, and that to this day I’m still trying to really understand what the lyrics mean.  On the other hand, I think that Revolver (another album) is every bit as good as this one, and that maybe I think it fulfills the intellectual side of me just a teensy bit more….but then I think about the White Album, and realize that I might not really be able to choose properly here.  I neglected to choose that one here simply because of it’s length. It’s tough to sit through the entire thing from start to finish. On any given day I might say one album over another and never really have my answer, but that’s why I love them all. The Beatles knew how to make an album, likely better than anyone else.

My list is not complete, mind you. These are merely the first few that came to mind…and given that we all know Duran Duran, I thought it might be time to expand from there.  Give it a try, let me know what you come up with.

-R

Question of the Day: January 21, 2014

Yesterday’s winner:  Picture L

L

We Unravel Towards the Place Where All Loose Ends Go

“…and we unravel towards the place where all loose ends go.”

I love that line in Before The Rain.  That song, off of AYNIN, was one of the few songs that I didn’t immediately love.  It was a song that grew very strongly on me over time,  andI know it’s one of the songs that I will probably always hold dear from that album.  That particular line though, stuck with me from the very first listen. There’s just something about the whole “loose ends” sentiment, for some reason it strikes a chord.

I want to thank everyone for their kind words and encouragement towards our new site.  I do like the way it’s evolving, and I think that as Amanda and I grow more used to the inner workings here, we’ll become more comfortable.  What feels like a trial right now to us, because we’ve needed to change some of our processes in order to utilize all that WordPress has to offer, will become second nature once again.  I welcome that.

Personally, I feel like this is the beginning of a new era for Daily Duranie. It’s the logical “next step”, so to speak.  The timing is especially good because we had the old website set up (for the most part, although we did go through significant layout changes there once or twice.) during AYNIN, and now that a new album will be making it’s way,  we’re ready for something new.

As we get used to this site though, I’ve been dealing with some loose ends on the old site. Saying goodbye, I suppose. I posted a message giving the new address, and in a couple of days, I’ll simply redirect the site to this one, and lastly – probably next weekend, I’ll delete our blog from Blogger.  It is bittersweet in many respects, but on the same token I’m excited for what may lie ahead.

Right now, we have quite a few “loose ends” to get knotted before we can really move forward with firm plans for what comes next.  I have the book proposals to work on. Amanda will be editing more chapters from the book and putting together our bibliography. (which is far more work than I would have ever considered!!!)We are still working on getting the highlight video from the last convention edited (no, we haven’t forgotten and we’re working to get that accomplished as quickly as possible, but we’ve run into several snags along the way), we have many more questions than answers regarding the possibility for a next convention…and in the next several weeks we’ll be addressing all of those loose ends, tying and finishing them off.

In the meantime, I bask in the joy of finishing a major loose end – this website!

-R

Question of the Day: January 20, 2014

Yesterday’s winner:  Picture J

J

Please, Please Tell Me Now…What Duranies Want in a Convention!

If you have been paying attention to my posts the last few weekends, you know that I have been focusing on conventions, including why fans attend, why should celebrities attend, what kind of activities are found there and more.  Based on those discussions and based on my research, I am starting to wonder what Duranies really want in a convention.  I have described what normally takes place in a convention, including activities like vendor fairs, screenings, panels, games, and more.  The post which describes all of this can be found here.  I also know what took place during Durandemonium 2013.  For those who were not in attendance, the activities we had during the convention included get-to-know-you as Duranies games, an author’s panel, a screening of A Diamond in the Mind, games, banquet with dinner and dancing, and late night clubbing at Late Bar’s New Wave night.  Were those the right kind of activities to have?  Should other activities be part of a Duran convention?

When we designed Durandemonium 2013, we had ideas of what had liked in the past at other meet ups and at the first convention we attended in 2004 in New Orleans.  We liked having the chance to party with fellow Duranies whether at a bar or a club.  For us, that party culture is a big culture of Duran Duran culture.  After all, Simon does say that Duran Duran is the band designed to make you party.  Yet, I’m well aware that there are Duranies who don’t party as much as say…we might when we are together.  (This is probably a good reason why Rhonda and I should live far away from each other!)  Thus, for those fans, maybe partying at a club or bar wouldn’t be that important to them.  A lot of Duranies are collectors and spend a lot of time and money shopping on ebay or trading with other fans.  We didn’t do much with that due to space restrictions.  Perhaps, that is something a lot of people really would like.  We did have a raffle with lots of great items to give away.  Is that enough or would people prefer a place to just buy without having to worry about winning?  Maybe an auction would have been a better route to go with those cool items.  It seemed to me that most of the attendees at Durandemonium liked the screening of ADITM.  I know that we loved it.  Is that something that should always be included?  If so, do people have preferences about what should be shown?

While we did have an author’s panel, we didn’t do much with attempting to get celebrities there for obvious reasons.  This doesn’t mean, though, that it isn’t important to some fans.  We are aware that it does matter to people.  The question is how much does it matter?  Would you only attend a convention if one or more band members was there?  Would you want a convention with, at least, celebrities connected to Duran in some way?  Would you want a focus that is broader than Duran Duran?  Maybe, you would be able to justify spending the money to go if it was focused on a few of your favorite bands.  Then, of course, more to the point, how much would you be willing to spend to attend a convention with a celebrity or two?  We know how much concert tickets are.   Would you be willing to pay the same as a VIP ticket?  More?  How much more?  Then again, maybe, there are some fans who welcome the idea of getting together with other fans without the band being around.

I’m aware that I am asking for people’s ideal convention.  Obviously, as someone who has organized a convention and planning another one in the future, I am MORE than well-aware that everything that people want cannot happen.  Convention planners, like us, have an extremely limited budget (as in nothing, zero, zip, nada) and that other elements can limit what is possible.  For example, at the last convention, we didn’t have a lot of space to do things like a vendor fair.  That said, I’m truly curious what Duranies really would want in a convention.  What would make you spend the money and take the time to go to a convention?  How much would you be willing to spend and would you be willing to travel for it?

-A

Question of the Day: January 19, 2014

Yesterday’s winner:  Picture H

H.