Tag Archives: Duran Duran

iPhoria

If you’ve visited Twitter today, you may have noticed that TV Mania is back tweeting again after a decidedly long absence.  Admittedly, I love their tweets. Quirky as they may seem, invariably they get me thinking about media or just society in general, and if you haven’t quite picked up on that theme here in this blog, we’re sort of into trying to understand what makes us all tick.

It’s nice to see something, ANYTHING, happening in the Duran Duran Stratosphere. That’s right, I’ve elevated their world to a stratosphere.  What of it?

However, along with a quizzical tweet or two, TV Mania tweeted a specific photo/comment.

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In 1996 Euphoria. 2014: iPhoria

That statement is so true. I myself have an iPhone…well, at this point it’s really a dinosaur posing as an iPhone…but it still works. Slowly.  In any case, the thought of thousands of arms holding up cell phones at recent concerts I’ve been to came to mind.  Last May, I went to see The Killers, and although I was in about the 4th row on the floor, I had a terrible time trying to see them. Why? Cell phones being held up everywhere. Eventually I found myself kind of ducking down a bit, looking underneath the cell phone being held by the man in front of me just so that I could see Brandon Flowers. You’d think that people would eventually put down the phone so that they could watch the damn show, but no. No…why watch when you can video it for later, right??

Back in the 80s and 90s I only saw Duran Duran live a couple of times, and to be honest, I was always so far back that there was no point to bringing the camera, so I never did. Then around the time of the reunion, my husband decided to try bringing it. When we saw the band at 4th and B in San Diego, he brought a piece of junk disposable camera just to see if he could get it into the venue, much less take photos, but it worked and I was overjoyed. After that,  I was a woman on fire. I tried bringing my camera to every show. I took photos constantly, and felt like each clear photo I took of a band member was a trophy. In 2006, I went to a show at the Sears Center, just outside of Chicago.  My plane had been late getting in, we were rushed to get to the hotel and even more rushed getting to the venue.  In the all of the craziness, I forgot my camera in the car. I was mad, but what could I do? I enjoyed the show. I danced. I sang. I was likely one of the two most enthusiastic fans in that place. (I laugh because that’s what the lady in front of us told Amanda and I at the end of the show.) I experienced that show in a way I hadn’t for a long time – and it remains one of my favorites to this day even though I don’t have a single photo. Amanda and I talked about that show (and still talk about that show) for a long time. We both agreed that at least part of what made it so special wasn’t that the set list was especially creative or that the band was on fire (although they were), it was that we allowed ourselves to fully experience that moment without distraction. My memories are in my head and heart.

I still bring a camera to the show, but I really try to resist the urge to use it…for most songs. There a few regularly occurring songs in their set that Amanda and I have dubbed “photo ops”, but even then – how many pictures of Dom Brown can I really take?

Don’t answer that.  Shhh.

-R

Interpretations of Dirty Great Monster

It has been a long time since I have taken a good long look at a song’s lyrics and tried to figure out what the heck it is about.  Now, when I started doing this, I asked people to give song suggestions.  I’m still moving through those original one, but am open to getting others.  One song that was mentioned was “Dirty Great Monster” off the Red Carpet Massacre album.  Now, this isn’t a song that has gotten much attention ever.  It wasn’t one of the songs Timbaland was involved with and it wasn’t a single.  It wasn’t played live except for those Broadway shows, in which the entire album was played.  I don’t have much of a connection with it, but I was super fortunate to see it on Broadway as they had the most amazing visuals for this song.  Frankly, I’m still sad that we won’t get to see those again as they were worth the price of admission, for sure.  I did find one clip that showed some of those visuals, but nothing beat seeing them in person.

So, what about the lyrics to this song?

There’s a dirty great monster in this house
We pretend that it’s not there
And there’s no escape from its grip
But nobody seems to care

Do you ever wonder
About the days when we were straight?
But daddy got the hunger
So much to hide, we learn to lie

So watch yourself in the hallway
You’re not supposed to know
‘Cause we’re all afraid of each other
We’re the victims in this show

Well, do you ever wonder
About the days when we were straight?
When daddy got the hunger
Too much to hide, we learn to lie

Silently outnumbered
We made mistakes when we were straight
Now we’re all going under
Oh, oh, so with a sigh we say goodbye

So, what does the song mean?  Interestingly enough, it was the topic of an Ask Katy question in July 2008.  Simon stated, “The truth is that “Dirty GREAT Monster” is about someone close to my extended family, I am really not at liberty to be any more specific than that.”  You can read the full question and answer here.  This leads everyone to assume that Simon is talking about family abuse, specifically, perhaps, sexual abuse of a father to a child with the line about “daddy got the hunger”.

While this domestic abuse, possible sexual abuse, theory is one that is often accepted, I have seen other interpretations.  One theory I saw was that it was about the situation with Andy.  Lines like how there is “no escape” and that you have “hide” and “lie” could imply a lot of situations, including the one with Andy, especially as things were not going well within the inner circle but the band had to publicly say that everything was great.  Thinking about it that way, could the song also be about the music business?  Could Daddy be the business?  Maybe, it is, more specifically, their record label at the time, hungry for the money from record sales.  Everyone sort of ignores the demands and how those demands make artists “lie” and “hide”.  Maybe, they even force bands to work with producers they don’t want to work with and make albums that they aren’t them.     The last verse is particularly interesting in light of this theory.  Could it be the band was outnumbered by the powers that be?  Could those mistakes have been past albums that were made with more independence but didn’t live up to anyone’s standards?  I can’t imagine that life in Duran camp was that great in 2007.  It could have felt like they were “going under”.  Say goodbye could be a reference to Andy.  It could also be about saying goodbye to a major label and those days of commercial success.  It could also be goodbye to artistic integrity.

Yes, this song is one of those songs that seems very obviously about something on the surface but could really be about something else.  What do you think?  Which theory makes the most sense or do you have a different theory?

-A

P.S. Do let me know if you have other songs you want me to look at!

It’s Too Much Information for Me

This week, I saw a number of friends of mine discussing Motley Crue and their big announcement that they were going to do one final tour leading to the band’s retirement.  Now, initially, I just blew past those posts, tweets, comments, etc. as it didn’t affect me in the least since I was never a fan.  I knew that I wouldn’t attend whether it was their last tour, their first tour or their biggest tour.  Nope, it wasn’t for me.  Then, I put Duran Duran in their place.  Now, I know that there are a lot of fans out there who don’t want to think about the end of Duran Duran.  I know that for some people the mere mentioning that there will be an end someday upsets them.  In fact, it upsets some SO much that I’m sure that there will be angry comments in response to this blog.  I’m asking you, then, if this describes you to simply stop reading.  I won’t be hurt or upset.  I get it.  I know talking or thinking about the end can be extremely upsetting and that denial is much preferred.  I understand that.  I would love to live in that utopia in which the band will always be around, but reality asks me to think about it some, in order to prepare myself.  Anyway, seeing this about Motley Crue made me wonder.  Is it good to announce the final tour?  Is it good for the band?  Is it good for the fans?  Will it change how the fans respond?  Would the results be the same if it was Duran Duran instead (again…not that I’m saying Duran is quitting or that their next tour will be their last.)

Is it good for a band to announce a final tour?  Well, I would expect that this kind of announcement might create greater ticket sales.  Since this would be people’s last chance, they might be willing to go out of their way to spend money or more money than they would normally.  They might be willing to free up some time in their schedules than they would for just a normal show.  I can only speak for myself, but if it was Duran’s final tour, I know that I would truly want to do as many shows as I possibly could.  I won’t lie.  I would stretch my budget.  I would find the time, miss work, etc.  I would do all that I could to go to as much as I could.  I would have to think long and hard about ways to make it happen in order to go to as many as I could.  What part of my savings would be tapped?  Would I opt to do less or no VIPs, if it meant more shows?  What would I do in terms of work?  Perhaps, Motley Crue’s diehard fans have been responding in the same way.  Thus, announcing the final might be good for the band, in terms of sales.  It might also be good for them, emotionally.  They would approach the tour differently and would know that there is closure when it is done.  They might decide to deal with the fans while on tour, differently, too, knowing it is the last.  Of course, it could be hard on them, too.  The emotional intensity of it and the high expectations could either make the tour less fun or could make it harder at the end to quit, especially if the tour ends up being bigger/better than the previous one(s).

What about the fans?  Would it be good for us to know if a tour was Duran’s last?  On one hand, it would be good to know in order to do as much as one can, in terms of attending a show or shows.  There would be no more, “Well, there is always next tour.  Next tour, I’ll do a show.  It just didn’t work out.”  People couldn’t do that, if it was the last.  In this sense, knowing might cause people to change how they approach shows, traveling, etc.  Perhaps, then, people will do what they need to do to make it work or won’t have any regrets afterwards.  I would want that.  I would hate finding out later that I could have made things work if I had pushed but didn’t, when it was the last opportunity.  Right now, there are shows and experiences that I could have made possible in the past, if I had just pushed a little bit here or there, that I regret now.  Luckily though, those shows weren’t their last.  I had opportunities after those shows missed.  If missing those random shows bum me out some, I can’t imagine what it would feel like to have missed shows, when I didn’t need to during the last tour.  Heartbreaking, beyond belief, I suspect.

On the same token, what if your desire to get to this final tour doesn’t match your reality?  What if there is no way to get to a show–no matter how much you try, no matter how much sacrifices you make.  That has to be a terrible feeling!  I know that there are still Duranies out there who have yet to see them.  While I’m sure that knowing it was the final tour might push some to do something crazy to get to a show, which might be a great thing on multiple levels, it might be heartbreaking to those who truly can’t.  Likewise, I can’t imagine the level of stress and anxiety Rhonda and I would experience trying to figure out what we can truly do.  I don’t know that I would survive those presales, either.  Just thinking about it is causing me have knots in my stomach, feel a little shaky and have my head start to hurt.  Maybe, it wouldn’t be good to know, after all.  Then, again, I think it would be really, really special to be there for their final song of their final show.

What do you guys think?  Better to know or not to know?  If you are a Crue fan, are you glad to know?  Will this affect your plans to go see them?

-A

Winter Is Marching On…

I have had about 5 different ideas about what to blog about today.  A couple of those ideas are good ones that I might address this weekend or next, but I couldn’t approach those today.  They are too much, too serious.  Another idea focused on how crappy January has been and how I’m so glad that January is finally coming to an end but no one wants to hear me complain.  Thus, I had to come up with a completely different idea.  I realized one big thing tonight after finding out that my dental “insurance” sucks beyond belief, which is that I could go on and on and complain, fret about my lack of future touring money or I could fight.  Now, I can’t fight my bills (at least not directly) but I can and should fight other aspects of my life.  In order to do that, I need some motivation, some inspiration.  Then, it dawned on me.  Music can do that.  It can provide some motivation and some inspiration.  Maybe, others also need some feisty Duran in their lives on this final day of January.  Therefore, I decided to pick out some great Duran clips to watch to do just that–to get us to fight, to get us motivated, to get us feeling feisty.  Here are the clips that I came up with:

Wild Boys seemed fitting.  While I love the way they have been doing this song, this intro is still dang cool.

What else says feisty to me?  How about when Duran discusses the world?  I like how they do it.  A couple of good examples.

Too Much Information

Finest Hour.  I definitely understand the feeling of taking back and fighting for what I believe.  I’m right there, right now.

What about how they deal with the less-than-fun aspects to their careers?  Here is Notorious and their response to their critics in the  media (at least that is what I have always heard that  this song was about).

So, fellow Duranies, what am I forgetting?  What songs should I have included?  Any interviews that you want to post that fits the bill?  I know that I still need more to keep my new focus going.

-A

Tiger Tiger — The Daily Duranie Review (R)

Today I’m reviewing Tiger Tiger – an instrumental off of Seven and the Ragged Tiger.  I think this might actually be the very first song that we’ve reviewed where there are absolutely no vocals of any kind, so hey – something new!

Musicality/Instrumentation:  There are certain songs that give me immediate, inescapable chills, and this one is on that extremely short list for me. I simply cannot listen to this song without having them, and I can’t listen to this song without visualizing the beginning to Sing Blue Silver. (and if you’ve never seen Sing Blue Silver I want you to go to Amazon right now…right this very second in fact…and order the DVD. It’s worth the money, and every Duranie should have this in their collection. ) I love the opening – it sounds like an orchestra warming up (although I doubt that’s what it is) and then is silenced with the opening keyboard notes. That leads into the familiar notes where I see a convoy of semitrucks on the highway in my minds eye, along with hearing the beginning of the well-known keyboard melody.  Now, what I truly love about this song is the soprano saxophone, played by Andy Hamilton – which certainly becomes the entire melody line for the song, backed up by synthesizer.  I really appreciate that the band took the initiative to have the lead instrument in the song be the saxophone – an instrument that really is not in the actual band line-up, although to be sure it is included in a good many songs in the band catalog.  Even in my youth, I grew to love Tiger Tiger on this album, likely because of the saxophone – but also because of the simplicity of the song itself. It is a head-clearing few moments for me as I listen.  At 3 minutes and 19 seconds in  length, the song is not incredibly long, but it flows beautifully and takes you on a short musical journey.

Vocals:  No vocals here…so Simon gets a free pass…this week.  🙂

Lyrics:  This song is so good it didn’t even NEED lyrics!

Overall:  This song gets everything right in the way that the rest of this album falls short.  The production isn’t messy, it’s not overdone – and while there is a lot going on in background tracking and melody lines, it sounds simple, yet finished.  I love that there are no lyrics – because it allows the listener and the music to just BE..and on an album like Seven and the Ragged Tiger, where there is just layering upon layering, it’s really nice to have a song just take you away to a daydream.  For me, the beauty in this song is it’s simplicity.  Not only does it showcase the musical chops of Andy Hamilton and Nick, it also proves what Ian Little and Alex Sadkin are indeed capable of producing.  By far one of the best tracks off of this album, if not *the* best track.  second-to-last song, although I can see why it works there as well.  I really cannot think of a single thing that could have been done to make this song better, music like this is why I became a fan in the first place.

Cocktail Rating:  Five very well-deserved cocktails!

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-R