Tag Archives: Duranies

Never a Dull Moment – Simon’s Surprise May Katy Kafe!

I spied news that Simon decided it was time for an impromptu Katy Kafé yesterday, and I could have written right then exactly how it was going to go.  He had plenty to say, and Katy’s goal was to basically try and funnel the energy in the right direction.  I could hear the energy emanating from my computer speakers as he began the Kafe with all sorts of talk about pugs.  Yes, pugs…as in dogs. He goes on a full tangent coming up with every possible tagline for pug licking. Not that I wasn’t following along well, but I really wasn’t following.  Next time I’m going to need more caffeine before listening to a Kafe.  Or something.

As typical, I am going to attempt to decipher the news of the day. This is not going to be word for word, and as always – to really understand Simon, or at least so that you can be as thoroughly entertained as possible, you should get a DDM membership so that you can hear the Kafé in all of it’s glory. It was a very short Kafe, given that it was impromptu and all, nevertheless, we did get a scoop of sorts. No song titles, no snippets…but I think they might know just how long the album is going to be, and it sounds like they’ve settled on the tracks they’re going to use.

As of yesterday, it sounds like Simon would like the album to have eleven (11) tracks.  When asked why eleven, Simon said that it was because he couldn’t get it down to ten.  If only WordPress allowed emoticons…

At any rate, Simon then said that they could put out a 16 track album, but they’re not, and that sometimes less is really more.  I’ll be completely blunt: “more” for me at this point would mean getting us a song to hear soon, and then maybe spreading out the introduction of the entire album over the course of say…a few months.  How, you ask? Simple! By “releasing” a single song track a week or so, because it would create buzz and MORE buzz each time something was released and spread to the fan community and public over Twitter and Facebook. This isn’t a new idea, nor is it MY idea…but it’s a really good one. Rather than have two weeks, or even less, of a lot of “chatter” on social media, by slowing the release of the record to a song every week or so, you’re extending the life of the PR and social media chatter. Why? Each time something new is released, Duran Duran has the chance to be trending, and the music has an opportunity of being heard.  When you release everything all at once, really great songs get buried, and let’s be honest: people do not buy music by the album any longer.  Sales show that, and while I’m fully aware most Duran fans would buy the whole album – I hate to say it – we are not the the center of the universe.  Maybe the most important part, yes…. but surely not the center.  (That’s sarcasm)  Oh, and touring. Yes, “more” for me means touring.  Soon.  (I’m allowed to wish. I don’t care if the rest of you aren’t ready for them yet. I’m a fan, and I am ready!)

So what else did Simon say?  They were working in the studio with Mr. Hudson – and I believe that Simon and Katy spoke just yesterday so that means Mr. Hudson must be making a reasonably sized contribution to the album.  I can hardly wait to hear what they’ve

The reason for the impromptu Kafé was Simon wanted to share the events of the past couple of weeks with the fan community.  As we all know, Simon went to Ibiza last week to surprise Nile Rodgers at the IMS (International Music Summit) dinner. He presented Nile with the Legends award, and afterward jammed with Nona Hendryx, Nile Rodgers and George Clinton.

Then, a couple of nights ago he went and saw Caetano Veloso, one of the greatest Brazilian artists, at the Barbican Center.  Warren Cuccurullo turned him on to Brazilian music back in 1989 when they were staying in the South of France.

No song titles or other huge scoops…but it certainly sounds like they’re working, and with any luck the road to having a finished album before us is growing shorter!

-R

 

DD Tribute Album (Making Patterns Rhyme) Taster – Rio (Moby)

I have been sitting back and waiting patiently for the first single from Making Patterns Rhyme to emerge, and today we received a taster of Moby’s cover of “Rio”. It’s not the entire song, but it’s a minute and a half of something that is incredibly different from what fans know to be Rio, and for that, I need to applaud Moby.

Personally, I think the first clue that this cover was not going to be a rehash of “Rio” came from the fact that this is a COVER album. When I first heard of this tribute being created, I knew this would go one of two ways: either the songs would sound very similar to the originals  and fans would hate them…or they’d sound very different from the originals, and fans would hate them.  Why?

Well, that’s really the easy question to answer. The fans of which I am speaking (and they’re not difficult to find – just look at Duran Duran’s Facebook page today and find the post of Moby’s Rio cover.  Check out the comments. They’re scathing.) are diehard fans. To them, Rio is the Holy Grail. I knew this was going to be a hard sell for many a Duran fan out there, and while I can understand why – I think you have to go into each song (and no, you absolutely might not like them all, and that’s OK!) with a pretty clear head and heart. Listen to each song on it’s own merits – not those of Duran Duran. It isn’t easy to listen to a song that you have adored for thirty years be completely redone into something that isn’t automatically recognizable, and I understand how fans feel in that regard. The knee jerk reaction is to automatically say you can’t stand it, shut it off, and then listen to the original as some sort of “cleanse”. I’ve had those moments myself. Not necessarily for this particular cover…but for others, absolutely.

Maybe I’m crazy, but I don’t want to hear Moby be Duran Duran, because that’s just some sort of twisted karaoke. I want to hear Moby’s interpretation of Rio.

Moby’s version is nothing like the original, except in spirit, and I’m honestly a little surprised that fans can’t at least hear that. I would say that one need not look further for artistic inspiration than to the graphic design for the cover. (Beautifully created by none other than Patty Palazzo – and I mean it from the heart when I say it’s brilliant. That one image is exactly how I hear the song.) When I listen to the song, rather than the song actually reminding me of the way Duran Duran recorded the song, it reminds me of the ocean itself. I like that the cover is softer, dreamy…lazy like a summer day. Do I love it as much as the original? I have to be honest – for me it’s a completely different song altogether. It’s not really something I can compare. I can say though that I have played it more than once, and with each listen I like it more. I would have been very disappointed if it had sounded like the original, because that just isn’t the point of a cover at all.  (This reminds me of the discussion I saw among Tears for Fears fans when Lorde did a cover of “Everybody Wants to Rule the World”.  Fans were ready to start burning effigies of her because she dared to try something new and made the song dark and haunting.)

I suspect that the intention with this tribute album was to have the artists completely reinterpret the originals, and I’m betting that Manimal Records doesn’t really care what the diehard Duranies really think of the finished product(s), nor should they. We’re not necessarily the audience they’re going after, and that’s OK. The trouble for fans is that it’s really not 1983 or 1984, and times have changed. If Moby came out with Rio, Karaoke style – who’d play it today? No one. So this is his 2014 interpretation. You don’t have to love it, hell…you don’t even have to like it, but you should at least respect the space from which it’s been done.

I did go through and read the comments on Facebook. As I said before, they’re scathing, and I have to wonder what people may have thought they were going to hear. I think some were aghast that someone would dare to cover a Duran Duran song to begin with, and plenty of others said that while they’re fans of Moby – they think this is terrible.

Wanna hear it for yourself?  Here ya go…the full version!

-R

 

Today in Duran History – Boca Raton, FL

On today’s date in 2008, Duran Duran played at the Mizner Park Amphitheater in Boca Raton, FL.

I decided that since this show was relatively recent (as opposed to say, back in the early 80s), I would attempt to find the set list.  Well, I did one better.  I found a review of the show AND the set list, which you can read for yourself here.   Happy reading!

Let me know what you think of the review, especially if you were there that night. Drop us a line in our comments below!

-R

May Katy Kafé with Nick Rhodes!

I have been waiting with trepidation since Katy Krassner excitedly tweeted yesterday that she was able to get Nick to give ONE incredible possible song title for this month’s Kafe.  This is huge, huge news that comes in the middle of a desert of very, very little in the past year or so.  We hear things every once in a bit, but this…this is solid, exciting news for #DD14.

As always, I took copious notes and gave the Kafe my rapt attention amongst getting my youngest ready for school, giving attention to my son – who is in the middle of major school projects and so forth. That said, I am pretty sure I missed things, and this is by no means going to be a word-for-word reiteration of the Kafe. I always, always recommend that you go straight to DDM to hear it for yourself, as these are just the highlights.

Album News:

Nick is in the studio today, working with Mr. Hudson.  They have already done two songs, and this would be the third.  As Nick put it – they finally “cracked the lyric on a ballad” (that is going to be central to this album) that they’d had on their plates for a year.  That should really tell all of us something – they are working HARD on this album.  He says that Mr. Hudson comes to them with great energy, lots of ideas, and that he has a great musical ear.  He is very diverse (as I’ve mentioned in an earlier blog that you can read here.) and he reminds me a bit of Mark.

Speaking of Mark, and I know plenty of you out there ARE wondering about his involvement on this album – he was with the band in the very beginning and then came back to the studio a couple of weeks ago to see how things were going. He did not, however, actually do any producing for them at the time – Nick was very careful to articulate that they WANT to work with him again, and are hoping to carve time out in July.  Mark is a busy guy though, and it’s tough to get on his schedule.  Katy asked Nick if anything from that initial work with Mark (at the beginning of the album process) has survived. Nick said that two songs have survived, and one of them is a piece that Mark worked on.  Again, this says they’ve really scrapped most of that early work entirely.  The process is an evolution, certainly. They went into this project wanting to reinvent a bit, reinvigorate…and that process took longer than usual.

The one point that Katy made is that we fans always think the albums come in Durantime (very true!)…but one thing that the band hasn’t really articulated before is that they try to let the album develop…develop it’s own personality, and sometimes that just takes time.  This is a band, as we well know, that wants to constantly cover new ground “sonically”. They don’t want to rehash the same thing over and over again.  Nick makes the point later in the Kafe that they never wanted the music to become cliché or do something completely formulaic.  In fact, the band’s “formula”, so to speak, is to smash it all and rebuild with each new album.  They try to keep some of the same elements that make up the “Duran Duran Sound” (Simon’s voice, for instance), but it’s a fine balance.  He continues by saying that back in the 80s, that they really didn’t have the luxury to sit back and allow the albums to develop themselves in the same way they did with this one – there was no time to just sit and think.  However, even though they take the time to explore and record more thoroughly nowadays, they also have to know when they’ve found what they’re looking for.  Since they’ve been working now for over thirty years, it is more of a challenge to find that unchartered territory – the areas that they want to explore.  They have to dig a little deeper to find it.  As Nick said, “more things have been said now”.  He uses synthesizers as an example.  Back then, synthesizers hadn’t been used all that often – so there was a ton of new real estate to seek out, but nowadays, there are entire albums written with just synthesizers and rhythm units.  Nick seemed very proud to say though that they’ve “seen the light” and that they seem to be through the tough part of the process, which is great to hear.  He also said that there are a couple things on this album that the band has never done before, which is very exciting to hear.

Basically, the very things that we love about this band – the risk taking, the fact that no two albums ever sound exactly the same, the innovation – those are the reasons why this album has taken so long, and in fairness to Nick (and the rest of the band), he openly admits it’s taken longer this time.  But I suppose we can forgive that, right??

So about that possible song title… Katy asked him if he’d throw us one, and at first Nick hedged, saying that he could get into trouble.  Katy reminded him that none of them listen to the Katy Kafés, and Nick said “Well, there is one early one…Valentine’s Stone.”

I’m just waiting for you all to catch your breath on that one.  Are we all good? Still with me here??

Nick says he’s not sure if that one will even be on the album – but it’s a title.  Naturally the first thing *I* thought of when hearing it was The Reflex.  Can’t help it, my head went there. You know…”dancing on the Valentine…”

I was so excited about getting that darn title yesterday. I’ve been chomping at the proverbial bit for months, hoping to get a teensy tidbit. Now we’ve got one, and I’m sitting here trying to think of something witty and thoughtful to say.  It’s just great to hear that we’re at the stage where we’re getting something of substance from that studio!

Diamond in the Mind Vinyl:

Nick is very proud of this vinyl. Like me, he feels that music is best heard on vinyl, and so they’ve wanted to put as much out on a vinyl version as possible.  This is the first live album they’ve produced on vinyl since Arena.  He is particularly proud of the artwork, which includes a diamond dusted cover.  This is very exciting and sounds like it is going to be stunning! They worked with Rory McCartney on this project, and I hear that there is soon to be a Fan Community (DDM) Q&A from Rory on the website soon…she said it was very creative!

Careless Memories photo book:

While the exhibit for this took place WAYYYYY back in November of last year, the book itself has taken longer than they’d hoped to complete.  Nick apologized to anyone who had ordered an advance copy, but the good news is that the finished product is being printed any day now and will be ready to ship SOON. They worked with John Warwicker, who was also the Creative Director for Astronaut – and the completed product is a sight to behold, according to Nick.  There are quotes from the band in the book, and MOST importantly (in my opinion), is that Andy IS included in the book.  He was included in the quotes, and I’m thrilled to be able to pass on that tidbit to all of you.  From the first moment of reading about this book coming to fruition, I felt that Andy should absolutely be involved. He was in the band at the time, and it would have been a mistake to not include him.  It’s great news that his memories are also to be found within the pages.

Birthdays and DD Appreciation day in August:

Nick’s birthday is June 8th, which falls on a Sunday this year. Apparently his idea of celebrating this year is going for a walk! He’s looking forward to a low key birthday this year…and even though Katy prompted him to “maybe get a twitter” for next year’s birthday, Nick said he was “Not going to promise that one, sorry!”  (I think we’ve got a ways to go before ever seeing Nick on Twitter, folks…)

Before parting ways, Katy commented that we’d hear from Nick in August for Duran Duran Appreciation Day and Nick mentioned that they had an offering for that special day.  Hmmm….talk about creating speculation, I wonder what THAT might be???

-R

Girls on Film – the Glee version

I will not lie, I winced when I read the news last week that Glee would be doing their own super-special version of this song.  I did, and I am not necessarily proud of that response.  The fact is, I have been trying to be more open minded about this sort of thing. DD’s music is begging to be covered, and Glee is a popular show.  It makes sense, and I should be puffing out my chest with pride, not wincing as I read a tweet, right??

Well, I still have memories over what was done to Hungry Like the Wolf and Rio. They were performed as a medley by Matt Bomer and Darren Criss.  I just didn’t want to see or hear of that happening to another DD song.  However, on the same token, a cover shouldn’t necessarily be a carbon copy of the original, should it?  Isn’t a cover version supposed to be another artist’s interpretation?  Shouldn’t I be applauding that?

Well, yes.  Yes I should, which is exactly why I’m no critic. The cheesy, whiney, blood-curdling version that Glee did of Hungry Like the Wolf simply isn’t my thing, regardless of what other fans may think. (Want to tell me I’m wrong? Get your own blog.)  I know that Glee sometimes often borders its writing and production on the cornball side of syrupy sweet. Overdone? Probably.  The way HLTW and Rio were done definitely fits that methodology, but would they go that route again?

Well, take a listen for yourself.

Girls on Film – Glee Style

When I listened, I had to admit that the music sounded pretty close.  Close. Not dead-on, so Duranies don’t be sending me hate mail saying I’m a bad fan! The chords at the beginning are not like the original, they’re clearly mellowed out for TV, and a lot of the very small elements in the music feel a little flat as opposed to the band’s writing, but it’s close.  Chord Overstreet does a reasonable job, although like everything he sings, I would swear he has a permanent smile on his face as he performs.  He’s not Simon LeBon of course, but you know – it’s not terrible. He has the right range. They didn’t go for cheese here, at least not in the way I had thought in my head.  I’m curious to see how the song is written into the show tomorrow night, so I’ll probably take the time to watch — something I haven’t really done all season.  And that’s really the point, isn’t it?

-R

 

Maybe you think you’re above it

Why on earth would a fan think it was a good idea to circumvent security, climb up on stage and rush the band?

Last night there was a Morrissey show in San Jose, California.  I had a couple friends at the show. They were excited because previous attempts to see Morrissey (for them) had been thwarted by the dates being cancelled at the last minute.  There was joking (well, on my part anyway) throughout the day about whether he’d actually do the show…because you just never know when it’s Morrissey. (not even going to look your way right now, Duran Duran…)  But by dinner time last night, it looked like yes, it was going to happen.  My friends were excited, and while I’m really not a Morrissey fan, I was excited for them to finally get their show.

Fast forward to this morning, when I see that one of them posted that their show was cut 2 or 3 songs short because of a few absolute MORONS who thought they had the right, above everyone else present, to get up on stage, rush Morrissey and get their hugs in.  The band stopped playing, and the show was over.  Thankfully, I hear that this was during the encore and at the very least – the audience was able to see most of the scheduled show.

I’ve been to two Duran Duran shows where someone thought they deserved an up-close and personal shot at a hug from Simon.  Somehow they managed to get up on stage, and the first time – Dave pretty much bear hugged the girl and took her offstage. The second, Simon sidestepped what he saw coming out of the corner of his eye and once again – trusty Dave grabbed the girl and took her off.

As I’ve sat and thought about people rushing the stage that way before…two main thoughts go through my head. The first being: why would someone really think that getting up on stage with the band would EVER go well?  At the very least it has the potential to ruin the show, appearance, etc. for everyone else, not to mention that it puts the band at risk.  Why wouldn’t that be enough to deter someone?? That’s when I start considering the other sorts of “bad fan behavior” I’ve seen over the years.  “Rules” such as no getting up on stage to grab the band, and not trying to talk your way backstage or into the studio, or any multitude of other “unwritten” rules…are simply that. Unwritten.  People (like me) just assume those kinds of things aren’t cool to do, and so they (I) don’t attempt them. I don’t follow the band home. I don’t try to sneak my way into places I’m pretty sure I’m not supposed to be.  However, there are plenty of other people out there that just assume those “rules” (because dammit – they’re unwritten anyway, and why should we assume they’re really rules?!?) are for other people. They’re not going to let silly ideas such as the thought of being the cause of a show ending early because they got up on the stage ruin their fun.  So what if it seems weird to thousands of other people that they followed a band member home – all they’re asking for is five minutes, right? The trouble is, and this is key: that behavior is typically rewarded.  Maybe that fan who climbed up on stage gets to go backstage. That fan who followed someone home got to speak with the band member….and maybe even got a photo. The point being, while you and I are standing in line at a meet and greet…or just following whatever rules were put in place for whatever function we’re talking about, someone else didn’t bother with those rules.  They found them outside the venue and had five minutes of uninterrupted time and plenty of photos. (which probably weren’t allowed to be taken IN the venue, store, etc.)  They waited outside of the band’s hotel room even though other fans told them it wasn’t cool. They talked their way onto a tour bus, they made friendly with bouncers to get backstage…or any multitude of other things to get what they want. It always happens, and more often than not I’m either annoyed that fans get away with that sort of thing or I’m kicking myself for not doing them myself. Things that you and I might think are the “wrong way” to do things aren’t an issue for someone else, and typically the band (and by “The” Band, I really mean ANY band, but especially this one) rewards that behavior.

Why? Well, I have to assume that for the band – THIS band – any fan is a good fan. They’ve been around a long time now. There’s not so many of us still standing on our feet. Yet, they need and crave that attention we readily give. Yes, I’m saying the band is slightly narcissistic, and I’m sure they’d agree. There certainly is something to be said for being on stage and having people scream for you night after night. Thirty years later and it’s still happening? Oh, you betcha…and so when they go without, they crave that adoring attention, and their egos love the extra boost. So if fans are going to break the “rules” to get to them, the band can’t help but smile. They love it even if it pisses off those of us who have been politely waiting our turn. Our loss, right? You snooze, you lose.

And that’s why it keeps happening, even though typically – it ruins it for everyone else.  But who cares about that really?  I mean, it’s all about ourselves, right?

-R

.

Today in Duran History – Uruguay

On todays date in 1993, Duran Duran played in Montevideo, Uruguay.  Not a country I hear about them hitting on tour very often, I must say.

And since I’m a little bored this morning….I will share a scenario here that was posted on our FB page by Miss Amanda over the weekend.  If you care to reply (and you should), please send us a comment!

You are stuck in an elevator with a rock star.  Who would you want it to be??

The way I see this, there are two ways to answer this question. Either you go for the knee jerk answer, in which you don’t even consider the circumstances and you say the first person to pop into your head.  I’ll bet that’s how most people would answer, and I think that’s great.  Then there’s me.  Do I actually think about what fun this could be?  No. Of course not. The very first thing I think of in this delightful fantasy situation is my anxiety.  I’m not fond of elevators. Too closed in, and the thought of being pulled up and lowered by cables kind of bothers me a bit.  Don’t get me wrong – I use them and everything, but I try not to think about it much. So the idea of being stuck in one is not at all amusing, and no, I really don’t care who it is beside me at the time (I just pray the elevator is not full).  I can just imagine getting onto an elevator only to find a band member standing there – or being in one only to have the doors open with one of them about to enter.  Awkward.  I mean, it would probably be the ONE time I’m wearing a DD t-shirt, or carrying one of my VIP bags or something.  And then to end up stuck?!?  I can just see it – I’d roll my eyes, shake my head and mumble something about it being my luck.  I’ll bet many of you would consider it good luck though.  Not me. I’d likely call those minutes among the most awkward of my life.  What would I say?  Probably nothing at first. I’d be standing there thinking about what to say.  LOL Better sound smart, Rhonda!!  You can only stand there quiet for so long though before acknowledging the situation, right??  So the question comes down to who it is beside me in that elevator.  Who would I not mind being stuck with?  Who would I most want to speak with?

Let’s just go with the knee jerk here and say Nick Rhodes.  Yeah, I know you thought I was going to say Dom.  😉

-R

Today in Duran History – Argentina

On today’s date just a mere two years ago, Duran Duran played at Luna Park in Argentina.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but even though I know this was just two years ago at this point – it seems like so long ago now.  While I might be ready to consider the idea of going to some shows again, I suspect that the band has other plans given that there’s no end date in sight for the new album to be released…may as well get comfortable in those easy-chairs, I suppose!  🙂

-R

Today in Duran History – Tokyo

Way back in the dark ages…we’re talking 1982 people…Duran Duran played at Shibuya Kokaido in Tokyo.  I can honestly say that not only do I not remember this show (I definitely wasn’t there!), I really think that at that point in my life, my world began and ended at Sunflower Intermediate School in Glendora, California (a school that has since been closed).  I was eleven years old, and while I know I could have picked Japan and even Tokyo out on a map, overall the world felt an awful lot bigger to me then than it does these days.  I don’t know that I even dreamed about seeing the word beyond the US at that time.  There are moments when it is hard to believe there was once a time when the internet didn’t exist and we were forced to rely on radio, TV & magazines for our Duran Duran news.

Dark ages indeed!!

-R

Today in Duran History – Wembley 2004

On today’s date in 2004, Duran Duran played Wembley Arena in London, UK.  They played Wembley Arena five nights during this period in 2004: April 13, April 14, April 24 and then April 30 and May 1st.  I hear they sold the place out….

As you might recall, the band released a little DVD aptly named Live from London, which was recorded at Wembley during these shows… and if memory serves, there may have been a few theatre screenings of this DVD scattered across the US to celebrate it’s release.  Duran Duran on a big screen?  YES.

We should really do all that again, don’t you think??

-R