Tag Archives: John Taylor

Dark Circles Come Alive

Everywhere I look, there are forlorn Duranies, hoping for something new.  Many “veteran” Duran fans know that it is likely to be many more months before we hear the sweet chords of new music. We’ve settled in, recognizing the long haul in front of us. We try to use the time to catch up other favorite bands, see other tours, and expand our horizons.

Or so we all say, right?

Invariably, when we are between albums, I start pulling out music I haven’t listened to in a while. At at least I would be, if my music hadn’t been packed away and put in a storage facility about three hours from me. Oh, the joys of moving.

In any case, my music suggestion for today is The Devils!

I’m sure many of you have heard of them before, but nearly any time I write about them, at least one Duranie will write in, completely flabbergasted. Take a giant step back in time, before “Hungry Like the Wolf”, and even before Simon stepped in as vocalist.

The very first manifestation of Duran Duran included Nick Rhodes on keyboards, John Taylor on guitar, and Stephen Duffy (The Lilac Time) on vocals. Simon Colley also participated, sharing bass duties with Stephen Duffy.  Simon Colley also played my personal favorite instrument – the clarinet! (Who knew Duran Duran once had a clarinet player?!) This group played together for about a year before Stephen Duffy and Simon Colley left the group. (Crushing my future dreams of seeing a clarinet player tour with Duran Duran, I might add)

According to Wikipedia, Stephen Duffy found an old cassette from one of their shows. He and Nick worked together to release an album’s worth of material under the name The Devils, and even played a couple of live shows back in the early 2000s. Simply put, Dark Circles is an audio history of Duran Duran. If you don’t have it in your library yet, you should find it!

One of the songs from this album, “Come Alive” was remixed (Tiga Swears Lies Remix) and appeared on Headman Dance Modern, Eskimo Records, Belgium, released on this date in 2004.

So, if you haven’t heard of The Devils, or haven’t had time to check out the music before – here’s your chance to catch up! Click the link to grab an import copy from Amazon.

 

Happy Listening!

-R

Picking Through the Pieces

I have friends and acquaintances that have had the good fortune to run into the band many, many times. So much so, that they’ve become recognizable to Simon, Nick, John, Roger and probably even Dom and so on. They know when a band member might make an appearance somewhere and they show up in support, or maybe they know where one of them lives or places they frequent. As a result, they’ve been fortunate enough to take pictures with the band, maybe even many times, and they’ve posted them online.

Apparently, this practice also runs the risk of being incredibly offensive.

On one hand, I get it. I don’t live within reasonable proximity to any member of the band.  Even John’s home in California isn’t exactly nearby, and I haven’t made a habit of going up to the Hollywood Hills to just hang out. I’d be lying if I didn’t say that yeah, when things come up in places I can’t go, of course I’m envious of those who can attend. That’s natural for a lot of people, particularly when the band isn’t making regular appearances anywhere. That doesn’t mean I’m hoping for bad things to happen, or I’m posting my annoyances about the people who do have new pictures to show. It just means that inwardly, I wish I could do more. Yep, I wish some band member ran over to hug me or come sit with us when we’ve been out places. I wish I could be at everything. Of course!

On the other hand, I don’t understand at all. I’m well-aware that it seems like some people just get the band’s attention a lot. I know that some people have no compunction about sharing tales of spending real time with band members. Sure sometimes it feels like they’re almost bragging.  Does it really matter?

Some fans have what may seem like hundreds of pictures with them. I’ve commented about that in the past. I’ve come to learn that it really doesn’t matter. I don’t care if Susie Chauffeur has had 5,000 pictures with the band and gets another. It doesn’t matter. She’s just lucky. Maybe she’s luckier than I am. A lot of people are! Who cares?Maybe she really needed those pictures in order to feel a little more human that day. Jealousy boils down to a lot of wasted energy.

Sure, I guess I could be mad. I suppose I could be very jealous that Mary or Sally spent time with my favorite band members or that they have enough pictures to fill a photo album. In the past, I’ve even had the nerve to publicly question how many pictures would constitute “enough”. I lost friends over it, and in the end – it hardly seems worth the effort. What might be enough for you, or even for me, might not be for somebody else. Spending the negative energy to put those feelings out there seems like a big waste. It is tiring!

So, when I go online and I see truly nasty comments about someone who has had the good fortune to see Nick or to take pictures with Simon or even Roger or John, I have to wonder where that anger is coming from and why? Is it really worth the time? For me, it’s just easier on my spirit to wish them well. It makes sense, if you think about it. Positive energy flows easily. There’s almost no effort involved in clicking the “like” button and moving on about your day. Posting something out of anger is far more difficult. I can’t stand the mental anguish, even when I’m furious.

Snarky comments, even ones I’ve posted myself, tend to keep me thinking. I hate the feeling I get after I post something out of anger. It just isn’t worth my anxiety. I walk away in a bad mood, and I sulk about it the entire day.  For what? I try to remind myself to think twice before I post. I’m not perfect, but in the end, it just isn’t worth spreading the negative energy.

Maybe I’m weird, but I don’t actually like posting mean things about people. In return, I don’t enjoy the icky feeling of knowing that people don’t like me. I got involved in the fan community because I wanted to make friends, not enemies.

-R

September 2018 Katy Kafe with Roger

Happy Monday!  As the week begins with a roar, there is a small matter I didn’t get to last week. It is the September 2018 Katy Kafe with Roger!

Roger loves the month of September. He appreciates the change in weather, the crispness of Autumn and the excitement with Back-To-School. Katy, on the other hand, isn’t a fan. Apparently Autumn only beckons Winter. (You see, I live in Southern California. “Autumn” isn’t even really a thing here until late November…and don’t get me started on “Winter”) She mentions the High Jewish holidays, and the return to school.  I get all of that. I love the idea of Autumn or Fall, however, all that really means for me are very windy and smoggy days ahead.  There are no boots, sweaters, or apple cider donuts here until the rest of you are complaining about blizzards and white-out conditions. We do have apple country, but it’s typically still 90 degrees and windy outside as you’re picking apples. Not exactly the same… I love the idea of back-to-school, but I’m not a fan of schedules and homework. Or homeschool planning…don’t tell my kids!!

This month, Katy collected questions from fans on Instagram and Twitter. I have to say that the questions this time are very creative and it was enjoyable to hear Roger explain his answers!  I can’t do the Kafe justice in this way, so do yourself a favor and join DDM to have access to the full Kafe. Otherwise, you’re just reading the highlights here!

How do you (Roger) keep your hands and wrists healthy from tendonitis?

Roger is lucky, because he doesn’t suffer from tendonitis the way many other drummers might. He does have trouble with his right knee (they can even go out and need replaced so he is very careful – but), but he is hoping to be able to keep playing for a few more years.

I was about to interject with “It had better be for a LOT more years, Roger” when Katy said it for me, citing Charlie Watts. Amen, Katy!!!

What artist(s) alive or deceased would be your dream collaboration?

Roger cites David Bowie for a deceased artist – that shouldn’t be a surprise to any Duranie at this point. The band saw Bowie as their hero in many aspects, and yet they never had a chance to work with him, unfortunately.

As an artist who is still living, Roger mentions London Grammar. Apparently Simon loves them as well, and Katy wrote it down for later…you never know!!

What habits do you have before, during and/or after a show?

Roger could think of only one true habit that he does before a show, and that is to warm up in a back room with John and Dom. I can remember when this started becoming a “thing” , and it’s nice to hear that they still try to set aside that time to warm-up even now. He continues by saying (tongue in cheek) that they don’t do any chanting or prayer circles just yet!

What Duran Duran songs do you recommend for a beginning drummer to play along with?

Roger has two: Planet Earth & Rio.

What were your favorite scenes for the BBC special that was recently aired?

Roger appreciated going back to see where he originally joined the band. He remembers his dad bringing his drum set in the back of the car, and then John bounding down the steps to help him get it out of the car and help him put it together. He said it was cathartic to go back to Birmingham.

Note from me: it was also cathartic for me to go and visit – if anyone EVER has the opportunity to go, they should. The entire experience made me see the band and their career so much differently. It added an entirely different dimension to my vision of who they are, and I will never forget it!) 

What did your parents think when they saw you on Top of the Pops?

They were over the moon. Roger explains that Top of the Pops was a show that everyone watched together. Families gathered just to watch the show together. If you made it onto TOTP, you’d “made” it. He mentions that he was nervous, even though the show was prerecorded and they lip-synched. It was just that big of a deal. I think that this show must have been similar to our American Bandstand here in the US.

What song would you like to play in KAABOO Cayman that you did not play on the Paper Gods tour?

He mentioned both My Own Way and Hold Back the Rain.

If you aren’t aware, Roger (along with John!) was included in a list of 175 Brummies that Inspire. Katy asked him how he felt about that.

Roger said it was “so cool” to have been chosen. He is very proud of where they came from, and very grateful. Not a bad accolade to mention, really!

In wrapping up the September 2018 Kafe, Katy mentions that she knows he doesn’t have any scoops or exciting things to tell her, because there are no surprise shows or studio time coming up. Roger clarifies that actually, there are plans to go back into the studio during the next few weeks. I have to think though that this may be for a specific “thing” as opposed to beginning work on an album, and that’s purely because of the way the topic was brought up. Nonetheless, any news is welcome, and when Roger peeks back into the Kafe in December, maybe there will be more to say then!

-R

Eight Years of Daily Duranie!!

On September 13 of 2010, I sat down and wrote my first blog. I can remember taking a deep breath before hitting “publish”. I had no idea what I was doing, and no real concern about the quality of my work. Ignorance is bliss!

Eight year later, I’m still writing. I try not to compare my work to others and just let the words speak for themselves. I don’t live with a thesaurus at my fingertips, and while my writing might not be the most technically sound – the feeling is all there. I still love blogging, and it gives my life direction when I don’t know what way I am headed. (Kind of like right now!)

Blogging also gives me a few moments each day to take stock in my own thoughts and feelings. Lately, I have put a lot of my own dreams and desires on the back burner. My family needs most of my support and attention, and that will probably continue for a while longer as we sell this house (anyone want to move to Orange County??) and move to the next yet-to-be-determined place. The process is exhausting, and I really do feel like I’ve had to put everything I want to do aside. I never expected it would take this long, but here we are. Life has its own idea of the way things are going to go, I guess. Blogging keeps me semi-connected, at least. I haven’t even talked to Amanda since the beginning of summer, but I feel like I at least have some vague idea of what is going on with her because I read her blogs. I don’t love that I feel so removed and remote, but I believe that our friendship will bridge the gap and we’ll catch back up again.

I wish I could say that after eight years, I’ve had some huge epiphany, or that I have amazing stories to share. Instead, I’ve learned a lot about myself. I started blogging because wanted to be liked. I wanted to feel like I was part of a group. I wanted to be one of those people that others would come up to and say hello when we saw one another at gigs. Simple things, really. For a self-admitted outcast, it has been really cool.

I know that I don’t have amazing Duran Duran stories. Aside from a couple of things I’ve already shared too many times, I’m just your average fan. I don’t know more than anybody else and I’ve certainly not done more than most of you reading. Once in a while something will happen and I’ll be reminded that maybe, just maybe, the band recognizes me from somewhere – and that’s pretty neat. I don’t need to confirm that the reason they might recognize my face is because I’ve been to an obscene amount of shows during the past eight years (my husband reminds me about that all the time anyway).  I can pretend it MUST be due to this blog, right?  I don’t go backstage or hang out with anyone exciting on a regular basis.  I go to the shows I’m able, and then afterward, Amanda and I scramble to find something to do. We’re always better when we’ve got a plan, right Amanda? We spend a lot of time making ourselves laugh and being idiots when we’re together. It’s not a bad gig, really, despite the lack of pay. I don’t mind that I’m not personal friends with band members, although any time they’re ready to hang with the commoners, they can drop us a line. I really do thank them for being such an effective muse over the years. I have no doubt that it will continue.

I don’t know offhand when the band will tour again. I only know that we’re going to keep blogging, and we’re going to keep laughing.

I really do wish Amanda and I were together to toast to our eight years of insanity, but we’re not so I have a message for my partner-in-crime: We did this together, and I hope you are as proud of it as I am. As I head out to drop my girl off at school, I’m going to be thinking about Daily Duranie, and everything we’ve done together, Amanda. It has been a wild ride, and I’m so thankful I’ve had you to bounce things off of along the way. I am hoping we can get back to that very soon. In the meantime, I know you are doing what you feel you must, I support you 100%, and I’m doing what I have to do to get my family settled again. Love you lots!

Eight years and counting!!

-R

Have you watched the 360 Lyric video for “Pressure Off” yet?

I don’t really understand lyric videos.

I mean, I get why they’re done. Learning the words to a new favorite song is pretty important to those of us who are fans. I can remember listening to the same song over and over, and the feeling of triumph when I’d finally be able to sing each word. I can even remember hitting rewind and play for what felt like hours on end, just so I could hear a specific word. Sitting with a lyric sheet in front of my stereo was commonplace for me in the 80s.

A lot of that still holds true today. I like knowing the words. If a lyric sheet isn’t included with an album, I’ll go find lyrics online and learn them. God forbid I go to a show and not be able to sing along!

I’m confused about lyric videos because honestly, they seem like a gimmicky waste of money. Do people really watch them over and over? I ask because on this date in 2015, Duran Duran released a lyric video to “Pressure Off”.

This isn’t your average lyric video, though. “Pressure Off” is done in 360-vision. The way it works best is if you watch on your mobile phone. Hold up your mobile phone, making sure it is in full screen mode, as you turn around, the video gives the feeling that you are in the center of the video. It is interactive, and the effect is kind of cool. The lyrics slide by thanks to computerized animation, and the viewer is treated to seeing still shots of the band alongside the iconic “stickers” from the front of Paper Gods.

It took me a long time after it was released to get the full effect because I didn’t stop to check it out on my phone (although I understood the point).  When I finally remembered to do it, I thought the video was cute and worth a view, but it seems like a lot of work to put something like that together all for the sake of putting the lyrics out there.

Obviously, there must be more to these videos than just “Hey, watch this and learn the words!” I’m guessing somehow, they make the band money. Why only have one video for a single when you can have two? I still don’t really get it, but I suspect I’m on the right track. Having two videos up for viewing might boost chart progress and get the song “out there”.

So, if you haven’t watched the 360 lyric video for “Pressure Off” yet, why not watch it?  Take a gander. Spin in circles. Follow Simon, John, Nick & Roger and get a little dizzy in the process! Remember that to see it in 360, you’ve got to watch it on your mobile phone using the YouTube app. (Link is above)

-R

 

Everybody, Everywhere, Feel It In The Air

Do you know what Duran Duran was doing on this date in 2015?  They were filming the video for “Pressure Off” at Black Island Studios in London!

The video for “Pressure Off” is stylistic and modern, filmed in black and white. I like its simplicity and the stark black and white look. Nick’s thick black eyeliner, that damn leather jacket John’s wearing as he slowly unzips the sleeve, Simon’s mirrored aviator shades, and Roger’s super white grin at the end are huge checkmarks in my “Yes!” column. Combine those scenes with appearances by Nile and Janelle Monae in what I think has to be the most effective use of guest artists in a video, and “Pressure Off” is a big winner.

I love the whimsical side of the video, too. I am absolutely not the only Duranie to laugh at John mouthing the good old “F**k you” at the very beginning. That was my first indicator that this video lived up to it’s name! The magic of editing helped us see John upside down, and the weightless jumps into space for Nick and Simon (thank you, slo-mo). The carefree jumping paired with Nick’s seriousness makes me laugh.  At one point, John even throws his guitar, and it seems to just hang in the air. There are times I’d like to throw this laptop in the same way. actually.  The smiles and camera stare-downs also remind me that this band has a great sense of humor. I miss it!

I like the way the video is black and white, and yet the live performance of this song on tour was quite the opposite. The band wore vibrant colors in one way or another, and the confetti cannon spread a rainbow of joy throughout the venue. I’m sure the intention wasn’t to be the opposite of the video, but it is something I’ve thought about. Either way, I can’t help but smile and feel jubilant. (the edge goes to the live show for that, but even the video makes me happy)

Rather that read my gushing, why don’t you take another look? It had been a while since I watched it last, and I have to admit that seeing it today made me a little less weary of getting back into homeschool mode…

…speaking of which, I’ve got some teaching to do. Have a great Tuesday everyone!

 

-R

End of the Week Recap

I’m so sorry that I did not get a blog written yesterday.  I thought that I would have time but other duties got in the way.  Typically, if I know that Fridays will be difficult to find time, I write the blog post on Thursday night.  This week, I didn’t think I would need to do that because I did not have to go to work on Friday.  This led me to sleep in, believing that the afternoon would be open.  Unfortunately, a campaign task that I figured would be easy to get done literally sucked up my entire afternoon.  I was not pleased.  By the time I could blog, it was late and I was seriously crabby.  Not a good mood to blog.  Today, though, I’m here with a better frame of mind. (I hope! Ha!)

As I suffered through my week’s long “professional development” at work, I noticed that there were quite a few little Duran alerts that I wanted to acknowledge.

Cold War Premiere:

This week, Nick Rhodes and John Taylor, attended the premiere of the film, Cold War, in London, according to Duran’s Twitter.  While I love knowing what they are up to, I also appreciate that by sharing this I learn about an upcoming film.  People should feel free to ask me about the latest political moves and people in the U.S.  I’m feel like I pay enough attention to be good on that front!  I also feel pretty solid with my knowledge on Duran but the latest pop culture like movies or TV shows?  Not so much but I do like when someone sharing something about a upcoming movie that interests me.  According to IMDB, the plot is as follows:  “A passionate love story between two people of different backgrounds and temperaments, who are fatefully mismatched, set against the background of the Cold War in the 1950s in Poland, Berlin, Yugoslavia and Paris.”  It sounds fascinating to me, mostly because of the historical context.

Simon and Sunseeker:

Simon will be a special guest at the Soton Boat Show on Friday, September 14th, according to a tweet from Sunseeker International.  What is this, you might ask.  (I did.)  This is what I learned.  According to the website, “TheYachtMarket.com Southampton Boat Show, Britain’s biggest and best festival of boating, showcases a plethora of beautifully designed boats and products from over 600 global marine brands.”  Its purpose is to celebrate boating in Britain.  I am not surprised that Simon will be attending.  It sounds like something right up his alley!

In2ruders:

Nick has been involved with another movie beyond attending premieres with John.  According to the tweet, Nick scored the soundtrack to the movie, In2ruders.  If that was not enough to catch your attention, his daughter, Tatjana, edited it and it stars the Bloom Twins.  Want to see the first teaser?!  You know you do!

After watching the teaser, I have to admit that I’m more intrigued with the idea of it being about the “dark side of the music industry”.  Fascinating!

Pressure Off Remixes:

If all that was not enough, Rhonda alerted me to some Pressure Off Remixes that are out there.  According to the thread, which you can read here, they were commissioned and never used.  I have to wonder why they were not used.  A lot of people really dig remixes.  Here they are:

What do you think of these remixes?  Do you have a favorite?  How do they compare to the original/album version?

-A

Brilliant Minds Podcast with John

Has anyone checked out the Brilliant Minds podcast with John yet?  It is about 27 minutes in length, and I gave it a listen yesterday.  I was green with envy when it was announced that John would be speaking in Stockholm for the Brilliant Minds symposium. He is an engaging speaker and tends to get me thinking, which I appreciate.

I’d searched online for John’s talk, but I hadn’t found anything about it, and then yesterday DDHQ tweeted that his podcast from that same symposium was on Spotify. I don’t believe it is the same as his speech that was delivered there, but I thought it would be worth a listen anyway.

The podcast is basically an interview, with Juliet de Baubigny speaking with John. She is a very successful venture capitalist who has known John and his wife Gela for years,  among many other things. I wasn’t familiar with her at all before the podcast, so I had to google her. Shameful, I know.

Truth be told, they covered many topics that are in John’s book: art, addiction recovery (and living with addiction), his success, and even Gela’s success. While I personally didn’t feel like I learned anything really groundbreaking or new, I also recognize that I’m not your average listener. It’s that “fan” thing again. I can imagine that for those who really don’t know John Taylor, or even those who haven’t read his autobiography four times like I have, they might learn something new about him. I thoroughly enjoyed how introspective John has become about his life and career over the years – and truthfully, he may have always been that way. It just didn’t always come through during interviews in 1985.

John talked about how he’s glad he had all of those crazy times (in regards to partying and living the rock star life) because he knows he had enough fun. (Is enough really ever enough, though??) He also talked about how he was embarrassed about how much money he made back in his twenties, while Gela was very proud of her success later in life.  I don’t deny it was hard work for Duran Duran to actually “make” it, but I wonder if it can really be characterized as the same sort of hard work Pam and Gela experienced? I don’t mean that John didn’t work hard – one look at their schedule back in the day might say otherwise. I think though in some way, it’s like comparing apples and oranges. They are both fruit and grow on a tree, but aside from that, they’re totally different.

I especially enjoyed the discussion of using one’s platform to do good work in the world. We’ve seen that with John, as he has reached out to help addiction recovery programs and help with music programs where he grew up in Birmingham. Even the talks he gives at symposiums such as Brilliant Minds, are direct evidence. I admire John’s ability to see beyond himself. I love that he gives himself grace for his  past, but also uses his experience to help others. A little of that shined through during the interview, and it was an enjoyable listen. During a time when there is very little by way of good news to be found on social media, I appreciate the few rays of sunshine that peek through, such as this podcast. It’s definitely worth the time to listen in!

Check it out: Brilliant Minds Podcast with JT

-R

 

It’s Going to Tempt You

I am not a very spontaneous person.  I’m sure that those of you who are reading this blog post who know me personally might even be laughing at the thought.  Yes, it is true.  Typically, I take a long time to make a decision even when I have thought about my choices over time.  Let me give you an example.  Over the course of my life, I have saved money to buy the latest electronic gadget.  I will then research, decide on the best option, and save money for whatever I want.  Then, I go to the store to finally buy it and I will still stand there and debate the decision to myself once again.  I kid you not.  This indecisiveness happens with work, too.  For instance, it comes each and every time I don’t feel good.  I will literally spend hours going back and forth about calling in sick.  Why do I do this?  I suppose it is insecurity about doing the right thing.  Should I really miss work?  Should I really spend the money?

Funny enough, the one area of my life that tends not to be indecisive is when it comes to my fandom.  Just ask Rhonda.  It does not take me long from reading or hearing about a new show announcement to deciding that we should go.  Typically, if I see a Duran alert about a new show, by the time I am contacting Rhonda, I already have a tentative plan about what we should do in order to go.  Fandom is the one aspect of my life that I truly allow my heart to lead rather than my head.  Of course, this sometimes has gotten me into trouble.    Take the UK tour of 2011.  The shows were announced.  Tickets went on sale within 24 hours of the press release.  If we were going to go, we needed to buy them then, we said.  So we did.  I knew that this tour, which was to take place in May, was pretty awful timing in terms of work but I just went for it.  I assumed that I would get those details figured out later.  Well…a month or so later, I did get it approved but it took a lot of effort by contacting a lot of people to help me.  If I had thought more, I probably shouldn’t have or wouldn’t have gone for this idea, but I didn’t.  It was Duran.  It was Duran on tour in the UK with my friends.  I didn’t think.  I just acted.

Do I regret the decision to go to the UK for this tour?  No.  Not one little bit.  Did it suck that I had to push hard to get to go, to get approval from work?  Absolutely.  Did I ever give up?  Strangely enough, I didn’t.  Maybe, I should have.  Some might have taken it as a sign that I shouldn’t go, that it wasn’t meant to be.  Still, I pushed.  Now, we know that those UK shows in May of 2011 did not happen.  Strangely enough, I still don’t regret going even with the extreme effort with work.  I learned a lot about myself, fandom, Duran Duran and friendships during that trip.

Of course, over the course of my fandom, I have gone to other events that I should not have due to my crappy schedule.  The best example of this is when I went to John Taylor’s book reading and signing in Chicago in late October 2012.  Not only was that night a “school night” meaning that I had to work the next day but it was also days away from Election Day.  This meant that I was working about 80 hours a week between teaching and campaigning.  I knew that the responsible thing would have been to stay at home, get more work done, go to sleep at a decent hour, etc. but I didn’t.  I couldn’t.  This was John Taylor.  Was it crazy of me?  Absolutely.  I remember standing in line to get my book signed and answering call after call about the campaign.  Then, I ended up with like 3 hours of sleep, if that.  Yet, it was amazing night that was worth the multi-tasking and the sleep deprivation.

Now, I face a similar situation.  It, unfortunately, isn’t with Duran Duran or John Taylor but with the Killers.  If you have read this blog for awhile, you probably know that both Rhonda and I love the Killers.  I would definitely pick them for my second favorite band and I have been lucky enough to see them live a number of times.  Well, a few days ago I saw an event on Facebook stating that they are playing in nearby Milwaukee on September 4th.  Sometimes, I think there is a conspiracy against me.  What date is September 4th?  It is literally the first day of school with students.  On that date, 9th graders come to learn their way around the building as they walk through their schedules and meet their teachers.  It is not a regular day of school but it is tiring as there is lots to do to get ready.  The next day, the 5th, will mark the first normal day of school in which all students come and attend class during regular hours.  Ugh.  What a terrible date for a concert!

So, once I saw the event, I shared it and began debating to go or not to go.  It is right in the beginning of the year,

which means that I am already super exhausted.  That said, I also can and will be prepared so that I can leave right at the end of the day.  Should I let work dictate my life?  Should I be good and stay home?  Double ugh.  Again, I waffle.  Yesterday, though, this changed.  I found myself with a presale code for this concert.  At that moment, I did not stop and debate.  I used the code and within minutes I had tickets purchased.  Oh boy.  Will I regret this decision?  Maybe, I will when I am driving home afterwards, exhausted and begging for sleep.  Perhaps, the next day will be so painful that I will kick myself over and over again.  On the other hand, I did not second guess my decisions in those other examples.  Besides, it is a concert.  It is about seeing a fabulous band live.  How could that decision be wrong?  Now, to find someone crazy enough to go with me…

-A

John Taylor’s “All Love” Playlist!

Have you listened to JT’s “All Love” Playlist on Spotify yet?  No judgment if you haven’t, only encouragement. “Try it, you’ll like it!”

It took me a couple of weeks to finally hit “shuffle”, but I caught a tweet from Duran Duran saying he’d updated the play list and figured I’d give it a try. I don’t really know why it took me so long.  I suppose, if I were to be honest, I was a little apprehensive, and admittedly – I’m stuck in a rut.

I don’t spend a lot of time listening to music these days, and even less trying to find new music I enjoy. With at least two of my three kids here, along with my husband, it is never quiet. Someone always wants me for something, and I find that if I’ve got earbuds in, I’m constantly having to hit “pause” and pull them out anyway. As the years have dragged on, I’ve noticed I spend far less time listening to music. Whenever we’ve got something on in the background, it’s normally not a very recent release. I hang my head in shame. I think I get my best new music recommendations from my daughter Heather, because as a choreographer, she really does need to know what’s out there.

When did I have to actually start working at finding new music? it used to be so easy. I think the rut creeps up on so slowly, we don’t even notice. My kids call my music the “Oldies”, and that makes me cringe because, of course it is NOT. “It’s New Wave. NEW Wave, kids”, is my typical reply.

Yeah, I’m not buying it either, and wow I sound like an old person. EEK!

I’m at the point in my life where I care very little about someone’s image, and a whole lot more about their talent. It takes a lot to make me buy music these days, and not much out there seems worth my dime. So I fall back to what I know, because in the ten minutes I might have to actually listen to something throughout the day before I’m interrupted, I want to hear what I know I’m going to like. I hate the idea that I have to TRY to like something. I mean, don’t get me wrong – I’m not looking for instant “love”, I just don’t want to feel as though I’m having to find artistic merit within the sound of nails going down a chalkboard.

Yep, still sounding a lot more “Get off my lawn” than I’d like to admit, I’m afraid.

So, when I finally did hit “shuffle” on his playlist as I was cleaning downstairs, I decided I wouldn’t look at what was playing, or what was coming up. My job was simply to listen and enjoy. I won’t lie, occasionally I found myself rushing to my phone to click “next”. More often than not though, I liked what I heard. Sometimes, I liked it enough to go see who the artist was and make a note to check out more of their music! Not only that, but John’s playlist surprised me. He certainly didn’t bind himself to only one genre. I heard everything from Phillip Glass, who is arguably one of the finest composers of our time, to Kanye. Ariana Grande to MNDR and TOKiMONSTA. Bowie to Chic, and of course Duran Duran.  I heard plenty that I liked, and even more that I loved.  I shouldn’t be surprised, but I kind of am!

John isn’t afraid to challenge us to expand our musical horizons. I can appreciate that, and goodness knows I need the kick in the pants. I’m finding that it takes real work to stay wired in to what is relevant. I remember something that Nick said in a Katy Kafe a few years back, and it really stuck with me. He was talking about how difficult it really is to get music heard these days. He described it as the internet being this fat pipe of information, and so everything comes at us as though it’s a fire hose. It is difficult for any one thing to catch on and be noticed. I feel it. Spotify is so overwhelming with many choices. I rarely know where to start.

Over the years, John has fed me more than one new artist to check out that I’ve ended up really enjoying. From this playlist, I’ve discovered Charlotte Gainsbourg most notably, among a few others. She’s someone I probably should have known about and just didn’t. So while sure, a part of me is like “Soulja Boy?  Kanye?? Really??? Hard pass, John.” I know I need to at least try before I scoff too much. So I do, and now I’m glad I did.

Thank goodness John does his homework and is willing to share. I might be a slacker, but even I know what’s good for me!

Check out his “All Love” playlist on Spotify!  (Link is in the words)

-R