Tag Archives: Last Night in the City

October 2015 Katy Kafe with Simon Le Bon

I don’t know about anyone else, but all at once it feels both like it has been  several months since the last Katy Kafe (seriously, just the other day I was thinking that I hadn’t written up one in a long time, although I know I did the one in September with Nick standing in front of the elevator banks at the Jimmy Fallon show)… and just a few minutes ago it seems like it was August. So, I was thrilled to see that the time had come for the October 2015 Katy Kafe.

This month, Simon joins Katy in the Kafe, drinking his “black coffee, no sugar” while in the UK. The birthday boy discusses everything from #musicrediscovered to his next Simon’s reader. As always, I admonish that these are just highlights that I’ve picked out to share, and if you want to hear the entire Kafe – get yourself a DDM membership.  I still feel as though $35.00 a year is a bargain, never mind the access you’ll receive to ticket pre-sales and the like!

#MusicRediscovered

Lately, Simon has been listening to music he once loved and had forgotten.  A prime example of this is Fela Kuti. Simon liked listening to a piece of music called “2000 Blacks Got To Be Free”  back in 1987 during the Strange Behavior tour (this was a tour where Simon liked to decorate his hotel room and feel at home with lots of scarves and incense).  He’d long since forgotten about it until one day while he was staying with John recently. John pulled out the vinyl and launched Simon right back in time. Since then, Simon has been tweeting with the hashtag #musicrediscovered. (which I personally LOVE. He’s already picked out several gems that have in turn taken ME right back – music has a great way of doing that – so be on the lookout for his tweets!)

Anyone remember cassette tapes? I sure do – until VERY recently – the only copy of Big Thing I owned was a CASSETTE! Simon apparently has stacks of them in his house. The few that I still have are in a box in my garage. I don’t listen to them because I’m afraid that they’ll be eaten by the stereo in my car – which is the only surviving tape player I’ve got left. Simon says he liked them back then because they were easy to take places. Easier than vinyl, yes!

A side note that I think is funny enough to highlight: Simon told a little tale to illustrate why he no longer burns incense in hotel rooms:  apparently he was staying in a Boston hotel and was having an in-room treatment where they were burning incense cones on his back (this might sound stranger than I think it was) as a stress-relief.  A knock comes to the door, Simon answers and it is hotel security along with the police who want to have a stern discussion with him about not smoking drugs in his room.  Point taken.

Anyone out there enjoying Apple Music? Simon mentions that he is enjoying Apple Music – prior to this he had not tried streaming on other apps like Pandora or Spotify, and he likes that he can get just about anything on Apple Music….except Medazzaland and Pop Trash, that is…

Paper Gods

Simon hasn’t been in the Kafe since the album was released, and  says he is still listening to the entire album. (Side note: Katy says the album is very linear and that she can’t skip songs. I am 100% ALL FOR buying the album in its entirety. This is not an album where you buy one song or another – this album is absolutely meant to listen from start to finish at least the first 100 times you listen. I’ve had it myself for over a month now and I’m still hearing it differently every single time. What do you mean you don’t have it yet? WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? GO GET IT!!)

He comments that it’s a top ten album, which is true – it did hit the top ten on Billboard, and it’s been a very long time since a Duran Duran album has done that, and yes – Paper Gods absolutely SHOULD feel like vindication for the band in spending the time to get it right, even IF I gave the band nothing but grief for doing so. Sometimes, #Durantime makes sense.

One thing Simon mentioned was that it all still feels very fresh and new to him even though they’ve been on the promotion cycle for the past couple of months now. He says that the first single – “Pressure Off” – has already came and went in the UK. He says that the song didn’t do that well on the charts because of how it was released. Not living in the UK, I don’t know what that means. However, I continue to witness what is or is not going on in the US with regard to “Pressure Off” thus far.  The song JUST debuted on our America’s Top Ten (Hot Adult Contemporary charts) this past week at #39. I cannot even begin to imagine that this is the peak for the song, because I’m still not really hearing it on radio much at all. I’m not sure if that’s because it’s not getting played, or it’s because I’m not listening to the right stations or if it’s because I’m just missing the finer points of how a single is released to radio. I know that I do not just speak for myself when I say that I hope this isn’t where they’re leaving it with this song – I don’t know who is in charge of getting airplay or how, but it just seems like a lot has been left on the table with regard to this one. I’m crossing my fingers that more is yet to come, because the song is outstanding and EVERYONE should be hearing it all over the (radio) dial.

What’s Next?

The band just won the Q Icon award (announced today!!), and they are off to Milan in several days for the X Factor Milan show and a big show in the Piazza Duomo for the MTV EMA’s. Then they are back to the UK for another round of production rehearsals for the UK tour, which begins in November. Simon explained that the UK shows will be longer, with at least another song or two from the new album, and they’ll have more lights. I also heard him say something about the stage, but I didn’t catch it fast enough to write it down.  He was also very quick to point out that after the UK, they’ll be going to many other parts of the world in 2016, and back to the US for the summer – which is exciting!! (Could it really be that Amanda will not have to battle her school schedule as a teacher in order to go to shows?!? We will see….)

Katy asked an interesting question at this point, and it was asked in just the right sort of way so that Simon would answer! (well-done!!!)

“What song do you enjoying singing most off of the new album for the live shows?” Simon paused long enough to absorb that yes, she did ask what he enjoyed singing most as opposed to what song was his favorite – so he answered with “What are the Chances?” That song gives him plenty of highs and lows. The most difficult songs to sing live are “Last Night in the City” (definitely guessed that one!) and “Pressure Off” because the vowel “U” is high in that song, and it is the most difficult vowel to sing high.

Katy also asked about the beloved confetti cannon, to which Simon assured her would remain in the stage production. The confetti creates such a party atmosphere, and lingers into the next song as it quietly floats to the ground. It really is dazzling to experience during their show.

Yasmin and Amber Save the Elephants

Yasmin and Amber have the opportunity to ride a rickshaw in India as a fundraiser for Elephant Family, so check out this link to their fundraising site. If we all chip in a few dollars it will go a long way towards a big check (bank-note)  written for a very worthy cause.

Simon’s been reading!

Currently Simon has been reading H is for Hawk by Helen MacDonald and says it’s been excellent. He plans to write a Simon’s Reader for that book as well as an audiobook he’s been enjoying called May We Be Forgiven by A.M. Holmes.  He says the book is very dark and very funny.  Look for those to be added to Simon’s Reader on duranduran.com very soon and check them out for yourself!

The October 2015 Katy Kafe ended with Katy sending good wishes from the community-at-large to Simon…did you know that Katy has been giving Simon socks as birthday presents for 19 years now? I wonder how that started?!? He apparently has a pair of Batman socks among the many he’s been given….who knew?!?

-R

 

 

Paper Gods: Can’t Stop Believing

Today is October 6, and that means it’s 4  5 (I am so sorry that I cannot seem to add simple numbers after 11pm at night, which is when I wrote this.) days shy of the first month that Paper Gods has been available.

What a month it has been. Truly.

As everyone has likely already read on this very blog, Paper Gods was not an immediate “love at first listen” for me. I really needed to allow the music to sit and percolate. I needed to pick out elements that I really enjoyed, and give myself permission to take the time necessary for Paper Gods to take ME on a journey.

Let me be clear: I am not a patient person. It is my biggest fault, by far. I expect things to happen instantly. I’m not one to want to wait for much of anything, and unfortunately sometimes – Duran Duran ends up bearing the brunt of that impatience. I shared my experiences with the album as they happened at the time, but I never really came back and explained that after giving the album some much-needed listening, I dearly love Paper Gods.

It seems strange to type that now, nearly a month into an album’s release, but it’s true. It is really difficult to put my journey into words that make sense here, but I’ll try. Like most anything the band has ever done, Paper Gods isn’t a one-listen, throw away album.  It has depth that goes far beyond the words or music, and I should have realized that was going to happen based on the cover art alone.

In a lot of ways, I’m kind of glad I didn’t fall into immediate love with the album. I really like that Paper Gods challenged my ears, something that hasn’t happened in a long time. It isn’t enough to just sit down and pop the CD into a player or hit your iTunes icon. In order to get something out of it, you’ve got to really listen in the same way that I think in order to understand the full breadth of the band’s career – you’ve got to really be willing to look beyond the pinups and videos. I appreciate that the band, and particularly this album, have forced me to think. I’ve needed to pull the band out of the box and off of the pedestal I previously had them, which overall has been a good thing.  Let me give you just a few examples:

Danceophobia was by far the one song off this album that I just could not digest. Yes, the Lindsay Lohan thing really bugged me. It still does to a large extent. That said, it is so much fun live!!! The first night I saw, I couldn’t even move. I just stood there, watching the band. I won’t lie – I wanted to see them SELL IT.  If they really wanted me to like it, then they had better fucking bring it BIG time. I didn’t want a repeat of other songs off of other albums that I won’t even mention here. I wanted to see the band love the song at least as much as they expected us to do. Well, John Taylor danced like a crazy man, and Dom “co-writer of Danceophobia” Brown (shout out to my dear friend CK for constantly reminding me of that fact over the past several weeks) couldn’t seem to stand still either.  I marveled at the scene as my foot started to tap on its own. (dammit!) Then there’s Jessie, the new backup singer, who has more energy than an entire AUDIENCE of Duranies. I’ll say this much: she’s a much better doctor than Lindsay. Big controversial name on the album or not, the song has become one of the most fun in  Duran Duran’s live show, and dammit (again) – I danced. I DANCED. It’s just a silly dance song, and that’s OK.  Not every song they do has to be deep and insightful. Some songs can just be shallow, fun, and tongue-in-cheek. Yes, the band sold it. More importantly, they sold it to ME.  I can’t fight that. (Don’t even bother emailing me your “I told you so’s” CK….)

In some of the early reviews Amanda and I did, I wondered out loud about the album feeling so electronic. It’s something that I’ve heard a lot out of the mouths of a lot of fans, including my own from time to time. Is that really all that fair, though?  I’m not quite so sure. The album still has guitar, PLENTY of bass and a ton of drums. Just because they aren’t necessarily served up in the same way as All You Need is Now doesn’t mean they aren’t there…and this just goes back to taking the band out of the box we’ve been keeping them in. It’s not fair to them, and it is definitely not fair to our own ears or heart. For weeks I sat by my stereo, thinking to myself that I really liked what I heard, but then I’d second and third guess myself by thinking about the lack of whatever it was I thought I needed at the time. The point is that it’s all still there…and if you haven’t grabbed a copy of Bass Player magazine (you know the one, with JT on the cover), you probably should. Many of my concerns, and likely yours too, are addressed in there. The real difference with this album that I believe 100% is that the band is totally behind it. They made their own choices with the instrumentation – and I refuse to fault them for that. In fact, I applaud them.

I’ve seen a few of the songs live at this point: “Pressure Off”, “Paper Gods”, “Last Night in the City”, “Danceophobia”, “You Kill Me With Silence” and “What are the Chances.” That’s half of the regular album, and they haven’t even started the “real” tour yet! I won’t lie: I wanted to see what, if anything, changed with the band as they played from this album live. I wanted to see if they were still one cohesive unit. Let me tell you: they are all that and then some. Sure, there are some songs that require John on synth bass and Dom is in the back because the guitar isn’t quite as up front. There are songs where Roger’s drums – which are in fact STILL drums, thank you – are mostly electronic. There are also songs where everyone is nearly all over that stage, like “Last Night in the City”- you can’t help but dance to that one, and I challenge any EDM fan to stand still – it cannot be done. There are songs such as “What Are the Chances”,  when Dom lights up the entire theatre with his work. Make no mistake, he has made that song his very own at this point. When they play “You Kill Me With Silence”, you can feel the bass coming up right through the floor and it puts me on pins and needles in a way no other piece of music has ever done.  This band has made it a point to learn to play this music for the live show. Don’t miss out on the chance to see or hear any of that.

Anyone who has read this blog for any length of time should know that Amanda and I are “thinking” people. We really enjoy reading the lyrics, looking at the art work, watching the videos and analyzing how they all work together to create an overall picture. I think the one thing I love most about Paper Gods is that, like an onion, there are so many different layers. I can’t take the music at face value any more than I should take the cover. When you listen to the songs – it might be really easy to write them off as pure pop. They’re so much more than that once you add in the words, and when you start considering that some of the songs with the most depth are also done with a lot of synth, it’s an interesting sort of dynamic. Just as the cover is far more than a bunch of stickers put up on a backdrop, the album is far more than just some EDM or pop. You don’t actually HEAR that on the first listen, it takes much more attention than just one listen. If you take the album as a whole, you start getting the feeling that this album is an overall look at the career of the band. From “Paper Gods,” a song all about the materialistic nature of our society – using a term that could easily be applied to the band themselves, to “Last Night in the City, ” a tune that is truly about touring, to “Face for Today,” which really seems to be a good bit of advice to today’s young celebrities, on to “Only in Dreams,” which seems to echo some of the feelings a lot of fans have about the band…and finally “The Universe Alone,” which really seems to describe the end. I dare say that the album starts to feel just a bit like a loosely held concept album.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: this band is so much smarter than any of us have ever given them credit for.

We waited a long, long, time for this album – and I’m telling you as a fellow fan, it was worth every single second of the wait. Give it many proper, thorough listens from start to finish. There’s a story in there, waiting to be discovered.

-R

 

 

 

 

Duran Duran at Jimmy Kimmel!

I’ll let you in on a little secret, Duran Duran fans: never wear skinny jeans to a show in 90 degree + heat.  Just a tip.

The time in the dreaded GA for the Jimmy Kimmel backlot concert (but “preferred GA of course, thanks to MasterCard) line went fast, although there were a couple of points where I felt like I needed to sit just because of the heat…and I live in Southern California! (albeit farther south and much closer to the coast!) My fellow line-dwellers and I passed the time talking about the band, of course, and musing about the shows to come.  We saw the band arrive in their customary black SUV (hope I’m not giving much away there), and was treated to sound check, where we soon realized we were going to hear “You Kill Me With Silence” later on. Our line was formed outside of the fence to the backlot, and chain link on the fence was mostly blocked by plastic, but in between sections there were gaps that worked beautifully for catching glimpses. We were able to see that Mr. Hudson was going to join the band onstage, for instance…and then there was that moment that we saw Simon strip off his t-shirt.

So, back to the line…

At about 5:30 (an hour later than we’d been told), we were allowed onto the backlot and found spaces by the stage. My choice in spots is still the topic of discussion amongst friends today because rather than make a beeline for Dom’s area of the stage, which I wholeheartedly admit is my typical first choice, I took a spot at about third “row” directly in front of Simon. I don’t know why I did that, except that I wasn’t with Amanda, I figured I’d get the whole scene that way, and honestly – there seemed to be more room in front of Simon’s microphone.  Go figure. After waiting for what felt like forever (I had forgotten how much my lower back hurts while waiting in GA!), we had some dude from the show come out and try to warm up the crowd and explain how it all was going to go.

Not long after that, the show started. And as always, this is where things start to get fuzzy for me. I blame John Taylor for that, because he came out to the front of the stage and genuinely smiled. Like anyone who has ever seen John up close, I was convinced he smiled at me. Yes, there were 500 people in the crowd. No, don’t try to talk sense into me. I write a blog, remember?  Good sense left my body a LONG time ago.

Rather than attempt to write my way through the show, I’m going to try to cover this by bullet point summary:

The Band:

They all looked great. I will applaud the rhinestoned jacket on John, the mouth shirt and black/white leather jacket on Simon, and yes, Dom’s polka dot shirt (that collar had to have been hot though,  it was fully buttoned!)  I won’t lie, I can’t remember what Nick or Roger wore. My excuse is that they are only out front for a very short period of time, and let’s face it, I stood there for several minutes just coming to terms with the idea that I was there, they were in front of me, and I was about to hear some Duran.

Set list:

The band played six songs: Pressure Off, Last Night in the City, You Kill Me With Silence, Hungry Like the Wolf, Save a Prayer and Sunrise. They went back and did several of them more than once to account for lyrical cough, cough errors and whatever else the band felt they needed to correct.

As an aside, I was treated to Hungry Like the Wolf not just once, but twice (did they know I was there or something?!?) The first time, I didn’t see it coming when Simon asked the crowd if we’d been fed, and then launched into “Is anybody hungry?” I groaned, and then, remembering that this was for TV, I cheered and sang right along with everyone else….and then did it all again.  Yay!!

Back Up Singers:

This was the first time I’d seen Jessie and Anna together live. In a lot of ways, I think it’s good for Anna to have someone to work with, because maybe it gives her a little more energy. I don’t love the current stage set up with the platforms that line the back of the stage, though. It’s very linear, and I don’t know why – but it bugs me. Jessie and Anna are off to one side, and while I was concerned that they’d be stuck back there, they do come to the front of the stage for various songs. They also have every song completely choreographed which really reminded me of the Big Thing era, and I’m not sure I like that. I tend to prefer the more natural movements of when Anna was alone with the band, overall that time felt far more organic and more like a family or team atmosphere rather than a staged production.

Mr. Hudson:

Ben was present for this show, and from what I could tell – he was there to play guitar. This puzzles me, and I’m not even going to pretend otherwise. When I realized he was there, I thought perhaps they were going to play “Paper Gods”, but that didn’t seem plausible for this show. Then he came out during You Kill Me With Silence, and took Dom’s spot on stage. That doesn’t mean Dom wasn’t still on the stage – he was, but he moved further back while Mr. Hudson played and sang on the microphone. It just seemed strange. There was absolutely no interaction between Mr. Hudson and Dom, which is completely unlike what I’ve seen with Dom and any other guest artist the band has ever had on stage with them, including Mark Ronson and Nile Rodgers – two HUGE names. To be completely honest, Dom looked bored stiff and awkward during the song. There just doesn’t SOUND like there’s enough guitar to go around, and if the band’s goal is to make sure fans understand in these moments that Dom is not a valued member of the stage band (at the very least), it’s working.  That’s unfortunate, because on any other song the band does, you can see the love and affection they seem to have for one another. I like Mr. Hudson, don’t get me wrong, but there was no chemistry, no playing off of one another, and instead it felt very much as though Dom was just some guy in the background playing back up to a producer that none of us really know.

Overall, the band played a good show at Jimmy Kimmel last night and it was a taster of what is to come. I’m looking forward to the next three shows with my partner-in-crime, as fun as last night was, it’s never the same without Amanda (even though she is threatening to make me stand alone at GA shows from now on).

Road trip!!!

-R

Review: Duran Duran Performs on the TODAY Show

My fellow Duranie Stephanie and I entered the chance to win Fan Passes for the band’s Today Show performance on September 17 . We live in Western New York, so the travel time to New York City is at least 6 hours. Not to mention, we both have jobs with limited time off, so our attitude was if we get passes, we’ll just figure out how to go. We really didn’t expect to win them at all. But then Stephanie got the email a week before the show saying she won a Fan Pass (good for 2 people). Our conversation together went something like this:

“Holy cow!”

“Can we do it?”

“Would we be able to take the time off with such short notice?”

“Can we afford to go?”

“It doesn’t matter – we are going!!”

So after an abnormally long train ride, we finally get to NYC around 11 pm. We decided to go to a bar near Penn Station and the sign outside says “Welcome Madonna fans!” Wait – what??? Madonna was at Madison Square Garden that night? That was just a block away! How cool would that have been if we could have seen that show too?!

Back to Duran-land: The Fan Pass instructions said they would start letting people in at 5:30 am and no one would be let in after 6 am. We decided to get there around 5:00 and figured we’d be early enough. We knew that we couldn’t get front-row spots because there’s a VIP section between the stage and the Fan Pass section. But we would be closer than the general admission audience, so we’ll just see what we can get. We saw on Facebook that some fans were there around midnight. We decided that if we were going to stay up all night, we’d prefer to spend the time having a few pints and some food. (I know, I never said we were the most hardcore fans! Just hardcore enough to skip work and travel to NYC for a free show.)

So we got to the Fan Pass line around 5 am. We waited. And waited. I met some (of course) nice people in line and we all commiserated about how early it was.

Today_PreDawn

Today_Waiting

Finally we received our passes which certified that yes, we are now official FANS!

Today_FanPass

(*Before judging our appearance in the photo, please remember that we stayed up all night before the show!)

It was after 6 am and we still hadn’t been let into the plaza. Now we were starting to get a little angry – and you don’t want to anger Duranies at this hour of the morning. But shortly after 6, a couple black vehicles pull up to the plaza entrance and we heard some fans squealing. Clearly the band had finally arrived. I debated whether the delay was due to Nick’s primping, John getting his hair to defy gravity, or Simon squeezing into his pants. Whatever the reason, we were all glad they finally arrived! Having been at the last-minute-cancellation in Atlantic City in 2012, I was starting to feel like this show might not happen either. But the boys were here – and we were all eager to see them.

Having watched the Today Show concerts on the plaza, I had an idea of what the venue would be like. However, once I was actually there, I realized (spoiler alert) it was a lot smaller than it appeared on TV. But frankly my reaction was, “Well then, I’ll be even closer to the stage than I thought I would be!” As you can see from the sound check photo, it was still pretty dark out when we were let into the plaza. It was rather strange to watch a show that started in the dark and ended when it was light. But as weird as it was for me, it has to be much weirder for the band.

Today_Soundcheck

We get into the Fan Pass area and the band is already doing their sound check and rehearsal. To me, this was the coolest part of the experience. Maybe some of you have been at shows where you’ve seen the band do sound check. This was such a treat and a unique experience. I loved that we saw them in their street clothes. We heard their songs multiple times, starting and stopping mid-song. I was thrilled to see that Kiesza was going to perform with them because “Last Night in the City” is my (current) favorite track off Paper Gods. And every time they played it, I loved it even more.

Today_Soundcheck_Kiesza

It was hard to tell if the band was in “sound check mode” or if they were grumpy for having to play so early in the morning. Of course the fans were all excited and we had our second wind and were ready for the show! Simon was a little playful with the crowd but I was hoping for a little more. They finished up sound check and left the stage, so we didn’t know how long it would be until they played again. I think a producer from the Today Show gave us the times the band would be on, but we didn’t listen too closely. I was secretly hoping the band would play an entire concert, but knew that was a little too much to hope for. However I was thankful for whatever we could get.

Here’s the setlist as it happened in real-time:

Ordinary World – This was played/filmed first but actually aired in the last hour of the show. I thought it was a downer to start with, and I worried that Simon wouldn’t hit the high notes, but he killed it. In fact the vocals and sound were amazing all around. I saw some chatter online about how the sound on TV wasn’t great. I thought it was awesome in person.

Notorious (snippet) – The show bumped to commercial with this one. If you watched the show and felt like you got cheated out of the song, don’t worry – we did too. What you saw is all we got.

Last Night in the City (with Kiesza) –  If you watch the video you see around 2:52 Kiesza misses the start of her solo verse. She kept missing it in rehearsal too. Methinks Le Bon got Le Pissed.

Hungry Like the Wolf – Overplayed or not, the guys still sold it. And I think this was the one that the crowd was most enthusiastic about.

Pressure Off –  When introducing the band, Savannah Guthrie was a little flustered and called the new album “Paper Goods”. She was standing so close to JT I would have been flustered too.

Today_Savannah

Save a Prayer – This one they played just for us in the plaza. I’m not sure how others felt, but I was kind of bummed that this was the last song. I’m so used to them ending on an upbeat song that it felt pretty weird for that to be the final song.

I was convinced that they’d play Sunrise given that, well, we were all there together for the sunrise that day. And it’s definitely one that the crowd gets into. Next time guys, OK?

Watching the show back on my DVR, I really enjoyed seeing the little bits when the anchors talked to the audience and showed us arriving pre-dawn. Speaking of the anchors, (a) Carson Daly has piercing blue eyes! I wasn’t standing too close to him but man, those are some sparkly blue eyes! And (b) we saw Dylan Dreyer after the show and man, she is tiny!

I had a great time chatting with fans around us. One woman said it was her first time seeing the band ever. I told her it’s never too late! And to be able to see them that close for free, what a way to see your first show!

Having been to a handful of Duran shows now, I really try to not be stuck behind my camera or phone and fret about getting a great photo or the best video. I really wanted to soak in this unique opportunity and have no regrets. My only regret is that we didn’t show more enthusiasm because then we would have been picked to go down in front of the stage and dance. That would have been incredible, however I was a little camera-shy because I was sort of playing hooky from work, so I wasn’t anxious to be all over the TV screen. Next time Steph, OK?

Thanks to my friend and partner in crime for inviting me to be her +1. I had a wonderful adventure and can’t wait to see them on tour in 2016. If you ever have a chance to start your day with a Duran Duran show, I highly recommend it!

Story & videos from the Today Show

-PamG

Duran Duran on Today Show!

It is Thursday, and my friends…it has been quite a morning.

I dutifully programmed the DVR to record the Today Show, because like most of you, I had other requirements that took me away from my television this morning while the Paper Gods took over the Today Show.  As a result, I spent the time between 7:30 and 10am in traffic, dropping my youngest off at school, and explaining to a fellow parent at said school that no, my son…who is 16…is not my husband. Nor is he the father of my youngest for that matter.  (Yes, that really WAS quite the awkward conversation, actually.)

So, as I raced back home, there was one thought on my mind: watching the Today Show in PEACE!  The good thing about the DVR is that I was able to speed through the sections of the show that were quite frankly, of zero interest, and get to the good stuff!  I stood in front of the television, remote in hand, as the camera would scan the crowd and marveled at how many familiar faces I saw in the audience. Man, do Duranies ever get around, I must say!!  There were so many there, and I have to admit that I was almost more excited about seeing fellow fans than I was the band!

I watched as the band played a teensy bits of Notorious and Save a Prayer before cutting to my local news update (who really CARES about traffic and weather anyway?!?).  Then I saw Savannah Guthrie embarrass herself as she called the new album Paper Goods (I’d have been flustered up there too, but then – I write. I don’t actually speak on camera for a living, and there’s good reason for that.)  The band played Hungry Like the Wolf and about half of Pressure Off before once again cutting to my local news. Completely annoying. It’s a shame that they didn’t cut Hungry Like the Wolf because that’s the song everyone knows, but naturally – that’s the way TV works. They’re going to cut the song that is less recognizable. This of course had nothing to do with the band at this point, because I was watching on the West Coast, and the Today Show isn’t even live here. By then, it’s just videotape, and edited at that. I’m pretty sure I saw songs out of the order that the rest of the country saw them in. (Yeah, we might have nice weather while the rest of the country is neck-deep in snow, but we definitely don’t have live morning TV or awards shows!)

Last Night in the City was about the only song that was shown completely intact – and with Kiesza sharing the stage with Simon, which was great! There was only one slightly off-moment during that song, and it was when Kiesza got down on her knees in front of Simon. I was happy to see Simon have the good sense to get on his knee as well, because otherwise, it would have just looked awkward.

Lastly, I saw Ordinary World during the Hoda/Kathy Lee show, which also great, although Simon seemed to strain quite a bit during parts of the song – I’m giving him a free pass on that simply because it had to have been done pretty early in the morning. It looked and sounded like it was early, anyway.  Thankfully, the powers that be allowed that song to go through to the end, and then Hoda and Kathy Lee mentioned that they enjoyed going back to the 80’s. Well, Hoda and Kathy Lee, that’s lovely, but that particular song was released on December 2, 1992… Fact-Checking:  kind of important.

The best part of my day? Social media has been completely taken over by photos of Duran Duran at the Today Show. I LOVE IT!!  I love seeing all of the photos of my friends who were there…lo and behold, even Daily Duranie was represented!

Even a little piece of Daily Duranie was in attendance at the Today Show. Photo courtesy of Pam Greenfield.
Even a little piece of Daily Duranie was in attendance at the Today Show. Photo courtesy of Pam Greenfield.

I’m having so much fun seeing everyone with their photos and reading the experiences that everyone is having,  this is really the best part of a new album being promoted…and we have much more to come!  If you’re not already getting our blog by email, I encourage you to sign up, that way you’ll never miss a single post!

-R

Steppin’ Out with Paper Gods

In preparation for tomorrow’s release of Paper Gods, we decided to offer our own quick “shot” in summation for each song.  Rest assured that at some point not far in the future, we will write full Daily Duranie song reviews with cocktail ratings to match, but until then, enjoy our Daily Duranie “Happy Hour”, and have some shots on us!

Paper Gods

Rhonda:

I tried to prepare myself for what Paper Gods could possibly sound like, and even then – I couldn’t have been farther off. I’m still stumbling over myself to try to fully absorb this song, but one thing is sure: these lyrics have the depth and emotion I’ve been craving. 

Amanda:

This song is one of three songs that we did a video review for when it first was made available.  My thoughts about it haven’t really changed.  I appreciate that this song is like the anti-single, the anti-radio focused track as it doesn’t follow much when it comes to standard radio friendly tracks.  It is long, has frequent changes and just seems unpredictable.  I like all that and I like that they just embraced the art, for art sake on this one, and added a social commentary on top of that.

Last Night in the City

Rhonda:

If there were ever a party song…or a to fully describe a road trip with Amanda & Rhonda…this is it. I know plenty of people have a love/hate relationship with EDM, and I’ve got to be honest…I just don’t care. It took me more than one listen to get into this song, but once I finally stopped trying to cram Duran Duran into the “box” that held them in the 80’s,  I couldn’t stop myself from wiggling in my chair or bobbing my head as I listened. That’s all that matters.

Amanda:

I’ll be completely honest with this song.  When I first heard it, I told Rhonda that it reminded me of a bad, meat market type club that I would never want to go to.  It didn’t sound or feel like Duran, initially, to me.  It is very electronic and I missed the feel of organic instrumentation.  Then, at the same time, Rhonda and I realized that the lyrics describe what it is like for us when we are on tour.  It is that complete focus on having fun and connecting.  The female vocals just makes me connect to the song even more.  Now, I still think the song is very different from what I think of when I think Duran but it is super fun and has become a favorite on the album.

You Kill Me With Silence

Rhonda:

So, we did already do a video review of this song, which were our first impressions. I had difficulty with the chorus/verse changes and felt it really watered down the song. That said, I must admit this one is slowly growing on me. On one hand, it’s like Simon LeBon lives in my head and I thank him for putting my feelings into words. On the other hand, this song has just enough darkness for me to make it interesting. Who doesn’t love that Nick Rhodes solo at the end? Come on now!

Amanda:

Again, this is one of the songs that we reviewed earlier in video format.  Like Paper Gods, my feelings about it haven’t changed that much.  One change is that I might not be as critical of the chorus now that I have gotten more used to it.  That said, I’m still struggle a little. Perhaps, the subject matter is partly to blame for that.  I have a hard time really loving a song with the focus of emotional abuse in relationships. 

Pressure Off

Rhonda:

I’m always amazed by the responses out there in the fan community. To me, this is the easiest song on the album to fall in love with, and I still say this has the strongest hook I’ve heard in a Duran Duran song since the 80’s. To others, “this is like listening to Simon sing High School Musical.”   If the band wanted me to dance, this was the way to do it! The one thing that has changed for me since I first heard is that it sounds nothing like the rest of the album, and as a result it is (still) a standout! 

Amanda:

In many ways, now that I have heard the album as a whole, this song doesn’t match the feel of much of the rest.  That said, it is still a favorite.  To me, the instrumentation feels very Duran and the lyrics are just fun.  I know that some have criticized all of the “oh”s in the chorus but that even feels Duran-like (Hungry Like the Wolf, anyone??).  This is one that I’m very much looking forward to hearing live!

Face For Today

Rhonda:

Maybe I lied about Pressure Off being the easiest song to love on this album… The truth is, I really like this song too. It’s very “Duran Duran”, complete with the stacked harmonies and soaring chorus…I just wish (and this goes for the entire album) that they’d create more of a balance with their instrumentation. There, I said it. Done.

Amanda:

I enjoyed this one as soon as I heard it as it is easy to like. Right away, I found the lyrics swimming around in my head as I tried to figure out what the heck it is about. Quickly, I began to feel that this was the band giving advice and well wishes to those young and super popular bands now. This added some depth to the song.

Danceophobia

Rhonda:

The tune is slightly catchy while the lyrics are very elementary. The addition of Lindsay Lohan does absolutely nothing to add to the song particularly when it’s clear she is having difficulty not laughing while “singing” the last portion of the song after her dreadful spoken part.  On the upside, it does add something to the album that magazine editors and trash TV “celeb” news shows LOVE to dish on. Cringe-worthy at best.

Amanda:

It seems to me with many of these tracks I had strong reactions as soon as I heard them.  For some, it was an instant like and others I had to hope that the song would grow on me.  It did for Last Night in the City but…I am not as successful with this one.  I start to get passed the silly lyrics and non-Duran music then Lohan comes in.  I just don’t think her part works.  Is she supposed to be taken seriously?  Is it supposed to be funny?  Sexy?  I just don’t get it.

What Are the Chances

Rhonda:

I fell in love with this song as soon as I heard it. As I said on Twitter, there’s only ONE thing wrong with this song, and it’s that Dom Brown isn’t playing the lead guitar part. I don’t know if I’ll ever quite forgive them. That said, I’m pretty sure I’ll forget all about this small oversight should they play this live with Dom playing the part that should have been his to begin with.  PS – These lyrics? Really??? Beautifully done.

Amanda:

This isn’t my usual song to gravitate towards.  I am much more of an up tempo, rocking out sort of person.  I have gotten bored over many of the more ballad type songs in Duran’s catalog over the years.  Yet, this isn’t really that.  It does have a “bigger than normal” sort of feel like an Ordinary World has with some really great lines in the lyrics that will keep me interested for years to come.

Sunset Garage

Rhonda:

When someone is able to tell me what a Sunset Garage is, I will be much better able to talk about this song. Until then, I’m still struck by how “not” Duran Duran this song really is…and how much I enjoy it, even though I still see the Brady Bunch “Silver Platter” episode in my head as it plays. Definitely a tune for a summer night taking a drive along the coast. Gonna keep on, keep on…. (if you don’t get the reference, click here)

Amanda:

This is a song that simply had not hit me.  It isn’t one that has created strong emotion in me, either super positive or super negative.  The song has left me more puzzled than anything else.  I don’t understand the message.  I will be interested to see if this one grows on me after time.

Change the Skyline

Rhonda:

From the first sounds of the synth intro, I think it’s pretty clear this isn’t your average Duran Duran tune. I can’t help but think about how this song might have sounded with Brandon Flowers…but Jonas Bjerre does a good job. This is a song that I’m still trying to hash out and find a comfy spot, but there’s a lot going on here to like. 

Amanda:

This is the one track that got lost when listening to the album.  I’m not sure why with that chorus.  At first, I wasn’t sure about having Jonas Bjerre on this track.  Yet, his vocals and the song is starting to grow on me.  I’m starting to pay more and more attention to it, which is leading to greater appreciation.  It is one that I’m anxious to take the time to really read and digest the lyrics. 

Butterfly Girl

Rhonda:

The best part of this song for me is that Anna Ross is featured, and I love her. She brings an energy that this song was crying for, and I can hardly wait to hear them play this song live. Oh yes, the guitar. It’s good even if it’s not Dom (but he is going to blow the audience away with this live)…and there’s only one kind of happy in a glass of wine. (we all learn something from Duran Duran, don’t we?)

Amanda:

This is one of my favorite tracks on the album.  Like Last Night in the City, I love the additional female vocal (Go Anna!) and I usually don’t go for female vocals.  Musically, the song grabs me but more than that is the picture of this girl that is created.  She seems so specific and, yet, so universal.  I think many people can relate.  Goodness knows that I certainly do.  What more can you ask for?

Only In Dreams

Rhonda:

This song starts off reminding me of Before the Rain, and then very quickly turns into this gorgeous dream-like scene. Definitely a favorite of mine on the album. Simon sings like it’s a lullaby (and I really want to know who is on backup vocals…), and I love the calm that comes over me until the funk hits after the intro. Then I’m completely in it for the long haul. Vampires, limousines, reminds me of some elements of fandom…and no, I don’t want to wake up. 

Amanda:

Like the previous song, this is another favorite.  I love the opening which reminds me of Before the Rain.  Of course, it quickly changes to something else completely different.  Then, there are more changes as the song moves further along.  I love all of the changes.  Even more importantly than that, I love the lyrics.  There are so many great lines in this one and as a whole it really feels like Simon is describing fandom.  With good times in fandom, it is like being in a dream that you don’t want to wake up from!

The Universe Alone

Rhonda:

Here’s the thing: this song is pure Duran Duran genius from start to finish. It is also the darkest and deepest song on the album. I listen and get this scary sense of foreboding that makes the hair on my neck stand up and my emotions run way high every time I listen. I’d forgotten that Duran Duran can write like this – appealing to the modern sound they strive for,  with some of the deepest writing (both music and lyrics) I’ve heard them do in decades. Well done, Duran Duran, you’ve managed to make me extremely uncomfortable (as all art should!) AND love the song at the same time. Thumbs way, way, up.  

Amanda:

The first and only word that comes to mind when I hear this song is haunting.  It feels like goodbye.  I don’t know if it is the end of the world type goodbye or individuals leaving a huge chapter in their lives but it definitely feels like closure of some sort.  The first line really sets the tone about how there can be beauty within dying.  That said, it isn’t an easy song to want to listen to because it creates so many uncomfortable feelings in me.  Despite that, I adore the ending with the distortion followed by the beautiful chorus.

 

We can’t wait to read your own thoughts as you listen to the album yourselves. It took both of us some time to adjust to the new sounds and feelings, and as you can see – we’re still adjusting, but we welcome the challenge. We also congratulate the band and look forward to seeing them LIVE in the coming weeks!!

-A&R

Countdown to Paper Gods – THREE!!

We are seriously down to just 72 little hours to go before Paper Gods is released!! Can you deal with it?!?  (If you don’t know where that last line came from, your assignment for today includes listening to Liberty again.)

I’m getting fairly good at handing out homework and assignments, as today begins homeschool for my second grader, so now I’m teaching high school and elementary school. (Admittedly the high schooler is far more independent so planning for him isn’t that difficult!) However, since we are on this “homework” theme this week, I have some for all of you today as well! (Can You Deal With It aside…)

We have had five songs already released from Paper Gods, and I’m not seeing NEARLY enough about them on social media. So, let’s blitz all social media today and get them out there! Your task is to share each of the five songs.  Let’s get them trending!!!   If we want this album heard ’round the world…it’s gonna take all of us to make it happen, so get going!

Pressure Off

Paper Gods

You Kill Me With Silence

What are the Chances

Last Night in the City

 

Let’s get the music out there…share and encourage your friends and followers to pass it on!

-R

Countdown to Paper Gods – NINE!!!

Nine days!

I am not even completely sure what day of the week it is, but I know I’ve got nine days to go until Paper Gods can be held and loved by all…. We won’t discuss my priorities, but can we talk lyrics today?!?

Rest assured, I am not going to post lyrics to unheard songs…but what about the lyrics to the songs the band has already released? Another effective way to spend time before Paper Gods is released would be to read the lyrics and memorize them, so that way when that wonderful day arrives that you’re at a Duran show, you know the words and can belt ’em right along with the band!

Disclaimer: Since these lyrics are not from liner notes or the band’s website, they are a “best guess” by whomever took the time to transcribe them. I am not certifying that they are 100% correct, or that I personally checked them…and I definitely am not responsible for words that may not sound like words  (“hotting”)….I don’t write the lyrics, I just post ’em. 

Paper Gods

(chanted by Mr. Hudson)
Oh, the paper gods in the sky of gray
All the fools in town are ruling today, today

(Simon)
Bow to the paper Gods in a world that is paper-thin,
Fools in town are ruling now
Bleeding from paper cuts, money for head shots
Fools leading
Who needs it?

Hey, you’re gonna want it all the talking man declares
Go running to be first in line for what nobody cares!
Then next thing you must have find piece with matching bag
It’s nothing to be glad about or sad when you forget about it
I’d rather racing or go run around the streets (not sure of this line)
The slaver in a sweatshop,
Putting trainers on your feet
I’m walking through the rain, oblivious to pain
To shelter from the blame without a reason to complain about it
Oh oh oh, don’t complain about it
Oh oh oh, don’t complain about it
Oh oh oh, forget about it
Oh oh oh oh

Bow to the paper gods in a world that is paper-thin,
Fools in town are ruling now
Bleeding from paper cuts, money for head shots
Fools leading
Who needs it?

She’s staring out in underwear from your computer screen
It’s all self-dirty cash we can wash it clean (??)
So hang it out online, confess and you feel fine
and if you got the time to spare we want to know
Which name you’re wearing
And when the final curtain finally comes down
We’ll all be in the party room no wiser as to how
The total human race, became a basket case
It’s nothing to lose face about,
It’s really not a place to doubt it

Bow to the paper gods in a world that is paper-thin,
Fools in town are ruling now
Bleeding from paper cuts, money for head shots
Fools leading
Who needs it?

Paper gods falling down
paper house, paper town
Paper gods falling down
paper world is falling down
Paper gods falling down
paper house, paper town
Paper gods falling down
paper world is falling down, falling down, falling down, falling down, falling down, falling down, falling down

Bow to the paper Gods in a world that is paper-thin,
Fools in town are ruling now
Bleeding from paper cuts, they go for the money shot
The fools leading
Who needs them?

all the paper gods, in a sky of grey

all the fools in town, are ruling today, today

(fade out)

Last Night in the City

I’m not gonna sleep tonight, til the morning fills the sky
No ones getting left behind, this our time, this our time

We gotta live this night. Yeah, living like it’s our last night
Cuz nobody cares, if there’s no tomorrow

I’m not thinking ‘bout the future (the future)
it’s somewhere out there
We’re all busy being human (human)
we remember
Hearts beating all around me (together)
now, they’re surrounding me
This is how we get connected,
running out the shadows into light

We gonna live this night, yeah,
living like it’s our last night
Cuz nobody cares, if there’s no tomorrow
We gotta love this night, yeah,
loving like it’s our last night

Stars up in the air, yeah,
it’s our last night in the city

I’ve been traveling around now
big world, with my brothers
Always moving to a new town,
no time to put the roots down
We can’t stop believing (can’t stop)
no we believe in you
Cuz when you’re standing in the spotlight
the only thing that matters is tonight

We gotta live this night, yeah,
living like it’s our last night

Cuz nobody cares, if there’s no tomorrow
We gotta love this night, yeah,
loving like it’s our last night

Stars up in the air, yeah,
it’s our last night in the city

I’m not gonna sleep tonight, til the morning fills the sky
No ones getting left behind, this our time, this our time

We gotta live this night, yeah,
living like it’s our last night

Cuz nobody cares, if there’s no tomorrow
We gotta love this night, yeah,
loving like it’s our last night

Stars up in the air, oh yeah,
it’s our last night in the city

Yeah, last night in the city
Yeah, last night in the city

You Kill Me With Silence
Your thin ice,
I should be on solid ground
And oh so quiet vice,
I can hear that cracking sound
But I remain,
despite your deadly aim
To drive another lad insane
When you won’t speak,
my name

You kill me with silence
That’s your style girl, you’re letting me know
This deafening silence, the only reason you’re in control (you’re in control)
It’s emotional violence I can’t breathe now but I can’t let go
You kill me with silence

True to life,
things are hotting up in here  

If I had a knife,
you could cut the atmosphere

Something else,
I like this bed of nails

That’s what I tell myself
Couldn’t be much worse
in hell

You kill me with silence
That’s your style girl you’re letting me know
This deafening silence, the only reason that you’re in control
It’s an emotional violence, I can’t breathe now but I can’t let go
You kill me with silence

Pressure Off

Stepping out, stepping out, stepping out; jumping off X3
Pressure off, pressure off; pressure, pressure, pressure off

The past is another country
The present will never last
The future it’s still tomorrow
Are we living too fast
Searchlight the crowd I fix on your face
I know it well, but it’s a dream I can’t place
Something is happening to me
Maybe it’s happening to you, you, you, you

Everybody everywhere
Feel it in the air, oh yeah
It’s time to take the pressure off
Everybody everywhere
Step out into the future
It’s time to take the pressure off
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh it’s up to you now
It’s time to take the pressure off
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh it’s up to you now
It’s time to take the pressure off

Stepping stepping stepping
It’s time to take the pressure off

We’re swimming with the rat-race
We’re running against the tide
And it’s every-body’s business
When there’s nowhere to hide
Searchlight the crowd I’m fixed onto you
There is a way out of this into the blue
Something is happening to me
Maybe it’s happening to you, you, you, you

Everybody everywhere
Feel it in the air, oh yeah
It’s time to take the pressure off
Everybody everywhere
Step out into the future
It’s time to take the pressure off
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh it’s up to you now
It’s time to take the pressure off
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh it’s up to you now
It’s time to take the pressure off
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh it’s up to you now
It’s time to take the pressure off
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh it’s up to you now
It’s time to take the pressure off

Stepping out, stepping out, stepping out; jumping off X3
Pressure off, pressure off; pressure, pressure, pressure off

I’m lost don’t wanna be found
I’m not gonna be down be down
Outside looking into myself
Just me I couldn’t be anyone else
Is it bad when you’re feeling this good?
Are we all misunderstood?
It’s fine going out of my mind, going out of my mind, going out of my mind

Everybody everywhere
Feel it in the air, oh yeah
It’s time to take the pressure off
Everybody everywhere
Step out into the future
It’s time to take the pressure off
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh it’s up to you now
It’s time to take the pressure off
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh it’s up to you now

Step out into the future
Jump off into the future
Step out into the future
Jump off into the future
Step out into the future

What Are the Chances?

Any other day and you might’ve gone walking by
Without a second look
Any other way but I’m still mystified
I’m just trying to change my luck
Staring out the world and waiting for the one
But the world won’t look away
The world does not explain

So…what are the chances?
We’ll never know
If we take it for granted
A diamond explodes
What are the chances

Playing with your life or is it destiny
Which sets you on a path
Is it out of choice that you’re here next to me
Or just the aftermath
Of moments as they pass

So…what are the chances?
We’ll never know
If we take it for granted
A diamond explodes
What are the chances
We are lost in the flow
And looking for answers

So…what are the chances?
We’ll never know
If we take it for granted
A diamond explodes
What are the chances
We are lost in the flow
And looking for answers

Alright, you’ve got the lyrics, I’ve assigned homework….and we’ve got nine days left.

Only nine.  Nine feels a lot more reasonable than say, 1,095 days, yes?  (Interestingly enough, it will have been just over that amount – 1,109 to be exact, between the day the tour ended in 2012 abruptly due to Nick’s illness and release day for Paper Gods)

(and yes, I am a little embarrassed that I spent time figuring that out. I need a vacation.)

Cheers! -R

We Can’t Stop Believing

It has been a banner morning thus far!  I’ve been on Twitter and Facebook, contributed to a “delightful” conversation on gun control, and defended Duran Duran’s right to make music that challenges our comfort zone(s).

Yesterday, I wrote about how this album is a struggle for me. I’m trying to bond with it, and I’m still trying to figure it all out. There’s the music, which in a lot of cases, I really like even though I can’t necessarily hear the magic 5-piece band I fell in love with.  Then there’s the lyrics, which admittedly I hadn’t paid as much attention quite yet.

For me, Duran Duran is about both. The music that stays with me and touches my heart most are the songs that just hit me like a ton of bricks both musically and lyrically. I need both, and typically Duran delivers in one way or another. Take Last Night in the City, since the band released that song today (you can hear it below)

Last Night in the City (Stereogum)

Since I have nothing else to do at all (lies, all lies)…I took some time and wrote out the lyrics. I am not going to swear that these are 100% perfect, but it’s what I heard.

Last Night in the City

I’m not gonna sleep tonight, til the morning fills the sky
No ones getting left behind, this our time, this our time

We gotta live this night. Yeah, living like it’s our last night
Cuz nobody cares, if there’s no tomorrow

I’m not thinking ‘bout the future (the future) it’s somewhere out there
We’re all busy being human (human) we remember
Hearts beating all around me (together) now, they surrounding me
This is how we get connected, running out the shadows into light

We gonna live this night, yeah, living like it’s our last night
Cuz nobody cares, if there’s no tomorrow
We gotta love this night, yeah, loving like it’s our last night
Stars up in the air, yeah, it’s our last night in the city

I’ve been traveling all around now, big world, with my brothers
Always moving to a new town, no time to put the roots down
We can’t stop believing (can’t stop) no we believe in you.
Cuz when you’re standing in the spotlight, the only thing that matters is tonight

We gotta live this night. Yeah, living like it’s our last night
Cuz nobody cares, if there’s no tomorrow
We gotta love this night, yeah, loving like it’s our last night
Stars up in the air, yeah, it’s our last night in the city

I’m not gonna sleep tonight, til the morning fills the sky
No ones getting left behind, this our time, this our time

We gotta live this night. Yeah, living like it’s our last night
Cuz nobody cares, if there’s no tomorrow
We gotta love this night, yeah, loving like it’s our last night
Stars up in the air, oh yeah, it’s our last night in the city

Yeah, last night in the city

Yeah, last night in the city

I am not going to tell fibs here – when I first heard this song, I wasn’t really sure about it. To my ears, the song leans way to the electronic side of life that I try to avoid like the plague. That said, Kiesza’s voice is amazing and I kind of think she forces Simon to rise up to the challenge…which is fabulous. Even so, I still wasn’t sold on the song. I definitely wasn’t bonding with it. Last Night in the City was just another song that could have been by any band. I don’t know what made me try it, but I forced myself to sit down and listen to the lyrics. I don’t just mean hear the song, but I mean listen, which is when I discovered that this song has special meaning for Amanda and I.

Ever heard the phrase “burning the candle at both ends”?

When I leave this house and meet Amanda for a Duran Duran road trip, we really do burn that candle. We have a great time, we stay up all night (we like to reach up for the sunrise!) and no, we really don’t care if there is a tomorrow…and nobody gets left behind! I can see myself in these lyrics, and that my friends, immediately pushed this song from being just another tune to something that I will sing (and likely quote) with abandon whenever possible.

So, getting back to my struggle with this new album…I’ve taken part in more than a few conversations over the years where I’ve lamented that in some ways, I wish the band would just be who they are instead of trying to be on the charts. The trouble, at least what I see from where I sit, is that the band has never really been that type of group. Every single album they’ve ever made has consisted of taking a little from where they’ve been, and applying it to new territory they’ve yet to visit. Sometimes the end result is amazing, and other times, yeah maybe it falls short. But are we really going to fault them for trying? Some call it an identity crisis of sorts, and others say they’re just challenging their comfort zones.  Personally, I think they’re challenging mine.

-R