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Concert Review: Montreal Bell Center 4/11

We are overjoyed to have another review to share with you – this time coming from Canada!!  Send your own reviews to our gmail, and we’ll be happy to publish them! – A & R


I was just off the heels of my great California adventure when Duran Duran announced their 2016 North American tour. My credit card had barely recovered and with Christmas quickly approaching, I sat back in utter dismay as the fan community plotted and planned which shows they would attend. Presale day came and went and I felt neither the thrill nor frustration of purchasing my tickets. I’d later learn, that the predominant feeling was frustration, as the Ticketmaster presale didn’t ensure priority for Fan Club members. I could at least sit back and think, “I would have gotten crappy seats, anyway.” Sour grapes. Sad fan indeed.

But, as many of you are well aware, there is a certain magic that threads some of us Duranies together. I got a twitter DM from Janice (she wrote the blog for the Niagara shows), whom I had met briefly in Palm Springs, wondering if I wanted to buy a pair of tickets off her. And even better, she didn’t need the money right away. And as if the Paper Gods had not already smiled in my favor, I would later find a ticket for the Toronto show under my Christmas tree a few days later. From disappointment to fangirl excitement in a matter of weeks!

Before I get into the actual review, there is something else that you need to know about me. I’m a small town girl with a big city attitude. Yeah, I have the attitude, but none of the actual experience to go along with it. My husband currently lives out of province for work, so travelling to this show, meant travelling alone. Also worth mentioning, is that my husband is a native of Montreal. We’ve been there many times over the years, and of course, he drives, knowing the city like the back of his hand. I am always the passenger who watches the scenery pass by. (He’s “The Chauffeur”, perhaps?) So this truly would be an adventure. A Duranie with a terrible sense of direction, driving in downtown Montreal—alone. Amanda once told me, “you do what must be done”, when it comes to all things Duran. This was clearly one of those occasions.

In the weeks leading up to the show, I booked my hotel, chatted with other fans in anticipation, and trained myself how to follow a GPS while driving. (Honestly, I had no idea what 800 m really meant, until a few weeks ago.) I connected with a twitter friend who tipped me off about another show the night before the big event. So, I purchased tickets to see the Dandy Warhols, marvelling at how easy and stress-free that ticket-buying experience was.

Days turned into weeks, weeks into months and finally, it was time. A week before the show, my 18-year-old son and I drove to a truck-stop not far from our home. Imagine it, in film-noir black and white: It’s just past midnight, in the pouring rain, and an 18-wheeler pulls off the highway. Janice’s husband, who had been travelling most of the night, hopped out of his rig to hand deliver me my tickets. I couldn’t imagine a better scenario in which to begin this adventure!

The night before my trip, I tossed and turned in what was a mixed bag of excitement to see the band again and utter terror of having to negotiate a labyrinthine set of directions to get to my downtown destination. In the dark of the early morning, I began the long, eight-hour drive. But with every pit stop, there was a flurry of twitter chatter as other fans sent me their well-wishes and shared in my excitement. By the time I arrived in Montreal, I was just too tired to even care about being nervous. The Paper Gods smiled upon me again. I arrived at my boutique hotel without incident. I had just enough time to fit in a disco nap and I was off to the first of my shows.

It never ceases to amaze me how well you can get to know someone on twitter. No sooner had I stepped inside the venue for the Dandy Warhol’s, did I hear someone excitedly call out my name. This was my first time meeting Tammy, who also travelled all the way from Newfoundland, yet, it was like we’d known each other for years. Still excited to see Duran Duran, I took in the show, quickly losing myself in the crowd and in the post-punk psychedelic music. I might add a quick mention of the Seratones, the opening act, who completely blew me away. This band should go places!

The next day, of course, was show day! It couldn’t have been a crappier morning—a fresh layer of snow had fallen overnight which by daybreak had turned into freezing drizzle. However, nothing could dampen my spirits. I found my way to a Quebec-style breakfast café and fuelled up for what would become an adrenaline (and alcohol-soaked) day. Even though I was alone, my virtual friends were a constant source of entertainment. By the time my husband arrived in the city, it was time to get my show on the road!

This was my first time at the Bell Centre, home of the Montreal Canadiens. My husband had attended many shows at the old forum, and was curious about the venue as well. Friends who had seen shows there before, mentioned the great acoustics. We arrived on scene and entered La Cage aux Sports, the adjacent sports bar. We ordered drinks and then entered the venue from there. I have to say, that I was quite surprised how organized everything was when we finally passed through security. This is no longer the Sing Blue Silver days!

How many of us have “dragged” our spouses to shows? This was the first time for mine, and judging by the texts he had been sending me in the days leading up to the show, I could tell he was excited as well. As a child of the late 70s and early 80s, I knew he would also be in for a pleasant surprise with Chic. As we made our way into the heart of the venue and to our seats, my husband looked around and remarked how at the old forum there would be a thick haze of smoke hovering just over our heads. Some things do change. I stood in front of my 12th row centre seat and immediately started sending messages on twitter with earnest. One of my high school girlfriends, one of my original Duranies, was at the venue. It’s amazing how easy social media can make finding someone in a packed stadium. Within seconds, we were waving to one another, and arranged a quick meeting. Because of this, I missed out on the opening act, Shamir. In retrospect, his act seemed rather short, and that is all I can say about that.

Having Chic on tour with Duran Duran is such a treat. I boogied to Le Freak, long before I was even aware of Duran Duran. And music-wise, this is about the only thing that my husband and I have in common. (Let’s just say he sported a mullet and head banged to Iron Maiden in the 80s.) Chic’s show never disappoints. From Nile Rodger’s touching speech about his cancer diagnosis to his high-octane medley featuring the artists he’s produced, you can’t not dance! Luckily, some of the girls beside us opted to miss the act (fools!) so we had plenty of room to boogie. I had the pleasure of seeing this show in California, and what differed, was of course, Bowie. Instead of being woven into the medley, Bowie’s Let’s Dance was presented in a place of honour, and Nile’s introduction was as gracious as only he can be.

I admit that I snuck out during the last song to purchase more alcohol. I was more than ready for Duran Duran!

After more excited tweets to other fans, I downed my drink just in time for the house lights to dim. This was it. I have to say, that the song Paper Gods, now sits in the top three of my all-time favorite Duran Duran songs. It’s the perfect opener, the slow, almost dirge-like quality that eventually crescendos into a crashing dance-track. I’ll always be happy to be greeted by the band through the dry-ice mist with this song. One thing I noticed, was that there were some definite improvements to the light show and to the staging. Now the tiers are all synchronized with the light show, which reflects the animations projected on the backdrop. The entire set started like a racing train, building energy and steam with each song, until they slowed things down with Come Undone. (Yes, I see that look, Amanda!)

I was glad for the change in tempo, as I was totally rocking the 12th row. I had a pretty decent view of Simon, Nick, Dom and Roger, though I could catch occasional glimpses of John if I craned my neck just so. However, the frenetic momentum quickly recovered with Last Night in the City. Anna Ross’s vocals are incredible and it never feels that the song is missing Kiesza’s touch. The one interesting thing I did notice, was John playing the synth bass on this song. I don’t think this happened in California? Is this new? (Yes, he played it during Danceophobia, but this one?) No matter, it afforded me an even better view of the bass-god, though I wasn’t about to slow down and admire the scenery (tempting as it was.) It’s always a treat to see What are the Chances—Dom’s playing is positively sublime. Pressure Off, I think marks the top of the roller coaster, and my secret worries were put to rest when my husband and I found ourselves in the middle of a pink and white blizzard. The piles of confetti that blanketed the floors and seats provided me with unending amusement as I grabbed it by the fistful and continued to toss it in the air throughout the rest of the show. Yes, I was that annoying fan.

And then the part of the show that I was really looking forward to—the Planet Earth/Space Oddity medley. (Incidentally, the “switch it off!” part could have been stronger on the audience’s part). You could hear it in Simon’s vocals—it was pure heart and soul, honouring both the song and the artist. Space Oddity, also draws attention to Dom’s powerful guitar licks. It was completely unexpected, but boy did he own parts of that song.

If there was an equivalent to a saggy diaper within the set, I’d have to say that it was I Don’t Want Your Love. Maybe it was a combination of it being one of the lesser known songs, and not a particular favorite of mine, but it seemed to suck the energy right out of the room. No matter, and moving right along, it’s back to the fan favorite White Lines, and my husband doing the jazz-hands along with the rest of the audience. If I Don’t Want Your Love was my least favorite, then, I can balance that out with the Sunrise/New Moon medley. What a treat to see New Moon on Monday live!

Shall we discuss Danceophobia, the song that threatens to divide an entire fan community? While it’s not in my top five, it’s certainly not among my most loathed. (In case you are curious, All She Wants Is, might find itself on that list, not that I have to worry about it suddenly appearing on the set list anytime soon.) It’s the complete antithesis to Simon’s more cryptic and obtuse lyrics and I am okay with that. There is nothing wrong with being shallow and superficial every once in a while. In fact, I always get a bit of a chuckle when I hear Lindsay Lohan as the voice of reason during the song. Regardless of Lohan’s merits, it’s such a treat to see live, as I completely adore Jessie Wagner and how she has completely made this performance her own. So, let’s just say, I looked around and forgot the crowd.

My evening was quickly coming to a grinding halt. When introducing Save a Prayer, Simon said some lovely things about music being a force for good, in his story about the Eagles of Death Metal at the Bataclan during that horrible day in Paris last fall. We all lit our cell phones and swayed in a crashing wave of feels. I knew Rio would probably be the last of the set. And even thought I love the visuals from the album projected two stories high, it’s a bittersweet moment. It’s almost over. Nevertheless, I do love how the show ends on such an upbeat and positive note. BUT! Montreal shall never be outdone by Toronto. This is a Canadian fact. No sooner had the band completed their final bows, did the crowd begin to chant in earnest: Reflex! Reflex! Reflex! Now I know there is some debate whether this song should remain in circulation, but hell, if it means one more song out of the band, I’m going to scream it from the top of my lungs. (I’d even scream for an acoustic version of Shotgun, for that matter!) And there is nothing quite like the reverberation of 20,000 chanting people. I hope at the very least, that the band appreciated this little bit of magic from us. I certainly did.

Nick did his very best sound-effects and the show, all too soon, came to an end.

It was over and I was sad. Did I have a good time? No. Not really. I had the best time.

After the magic, comes the driving. Eight more hours of it. There’s not much more to say about that. Except this…

See you in Toronto!

 

Heather Todd Duran starHeather Todd is a Duranie from  New Brunswick, Canada. She saw
her first Duran Duran show (with none other than Amanda and Rhonda) in October 2015.  A self-described weirdo, Heather is a writer, video game enthusiast and beta reader (and wields a mighty red pen!!) for Amanda and Rhonda’s manuscript!!

How Beautiful the Closing Down

This week is sucking, gotta say. I am already in a mad hurry today because I have to take Heather, my oldest, to the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles). Why? Today she FINALLY takes her drivers test. She will be 19 next week. I pray she passes. (and no, we were NOT insisting she wait this long to get her license. That, my friends, is a long story from which I have since learned the lesson. Gavin goes for his permit test TOMORROW!)

Anyway, I’m in a rush. Today is crazy. Dropped two younger kids off, ran home, and as I came in the door I said out loud to absolutely no one, “No one had better have died today because I need to write this blog quickly!”  Opened the laptop, jumped online and found that Alan Rickman – aka Severus Snape amongst many other characters over the years – has passed away. Also aged 69, also from cancer.

My fandoms are taking a severe beating this week. Unbeknownst to many, I’m a Harry Potter fan. I’ve read the books, own the movies in two different formats, been to Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Florida, read MuggleNet as often as possible…I just love that whole world. I share this fandom with my youngest. She was tiny when her big brother was given the movies as a gift, and it was she that insisted we play the movies over and over and over yet again. She is a huge fan and she’s yet to actually read the books (she’s only 7)! I am not looking forward to explaining this loss to her, whether now or at a later date.  So once again, it’s a sad day for many.

It wasn’t my intention to begin AND end this week with a sad blog, of course. I had thought about what I’d write today – not coming up with much other than I’ve been listening to Paper Gods again.  I think that album is going to end up being one of my very treasured favorites. It took me so long to come to terms with it, and that bothered me.  Truth is, most of my very favorite art is that way. I have to sit with it a very long time and let whatever is bothering me about it sort of sink in. Percolate. Make sense of it.

That’s kind of how my journey with Paper Gods has been, and it’s not over yet. Reading the tour book has really helped. The one word that comes to mind over and over as I consider the book and the album is “committed.” This isn’t my first rodeo with Duran Duran, of course. I’ve been around a long time. There have been many albums at this point, some of which I’ve connected with better than others of course – and that’s natural. The difference between Paper Gods and many others is that word, “committed.”  I see it. I FEEL it when I’ve seen them live. This isn’t a band that put out an album and stood back tentatively, hiding their faces and wondering what would happen. This is a band that continues to be incredibly proud of their work, and have a genuine sense of drive to get it heard. I think that is what was missing from Red Carpet Massacre, to be honest. Even if the band was totally committed and ready to sell it to us – they certainly didn’t convey with the same sort of confidence and positivity.  I know for me, that is very much an influence.  I’ll take Danceophobia for an example: I don’t mind saying that I couldn’t stand the song when I first heard it. I really couldn’t, and sure, that had PLENTY to do with Lindsay. I can’t help it, I had real issues with her being on the album and for the most part – that hasn’t changed. However, I have also seen them do this song live. John Taylor OWNS it, so does Dom and Simon. I’m sure Nick and Roger do as well – but they don’t move around the stage so there’s that. There’s no standing around, no hiding in a corner, no looking like they’d like the floor to open and swallow them. They play, and they work damn hard to get the audience going. John is even behind the keyboard and STILL moves. I can’t help but love that. They’re completely committed to selling the song to the audience, to making us love it…and I daresay they’re committed to making me eat my words and say I love the song.  Kudos on that commitment. It works.

It’s been a tough week. The silver lining for me has been the music, of course. I’ve listened to quite a bit of Bowie, and a lot of Paper Gods this week. It’s helped. Even reading the tour book has brought a smile to my face and a longing for July to come. One thing is certain: I live for music. I have the score to Harry Potter upstairs – it’s the entire soundtrack, and I may just drag out my clarinet and play a little. It’s how I manage.  I hope you’ve all been able to find the necessary diversions and ways to escape this week.

RIP Alan Rickman. Thank you for bringing Professor Snape to life.

-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

 

 

 

 

August Katy Kafe with Roger Taylor

We love it when Duran Duran Appreciation Day falls in such a way that we not only get a brand new song (Paper Gods…check out our review here!) but also a Katy Kafe, this time with none other than Roger Taylor!

As always, I admonish that these are simply my highlights. This is not a word-for-word transcription (My salary grade isn’t high enough for that!), and if you really wish to hear the full Kafe, I strongly recommend getting your membership to duranduranmusic.com.  TOUR TIME IS COMING!!!

Roger on Duran Duran Appreciation Day

Katy begins the Kafe asking Roger if he is aware that it is Duran Duran Appreciation Day. I always worry that these, and questions like it, are somewhat loaded for the band because you know, if they forget or say no…it doesn’t exactly speak positively about their interest…and nobody wants that. But, to my relief, Roger was well-aware (maybe he’s on the computer more than I realize??).   He continues by saying that if someone had told him back in the late seventies that he would be talking about Duran Duran Appreciation Day in 2015, he’d have thought they were crazy.  (Us too, Roger…us too! I kid, but truly – who’d have ever thought?!?) 

Roger on Family and Touring

Katy asks about his youngest and whether he knows that Daddy is in Duran Duran. Roger explains that Julian knows that Daddy is a drummer, and that the other night “the Manchester show” (AKA Diamond in the Mind to the rest of us!) was on TV. (As a quick aside: I obviously need to move to England where there is quality programming. I dare DREAM of the day that we get Diamond in the Mind or Sing Blue Silver on an actual TV channel!!!) Julian apparently recognized Roger behind the drums and  ran to the TV saying “Daddy!” (Cue “awwwws”…) He also knows that Daddy goes to work a lot and then comes home, and they speak briefly about touring and how it is difficult with family, so they tour for a few weeks and then go home.

Roger also explains that Julian has a Spongebob Squarepants drum set, but that you just never know what a child will decide to embrace as a talent or skill. Roger’s parents were nervous when he became a drummer and wanted to be in a band, but ultimately encouraged him…which is similar to how Roger has raised his older children. He helped guide them but he explains that he was never the kind of parent that would insist that they practice (their skill) for hours on end.

Roger on Summer shows

FOLD Festival

Calling the show “fantastic”, Roger talks about Nile jamming with them and having Janelle Monae join them on stage. They had only a quick rehearsal with her before the show, and Roger didn’t really get to see much of her on the stage itself during the show, but said she sounded great. Apparently, Katy likes to keep the rumor mill spinning because she pointedly mentioned that she’d heard “rumors” that Janelle might be joining the band onstage again…and that’s not the only notable name that may be on stage with them for future shows.  Read on…

Capitol Theatre

The band loved playing this show outside of NYC because in Roger’s words, it was a “real audience”. They’d played a few festivals, but this was an audience of diehards, which he enjoyed. Katy asked if he could really see anyone from behind his drum set, and much to the disappointment of Roger Girls everywhere – he really can’t see much beyond the first two or three rows, and even then he is “too focused” on what he’s doing. He joked that even after forty years, he’s has to concentrate on playing with two hands (yes, he really does need two hands for his…you KNOW you were thinking it!!) and two feet.  He said that he has “very little chance to take it in”.   Katy tries to stop the hearts of all Roger fans breaking by asking a follow-up about after the show when he stands up and comes to the front of the stage.  Animatedly, Roger exclaims that it’s amazing. He tends to recognize familiar faces, and then he has to get down to the business of deciding which fan(s) will go home with a particularly special souvenir – a drumstick or two.

Roger on Drumsticks

Here’s the secret straight from the Drum God himself: bring a sign. (When every single lady in the front row brings a sign asking for sticks to the next set of shows, I think Roger knows exactly who to blame here….and it’s not me!!) Roger figures that if you’ve gone to the trouble of making a sign, then you must really want one. Then he says something that strikes a particularly notable chord for me – he USED to chuck his drumsticks into the crowd, but sometime back (I have a story on this below) he stopped doing it because it can cause an unpleasant scene.

I had made a special sign for the show at the Voodoo Festival in New Orleans in 2006. Roger saw it and asked if I wanted them. (Oh you betcha!!) So he threw one straight at me (I was back about 3 rows maybe?). All was fine, I could have grabbed it without trouble at all, but the guy next to me, who was very big AND very tall grabbed it out of the air before I could even get it, and gave it to his wife. Roger saw the whole thing, mouthed “I’m sorry” to me, and I just smiled because you know – what was I going to do? It was just a drumstick, not my memory of the show!  I haven’t seen Roger throw a drumstick at a show I’ve been at since. I can’t blame him, although I hope he knows I wasn’t mad. It wasn’t his fault at all. 

Paper Gods

Katy asks Roger what Paper Gods means to him, personally.  Roger laughs and says, “I KNEW you were going to ask me that!”  He begins by saying that he thinks it’s one of those songs where people can apply their own meanings. Roger thinks the song stands for consumerism and how meaningless it all really is. Katy says that it is one of her favorites off of the album and tells Roger that the song is being released that very day for Duran Duran Appreciation Day, which surprises him (Not that I’m surprised, but clearly the band is not really up-to-date on DDAD treats for fans). He comments that the song is quite a journey and that it’s very conceptual, adding that they weren’t afraid of breaking the rules or felt confined. But then Roger says something that IS surprising: he says that it isn’t necessarily the best song on the album but a strong one. Katy picks up on this and asks him to name some of his personal favorites on the album. He names You Kill Me With Silence, saying that it has a wonderful chorus, and is different from normal Duran Duran. He follows that up with What are the Chances?, saying that it’s a big Duran Duran ballad; and lastly, Danceophobia because he thinks it will be fun to play live. Of course, the mention of Danceophobia cues Roger to mention that Lindsay Lohan is on that song. “Everyone asks about Linsday!”  Naturally, “everyone”, as Roger puts it, is the media. But isn’t that what they wanted? She’s a big name that grabs attention, even if it’s not necessarily a name that fans necessarily enjoy hearing associated with Duran Duran. Watch out New York or London fans, because Katy lets it slip that she’s heard rumors indicating perhaps Lindsay might join the band on stage for a show in one of those places….

2016

Interestingly enough, Roger didn’t know about shows for next year. This would indicate that perhaps nothing has been decided yet.  “I’m sure offers will come in and we’ll be able to go and play places.”

We certainly hope so!!!

 

-R

“Hot and Bothered”-Duran & Lindsay Lohan

Anyone read any interesting articles lately about Duran Duran?  I have.  In fact, one article, in particular, was so interesting that I posted it both on my personal Facebook and on the Daily Duranie Facebook and Twitter.  I posted the article in order to get some perspective, in order to not let any initial reaction by me dictate what I think and feel about it.  I wanted to hear from other people about what they think and feel about it.  I also wanted time to process my thoughts.  I’m not sure I’m completely there yet…but it is time.

What article as I talking about here?  This one here:  “‘Lindsay Lohan got us hot and bothered in the recording studio” says Duran Duran.”  Since I had originally posted the article, another one has popped up entitled:  Lindsay Lohan left Duran Duran ‘hot and bothered’.  Both articles discuss Lindsay Lohan’s appearance on the upcoming Duran Duran album, “Paper Gods,” due out in September.  Now, we have talked about Lindsay Lohan and her working with Duran Duran a few times on this blog.  Just recently, we mentioned her when discussing the press release about the album, which you can read here.   What new information did we get from this article?  What do I think about it?  What do many other fans think about it from my observations online?

The Facts:

These articles don’t shed a ton of light on Lindsay’s appearance on the album beyond what we already knew.  Again, they mentioned that she is featured on the song, “Danceophobia”.  In it, she provides the voice of a doctor, which we already knew.  Simon, in these articles, described her role as a doctor talking to someone in a “naughty way”.  It sounds like they had this part and needed someone to fill it when Simon thought of Lindsay.  Then, according to the articles, it took a month to get her into the studio and almost didn’t happen due to her busy schedule.  In the end, it required Simon and Ben (Mr Hudson) to go and get her and her sister.  According to Simon, she “had exactly the voice for it”.  He also stated this about working with her, “We were hot and bothered for about three weeks after she left the studio” and “We’d absolutely like to work with Lindsay again.”

General reactions to the article:

While I admit that there were some variations in the responses I got from posting the first article, there was a general theme.  Let me quote some of the thoughts from other fans and frankly most of these are the nicer quotes:

“I’m surprised with all her previous problems keeping a job, showing up for a job (Without blowing the project budget) or completing any court appointed assignments, the band even expected her to follow through.”
“Why would they want her anyway?”
“I just feel there must have been someone – anyone – better..”
“Not one, of their prouder moments, I would imagine…ick.”
“No, Simon! NOOOOOOOOO!”

Many fans questioned the point of using her.  Was it a push from the label?  Was it an attempt to reach a younger demographic?  Was it to get publicity?  I, obviously, don’t have the answers to those questions and I think they are good one.  Did the label have a role in this?  Maybe.  We know in the past there was label encouragement to use people like Timbaland (Yes, I know that was a different label.  My point is just that major labels do push artists into working with people who they think will get the artists attention and/or a hit.).  Was it an attempt to reach a younger demographic?  That’s possible. After all, Lindsay is still in her 20s and the band is…not.  Most people in their 20s might be unfamiliar with Duran and this might get people to try listening to Duran, maybe?  So the theory would go.  Could it be an attempt to just get publicity with the idea being that any publicity is good?  Maybe.  This is the band that did the Girls on Film video in 1981 and even held up a sign saying that some people would do anything to sell their records, in the easter egg version of the video.some people would do anything to sell their records

What I Think:

In full disclosure, I’m not a Lindsay Lohan fan.  I tend to avoid people who get in the fame spotlight for whatever reason and become the frequent topic of entertainment new sites, tabloids, etc.  Those aren’t the celebrities who ever interest me.  Yes, many people will give her sympathy because of her family or her addiction or whatever.  I get that.  As much as I might sympathize, that doesn’t equal being a fan.  That said, when I heard that Duran was using her, like many, I grimaced and hoped that it wouldn’t be as bad as many fear.  I tried to maintain an open-mind and be positive.  Then, this article came out.  I read it.  I read it again.  I read it a third time after backing away for awhile.  After a day or so, some thoughts of mine aren’t changing.

What/Who Really Matters for the Album:
I want to see Duran getting all the attention in the world for this album.  I really do.  Yet, it wasn’t Duran getting the attention in these articles, it was Lindsay.  It wasn’t even Nile Rodgers, Mark Ronson or countless others who worked on the album who were getting attention.  It was someone who, from everything I could tell, has a VERY minor part on the album.  Someone asked me why I was making a big deal out of one little piece to the album.  The fact is that I’m frustrated that the little piece was getting attention over so many larger, more important pieces and people.

Publicity for Publicity Sake:
Did they really use Lindsay because she was the BEST person for this role?  Out of all the people on the planet with a great voice, she was the best?  Or was it that she was the most famous and could get the most attention?  After all, the band had to know that she would result in articles like the ones I posted above.  This makes me wonder if they chose people to make the best album or to make the most news and I HATE thinking that.  I do.  I want to assume that the band chose the best people for the work, for the art, for the music.  It shouldn’t be about promotion before the art or the music.  Now, of course, I know that promotion has its place.  Duh.  Every product out there needs to be promoted.  We recognized that fact with the convention we put on and we even recognize it with this blog.  Yet, I want Duran Duran to get promotion because of THEM, because THEY deserve it.  They shouldn’t take the back seat.  The music shouldn’t take the back seat.

Simon:
Initially, I like many were not impressed with this statement of Simon’s in which Lindsay Lohan got them “hot and bothered”.  Then, Rhonda pointed out that Simon is smart and he is.  That is a statement is going to get headlines.  So, if you are going to go for any publicity, use what works.  Be as out there as possible.  Embrace it, right?  They did that with the Girls on Film video that we are all still talking about 30 plus years later.  Is Simon just really that good at dealing with the press that he, in fact, chose words to get that headline, to get the attention?

The Worse Part
Do you know what I think the worst part of all of this is?  That for many people, that song is already tainted.  People are already judging, including myself.  Maybe, she was the best person for this role.  Unfortunately, her reputation and everything that goes with her, including articles like these don’t help fans have an open-mind.  It also negatively impacts fans’ enthusiasm for the album.  Is that fair or right?  Probably not but fans are human and imperfect and also feel a LOT when it comes to the subject of their fandom.  We want Duran Duran to do well but we want them to do well because of THEM, not because of anyone they chose to work with.

-A

Paper Gods Press Release Insights Part 2

We continue our analysis of the press releases surrounding Duran Duran’s upcoming album, Paper Gods.  In part 1, which you can read here, we discussed statements made about the album as a whole.  In this part, we look at how individual songs on the album are described.  Of course, we have yet to hear any of these with the exception being the first single, Pressure Off.  Therefore, these descriptions are just that.  They are descriptions, which we may or may not find completely accurate once we actually have the chance to hear them.  Nonetheless, we thought it would be fun to offer some thoughts and reactions to the written descriptions.

Pressure Off

As described in the press release:  “Mark, Nile and Mr Hudson co-wrote and produced, the tracks ‘Pressure Off’ and ‘Only in Dreams’. The former, which will be the album’s lead single featuring Nile Rodgers, harks back to the taut funk of Notorious, with a sensational vocal from Janelle Monáe, and a chorus that is audacious in its effortless immediacy. “If only,” laughs Nick. “The one thing it wasn’t was effortless. But the idea was to make it sound like that.”

Amanda:

In reading this, I wish I knew more about Only in Dreams, especially since I have heard Pressure Off already.  Does the combination of Mark Ronson, Mr Hudson and Nile Rodgers always produce a song like Pressure Off?  I look forward to finding out.  As for what Nick said here, I wasn’t surprised that it took effort to create the chorus in Pressure Off.  Rhonda suspects that they came up with the hook  and the chorus first and built the rest of the song around it.  I wouldn’t be surprised.  I just wonder how or what in particular they were searching for when trying to find this chorus.  Was it a certain style?  Were they trying to match certain songs?  I wish I was a fly in the studio for that!

Rhonda:

Well…mostly I just wouldn’t be surprised if they came up with the hook first and built the rest of the song around it. I have no idea what Duran typically does, but that hook is so strong it just seems like it would have come first. (I’m probably dead wrong though!) I think that the chorus does have a sort of “effortless” feel around it…it’s kind of like I’ve told my daughter Heather so many times: “It’s ok if it really ISN’T effortless or easy, it just needs to LOOK that way when you’re on stage!” That’s sort of the way the chorus to this song comes off. On the other hand, I don’t think the verses sound so easy.  I’ve been reading the opinions of many fans lately on this one, and a lot of the criticisms seem to come from the verses – people don’t feel they match up well, stylistically. My opinion is very different because while it’s true, they definitely aren’t as bright, they give the song a lot more depth, sound-wise. If every line sounded like the chorus, I am afraid the song would be making a serious slide into bubble-gum land. I also recognize that I am a far better kitchen-table blogger/armchair critic than music writer, so there’s that.

“Big-Chorus Bankers”

The press release stated the following: “‘Face For Today’, ‘Butterfly Girl’, ‘Danceophobia’ (with a guest appearance from Lindsay Lohan as the voice of the ‘doctor’) and ‘Last Night In the City’ (which features a killer contribution from Kiesza) are among the album’s other big-chorus bankers”

Amanda:

Big-chorus bankers?! I totally get the idea of songs with big choruses. I assume that to mean choruses that stick out, that are memorable, that stick in people’s heads and make them want to keep listening and keep singing along. Duran has had many of those in their history, including some of my favorite songs. The most recent song that comes to mind with that description is Sunrise. As soon as you heard that chorus, you wanted to keep listening and you wanted to sing along with Simon. Interestingly enough, two out of the four tracks described like that featured contributions by others. Lindsay Lohan is the voice of a “doctor”.  Will this be a little like Nina Hossain in Leopard?  I’ll be very curious to hear that one!

Rhonda:

So basically it is saying that these songs were written with strong hooks? I think it has to be said (many, many times) that even Pressure Off has a ridiculously catchy chorus – probably the best I’ve heard out of this band in 25 years, if not 30.  I can’t imagine what else would be meant by a big chorus, so I’m going with that. I thought back to the last several albums. Admittedly there are very few songs with truly great big choruses. Is that really a bad thing?  I think it depends upon the intention. If you’re writing without the goal of getting on radio, then no, I don’t think it really does matter. I think it is about the artistry of what you’re writing. Does the writer really feel like they got their message across?  However, radio and chart-land does not work that way. Go listen to the radio. Songs that get played often, songs that are genuine “hits” typically have very strong choruses. VERY strong.  They get deposited in your ear, swim to your brain and hold on for dear life. That’s why they work. Listen to “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk & Nile, or Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars. Those are some huge choruses!

I suppose though, for those of us Duran-purists out there, there’s likely some nose-scrunching going on. On one hand, sure, we want the band’s music to do well because of course we want to see the band succeed. Fans typically want that, don’t we? We want to sort of be validated so that we can walk around and say “See? We TOLD you Duran Duran still had it. We TOLD you they’re fantastic!” But, and this is the crazy, insane thing about Duranies that I’ve learned from over the years, there’s also a part of us that really doesn’t want it happening that way.  We want them to write solely for themselves. We want them to laugh in the face of critics and music charts. We want them to write the really cool, obscure stuff that we first fell in love with (or maybe discovered after we were finished devouring other songs like Rio or Hungry Like the Wolf?).  We don’t necessarily WANT them to bow down to the masses and write/record so that they get played on radio. What we want is for the band to write the music they want to write without worrying about it getting played; then, if it hits big we can sit back and pat ourselves on the back for knowing they had it all along but that the masses were too silly to really get it…but we’ve stuck by the band all along.

Personally, I’m not so sure it all works that way. I think that at least for me, I’m willing to concede to the fact that perhaps the music I love most from this band isn’t going to ever get them radio play. I kind of think they’ve got the right to make music that stands half a shot of being heard by a bigger audience, if that’s what they really want. In a lot of ways I feel for the band because I think they know it’s all a pretty tall-order. Up until now it’s felt like they’re either pissing off long time fans or they’re screwing themselves out of ever getting radio play. Where’s the middle ground? IS there middle ground?? If I were in their shoes, I am not entirely sure what I’d do. Try to do it all, and hope for the best, I suppose. Maybe, just maybe, there’s enough for everyone on this album.

What Are the Chances?

From the press release:  “‘What Are the Chances?’ the song that rolls back the years to the yearning and beauty of ‘Save a Prayer’”

Amanda:

Hmm…so What Are the Chances is the ballad on the album.  It is interesting that it also features John Frusciante on guitar.

Rhonda:

I knew it would come down to the guitar player. It always does. Listen, anyone who has read this blog during the past four years knows how I feel about guitar in general. I think the band needs guitar, and yes, I think it should be someone we as fans can all count on to be there permanently. To me, it’s not Duran Duran without it. I am much less of a fan of the music where the guitar is added deep into the mix as a sort of atmospheric afterthought than I am of the songs where there’s this beautiful, lush melody and seemingly out of nowhere I hear a soaring guitar. That’s the kind of juxtaposition, duality, tension….that I know to expect from Duran Duran at SOME points in their career. I also know that right now, they have a touring guitarist, but apparently he isn’t someone that the band wants to include or name as a permanent member.  Feelings about Dom run the full spectrum: many Duranies consider him just to be the hired gun in the same way they look at the roadies – they don’t even “see” him onstage, and still many others like myself consider him to be part of the family even if the band refuses. Perhaps it is all purely a business decision. I don’t know, and it really doesn’t matter. Duran Duran is happy to be a foursome, and from what I’ve been told over the past couple of years, it doesn’t seem they included Dom as much in the writing for this album (as opposed to All You Need is Now). Instead, they sought out presumably bigger names to do the writing and recording. It’s the one issue I’ve got with the band this time around, and it’s something that I continue to come to terms with as a Duran Duran fan AND as a fan of Dom’s. I’m truly surprised (and incredibly thankful!) that Dom has stuck around….and yes, I’m well-aware my words here are harsh, and yes, I know he’ll still be on the tour. He’s been around for over ten years now. It’s time for more than that. That said, I’m curious to see just what John Frusciante brings to this record. I’m well-aware of his incredible talent and I look forward to hearing what he’s got!

You Kill Me With Silence

Press Release:  ‘You Kill Me With Silence’ may boast another huge chorus, but at heart it is a deeply unorthodox and sonically engrossing song, with a disorientating closing sequence that reinforces the band’s art-pop credentials. Simon’s verdict on it sums up the freedom and inquisitiveness that still define the band’s music-making. “What I love most about the track is that it opens like a Snoop Dogg song; you almost expect a rapper to kick off, and instead what you get is Simon Le Bon channelling Nancy Sinatra.”

Amanda:

I have to admit this one intrigues me.  Any song that opens like a Snoop Dogg song and features Nancy Sinatra like vocals is going to interest me, as in “I can’t imagine what the heck that is going to sound like!”  Then, the idea that the closing is “disorientating” and “reinforces art-pop credentials” adds to my interest and inability to really process.  Heck, even the title adds to the mystery.  Yes, this one will definitely be one I look forward to hearing simply because it sounds so unimaginable!

Rhonda:

When I read this stuff, it’s very difficult to keep an open mind and not have already formed opinions by the time the album drops. I don’t want to go in with expectations of what I’m going to like or not like, you know?  Been there, done that with previous albums, and the results (for me) were disastrous, to say the least. HOWEVER…I’m really excited by what I’m reading here! Words like “art-pop”, “unorthodox”, “sonically-engrossing”….now those are music to MY ears. The trouble is that I’m really hoping it is going to be one of those delicious Duran-obscurities that no one but the deepest of fans loves…and that is one of those HOPES I’m trying to keep clear out of my head.  No expectations!!

Paper Gods

Press Release said:  “The title track (which features Mr Hudson’s vocals alongside Simon’s) is similarly daring, its polemical lyrics set to a soundtrack of fierce originality and menace. “It’s a song about our obsession, with money, with material things,” says Simon, “and how we trivialise our lives, and humanity. It’s definitely the angriest song on the album. Usually I tend to be much less specific when it comes to lyrics, because I like it when people hear our songs and create their own stories around them. But in this case, I wanted the anger to be unambiguous: ‘The slaver in a sweatshop, putting trainers on your feet.’ It’s about the price that we pay, that everyone pays, for the world as it is now.” “That song is definitely one of the strangest things we’ve done in a long, long time,” says Nick, “in that it’s a real journey, a strong lyric – we don’t often get into social commentary with songs, but this one felt like it needed that. And I do love the fact that it’s so unpredictable.”

Amanda:

I won’t lie.  I cannot wait to hear this one.  I like angry.  I like social commentary.  I do.  It is the Social Studies teacher in me, the political activist in me.  I have ALWAYS loved when Duran has gotten close or entered the social commentary realm because they always do it so intelligently.  It isn’t preachy but clever and thought-provoking.  Thus, I can’t wait for this one.  I suspect that I will love it and I will love the album title because of it!

Rhonda:

I’m really not a fan of obvious social commentary in music. I want to escape from reality, not be transported back to it every time I listen. That said, I like angry… (I doubt that surprises anyone. I’m the one with the fiery attitude around here, I think.) and I’ve heard that this song is of incredible length for a Duran song (9 minutes, I believe??) and it’s been compared to Bowie. That’s intriguing enough for me…and I do agree with Amanda, when Duran does a social commentary, it is usually done with incredible intelligence. I’m really looking forward to hearing this one.

Collaborations

John Frusciante:
What Are the Chances?
The Universe Alone
Butterfly Girl

John Frusciante’s playing…is equally unpredictable, the former Red Hot Chili Pepper twisting the songs into new and unexpected shapes. “We’re all so in awe of what he does with the guitar, his style is completely unique,” says Simon. “As a musician, he’s fearless, and that’s incredibly inspiring.”

Mr Hudson
Vocals on Paper Gods

Lindsay Lohan
Voice of the doctor on Danceophobia

Kiesza
Last Night in the City

Nile Rodgers
Co-wrote and produced Pressure Off and Only in Dreams
Featured on Pressure Off

Janelle Monae
Vocals on Pressure Off

Amanda:

There isn’t much to say about collaborations that I haven’t said before.  Sometimes, they are awesome as is the case with Janelle Monae’s vocals on Pressure Off.  Sometimes, they are not (thinking Skin Divers here).  Yet, we really don’t know until we hear the album.  Then, I will be able to  judge properly.

Rhonda:

Here’s the thing: I love John Frusciante’s work. He is an incredible guitarist. I’m looking forward to hearing him, all of my other feelings about the band and guitar players aside. Huge fan of Janelle Monae’s work on Pressure Off, the song would be completely different without her. I really like Mr. Hudson, so I am really excited that he did vocals on Paper Gods. The only thing that really intrigues me by Lindsay Lohan’s appearance on the album is why? Overall, I think there are an awful lot of big names packed into one album. In some ways it reads like overkill, in others, perhaps not. Time will tell.

What do you think about what you read about these upcoming songs?  Which ones interest you the most and why?

-A & R

Recent Duran Duran Albums

I have history on the brain.  Yes, part of the reason, is because I am teaching history this year.  Part of the reason could be that we do a daily Duran Duran history blog post.  Yet, this week really made me think about history.  Why?  Obviously, there was this little rumor this week about Lindsay Lohan in connection to the next Duran album.  Any and all news and rumor should be making me think about the future, right?  This one didn’t.  It made me think of the past, specifically recent Duran Duran albums and their reactions from fans.

First, I thought about this time of year four years ago.  Think back.  What was going on three years ago in December?  I’m sure that many of you guessed it.  The Duranie universe was all excited!  We had a new single in All You Need Is Now along with the video that accompanied it.  The digital copy of the album was about to drop.  Each and every day was filled with some new piece of information, new interview or new video clip, etc..  Social media was hoppin’ and many, many Duranies were spending hours upon hours hanging out on Twitter and/or Facebook.  Life seemed really good and the future was definitely bright.  While I’m sure that there were some fans who weren’t all that excited or didn’t like what they had heard so far, those fans were few and far between.  In general, most fans were pretty thrilled with the state of Duranland, at least from what I could tell.

This, of course, is not how I think of the Duran sphere when I think back three years before that.  2007 saw the release of Red Carpet Massacre.  Like the release of All You Need Is Now, there was plenty of news to share and discuss.  In contrast, though, from the AYNIN era, the discussion wasn’t overwhelmingly positive.  Instead, debate was the most common occurrence on message boards, then.  While some were excited by Red Carpet Massacre and the working relationship between Duran and Timbaland and Duran and Justin Timberlake, others weren’t.  The fans who liked RCM, I’m sure, probably felt like they were doing a whole lot of defending the band and the album whereas the critical fans kept trying to explain why and how this album was so bothersome to them.

As I return to the present, I try to place this rumor in the context of recent Duran history.  It seems clear to me that rumors like the one we had this week fit way more with the RCM era than the AYNIN era.  Clearly, if the rumor turns out to be true, there are some fans who would like Lohan to be on the album or would be okay with it for whatever reason.  There are many other fans who would not for the reasons brought up this week and more.  From what I saw, the discussions already started forming the same camps as fans did in 2007 over Timbaland.  Some fans instantly defend the band or try to find/point out the positives.  The less-than-excited fans try to articulate why this rumor bothers them so.  Not fun.

Is this the normal ebb and flow of Duran Duran and Duran Duran fans in that, for one album, the fans (in general–not everyone but most) love the album, but then question the moves made for the next one? If so, then, perhaps, one just needs to accept that as part of being a Duranie.  For me, personally, I hate the fact that unlike AYNIN, there seems to be little excitement.  There seems to be a lot of debate and some concern.  I so wish that wasn’t the case.  Now, in fairness, perhaps, this concern and debate will change once facts are known.  Maybe part of the problem is that the album has taken so long to be finished that people couldn’t sustain excitement but that it will return with the release of #DD14.

Until then, don’t blame me for being wanting to be stuck in the most recent Duran history with All You Need Is Now away from Lindsay Lohan and the cast of thousands that supposedly have worked on DD14.  Just send me  to the eagerness of a Mark Ronson produced, very Duran Duran sounding album.

-A

Lindsay Lohan Rumors, Day Two

Some rumors refuse to die, and so when I got up this morning, I suppose I wasn’t all that surprised to see that yes – Lindsay Lohan was still in my Facebook newsfeed.  Turns out, a “source” told The Mirror that Lindsay was doing more of a spoken word part on the album while her sister Ali was doing the singing. They are to be featured on the same song.

Truth be told, until the album is in our hot little hands or DDHQ cares to respond to the rumors, we won’t really know who or what is on the album…and it’s not our job here at Daily Duranie to investigate the truthfulness of such rumors.  We do, however, respond as a sort of voice for the fans. So, after reading the rumor of the day, I threw it out to our Facebook and Twitter followers to gnash their teeth on.

Many fans are ever-supportive, saying that they trust the band’s choices, including that of Lindsay Lohan. I’m not exactly sure what that means, given that none of us have any control over what the band does. We can only control our purchasing power, and they’ve seen evidence, however limited that may be, of that power in the past. When I read that someone “trusts the band’s choices”, I don’t get the feeling that they’re reserving judgment until they hear the song – they just know they’re going to love whatever the band does because well, it’s Duran Duran. I am not that kind of fan, but there’s room for everyone in this fandom. Others though question not only the validity of the rumor (don’t we all?) but the fact that out of the billions on the planet – Lindsay Lohan has the right voice for the job. I throw up my own hands on that one because like any other fan – I have no idea what they’re going for. That would be my statement on the entire album at this particular point though, and not just from the rumor/announcement of the Lohan sisters. There has been quite a cacophony of names being paraded about over the last four years – and to those of us whom have never heard even a single note or snippet, connecting the dots from Mr. Hudson to John Frusciante and Nile Rodgers and now Lindsay Lohan may seem a little far-fetched. That doesn’t mean it can’t make sense and be completely cohesive, it just means we’re all going to have to wait until next spring or beyond before we really know what it all means. Still others feel that, if true, that it’s a stunt executed for marketing purposes. Once again I say that we can’t argue with the ten million followers Lindsay Lohan has between Twitter and Instagram. If you were in a band and wanted your music to get out to a wide audience of people, this might be one way to do it. After all, this is the same band who held up a sign at the end of Girls on Film saying that some people will do anything to sell records, which brings me to the question of selling out. The devils advocate in me posed the question if one is outraged by the idea of the band licensing their music to sell perfume or clothing or yogurt, or cars for that matter… is this any different? As one fan put it, “That ship sailed to Antigua a long, long time ago.”, I chuckled as I acknowledged the truth of the statement and wholeheartedly agreed.

It is difficult to maintain an open mind – I’m the first to say that here, and I recognize in some sense why the band has kept a lot of details beyond the names working on the album pretty mum. Once upon a time, I had all but made up my mind about Red Carpet Massacre, for instance, before the album ever hit the shelves. I never appreciated Timbaland before Duran Duran, and I still do not. My disdain for Justin Timberlake is well-documented in many places, although I’ve come around to some point on Justin these days. Truthfully I hated Red Carpet Massacre before I even held it in my hand. Thankfully for all of you, I didn’t blog back then. When I first read the article this morning that Duranasty shared, my immediate reaction was not filled with hearts and rainbows of positivity. In fact, I was considering how best to word this blog for the better part of the morning. As I told a few people this morning, I waiver between wanting to remain positive and formulating my fan resignation letter. I’m not perfect.

It all comes down to not knowing, doesn’t it? None of us really know where this album is headed. As someone pointed out earlier on Facebook, we have been given plenty of details as far as names go, but there is still enough mystery and time on our hands to overthink. Who doesn’t enjoy a great discussion on the finer points of Duran Duran?  In time, we’ll have the answers and have spirited discussions over our conclusions.

-R

Duran Duran and Lindsay Lohan?

Not sure about everyone else in the world, but I really was not ready to be greeted by the sight of a photo of Duran Duran and Lindsay Lohan this morning.  Moreover, I was definitely not ready to deal with the speculation that somehow because that photo exists – Lindsay must be singing in the studio with the band for #DD14.

Duran Duran Lindsay Lohan
Lindsay Lohan – Instagram

So that’s my Monday so far.  How’s yours?

Let me be clear (and fair).  I don’t care about Ali Lohan (Lindsay’s sister and the other female in the photo on the far right). She is entitled to her own career, and I wish her well. If out of the 3 or 4 billion people that are on the planet – it was HER voice that they needed for this album to make it perfect – then you know, great. I think it’s rather unfortunate that her sister’s reputation will continue to follow her, but those are the breaks. On the other hand, I don’t know that I care that much about Lindsay Lohan either. I think her relevance to the world is way overstated, but apparently she still has fans that grab on to her every word.  You can’t argue that she’s got 2.4 million followers on Instagram and another 8.64 million on Twitter…where she made sure to mention that she was “recording with some greats”.  Those greats being of course, Duran Duran. Duran Duran and Lindsay Lohan. Good Lord.

Speculation is a funny thing.  It was my understanding over the weekend that it was only Ali, or Aliana as she goes by now professionally, that would be working with the band, but then this photo comes out and yes, the internet seems to have grabbed onto the idea that Lindsay didn’t learn enough from her debut that no – singing probably isn’t a proper career choice for her, and that maybe she’s really singing with Duran Duran.  She even made sure to repost a photo of her album, Speak on Instagram…as though she was spending serious time contemplating her past and getting her followers excited by the prospects of another album. (If I were her, I would be looking at my past and trying to remember where it all went ass over teakettle so I wouldn’t do it again, but again – that’s just me.)  So the run down as I know it stands at: Mr. Hudson, John Frusciante, Nile Rodgers, Mark Ronson, then of course Spike Stent and whomever else worked on the engineering, production and mixing…and maybe Aliana and Lindsay Lohan. Talk about an all-star cast.  You’d almost think they were looking for a hit.

I won’t lie, when I saw the picture of Duran Duran and Lindsay Lohan this morning (that was originally taken for Linsday and posted on her Instagram), I balked. I recoiled a bit. I even posted on Duran Duran’s Facebook status (where even DDHQ said they were surprised by this one) that I thought it was gross. I did, however, go back and delete my comment because I realized that posting something unkind on the band’s Facebook post did nothing but insult the post. The band doesn’t care, and I really don’t blame them. It’s probably fair to say I’m not the only fan out there that was a little disgusted by the idea of Duran Duran and Lindsay Lohan being in the studio together, judging from the comments I saw – but still others were ever supportive of the band’s choices as always, saying that Lindsay deserved another chance and that of course she thinks it’s cool to hang with Duran Duran because they’re the best. In all fairness, it hasn’t been confirmed, denied or even mentioned by DDHQ whether or not Lindsay Lohan was just visiting or if she was truly recording, and I still suspect it’s only her sister that was doing any vocals, and maybe Lindsay herself was capitalizing on some possible press by posting the Instagram photo and commenting on being in the studio.

I think one person summed it up best on Duran Duran’s Facebook though, by simply saying “Oh no” as their comment on the photo with Duran Duran and Lindsay Lohan.  My feelings exactly.

-R