Tag Archives: New music

Following the News

Fifty-million streaming apps

Yesterday, I sat down to watch Strangeways Radio’s Week in Music video, hosted by our very own Jason Lent (VelvetRebel). If you missed it – you can catch it on our homepage, or right here. I love that it’s a quick wrap-up of what happened in the world of music for the week. I’m lucky to have five uninterrupted minutes to myself, so this short program fits the bill!

As I watched, Jason pointed out a couple of new albums that are out by The Chromatics and The Pixies, and even played a little snippet from each. While I’ve heard of both bands (more so Pixies that Chromatics), I never paid close attention to either of them, but I liked the new songs played, each for very different reasons. I made mental note to search for the new music on Spotify or the other 50 million music streaming apps that seem to be out these days. For me, it’s all a little overwhelming.

I’m lazy and admit it!

I don’t know what it is with me, but over the past five years or so, I don’t bother seeking out new music nearly as often. Complacency is comfortable, I suppose, but it’s also limiting. I listen to what Walt has collected over the years on vinyl, channels I enjoy on SiriusXM or traditional radio, and that’s about it. Finding new bands requires dedicated time and effort that I just don’t have to offer.

Cognitively, I understand that listening to First Wave, or even my local radio station – I’m not likely to hear “new” music, even if it comes directly from one of the artists played on First Wave (in case you’re not familiar, the station focus on New Wave music from the 80s). The problem is, I’m lazy. Plain and simple. I don’t have hours to sit around clicking endlessly to find new music and/or new artists I like, much less time to actually listen. While Walt and I still see bands fairly often – most of them are cover bands, not playing original material.

When I think about it, I don’t know that I was ever one of those people to work hard to seek out new music. I’d watch MTV, read the occasional magazine or hear things on the radio and go from there. Today, it’s similar, except MTV is no longer the same, and since I listen to First Wave when I’m in the car (which truly isn’t all that often now – my comments are less than 10 minutes these days!), I’m not exposed to much. I’m guessing that I’m not the only one in that camp.

How do bands manage the tsunami?

On the other hand, I have friends who seem to know all the new albums, new bands, new music. This is why I appreciate Jason’s work, both here and on Strangeways Radio – he does my a lot of my homework for me. Now all I have to do is go to a streaming service, or purchase the music and listen. I value their time and tenacity, because honestly – I don’t have the patience to do it myself!

As I was considering all of the above, I realized that my own quandary is exactly the same sort of tsunami that bands like Duran Duran are fighting to survive each day. Can you imagine trying to get a new album played on the radio these days? I can’t speak for the rest of the country, but there’s not even a station in my area that I could for sure say would play (new) Duran Duran. Again, I’m betting I’m not alone.

When I post statements about radio, there’s always someone who pipes up, saying that radio doesn’t matter anyway. Maybe not, but then what? Internet radio? Streaming? Great, except that it’s not enough to just throw a new album up on a streaming service and cross fingers for luck. How do you attract listeners and grow your audience at this point? Unless you’re already following Duran Duran, or they get extremely lucky with just the right song placed in just the right place…how does it work?

How do you do it?

All of this did get me wondering though, how do other music fans my age do it? Do they still try to keep up with what is new, or are many beginning to settle back with music they already know and love? Where does the good music news come from? Drop me a line and let me know!

-R

There’s no place like home in Duranland!

There are no hard and fast rules about what makes someone a fan (other than liking whatever is the object in question), and there really aren’t rules about what one should or shouldn’t do as a fan. Yes, there might be societal rules, or fairly arbitrary boundaries that are enforced by the larger group, but the  guidelines aren’t really written. We certainly can’t pull the book of fandom rules off of a shelf and recite from it. None of this is illustrated more clearly than when Duran Duran posts any sort of an update.

Ah….Durantime

The other day, the band posted a photo of them in the studio, indicating that they were back in the creative mode.  Reaction from fans, including myself, ran the gamut from giddiness to dubiety. Mentions of #durantime on both the original DDHQ post as well as personal Facebook accounts led to sharp exchanges between fans. Declarations of “How dare someone question the length of time before an album comes out?” along with equal measures of “Why can’t anyone take a joke?” led the charge. I found myself with the smallest of grins, because Duranland wouldn’t feel like home if people weren’t bickering, even over what seemed liked good news.

We’ve been doing this for forty years!

Then there are those who celebrate their fandom by giving the band advice. We’ve been fans for forty years, we know what works, right?  “Please go back to the AYNIN formula”, “Make another album like Red Carpet Massacre!”, “Work with Ronson – he gets us!” Everyone seems to know exactly what direction the band should be headed in, with all of the confidence and wisdom that comes with having written and recorded fourteen chart topping albums. Aren’t we all so damn smart?!? Listen, I’ve been there. I’ve done this. I will likely forget myself while in the company of other fans and occasionally slip. To read the advice online in a series of comments though? Yeah, we sound like assholes. We really do. I’d say we’ve gotta stop, but I’m almost sure someone will write in telling me that it’s their RIGHT to say whatever they want. And it is. So I won’t.

You got a right!

What you choose to do with your fandom, and how you choose to BE a fan, is your choice. I will never completely buy into the idea that a “good” fan is never critical, or never pokes fun.  I can’t really argue though, with people who only see the sunny side. We all do this “fan” thing so differently. The longer I participate, the more I realize that fandom is as much about learning how to accept differences as it is celebrating common adorations.

-R

Studio-time Cometh: New Music Ahead!

Happy Monday, everybody!

I trust that everyone made it through Black Friday and has cruised smoothly into Cyber Monday. If you’re like me and thought braving Costco on the Sunday after Thanksgiving was a good idea, we probably need our heads examined.

Naturally, the big news for this week is that John mentioned a little something about heading back to London in order to have a meeting the minds in the studio. I have a couple of thoughts on this:

  1. YAY!!
  2. I wonder how long it will be before we start hearing rumors of collaborations? I almost prefer betting on when those might begin, as opposed to with whom!

Naturally I’m thrilled to hear the words “studio”, “writing” and even better, “recording” come out of any band members mouth.  It is kind of funny, because for the bulk of this year – I’ve been happy to wait. I figured they’d eventually get back to a studio. Writing music has to be a habit they just can’t quite quit. I’m definitely not complaining, but I figured it would take time. It needs to take time, too. Go back too early and there would be four very weary guys trying to write when maybe, they really didn’t want to fully commit yet. It wouldn’t bode well.

By the same token, I was not opposed to getting news of shows for 2019. Daily Duranie is as much a blog about the act of being a fan as it is about Duran Duran. For me, the shows in February couldn’t have been planned much better. I’m thrilled to have a few things to be looking forward to in the coming weeks and months. It takes the edge off of my first few weeks of December, that’s for sure!

Some people are thrilled to put Paper Gods in the rearview mirror. They’ve heard the album, done the tour many times, and are ready for something new. I thoroughly enjoyed Paper Gods, which in hindsight, surprises me. I loved All You Need is Now. That tour knocked me off of my feet. I have fantabulous memories of shows, friends, and fun. Going into Paper Gods, I just didn’t see how any of it could be topped, but somehow, someway, it was. For me personally, it isn’t that I’m ready to put it behind me, but instead I’m ready to experience whatever is going to come next with an open heart and mind.

That’s the crazy thing about music, and even life. Just when you think you’ve done as much as possible or have heard the best, something else comes along and proves otherwise. Our hearts and minds have to be open to change and ready to evolve – otherwise we might just miss out on something amazingly good!

For me, that is the challenge. Change is difficult. I’m learning that I don’t have to completely let go of the past. Instead, I need to be willing and open to whatever comes next. After all, whatever we experienced before is what shaped us for what is yet to come. We will still carry “Friends of Mine”, “Land”, “Nite Runner” and even “Planet Roaring” and “The Universe Alone” with us, but we need to be wiling to live, hear and take the next chapter to heart just as openly.

I’m ready. Are you?

-R