Tag Archives: Paper Gods Promotion

Winter Marches On…

I hate this time of the year.  I always hate this time of the year.  The holidays are over and the next vacation feels eons away.  I find myself searching for something to look forward to.  Anything.  It doesn’t really matter what as long as it is something that breaks me out of the daily grind.  This week, it has dawned on me that this feeling of blah is worse this year than most.  Why is that?  I got away from home for Christmas in which I got to spend time with my family.  I had a vacation from work.  The weather hasn’t been awful.  So, what is my problem?  Duran Duran.

Well, Duran Duran isn’t the exactly the problem.  It is the fact that I got super spoiled this past fall.  Really, for Duranies, our holiday season started in the summer as songs were released, media coverage flowed freely, and countdowns for an album and concerts ensued.  Then, summer turned to fall and more and more of our days were filled with Duran Duran.  The album dropped and suddenly most of us couldn’t remember life before Paper Gods.  Most of us, officially, blocked out Durantime!  Soon enough, the fall US tour arrived and I spent a lot of time either getting ready or recovering from the shows I attended.  Before I could completely recover, Duran Duran began the UK tour and again my online world was filled with watching for set lists, seeing posts and tweets from my UK friends about the shows, checking out videos on YouTube and more.  Truly, the second half of 2015 was overwhelmingly filled with Duran Duran.  There was so much Duran Duran that I struggled to keep up and I write a daily blog!  I have to keep up!!!

Then, the UK tour ended, Duran posts and tweets quieted down, which was okay.  I needed time to prepare for the holidays.  My shopping list was long and my packing list felt even longer.  Once I arrived at my sister’s, there was little, if any, real time online.  I checked in, solely to make sure that everything was cool, nothing more.  I wasn’t social with friends because I wanted to focus my attention on my family, some of whom I don’t see very often.  I figured that the members of Duran Duran were doing the exact same thing.  Now, though, I am missing the Duran activity of the fall.  I know that there is plenty of activity to come with more shows in the US in the spring and summer.  I even know that eventually tickets for the Chicago show will go sale.

Do not get me wrong.  I’m not criticizing at all.  I hope that the band is relaxing and enjoying their break.  They deserve it.  They worked hard to get the message out about an album that they clearly spent a ton of time and effort on.  No, what I’m really saying here is that I miss the action.  I miss them filling up my days.  It is silly, really.  I have plenty to do.  I have many papers and tests to grade.   That said, I prefer Duran Duran over all of that!!  I would rather be focused on the band and their fans than on grading and lesson planning.  This reminds me.  Each year, I like to come up with a new super power that I should get (you know…for fun, people!  I’m well-aware that I have none!).  This year, I want to be able to bank things like sleep, fun and Duran Duran.  For example, if I get more than 8 hours of sleep, those extra hours should be banked to be able to use when…say…I’m on tour and I am not getting so much sleep.  I want the same thing for Duran Duran activity.  I’m sure that I missed much during the fall.  If I had banked Duran Duran activity, then, now I could read something or watch something that I didn’t get to then.  Wouldn’t that be cool!?!  Maybe, then, winter would not feel like it is going to be marching on like it does right now…

-A

The Present Will Never Last

I feel like the whole world is abuzz with Duran Duran.  Now, I know that this statement of mine is a bit of an overstatement.  Yet, that is how I feel right now.  It seems to me that every other second there is a new post about Duran released by music person/site, a new performance on some show or an exciting piece of news being sent out across the social media world.  Duranland is full of activity!  I am running to keep up, that’s for sure!!  Do not get me wrong.  This is NOT a complaint in any way, shape or form.  I much, much, much prefer this than what it was like a year ago or so.  In fact, I struggle to even remember what life was like then.

Looking back on the blog from a year ago, do you know what was posted?  Three posts were posted on October 24, 2014.  One, of course, was the question of the day focused on Andy Taylor pictures.  The next one focused on the day in Duran history about a John Taylor book signing.  The last one started out like this:  “The Duranie part of me has felt pretty weak lately.  I haven’t been feeling very Duranie like.”  I wrote those lines.  Just reading them makes me feel very, very sad.  That wasn’t an easy time.  The album, then unknown, seemed very, very far away and All You Need Is Now really did, too.  There were no shows on the horizon and no shows in recent memory to look back on.  We were trying desperately to hang on until the quiet ended, until action began in Duranland.

We survived Duran downtime.  We made it through Durantime.  In October of 2014, we couldn’t even imagine what Paper Gods would sound like.  We had no idea that Duran Duran would play at the Hollywood Bowl or would be winning awards like the one they will be receiving tomorrow, the Video Visionary Award, at the MTV EMAs.  Of course, none of this success would have been surprising to us.  We knew that Duran could play special shows and could/should win awards like tomorrow’s.  Yet, I bet none of us really imagined these events.  We couldn’t know.  Here is what we do know.  The present will never last.  (I heard that line somewhere before…Hmmm..)  As much as I want this level of activity in Duranland everyday for the rest of my life, I know that it won’t be like this forever.  It can’t be.  Therefore, I have two choices in how I respond.  I could be super sad about this and worried about the future or I can embrace each and every second!

Obviously, I’m going for the second choice.  So, how am I embracing every single second?  First, I’m trying to check in as much as humanly possible, which isn’t always easy for me with that frustrating teacher schedule of mine, but I am trying!  This might mean, of course, that I’m taking a few minutes out of my day to watch the latest TV appearance.  Speaking of, did you see the performance and interview from X-Factor Italy?

Or what about the performance at Jools Holland in the UK?

Both are well-worth the watch AND sharing!  Yes, please, share away.  Remind people to buy and share, in fact.  This reminds me of the old phrase about voting in Chicago, which is, “Vote early.  Vote often.”  To adapt that quote to now, “Buy early.  Buy often.”  Another thing to say could be, “Share early.  Share often.”  That is another good way, I think, to embrace this time and ensure that every one around you is, too!!!  Of course, having lots of lots of discussion everywhere and anywhere about Duran is important, too.  Heck, I know that my students and my colleagues are probably getting sick of me mentioning Duran and the new album.  (Do you think it would be wrong to include a Duran Duran question on the next quiz for extra credit?!)  I figure, though, that if they aren’t sick of it, then I’m not mentioning it enough!

Beyond all of those ways to live in the moment and embrace the present,  I think, most importantly, it is good just to focus on the now.  I don’t want to spend a lot of time looking back.  It wasn’t that those times weren’t amazing as many other album cycles really were.  I know, for instance, that Rhonda and I wish we were headed back to the UK after seeing a few shows over there for the All You Need Is Now tour.  Yet, as much as I loved that time and always, always will, I don’t want to focus my energy there.  No, I want to listen to the new album over and over again.  I want to watch current clips of TV appearances.  I want to squee with excitement over news like winning awards or new videos.  I don’t want to be concerned with how long this will last or what the next album will be like or will there be a next.  I just want to be right here, right now enjoying Duran Duran.

-A

 

 

Daily Duranie Video Review for Pressure Off!

Anyone see any good videos lately?  Anyone??  Anyone??  Bueller?  Obviously, we might have taken some time to watch a certain little video for Duran Duran’s Pressure Off a time or two thousand.  Then, of course, we took some more time to bring you all another of our ridiculous, why-don’t-we-ever-stop-talking video reviews of it!  While we could go on and on here in writing, we won’t.  We’ll just let the video speak for itself…after all, we talk enough for the video AND a written blog.  (Yes, it seems we are always very wordy!)  Enjoy!  snort

Now, you probably want to watch something much more…fun so we thought you might enjoy seeing Pressure Off again for the 38,456th time and then the 38,457th time and the 38,458th time…You get our point!

-A&R

Duran Duran Promotion: Large and Small Scale

I live for weekends.  It is my time to catch up on household chores, sleep, grading and, most importantly, Duran Duran, including any and all promotion!  This weekend is no different, except for the fact that I’ll also be getting ready to head to the west coast to see some band that I hear is pretty good playing some shows.  Before that, though, what do I need to know about this past week and what can I share about my past week that might also be fitting?

More Shows!

Is there anything better than tour season?!  I think not!  I love attending shows and I love to hear about others attending shows that I couldn’t go to.  Since last weekend, the band played in Denver, in Washington and in Reno.  Today, they are playing at the Life is Beautiful Festival in Las Vegas.  To say that they have been busy is an understatement!  So, what have I heard about these shows?  I have heard/read nothing but FABULOUS reviews!!!  The fan reports have said that Duran has been simply amazing!  I’m not hearing a lot of complaining about any factor in the show, including the setlist.  That isn’t to say that there aren’t complaints out there, just that I haven’t seen any.  Literally, it seems like every single Duranie I know thinks that the band is “on fire” and playing their hearts out!  This, of course, just increases my excitement to see them even more (like that is really even possible!!!)

The Ellen DeGeneres Show

Did everyone get a chance to watch this?  I was lucky enough to record it since it aired while I was at work.  (Seriously, how did we deal with TV appearances before the ability to record TV?!  Yes, I remember setting up the VCR but it always seemed problematic and that wasn’t available in my house until the mid-1980s!)  I understand that some people weren’t able to see it as the news broke in with live coverage of the Pope’s visit.  I’m sorry that happened to people as I know how frustrating that kind of thing can be!  Here it is if you haven’t seen it!

What did you all think about that performance?  I thought it was a solid performance but it didn’t “wow” me quite as much as the performance on the Tonight Show.  I’m not sure why that is.  The only thing I can figure out is that I was a little weirded out by Simon and Janelle starting out by going through the crowd and being separated from the rest of the band.  I like it better when they all seem to feed off of each other and hard to do that when Simon is somewhere else.  That said, I’m always excited to see them perform on a show!

Spreading the Word:

One of the best parts of TV appearances is how easy it is for Duran to get the message about the new album out, into the general public. It also helps fans help the band with that, too.  I have barely had any time for social media the last few weeks but it seems to me that every time a TV appearance happens, I see at least 10-12 friends sharing it.  I know that I tell people about TV appearances, too.  In fact, I pointed out to my parents when Duran was going to be on the CBS Morning Show.  They made a point to not only watch it but also to give feedback to me.  It made me smile that both parents (who watched it separately) enjoyed the piece and thought that it thorough and respectful.  Just this past week, I found out that my sister also watched it!  The best part of that is that my niece was upset with her when she discovered that her mom didn’t save it for her to watch!  If nothing else, I’m spreading the Duranie love to my family!

Of course, I’m also spreading the love at work, too.  Here are a few stories as examples:

  • One of my colleagues was out to dinner with some friends when her friends start talking about karaoke.  The one friend says, “One of the best songs to perform is Duran Duran’s Rio!”  My colleague says, “That’s funny that you mention them as my co-worker is a HUGE Duran fan.  Did you know that their new album dropped this month?  It’s true!”  (Stories like this make me proud!)
  • My students have heard about Duran Duran a lot in these first few weeks of the school year.  In fact, one activity we do asks the students to look at “artifacts” and come to a conclusion, as a means on knowing how to be a social scientist.  I showed them a bunch of Duran stuff.  They could figure out my fan story!
  • Just yesterday, one student asked me if I knew who Amy Winehouse was.  I said that I did and explained that there was a Duran connection due to Mark Ronson working with both.  That student’s responded with how much I know about Duran and how good they must be.

The point here is simple.  The shows, the TV appearances, social media, word of mouth are all doing the exact same thing…spreading the word!  They are getting and keeping Duran Duran at the front of people’s mind rather than the back.  A worthy task, indeed!

-A

Duran Duran at iHeart Music Festival

Raise your hands!  Who was up late last night anxiously waiting for our favorite band to appear on stage at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas as part of the iHeart Music Festival, which, thankfully, was streamed online?!  I was, along with my partner-in-crime, despite or, maybe, because of my better judgment.  I wasn’t feeling all that great and had been up since 4:30 in the morning.  Yet, I figured that it would be a chance to practice for tour and a fun way to spend a Friday night as we hung out online, chatting with other fans through it all!  Oh, yes, we certainly needed to vent, to whine, to complain, to laugh, to talk about many, many of the artists appearing before Duran Duran.  (Seriously, people, can someone please explain Lil Wayne and his appeal?!  I’m not removed from youth culture as I teach in an urban high school but I still don’t get it.  To say that he is a misogynist would be an understatement!)  After what seemed like decades, at times, Duran Duran finally appeared.  If you missed the performance, YouTube can provide:

Want to know what I thought about this performance?!  I assume you do because you are here and still reading!

The Crowd

I truly do feel like crowds/audiences matter.  I have seen shows in which the crowd give Duran Duran a boost as if the audience was sending energy directly to the band.  I have also seen shows in which the crowd lacks excitement, bringing Duran down or making it REALLY hard for them to keep up their enthusiasm.  Then, there are shows like this.  The Killers played right before Duran and I watched in shock at how much they had to really push to get the audience involved and excited for even some of their biggest, most well-known songs like Mr. Brightside.  The audience wasn’t having it.  Was the crowd there to just see Kanye or to see Lil Wayne?  Clearly, if the Killers weren’t their thing, it was going to be super tough for Duran.  People were obviously sitting.  Even when the camera scanned for someone excited, someone who might know the lyrics, it seemed to be a struggle to find any sort of fan or positive energy heading Duran’s way.  It was upsetting for me to watch as I could tell that they were giving it their all.  I wonder how many Duranies actually attended this festival.  I don’t really know anyone who did and I have to wonder if that would have made a difference.

Setlist

Duran kept to a hits based setlist, much like the Killers did, frankly.  Duran played Wild Boys, Hungry Like the Wolf, Pressure Off, Ordinary World and Rio.  I think it is pretty standard for bands/artists to play big hits when playing a festival.  After all, the crowd is not filled with just Duranies, but with people who might not know Duran or might not know them well.  Therefore, it is safe to play the hits as maybe some people will recognize them, remember how good they are, seek out albums, etc.  Yet, I don’t think that works as well for a festival like this one.  It seemed to me that most of the audience was young–far too young to know any of those hits, including the most recent, Ordinary World.  So, if they don’t know the hits anyway, would Duran have been better to showcase more of their new stuff?  After all, we know it has a very modern sound to it.  Could they have won the audience over somewhat with new songs?  Maybe.  I just know that by the time Pressure Off was played, most of the audience had stopped paying attention, which is really sad because it is very clear that Duran is loving that song and love playing it live.

Simon

By the end of the night, most of the discussion on Twitter began to focus on Simon and concern people have.  He seemed to really strain himself during Ordinary World and people commented about how that seemed to be the case during the Today Show mini-concert, too.  I have heard from other fans that they assume he isn’t feeling well as he was blowing his nose a lot during the show at Terminal 5 (Look for a guest blog on that show soon!).  I obviously don’t know if he is fighting some sort of bug or what, but I do know that I saw a lot of concerned fans last night who are only focused on Simon’s health and well-being.

Positives

So far my commentary has focused on some of the less than thrilling thoughts I have regarding last night’s performance but I don’t want to leave you all with the impression that nothing was good about last night.  On the contrary, there was plenty right with last night.  First, it was a heck of a lot of fun to virtually hang with other fans while watching and I was pleased to see so many fans join us despite the lateness of the hour.  Second, it is ALWAYS good to see a performance of Duran’s.  All it takes is one or two moments to remember why you love them so.  For example, seeing John, Simon and Dom in a row on stage rocking out to Wild Boys always gives me goosebumps.  Seeing the playful exchange between Anna and Simon during Pressure Off only increases my excitement in seeing that one live.  EVERY.  SINGLE.  MOMENT. of JoSi (John and Simon) or DoJo (Dom and John) reminds me.  Speaking of DoJo, was it my imagination or were there tons of DoJo moments?!  It felt like practically every song featured a moment or two!  As Rhonda and I were pointing out last night, those DoJo moments at the Bowl will be “sweet torture”.  We cannot wait!!!  Beyond all of that, the fangirl in me is forced to admit that they also looked pretty dang good last night!!  I might have squeed a time or two when the camera moved to that bass player guy.

Enough about what I thought!  What about the rest of you?  What did you think of their performance?  The crowd?  Anyone actually there in attendance?  If so, I would love to hear your perspective!  All I do know is that it is going to be a long 10 days before I leave for tour!

-A

Duran Duran on CBS Sunday Morning!

I LOVE Duran Duran TV appearances!  What fan doesn’t, right?  Nonetheless, this one I have been anticipating for a VERY long time since I knew that they had filmed it awhile ago and there is something about appearing on THIS show.  To me, CBS Sunday Morning is a serious show to be on.  It isn’t just about entertainment like an appearance on Entertainment Tonight (not that there is anything wrong with that!) but this show is about more than the latest in celebrity and Hollywood news.  This is about NEWS.  It is about diving deeper into various topics.  My PARENTS watch this show.  (By the way, they were excited to hear that Duran was on!  They always support my fandom and I think they are secret fans!)  Therefore, I had high hopes for this particular TV appearance.  So, how was it?

Duran’s segment was saved for the last half hour, which on one hand is like torture for those of us watching and anxiously waiting.  On the other hand, I kinda like it.  The best is saved for the end of the program, right?  To keep the viewers watching?  Oh yeah, we were watching all right!  Of course, the tease to Duran’s segment featured Rio but before I even saw the complete part, I was excited.  Why?  The interviewer did not just adopt this idea of the video for Rio being about excess and that Duran lived this decadent lifestyle.  No, they understood that the video was not representational.

The segment was typical, in some ways, as it definitely gave some history and focused a lot on the success of the 1980s.  The part that I really appreciated was the focus on how the rock critics didn’t get them and as Simon said…the more girls they had who liked them, the more the press hated them.  Ah…the stigma that any band with a young female following seems to have.  Clearly, in the press’ eyes, young females should be dismissed as being dumb and uninformed about what good music sounds like, right?  Yeah, my women’s studies students would point out that this usual pattern is more of a case of sexism than anything else.  Another common discussion point that was included was about how connected Duran was to MTV and to videos.  Like the previous talking point, I think the show allowed Nick to make some good points about this connection to videos, which were that they had no idea how “potent” they would be and how they made “iconic” images that, sometimes, haunted them.  Both of these talking points were taken seriously by the show and they were shown to be both positive and negative for the band.  I always appreciate when the full picture of Duran Duran’s story is told like this.

The rest of the segment continued on to discuss Power Station and Arcadia, Simon’s sailing accident, and their comeback in the 1990s.  What I thought was interesting was the discussion at the end about whether or not they are seeking hit records.  Both John and Simon indicated that they are competitive and feel like they have as much going for them as anyone else to get that “attention” that comes with fame and commercial success.  While I can’t disagree with that (Duh!  Of course not!), I appreciated that John acknowledged that there is a part of him that wants to be unconcerned with hits but that there is another part of him that is concerned.  I get that.  I can understand that and I think we all witness that internal tug-of-war with every project they do.

All in all, this was a well-done piece.  They managed to cover a lot of history and topics in a very respectful and informed way.  Homework was clearly completed as the segment was accurate and it was obvious that they knew what issues could and should be discussed.  Truly, it was one of the best pieces I have seen on Duran in a very long time.

-A

P.S. I did want to thank CBS News for placing a link to this lovely blog on their page about what today’s show was going to be about.  To see our blog listed along Duran’s official site and social media sites, makes Rhonda and I beyond proud.

Screenshot of CBS News
Screenshot of CBS News

 

Paper Gods Extras, Birthdays and More!

Normally, I like my blogs to be focused on one topic, one idea, one thesis statement (yes, sometimes, the teacher in me pops out.  I apologize.).  Today, though, I’m feeling a bit scattered.  There is a variety of reasons for this, including all the actions with the new album, so much media that I can’t keep up, being super busy with the new school year, and having a parent who needed 24 stitches in his leg last night.  Thus, it is hard for me to focus on just one thing and this blog post will represent that!  I will try to make it fun despite (or because of) bouncing around!

Extra Tracks

How about those b-sides?!  Oops.  I meant—How about those extra tracks?  Raise your hand if you got the deluxe edition of Paper Gods and/or the Target edition of Paper Gods?!  I DID!  Despite the craziness to my day, I managed to hit the local Target at 10 pm in order to get my hands on a copy of that version!  (I don’t know if that shows my dedication or my insanity!  By the way, yesterday, my students found out about my Duranieness.  Let’s hope I got a few teenagers to go and check out the band!)  Anyway, I’m glad that I did get a copy of both to have all the songs!  In case, you have no idea what I’m talking about, in terms of these extra tracks, here’s a complete listing of songs off of Paper Gods:

  1. Paper Gods
  2. Last Night in the City
  3. You Kill Me with Silence
  4. Pressure Off
  5. Face for Today
  6. Danceophobia
  7. What Are the Chances?
  8. Sunset Garage
  9. Change the Skyline
  10. Butterfly Girl
  11. Only in Dreams
  12. The Universe Alone
  13. Planet Roaring (available only on the deluxe edition)
  14. Valentine Stones (available only on the deluxe edition)
  15. Northern Lights (available only on the deluxe edition)
  16. On Evil Beach (available only on Target edition)
  17. Cinderella Ride (available only on Target edition)

Interestingly enough, with 17 tracks, it equals the same number of songs as what was available with All You Need Is Now.  So, what’s the verdict with these bonus or extra tracks?  I’ve seen nothing but positives and, in some cases, rave reviews about them!  Some (like me) might even be questioning why some of these weren’t included in the regular album.  Then again, we know that many of the best Duran songs weren’t official album tracks but those handy, dandy b-sides like Secret Oktober and Late Bar.  Thus, it makes sense that some of the best tracks are these extra ones.  I have not seen these songs anywhere online to listen to, stream, etc.  My recommendation–do yourself a favor and go buy those other versions to have all the songs.  Trust me.  You will be glad you did, especially for songs like Planet Roaring (the lyrics to this one put me in tears!), Northern Lights and Cinderella Ride (which is prompting some…RhondacoughRhonda…to declare new favorite songs).  As with all these songs, a full review by yours truly and that partner-in-crime of mine will be coming…at some point.

Bestival

Yesterday Duran Duran played at Bestival, a festival located at Robin Hill in the Isle of Wight.  I did have a chance to look at the setlist and see some photos that Duran Duran posted on their social media.  My reactions?

  • The Setlist:

Bestival Setlist

 

What interests me is which NEW songs have they played.  So far, between this show and the last show they did at the Gibraltar Festival, they have played Pressure Off and Last Night in the City.  I figure we won’t know exactly which new songs are going to be featured until they play the first non-festival gig, which could be the show coming up at Terminal 5 in New York City on the 14th.

  • Photos!

If you haven’t had a chance to take a look at the photos Duran Duran posted on both Twitter and Facebook from the festival, do so!  While all the photos are great, there is a picture of DoJo (Dom and John) that really caught my attention!!!!  I LOVE their musical chemistry.  Thus, I would really, really, really like to see a lot of that at the shows I have tickets for (Hollywood Bowl, Berkeley and Agua Caliente) along with lots of JoSi, of course!!

Interviews/Media

Like I said, I have really struggling to keep up with all of these!  I have been having about 18 hour days so I’m squeezing Duran in, when and where I can!  That said, the interview below is totally cute and well worth taking the time for!

Another recent message that is a must read is the little blog post that Simon Le Bon wrote that was posted on the official website, which you can read here.  He really recommends listening to the entire album as a whole.  I think he is pointing out something that I talked about a few weeks ago, which is how sometimes the whole is much greater than the sum of its parts.

OUR BIRTHDAY!!!!

Last, but certainly not least, tomorrow is our birthday!!!  We are turning 5!  That’s right!  We have been doing this little blog, website, organization, institution, insane asylum, or whatever you want to call it for 5 years as of tomorrow!  In usual Daily Duranie fashion, that means that we are having a party!  It is an online party in which we will be watching a little YouTube playlist (link is coming!) which includes some of our favorite Duran clips while having a few vodka tonics and chatting about it all with everyone on Facebook and Twitter!  To get all of the details and to RSVP for the most fun you can have on a Sunday, go to our Facebook event page here!  We cannot wait to celebrate with all of you!!!

-A