Tag Archives: Red Carpet Massacre album

Fight it, or Invite It

Honesty

Yesterday morning, I received a text from Jason, letting me know that he’d posted the blog. (check it out here if you haven’t yet!) Somewhat cryptically, he mentioned that he hoped it wasn’t too rough. The guest blogger he’d worked with was open and candid with regard to her feelings about the videos they’d reviewed. He wanted an honest reaction, and judging by what I read, I believe he received just that.

I replied saying although I hadn’t yet read the piece, I wasn’t concerned. Following up, I told him that I valued honesty, and looked forward to reading it in a few minutes.

After making the drive to school, I pulled into a parking spot and grabbed my phone. He’d sparked my curiosity, and I found that I didn’t want to wait until I got home. As I read both his parts and those of his guest, I chuckled in more than one spot. I found Aurora Montgomery’s comments to be refreshingly genuine. She delivered them with a humorous approach that I aspire to incorporate into my own writing.

One particular sentence about “Electric Barbarella” made me cackle. “This robot woman exists and dresses solely for them, and from the beginning it was my sincere hope that she would end up murdering the band before the video’s close.” Brutal honesty. I like it.

Cuteness and condescension

Over the years, my writing and open opinion have taken a bit of a roller coaster effect. From love letter to brutally cynical, gushingly cute to overly critical, I don’t know if I’ve ever stumbled upon the magic formula for writing. It is difficult to compose a fan blog each day knowing in the back of your mind that many will never take you seriously. I’ve gone from being embraced to shunned in just a few keystrokes. Consistently though, I’ve remained honest.

When we invite guests to share their opinions, we accept that not everyone is on the same page. In the case of Aurora Montgomery, she’s not even a Duran Duran fan. Instead, she is a respected professional. I don’t think it has to be a given that a critic dislikes everything Duran Duran has done. However, I respect that her point of view will be vastly different (and unbiased) from my own.

Remaining unbiased is difficult. There is no denying that someone like me, a (nearly) lifelong fan of Duran Duran, is going to have a certain amount of emotion leading my opinions. The idea that somehow, on a blog named Daily Duranie, we would be unbiased is laughable. Fellow fans have commented saying that our blog is cute, following up by saying we’re so biased and fan-girly. All of the above delivered with just a bit too much all-knowing condescension to be kind.

Emotion is a complication

I tend to react by grimacing, knowing that there’s little I can do to change the perception. It’s irritating. On one hand, if I didn’t have any emotion for Duran Duran, why on earth would I write every day about them? On the other, I stopped being “cute” in about 1982. I realize blogging about Duran Duran isn’t changing the world. It isn’t going to solve the climate crisis, or find the cure for cancer. It is about music. Each of us who dedicate the time and energy to write here are fans.

Emotion is a complication. For me, it’s a constant struggle to find the sweet spot between having fun, acknowledging my fandom, while still exercising some critical thinking in the process. I love Duran Duran, but I don’t love everything they’ve done. That’s not likely to change, and that’s okay!

You want real?

I don’t live every second of my life worshipping the sand that Rio danced on. I still believe that Red Carpet Massacre was a half-hearted attempt to stay in the good graces of a label and remain relevant. That doesn’t mean I don’t love Rio. I’ve found several songs on Red Carpet Massacre to enjoy.

Paper Gods wasn’t an “instant like” for me. It took me months to come to terms with it. I did eventually bond with several songs, and there are more than a few lines of lyric on there that feel very much like they were written for me. Personally though, I think their best has yet to come, they’ve just got to find it. I hope they don’t give up before it gets written.

I was never a Warren fan, and and would like to slap the fans who grovel at his feet while he puts down Duran Duran whenever and however possible. It’s gross, and by the way—geniuses don’t typically need to go around reminding people that they are, in fact, genius. I still don’t like the fact that they don’t have a dedicated guitarist – even if that guitarist isn’t Dom. Do what you gotta do, but find someone who you’ll agree to having as a band member that has an actual relationship with you and your music. If pressed, I’d tell you that the one element they’ve been missing from their recorded music is a good, emotive, rock guitar that is the polar opposite of the synthesizer line. That goes across the board, from Seven and the Ragged Tiger through to Paper Gods. Bam. Those are my opinions, even if you don’t like ‘em. Real, and unapologetic. Yet, I’ll still be among the first to shout from the rooftops whenever Duran Duran needs. Go figure.

Emotion doesn’t make it unworthy

All of those opinions come with forty years of emotion, and ten years of blogging experience behind them. Does that make them any less worthy? Not to me, but please— you decide on your own. Even a music critic writes with emotion. Critics love music, even if they don’t love the album or even the band they’re reviewing at the time.

For the record, I think the video would have gone better with your suggested ending, Aurora. There’s some emotion for ya!

-R

Question of the Day: Friday, November 8, 2019

Yesterday’s winner: Medazzaland

Which album would you prefer to see live in entirety: Astronaut or Red Carpet Massacre?

Coming Soon
Which album would you prefer to see/hear live in entirety?
Astronaut
Red Carpet Massacre

Whole Albums?

Right around this time eleven years ago, Duran Duran was playing on Broadway in New York City as a way to promote their new album,  Red Carpet Massacre.  The show consisted of three acts.  They played the entire album of Red Carpet Massacre except for bonus tracks, in order, for the first act.  The second one included the electro set in which they played a few tracks, electronically, at the front of the stage before moving on to the third act, which felt like a usual Duran show with their classic hits.

I was lucky enough to attend one of these shows.  In fact, I saw the show in which Donald Trump was in attendance.  (For the record, I had better seats than he did.)  Anyway, I thought and still think that this was a brilliant way to introduce a new album.  Fans get to see their old favorites during the third act.  The electro set was special and awesome in its own right but then you get to hear each and every new song live.  I don’t know about the rest of you but seeing/hearing songs live make them so much better.  In all seriousness, I struggle to listen to studio versions of many Duran songs after seeing them live.  With Red Carpet Massacre, hearing the songs live took away some of those overproduction and left the song to speak for itself.  I cannot help but to think about one song, in particular, which is Tricked Out.  On the album, it feels like a bad 70s science fiction TV show’s theme song.  Live, it was all about the guitars.  I have loved the song ever since.

So, if playing a whole album works to promote an album, would it work for an older album?  While I’m not sure how many copies of an old album would be sold through that method, but I’m certain that there would be new appreciation for the songs.  It might even excite more fans to come buy tickets.  That has to be just as good as selling albums, right?  I think so!  Plus, many people think this might be good for the 40th anniversary as a way to capture Duran’s career.  It might also sell more concert tickets, especially from the hardcore fans who would definitely like to hear something more than the hits known by the general public.

So if it is a winning idea, which album should be chosen?  The immediate fan response is probably Rio.  That would draw the crowd!  It would be easier on the band since many songs from that album are all ready in the rotation for setlist these days so they wouldn’t have to practice all of them.  From my perspective, though, I’m not sure that I would choose Rio.  It definitely isn’t that I don’t like it.  No, part of my hesitation is that I have seen all the songs from that album live.  Granted they were not all at the same show but still.   Selfishly, I would like to broaden which songs I have seen live.  (I hope that doesn’t make me sound like a terrible person.)   The other part would be sad for the fans is that Rio is short.  It is a short album in terms of number of songs but also how long the songs are themselves.

No, I think that if I had my choice, it would be a longer album.  While I adore the first three, those are all relatively short.  I might choose All You Need Is Now.  It is a solid album, all the way through, and it brings back lots of great memories.  On top of it, since it is relatively new, it could help sell more copies of that one.  What about the rest of you?  Which album would you love to see played all the way through, in order?

-A