Tag Archives: Tame Impala

Final 2016 Year End Katy Kafe with Simon LeBon

On today’s final 2016 year end Katy Kafe, Simon LeBon took time out from a busy day (they performed for Brian Cox’s charity that evening) to chat, covering everything from the weather to the Far East!

Simon begins by saying that it isn’t very cold by UK standards for December. Apparently the weather is hovering around the 40 degree F mark most days. Freezing for Southern California, mild for everyone else!  Katy asks what his favorite “tipple” for Christmastime might be (tipple is alcohol if you’re scratching your head in wonder).  Simon responds exactly as I’d imagined, “Everything!” He does say though that he had some cider brandy shipped to him and is really enjoying that. (I won’t lie, I immediately decided to do a search for that online because it sounds like something I would be into!) After saying that he likes anything from red wine to beer, to champagne, white wine, etc…they move on to the favorites for the year.

World Event

Simon mentions a few things, but first is Brexit. Simon has an interesting take on this—rather than be outraged by the outcome, he is thrilled that the UK was allowed to voice their opinions and make a decision, citing that many other places in the world have “so-called democracies” and yet the people really aren’t allowed to make the big decisions. I can certainly understand that sentiment, and I applaud his open-mindedness.

The ongoing “sad and tragic” war in Syria is also mentioned, and I agree wholeheartedly with Simon that we certainly cannot forget those people or their suffering.

He also cites the electoral race here in America, calling Trump an “extraordinary candidate”, and saying that he isn’t a big fan of Clinton either. He does say though that Trump has wanted this office for a long time, and that now he’s got it, and he had better do something productive with it, going on to remind us that Americans know how to get their Presidents OUT of office if need be.

The Olympics is another big event for 2016, commenting that Andy Murray’s big win in tennis is a first in a very long time for the UK.  (I don’t mind adding here that the Olympics feels like it happened two years ago rather than just this past August. Unreal!)

Favorite Movie

At first, Simon doesn’t recall if he’s actually seen anything, saying that this category could actually be “What ONE film did you see in the theater this year, Simon?”

He then remembers that he saw Jungle Book with John, and he did just recently see Fantastic Beasts, but overall he wants to defer the question to next year, or at least until he goes to see Nocturnal Animals.

Favorite Book

The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry  It is a love story taking place in the Victorian era, and it focuses on the struggle between religion and science. Simon read it quickly and says “It is as good as a book gets.” So there you have it!

Favorite TV Show

He mentions several, but settles on The Vikings, saying that it is brutal and sexy.

Favorite Album

This category nearly stumps Simon. Katy mentions Blackstar by David Bowie, but Simon says no, that it was too depressing. He prefers upbeat. He says he’s still listening to Tame Impala’s album, and then also mentions Lemonade by Beyoncé, explaining that he loves the project as a whole.

Favorite DD Event

Simon says he loved the tour. All of it, going on to explain that the shows were good and consistent, and so he can’t pick out one moment. He really loved it all.

Personal Event

He really enjoyed sailing but that nothing compares to being on stage. He’s having more fun now, and it’s likely because he realizes that it can’t go on forever.

Onward to 2017

Simon eagerly exclaims “The tour!” He follows that up by saying, “When I am in this mode, it is the single most important thing.” He likes the simplicity of it.  They are still trying to schedule shows in the Far East, and at the time this was recorded they were thinking those shows would be towards the end of next year. I think the takeaway is two-fold: 1. They don’t know for sure where they are going or when.  2. There is no real set schedule for returning to the studio – so we cannot hang on every single word the band says about such things, at least not yet!

-R

The Challenge of New Music

Last week, my posts centered around summarizing the year-end Katy Kafe’s with each of the band members. During the Kafe with John, time was spent discussing the reception of Paper Gods, both by the universe-at-hand (as it was categorized as Pop on iTunes) and by fans (in the discussion of how the band knows who they are at this point, and how the fan base seems to have responded to the album, whether positively or negatively).

I offered my own take from observing the fan base over the past five years (while blogging). It seems to me that there is definitely a faction within (the core fans) that feel that unless the band is following through with the sounds of the first few albums, they are not being true to themselves.  In saying that, I am completely aware that not all fans feel that way. I myself do not feel that way, but that doesn’t change that the feeling exists, and all one needs do is see some responses to the album on Duran Duran’s own Facebook page. Time and space did not really allow for any hypothesizing possible reasons for that feeling here on the blog, although we were offered a few justifications by fans on Twitter that are worthy of discussion.

To summarize, the feedback is simply that the challenge Duran Duran have before them (with regard to fans) is that many have stopped listening to new music. They listen to what they enjoyed while growing up without challenging themselves to expand their knowledge. So the expectation is that Duran Duran will continue to sound like Duran Duran.

To begin with, I don’t think this opinion is necessarily incorrect. I may not necessarily share in the final summation, but I think that for many fans – they’ve just stopped listening to other music. Why is that? Well, let’s be honest: it takes real work and time to stay current. For the vast majority of Duran Duran fans, they’ve hit middle age. They’re busy with careers, families, children…even grandchildren.

For “fun”, I’ll use myself as the example. On any given day, I get up no later than 6:45, rush to get ready and get downstairs. I make coffee and then I write the blog as quickly as possible. I feed my cats, my dog, start laundry, and then I get my two kids who are still living at  home up so that we can begin teaching (I homeschool if you haven’t caught on to that previously). For the next 4-6 hours, I’m trying to be a teacher while still sneaking glances at my phone to make sure the blog hasn’t blown up, there’s no “news” to report, there are no emails that need response, etc. While I suppose I could write while listening to music, I typically don’t – I’m one of those that likes it dead quiet until the caffeine takes effect. I can’t listen to music while teaching is going on because it would be pandemonium, and even while my youngest is working on projects or assignments – music tends to act as a distraction more than a help, and if I’m on earbuds, that is just begging for her to get up and wander away. After school, I’m typically running kids to their various activities – I suppose I could listen in the car, but if you’ve read my blogs recently then you know that my youngest thinks I’m her personal DJ while we’re driving. I do what I can, though, even if it’s just 15 minutes listening to the radio. Then I’m home to make dinner, clean up from dinner, get the youngest to bed, and by then I’m ready to drop. The last thing I’m thinking about at 9:30pm is sitting down to Spotify to “discover” something new, as bad as that sounds. I do my best, even if it’s only for a half-hour of trying out something new on the weekends. To be completely fair, I may have a leg-up on many out there because my kids keep me informed in one way or another.  The point still remains that it all takes time, and unless you’re listening to the radio (and your radio station branches out beyond the typical top-40), it is VERY easy to get lazy and stop challenging your ears. It is comfortable to continue listening to the music from the 80s because it is what is known and liked. The effort comes in to play as the comfort zone is left behind for new territory.

So what is really going on there? Well, I liken it to the same way we tend to stop learning. Ever noticed that the older some of our parents get, the more “stuck-in their ways” they seem to get? My in-laws tend to eat at the same four restaurants and they never leave their town. (I wish I were joking. I’m not.) My mom, on the other hand, tends to formulate many of her opinions based on what she hears from peers at the active senior apartment complex where she lives. There isn’t a lot of outside exposure going on the way there might have been when she was young and dealing with a much wider variety of people. Rather than get myself into trouble in case she’s reading – I’ll just say that her opinions are a lot more well-informed by people who think exactly like her these days. The older we get, the slower the flow of the “information faucet”. The pipe becomes corroded, and the stream slowly narrows to a steady drip. The same natural process occurs with music, if allowed.

So what does one do to keep themselves out of a musical rut? Well, in the very same way that my mom was told by her doctor that she should do mental puzzles like crosswords or practice the piano to keep her mind limber, it would seem that one should take time to exercise their ears and music-appreciation portions of the brain. This is much of the reason why I revel when a band member mentions new music that they’re enjoying. It cuts out a lot of my work, to be honest, because instead of searching through the “new discovery” area of Spotify, I go straight to the search box and type in whatever was mentioned. That doesn’t mean I’m necessarily going to love what they enjoy – but it does mean that at least I have a starting point. For example, I spent time last week listening to Julia Holter – an artist that John mentioned in his Kafe last week. I also gave Tame Impala and even The Weeknd another try, both mentioned by band members last week.  Music is a lot like food in that sometimes, one must expose the taste buds to the new flavor several times before it’s really enjoyed, and then other times – its instant euphoria.

Another possibility comes by way of streaming, like Apple Music, Spotify, or other applications. They each seem to have their own “discover new music” platform. My sister Robin raves about the new groups she’s found through Apple Music’s suggestions. Granted, she spends all day working with earbuds planted in her ears these days, but even she utilizes what is out there to keep her ears lubricated with new sounds, and to be honest: she is much better about it than I am.

I don’t think it matters how we keep our ears exercised, limber and young, as long as we try our best to keep challenging ourselves. Even Paper Gods gave me that challenge. At first, I struggled with the new sounds. I wasn’t sure. I definitely didn’t get it right away. I refused to give up, and I am thankful I didn’t. I appreciate the album far more as a result, and to be honest: I needed the exposure to something new. It was a good kick-in-the-pants for me.

Many may sit back, read this post and figure that they’re happy with what they’ve got. They don’t NEED new music. Fair enough. Far be it from Daily Duranie to argue about expanding one’s musical tastes beyond Duran Duran. That said, I don’t think those people can seriously be disappointed or upset with the band for expanding their OWN musical genre beyond what was popular in 1981, 1985, 1993 or even 2010.  It would make as little sense for Duran Duran to continue rewriting exactly what was on Rio as it would for any 45-year-old to continue wearing parachute pants, banana (hair) clips or bomber jackets. Some might, but that doesn’t make those people particularly interesting – merely just throwbacks to a time that has already passed. Why would we want that for Duran Duran?

So your homework from me this week is to get out there and listen to something new!! When you find something of interest: post it here, on Facebook, on Twitter or even on our Daily Duranie message board (link is up above you in the navigation menu!) for anyone and everyone else to try!

-R

 

 

Year End 2015 Katy Kafe with Simon Le Bon!

There are some Kafes that you know right away are going to go well because everyone is in the right mood…and there are the ones when Simon is clearly tired and not really into having it right way.  Guess which category this one fit into???

As always, I listened carefully, tried to take notes (while not at all panicking about the amount of shopping, wrapping, cleaning and cooking I still need to do here before Thursday….), and compiled it all into the highlights, written here for your pleasure. Enjoy!

The Tour

I don’t know about everyone else, but by the time we’re in December, I’ve forgotten what the band did back in January or February. Turns out, they’ve done a lot this year. (Never mind putting out that little Paper Gods album…) Katy talks about the UK tour with Simon as he explains that he’s a “bit knackered”, but says that each show the UK tour got better and better, and then he mentions how the tour ended with a very small show for Warner in front of about 120 people in a small pub.  Katy makes the point that the two experiences – the War Child show (I’d completely forgotten about this, and it feels so long ago now that I’d truly thought it happened LAST year. Then again, their performance for the Lynch Foundation feels like a lifetime ago and that happened in April. Maybe it’s just me!) and the pub were like two bookends for all of the great shows, appearances, etc that happened in between. Not sure if Simon really caught on to what she was saying but…I got it, Katy!

Favorite Album of 2015

After a brief discussion, Simon settles on Tame Impala. The funny thing is that the cover Simon describes (because he can’t remember the name) is a “funny green cover.” The only thing coming close to that is their live versions album, made in 2014. I have no idea if this is what he meant – or if he’s confusing album covers, or if he really means Currents from this year. Who knows?!? (Listen people, I try…..)

Favorite Movie of 2015

Continuing on this theme…Simon’s favorite movie of 2015 is Whiplash, which actually came out in 2014. Simon doesn’t care though, because his attitude is that it’s the favorite movie he’s seen THIS year. Good on you, Simon!

As a side note – Simon and Yasmin will be celebrating their 30th anniversary on the 27th. Happy Anniversary!!

Favorite Book of 2015

Simon had absolutely no trouble answering this one, saying that Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James was by far his favorite book of the year. At 800 pages, it’s no short story, and Simon decided to listen to the audiobook of this one.  Each section of the book is written from a different prospective – in a different characters voice – so the audiobook really brought that to light.

Favorite Television of 2015

Simon mentions a few: True Detectives (with Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson), Broadchurch (UK show) and the second season of Fargo.

Favorite Moment(s) of 2015

His favorite show (or part thereof) was walking out on to the stage at Red Rocks. He speaks of how this was like a spaceship  and the beginning of the whole thing for them. Then he mentions a few other moments, such as playing at the Ambassador’s mansion in the UK, the FOLD festival, having Nile come out on stage at the Hollywood Bowl, and Lindsay Lohan at the O2, calling the year “incredible” and “Busy! Very, very busy!” They talk a little bit about the upcoming shows for 2016, including the two legs of US dates and how he doesn’t get into planning the tour itself, that his job is just to show up and get onstage…but that Nick is a “micromanager” (those are HIS WORDS, not mine!) and that he likes to get into planning where and when the dates happen.

(so apparently Amanda and I have Nick to thank for having the dates work so perfectly with our schedules. Amazing. And now we just need to sell some major organs so that we’re able to get to at least some of the dates!! 😀)

The Kafe wrapped up with Simon’s hopes for 2016. He is hoping for some world stability, and then mentioned that they are taking the proceeds from the Eagles of Death Metal version of Save a Prayer and creating some sort of foundation with EODM that works for tolerance and peace through music. It sounds like a lovely way to make something positive come out of something absolutely terrible. The Kafe ended on a much more energetic note than it began, and was a great wrap-up of a very busy year

Don’t tell Simon I told you, but he’s a fan of socks and underpants as Christmas gifts. (he may have also mentioned chocolates, cigars, wine and beer!)

Can you believe we’re nearly to 2016???

-R