Tag Archives: The Universe Alone

It’s Beautiful, The Dying Sun

Hi everyone. I’m sorry I missed blogging yesterday.  My family said a difficult goodbye to my mom’s partner yesterday.  The process reopened wounds that had hardly closed for my entire family.  On the same token, seeing the love that my mom has for her friend was beautiful. It reminded me to take stock of what is really important.  Lyrics from “The Universe Alone” kept springing to mind throughout the day. They still do.

It seems like it was only a short time ago that I found myself thinking “Day One (without my Dad)”, as I pressed the buttons on our house phone to call my mom.  I needed to hear her voice in order to know she was OK.  Today I hesitated to make that call.  I know she’s fine, and I realize she really needs a little privacy to just be.  It wasn’t long before I saw an unsolicited email from her, confirming that yes – she’s fine, and she’s handling the loose ends (of which there are plenty).  This is simply a new beginning. None of us were eager to begin this new start, but somehow we’ve found ourselves doing just that.

That seems to be an ongoing theme for me lately. Finishing our book brought me to some sort of weird crossroad.  It’s going to take me some time to figure it all out.  At the very least, I’m coming to terms with the idea that it’s OK to start anew.  Writing my story closed the door on my past chapters of fandom, and I’m ready to see what is next. It’s probably not going to be the same as it once was, and that’s OK.

I’m very much looking forward to seeing friends I don’t have the opportunity to see often.  For me, THAT is what gives the trip it’s energy. Seeing Duran Duran is a bonus, but the friendships fuel me, and right now —I need all the love and energy I can get.  And, let’s face it, once I’m in front of Simon, John, Roger, Nick and of course…Dom, I think I’m going to be OK.  🙂  I need my favorite people and my favorite music for a little while. The timing couldn’t really be any better for a new beginning.

-R

 

We Fans Choose the Setlist Only In Dreams

This week I’ve seen a few tweets from Anna letting us know that she’s getting back into Duran Duran touring mode, posting songs and evening mentioning informal rehearsals. The band themselves have been very, very quiet – only Dom poking his head up long enough to post yet another RIP tweet, this time for Sir George Martin.

As I mentioned, Anna has posted a couple of songs on her FB page this week, and naturally those always seem to get responses from fans hoping out loud that they’ll play one song or another. Not much changes from tour to tour – fans want it all and then some. I would imagine the band could play for hours and we’d still be crying for more, wouldn’t we?

Just today, Anna posted Only In Dreams – a song that was not played here in the US for their tour in October.  I realize that some readers may believe I keep track of what is played and when, but the truth is that unless they’ve omitted Hungry Like the Wolf, added Secret Oktober, or played something else I haven’t heard in a while, I’m probably not going to notice, and certainly not when it’s a show I didn’t attend. So I’d forgotten that they’d played Only In Dreams on their recent UK tour in December as I thought to myself that it’s another song I’d really love to hear live. Just as I’d posted that though, another fan or two said that they didn’t think the song “worked” live and that there are plenty other, better songs, on the album.

First of all, I chuckled when I saw the comments because, let’s face it, if you’re Duran Duran – there’s really no winning this setlist thing. People like ME are always going to say they’ve heard certain songs entirely too much, people like some of YOU are going to say that it’s not a Duran Duran show unless you hear <insert any hit they’ve ever had here>. There’s no winning because someone is always going to be pissed off that they didn’t play one thing or another. And truthfully, that’s our problem, isn’t it?

I’ve spent more than my fair share of writing time campaigning for one song or another – I use my platform well (whether it’s effective or not!), but the reality is that the band is gonna play what they want and we’re going to like it and keep going, or we’re not.  And if I’m any proof, it turns out that many of us are going to grit our teeth and sing our way through as many shows as we can manage each tour.

Secondly though, I thought about what the person said about Only In Dreams not really “working” live. Interestingly enough, I saw more than one person mention that it’s a relatively slow song and  wanes in energy. That can be a hazard for live shows, I suppose. I remember seeing the Red Carpet Massacre tour, and there were a couple of songs from that album that created something of a vacuum in the venue, sucking the energy right out of the room. Once that happens, it’s very difficult to get the audience back “up”. It’s a vicious circle beyond that, because the band feeds off of the crowd’s energy and vice-versa. For me, Only In Dreams is a song I love because it reminds me so much of what it is like to be a fan, but that doesn’t necessarily translate well to others in the audience, and with the song being slower than say, “Pressure Off”…. Well, I can understand if it’s not the set list.

Another song that is often mentioned and hasn’t been performed (to my knowledge anyway!) is The Universe Alone. The song is huge, epic, and probably the masterpiece off of that album. I don’t even know if it is a song they can perform – but it is certainly one that they should. I could go on like this all day, but only the band knows what they are willing and ready to play, and I know that no matter what they play, many of us will be ready to tell them they should have played X, Y & Z instead!

So, if you could have them add a song or two from Paper Gods that hasn’t been played yet, what would you suggest and why?

-R

Got Me Trapped

It’s time for another confessional, Daily Duranie-style!

Today was the last day of learning center for my kids before a much deserved winter break. Two weeks of not having to get up before it’s light outside, two glorious weeks of not dealing with traffic, having to listen to talk-radio (it’s all that my son will tolerate the first thing in the morning) or begging my youngest to please get up out of bed and get dressed, well after her alarm has gone off (and she’s shut it off only to go back to bed!).
As my two grabbed their backpacks and gifts for their teachers out of my car and made their way past the new guard gate to their classrooms,  I pulled out of the parking lot – I hit “shuffle” on my phone so that I could listen to music on the way home. I really do like having that little bit of time to just listen to my own music as I’m driving back home – while the drive to school takes about an hour most days, the drive home only takes about a half-hour, but it’s enough time to clear my head.  One of the songs that came up today was “All Along the Water” off of Liberty. I know many of our readers would have quickly hit “next”.  I didn’t.  In fact, and this is where the “confessional” comes in, I actually LIKE the song. A lot.

Yes, I know what the song is supposedly about. I can hear the lyrics and it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to decipher them. I don’t really care.  In fact, I don’t really care in the same way that I don’t really care that any time he’s asked about his lyrics, he likes to fall back on the whole “it’s about SEX” thing as an answer.  The thing is, the song usually wakes me up, gets me moving, and I like that it’s especially cheeky, too. Who cares??

I know many fans don’t like Liberty, and count it among their least favorite albums. Personally, I like it, and I’m totally OK with being an outsider on that one. I love “Serious”. I like “Violence of Summer”, particularly when I’m belting it at the top of my lungs while driving home at 2am (long story). “All Along the Water” is one of my favorites on the album. It’s fun, and there are times, this morning included, when I need a little frivolity to start the day! No, maybe it’s not the most serious piece of music the band has ever written. I guess it’s probably not going to be one of their masterpieces in the same way I would venture to guess “Paper Gods” or “The Universe Alone” will become. It doesn’t matter. Sometimes, music is just supposed to be FUN. For me, that song fits the description! I’d love to see them do it live. Can you imagine?? (No, you probably can’t…but I sure can!)

For me, this holiday season has not been especially easy. I’ve had to start being a little more creative in finding some enjoyment. It has been the small moments – things I overlooked in past years I think, that have put a smile on my face and made me appreciate the season and life in general. Things like watching The Polar Express with my youngest (and keeping her up WAY past her bedtime to do it!), listening to her sing “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch”, or listening to her sing her solo part in “What Does the Fox Say” over and over and over…and over…again (because of course she’d get a solo part in that song!), taking my son to see the college of his dreams and witnessing him practically beam over being there, playing “Uno” late at night with the two older kids,  seeing tweets from band members about shows they’ve done or are going to do next year, and yes…hearing songs like “All Along the Water” come up on shuffle.  It has been the little things that have kept me going lately.

Dear readers: name your guiltiest (DD song) pleasures! What song do you find yourself bopping your head to, even though you’re sure it would be met with scorn by the rest of the community?  I’ll be interested to read your responses!

-R