Tag Archives: What Are The Chances

The Next Thing You Must Have–Duran Shopping

‘Tis the season.  I woke up this morning to lots of beautiful, peaceful, white snow on the ground.  It reminded me that the holiday season is just around the corner.  This means vacation, family time, good food, and more.  This year, the holiday season (no matter your holiday of choice) feels like a good time to appreciate what you have and embrace your loved ones.  For me, this embrace will still include gift giving.  Why?  I like to give gifts and like to make my family and friends happy.  Perhaps, you feel the same or, maybe, your family and friends are trying to figure out some items that they might buy you, the Duranie in their lives!  Here are some suggestions!!

Duran Duran Official Store

During this time of year, I always recommend checking out what is available in the official Duran Duran store.  Usually, there are some new goodies as well as some classics to buy.  Here are the items that have caught my attention!

Holiday Bauble Set

holidaybaubles2015.jpg-large

These are due out on Monday!!  I love that they are hand decorated glass and come in a wooden display box.  Super cute!!!

Paper Gods Products

Band t-shirt
Band Paper Gods T-shirt
Rhinestone T-shirt
Paper Gods Rhinestone T-shirt

Both of these t-shirts were available on tour and super cute in person.  The rhinestone one, in particular, is very cute!  The things I really like about the current t-shirts is that they fit really well and are super soft!!!!

Of course, there are more Paper Gods products in the store!  I know that the coffee mugs caught my attention, including the one below:

Mug

Classics in the Store:

Airline bag
Airline bag

Planet Earth shirt

I also love, love, love that there are items with various logos representing various Duran Duran eras.

Beach Towel
Beach Towel

Shopping Elsewhere

Even if these products don’t suit your fancy, there is plenty more Duran Duran related items to buy this year.  One item that I might recommend is:

Paper Gods Vinyl

Vinyl

I know it is available at Amazon and I just read that it is available at Barnes and Noble in the US as well!  To me, vinyl really makes me appreciate the music more and this one is no exception!  Speaking of this musical format, Amazon also has Notorious and Big Thing available on vinyl, too!!

Unstaged on DVD

Unstaged front

My copy of this just arrived!  Be on the look out for a review of it soon!!!

Cover Albums

Perhaps, your interest in Duran Duran covers has been renewed or ignited after hearing and buying your copy of Eagles of Death Metal’s version of Save a Prayer.  If so, here are some cover albums that you might want to check out!

Making Patterns Rhyme cover
Making Patterns Rhyme
The Duran Duran Tribute Album
The Duran Duran Tribute Album
 Electroclash Undone: An Electro Tribute To Duran Duran

Electrotrash Undone: An Electro Tribute To Duran Duran

Books

Perhaps, you are interested in adding some books to your library that have a Duran connection.  For recommendations, please check out some of the ones we like right on our homepage.  🙂

What else am I missing?  Ah…yes.  Maybe, some might opt to give money for touring.  After all, concerts aren’t free!  Perhaps, you all need a reminder of how good Duran Duran is.  If so, I recommend watching this brand new clip of their performance on the Graham Norton show:

On that note, happy shopping for the Duranie(s) in you/your life!

-A

If We Take It For Granted-Duran in Paris

Yesterday, Duran Duran played in Paris.  They were there for the 24 Hours of Reality and Live Earth: The World Is Watching global event to draw attention to the issue of climate change.  They played one song, shown below, around 6 pm local time.

I thought it was a fitting choice, at the time, to draw attention to the song (assuming it really is the next single off their album, Paper Gods) and because the lyrics seemed fitting.  We should not take the planet for granted.  I like that.

In a few hours time, though, the song and their presence there took on a whole new meaning as terrorism ripped through the city, killing well over a hundred people and injuring many more, leaving a city, a nation and a world in shock.  When Rhonda texted me to alert me of the news, it did not take long for me to connect the dots.  Terrorism in Paris?  Duran Duran was in Paris!  My first thought turned to the band and their safety.  Many Duranies on social media echoed my thoughts and my fear.  The hours of not knowing seemed an eternity as Rhonda passed information on through text messages as I tried to pay attention in my meetings at work.  I kept wondering if it was better for me to be busy, to be unable to turn to the 24 hour news cycle or if it would be better if I could attempt to gleam some nugget of news to reassure myself that it wasn’t as bad as it sounded.  Thankfully, at about 5:30 my time, Dom tweeted that he had safely returned to London and he believed all of Duran was safe.  Soon after that, DDHQ sent a tweet stating, “All safe.”  Despite being surrounded by colleagues, I couldn’t stop myself from letting out a few tears.

Not surprisingly, after leaving my colleagues, the first phone call I made was to Rhonda.  We had been sending text messages back and forth but it wasn’t the same as hearing her voice.  Of course, being together in person, would have been better but we did what we could to at least offer comfort to the other and send our love.  After all, times like these, is when you are reminded not to take your loved ones for granted.  We both recognized that we could have lost any or all of the band and their crew.  It could have been them playing the concert in which terrorists entered the venue, took hostages and killed many as opposed to the band, Eagles of Death Metal.  It could have been our fan base getting conflicting reports about whether or not the band members were present and accounted for.  It could have been friends of ours at that concert hall.  It could have been us.  My heart goes out to Eagles of Death Metal, including the band, their crew, their families and their fans.  I know that Duran is thinking about them, especially since they had recently seen and performed Save a Prayer together on the show, TFI Friday, as EODM had covered the song previously.

As I sit in my living room on the morning after, I find myself thinking about the lyrics to What Are the Chances and how those lyrics were more than fitting yesterday and not just because of climate change and the health of the planet.  Like the song says, “The world does not explain” and “We are lost in the flow and looking for answers”.  Those lines ring true today in a way that they didn’t yesterday at this time.  We don’t really have good answers and we are looking for them, for an explanation.  What we do know is that we can’t take anything or anyone for granted.  This past week really taught me this from having this VERY close call for a band that has such a large hold of my heart.  This past week also saw my beloved mother finish the last of her treatments for breast cancer after suffering through surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.  I hope it was just a very close call for her, too, and that through her fighting, she defeated cancer once and for all.

Thus, on a day like today, when the world stands and mourns with Paris, do yourself a favor.  Don’t take anyone for granted.  Tell those you love that you love them and, if you are lucky enough, to be geographically near them, give them a hug, too.

-A

 

Thursday Wrap-up

I have a few topics to cover today, and I’m not quite sure how to mesh them…so let’s see how this turns out:

Next single from Paper Gods??

This article from philmarriott.net reports that the next single from Paper Gods will be What Are the Chances. I must admit my surprise upon reading the news – which has yet to be confirmed by the band. Not only was I not expecting another single – I hadn’t really given much thought to what they might choose. Releasing What Are the Chances may just make the right kind sense, given that the song features John Frusciante on guitar and has all the makings of a fantastic Duran Duran ballad. It will be very interesting to see if the article has any truth to it and if so, how What Are the Chances will do with streaming and radio. While I do not spend a ton of time listening to radio these days, I have yet to hear Pressure Off here in Los Angeles.

“I can’t imagine life without hearing new music”

I read a great (but abruptly short) article on redbulletin.com that features an interview with John and Nick. One of the most poignant parts of the Q&A is an answer that Nick gives regarding their choice to feature young talent such as Janelle Monáe and Kiesza in their music. Nick talks about how some people lose music when they start families. “When they have a lot of things going on, music is sadly one of the first things to fall off their charts.”  This was true for me. I’d followed Duran Duran the whole way through middle school, high school and even college….then I got married, moved across the country, had my first baby and didn’t hear that they’d released Medazzaland until about six months after it had been out. It’s like I came back up for air after having been in an underground bomb shelter for a few years. Same held true for Pop Trash (different child). Not everyone does that, obviously – I just know that I recognized myself in Nick’s statements. I can’t get back that time of course, but I appreciate that Duran Duran continues to challenge my musical tendencies and forces me not to be so lazy with my tastes.  The article is worth the read…I only wish it were longer and not so abrupt to end.

Fandom is Universal

I spent my morning catering to my son and his own fandom at BlizzCon 2015. The actual event begins tomorrow for him, but today we drove to Anaheim to pick up his event badge and the goody bag that Blizzard Entertainment gives to all attendees. My son is 16, this is his first BlizzCon, and he was practically vibrating like a tuning fork with excitement as we approached the convention center registration hall. We’d bought this ticket for BlizzCon back in April, after a RIDICULOUSLY stress-filled twenty minutes waiting in the “lobby” of the event ticketing site, wondering if he would get a ticket. (BlizzCon tickets typically sell out within seconds. One could be in the “lobby”, be granted a ticket, and have the tickets sell out before you click “buy now.” Thank goodness Duran Duran isn’t quite THAT bad, because I’d probably have already stroked out by now….and I mean that.) It never seemed like November would get here once the ticket was purchased. (Sound familiar, anyone?) My son is the typically the opposite of excited most of the time, and so while I tried not to openly notice or make comment of my observations  – I was secretly thrilled to see him openly smile and show just a little of the “Wow, I can’t even believe I’m HERE.” that I tend to have coursing through my veins before a Duran Duran show.  I dutifully waited in the dark shadows outside as he floated into the dark hall with the masses, waiting to be granted their registration badges and allowed the first opportunity to shop the BlizzCon merchandise store. I watched fans – because BlizzCon is truly FOR fans, it’s not a trade-show, but an event for fans of Blizzard Entertainment (think video games like World of Warcraft, Diablo, Hearthstone and my son’s personal favorite: Starcraft II) practically skip down the stairs with excitement – their sites on the registration hall as though they were being magnetically pulled into the vortex of lights and sound, and it was clear that this is as much of a fan community as anything else I’ve experienced. It wasn’t all that long before my son emerged from the black lit hall, smile gleaming as he clutched his new BlizzCon messenger bag, filled with goodies that he didn’t look at until we were home. (and he could safely geek-out in the privacy of his room, because you know – “cool people don’t pull all of their stuff out here in the courtyard in front of everyone, Mom. Geesh.”) As we walked out of the immediate area, I noticed groups of people gathering together, excitedly chatting over possible news being released during the show, exploring possible “celebrity” sightings within the gamer community (My son tells me, “Lots of podcast and e-game people come to BlizzCon, Mom. Seriously….don’t you know this stuff?”) and just being FANS, squeeing with glee over one thing or another. Oceans of nerds, gathering together, finding one another, looking forward to the weekend ahead. I couldn’t help but see the similarities, because at the bottom of it all – fans are fans; whether you’re 40-something and occasionally live and breathe Duran Duran for a weekend, or you’re a slightly sarcastic teenager who is way too cool to have to answer your mom’s questions about the gaming community.  Fans are fans.

-R

October 2015 Katy Kafe with Simon Le Bon

I don’t know about anyone else, but all at once it feels both like it has been  several months since the last Katy Kafe (seriously, just the other day I was thinking that I hadn’t written up one in a long time, although I know I did the one in September with Nick standing in front of the elevator banks at the Jimmy Fallon show)… and just a few minutes ago it seems like it was August. So, I was thrilled to see that the time had come for the October 2015 Katy Kafe.

This month, Simon joins Katy in the Kafe, drinking his “black coffee, no sugar” while in the UK. The birthday boy discusses everything from #musicrediscovered to his next Simon’s reader. As always, I admonish that these are just highlights that I’ve picked out to share, and if you want to hear the entire Kafe – get yourself a DDM membership.  I still feel as though $35.00 a year is a bargain, never mind the access you’ll receive to ticket pre-sales and the like!

#MusicRediscovered

Lately, Simon has been listening to music he once loved and had forgotten.  A prime example of this is Fela Kuti. Simon liked listening to a piece of music called “2000 Blacks Got To Be Free”  back in 1987 during the Strange Behavior tour (this was a tour where Simon liked to decorate his hotel room and feel at home with lots of scarves and incense).  He’d long since forgotten about it until one day while he was staying with John recently. John pulled out the vinyl and launched Simon right back in time. Since then, Simon has been tweeting with the hashtag #musicrediscovered. (which I personally LOVE. He’s already picked out several gems that have in turn taken ME right back – music has a great way of doing that – so be on the lookout for his tweets!)

Anyone remember cassette tapes? I sure do – until VERY recently – the only copy of Big Thing I owned was a CASSETTE! Simon apparently has stacks of them in his house. The few that I still have are in a box in my garage. I don’t listen to them because I’m afraid that they’ll be eaten by the stereo in my car – which is the only surviving tape player I’ve got left. Simon says he liked them back then because they were easy to take places. Easier than vinyl, yes!

A side note that I think is funny enough to highlight: Simon told a little tale to illustrate why he no longer burns incense in hotel rooms:  apparently he was staying in a Boston hotel and was having an in-room treatment where they were burning incense cones on his back (this might sound stranger than I think it was) as a stress-relief.  A knock comes to the door, Simon answers and it is hotel security along with the police who want to have a stern discussion with him about not smoking drugs in his room.  Point taken.

Anyone out there enjoying Apple Music? Simon mentions that he is enjoying Apple Music – prior to this he had not tried streaming on other apps like Pandora or Spotify, and he likes that he can get just about anything on Apple Music….except Medazzaland and Pop Trash, that is…

Paper Gods

Simon hasn’t been in the Kafe since the album was released, and  says he is still listening to the entire album. (Side note: Katy says the album is very linear and that she can’t skip songs. I am 100% ALL FOR buying the album in its entirety. This is not an album where you buy one song or another – this album is absolutely meant to listen from start to finish at least the first 100 times you listen. I’ve had it myself for over a month now and I’m still hearing it differently every single time. What do you mean you don’t have it yet? WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? GO GET IT!!)

He comments that it’s a top ten album, which is true – it did hit the top ten on Billboard, and it’s been a very long time since a Duran Duran album has done that, and yes – Paper Gods absolutely SHOULD feel like vindication for the band in spending the time to get it right, even IF I gave the band nothing but grief for doing so. Sometimes, #Durantime makes sense.

One thing Simon mentioned was that it all still feels very fresh and new to him even though they’ve been on the promotion cycle for the past couple of months now. He says that the first single – “Pressure Off” – has already came and went in the UK. He says that the song didn’t do that well on the charts because of how it was released. Not living in the UK, I don’t know what that means. However, I continue to witness what is or is not going on in the US with regard to “Pressure Off” thus far.  The song JUST debuted on our America’s Top Ten (Hot Adult Contemporary charts) this past week at #39. I cannot even begin to imagine that this is the peak for the song, because I’m still not really hearing it on radio much at all. I’m not sure if that’s because it’s not getting played, or it’s because I’m not listening to the right stations or if it’s because I’m just missing the finer points of how a single is released to radio. I know that I do not just speak for myself when I say that I hope this isn’t where they’re leaving it with this song – I don’t know who is in charge of getting airplay or how, but it just seems like a lot has been left on the table with regard to this one. I’m crossing my fingers that more is yet to come, because the song is outstanding and EVERYONE should be hearing it all over the (radio) dial.

What’s Next?

The band just won the Q Icon award (announced today!!), and they are off to Milan in several days for the X Factor Milan show and a big show in the Piazza Duomo for the MTV EMA’s. Then they are back to the UK for another round of production rehearsals for the UK tour, which begins in November. Simon explained that the UK shows will be longer, with at least another song or two from the new album, and they’ll have more lights. I also heard him say something about the stage, but I didn’t catch it fast enough to write it down.  He was also very quick to point out that after the UK, they’ll be going to many other parts of the world in 2016, and back to the US for the summer – which is exciting!! (Could it really be that Amanda will not have to battle her school schedule as a teacher in order to go to shows?!? We will see….)

Katy asked an interesting question at this point, and it was asked in just the right sort of way so that Simon would answer! (well-done!!!)

“What song do you enjoying singing most off of the new album for the live shows?” Simon paused long enough to absorb that yes, she did ask what he enjoyed singing most as opposed to what song was his favorite – so he answered with “What are the Chances?” That song gives him plenty of highs and lows. The most difficult songs to sing live are “Last Night in the City” (definitely guessed that one!) and “Pressure Off” because the vowel “U” is high in that song, and it is the most difficult vowel to sing high.

Katy also asked about the beloved confetti cannon, to which Simon assured her would remain in the stage production. The confetti creates such a party atmosphere, and lingers into the next song as it quietly floats to the ground. It really is dazzling to experience during their show.

Yasmin and Amber Save the Elephants

Yasmin and Amber have the opportunity to ride a rickshaw in India as a fundraiser for Elephant Family, so check out this link to their fundraising site. If we all chip in a few dollars it will go a long way towards a big check (bank-note)  written for a very worthy cause.

Simon’s been reading!

Currently Simon has been reading H is for Hawk by Helen MacDonald and says it’s been excellent. He plans to write a Simon’s Reader for that book as well as an audiobook he’s been enjoying called May We Be Forgiven by A.M. Holmes.  He says the book is very dark and very funny.  Look for those to be added to Simon’s Reader on duranduran.com very soon and check them out for yourself!

The October 2015 Katy Kafe ended with Katy sending good wishes from the community-at-large to Simon…did you know that Katy has been giving Simon socks as birthday presents for 19 years now? I wonder how that started?!? He apparently has a pair of Batman socks among the many he’s been given….who knew?!?

-R

 

 

Something Is Happening to Me!

I have been back from tour for almost 2 weeks.  Since then, I have noticed something strange with myself, something different than before I left.  This something new isn’t bad and really hasn’t caused me much grief or pain.  Yet…I fear…that it might.  What is it?  I have this uncontrollable urge to listen to the album, Paper Gods, over and over and over.  It is bad.  I’m not going to lie.  I have attempted to switch to something else–anything else…a different Duran album, shuffle, Brandon Flowers, John Taylor solo and still I find myself with that itch.  You all know that itch.  It is when you find your fingers hover over the iPod or phone or stereo or whatever musical device you might have anytime it plays something NOT off Paper Gods.  At that moment, it takes all self-control not to change the song.  It is like having obsessive-compulsive disorder but a super duper specific one.  So, what is the deal?!  How did this started?  How do I stop it?  HELP!

I figure that the first step is admitting that I have a problem.  I do.  I cannot stop listening to Paper Gods.  I think my cat is sick of it.  He gives a weird meow whenever it plays.  Heck, I think the drivers on my morning commute must recognize it by now simply from how loud I have been playing it.  (It is a good waker-upper!)  Even when I am not listening to the music, I start singing songs in my head, thinking about lyrics.  It is not good.  I am definitely distracted by this and somehow, I doubt my boss would be very excited by this.

The next step, I think, would be to figure out the cause, the origin of the problem.  Since I didn’t have it before the tour, I have to think that it happened WHILE on tour.  Now, I don’t really remember any weird conversations with Rhonda or Heather or Shelly or any of the other numerous friends who I talked with that could have led to this condition.  Yet, I did have a sense that something was happening (and maybe it’s happening to you, you, you!) in Berkeley, California. I noticed it then, but I assumed it was all of the driving, the lack of sleep, the minimal meals we had been consuming.  Maybe, it was the vodka.  No matter the cause, I brushed it off and said that whatever was happening to me was due to an extreme situation, as being on tour is pretty intense.

Now that I think about it, I do remember getting a sense that something was happening to me right away, as soon as the first song on the setlist in Berkeley began.  What was that song?  Paper Gods.  Hmm…what did I notice?  I remember the instant that John’s bass kicked in.  Huh. I hadn’t noticed that on the CD, at least not to that extent.  As the song continued, it was like changing something from black and white to color or from standard TV to HD.  Things got sharper, more noticeable.  See what I mean:

Then, later on, I noticed something else when they played the song, What Are the Chances.  This was a song that I had liked before the tour…but after seeing it performed live.  I love it.  It is one of those of songs that has been played over and over again since I returned.  I remember watching Dom and John on stage.  Dom played his heart out while John sang along to every word with a beautiful back drop behind them.  Magical.

If that wasn’t enough to tell me something was amiss, I found myself saying the following statement after the show at the Agua Caliente casino, “I hate to say it, but I’m starting to like Danceophobia.”  I hoped that people would assume that it was the vodka talking but I don’t think it was!  That isn’t right?!?  What I really think made me say this was that ridiculously dorky but oh-so-entertaining dance that John Taylor does during that song!  Seriously!  I think I could watch that for hours!  Unfortunately, despite my constant searching on YouTube, I haven’t found a clip that really shows it!  This is the best I found!  🙁  Anyone got a better clip that you can share with me?!?  I’ll be your best friend (Not really, Rhonda!  Don’t worry.  I’m just saying that!)

I think the problem is really quite simple when I break it down.  You see…I liked Paper Gods before tour.  Yet, seeing so many tracks played live really got the album under my skin.  Now, the question becomes:  What do I do about it?  I would like to say that I should plan more shows.  I am ready.  I know that I haven’t completely put away everything from this tour but I can do that when I die, right?  I would much rather be planning the next!  If not, I fear that winter really will march on this year.  sigh

-A