Tag Archives: What Are The Chances

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

 

Paper Gods: Can’t Stop Believing

Today is October 6, and that means it’s 4  5 (I am so sorry that I cannot seem to add simple numbers after 11pm at night, which is when I wrote this.) days shy of the first month that Paper Gods has been available.

What a month it has been. Truly.

As everyone has likely already read on this very blog, Paper Gods was not an immediate “love at first listen” for me. I really needed to allow the music to sit and percolate. I needed to pick out elements that I really enjoyed, and give myself permission to take the time necessary for Paper Gods to take ME on a journey.

Let me be clear: I am not a patient person. It is my biggest fault, by far. I expect things to happen instantly. I’m not one to want to wait for much of anything, and unfortunately sometimes – Duran Duran ends up bearing the brunt of that impatience. I shared my experiences with the album as they happened at the time, but I never really came back and explained that after giving the album some much-needed listening, I dearly love Paper Gods.

It seems strange to type that now, nearly a month into an album’s release, but it’s true. It is really difficult to put my journey into words that make sense here, but I’ll try. Like most anything the band has ever done, Paper Gods isn’t a one-listen, throw away album.  It has depth that goes far beyond the words or music, and I should have realized that was going to happen based on the cover art alone.

In a lot of ways, I’m kind of glad I didn’t fall into immediate love with the album. I really like that Paper Gods challenged my ears, something that hasn’t happened in a long time. It isn’t enough to just sit down and pop the CD into a player or hit your iTunes icon. In order to get something out of it, you’ve got to really listen in the same way that I think in order to understand the full breadth of the band’s career – you’ve got to really be willing to look beyond the pinups and videos. I appreciate that the band, and particularly this album, have forced me to think. I’ve needed to pull the band out of the box and off of the pedestal I previously had them, which overall has been a good thing.  Let me give you just a few examples:

Danceophobia was by far the one song off this album that I just could not digest. Yes, the Lindsay Lohan thing really bugged me. It still does to a large extent. That said, it is so much fun live!!! The first night I saw, I couldn’t even move. I just stood there, watching the band. I won’t lie – I wanted to see them SELL IT.  If they really wanted me to like it, then they had better fucking bring it BIG time. I didn’t want a repeat of other songs off of other albums that I won’t even mention here. I wanted to see the band love the song at least as much as they expected us to do. Well, John Taylor danced like a crazy man, and Dom “co-writer of Danceophobia” Brown (shout out to my dear friend CK for constantly reminding me of that fact over the past several weeks) couldn’t seem to stand still either.  I marveled at the scene as my foot started to tap on its own. (dammit!) Then there’s Jessie, the new backup singer, who has more energy than an entire AUDIENCE of Duranies. I’ll say this much: she’s a much better doctor than Lindsay. Big controversial name on the album or not, the song has become one of the most fun in  Duran Duran’s live show, and dammit (again) – I danced. I DANCED. It’s just a silly dance song, and that’s OK.  Not every song they do has to be deep and insightful. Some songs can just be shallow, fun, and tongue-in-cheek. Yes, the band sold it. More importantly, they sold it to ME.  I can’t fight that. (Don’t even bother emailing me your “I told you so’s” CK….)

In some of the early reviews Amanda and I did, I wondered out loud about the album feeling so electronic. It’s something that I’ve heard a lot out of the mouths of a lot of fans, including my own from time to time. Is that really all that fair, though?  I’m not quite so sure. The album still has guitar, PLENTY of bass and a ton of drums. Just because they aren’t necessarily served up in the same way as All You Need is Now doesn’t mean they aren’t there…and this just goes back to taking the band out of the box we’ve been keeping them in. It’s not fair to them, and it is definitely not fair to our own ears or heart. For weeks I sat by my stereo, thinking to myself that I really liked what I heard, but then I’d second and third guess myself by thinking about the lack of whatever it was I thought I needed at the time. The point is that it’s all still there…and if you haven’t grabbed a copy of Bass Player magazine (you know the one, with JT on the cover), you probably should. Many of my concerns, and likely yours too, are addressed in there. The real difference with this album that I believe 100% is that the band is totally behind it. They made their own choices with the instrumentation – and I refuse to fault them for that. In fact, I applaud them.

I’ve seen a few of the songs live at this point: “Pressure Off”, “Paper Gods”, “Last Night in the City”, “Danceophobia”, “You Kill Me With Silence” and “What are the Chances.” That’s half of the regular album, and they haven’t even started the “real” tour yet! I won’t lie: I wanted to see what, if anything, changed with the band as they played from this album live. I wanted to see if they were still one cohesive unit. Let me tell you: they are all that and then some. Sure, there are some songs that require John on synth bass and Dom is in the back because the guitar isn’t quite as up front. There are songs where Roger’s drums – which are in fact STILL drums, thank you – are mostly electronic. There are also songs where everyone is nearly all over that stage, like “Last Night in the City”- you can’t help but dance to that one, and I challenge any EDM fan to stand still – it cannot be done. There are songs such as “What Are the Chances”,  when Dom lights up the entire theatre with his work. Make no mistake, he has made that song his very own at this point. When they play “You Kill Me With Silence”, you can feel the bass coming up right through the floor and it puts me on pins and needles in a way no other piece of music has ever done.  This band has made it a point to learn to play this music for the live show. Don’t miss out on the chance to see or hear any of that.

Anyone who has read this blog for any length of time should know that Amanda and I are “thinking” people. We really enjoy reading the lyrics, looking at the art work, watching the videos and analyzing how they all work together to create an overall picture. I think the one thing I love most about Paper Gods is that, like an onion, there are so many different layers. I can’t take the music at face value any more than I should take the cover. When you listen to the songs – it might be really easy to write them off as pure pop. They’re so much more than that once you add in the words, and when you start considering that some of the songs with the most depth are also done with a lot of synth, it’s an interesting sort of dynamic. Just as the cover is far more than a bunch of stickers put up on a backdrop, the album is far more than just some EDM or pop. You don’t actually HEAR that on the first listen, it takes much more attention than just one listen. If you take the album as a whole, you start getting the feeling that this album is an overall look at the career of the band. From “Paper Gods,” a song all about the materialistic nature of our society – using a term that could easily be applied to the band themselves, to “Last Night in the City, ” a tune that is truly about touring, to “Face for Today,” which really seems to be a good bit of advice to today’s young celebrities, on to “Only in Dreams,” which seems to echo some of the feelings a lot of fans have about the band…and finally “The Universe Alone,” which really seems to describe the end. I dare say that the album starts to feel just a bit like a loosely held concept album.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: this band is so much smarter than any of us have ever given them credit for.

We waited a long, long, time for this album – and I’m telling you as a fellow fan, it was worth every single second of the wait. Give it many proper, thorough listens from start to finish. There’s a story in there, waiting to be discovered.

-R

 

 

 

 

Steppin’ Out with Paper Gods

In preparation for tomorrow’s release of Paper Gods, we decided to offer our own quick “shot” in summation for each song.  Rest assured that at some point not far in the future, we will write full Daily Duranie song reviews with cocktail ratings to match, but until then, enjoy our Daily Duranie “Happy Hour”, and have some shots on us!

Paper Gods

Rhonda:

I tried to prepare myself for what Paper Gods could possibly sound like, and even then – I couldn’t have been farther off. I’m still stumbling over myself to try to fully absorb this song, but one thing is sure: these lyrics have the depth and emotion I’ve been craving. 

Amanda:

This song is one of three songs that we did a video review for when it first was made available.  My thoughts about it haven’t really changed.  I appreciate that this song is like the anti-single, the anti-radio focused track as it doesn’t follow much when it comes to standard radio friendly tracks.  It is long, has frequent changes and just seems unpredictable.  I like all that and I like that they just embraced the art, for art sake on this one, and added a social commentary on top of that.

Last Night in the City

Rhonda:

If there were ever a party song…or a to fully describe a road trip with Amanda & Rhonda…this is it. I know plenty of people have a love/hate relationship with EDM, and I’ve got to be honest…I just don’t care. It took me more than one listen to get into this song, but once I finally stopped trying to cram Duran Duran into the “box” that held them in the 80’s,  I couldn’t stop myself from wiggling in my chair or bobbing my head as I listened. That’s all that matters.

Amanda:

I’ll be completely honest with this song.  When I first heard it, I told Rhonda that it reminded me of a bad, meat market type club that I would never want to go to.  It didn’t sound or feel like Duran, initially, to me.  It is very electronic and I missed the feel of organic instrumentation.  Then, at the same time, Rhonda and I realized that the lyrics describe what it is like for us when we are on tour.  It is that complete focus on having fun and connecting.  The female vocals just makes me connect to the song even more.  Now, I still think the song is very different from what I think of when I think Duran but it is super fun and has become a favorite on the album.

You Kill Me With Silence

Rhonda:

So, we did already do a video review of this song, which were our first impressions. I had difficulty with the chorus/verse changes and felt it really watered down the song. That said, I must admit this one is slowly growing on me. On one hand, it’s like Simon LeBon lives in my head and I thank him for putting my feelings into words. On the other hand, this song has just enough darkness for me to make it interesting. Who doesn’t love that Nick Rhodes solo at the end? Come on now!

Amanda:

Again, this is one of the songs that we reviewed earlier in video format.  Like Paper Gods, my feelings about it haven’t changed that much.  One change is that I might not be as critical of the chorus now that I have gotten more used to it.  That said, I’m still struggle a little. Perhaps, the subject matter is partly to blame for that.  I have a hard time really loving a song with the focus of emotional abuse in relationships. 

Pressure Off

Rhonda:

I’m always amazed by the responses out there in the fan community. To me, this is the easiest song on the album to fall in love with, and I still say this has the strongest hook I’ve heard in a Duran Duran song since the 80’s. To others, “this is like listening to Simon sing High School Musical.”   If the band wanted me to dance, this was the way to do it! The one thing that has changed for me since I first heard is that it sounds nothing like the rest of the album, and as a result it is (still) a standout! 

Amanda:

In many ways, now that I have heard the album as a whole, this song doesn’t match the feel of much of the rest.  That said, it is still a favorite.  To me, the instrumentation feels very Duran and the lyrics are just fun.  I know that some have criticized all of the “oh”s in the chorus but that even feels Duran-like (Hungry Like the Wolf, anyone??).  This is one that I’m very much looking forward to hearing live!

Face For Today

Rhonda:

Maybe I lied about Pressure Off being the easiest song to love on this album… The truth is, I really like this song too. It’s very “Duran Duran”, complete with the stacked harmonies and soaring chorus…I just wish (and this goes for the entire album) that they’d create more of a balance with their instrumentation. There, I said it. Done.

Amanda:

I enjoyed this one as soon as I heard it as it is easy to like. Right away, I found the lyrics swimming around in my head as I tried to figure out what the heck it is about. Quickly, I began to feel that this was the band giving advice and well wishes to those young and super popular bands now. This added some depth to the song.

Danceophobia

Rhonda:

The tune is slightly catchy while the lyrics are very elementary. The addition of Lindsay Lohan does absolutely nothing to add to the song particularly when it’s clear she is having difficulty not laughing while “singing” the last portion of the song after her dreadful spoken part.  On the upside, it does add something to the album that magazine editors and trash TV “celeb” news shows LOVE to dish on. Cringe-worthy at best.

Amanda:

It seems to me with many of these tracks I had strong reactions as soon as I heard them.  For some, it was an instant like and others I had to hope that the song would grow on me.  It did for Last Night in the City but…I am not as successful with this one.  I start to get passed the silly lyrics and non-Duran music then Lohan comes in.  I just don’t think her part works.  Is she supposed to be taken seriously?  Is it supposed to be funny?  Sexy?  I just don’t get it.

What Are the Chances

Rhonda:

I fell in love with this song as soon as I heard it. As I said on Twitter, there’s only ONE thing wrong with this song, and it’s that Dom Brown isn’t playing the lead guitar part. I don’t know if I’ll ever quite forgive them. That said, I’m pretty sure I’ll forget all about this small oversight should they play this live with Dom playing the part that should have been his to begin with.  PS – These lyrics? Really??? Beautifully done.

Amanda:

This isn’t my usual song to gravitate towards.  I am much more of an up tempo, rocking out sort of person.  I have gotten bored over many of the more ballad type songs in Duran’s catalog over the years.  Yet, this isn’t really that.  It does have a “bigger than normal” sort of feel like an Ordinary World has with some really great lines in the lyrics that will keep me interested for years to come.

Sunset Garage

Rhonda:

When someone is able to tell me what a Sunset Garage is, I will be much better able to talk about this song. Until then, I’m still struck by how “not” Duran Duran this song really is…and how much I enjoy it, even though I still see the Brady Bunch “Silver Platter” episode in my head as it plays. Definitely a tune for a summer night taking a drive along the coast. Gonna keep on, keep on…. (if you don’t get the reference, click here)

Amanda:

This is a song that simply had not hit me.  It isn’t one that has created strong emotion in me, either super positive or super negative.  The song has left me more puzzled than anything else.  I don’t understand the message.  I will be interested to see if this one grows on me after time.

Change the Skyline

Rhonda:

From the first sounds of the synth intro, I think it’s pretty clear this isn’t your average Duran Duran tune. I can’t help but think about how this song might have sounded with Brandon Flowers…but Jonas Bjerre does a good job. This is a song that I’m still trying to hash out and find a comfy spot, but there’s a lot going on here to like. 

Amanda:

This is the one track that got lost when listening to the album.  I’m not sure why with that chorus.  At first, I wasn’t sure about having Jonas Bjerre on this track.  Yet, his vocals and the song is starting to grow on me.  I’m starting to pay more and more attention to it, which is leading to greater appreciation.  It is one that I’m anxious to take the time to really read and digest the lyrics. 

Butterfly Girl

Rhonda:

The best part of this song for me is that Anna Ross is featured, and I love her. She brings an energy that this song was crying for, and I can hardly wait to hear them play this song live. Oh yes, the guitar. It’s good even if it’s not Dom (but he is going to blow the audience away with this live)…and there’s only one kind of happy in a glass of wine. (we all learn something from Duran Duran, don’t we?)

Amanda:

This is one of my favorite tracks on the album.  Like Last Night in the City, I love the additional female vocal (Go Anna!) and I usually don’t go for female vocals.  Musically, the song grabs me but more than that is the picture of this girl that is created.  She seems so specific and, yet, so universal.  I think many people can relate.  Goodness knows that I certainly do.  What more can you ask for?

Only In Dreams

Rhonda:

This song starts off reminding me of Before the Rain, and then very quickly turns into this gorgeous dream-like scene. Definitely a favorite of mine on the album. Simon sings like it’s a lullaby (and I really want to know who is on backup vocals…), and I love the calm that comes over me until the funk hits after the intro. Then I’m completely in it for the long haul. Vampires, limousines, reminds me of some elements of fandom…and no, I don’t want to wake up. 

Amanda:

Like the previous song, this is another favorite.  I love the opening which reminds me of Before the Rain.  Of course, it quickly changes to something else completely different.  Then, there are more changes as the song moves further along.  I love all of the changes.  Even more importantly than that, I love the lyrics.  There are so many great lines in this one and as a whole it really feels like Simon is describing fandom.  With good times in fandom, it is like being in a dream that you don’t want to wake up from!

The Universe Alone

Rhonda:

Here’s the thing: this song is pure Duran Duran genius from start to finish. It is also the darkest and deepest song on the album. I listen and get this scary sense of foreboding that makes the hair on my neck stand up and my emotions run way high every time I listen. I’d forgotten that Duran Duran can write like this – appealing to the modern sound they strive for,  with some of the deepest writing (both music and lyrics) I’ve heard them do in decades. Well done, Duran Duran, you’ve managed to make me extremely uncomfortable (as all art should!) AND love the song at the same time. Thumbs way, way, up.  

Amanda:

The first and only word that comes to mind when I hear this song is haunting.  It feels like goodbye.  I don’t know if it is the end of the world type goodbye or individuals leaving a huge chapter in their lives but it definitely feels like closure of some sort.  The first line really sets the tone about how there can be beauty within dying.  That said, it isn’t an easy song to want to listen to because it creates so many uncomfortable feelings in me.  Despite that, I adore the ending with the distortion followed by the beautiful chorus.

 

We can’t wait to read your own thoughts as you listen to the album yourselves. It took both of us some time to adjust to the new sounds and feelings, and as you can see – we’re still adjusting, but we welcome the challenge. We also congratulate the band and look forward to seeing them LIVE in the coming weeks!!

-A&R

Countdown to Paper Gods – THREE!!

We are seriously down to just 72 little hours to go before Paper Gods is released!! Can you deal with it?!?  (If you don’t know where that last line came from, your assignment for today includes listening to Liberty again.)

I’m getting fairly good at handing out homework and assignments, as today begins homeschool for my second grader, so now I’m teaching high school and elementary school. (Admittedly the high schooler is far more independent so planning for him isn’t that difficult!) However, since we are on this “homework” theme this week, I have some for all of you today as well! (Can You Deal With It aside…)

We have had five songs already released from Paper Gods, and I’m not seeing NEARLY enough about them on social media. So, let’s blitz all social media today and get them out there! Your task is to share each of the five songs.  Let’s get them trending!!!   If we want this album heard ’round the world…it’s gonna take all of us to make it happen, so get going!

Pressure Off

Paper Gods

You Kill Me With Silence

What are the Chances

Last Night in the City

 

Let’s get the music out there…share and encourage your friends and followers to pass it on!

-R

Countdown to Paper Gods – NINE!!!

Nine days!

I am not even completely sure what day of the week it is, but I know I’ve got nine days to go until Paper Gods can be held and loved by all…. We won’t discuss my priorities, but can we talk lyrics today?!?

Rest assured, I am not going to post lyrics to unheard songs…but what about the lyrics to the songs the band has already released? Another effective way to spend time before Paper Gods is released would be to read the lyrics and memorize them, so that way when that wonderful day arrives that you’re at a Duran show, you know the words and can belt ’em right along with the band!

Disclaimer: Since these lyrics are not from liner notes or the band’s website, they are a “best guess” by whomever took the time to transcribe them. I am not certifying that they are 100% correct, or that I personally checked them…and I definitely am not responsible for words that may not sound like words  (“hotting”)….I don’t write the lyrics, I just post ’em. 

Paper Gods

(chanted by Mr. Hudson)
Oh, the paper gods in the sky of gray
All the fools in town are ruling today, today

(Simon)
Bow to the paper Gods in a world that is paper-thin,
Fools in town are ruling now
Bleeding from paper cuts, money for head shots
Fools leading
Who needs it?

Hey, you’re gonna want it all the talking man declares
Go running to be first in line for what nobody cares!
Then next thing you must have find piece with matching bag
It’s nothing to be glad about or sad when you forget about it
I’d rather racing or go run around the streets (not sure of this line)
The slaver in a sweatshop,
Putting trainers on your feet
I’m walking through the rain, oblivious to pain
To shelter from the blame without a reason to complain about it
Oh oh oh, don’t complain about it
Oh oh oh, don’t complain about it
Oh oh oh, forget about it
Oh oh oh oh

Bow to the paper gods in a world that is paper-thin,
Fools in town are ruling now
Bleeding from paper cuts, money for head shots
Fools leading
Who needs it?

She’s staring out in underwear from your computer screen
It’s all self-dirty cash we can wash it clean (??)
So hang it out online, confess and you feel fine
and if you got the time to spare we want to know
Which name you’re wearing
And when the final curtain finally comes down
We’ll all be in the party room no wiser as to how
The total human race, became a basket case
It’s nothing to lose face about,
It’s really not a place to doubt it

Bow to the paper gods in a world that is paper-thin,
Fools in town are ruling now
Bleeding from paper cuts, money for head shots
Fools leading
Who needs it?

Paper gods falling down
paper house, paper town
Paper gods falling down
paper world is falling down
Paper gods falling down
paper house, paper town
Paper gods falling down
paper world is falling down, falling down, falling down, falling down, falling down, falling down, falling down

Bow to the paper Gods in a world that is paper-thin,
Fools in town are ruling now
Bleeding from paper cuts, they go for the money shot
The fools leading
Who needs them?

all the paper gods, in a sky of grey

all the fools in town, are ruling today, today

(fade out)

Last Night in the City

I’m not gonna sleep tonight, til the morning fills the sky
No ones getting left behind, this our time, this our time

We gotta live this night. Yeah, living like it’s our last night
Cuz nobody cares, if there’s no tomorrow

I’m not thinking ‘bout the future (the future)
it’s somewhere out there
We’re all busy being human (human)
we remember
Hearts beating all around me (together)
now, they’re surrounding me
This is how we get connected,
running out the shadows into light

We gonna live this night, yeah,
living like it’s our last night
Cuz nobody cares, if there’s no tomorrow
We gotta love this night, yeah,
loving like it’s our last night

Stars up in the air, yeah,
it’s our last night in the city

I’ve been traveling around now
big world, with my brothers
Always moving to a new town,
no time to put the roots down
We can’t stop believing (can’t stop)
no we believe in you
Cuz when you’re standing in the spotlight
the only thing that matters is tonight

We gotta live this night, yeah,
living like it’s our last night

Cuz nobody cares, if there’s no tomorrow
We gotta love this night, yeah,
loving like it’s our last night

Stars up in the air, yeah,
it’s our last night in the city

I’m not gonna sleep tonight, til the morning fills the sky
No ones getting left behind, this our time, this our time

We gotta live this night, yeah,
living like it’s our last night

Cuz nobody cares, if there’s no tomorrow
We gotta love this night, yeah,
loving like it’s our last night

Stars up in the air, oh yeah,
it’s our last night in the city

Yeah, last night in the city
Yeah, last night in the city

You Kill Me With Silence
Your thin ice,
I should be on solid ground
And oh so quiet vice,
I can hear that cracking sound
But I remain,
despite your deadly aim
To drive another lad insane
When you won’t speak,
my name

You kill me with silence
That’s your style girl, you’re letting me know
This deafening silence, the only reason you’re in control (you’re in control)
It’s emotional violence I can’t breathe now but I can’t let go
You kill me with silence

True to life,
things are hotting up in here  

If I had a knife,
you could cut the atmosphere

Something else,
I like this bed of nails

That’s what I tell myself
Couldn’t be much worse
in hell

You kill me with silence
That’s your style girl you’re letting me know
This deafening silence, the only reason that you’re in control
It’s an emotional violence, I can’t breathe now but I can’t let go
You kill me with silence

Pressure Off

Stepping out, stepping out, stepping out; jumping off X3
Pressure off, pressure off; pressure, pressure, pressure off

The past is another country
The present will never last
The future it’s still tomorrow
Are we living too fast
Searchlight the crowd I fix on your face
I know it well, but it’s a dream I can’t place
Something is happening to me
Maybe it’s happening to you, you, you, you

Everybody everywhere
Feel it in the air, oh yeah
It’s time to take the pressure off
Everybody everywhere
Step out into the future
It’s time to take the pressure off
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh it’s up to you now
It’s time to take the pressure off
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh it’s up to you now
It’s time to take the pressure off

Stepping stepping stepping
It’s time to take the pressure off

We’re swimming with the rat-race
We’re running against the tide
And it’s every-body’s business
When there’s nowhere to hide
Searchlight the crowd I’m fixed onto you
There is a way out of this into the blue
Something is happening to me
Maybe it’s happening to you, you, you, you

Everybody everywhere
Feel it in the air, oh yeah
It’s time to take the pressure off
Everybody everywhere
Step out into the future
It’s time to take the pressure off
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh it’s up to you now
It’s time to take the pressure off
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh it’s up to you now
It’s time to take the pressure off
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh it’s up to you now
It’s time to take the pressure off
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh it’s up to you now
It’s time to take the pressure off

Stepping out, stepping out, stepping out; jumping off X3
Pressure off, pressure off; pressure, pressure, pressure off

I’m lost don’t wanna be found
I’m not gonna be down be down
Outside looking into myself
Just me I couldn’t be anyone else
Is it bad when you’re feeling this good?
Are we all misunderstood?
It’s fine going out of my mind, going out of my mind, going out of my mind

Everybody everywhere
Feel it in the air, oh yeah
It’s time to take the pressure off
Everybody everywhere
Step out into the future
It’s time to take the pressure off
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh it’s up to you now
It’s time to take the pressure off
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh it’s up to you now

Step out into the future
Jump off into the future
Step out into the future
Jump off into the future
Step out into the future

What Are the Chances?

Any other day and you might’ve gone walking by
Without a second look
Any other way but I’m still mystified
I’m just trying to change my luck
Staring out the world and waiting for the one
But the world won’t look away
The world does not explain

So…what are the chances?
We’ll never know
If we take it for granted
A diamond explodes
What are the chances

Playing with your life or is it destiny
Which sets you on a path
Is it out of choice that you’re here next to me
Or just the aftermath
Of moments as they pass

So…what are the chances?
We’ll never know
If we take it for granted
A diamond explodes
What are the chances
We are lost in the flow
And looking for answers

So…what are the chances?
We’ll never know
If we take it for granted
A diamond explodes
What are the chances
We are lost in the flow
And looking for answers

Alright, you’ve got the lyrics, I’ve assigned homework….and we’ve got nine days left.

Only nine.  Nine feels a lot more reasonable than say, 1,095 days, yes?  (Interestingly enough, it will have been just over that amount – 1,109 to be exact, between the day the tour ended in 2012 abruptly due to Nick’s illness and release day for Paper Gods)

(and yes, I am a little embarrassed that I spent time figuring that out. I need a vacation.)

Cheers! -R

Bonding with Paper Gods

Lately I have come to the realization that there are remarkably few songs that I fall in love with immediately….”love at first listen”, so to speak. I don’t know if it has always been that way and I’m just now noticing; or if it is that my tastes have changed, my condition more stringent, and it just takes much more to impress me.

I’ve sat back over the past couple of weeks, eyeballing Twitter and Facebook, observing comments that many fans have excitedly and/or begrudgingly posted about the new material. I’ve seen both ends of the spectrum and everything in-between, feelings ranging from disgust to euphoria. Publicly, four songs have been released with eight more to eventually arrive. We’re sixteen days away from release of Paper Gods, and the general mood amongst fans is that of anticipation, whether anxious or otherwise.

I share in that anticipation to some extent, as I wait to see what others think of the album in full. In the meantime, I’ve been listening, digesting, contemplating and coming back around for more. I can’t lie, it’s been a struggle….a term I’ve used a lot lately while discussing Paper Gods amongst friends.

Let me put it another way: for me, Paper Gods is a bit like a newborn baby. When you’re a parent, you’re given this infant and, as nature goes, parents are expected to love and care for it. That feeling is inherent as you stare down at that wiggly little bundle, but the whole experience feels foreign. It is assumed that love is immediate, but I can say that at least for myself, it was something that needed to grow over time. Those bonds aren’t quite there yet, other than what you know you’re supposed to have.

Right now, that’s exactly where I’m at with this album. There are elements I really like. Songs I actually enjoy. Then I start really listening and wondering where in the hell the bass REALLY is (I know, I know, there’s a lot of synthesized bass on the album), and why there’s not more “real” Roger…and don’t even get me started on guitar…or more precisely, who SHOULD be playing guitar. Then I start feeling like I’ve completely missed something somewhere. This is a band that likes to reinvent themselves with each album. I prepare myself, as best as I can, to keep an open mind with every single release. It’s not easy. My gut reaction with hearing “You Kill Me With Silence” simply is not the same as when I hear “Girl Panic”, for instance.  When I listen to “Pressure Off”, I start feeling those warm fuzzies and continue to look for more with other songs off of the album.  The more I listen to “What Are the Chances”, the more I fall in love with everything from lyrics to guitar. Then I remember that Dom isn’t even playing the guitar, and I feel guilty as hell…but then I remember Dom is listed as co-writer and I start to feel at least a little better. (I am begging you, Duran Duran – please play this live and let the boy play it!!!)  There are quite a few of those moments throughout the album for me.

For me, instrumentation matters. I fell in love with a five-piece band. Drums, bass, guitar, keyboards and vocalist. When I listen to their music, I want to hear those elements. I’ve seen many people compare this album to others in the past – and even Nick himself mentions Red Carpet Massacre. Amanda and I have kind of dubbed this album “RCM-lite”, because many of those elements are contained within Paper Gods, but for us it is a much more palatable album overall. It’s still Duran Duran somewhere in there…and we didn’t find that as much with RCM. John Taylor mentions in a couple of interviews lately that for him, it was about finding where to fit in (something he also said about RCM). He says that current, modern music doesn’t really have traditional bass, so he looked to using more of a synthetic bass. Roger, someone who I think is completely open to whatever has to happen and making it work, used a stick with his bass drum at some point or another on this album. There is also a ton of electronic drums and perhaps a drum machine in there somewhere. I guess for me, it comes down to the fact that the Duran Duran I know and love uses traditional instruments right alongside the synthesizers and keyboards. I don’t know if that is always made clear on this album. The mix throughout the entire album really leans heavily towards the electronic end in many ways, which screws with my own perception. A lot of what my ears hear is Simon and Nick with whatever guest they happen to have playing with them at the time, and yet my heart and head know John and Roger (and Dom, thankyouverymuch) should be there somewhere. My hope is that while playing live, they’re all there front and center, running wild and free. No guesswork, ear buds, or fancy headphones needed.

I look forward to breathing in the excitement as the opening notes begin and the screams release the nervous anticipation, just like an uncorked champagne bottle. We will celebrate the release of this album, welcome the band back to us, and revel in the moment.  Songs that we may have once questioned will become familiar, and those wonderful bonds will become second nature, adding another album to the soundtrack of our lives.

-R

August Katy Kafe with Roger Taylor

We love it when Duran Duran Appreciation Day falls in such a way that we not only get a brand new song (Paper Gods…check out our review here!) but also a Katy Kafe, this time with none other than Roger Taylor!

As always, I admonish that these are simply my highlights. This is not a word-for-word transcription (My salary grade isn’t high enough for that!), and if you really wish to hear the full Kafe, I strongly recommend getting your membership to duranduranmusic.com.  TOUR TIME IS COMING!!!

Roger on Duran Duran Appreciation Day

Katy begins the Kafe asking Roger if he is aware that it is Duran Duran Appreciation Day. I always worry that these, and questions like it, are somewhat loaded for the band because you know, if they forget or say no…it doesn’t exactly speak positively about their interest…and nobody wants that. But, to my relief, Roger was well-aware (maybe he’s on the computer more than I realize??).   He continues by saying that if someone had told him back in the late seventies that he would be talking about Duran Duran Appreciation Day in 2015, he’d have thought they were crazy.  (Us too, Roger…us too! I kid, but truly – who’d have ever thought?!?) 

Roger on Family and Touring

Katy asks about his youngest and whether he knows that Daddy is in Duran Duran. Roger explains that Julian knows that Daddy is a drummer, and that the other night “the Manchester show” (AKA Diamond in the Mind to the rest of us!) was on TV. (As a quick aside: I obviously need to move to England where there is quality programming. I dare DREAM of the day that we get Diamond in the Mind or Sing Blue Silver on an actual TV channel!!!) Julian apparently recognized Roger behind the drums and  ran to the TV saying “Daddy!” (Cue “awwwws”…) He also knows that Daddy goes to work a lot and then comes home, and they speak briefly about touring and how it is difficult with family, so they tour for a few weeks and then go home.

Roger also explains that Julian has a Spongebob Squarepants drum set, but that you just never know what a child will decide to embrace as a talent or skill. Roger’s parents were nervous when he became a drummer and wanted to be in a band, but ultimately encouraged him…which is similar to how Roger has raised his older children. He helped guide them but he explains that he was never the kind of parent that would insist that they practice (their skill) for hours on end.

Roger on Summer shows

FOLD Festival

Calling the show “fantastic”, Roger talks about Nile jamming with them and having Janelle Monae join them on stage. They had only a quick rehearsal with her before the show, and Roger didn’t really get to see much of her on the stage itself during the show, but said she sounded great. Apparently, Katy likes to keep the rumor mill spinning because she pointedly mentioned that she’d heard “rumors” that Janelle might be joining the band onstage again…and that’s not the only notable name that may be on stage with them for future shows.  Read on…

Capitol Theatre

The band loved playing this show outside of NYC because in Roger’s words, it was a “real audience”. They’d played a few festivals, but this was an audience of diehards, which he enjoyed. Katy asked if he could really see anyone from behind his drum set, and much to the disappointment of Roger Girls everywhere – he really can’t see much beyond the first two or three rows, and even then he is “too focused” on what he’s doing. He joked that even after forty years, he’s has to concentrate on playing with two hands (yes, he really does need two hands for his…you KNOW you were thinking it!!) and two feet.  He said that he has “very little chance to take it in”.   Katy tries to stop the hearts of all Roger fans breaking by asking a follow-up about after the show when he stands up and comes to the front of the stage.  Animatedly, Roger exclaims that it’s amazing. He tends to recognize familiar faces, and then he has to get down to the business of deciding which fan(s) will go home with a particularly special souvenir – a drumstick or two.

Roger on Drumsticks

Here’s the secret straight from the Drum God himself: bring a sign. (When every single lady in the front row brings a sign asking for sticks to the next set of shows, I think Roger knows exactly who to blame here….and it’s not me!!) Roger figures that if you’ve gone to the trouble of making a sign, then you must really want one. Then he says something that strikes a particularly notable chord for me – he USED to chuck his drumsticks into the crowd, but sometime back (I have a story on this below) he stopped doing it because it can cause an unpleasant scene.

I had made a special sign for the show at the Voodoo Festival in New Orleans in 2006. Roger saw it and asked if I wanted them. (Oh you betcha!!) So he threw one straight at me (I was back about 3 rows maybe?). All was fine, I could have grabbed it without trouble at all, but the guy next to me, who was very big AND very tall grabbed it out of the air before I could even get it, and gave it to his wife. Roger saw the whole thing, mouthed “I’m sorry” to me, and I just smiled because you know – what was I going to do? It was just a drumstick, not my memory of the show!  I haven’t seen Roger throw a drumstick at a show I’ve been at since. I can’t blame him, although I hope he knows I wasn’t mad. It wasn’t his fault at all. 

Paper Gods

Katy asks Roger what Paper Gods means to him, personally.  Roger laughs and says, “I KNEW you were going to ask me that!”  He begins by saying that he thinks it’s one of those songs where people can apply their own meanings. Roger thinks the song stands for consumerism and how meaningless it all really is. Katy says that it is one of her favorites off of the album and tells Roger that the song is being released that very day for Duran Duran Appreciation Day, which surprises him (Not that I’m surprised, but clearly the band is not really up-to-date on DDAD treats for fans). He comments that the song is quite a journey and that it’s very conceptual, adding that they weren’t afraid of breaking the rules or felt confined. But then Roger says something that IS surprising: he says that it isn’t necessarily the best song on the album but a strong one. Katy picks up on this and asks him to name some of his personal favorites on the album. He names You Kill Me With Silence, saying that it has a wonderful chorus, and is different from normal Duran Duran. He follows that up with What are the Chances?, saying that it’s a big Duran Duran ballad; and lastly, Danceophobia because he thinks it will be fun to play live. Of course, the mention of Danceophobia cues Roger to mention that Lindsay Lohan is on that song. “Everyone asks about Linsday!”  Naturally, “everyone”, as Roger puts it, is the media. But isn’t that what they wanted? She’s a big name that grabs attention, even if it’s not necessarily a name that fans necessarily enjoy hearing associated with Duran Duran. Watch out New York or London fans, because Katy lets it slip that she’s heard rumors indicating perhaps Lindsay might join the band on stage for a show in one of those places….

2016

Interestingly enough, Roger didn’t know about shows for next year. This would indicate that perhaps nothing has been decided yet.  “I’m sure offers will come in and we’ll be able to go and play places.”

We certainly hope so!!!

 

-R