Tag Archives: Instagram

Continuing to Trust the Process

Two things today:

First off, if you’re not already watching John’s bass tutorials on Wednesday, you should. They’re fairly short – this last one clocking in at a teensy bit over seven minutes – and they are highly entertaining, particularly if, like me, you’ve always wanted a birds eye view of what the song evolutionary process is really like!

Yesterday, John went into a little depth about Girls on Film, diving in and explaining everything from the beginning groove to finished bass line product. Dissecting the song to this level, down to the beginning thoughts of using octave intervals as the bass line, made my ears happy. I loved hearing the differences over the course of the process, and yes – one can see how you really do have to “Trust the Process” when it comes to songwriting. I can hardly wait for more!

Along those same lines, I tuned back in to listen to John welcome Susanna Hoffs (The Bangles) to a Q&A session. I must admit that while I’ve enjoyed a few of their (The Bangles) songs over the years, I’ve never been a die hard fan. Listening to Susanna talk about her career was fresh and new to me. She seems delightful and kind, not at all “Hollywood Fake-y”, which I appreciated. Somewhere deep and hidden within the cobwebbed caverns of my brain, I vaguely recalled hearing that Prince had written “Manic Monday” for them. Listening to Susanna explain how she drove herself down to Prince’s studio to get it, and then what it felt like to hear it for the first time, gave new life to a fun and easy song I never minded hearing on the radio. Good old pop music, right?

The best part of John’s Q&A sessions is that so far, they’ve encouraged me to seek new music. Last week, after he chatted with Dave from Chromeo, I spent some quality time with Spotify and their catalog, enjoying a lot of what I heard. Later today, it’s time for some of Susanna’s music. She’s even writing a novel, which I’m looking forward to reading when it comes out. My point of course is that it’s never too late to find new music that makes your ears and heart happy.

Which brings me to item number two: what have you been doing to occupy your time during this pandemic? Have you been seeking creative outlets? Arguing politics? Relentless social media posts? Cleaning? Cooking? Eating?? Finding new music, perhaps??

That last one has taken up residency on my to-do list as of late. I’ve been spending increasing amounts of time on Spotify, scrolling through my curated playlists that Spotify throws together, based on my listening habits. (good luck with THAT, Spotify!) I’m discovering new bands I’ve never heard of, older bands I’ve still never heard of, and music I somehow completely missed along the way. I’ve also downloaded the app “Readly”, and have been spending an ungodly amount of time reading music magazines, when I should be cleaning this house. Shhhhhh

The fact is, I’ve gotten supremely lazy with my listening. Instead of working to find something new, I stick with what I know. Books I’m currently reading and articles I’ve read this week tell me that at my age (which is far from old, but also kind of far from young), this is normal behavior. It takes work to find new music. It’s EASY to stick to things we know, and if you don’t want to spend a lot of time searching – what do you do? You find that old playlist that has gotten WAY too much of your tine lately, hit “play”, and move on…am I right? You know what you like!

Well, I do that too. I know what I like. I also know that for several years now, I’ve stopped listening. I play new DD albums when one comes out. Pop the CD into my car stereo, and leave it there for months. (Okay, years) Listen to it over, and over again. I get so sick of it (yes, I really do), that I eventually stop listening to all of their music, and switch to First Wave on SiriusXM. That’s all fine and good, except that on First Wave, I usually hear nothing new. I’m digging my own grave here. So, I decided enough was enough, and have forced myself out of the box. Or coffin.

After nearly 50 years of listening to everything from “Patty Cake” to “Don’t Start Now” (Dua Lipa), at the very least, I know what has pleased my ears in the past. That’s something to start from! Team that with being a musician myself, and I’ve got zero excuses. So now it’s just a matter of training myself to try so that it feels normal to me, rather than some strange, foreign exercise. I’m not quite there yet.

With that, I am wickedly tardy and must be on my way….this house isn’t going to clean itself!


Learn Bass From The Master!

The past 16 hours or so have been a bit of a blur. I’m suffering from vertigo as I type, which may or may not have been self-induced. I’m also struggling to get and keep food down at the moment, but more on all of that in a few months. (yes, I did mean months and no, I’m not having a baby. In fact, smack yourself for me if you actually thought that. ) Meanwhile, I have a blog to write!

Calling all bass players (brand new, experienced…or potential!) out there! Has it always been your dream to have John, yes that one, teach you bass? Well you are in luck!

Yesterday, DDHQ announced that John would be taking to Instagram today at 11am PDT to post the first in a series of bass tutorials. How cool is that?!? Following the tutorial at noon PDT, he’ll be doing a LIVE Q&A, and yes, this is all on Duran Duran’s Instagram page.

I’ve never so much as even held a bass guitar in my hand, but I’ll take the time to watch today, just out of pure curiosity. I can’t imagine I’ll be alone. I wonder if Instagram can be broken by the amount of viewers….let’s hope not!

Don’t forget about Fade to Grey on Saturday! Our very own DJ Velvet Rebel takes to his Twitch channel once again and spins our favorite tunes from the 80s. This time, he’s partnering with Punkmasters and is giving away a t-shirt during the US party (9pm EDT), so tune in! Maybe I’ll see you in the chat room!

Stay safe, have a great weekend!


Are we still a Networker Nation?

In yesterday’s blog post, I mentioned the power of social media. Although I don’t have Sirius XM radio, within moments of the interview John Taylor did with Richard Blade on Monday, I knew what had been discussed. I felt triumphant.

Say whatever you like about the evils of Twitter and Facebook. They can definitely be a cesspool of humanity. I agree that Twitter can seem like an echo chamber. I don’t believe that Twitter changes anyone’s mind, and I don’t think it is necessarily the best place to chat about politics. In all honesty, I stay off of it as much as possible anymore because it isn’t enjoyable. The population of people that once posted has changed.  I think even the very function of Twitter has changed since its inception.

However, if I need information quickly, Twitter is my failsafe. I can put a question out there, and get an accurate answer in an incredibly  impressive amount of time. Twitter is reactive, sometimes explosively so. Facebook seems to be more of a warm, fuzzy place…most of the time. It is where I connect with extended family, and it is where I have learned things about family members that I really didn’t ever need to know. It is also where I get good and bad news from childhood friends, and find out that my former high school crushes have gained several chins and collected wives along the way in the same spirit as I have Duran Duran ticket stubs. Even so, I don’t tend to loiter on social media as I once did.

I do miss sitting around and tweeting with friends. It was like a giant chat room, and no, we didn’t always agree. That didn’t matter, though. It was about the gathering, the communication, even the immediacy and yes, even the friendship. Something happened though, and for all of the good that could be found, Twitter turned angry. It isn’t very enjoyable much of the time. I don’t see many fans on Twitter these days, at least not that are there for the pure enjoyment of being a fan. I suppose we take our cues from the band to some extent, who themselves seem to have left social media – at least as recognizable people using their own names (Not that I know otherwise. I’m just saying that if they wanted to participate under a blanket of anonymity, they probably could.)  I can’t really lay blame in any one direction. Even so, when I need information, it does have its place.

I don’t think we can ignore the fact that within moments of news breaking, whether that is a devastating earthquake, or a tour being announced, it is being discussed on Twitter. The same holds true for Facebook, although the reaction time is longer. Social media has its place, but where do we go to really enjoy being fans without the trappings that “real” life on social media has to offer? Is it that we’re all just too busy now? It wasn’t that many years ago when the message board and/or forum of DDM was a bustling place. Post counts jumped by the dozens within seconds. Does anyone still talk about the band anywhere?

Oddly, we have a message board that is largely ignored, and I need to shoulder at least half of that responsibility. I find that I spend very little time “online” these days. It isn’t because I have that much less time, it is because the last thing I want to see or do is talk politics, or read about more horrors taking place within my country. I don’t need five hundred friends sharing the same comments, memes, and complaints. I’m sick of it.  Rest assured, I feel the same as many of you, although likely not with the same intensity as some. I’m just tired of talking about it all, or reading about it. So, I stay offline as much as possible. I can’t imagine I’m alone. I check out Instagram, I smile at pictures. I love cats and dogs. I need the good things more than I need to read the bad things five hundred times.

So while there is certainly power within social media, and our fingers flying across the keys does far more to “spread the word” than it used to, I have to wonder where the fun has really gone. Is it time to fire up the message boards again? Sometimes, I wonder. I miss our online fun.


The time has come

After a late night, it was really nice to sleep in this morning—a luxury I rarely allow myself at home. When I woke up, I realized that today is the day!  Amanda should be driving in and other friends will be arriving. Tonight we will celebrate the beginning of our Summer Tour 2016.

Amanda and I will celebrate the completion of our massive rewriting project.  We made it to July, and Ravinia is happening tomorrow night!!

I did see a few posts from people who went to the Nashville show last night. Seeing that the show wasn’t rained out made me happy. No one likes seeing that happen. Everyone said the show was great, but the comments that stood out most to me were the ones about the friendship we share. I love seeing other people give testimony to things Amanda and I have felt for many years now.  The love of a band brought us all together. That’s amazing.  The music is outstanding, but the real gift has been the friendships we’ve made along the way.  I love seeing other people react similarly.

Right now, I am so thankful for just being here and having the chance to celebrate with everyone, I still couldn’t care any less about what the band is playing tomorrow night. Something about the past week or so has really been a kind of wake up call to just enjoy the moments. I keep telling my sister and my friends that I just want to have fun and not worry.  Just breathing and not thinking too hard has been a relief.

Every single time I’ve set out on one of these road trips, no matter the length,  I’ve learned something more about myself. I suppose this is all as much about personal discovery as it is listening to great music and losing my cares for a couple of hours each night.  This time, it seems that I’m learning how to live in the moment and not the little things get me down.  (And I haven’t even been to a single show yet!)

I hope to see many of you at the meet ups we’re doing, or at shows along the way. If you aren’t already following us on Twitter, you might join in—I’m sure Amanda and I will have plenty to say, some of which might even be printable!  We also have an Instagram that definitely be filling up too.  We’re ready to take everyone along on this road to insanity!

The rest of my morning includes preparing for Amanda’s arrival and getting this show—Summer Tour 2016—on the road!


Influencer Fans Matter

If there was ever a doubt as to how much bands need well-known faces to tout their music to their friends…all of that was put to rest today as I read this article from the International Business Times.

The good news? Social media matters. The bad news? The article focused on younger, fresher-faces than say….the ones found on here on Daily Duranie. Not that we’re old (gasp)…but when one of us has a daughter who is the same age as many of the “influencers” cited in the article…. what more can really be said in our (ok…my) defense?

The article explains that labels will go to extreme lengths to make sure that young influencers, such as those of well-known YouTube, Vine and Instagram “stars”, talk about the bands and artists labels wish to heavily promote, many times paying those people, or, at the very least, treating them to VIP-like experiences at concerts and festivals. To labels, it is a (legally…if only just barely) form of advertising, and interestingly enough, in a survey taken in 2015, 61% of marketers said that they would be either including or increasing their budgets for these influencer campaigns.

What does that mean for Duran Duran? Well, I’ll ignore the obvious – like a website featuring DAILY advertising for five and a half years now from a website and blog (along with several other forms of social media) that happens to be near and dear to my heart <wink, wink>.

Huh. Obviously, I have been looking at this all wrong….

Fans matter. It is something I’ve always said, and will continue to say. If the band wants other people to be influenced enough to buy their music – which does seem to be the issue at hand – they need to find people (or see and publicly acknowledge) the people standing right in front of them who influence their community to buy those CDs and purchase those concert tickets.

This is also the sticking point, because I think upon reading that last paragraph, the assumption must be that Duran Duran needs to find a couple of young fans to appeal to others. Wouldn’t that be lovely if it actually worked?

As with anything, this can’t just go one way. Duran Duran shouldn’t focus solely on young people. Some might even argue with me, and say they should focus on what they know – their fans that have been with them for decades – and I wouldn’t necessarily argue. However, I also know that youth is the lifeblood of the music industry. There’s really no getting around that fact. There’s also no getting around the reality of a band that is in their 50’s trying to appeal to a crowd that wasn’t even born when they had their first tastes of success (and in some cases, their second in the 90s). Work one end of that spectrum of age, and the band would most certainly lose the other, no matter the direction we’re talking.

Instead, we are looking at Duran Duran taking new directions: a ballet, a musical. Maybe another album. Maybe not. The one thing I do know for certain: Daily Duranie will continue as long as there is a band and projects to support. Some might say we’re the “older and much wiser” equivalent of what is described in that article, and I’m sure others of you would wholeheartedly disagree, saying that “anyone could do it”.  True. I wouldn’t argue otherwise, and I think that’s the point.


How Did I Dream You?

Just as I give up on fairy tales and fantasies, I read something that makes me smile, dare to dream a little, and feel like a kid again. (I’m not just talking about my experience with an advance readers copy of the 80s Mixtape novella box set that Karen Booth sent me, either!  Another blog for another day…)

Yesterday, as I was doing my typical “avoiding-parental-duties-and-loitering-on-the-internet” thing, I ran across an article that both intrigued me as a researcher, and thrilled me as someone who has dabbled a bit in fandom. It was a story about a fan who has begun dating her celebrity crush, Disney’s Jake T. Austin from Wizards of Waverly Place. Apparently the fan began tweeting and commenting on his Instagram five years ago, culminating with Jake confirming that he’s “crazy for her”.

<Cue deafening sigh from Duranies around the world>

I couldn’t help but grin just a little when I read the headline yesterday. After all…haven’t most of us had that daydream? I’ve admitted it here many times, but my crush was Roger. Never mind I was about 13 when he married his first wife Giovanna, or that I am not, nor was I ever, dark-haired, gorgeous, or the least bit exotic-looking…it was a dream, dammit! I had it bad for Roger…not bad enough to ever follow him (again, the whole “being 13” thing sort of stopped me), or try to meet him…but the reverie of being brave enough to whisk myself off to London and “accidentally on purpose” meet him outside a studio or a gig kept me occupied during many a World History class in middle school. Even after he returned to the band in 2001, the worst thing I ever did was make myself look like a complete fool as I wore light-up horns (oh yes, and oh-hell-no I’m not posting pictures!) and waved to him as he went off stage during The Chauffeur on the Astronaut tour. Yes, I am that girl. I mean, I was that girl. The horns have been retired. You’re welcome.

Oh…there was that poster I held up asking if I could twirl his stick….

Yeah, let’s just not talk about that.  Moving on.

My point, because yes, there really IS a point, is that we all daydream at some point. The fan/rock star fantasies continue to run rampant, but most of us have conceded at this point that yes, they really are just fantasies. And then we read about someone’s fantasy coming true. I’ll be the first to admit that I briefly thought, “Now why couldn’t that have ever happened to me?” Then I started thinking about the 10,000 different reasons why there wasn’t a chance in hell, and realized that yes, my feet continue to be here on Planet Earth.

Someone else did tweet something I’d been thinking in my head, though.  “If only Duran Duran had been more accessible in the 80s!” If only. 

My grades would have immediately tanked. I’d have been so busy tweeting and loitering online that I’d have never learned about Babylonia, much less anything else. And truthfully, would it really have made any other kind of difference even I’d had direct access? Probably not. After all, I was still me…just younger and even more awkward and less-confident. I was sort of coppery-light brownish haired, green-eyed and incredibly awkward. Painfully so. Seriously, it’s a shame (I lie. It is not a shame at all…) I’d sooner die thousands of painful deaths rather than post photos of myself at the time. I had layered frizz for hair, no sense of style whatsoever, and I’m POSITIVE Nick Rhodes would have shrieked and ran from me if I’d have ever gotten close enough to approach. Like I said, there’s no way I’m posting photos, even if I had them….which I don’t. (thankfully)

The whole style thing??? I am not going to describe this properly because I can’t put this mess into words that do the outfit justice, but I had a pair of berry-colored “slacks” along with a purple and pink velour sweater thing that I would openly choose to wear with a pair of takes deep breath pink and purple Vans. Let me describe these in better detail: they were slip-ons. One was purple on the top, pink on the sides and purple in the back. The other was the exact opposite…and then each shoe had purple checks on the side. They were custom-made Vans that should have never made it off of the assembly line. I looked like a berry pie. I’m sure I blinded people. I apologize to those people. Profusely. The more you know.  <winks>

I’m also pretty certain that the band thanks their lucky stars the internet didn’t exist back then. Can’t really blame them, either.  Think about how it was whenever John Taylor would tweet. I always pictured it in my head as though he were being chased down the block while trying to have a conversation…and that was after we were all adults (or at least pretended to be). Imagine us all as teens with any of them online. Go ahead…I dare you. I shudder at the thought.

Do fans really have any kind of chance with celebrities? I suppose. If its meant to happen, it will. While it all sounds devastatingly romantic and certainly like a fairy tale at times, I think it all probably worked out as it was meant, at least for me.  Glamorous is to Rhonda as she is to……. yeah, that word game isn’t going to work with me. I’m as regular of a person as you’re gonna get. I take selfies, squint at my imperfections that I didn’t see until I took the picture, and wonder if there’s an Instagram filter that gets rid of the “housewife” look. I see photos of Yasmin, Nefer, Gela and Gisella…and they seem to have that filter built-in.

I wonder what that must be like…

Then there’s the whole “You’re a FAN” thing. Even if I were able to sneak in under the radar and be permanently rid of that “housewife and mom”  filter, I think it’s pretty difficult to shake that fan-label, even under the best of circumstances, even if I’ve tried. In one of the more recent embarrassments of my life, I made the mistake of mentioning to someone well-known I’d met previously that I’d love to meet up again and see them. They instantly assumed I was chatting them up, recoiling only slightly, being kind enough to cover and shoo me off as politely as possible with an incredibly carefully written email. Point taken, lesson learned. From now on, I stick to what I know. Writing. The computer. Perhaps a front row seat at a show where I can fantasize about being glamorous enough to attract attention, and then quietly retreat back to the reality of being a mom with three kids, a mortgage, and a fan-blog.

No, it’s not a fairy-tale fantasy come to life, but then again…I can wear Converse and a ponytail in my hair, gab online, write this blog, and yes, occasionally go total fangirl while folding laundry before I run to get the kids at school. I’m me. I’ll take it.


The Pressure is ON.

I am officially horrible at this blogging stuff. The fact is, I’ve gotten out of the practice of finding things to write about. I apologize for that, but I think we all know whom we can really blame, right??

No news. It’s difficult to write something worthy of print when there’s not much in the news department with which to react. That seems to be an ongoing problem, at least for me, because while I wasn’t reacting, another favorite of mine has announced a tour.  My current quandary? Do I buy tickets to see Brandon Flowers, or do I hold off in hopes that Duran Duran finally announces something for the fall? Carpe Diem??

Let’s face it – money is not necessarily flowing freely from the water pipes (nor is water these days, since I live in Southern California), and so I do have to spend smartly. I am sure that I cannot possibly be the only Duranie in the world thinking the words, “I wish the band would finally announce something!”

Yes, I’m aware that their album is due to be released in September, and the chances of a tour happening then is not likely. I’m also aware that at least in the past, the band has done promotional appearances when they’ve released an album. Is it really too much to think that there’s always that possibility?  I say not. I’d hate to be elsewhere when and if the band should happen to actually visit LA.

It is frustrating when other artists are already announcing their Fall gigs and we’ve yet to really hear a firm release date or much of anything else that would indicate a future return to this part of the world. Maybe I’m just really impatient. (maybe?!? HA. Try “I’m really very impatient!!”) Maybe, just maybe…I’m not the only one feeling that way.

It would seem that at any point now, we’d be seeing the triumphant return of the band to social media…and that we’d see them talk about how great the album is, and how they can’t wait to share that with us. I tend to see a lot of tweets asking John if he’s ever going to tweet again, photos of Simon in Paris at the Grande Palais…and not much at all from a Mr. Dom Brown aside from the occasional tweet indicating who he worked with most recently at his studio.

But, not all is lost. To those who pay attention, a certain Mr. Taylor has returned to social media….just not necessarily where you may have guessed.

John has become quite the Instagramer! Not more than a day or two goes by without a picture from John, and while not all (or even most) of the pictures have anything to do with Duran Duran per se – I have to commend him for sticking with it and finding something that works for him. I know for sure I’m not the only one who delights in seeing a new post from him – just recently he posted a picture of a Jacaranda tree in full, brilliant purple bloom, with the caption “I love Jacaranda season”.  Me too, John. It’s one of the best parts of So Cal in the spring.  No, it’s not quite a conversation with John, but does it have to be? I don’t think so. I actually appreciate the posts of the more “mundane” much more than I did the obvious “selling” tweets in the recent year or so…and interestingly enough (at least to me), it’s visual, for a band member that loves the visual. There’s still the occasional “I LOVE YOU JOHN” comments in reply, but if you wade through that – there is a lot of good happening there. This works, and I like it. I’m not even sure I really miss the tweetfests where one could barely get a tweet in edgewise.

Now to get the rest of them doing something, somewhere.  I really wish we didn’t scare them so much….so many of us are far, far more than just fans. (In fact, aren’t all of us more than that?) I know, I know, the crazy seems to speak far louder than the sane. I’ve seen that firsthand…but you never know, maybe the sane really does leak through in conversation every once in a while, in between interruptions.