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Pressure

Posted on October 23rd, 2015

Dave!It's been a fairly stress-filled week.

I don't know that my weekend will be any easier, but at least I have a quick trip to look forward to on Monday.


   

And now? Nachos!

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Categories: Music 2015Click To It: Permalink  2 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Bullet Sunday 451

Posted on September 20th, 2015

Dave!Every little thing the reflex does leaves you answered with a question mark, because Bullet Sunday starts... now...

• Red! "Attend a live concert by a band I love at Red Rocks Amphitheater" has been on my bucket list for a very, very long time. So long, in fact, that I was ready to compromise and go see ANY live concert at Red Rocks the next time I was in Denver. "Even Nickelback?" you may be thinking. Yes. Even Nickelback. Fortunately, long-time blogging friend Howard let me know that Duran Duran was going to be playing tonight, so I got to fulfill my original bucket list item the way it was meant to be fulfilled.

• Rocks! And let me tell you, Red Rocks is a frickin' amazing place to see a concert. I only had my iPhone, so any photos I post can't really do it justice, but here you go...

Red Rocks Amphitheater!

Red Rocks Amphitheater!

Red Rocks Amphitheater!

Red Rocks Amphitheater!

Red Rocks Amphitheater!

Red Rocks Amphitheater!

Red Rocks Amphitheater!

Red Rocks Amphitheater!

For much, much better images of this breathtaking venue, a Google search is a good place to start...

• Clean! The first opening act was Clean Bandit, a group I've never heard of before...

Not bad at all.

• Chic! The second opening act was Nile Rodgers and Chic. This could have been a bit of a snooze, but Nile Rogers pulled from the unfathomably huge stable of artists he's worked with to unleash a truly amazing set. I'm Coming Out, Upside Down, We Are Family, and even a brilliant rendition of David Bowie's Let's Dance were all there and just amazing. They even did Daft Punk's Get Lucky! Wrapping up with La Freak and Rapper's Delight didn't hurt. Fantastic performance.

• Durans! And then it was time for Duran Duran and they were amazing. Simon Le Bon has lost absolutely nothing over the years, and the show was everything you could hope for... including a setlist that had them playing a great mix of new stuff along with the hits everybody wanted to hear...

  1. Paper Gods. Title track off their latest album.
  2. Hungry Like the Wolf. One of their most well-known songs.
  3. A View to a Kill. The band's James Bond effort from the movie of the same name (and one of my favorite D2 songs).
  4. The Reflex. A long-time popular cut for live shows that works perfectly every time.
  5. Come Undone. The first track of three taken from "The Wedding Album" and one of my favorite songs... not just for Duran Duran, but ever.
  6. Last Night in the City. Not the strongest track from Paper Gods, but it was well-received.
  7. What Are the Chances? A beautiful, haunting song off Paper Gods that I was very happy to hear, as I thought for sure it wouldn't make the cut. If only we could have gotten Butterfly Girl and Face for Today. as well.
  8. Notorious. Not one of my favorites, but it always plays really well live.
  9. Pressure Off. My favorite track off of their latest album.
  10. Planet Earth. One of their first hits and best songs.
  11. Ordinary World. One of the incredible tracks off "The Wedding Album" that rejuvenated the band for the masses.
  12. (Reach Up for the) Sunrise. A lone contribution from Astronaut, a seriously underrated album.
  13. The Wild Boys. Classic song for sing-along that I'd just as soon have them skip in favor of another song, but there's not denying it was a fun addition to the set.
  14. Danceophobia. An okay track off Paper Gods, but no guest appearance by Lindsay Lohan, sadly.
  15. Too Much Information. Another wonderful track off "The Wedding Album" that killed it live.
  16. Girls on Film. My favorite of their earliest work.
  17. White Lines (Don't Don't Do It). Goes over really well live thanks to a good crowd participation hook.
  18. Save a Prayer. Another sing-along favorite that was very well received.
  19. Rio. Arguable the most popular song from "classic" era Duran Duran, it was a really nice close to the show...

Red Rocks Amphitheater!

All in all, and amazing night by one of my favorite bands!

• Off! If you haven't run out and purchased Paper Gods yet, it's an album well worth your time. Half the tracks I love, and the remainder aren't terrible. My favorite track, Pressure Off, is now stuck in my head...

So, yeah... if you have the chance to see Duran Duran live in concert, I'd definitely do that.

• Blergh! All was not perfect at Red Rocks, however. The sound, which was awesome for Clean Bandit and Chic, kept muffling in and out throughout Duran Duran's entire set. It was very frustrating given just how amazing Simon Le Bon was belting out the tracks.

And, oh yeah... whomever designed the lighting for Duran Duran's stage show should be shot. Half of their set was spent staring not at the band... but at a huge fucking bank of lights that blinded everybody trying to see the show. THIS is what I was staring at for way too long...

Red Rocks Amphitheater!

Incredibly annoying, and I wish bands would be more mindful of BLINDING THE FUCKING AUDIENCE, because this is not the first time this has happened to me.

   
And... that's a wrap!

   

Shell

Posted on March 27th, 2015

Dave!It happens all the time.

Find a band you like one minute and they drop off the face of the earth the next. I can find no word from Father Tiger since December (their website hasn't been updated in almost a year).

Kind of sad about that, as I thought for sure 2015 would be when we finally get a first full album out of the band...

Hopefully they're just busy in the studio and haven't had time to post updates?

Oh well.

In other music news... the best news I heard all day... Duran Duran has an album coming out in September through Warner Bros. Records that will reunite them with genius producer Nile Rodgers!

Few bands have remained as consistently good with their music than Duran Duran. Their last release (way back in 2010), All You Need is Now, was as amazing as anything they've ever released. If we'll be getting more of the same this time around, I'll be very happy to add them to my Best Of 2015 list.

   

Audio10

Posted on December 29th, 2010

Dave!2010 -> AUDIO -> VIDEO -> DAVE

All things considered, 2010 was a bitchin' year for 80's music whores like myself because OMD, a-ha, and Duran Duran all came out with awesome new albums. Then 80's throwback Goldfrapp dropped an album straight out of Xanadu. Two of my indie favorites, The Weepies and Matt & Kim came out with some great new stuff. And I discovered an amazing band (new to me!), Mackintosh Braun, thanks to Grey's Anatomy (of all places). As if that wasn't enough, Daft Punk managed to put out a soundtrack for TRON that didn't suck. It all added up to a lot of music purchases for me this year.

Here is a list of my favorite albums from 2010:

   
OMD, History of Modern

#1 History of Modern by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark.
As a long-time fan of OMD who was overwhelmingly underwhelmed by their "last" album back in 1996 (titled Universal), I was almost dreading the announcement that a new album was coming out. The last thing I wanted after 14 years was another disappointment. But a part of me was hopeful, and that hope was rewarded in spades with History of Modern. Easily one of their best albums, it's a return to glorious form for original members Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys. Each song feels like a love-letter to their fans and serves as a reminder as to just how good OMD's music is. I love every track save one (the badly misplaced New Holy Ground) and would be hard-pressed to pick a favorite, as it changes with each listen. Right now I'm in love with Green and History of Modern, Pt. 2, both complex and haunting tracks that stick in your head. Last week it was Sometimes and Sister Marie Says. All I can do is hope that they tour the USA and bless us with an equally-awesome follow-up album in 2012.

   
Matt & Kim, Sidewalks

#2 Sidewalks by Matt and Kim.
When I first heard Matt and Kim's debut album, I remarked that it was if I had discovered music again for the first time. Then they broke into mainstream with their brilliant follow-up, Grand, and my love for Matt and Kim was sealed. They have a... joy... for music that you just can't find anywhere else. When I heard they were coming out with something new, Sidewalks, I was prepared to be blown away once again. Oddly enough, that didn't happen. The once raw and unrefined sound that made Matt and Kim be Matt and Kim had been replaced with something more polished which had worn away all the rough edges I came to love in their sound. Kim's wildly unapologetic brashness when banging on those drums had been subdued to levels so small that it was almost as if her kit had been put on half-mute or something. And so I spent the first week being mildly disappointed. But I never stopped listening. I played it again and again and again. And fell in love with Matt and Kim all over again. From the minute I hear the opening bars of Block After Block, I'm hooked. This is an amazing album in its own right, even if it deviates from the Matt and Kim sound I had grown accustomed to. For their next effort, I'm hoping they take a half-step backwards while they're moving forward.

   
a-ha, Foot of the Mountain

#3 Foot of the Mountain by a-ha.
For reasons I cannot understand, a-ha is relegated to one-hit-wonder status here in the USA (they're the Take On Me guys!), even though they went on to create some of the most amazing music I've ever heard. So when the boys announced they'd be breaking up after their Foot of the Mountain album and tour, I was more than a little upset. The first thing I did was get my hands on the CD as an import since a-ha doesn't get their stuff released here in the US. The next thing I did was buy a flight to New York and tickets to their farewell show. All I can say is that if the band simply had to retire, they couldn't have picked a better album or tour to go out on. Much like OMD's effort, Foot of the Mountain is a true return to the sound that made everybody fall in love with a-ha. With the exception of the mind-bogglingly bad final song Start the Simulator (WTF?!?), every track is gold. My favorite song is Mother Nature Go to Heaven which has the band firing on all cylinders... Morten Harket's haunting vocals being lovingly tempered with Magne Furuholmen's keyboards and Pål Waaktaar's guitar and lyrics. It's everything I love about the band summed up in 4 minutes, 9 seconds. Add the beautiful title track and seven other amazing songs and you're left with my third favorite album of 2010, but it's probably the one I'll remember the most since it's their last.

   
Mackintosh Braun, Where We Are

#4 Where We Are by Mackintosh Braun.
This album came out of nowhere from a band I had never heard of. I was watching an episode of Grey's Anatomy and, not for the first time, found myself Googling to find out what the awesome song was that was playing. Turns out it was Could it Be by Mackintosh Braun. A quick trip to the iTunes Store and I was running through the tracks like mad, floored by the dreamy sound that was oozing out of my speakers. I bought the album without hesitation, and it's been in heavy rotation ever since. The following week, Grey's featured another track Made For Us, which is yet another winner. Hell, every track is a winner. My favorite is Familiar which is not only plays like something out of a dream, but has a stunning musical progression that builds and falls like waves cresting in your mind. I kept hoping that I'd get tired of Where We Are so I'd be moved to purchase their debut album The Sound from 2007. Mostly because I wanted to appreciate each work separately. But I never got tired of it, and ended up buying The Sound anyway. It's a less mature album (and surprisingly simple in parts), but still an enchanting listen. Where We Are one-ups it, and I expect great things from the band in the future.

   
Duran Duran, All You Need is Now

#5 All You Need is Now by Duran Duran
Back in 1985 Arcadia dropped "the best album Duran Duran never made" with So Red the Rose... 25 years later, Duran Duran is back, and managed to come up with a last-minute 2010 miracle: All You Need is Now... easily their best effort in 17 years. With this release Duran Duran is back in full-form, giving us a great title track plus gems like Leave the Light On and Being Followed. It's no Rio or Seven and the Ragged Tiger, but it made this fan very happy that it wasn't another Liberty or Thank You either.

   
Tron Legacy Soundtrack by Daft Punk

(Honorable Mention) Tron: Legacy (Soundtrack) by Daft Punk.
While electronica house music has never been a favorite genre, it would be hard to ignore the works of the French duo Daft Punk. They're crossover success on YouTube with Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger made them an overnight sensation back in 2007. Even so, I had serious reservations about them doing the soundtrack for Tron: Legacy. The last thing I wanted was some house dance music fucking up an otherwise amazing film. Turns out I had nothing to worry about. From the moment the first track Derezzed was leaked, I knew in my gut that Daft Punk was a truly inspired choice to score the movie. Turns out that was only the tip of the iceberg, and the entire album was filled with mind-bending electronica that listens like nuclear-infused ear candy. While I may not listen to it often, Tron: Legacy makes my "honorable mention" for having the good sense not to fuck up the movie it supports (any problems that movie had were not due to the soundtrack).

It's not over yet! Albums 6-10 are in an extended entry...

→ Click here to continue reading this entry...

   

Duran Duran

Posted on July 6th, 2009

Dave!Duran Duran is one of the few of my favorite 80's bands that I haven't seen live. So when my sister told me they'd be playing at Marymoor Park on Independence Day weekend, it was an opportunity too good to pass up (even if you do get gouged by TicketMeister). It was particularly decent of her to go, because she's not the big Duran Duran fan that I am.

Now, for whatever reason, I was not expecting much out of the concert. Perhaps it's because Duran Duran's sound always seems so polished that I just assumed it all came from the studio.

I could not have been more wrong.

Simon Le Bon and company tore through 19 of their biggest hits in one of the best live performances I have ever seen. They over-delivered with a flawless set that gave the crowd exactly what they wanted to hear. It made me curse all the times I passed at seeing them in concert before, and has me looking forward to the next time they come to town.

Ooh... and I shot my very first video on my new iPhone! Sound is kind of blown out (I don't think the iPhone microphone expects the audio source to be so loud) but the quality is still pretty good video-wise. Unfortunately, they compress the hell out of things when you upload it to Mobile.Me or YouTube. Doesn't look too horrible if you play it small though...

All in all, a pretty fantastic weekend.

I've gone through the set-list song-by-song in an extended entry, if you're so inclined.

UPDATE: The YouTube version has finished processing, so I swapped it for the QuickTime version since people were having problems with it. Also, there are a number of much better iPhone videos posted to YouTube of the concert.

→ Click here to continue reading this entry...

   

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