Tag Archives: Unstaged

➤ Crazee or crazed? Lynch’s view of Duran from within his hellish cave

Duran Duran, streaming, live concert, Amex,YouTube, Unstaged, David Lynch, Los Angeles

Duran live on YouTube: a choice of three camera streams and “Lynchian effects” smothering John Taylor’s performance on All You Need Is Now

Duran Duran, streaming, live concert, Amex,YouTube, Unstaged, David Lynch, Los Angeles

What’s with the floating heads? Kelis joins Le Bon for The Man who Stole a Leopard

❚ WHAT RUM NIGHTMARES DAVID LYNCH must have in bed at night, but then, he did direct Eraserhead after all. For the best part of two hours, today’s much vaunted Duran Duran live web concert in the Unstaged series kept making you want to hurl virtual cabbages at the screen, enraged by a director whose intent was to obscure the act from view with his relentlessly potty toy-box full of widgets. From 2am UK time till almost the dawn chorus, the band onstage in California had no idea what web audiences in 22 overseas territories (432,000 channel views by 6.30am) were enduring as they pushed on through 18 numbers where musically there was much to enjoy (though Simon Le Bon did lurch badly off-key a couple of times). Two of the guest performers Kelis and Beth Ditto added real pleasure to Duran’s output old and new, as did a medley of Bond themes arranged by Mark Ronson.

The YouTube HD media player offered viewers at their computers a choice of three image sources, but gallingly the director’s cut wasn’t simply an option — it was the main stream. A couple of handheld “fun” cams in the audience searching for alternative shots added nothing whatsoever (one vanished entirely), so you were stuck with Lynch’s hellish visions and flickering ghosts from within his own mental Plato’s cave.

Duran Duran, streaming, live concert, Amex,YouTube, Unstaged, David Lynch, Los Angeles , Gerard Way

Collision of vocalists: Le Bon and guest Gerard Way during Planet Earth

The trouble with the way-over-the-top “Lynchian effects” was that by shooting the band in broodily gloomy black and white, then adding a light-storm of flashing bleached-out effects resulted in obscuring the musicians for literally 90% of the concert. This utterly defeats the founding principle for televising live events — which was always to give the viewer a privileged close-up vantage point. Not to superimpose a veil of tears. What Lynch added to the often rousing performance in the Mayan theatre, Los Angeles, was a heavy-handed montage (loosely echoing Duran’s lyrics) of old clock parts, bicycle wheels, smoking twigs, flames, sparklers, crashing airplanes, shrunken heads on sticks, BBQ hot dogs, dancing mice, gnomes and the sock fairy.

All of which prompted scrolling comments onscreen from viewers: “I wanna see the boys”, “What’s with the floating heads?”, “This guy is on freaking crack”, “Fatuous visuals”, “Giving me a headache”, “I’m going dizzy” and “Fire Lynch!”

Conclusion: arm yourself with a couple of extra-strong Nurofen Plus if you feel up to catching either the whole concert restreamed for UK audiences at 8pm tonight on Duran’s Vevo channel at YouTube, or opt right away for what look like edited highlights which were already being uploaded as the live show ended. The highlights seem likely to linger online for the next month. But if Rhodes, Le Bon, and the Taylors can brace themselves to view the whole Lynchian farrago in real time — as we had to — they’ll never, ever repeat this kind of laughable venture live. The surrealists played this card in 1930, and won hands down.

Duran Duran, streaming, live concert, Amex,YouTube, Unstaged, David Lynch, Los Angeles , Beth Ditto

Ghost in the machine: the usually high-visibility guest Beth Ditto trapped in a Lynchian spinning jenny during Notorious

Duran Duran, streaming, live concert, Amex,YouTube, Unstaged, David Lynch, Los Angeles

Given a roasting: Nick Rhodes gets barbecued during, appropriately, Come Undone

➢ Duran’s official website lists these 22 territories (based on YouTube licensing agreements) which are able to view Unstaged: Argentina, 
Australia, 
Brazil
, Canada, 
Czech Republic
, France
, Hong Kong
, Ireland, Israel, 
Italy
, Japan, 
Korea, Republic of 
Mexico, 
Netherlands, 
New Zealand, 
Poland, 
Russian Federation, 
South Africa
, Spain
, Taiwan Province of China, 
United Kingdom
, United States.

➢ Shapersofthe80s reports on Duran Duran in America — plus media verdicts on the new album All You Need Is Now

FRONT PAGE

➤ 22 territories tune in for tonight’s Duran Duran concert live on the web

David Lynch, Duran Duran, Unstaged, Roger Taylor, Nick Rhodes (DD videograb)

Rehearsals at the downtown Mayan theatre, LA: David Lynch, Roger Taylor, Nick Rhodes

❚ TONIGHT WEDNESDAY MARCH 23 audiences around the world can tune into Duran Duran’s live online concert in 1080p HD, enhanced by film-maker David Lynch in Los Angeles. It is being streamed live on Wednesday at 7pm Pacific Daylight Time / 10pm Eastern Daylight Time (UTC−04), which is Thursday 2am in the UK (02:00 UTC).

View at the band’s YouTube channel /DuranDuranVEVO where, if you miss the live broadcast, the YouTube blog says you can catch highlights on their channel immediately following the event. The full 90-minute show will also be repeated for UK audiences at 8pm Thursday, according to the sponsor Amex’s Facebook page.

John Taylor, Nick Rhodes, Duran Duran, 2011, March 23, March 24, 02:00 UTC, David Lynch, Mayan theatre,All You Need Is Now,Vevo, YouTube, Unstaged, American Express, live concert, webcast, streamingThis webcast launches the second season of Unstaged, a music series sponsored by American Express in partnership with Vevo. Guitarist John Taylor said: “It’s not going to look like any concert film has looked before.” He said that viewers will be able to switch between the high-definition main stream and alternate “Lynchian” artistic viewpoints. Lynch insists that he won’t be directing the band themselves, but creating abstract visuals in what he describes as an “experiment”, one where he hopes there will be “many happy accidents”.

Duran’s official website lists these 22 territories (based on YouTube licensing agreements) which can view Unstaged as a live stream tonight at 02:00 UTC:
Argentina, 
Australia, 
Brazil
, Canada, 
Czech Republic
, France
, Hong Kong
, Ireland, Israel, 
Italy
, Japan, 
Korea, Republic of 
Mexico, 
Netherlands, 
New Zealand, 
Poland, 
Russian Federation, 
South Africa
, Spain
, Taiwan Province of China, 
United Kingdom
, United States.

➢ Shapersofthe80s reports on Duran Duran in America — plus media verdicts on the new album All You Need Is Now
➢ How to unstage Duran Duran — A conversation with David Lynch at the Huffington Post

FRONT PAGE

2011 ➤ Spandau and Duran square up for battle just like the old days

Spandau Ballet, 2009, press conference, HMS Belfast, pop music, free CD

Spandau Ballet in 2009: answering our questions at their reunion press conference

❚ EVEN AS A UNIQUE CD COMPILATION of Spandau Ballet’s landmark hits is set for massive free distribution with The Mail on Sunday next weekend, Duran Duran announce a global concert live online at YouTube only days later, along with their own album release on CD. It could be the 80s all over again when the two arch-rival bands vied for the title of leaders of Britain’s New Romantics movement. So which veteran band will score the bigger hit in 2011?

Duran Duran, 2011, All You Need Is Now, YouTube, live stream, pop music

Duran Duran earlier this year: US and European tours, plus a live concert stream. Picture courtesy duranduran.com

Spandau’s special-edition CD features 12 tracks — half, including True and Gold, are remastered from their originals, with six live tracks coming from their show at London’s Sadler’s Wells in 1983, including the club anthem Chant No 1. The cover-mounted disc will be delivered free across Britain with every copy of the MoS, presumably because its marketing director expects Spandau to boost the paper’s circulation well past its average of 1,924,589 copies. Last Sunday Gary Kemp recalled the 80s for MoS readers: “It was madly competitive as we were all tribal. Duran Duran wanted to be more successful than us, we wanted to be more successful than ABC, or Culture Club, or Duran themselves. We spurred each other on.”

Duran Duran, David Lynch,poster,YouTube,Amex, Unstaged,concert, Los Angeles,Meanwhile today, Duran Duran announce that David Lynch — fabled director of the movies Eraserhead and The Elephant Man — has been enlisted to direct a live DD concert to be streamed online on March 23/24 to launch the second season of Unstaged, a music series sponsored by American Express and Vevo. Amex has pushed this internet venture to team breakthrough artists with influential filmmakers using interactive social media as the outlet (full details at Billboard).

During a Facebook Live chat from SXSW John Taylor admitted that how Lynch intended to video the show was still a mystery but “we know it’s not going to look like any concert film has looked before”. Audiences around the world will be able to switch between the director’s high-definition main stream and alternate “Lynchian” artistic viewpoints when they tune into YouTube on Wednesday in the US at 10pm EDT / 7pm PDT — which is Thursday at 02:00 UTC. The concert will also be rebroadcast for the UK on YouTube at 7pm on March 24. (Check here for regions where Unstaged will be viewable live. The Los Angeles concert will then remain online for a month.)

Can Duran attract a bigger audience than Spandau’s 2million Mail readers? With their US tour starting this week, DD’s comeback album is released in the US as a physical disc next Tuesday. The video of its title track All You Need Is Now has scored 629,689 views since it was posted on YouTube on Dec 20, so it’s anybody’s guess how many fans will tune in for the live webcast. What’s yours?

WHAT THE RIVAL BANDS SAY

Talking up the imminent free CD, Spandau Ballet told last week’s Mail on Sunday what the tracks meant to them…

Spandau Ballet, Reformation tour, John Keeble, Dublin

John Keeble: Dublin sound-check as Spandau’s Reformation tour kicks off 2009

Martin Kemp “We gave Instinction to producer Trevor Horn who really turned it on its head. It became a monster.”

Steve Norman on Lifeline “We knew we couldn’t stay an underground band for ever – the mainstream pop charts beckoned and we knew we had to deliver. Cue smiles and kisses to camera!”

John Keeble “Only When You Leave was the lead single from the Parade album as the band established a more rock-based edge. It opened doors to a new group of fans and gave me the chance to rock a bit harder on the drum kit.”

Tony Hadley “Sadler’s Wells was one of the best venues for us. It was an intimate gig and perfect to showcase tracks from our album True, such as Foundation – a slice of white soul-boy funky pop – Communication – a great upbeat number – and Pleasure, which really captures the essence of the era.”

Duran Duran ,All You Need Is Now,Nick Rhodes, video

Nick Rhodes: last November's video for the comeback single, All You Need Is Now. Courtesy duranduran.com

Over in the States, Duran founder and keyboardist Nick Rhodes discusses the David Lynch webcast with Billboard today:

“The stranger it is, the more beautiful it will be. What appeals to us very much about working with David is that we like the way he thinks about things and how he’s always gone out on a limb to make things different. He works completely outside of the system, and that’s what we try to do. I think the combustion between us and David should create something that nobody’s ever seen before, something mysterious and magical and surprising.”

FRONT PAGE