DD TV Playlist – 5th November 2017

Duran Duran – Looking for cracks in the pavement

Anna Ross – Karman Line

Dom Brown –  Going down but not slow

Andy Taylor – Visible Target

Arcadia – El diablo

The Power Station –  Living in Fear

Warren Cuccurullo –  Suddenly spring

John Taylor –  The other side of the sun

The Devils – Dark Circles

Neurotic Outsiders – Jerk

Autohypnosis –  Absence of

Luke Skyscraper (Fashion)  – Love shadow

Michael Des Barres –  Dancing on the brink of disaster

The Gravity Drive – Shooting star

Depeche Mode – Everything counts

Levante – Gesù Cristo sono io

Rita Ora – Anywhere

Imagine Dragons – Whatever it takes

 

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DD TV Why was it the final encore?

Again on the memories and arguments on why a popular music act of the 80’s suddenly stopped being popular

I am going to focus on Bananarama, the only girls band, who has been on the road since the early 80’s (as I know, at least) , but whose popularity went fading in the past few years, in particular in their home country. The ladies have now announced they would do a comeback tour this December 2017 in the UK and this caused a stir, a global “wow!!!! ”

Bananarama was one of my favourite female vocal pop groups and I’m taking now the chance to take a look at their history and success. All support girls on your come back, on the stage at least!  It all started in 1981 and it peaked in the mid-80’s. The right girls at the right place, the necessary chemistry to make together the right songs at the right moment and the wisest choices that led the group to leave their mark. The girls individually decided to leave the band for family reasons, for trying to fly solo, or just to break free from the same team of producers and this led the band into the dark. Having said that, seen that nostalgia is a growing feeling lately, after huge demand the “ex-girls” decided to do a comeback tour in the UK. Who can tell, could this be the seed for new music?

I knew the girls thanks to the hit single “Cruel Summer”, it was heavily aired on my favourite radio stations and I was impressed by their vocal harmony. I often wondered how three different voices could sound like one ?? In fact this technique became the “brand” of the band and no one else could sing and do it better than they did for some time. “Venus” was their peak: I learnt the moves of the few dances off their “sexy” clips … Good times to be a teen!

Prior to say that decade – the Eighties – which was rated as “ephemeral, hedonistic, shallow” was indeed “a lab” to make new music, as bands like Bananarama weren’t seen again in the following years, I think that again, I saw pressure as the main reason for a successful band to break up. I think that the intention of raising a family (although all members were girls) is just secondary, but equally important. Years later, with my “adult”- like view, I saw again “superstars” giving it up as “normal people” as we fans would do, with the only big difference that their “life” so stressful to them is the same kind of life I dreamt of when I was a kid !! I have to wonder if I still aspire to that kind of life, whenever I listen to my favourite music. … LOL!

My hat off of these trio, because their pop music success, underneath the surface, it reincarnated the struggle to independence of women, following the example given by Madonna. I wish now the share of success between men and women is more equally distributed in the rock industry ,but more importantly, that female musicians get more respect today than they got back then: I really hope there wouldn’t be any more “struggling” for it behind a three minutes song.

 

DD TV xx

DD TV Playlist – 29th October 2017

Duran Duran – Stop dead

Andy Taylor –  Don’t let me die young

Michael Kratz feat. Dom Brown –  What did I …?

Anna Ross – Karman Line

Arcadia – Rose Arcana

The Power Station –  We fight for love

Warren Cuccurullo –  Player guitar

John Taylor –  Meltdown

The Devils – Big Store

Neurotic Outsiders – Revolution

Autohypnosis –  Dimension

Luke Skyscraper (Fashion)  – Innocent

Michael Des Barres –  Little latin lover

The Gravity Drive – Shooting star

Michael Jackson –Billie Jean

Jack Jaselli – In fondo alla notte

Beck – Up all night

Seal – Luck be a lady

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DD TV Glam Pop Party – October 2017

DD TV Glam Pop Party – October 2017

We are on the way to say goodbye to October 2017, as it is coming to an end: it is one of the longest and tiring months in the year, for us. We can only hope it was a nicer time for you.

Having said that we are here to share the new end-of-the-month list, featuring the argument like on one topic versus some of the others that we usually speak of !

This time the topic is “Covers and Remakes”

Covers and remakes vs. The question

In the beginning the question was “How do they choose the hits of the past?”, but seen that, recently enough, certain artists have fun covering current hits as well, the question turns to be like “What’s the criteria adopted by them to pick up the best song to cover?”

Covers and remakes vs. Live shows

We often noticed there are re-arrangements also when they perform covers and remakes live. Due to their thrill and their responsibility to perform something big in front an audience, artists often find it nice to change the song furtherly… and we appreciate it!

Covers and remakes vs. Legacy and currency

The milestone hits of the past that were our legacy, now the trend of remaking them is becoming “currency”. Don’t make us wrong, we don’t mean today music is made only of “re-managed old hits”: past is our present, but the present is not lost.

Covers and remakes vs. top albums

The remakes, if well done, it must be said, can make the albums top albums. The artists’ good taste, if prevailing, can get their albums more respectable to the ears of critics, to the ears of their co-workers and to the ears of the audience.

Covers and remakes vs. The challenge

The challenge is to pick up the right old song and at the right moment. The second step is to ask for the original artists’ permission. Once the permission is released, they have to find the best musicians to realize the best new re-arrangements and, last but not least, the last target is to conquer the hearts of the fans. Good luck!

Covers and remakes vs. DJ music

DJ are used to sample parts of old mega-hits and people seem to appreciate it. The more frequently DJs use these pieces of songs, the sooner the covers get the “new DJ music”

Covers and remakes vs. Radio

Covers and remakes become popular thanks to the radio DJs: it is funny to hear both the original hits that are normally aired and their new rendition. It is now a balanced thing. Radio DJs should have the good taste to air the most captivating ones with an eye to the long-time fans of the original songs.

Covers and remakes vs. producers

Producers, in the particular process of realizing covers and remakes, should act like a referee and a boss. In the studio there should be the best recording tools to make the best “effects” and he should create the best possible chemistry within the musicians.

 

 

 

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DD TV Playlist – 22nd October 2017

Duran Duran –  Girl panic

Andy Taylor –  Stone cold sober

Michael Kratz feat. Dom Brown –  What did I …?

Anna Ross – Karman line

Arcadia –  El diablo

The Power Station –  Go to zero

Warren Cuccurullo –  The third eye

John Taylor –  Just good friends

The Devils – Signals in smoke

Neurotic Outsiders – Feelings are good

Autohypnosis –  The numbers

Luke Skyscraper (Fashion)  – Silver Blades

Michael Des Barres –  Rock n’ roll Santa

The Gravity Drive – Shooting star

The Cars – Heartbeat City

Paolo Conte – Con te

Charlie Puth – How long

Jayin – Dynabeat

 

 

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DD TV The viewer – October 2017

October 2017

Aside the only official Oscar’s ceremony held in LA every year, this is the place where we post our feedback on the most impressive movies we have watched in these past few months.

We use the following “rough” method for the rating.

*** (3 stars) good movie, but not excellent

**** (4 stars) great

***** (5 stars) don’t miss it, highly recommended

IAN FLEMING 2016 with Dominic Cooper

It wasn’t a proper movie, but a mini fiction of two episodes, a biopic on the life of the mister Ian Fleming, the author of all stories that generated the 20-more movies of James Bond that aired on the Italian TV in early September.

He actually created the character of James Bond.

Mister Fleming hasn’t had a quiet life: he was a sort of spy for real, during the World War II, he contributed to create the today CIA, he contributed to decode “Enigma”, the cryptic system used by the Nazis to communicate. He was a brave man, even in love affairs, he led a life similar to the Bond’s one. I expected someone like Ernest Hemingway, because I read Fleming wrote the James Bond’s venture tales in Jamaica (Hemingway was in Cuba).

This delicious two-parts- movie told all of the life of the mister Fleming with a little fiction, some sex scenes were explicit. There was  not so much blood or violence, but much action and venture.

It was interesting, funny. It was a thrill just like whenever I watch any of the 007 Bond movies !!

**** 4 stars out of 5

THE LGIHT OF YOUR EYES with Marguerite Yourcé, France, 2014

From a real fact: we are in the 1920s, in France, and the protagonist is a young girl affected by a severe neuro-disease that led her to be blind and to be deaf, since her birth. Her family wasn’t rich and they could not feed her or educate her normally, like any other child, not to mention her particular condition.

One day they bring the girl to a Catholic institute where a nun finally, after a long time, manages to take some little cares for her, because the young girl, untrusting anyone, let the nun approach to her, gradually.

This story turned into a movie is a poignant story and I have to admit that few tears rolled down on my cheeks. It recalled me a classic film of the French director Francois Truffaut, titled “L’Enfant sauvage”, that at school, when I was about 12-13 years old, our teachers forced us to watch!! The Truffaut movie shares few similarities, although the “Wild Boy of Alveyron” was abandoned in the jungle during his childhood and he was brought up by the apes; both these unfortunate   children share “animal approach” towards anything human beings.

In the end, you come supporting the girl and her nun/tutor. Once she is turned into a human, so to speak, then she has to face the discrimination in real life.

*** 3 stars out of 5

THE INTERNATIONAL – (USA/Germany – 2009) with Clive Owen and Naomi Watts

It was an amazing spy story and some portions of it were shot in Italy, too, although in the credits it is not acknowledged.

I found actor Clive Owen half a way between Nicholas Cage and Aaron Eikherart, two of my fave actors off the new generation.

The story is very simple and maybe not so original: An agent of Interpol has to find the murderer of a co-worker: papers, visits, travels in other counties to get the clues, but the other colleagues of the same agency and other spy agencies make their best to put the man in difficulties. With wrong information or fake information, or corrupting the media to say another version of the truth. ….

The story is very simple: I think the best points on it were the suspense à la Hitchcock, the action, the 2.0 technology that recalled me also “Mission impossible”.

Glad to point out that there was not much violence, no obscene language and finally the right share of blood.

This was maybe a spy “B movie”, a little underrated, but it deserves to be watched more than one time.

**** 4 stars out of 5

 

Next update in February 2018

 

DD TV xx

DD TV Playlist – 15th October 2017

Duran Duran –  Medazzaland

Andy Taylor –  Take it easy

Michael Kratz feat. Dom Brown –  What did I …?

Anna Ross – First day

Arcadia –  The promise

The Power Station –  Living in fear

Warren Cuccurullo –   The experiment

John Taylor –  Winners and losers

The Devils – Come alive

Neurotic Outsiders – Better way

Autohypnosis –  Middle management

Luke Skyscraper (Fashion)  – Bike boys

Michael Des Barres –  Sold me down the river

The Gravity Drive – Shooting star

Blur – Coffee and TV

PFM – Quartiere generale

The Revivalists – I wish I knew you

Craig David – Heart line

 

 

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DD TV Danceophobia – October 2017

Our argument every time is developed in the three different phases, whose names took inspiration from groove and whose content changes according to the mood of the discussion. The “forerunner” is like an introduction, the “tour de force” is the place hosting the hottest words, and the “slow dance” is the conclusion.

“Lyrics are the engine of the song and might influence the groove”

FORERUNNER

This is a quote from the last week blog we uploaded, about lyrics. It is clear rap music is out of this, due to the nature of the music.

The context is that words are sometimes so intense, so important for the singers to be heard well by the fans that lyrics in this case get the main factor and can decide the groove of the song: slow to have the people better listening, fast groove to the lyrics featuring less serious lyrics. Is it true or it is a coincidence?

TOUR DE FORCE

In our long time listening career  we have noticed that in the drumbeat is set to slow in order to hear the voice and so the words louder and better, but there could be an another alternative version: the slow drumbeat can be slowed for the vocals only. In both cases, the vocalist is forced to “stay behind” the groove. It is around the drum that you hear most of the other instruments playing, so the voice tries to not fall in that noise and tries to stay behind it: it is a technique we heard many times before. If you have intense or important things to say, your voice should be out of the noise to be heard and that’s why it is better to use the slow songs for this aim.

There is no rule on the order of recording, that is what should be in before, the music or the lyrics, but mostly it is well known that the instrumental parts are often recorded before the lyrics. Lyrics are written “aside” the music, because creativity is harder to find on the music, you have only seven notes you can use, whereas there is not limit on the words. The final choice is the best one: in order to arrive into the listener’s heart and ears, an enjoyable, “sticky” groove should be related to good, fresh lyrics. Awesome challenge!

There is not doubt that catchy songs are the ones that get stickiest in people’s mind  for the refrains, unless the  authors want  to sing out something really important, or deep to their fans, so they might choose to focus in particular on the refrains, featuring the best concepts and words. The epic refrains are the ones that for the fans are referred to as “top listens”.  Again the groove is the hook for “hammering”  words.

Lastly, but not important, we recall the power of drums or of whatever beat: anthropologists tell us that even the apes are attracted by the beat, the beat is the primary “language”. In the same way, the drum beat, the groove is to us: thus is to mean that the groove is the “magnet” for the lyrics

SLOW DANCE

Having said that we must admit that the drummers play the backbone of the songs and the lyrics: they have a huge responsibility, but also a huge honour.

DJ SET:

This is another “ironic” DJ set, that is we picked up few songs whose titles can ironically match with these key words are: words – rhythm –hear(listen)

Enjoy!

Duran Duran – You kill me with silence

Michael Jackson – Beat it

Joan Armatrading – Kind words

F.R. David – Words

Bob Geldof – Beat of the night

U2 – With or without you

Spandau Ballet – Communication

Led Zeppelin – Communication breakdown

Depeche Mode – Enjoy the silence

The Verve – Bittersweet symphony

 

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DD TV Playlist – 8th October 2017

Duran Duran –  Notorious

Andy Taylor – End of the world

Michael Kratz feat. Dom Brown –  What did I …?

Anna Ross – Karman line

Arcadia –  Goodbye is forever

The Power Station – Babyin’ you

Warren Cuccurullo –  Intermission possible

John Taylor –  Girl Raw

The Devils – Memory palaces

Neurotic Outsiders – Good news

Autohypnosis –  Hopeless American Summer

Luke Skyscraper (Fashion)  – Die in the West

Michael Des Barres –  Boy meets car

The Gravity Drive – Shooting star

Tom Petty – Free fallin

Paola Turci – Off line

Ed Sheeran – Perfect

Kelly Clarkson – Love’s so soft

 

https://lnk.to/MichaelKratzWhatDidIFA

 

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DD TV – Lyrics do matter

When I listen to a song today what my music heroes tell me is important and it is sometimes the factor that determines if that songs deserves to be removed from my heart, my head and from my playlists!!

The progress. It was towards 1990 that I noticed I kind of “heard” the words, I think I was getting more concentrated and curious on the lyrics; in my English classes the international pop songs of the moment were taken to be the basis of English lessons: that was the beginning of all! Thanks to school my “naivety”, so to speak, of when I was 12 or 13 years old from 1990 was beginning to fade. The peak was in the 2000s, when I was conscious of my fluency in English, I was lucid and “adult” after my rehab off my coma. From since, I started to not neglect the lyrics, to not underestimate them at least. I learnt the meaning of a song is very often the “engine” of the groove; what the  performers mean determines the music. Funny that when I dislike a lyric, I miss the time when I was a kid that I didn’t listen to the words.

By the way of lyrics type that are intriguing, I love the introspective ones, the political/protest ones, the “visionary” ones (which usually features colours, picturesque descriptions, places…) used to describe a feeling, the songs about “running”, “fighting/struggling”, the ones about “aliens and astronauts”, songs on disease and doctors, the songs featuring animals, the songs about weather.

By the way of lyrics type I am not crazy for, I have to say I skip playing songs about death, about the search of a lover, especially when it’s a woman singing, the songs featuring a dad singing about their kids.

The above are mainly my biggest choices and fortunately for my heroes the list of songs featuring lyric types I love is longer than the opposite one. I have to say I’m not so categorical, I am able to be tolerant, or I try to ignore what it is said: in the end it is just a three minutes “brain experience”.

The “Read it and Catch it” featurette is a thing I wanted to create for the DD TV FB version: they’re few lyrics our  FB contacts sometimes ask to review, to share all what we figured out about, our view on what the authors might mean. So I can keep my brain trained and I love swapping ideas and hints with my fellow fans. However, we’re thinking to replace it with something new next year, because we don’t want to be boring.

I never thought lyrics could be important, I still put music at first, though.

Artists just need to communicate, to “say” something to their fans and it is amazing how they do it.

Guys, keep writing and keep up the amazing job, one of you last year was even honoured with the Nobel Prize …  Lol!

 

DD TV xx