Posts

Showing posts from 2012

Fun With Keywords: Good Riddance to 2012 Edition

Image
Is 2012 over yet? Not quite? Can we hurry this along?
Rough year. Let’s wrap it up with a look at some of the search terms people have used to find this website over the past few months, courtesy of Google Analytics:
simon lebon arrogant ass Sure. Isn’t that why we love Simon?

Introducing Wrong City

Image
My novel WRONG CITY is now available as an ebook (Kindle format only) for a very reasonable $2.99 at Amazon.

Here's the synopsis:

Duranalysis Special: John Taylor on Music Madness

Image
We’re going off the beaten path for this one.

Back in October, I attended a discussion John Taylor held as part of his promotional tour for his just-released memoir, In the Pleasure Groove: Love, Death and Duran Duran. A friend had a spare ticket she wanted to sell, and a friend of a friend of a friend was looking for a ticket, and through The Power of Twitter, we met at the event and sorted everything out, and a lovely time was had by all. The friend of a friend of a friend turned out to be John Ares, also known as VJ Johnny Blitz, producer and host of the New York cable-access series Music Madness, a music-interest show specializing in hard-to-find videos.
John Ares is a delightful fellow with a deep and comprehensive knowledge of music, who can talk circles around me on the subject of Duran Duran. A charter member of the MTV generation, John's enthusiasm for the then-emerging field of music videos led to the creation of Music Madness in 1983. While the original run ended in 1…

Duranalysis Book Report: “In the Pleasure Groove” versus “Wild Boy: My Life in Duran Duran”

Image
John Taylor’s memoir, In the Pleasure Groove: Love, Death & Duran Duran, hit US bookstores this week. It’s a good read—John’s a thoughtful and witty fellow—but how does it compare to the other Duran memoir of note, erstwhile DD guitarist Andy Taylor’s Wild Boy: My Life in Duran Duran?
To state the obvious, John and Andy are two very different people, and thus they’ve written two very different books. If sensitive, introspective John is Duran’s Marcel Proust*, then cheeky, rough-and-tumble Andy is its Irvine Welsh. John’s book is controlled and contained, written to expose some of his personal demons—drugs, girls, the perils of mega-celebrity, the deaths of his parents—while conscientiously refraining from splashing mud on his nearest and dearest. I attended a discussion John held about his book earlier this week (he’s lovely and charming in person, by the way), in which he stated that, as his life in Duran Duran is going quite well at the moment, he felt no need to throw anyone un…

Possibly the best reply from an author ever...

Image
While putting together an inventory of our dad's books, my sister came across this fantastic letter from legendary hardboiled mystery-crime novelist John D. MacDonald, author of seventy-eight books, including the Travis McGee series. This was written in August of 1967, when our dad was an Army draftee stationed at Edgewood Arsenal, and was sent in response to a mash note that dad, a lifelong MacDonald aficionado, had mailed to him. It's worth a read:

"I loathe narcissism, but I approve of vanity." -- Diana Vreeland

Image
Here are some photos of the lovely and fabulous Nick Rhodes working diligently to show off all his best angles simultaneously:


BIAS CUT is now available in softcover!

Image
Very exciting!

The softcover version of my novel, BIAS CUT, is now available and in stock at online book retailers. You should also be able to order it directly from any bookseller, if you'd prefer to support your favorite local bookstore.  The Amazon link is here; the Barnes & Noble link is here.

Er... it's still pretty early in the distribution process, which is why, as of right now, that Barnes & Noble listing looks pretty sketchy -- there's no cover image, no synopsis, no author info. That should change soon. Note, though, that the B&N price is a 47% discount off of the cover price, whereas right now Amazon is selling it at full price. I'm optimistic that the Amazon price will come down, but in the meantime, strongly consider saving yourself seven bucks by choosing the B&N option instead.

For those outside the United States, it looks like it isn't yet offered by any retailers not based in the U.S. (right now, Amazon.co.uk only has the Kindle ver…

Announcing the BIAS CUT ebook release:

Image
Well, the Kindle release anyway.

So, hey: You remember my novel BIAS CUT, the one that reached the semi-finals of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award earlier this year? The Kindle version is now available for download at Amazon. If you're an Amazon Prime member, you can even borrow it for free.
No Kindle? No worries -- the paperback version will be officially released by my publishing company, Luft Books, within the next few weeks.  I'll keep you posted on the street date and ordering info as the details firm up. The paperback will have the advantage of displaying the full awesome Nagel-esque cover, shown above, which was designed by the eternally-awesome Morgan Dodge.

Duranalysis Master Post

Image
Welcome to Duranalysis!
Back in 2011, I began posting tongue-in-cheek analyses of vintage Duran Duran music videos here. The project soon gained a life of its own, and I expanded the scope to encompass all things Duran-related—documentaries, books, movies, you name it.
Some of my favorite people in the world have said some nice things about Duranalysis:


Know of anything you’d like to see Duranalyzed? Suggestions are always welcomed. Leave a comment anywhere on this site, or feel free to email me (me_richter (at) yahoo (dot) com) or Tweet at me.
This post is updated regularly to mirror the Duranalysis Main Page.
Here’s an overview, with links, of all the Duranalysis posts found on this site:
THE 1980s VIDEOS Planet Earth
“It looks like they’re performing in a vast, icy chamber, like they’re the house band at the Fortress of Solitude, though I would’ve pegged Superman as more of a Springsteen man.”

Careless Memories
“Aside from the performance footage, Nick spends most of his scenes either …

Plausibly Warholian

Image
So a fabulous contest is presently underway, sponsored by PromoWest North Shore, in which Duran Duran fans are asked to submit "...artwork of themselves based on a photo, incorporating the style of Andy Warhol and Duran Duran." The prize is -- wait for it -- a private tour of the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh with members of the band. Yeah, that's pretty much just the most relevant-to-my-interests prize ever offered. Remember way back in my analysis of the "Is There Something I Should Know?" video where I mentioned that drinking champagne with Nick Rhodes while he lectures me on art and makes withering quips about my cheap shoes is one of my Improbable Life Goals? Listening to Nick gab about Warhol on a guided museum tour would be a more than adequate substitution.

My contribution to the contest is above. It won't win, of course, but I'm sort of ridiculously pleased with how it turned out.  If nothing else, I think it's both plausibly Warholian …

Duranalysis: Arcadia’s Election Day

Image
Nick Rhodes, Duran Duran’s eternal pixie, turns fifty today.  To mark this august occasion, I’ve thrown together a special bonus Duranalysis: Arcadia’s 1985 video for “Election Day.”
Plans were originally in place to have Ridley Scott (!) direct this, but when his production schedule for Legend conflicted, Scott suggested Roger Christian, who’d been his art director on Alien, as a replacement. Christian, the Academy Award-winning set designer of Star Wars (and the future director of, ah, Battlefield Earth; I haven’t seen it, so I shan’t judge or mock, though I may quietly snicker, just a little), established a gorgeous visual style; really, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better-looking video.
Still, I have mixed feelings about this one.  There’s a passage in Rolling Stone journalist Rob Sheffield’s coming-of-age memoir, Talking To Girls About Duran Duran, in which he refers, with affection, to the band’s “bat-shit pretensions.”  I’m hesitant to give Nick and Simon too much flack her…

Fun With Keywords: Stylish Lonely Boy Anime Edition

Image
Here’s a look at some of the various Google searches people used to find this website over the past few months, courtesy of Google Analytics. (Frankly, it surprises me that anyone is finding this site at all, due to the grievous lack of fresh content around here lately, but that’s neither here nor there.)

stylish lonely boy anime
Yeah, that’s every anime series ever. I just did a Google Image search for “lonely boy anime”, and my laptop almost melted into a puddle from the subsequent megadose of Terminal Emo.

allen too young actress awake
I’d agree. Laura Allen, while no doubt a fine actress, was too young to effectively play Jason Isaac’s grieving wife on Awake. I’ll add that she was poorly directed, too, at least in the early episodes. Everyone’s grief experience is different, but she seemed weirdly blithe and perky as the recently bereaved mom of a teenaged son. Some of that was the point, that she was itching to move on with her life while her husband held onto the past, but it…

“To cut a long story short, I lost my mind.”

Image
(Re: the post title: That’s the only Spandau Ballet song I really love, but it’s a damn good one, and it kind of sums up my attitude these days. Be forewarned, I am in a Mood right now.)

Results won’t be formally announced until next Tuesday, but the finalists in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award should have received congratulatory phone calls from Amazon on Monday. I did not receive a call.

There are conclusions to be drawn here.

Semi-Finals!

Image
(Image from "Night of the Comet" shamelessly pilfered from my sister's awesome site.)My novel, BIAS CUT, just advanced to the semi-finals of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. Kind of stunned, actually -- of the five thousand initial entries in the General Fiction division, fifty novels have made it to this stage, mine included. Here's the marvelous full review of BIAS CUT from the kind folks at Publishers Weekly, who served as judges for this round of the competition: In this fresh and dark mystery, rising fashion designer Laurie Sparks hires down-to-earth, down on her luck Nicola to research 1980s style and culture. Sparks, an elfish beauty and reality TV personality -- think younger, edgier, and flakier Tim Gunn -- wonders what next year’s fashion would look like if an apocalypse had stopped design from moving forward back when “Road Warrior” and “Night of the Comet” flickered through America’s imagination. Enter Jonathan, Sparks’s former assistant, who asse…

"O all the instruments agree/The day of his death was a dark cold day."

Image
My father, Erich Theodor Richter III, slipped away last night after battling lung cancer for a year and a half.

Dad’s pride and joy was his garden, which was a riot of colorful hollyhocks in the summer and a tangle of squash vines in the fall. For him, gardening was both an art and a science, as he carried out elaborate cross-breeding experiments and charted his results over the years. He wrote outlandish science fiction stories, fantastical tales of bizarre alien creatures, which he’d illustrate with his own pen-and-ink sketches. He played chess and took Spanish lessons and entered poetry competitions. He was interested in everything, and he never stopped learning.

File this post under "Andy Taylor is awesome"

Image
Andy Taylor -- erstwhile Duran Duran guitarist, author, musician, and wildly entertaining human being -- posted yet another of my Duranalysis reviews over on his official site: Is There Something I Should Know? Check it out, even if you've already read it here, and show Andy some love. He's worth it.

(Yeah, I know -- fresh content has been in damn short supply around here lately. My apologies. I'm going to enigmatically state that I'm Going Through Some Stuff® right now, and leave it at that.)

Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award update

Image
Edited to add: Oh, yeah, also: Andy Taylor reposted my analysis of Duran Duran's iconic "Rio" video at his official site. How awesome is Andy? If he keeps this up, he's going to edge out the magical pixie as my favorite Duran.

Good news: My new book, Bias Cut, has advanced to the quarter-finals (top 5% of total entries) of the 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award (ABNA). If anyone has any interest in reading the first 5,000 words or so, Amazon customers may download a free excerpt here.

Download away, if you wish. Write a review, if you wish. Check out the other entries while you're there -- there are some mighty talented writers in the mix.

Awake: Guilty

Image
Ugh. I can’t, you guys.

See, I made a tactical error this week: I researched. I’d read a very positive review of this episode in advance over at TV Line, and it got my hopes up, and… Look, the episode was fine. Really, it was. In fact, it was pretty good. Quality-wise, this show’s got strong writers and actors, all of whom are doing a bang-up job of selling a cool, hooky premise.

Despite all that, I’m just not feeling it.

Awake: The Little Guy

Image
Right at the top: If anyone else, like me, is having the occasional spot of trouble differentiating between the Green and Red realities, here’s a handy guide. If you see Hannah, Detective Vega, or Dr. Lee, it’s the Red reality; if you see Rex, Detective Freeman, or Dr. Evans, it’s the Green reality. Got it?

Good. Let’s dive into this week’s pool of agreeable nonsense.

Oh, also...

Image
Just as an FYI to anyone who doesn't follow me on Twitter: More of my Duran Duran reviews from last year have been republished at Andy Taylor's official website. This week, "Hungry Like the Wolf" was showcased; last week was "My Own Way"'s turn. Looks like Andy will be featuring one of my reviews per week on his site from here on out.

It goes without saying that Andy Taylor is: a) a very cool guy, and b) an awfully good sport about all this.


Awake: Pilot

Image
Let’s take a look at NBC’s much-heralded new series Awake, shall we?


In the opening moments, a car plunges off an embankment and rolls down a hill. The driver, Detective Michael Britten (Jason Isaacs), is banged up but not seriously injured; his passengers, wife Hannah and teenaged son Max, aren’t as lucky.

Miscellany...

Image
A few quick notes:

1. Awake, NBC's upcoming drama about a detective (Jason Isaacs) living in two separate realities, is getting good advance buzz. Though the entire pilot episode can be viewed right now on NBC's website, I'm going to start recapping/discussing it here shortly after the official premiere on March 1st. I'm in desperate need of some meaty, interesting viewing, so let's hope it fits the bill. (Many thanks to our always-insightful frequent commenter Patrick for first suggesting this back in December.)

2. You know my analysis of Duran Duran's (awesome and zombie-filled) "Night Boat" video that I posted here last March? It's been republished over at Andy Taylor's official website. This kind of thing only strengthens my current pro-Andy stance. Especially since he even tweeted about it:


3. My new book, Bias Cut, just advanced into the second round of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. I'm feeling pretty good about this rig…

Duranalysis: The Making of Arena, Part Two

Image
Continued from the previous post, let’s examine the second half of the “Making of Arena" featurette, a large chunk of which is devoted to footage of the dancers from Duran Duran’s “Wild Boys” video rehearsing their routines. While this section is a little short on Durans, I have no real complaints. Toned, pantsless men who do high kicks and front flips are always fun to watch.


This poor young dancer was caught on camera at this unfortunate midpoint of his makeup job:

Duranalysis: The Making of Arena, Part One

Image
For the past, oh, several months, I’ve been loosely planning on doing one of my Duranalysis thingymabobs on Arena (An Absurd Notion), Duran Duran’s 1984 Russell Mulcahy-directed science fiction-themed concert film. On the surface, it would seem tailor-made for a Duranalysis, due to all the Duran-centric weirdness flying about, but I’ve never quite managed to whip up the necessary enthusiasm.

Here’s Arena in a nutshell: Footage of the boys performing in concert is interspersed with a bizarre narrative in which Milo O’Shea gamely reprises his role as the band’s namesake, the evil intergalactic scientist Durand Durand from the 1968 cult classic Barbarella. In Arena, Durand Durand arrives on Earth and, with the aid of his requisite coterie of mutant dwarf minions, schemes to wreak terrible vengeance on the boys for stealing his name.

Dragged into 2012, kicking and screaming.

Image
Happy New Year, everyone! New material is right around the bend, maybe, probably, just as soon as I figure out what direction I want this blog to take this year. (I'm currently thinking Miami Vice recaps, because it's always 1984 inside my brain.)

I will be joining you all in 2012 momentarily. Until then, I recommend amusing yourselves by visiting this cool little Tumblr: WTF is Duran Duran wearing? It's visual poetry.