Archive for April, 2005

Reiki Level Two Certified

Saturday, April 9th, 2005

MM,

I have just completed my Reiki level 2 course. I am now a certified Reiki level 2.

Now, the reason I emphasize “certified” is because I already knew the Reiki symbols prior to taking the level 2 course (I am quite good at researching topics I’m interested in) and I could already send energy, even Reiki energy, distantly. Being magically inclined, I am familiar with sending energy to people. However, because I felt that people might prefer to see some certification instead of just my base claim (that I could send energy distantly), I decided that I should continue with the Reiki training and complete Reiki level 2 and eventually Reiki level 3.

In addition, even if I am already familiar with some things, there is always something new to learn by sharing experiences. Such was the case with my Reiki 2 course. I learned some interesting techniques that I’m sure I would never have thought of and might not have heard of before. So, it was time and money well spent.

My goal now is to finish the Reiki training in the next 6 months. This means that I will be able to teach Reiki as well as provide treatments. In addition to teaching Reiki as it was taught to me, I will likely add in techniques that I have learned through my experiences with mysticism and magic. Some of this will be similar to Reiki and some of it might not be. Either way, after I finish my Reiki training, I will be able to offer people something interesting that perhaps will be new to them. (In instances where I am teaching people techniques that are not specific to Reiki, I will specify so that people will know what is Reiki and what is not.)

For those interested, I received my Reiki level 2 from Barb Keshen. If you have not read my bio on my main website, I received Reiki level 1 from Nancy Peel.

May you be blessed with healing energy!
Cassandrah
Your local webmistress
http://www.brigidsflame.com/

Some Duran Duran Facts

Wednesday, April 6th, 2005

1. Duran Duran got the name from the sci-fi movie, Barbarella, starring Jane Fonda. The band would later produce the hit song, “Electric Barbarella”. (Hey cool… they like sci-fi too!)

2. In 1982, Princess Diana would declare Duran Duran her favourite band. The band was summoned to perform live before the Princess and the Queen. (If they were good enough for the Princess, they are good enough for me!)

3. The videos for “Save a Prayer”, “Hungry Like the Wolf”, and “Lonely in Your Nightmare” were filmed in Sri Lanka. “Rio” was filmed in Antigua. Russell Mulcahy was the director. He directed at least the pilot of the sci-fi TV series, Jeremiah, which stars Luke Perry, of 90210 fame. (I’ve only seen one of the episodes of Jeremiah, Mulcahy’s influence isn’t hard to miss.)

4. Nick Rhodes produced the song “Too Shy” by Kajagoogoo. (I liked this song too when it first came out. I have to say that Nick is a music genius and his name pops up in association with a few others.)

5. Linkin Park and Duran Duran have the same producer, Don Gilmore. He was one of the producers on Duran Duran’s new album and he also produced “Collision Course” featuring Jay-Z and Linkin Park. (Linkin Park is also a band I really like. The band mixes two different styles of music extremely well – and it doesn’t hurt that both singers are really good.)

6. Duran Duran appears on Band-Aid’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” and “Feed the World”. The songs were made as a charity relief effort for those starving in Ethiopia at the time. The artists involved with Band-Aid include Sting, U2, George Michael, Boy George, Bananarama and many others. Band-Aid would perform a live show called Live-Aid as an additional fundraiser. After this, Bob Geldof (formerly of Boomtown Rats) would be knighted for his humanitarian role as organizer of Band-Aid and Live-Aid. He is properly known as Sir Bob Geldof. (Sorry, I got side-tracked from Duran Duran, but thought it was important to point out this fact of music history).

7. Duran Duran’s song “A View to a Kill” is the only James Bond theme song to reach #1. (Since Simon couldn’t live his dream of starring as James Bond in the movies, I guess getting to make the theme song was the next best thing for him. Note the boyish smile on his face at the end of the video when the girl asks him, “Aren’t you…?” and he replies, “Bon, Simon LeBon”)

8. Grace Jones and Sting are featured on the Arcadia album. (Roger, Nick, and Simon were part of Arcadia while John and Andy got to work with Robert Palmer on Power Station and produced hits “Some Like it Hot” and “Get It On (Bang a Gong)”)

9. Duran Duran is the first band to upload a song for sale on the internet. The song was “Electric Barbarella”. (Duran Duran is a strong supporter of new technology. At the same time, they hate to see some of the old habits go away, like browsing through a music store listening to new tunes and chatting with the staff about new music. Source: MuchMoreMusic interview April 4, 2005.)

10. Nick Rhodes was a good friend with artist Andy Warhol. (Note the similar fashion sense!)

11. In 1998, Simon LeBon performed with the Smashing Pumpkins in London. (I liked the Smashing Pumpkins too once I realized who they were. I heard the song 1979 many times but didn’t know it was a Pumpkins song until my boyfriend at the time mentioned it, as he was a Pumpkins fan.)

12. On August 11, 1985, Simon LeBon’s yacht capsized off the English coast during a boat race. He was trapped for 40 minutes in an underwater air pocket until the Royal Navy rescued him. (One of my cats happens to be born on August 11. Also on August 11, 1995, the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) experienced their first crash on the subway line. However, the TTC is still considered to be one of the safest public transit systems.)

13. In 2001, NASA plays Duran Duran’s song “Hold Back the Rain” for the crew of the space shuttle Atlantis hoping to ward off the rain so the shuttle can land. It worked and the crew landed safely at Cape Canaveral. (Duran Duran’s obsession with sci-fi seems to draw them to similar folks. Is it a coincidence that astronauts like Duran Duran?)

14. In 2004, again a Duran Duran song is used by NASA. This time during a Mars mission where NASA sends up a second Mars Exploration Rover called Opportunity. Opportunity is woken up each morning to the song, “Is There Something I should Know?” It was thought this would encourage the rover to find some more answers whether or not Mars ever had environments that sustained life. (Go Rover go!)

15. Duran Duran’s first singer was Stephen (“Tin Tin”) Duffy. However, they never produced anything with Duffy as he decided to pursue his musical interests elsewhere. Nick would later produce music with Duffy as the Devils. (I really liked Duffy’s song “Kiss Me”. However, I haven’t heard anything by The Devils.)

This list compiled by Cassandrah
Your local webmistress and Duranie
http://www.brigidsflame.com/

Duran Duran Review

Wednesday, April 6th, 2005

MM music fans,

Long before there was N’Sync or Backstreet Boys, there was Roger, Andy, John, Nick, and Simon – the band known as Duran Duran. Famous for being one of the first bands to successfully market themselves through their music videos, the original five members of Duran Duran are back together.

Pegged as the Fab Five just as the Beatles were the Fab Four, Duran Duran was part of the second British Invasion. Their music, along with other notables like New Order, Depeche Mode, Pet Shop Boys, and Human League, was known as New Wave. Duran Duran made their mark on North America back in the early 1980s with their then innovative song “Hungry Like the Wolf” which featured a raw, sexy video set in a jungle village. (A note of interest: since there was no sampling back then, the girl’s voice in the song had to be recorded live and she had to sound the same each time.) It was definitely one way to get the attention of the next generation of music fans who discovered music via MTV and MuchMusic – and let’s not get into the glam rock sex appeal of the band members.

The song “Hungry Like the Wolf” was soon followed with hits such as “Rio” and “Save a Prayer” from the Rio album; “Is There Something I Should Know?”, “Girls on Film” (which caused the biggest controversy at the time over its use of female nudity in the video), and “Planet Earth” from their first album release (which was a re-released self-titled album). Duran Duran’s third album was to provide their biggest hits yet with the dance hit “The Reflex”, the seductive “New Moon on Monday” (this song makes me melt), and “Union of the Snake.” After their “Seven and the Ragged Tiger” tour, Roger, Andy, John, Nick, and Simon produced one more hit song together, “Wild Boys”, and performed at the Live-Aid concert before splitting up into separate music ventures – much to the dismay of their fans. (That’s not to say that Power Station and Arcadia were any disappointment. If anything it proved that the band members could work with different styles of music and allowed them to work with different music artists such as Robert Palmer and Sting. I like all of the tracks on the Arcadia album, So Red the Rose.) Duran Duran, composed of Roger, Andy, John, Nick, and Simon, wouldn’t perform together again until now – 18 years later.

Such was the background and set-up to the atmosphere of last night’s concert at Air Canada Centre, Toronto. Anticipation, as fans, who never thought the original five members would get back together, waited just a little longer (hey, what’s a few more minutes after waiting 18 years?) for the band to come on stage. Soon enough, when the stands were finally filled up, out came Roger, Andy, John, Nick, and Simon with of course Simon leading the way. While the fans showed their appreciation with enormous applause and cheers for just the fact the band members were back together, the band stood on stage seeming to absorb the energy of the audience. Then they started in on their first song that night – the first song off their new album, “(Reach Up for the) Sunrise”. It was a good way to start the show, a relatively lively, upbeat, and happy tune to get the energy going. Then the audience was brought back to the band’s early days with “Hungry Like the Wolf” and “Planet Earth”. “Is anyone HUNGRY?!” screams Simon. Of course. Crazy question. It’s been 18 years in waiting to see this band live and they did not disappoint.

The set list (see below) consisted of 6 songs off the new album and many of the hits from before. My all time favourites are “Come Undone” (I always feel like I’m stripping out of my skin when listening to this song), “Ordinary World” (this song along with Edwin’s “Alive” keeps me going when times are tough), and “Save a Prayer”. Of the new songs, I particularly like “Astronaut”, “Bedroom Toys” (which was introduced following the question, “What kind of toys do girls like?”, and “What Happens Tomorrow”. “Nice” is just well… nice. I also like “Tiger Tiger” and “The Chauffeur”, contrary to what some of the reviews have been regarding those songs. “Tiger Tiger” is a brilliant composition I would attribute to Nick. “The Chauffeur” has been pegged as “bizarro” (see review), but I think it’s intriguing and brilliantly written. It was originally a poem Simon wrote years ago, the meaning of which I still have to unravel. The pan pipes add a sound that I personally love and I have to say someone who can play the pan pipes is a true musician, heart and soul. The band did great by placing “Notorious” between “Bedroom Toys” and “Nice”, those songs go great together and if “Bedroom Toys” failed to get one dancing then “Notorious” would do it. Although there was hardly any room to dance properly to those songs, a true dancer at heart can’t resist the beat of those songs. Finally, we get to the real energizers, “The Reflex”, “Careless Memories”, and “Wild Boys”. I have to admit the band performed “The Reflex” quite well live. It’s a difficult song to play live, having to synthesize Simon’s voice at various points. “Careless Memories” is just a lively song, plain and simple. What made it even more memorable was the anime video being played on the screen behind the stage. Inspired by Kill Bill perhaps? The video depicts the band members defending themselves with their musical instruments. Quite humourous. “Wild Boys” is just wild. I have always loved deep drumming sounds and “Wild Boys” has it. The druming is raw, sensuous power.

The encore songs were “White Lines”, “Girls on Film”, and “Rio”. “Girls on Film” and “Rio” are just classic and fun. During “Rio”, of course the band members were introduced starting with the back up singer and saxophone player, Andy Hamilton (who, by the way, originally played with Duran Duran when they started, if I’m not mistaken it’s Andy Hamilton on the saxophone in the “Rio” video). Notably, Simon went prowling the audience for a woman to introduce him as the “incredibly sexy Simon LeBon”. You got to love that man’s ego because hey… no one was going to argue with that statement. The man is still sexy even at age 46, as was evident from the screams that immediately followed the introduction. How can any girl forget Simon in his black leather pants? (Simon, by the way, for all the astrologers out there, is a Scorpio.)

It has been said that if Duran Duran had reunited sooner, perhaps “legions of dedicated, sophisticated popsters might have been spared the indignity that was the boy-band craze”. (Amazon.com reviewer, Tammy La Gorce)

It’s great to see these guys back together. There’s no other five like them.

Later and BB,
Cassandrah
Your local webmistress and Duranie
http://www.brigidsflame.com/

Set list (courtesy of Duran Duran’s website):
SUNRISE
HUNGRY LIKE THE WOLF
PLANET EARTH
HOLD BACK THE RAIN
ASTRONAUT
I DON’T WANT YOUR LOVE
COME UNDONE
WHAT HAPPENS TOMORROW
CHAINS
TIGER TIGER
CHAUFFEUR
A VIEW TO A KILL
ORDINARY WORLD
SAVE A PRAYER
BEDROOM TOYS
NOTORIOUS
NICE
REFLEX
CARELESS MEMORIES
WILD BOYS

WHITE LINES
GIRLS ON FILM
RIO

News on Duran Duran:
http://www.metronews.ca/entertainment_news_detail.asp?id=7361

Duran Duran is here!

Tuesday, April 5th, 2005

MM,

Lucky me! I got tickets for Duran Duran’s concert tonight. This should be interesting considering I’ve never been to a paid concert before. (Seen enough of those street concerts for free…) Duran Duran was a band I grew up with and during the height of their popularity, I wished I somehow had the money to go see their concert (I was only a young lass then). Since then, I never really got the urge to go see any concert. (I was more into the dance scene anyway and could get into clubs for free and then there’s the rave scene…) So, this is somehow fitting. The first concert I see is the first band I ever really liked. I never thought they would last this long though, honestly. They split up so soon after reaching stardom. It was a surprise hearing the original five members were back together. That somehow makes seeing them now ever more intriguing. Not many people get to have their childhood fantasy of seeing their then favourite band back together.

So tonight is the concert and I get to go. 😀 Taking Nate with me, even though he’s not that into this sort of music. He really has no choice, he’s my date and bodyguard!

Back later with a review (possibly)

BB,
Cassandrah
Your local webmistress and former Duranie
http://www.brigidsflame.com/