Monday, December 31, 2018

Duran Duran Finale - Rio


Live from London

The best way to conclude the Duran Duran Finale series.

The perfect way to end 2018.

Have a great New Year's Eve.

I'll see you next year!

(Well, tomorrow - 1/1/19)

Duran Duran Rio

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Duran Duran Finale - Last Man Standing

"Last Man Standing" is the last track on Duran Duran's album, Red Carpet Massacre.

Of the 12 songs on Red Carpet Massacre, I personally only like two - "The Valley" and "Falling Down."

In a sense, "Last Man Standing" and "Falling Down" are entire opposites if you consider the lyrics or the titles alone.

My take away from Red Carpet Massacre -

As my first concert experience during the band's album tour, I will forever cherish the memories.  I do not remember the concert's set list, but I will always remember just having fun to every song performed.  My mom and I were the last few standing until the guys were completely off stage.

"Last Man Standing" is my conclusion to the Duran Duran finale series...perhaps.  Stay tuned for tomorrow because maybe - just maybe - I will throw a New Year's Eve bash Set List style.

Duran Duran - Last Man Standing

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Duran Duran Finale - Still Breathing

"Still Breathing" is the last track on one of Duran Duran's most notable albums, Astronaut.

The irony between the first track and last track on Astronaut is the tone.  "Reach Up For the Sunrise" is upbeat, catchy, and hopeful in lyrics.  "Still Breathing" is slowed down and somewhat depressing in lyrics.

The greatest take away from Astronaut as an album and the full track list is the profound and deliberate response to...

Where December 7, 1941 was declared a day that will live in infamy, so too will be September 11, 2001.

No one saw either date coming, but did bring the country together in a united front.

Astronaut brought the original lineup together in a united front.

Powerful really

Duran Duran Still Breathing

Friday, December 28, 2018

Duran Duran Finale - Sin of the City

"Sin of the City" is the last track on Duran Duran's The Wedding Album - one of the band's best and highly ranked albums I would say.

In the whole of The Wedding Album, two songs have lasted in strong popularity since the album's release in 1993 - "Ordinary World" and "Come Undone."

"Ordinary World" is a musical tribute to a friend Simon Le Bon lost to drugs.

Change gears for a moment.

"What Happens Tomorrow" was written in response to the aftermath of September 11, 2001.  The sin that global society has come to and for what?

...A similar point in "Sin of the City."

Change gears one last time.

The Wedding Album cover features actual photos of each band member's parents on their wedding days.


Duran Duran - Sin Of The City

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Duran Duran Finale - The Chauffer

"The Chauffer" is the last track on Duran Duran's defining album, Rio.  May 1982 release.

"Rio" is the first track on Rio and the history of Duran Duran goes from there.

Middle tracks on Rio -

2.  My Own Way
3.  Lonely In Your Nightmare
4.  Hungry Like the Wolf
5.  Hold Back the Rain
6.  New Religion
7.  Last Chance On the Stairway
8.  Save a Prayer

In May 2008, I went to my first concert - Duran Duran.  Of the many classics and Red Carpet Massacre songs, "Last Chance On the Stairway" was a surprise performance because I never knew how popular it may have been.

In Live from London, "Save a Prayer" received as profound reception as "Planet Earth" (in other words - really loud reception).

Duran Duran The Choffeur

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Duran Duran Finale - Tel Aviv

"Tel Aviv" is the last track on Duran Duran's first album under the Duran Duran name.  June 1981 release.

"Girls on Film" is the first track on Duran Duran's first album and was the most well received - No. 5 in the UK upon release in July.

Duran Duran debut reception -

No. 3 on UK Albums Chart
UK Top 100 for 117 weeks
Platinum status December 1982
Certified Platinum June 1985


Duran Duran - Tel Aviv

Monday, December 24, 2018

Holiday Announcement

In honor of the Christmas holiday, I am taking a break from Set List.  I will return on Wednesday, December 26th.

Merry Christmas

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day hold meaningful traditions for me.  Christmas Eve is spent with a nice dinner and opening "Big Kahuna" gifts.  Christmas Day is spent with donuts, Santa gifts, and stocking stuffers.  Every year is filled with eager anticipation.  I am well known for buying "big kahuna" gifts months in advance. 

As I write this message, I cannot help but remember those I have lost this year - my grandmother's brother and my cat of 13 years.  As I write this message, I cannot help but remember a loving bond once was and now no longer.

The holiday season is meant to be lighthearted and peaceful, families brought together for two reasons - the holidays and truly just being together, joyful laughter and silence in awe of snowfall, excitement to enjoy the sparkling household decorations and tree decorations, the tree skirt filled with presents, imagining who will receive what and what could possibly be...this is my holiday season.

In the end,

Merry Christmas

- Lauren

Sinead O'Connor Silent Night

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Sunday Favorite

On this last Sunday Favorite in the Holidays 2018 Series...


Where normally I would share thoughts on Sunday Favorite editions, I instead am going to let the link above speak on my behalf.  (The video below ranked high in reader interest as well.  Inspiration for the Santa! post.)


Saturday, December 22, 2018

Music Pick

My music pick for the day is "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy." 

Magical best describes the instrumental and overall tone.

Lost in imagination best describes the theme.

Pure innocence  defines "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy."

And so enjoy once more "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy."

Friday, December 21, 2018

Holidays 2018 Series - Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy

"Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" is a classic - composition, instrumental, theme.

I chose "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" to be today's Holiday 2018 Series song as a sense of eve before Christmas Eve because Saturday and Sunday will be usual posts - Music Pick and Sunday Favorite.  Today is the final Holiday 2018 Series song before Christmas Eve and I wanted to go with a quiet tone where a listener can get lost in imagination. 

Lost in imagination.

Enjoy "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy."

Tchaikovsky: Dance of the Sugar-Plum Fairy

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Holidays 2018 Series - Christmas is Coming!

"Christmas is Coming" best defines the spirit of the holidays.

"Christmas is Coming" truly defines the child within adults.

"Christmas is coming" perfectly defines holiday excitement that brings society together.  When snow gently falls, when eager anticipation of what the wrapped presents are and who are they for, admiring neighborhood lights, admiring decorations within, when family comes together...everyone is silent and enjoys the moment.

Christmas is coming.  The song says the rest of it.  Enjoy the video below.

Christmas Is Coming - Jason Gray - Official Lyric Video

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Holidays 2018 Series - Rudolph!

"Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" is a childhood classic - pure innocence, joy, holiday excitement, singing along, eagerly making sure the chocolate chip cookies will be neatly displayed for Santa and his reindeer, perhaps a special note just for Rudolph to say that his red nose makes him unique and special and to never fear mocking.

Rudolph is indeed a special and one of a kind reindeer.  After all a song was created just for him.

Enjoy the video below.

Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer(Lyrics)

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Sing Blue Silver... not in reference to Duran Duran.

A play on song titles.

"I'll be so blue thinking about you."

"It's Christmas time in the city."

Polar opposite in sentiment which makes both songs intriguing to pair.

Thought for consideration -

Perhaps the two defining lyrics for each song are not as seemingly opposite as they appear.  In other words -

A blue Christmas is missing a loved one.  Christmas is not the same without the loved one.

Is Christmas time in the city special when you shop for gifts?  The answer is generally yes.  However, what if there is a special someone who will not be home for Christmas, whatever the reason may be.  Is Christmas time in the city still meaningful?

And so I have tied the two Christmas songs together.

Dean Martin Silver Bells

Michael Bublé - Blue Christmas [Official HD]

Monday, December 17, 2018


As an adult, I know that Santa Claus is not real - there are logical explanations behind the lyrics.  Mom and dad eat the cookies.  Mom and dad know their children's behavior.  Of course, though, the little ones will always get Christmas Eve presents and Santa gifts on Christmas day.

As an adult, I will admit to always being excited when I get Santa gifts.

Santa Claus does not exist, but the musical joys behind his name make Christmas that much more special.

Michael Bublé - Santa Claus Is Coming To Town [Official HD]

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Sunday Favorite

In this edition of Sunday Favorite, Holiday Series 2018 - Most Wonderful Time is well at the top in viewer interest.

Upon reading the post, I found it to be rather down in tone. 

Most Wonderful Time calls upon joy, excitement, eagerness, bringing family together, and of course all of the presents. 

There was one point of intrigue I brought up that truly makes this season the most wonderful time of the year - donating to those in need.  For every one something - anything - that you no longer use or wear, freshen them up and donate where you can.  They will essentially be Christmas presents from you to those less fortunate.

Most Wonderful Time is happiness in the most content of ways.  May there be love and laughter.  May there be sincere promises to reunite more often.

May every year be the most wonderful time.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Music Pick

My music pick for the day is "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year."

The holiday season truly is the most wonderful time of the year - shimmering tree lights, sentimental tree ornaments, deck the home with decorations, seasonal scent.

Curious question -

Why is there a song such as "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" dedicated to this one time of year?  Birthdays are wonderful.  Wedding anniversaries are wonderful.  The Fourth of July is wonderful.  Thanksgiving is wonderful. 

Just curious.

At any rate, the holiday season will always be the most wonderful time of the year - families enjoying time together first and foremost, presents and Santa gifts second.

Final note - The holiday season being the most wonderful time of the year should be honorable.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Holidays 2018 Series - Home

For any reason known only to them, many families cannot guarantee loved ones being home for Christmas.

For those families who are able to come together, feel eternally grateful.  Put aside topics of conversation that cause arguments and just enjoy the company of family.

Wherever home is this holiday season, just be happy to be home.

Bing Crosby - I'll Be Home For Christmas

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Holidays 2018 Series - Shake Hands with Louis Prima

In this edition of Holiday 2018 Series, I am honoring Louis Prima - vocalist and trumpeter behind the festive Christmas song, "Shake Hands with Santa Claus."

Louis Prima was an American singer, actor, songwriter, bandleader, and trumpeter.

Born in New Orleans, Louisiana (December 7, 1910), Louis Prima was inspired by New Orleans jazz, swing jazz, and jump blues.

In the late 1920s, Prima formed a New Orleans-style jazz band.  In the 1930s, he led a swing combo and a big band group in the 1940s.

In the 1950s, Louis Prima was a well-known Las Vegas lounge act.

A full background of Louis Prima's life and career can be found on Wikipedia.

Points of interest -

Louis Prima was born in and passed away in New Orleans.

Louis Prima was married four times back to back.

Louis Prima is listed on two separate Christmas jazz CDs performing the same song - "Shake Hands with Santa Claus." …

… This is my take away.

I will let the video below say the rest of it.  Enjoy "Shake Hands with Santa Claus."

1951 Louis Prima - Shake Hands With Santa Claus

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Holidays 2018 Series - Oh Christmas Tree

My holiday tradition -

Decorate the house in full.

Set up the tree (I do use artificial pre-lit trees...just  easier).

Decorate the tree.

Lay out the tree skirt.

Place the presents on the tree skirt in a rather methodical way.

Christmas tree. 

An artificial pre-lit tree is very difficult to set up for decorating and impossible to put back in the box when the holiday is over.  Artificial trees in any size are heavy and awkward to fasten into the base. 

Decorating the tree.

Separating the branches and filling out each section to create the illusion of a real tree is exhausting.  Once complete though, the tree is ready to be filled with sentimental ornaments.

My mom and I prefer white lights to better illuminate the variety of ornament colors.

Every year, I take a step back every few ornaments to check their spacing.  A constant process.

When the angel - always last - is placed on the top branch, I take a step back to truly admire "Oh Christmas Tree."

Oh Christmas tree - instrumental

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Holidays 2018 Series - Silent Halls

"Deck the Halls," like "Jingle Bells," is a Christmas classic that appeals to all ages, especially families with young children.  Timeless Christmas songs are always enjoyed while decorating the home and tree.

"Silent Night," on the other hand, is best reserved for Christmas Eve, when families can take one moment of complete silence to realize how lucky they are to be together in peace. 

"Silent Night" is perfect for an evening snowfall - quiet, beautiful, pure.

"Deck the Halls" and "Silent Night" are on the opposite end of the volume spectrum.  "Deck the Halls" is catchy, upbeat, and somewhat loud as a song to sing along to.  "Silent Night" is simply silent and meant just to listen.

And so with this said, enjoy "Deck the Halls" and "Silent Night" as holiday classics.

SILENT NIGHT ( MUSIC ) Thomas Kinkade

Carol Of The Bells - Deck The Halls - Robert Shaw Chorale

Monday, December 10, 2018

Holidays 2018 Series - Most Wonderful Time

Christmas Eve is two weeks from today.

My home is decorated.  My presents are ready to be wrapped and displayed on the tree skirt.  My stocking stuffers are even ready. 

I am dreaming, as the song goes, of a white Christmas.

My family and I have a holiday tradition - "big kahuna" gifts on Christmas Eve, Santa gifts and Dunkin' Donuts on Christmas morning, and of course stocking stuffers on Christmas morning.  "Big kahuna" gifts are the most special, unexpected, and financially possible.  I take great pride in affording big kahuna gifts every year...except for a few years when I am unable to afford the most special gift.

My heart breaks every time I am unable to afford the most special gifts.

My heart breaks for every family who can barely afford any gifts.

I have collected six bags filled with donations - clothes, toys, and special goodies.

I can only hope that these donations will provide the most wonderful time for those in need.

Andy Williams - It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year (Music Video)

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Sunday Favorite - Holidays 2018 Edition 1

You asked.  I listened.

Trans Siberian Orchestra.  Baby, It's Cold Outside.  Winter Wonderland.  Jingle Bells.  As featured on YouTube.  As a follow up in detail.

Jingle Bells.  The song itself did not generate mass views, but the follow up did.  I am rather surprised by this because the follow up was quite brief in detail.

And so I want to dedicate this post to include more thought into Holidays 2018 Series - Jingle All the Way.

In my opinion, "Jingle Bells" is by far the most recognized Christmas song in pop culture holiday music.  "Jingle Bells" is truly an icon.

"Jingle Bells" is a versatile song in that it can be enjoyed in any climate - those that may not see snow, higher altitudes in states that do not see snow, and regions that guarantee snow.

I first heard "Jingle Bells" when I was very young , living with my mother and grandmother in Southern California.  A fun song that was even more enjoyable when we moved to Illinois - my first experience with the first snowfall as "Jingle Bells" played in the background.

"Jingle Bells" is a unique song in that it can be enjoyed in childhood and adulthood.  A simply fun song for children and recapturing youth within adults.

On this note, I will conclude my thoughts on "Jingle Bells."

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Music Pick

My music pick to launch the holiday season is...

Trans Siberian Orchestra!

Christmas songs generally do not recall electric guitars at their highest note.  Christmas songs are lighthearted in lyrics and minimal in instrumentals. 

Let me pose a thought for consideration -

Chris Botti's rendition of "Let it Snow!  Let it Snow!  Let it Snow!" is pure instrumental with his trumpet and a piano.  A soothing jazz escape into a winter wonderland.

On the other hand, there is the Trans Siberian Orchestra's take on Christmas music.  Loud, electric, intense.  In one ultimate word, I would say fun.  A magical escape into the holidays.

Which musical style would you choose?

Just for fun, Trans Siberian Orchestra is my Saturday music pick.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Holidays 2018 Series - Frigid

When the overnight low is in the teens and the high for the next day is well below freezing, "Baby, It's Cold Outside" is rather fitting.

My forever favorite holiday movie is "A Christmas Story."  "The Holiday" ranks second.  "Elf" ranks third.  Of the three, however, "Elf" has a sentimental soundtrack.

"Baby, It's Cold Outside" is a classic holiday song for grownups given the lyrics.

"Baby, It's Cold Outside" is a classic song beyond the holidays when winter's frigid chill settles in.

Point of interest -

"Baby, It's Cold Outside" was written in 1944 by American songwriter, Frank Loesser with original intention to be performed by himself and his wife at parties.

"Baby, It's Cold Outside" was originally not linked to the holidays, but eventually became a Christmas song because of the winter theme.


"Baby, It's Cold Outside" is the perfect rendition for every climate withstanding frozen weather.

Zooey Deschanel and Leon Redbone (Baby It's Cold Outside)

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Holidays 2018 Series - Winter Frost

Song for the day - "Frosty the Snowman"

The video for "Jingle Bells" defined childhood innocence with colorful and jolly animation. 

The video for "Frosty the Snowman" is reminiscent of childhood memories in the holiday season - holiday break from school, in awe of the beautiful decorations, silent admiration for the snowfall, eager anticipation for Christmas to finally arrive, excitement for presents received, screams of joy when the presents are what was asked for, the forever love of Santa gifts and stocking stuffers.

Winter snow - Snowball fights, building a snowman, sledding.  A fun joy for children and adults.

Winter frost - Bundle up until being just shy of not being able to move.  A task not always looked forward to, but when the temperature dips below freezing and a wind chill is factored in, bundling up is best.

Enjoy the delicious Christmas Eve feast.  The seasonal candy cane must.

Families brought together for Thanksgiving.  Families brought together once more for Christmas.

Family.  Every family has flaws that are always noticed at any other time of the year.  Yet in the holiday season, put everything aside to enjoy the reasons for being a family.

And so on a conclusion note -

"Frosty the Snowman" will forever recall childhood innocence that truly lasts forever.

Bing Crosby - Frosty The Snowman

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Holidays 2018 Series - Jingle All the Way

"Jingle Bells" is an iconic staple in the holiday season.  "Jingle Bells" is likewise a classic children's song that is enjoyed well into adulthood.

The video below highlights the innocence and joy of the holiday season.

Jingle Bells original with lyrics

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Holidays 2018 Series - Christmas Wonderland

In this edition of what would be Two for Two Tuesday, I am pairing Bing Crosby's classic and original rendition of "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas" with Michael Buble's sentimental take on "Winter Wonderland."

I chose to feature these two songs on this Tuesday because, in the climate I live in, December as a winter month is remiss without glistening white snow. 

There is a magical sense about snowfall and a winter wonderland that is peaceful, calm, silent, and stops the chaos of life if only for one moment.

And so on this note, enjoy "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas" and "Winter Wonderland."

Michael Bublé - Winter Wonderland [Official HD]

Bing Crosby - White Christmas (1942) Original Version

Monday, December 3, 2018

Holidays 2018 Series - Trans Siberian Orchestra

The month of October in Chicago was unseasonably warm.  The month of November in Chicago was unseasonably cold and brought our first quite measurable snowfall.  We did not have a proper Autumn season and December is now upon us.

In the spirit of a proper holiday season, I am going to feature holiday songs from today to Christmas Eve.

Enjoy Trans Siberian Orchestra to launch the holiday season on Set List.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra - Christmas Eve/ Sarajevo (Timeless Version) [O...

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Sunday Favorite - Special Edition

In this special edition of Sunday Favorite on Set List, I am highlighting the most viewed post to date.  In all honesty, the featured post below is a personal favorite as well.

And so...

You spoke.  I listened.

I Like Noise

I cannot imagine the profound electric energy in Wembley on that one recorded night.  I can imagine the audience noise matching the instruments in volume.  As Simon Le Bon declared,

"I like noise."

More specifically -

"No.  I like more noise than that."

I never knew how loud a rock concert could be until I saw Duran Duran live in 2008.  My heart pounded with every tap on the drums.  My ears blasted with every guitar pick.  The audience sang along in unison at the very top of our lungs.

I now know, and will forever know, why Simon demanded his love for noise.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Music Pick

My music pick this week is "Once In a Lifetime."

The consistent underlying beat is not just catchy, but addictive.  Addictive is a strong word but in my opinion, it best defines how a listener might feel the moment the beat picks up.

The lyrics are unique and make sense to the song.  The lyrics are truly original.   

My take away for "Once In a Lifetime" -

Addictive.  When the song is over, it leaves a listener wanting more.

For these reasons, "Once In a Lifetime" is my Saturday music pick.