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There is something you should know: Duran Duran is back

That's right. The band's original five members are together again, recording a new album and taking the act on the road.

By GINA VIVINETTO, Times Pop Music Critic
© St. Petersburg Times
published June 26, 2003

Good news, former New Wave gals - and all of our beloved frosted-banged boy sidekicks from high school - it's time to reunite in all things Duranie.

Duran Duran's original lineup has reunited after 18 years. For the first time since the band's five original members played together with those awful mullets at Live Aid, Simon Le Bon, Nick Rhodes, John Taylor, Roger Taylor and Andy Taylor are back together to record a new original album to be released next year.

Not only that, the Fab Five, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, is also touring. Duran Duran kicks off a two-week string of live performances in Japan in July. Then the band hits the United States (no Florida dates have been announced yet). And Duran demand is as outrageous as ever: Last week, tickets for an upcoming show at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas sold out in six minutes.

If this isn't the reason to dust off the ol' fedora, I don't know what is.

BANDS FOR THE LAND: For those of you who enjoyed Boston's concert Tuesday at the St. Pete Times Forum, here's another reason to feel good: Boston donated $1 from every ticket sold at Tuesday's show and every other concert on its nationwide "Corporate America" summer tour to the Sierra Club, America's oldest and largest grass roots environmental organization. The donations, the Sierra Club says, will go toward fighting for clean air and water, cleaning up toxic waste sites and "safeguarding America's majestic landscapes." Interested in learning more? Go to www.sierraclub.org

Boston isn't the only band with the land on its mind. Rolling Stone recently reported that Pearl Jam and Coldplay are doing their part to give back to the environment. Specifically, the bands aim to cool the global warming heated up by the carbon dioxide emitted from the productions of their compact discs and lengthy tours.

Pearl Jam calculated the environmental costs of its 56-date tour this past spring, including traveling, lighting, sound and fuel, and estimated it emitted roughly 5,600 tons of carbon dioxide. To compensate, Pearl Jam donated $35,000 toward preserving a rain forest in Madagascar.

Coldplay, aided by environmental group Future Forests, planted 10,000 oxygen-generating mango trees in India to offset the carbon dioxide emitted during the production of their CD A Rush of Blood to the Head. The article reported that Foo Fighters, Bonnie Raitt, Dave Matthews Band and the Vans Warped Tour are working on similar projects.

RADIOHEAD GOES HIGHBROW: Radiohead fans who haven't gotten enough after devouring the band's thrilling new Hail to the Thief may want to check out True Love Waits: Christopher O'Riley Plays Radiohead, an album of piano music by a classical piano ingenue. O'Riley is more known for playing Stravinsky and Bach, but it turns out the guy is intrigued by the complex arrangements of Thom Yorke and the gang. Hear O'Riley give melodic, bare-bones spins to the brooding Let Down, the dissonant, nervous Knives Out and the haunting opener Everything In Its Right Place.

LOCAL MUSIC CONFERENCE: The Southeast Music Alliance 2003 Conference and Tampa Bay Music Festival is scheduled for Oct. 17 and 18 in downtown St. Petersburg and is to feature more than 40 local and national bands playing in four venues. Bands and artists may submit applications for SMA showcases through July 7 for $35. Go to http://sma.toosquare.com/conference.htm

- To contact Gina Vivinetto, e-mail gina@sptimes.com

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