Madonna’s “Like a Virgin”–I Got This!

Madonna Bares Her Butt for Sandy Victims

(Reprinted from MSN Entertainment)

Madonna found a saucy way to raise money for victims of superstorm Sandy by baring her butt onstage as she asked for donations during her show in New York City this week.

The pop superstar went to visit relief workers at Far Rockaway in Queens on Monday to publicize aid efforts in the hours before she took to the stage for her MDNA show at Madison Square Garden. Madonna opened up about her experience at Rockaway Beach during the concert and paid tribute to all those who have stepped up to help in the aftermath of the storm.

She told the audience, “We … have to call attention to the fact that New York has been devastated by a hurricane and I think that people really underestimate the damage that has been done. The homes, the jobs, the livelihoods that have been lost. … There are many wonderful people, some of them here tonight, who have started amazing initiatives and have been giving help to people who have nowhere to live, who have no food and nowhere to sleep.

“A big thank you to all these people … I went down to Rockaway Beach yesterday with my children and we saw what was going on down there and we saw the destruction and it was really sad but we also saw amazing acts of humanity, people working hard, handing out food, blankets, giving love. … I wanna give a big thanks to those people too. We owe them a lot. New York owes them a lot.”

She took off her top to reveal the words “No fear” scrawled on her back and pulled down her pants, telling the audience “(I am) showing (my) naked a– for Hurricane Sandy victims” and encouraging them to throw cash donations at the stage. She added, “If you are going to look at the crack of my a–, you better raise some cash.”


Not even two days ago I tacked something up here about Bono’s ridiculously ineffectual fundraising efforts. Compared to Mad Madge though, that guy deserves a Nobel Prize. I guess we all do what we’re capable of doing. And Madonna’s specialty, in this her pathetic career downside, has become the flashing of what I’d be calling her “lady parts” if she were a lady.

Sad for two reasons: 1) after visiting relief workers to call attention to the hurricane’s devastation (thanks, we were completely unaware) this is what a cultural icon decided would be her contribution to the effort, and 2) didn’t she used to be a singer? Seriously, didn’t people once talk about Madonna for reasons related to music? Now she’s reduced to selling primarily nostalgia and sex. The phrase “If you are going to look at the crack of my a–, you better raise some cash” sounds exactly like a prostitute because that’s what Madonna has become.

Oh, and way to show your sensitivity to the human suffering.

Memo to Madonna: Shut Up and Sing

(Reprinted from Rolling Stone)

Madonna Calls Obama a ‘Black Muslim’

Maybe it was a slip of the tongue or maybe it was misguided sarcasm, but Madonna called President Obama a “black Muslim” last night at a tour stop in Washington D.C. in what otherwise resembled a message of support. After praising Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr., Madonna turned her attention to Obama, saying, “It is so amazing and incredible to think that we have an African-American in the White House!” But the pop star didn’t stop there. “So y’all better vote for fucking Obama, OK? For better or for worse, all right, we have a black Muslim in the White House, OK? Now that is some shit. That’s some amazing shit,” she said. “It means there is hope in this country. And Obama is fighting for gay rights, OK? So support the man, goddammit!”


No matter what your politics, this is embarrassing. Can’t she stick to flashing skin and offending religions? I believe I could devote an entire blog to Madge alone.


Excerpts From D.C. Madonna Concert Review

The following are a few lowlights of a review of a recent Madonna concert at Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. reprinted from the Washington Post online:

Madonna came to the stage at 10:30 p.m., 21/2 hours after the posted showtime. The delay disrupted more than babysitting arrangements; arena management was forced to strike a deal with Metro to extend the usual midnight service deadline. Madonna, however, surely benefited financially from the stalling, because some portion of the audience, made up of fans who’d paid from $59 to $390 per ticket, killed time by visiting merchandise booths, at which they could spend an additional $45 on licensed “I’m a Sinner” T-shirts or Madonna-endorsed “Addicted to Sweat” workout DVDs (featuring routines called “Get Wet” and “Dripping Wet”).

Her entrance: With the stage full of buff guys in monk outfits and contortionists on pedestals putting their feet behind their necks, and as a massive smoking golden thurible-shaped object swung to and fro in front of a giant cathedral-like structure while some sort of dense Gregorian chant-sounding noise blared over the public address system, Madonna dropped from the ceiling wearing a black jumpsuit and wielding an assault rifle. The medieval music was then replaced by Madonna moaning, “Oh, my God!” over and over before kicking into her recent techno single, “Girl Gone Wild,” which she shrieked while rubbing pretty much all of her own and her dancers’ body parts as humongous video screens showed what looked like the end of the world. Madonna survived this mini-Armageddon with enough energy to pick up the assault rifle and strafe the crowd one more time before song’s end.

During her rendering of “Gang Bang,” the stage became a seedy motel room in which she chugged whiskey and used more firearms to gun down two generic bad guys. She mounted their carcasses for a theatrical but confusing pelvic thrust routine, yelling “Die b—-!” a whole lot, though it wasn’t clear whether all the lyrics were being sung live. Meanwhile, the video screens showed enough splattered blood to make Quentin Tarantino nauseated.

She put on a majorette’s outfit for “Express Yourself,” and, while a large drum corps swung overhead, twirled a baton, perhaps re-creating moves she used during her days as a high school cheerleader. Alas, before the song was over, Madonna lifted her skirt and dirty danced with the baton. The fans ate it up, just as they ate up her yelling, “Do the bump with your neighbor!” amid all sorts of crotch-grabbing during “Holiday”; her donning a painful-looking metal bra and sashaying down a long runway while reprising “Vogue”; and her pulling down her pants to flash her buns of steel during “Human Nature.”

And from the comments forum:

Regrettably, the Madonna concert was terrible.  The concert started at 10:30 PM… 2 1/2 hours late.  The sound was so bad where we were, you couldn’t understand a single word she said.  Many times I wasn’t sure what song she was playing.  One of the opening scenes showed Madonna having sex with someone while she blew the guy’s brains out with a gun.  She dest’d Lady Gaga by playing “Born This Way” to marching band music.  She mooned the audience with an Obama tattoo on her lower back.  Unprofessional and tasteless are words that come to mind.  But disappointment doesn’t even describe it, more like anger.  What a waste of $500. 


Seriously, you’re spending 500 bucks on someone who seems to have a love/hate relationship with her audience (she loves your money; she hates you) and refuses to play her old hits? I paid less than half that to see Paul McCartney, who played nearly three hours of hits and well-chosen album tracks, showed affection for his fans, and was the epitome of class throughout. Madonna’s bad taste is topped only by that shown by fans who still spend their money on her.

Katy Perry: Cheating Her Way to the Record

Teenage DreamTeenage Dream: The Complete Confection

I was rereading the previous post (just to experience the nausea one more time) and the claim that “Katy Perry holds the same record as Michael Jackson for most number one singles from an album” caught my attention. I think it’s only fair to point out Katy’s tally of number ones is manipulated, shall we say, by some unconventional tactics.

After her Teenage Dream album had peaked and was nearing the end of its run Katy recorded new material, including eventual number one single “Part of Me” and, instead of releasing it as an EP or part of a new album, she released Teenage Dream: The Complete Confection, a sort-of “deluxe edition” of the album with the additional material included.

So what was the original version of Teenage Dream–the “incomplete collection”?

Lady Gaga used the same strategy when her The Fame album was later expanded into The Fame Monster, which included additional hits “Bad Romance”, “Telephone” and “Alejandro”.

Are these ladies competing on a level playing field with the Michael Jacksons and Beatles of the world when using previously unknown record release methods to jack up the sales statistics of their records? When Madonna’s new album is offered by a major online retailer for 99 cents during the first week of its release and it shoots to the top of the pops, is its resulting number one status legit? In fact, in Madonna’s case, when the record sets a record for sales drop in its second week on the heels of said 99 cent offer, can we even legitimately say she deserves to call it a number one album? When Madonna runs out of body parts to flash (just one left) and her career finally sputters to an end, she’ll have some great statistics to affirm her greatness. But only close examination will reveal which ones are wholly valid. MDNA is not a number one album in my eyes.

This is how, in some cases, modern-day artists’ claims of exceeding the sales feats of pop music immortals are made–by moving the goalposts, as it were.

The FameThe Fame Monster [Deluxe Edition]

Were the Beatles so inclined, or had it foremost in mind to compete with the incredible sales feats of Elvis Presley, they would have avoided releasing EPs and non-album singles entirely. Songs like “I Want to Hold Your Hand”, “I Feel Fine”, “We Can Work it Out”, “Paperback Writer” and “Hey Jude” (all number ones, by the way) would never have been single-only releases. They could have been tacked onto albums to inflate the numbers, and who knows how many number ones an album like Magical Mystery Tour could have had? But since it wasn’t done that way back then, it just seems unfair to compare apples (or Apple Records) to oranges.

Madonna Defends Her Use of Nazi Symbol

Madonna performs during her MDNA  Tour in London.

(Reprinted from the New York Times)

Madonna defended her decision to use a swastika in a video during her current tour, saying it is a fit image for her message about “the intolerance that we human beings have for one another.”

The Nazi symbol is superimposed on the forehead of the French National Front leader Marine Le Pen during a video that Madonna has been playing while she sings “Nobody Knows Me” at her concerts during a world tour.  Last week, the far-right party said it would sue Madonna after a concert in Paris and accused her of cynically insulting Ms. Le Pen to gain publicity.

Ms. Le Pen, who placed third in France’s presidential election in April, was one of several famous figures depicted in the video: others included Sarah Palin, President Hu Jintao of China and Pope Benedict XVI.  In February, Ms. Le Pen’s father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, who founded the National Front, was found guilty of condoning war crimes after he said the Nazi occupation of France had “not been particularly inhumane.”

Madonna has not changed the video since the National Front threatened to sue her, and it was shown at least three concerts in Britain last week.  Asked about the Nazi imagery by a Brazilian television journalist for a piece that was broadcast over the weekend, the singer said the image was justified because the song concerns intolerance and explores the question of “how much we judge people before knowing them.”

“Music should be about ideas, right?” she said.  “Ideas inspire music.”

The use of the swastika is not the first controversial piece of theater Madonna has employed on her tour to promote “MDNA,” her current album.  On Saturday, she brandished a prop pistol onstage in Edinburgh despite a warning from police not to do so.  And on June 8, she exposed her breast during a show in Istanbul while singing “No Fear.”


I don’t even need to say it, do I? This is part of Madonna’s process–the cycle whereby she gets herself in publications like Rolling Stone and the New York Times once the attention of a (lackluster) new release has died down. She courts controversy, gets it, then justifies what’s offensive by saying something like “music is about ideas”. Does Madonna really impress you these days as someone who is all about ideas? I think it’s much more likely she’s about finding every possible way to maximize her earnings in an era when she’s been overtaken by so many younger, hotter artists–artists whose “ideas”, shallow though they may be, are connecting with young people in a more impactful way.

To quote Marine Le Pen, the politician whose image was superimposed with the swastika: “It’s understandable when aging singers who need publicity go to such extremes. Her songs don’t work anymore.”

In a sense, she’s taking the low road (resorting to shocking and offending people) while appearing to take the high ground (saying she’s concerned about “the intolerance that we human beings have for one another”). If she wants to examine such topics, why doesn’t she write a serious treatise on the subject? Why not do a benefit tour with all profits going to organizations that fight such intolerance? Is dance music even the best way to address her deep concerns for the human condition? Do you think about human intolerance and the terrible injustice of racist nationalistic regimes while you’re shaking your ass at a club?

Make no mistake, the only idea that concerns Madonna is the idea that you buy her product.

French Party to Sue Madonna Over Swastika Image


(reprinted from MSN Entertainment)

PARIS (AP) — France’s far-right National Front said Sunday that it plans to sue Madonna after the singer showed a video at a Paris concert that contained an image of the party’s leader with a swastika on her forehead.

The video has been shown at other concerts on the singer’s tour, and the party has expressed its outrage before, warning that it would take action if the video were shown in France. On Saturday night, Madonna played it at the Stade de France.

National Front spokesman Alain Vizier said Sunday that the party would file a complaint in French court next week for “insults.”

Party leader Marine Le Pen is briefly pictured in the video during a montage in which famous faces — or parts of faces — morph one into the next. Soon after Le Pen’s face flashes up, Madonna’s face follows with Hitler’s mustache.

Le Pen, who inherited control of the party from her father, Jean-Marie, has tried to shed the National Front’s image as racist and anti-Semitic, especially during her recent failed bid for president. But she has maintained a hard line on immigrants, saying France has too many and criticizing many Muslims, in particular, for insufficiently assimilating into French culture.

Meanwhile, anti-racism group SOS Racisme expressed its support for Madonna on Sunday, commending her for her “resolutely anti-racist and feminist discourse.


That’s just Madonna trying to stay relevent. It’s just boring and a little annoying now. When the music fails to capture enough attention because your new album sucks (see Madonna’s Album a Failure–Chris Brown Got All the Good Songs: you resort to your old bag of tricks: using the most provocative, controversial and offensive symbolism possible to catch headlines. Since the Catholic Church doesn’t get worked up anymore about Madonna (mis)using crosses, well, the swastika still has some mileage in it, right? This was no unwitting accident of course. It put her name and face on news sources and, hence, in front of music fans, as her latest record plummets down the charts.

Anyone’s fair game to take a cheap shot in the interest of furthering the career of a woman desperate to stay on top long past her prime. Madonna is the female Mike Tyson.

Adele Is Queen…What Will It Mean?


As we’ve seen in the news in recent years, regime changes can be bloody affairs. And Adele’s takeover of pop music, confirmed by her Grammy Awards coronation in February, won’t be without its collateral victims.

Take a look at the following two lyric excerpts:

L-U-V Madonna!/Y-O-U You wanna?/I see you coming and I don’t wanna know your name/L-U-V Madonna/I see you coming and you’re gonna have to change your game/Y-O-U You wanna?…Give me all your lovin’ give me your love give me all your love today/Give me all your lovin’ give me your love Let’s forget about time and dance our lives away


You know how the time flies/Only yesterday was the time of our lives/We were born and raised in a summer haze/Bound by the surprise of our glory days…Nothing compares, no worries or cares/Regrets and mistakes, they’re memories made/Who would have known how bittersweet this would taste?/Nevermind I’ll find someone like you/I wish nothing but the best for you, too/Don’t forget me, I begged, I remember you said/Sometimes it lasts in love, but sometimes it hurts instead

How bizarre that of the two sets of lyrics, one sung by a 21-year-old, the other by a 53-year-old, the lyric of greater depth, gravitas and authenticity belongs to the kid singer. How strange to see a woman well over twice that kid’s age try to stay in the game with a fluff piece that evokes Toni Basil’s mock-cheerleading novelty “Mickey”? And how supremely ironic that Madonna’s lyric taunts: you’re gonna have to change your game. Well, Adele currently holds three of Billboard’s top ten pop slots, with songs that have spent a collective 117 weeks on the chart. Madonna’s “Give Me All Your Luvin'”, aided by massive Super Bowl halftime exposure, peaked at number ten last week, then sank like a proverbial stone to 39 in this, only its third week on the chart. Game over.

And it’s not only, or even primarily, Adele’s songs that have sounded the call of this revolution. Although it helps to be writing and singing songs that stand with pop classics of bygone eras–like “Rolling in the Deep” certainly does and will–it’s that voice that’s the real game-changer. People have already gone under in the wake of it. Like Lana Del Rey.

It seems like just late this morning that a “new” model of pop success was emerging: the DIY approach of uploading your guitar-and-software arrangements onto social media sites and (hopefully) going viral, then getting signed. Instant career. And instant cred–nothing seems more authentic than an artist who was discovered by fans before being discovered by a record label.

Then of course, labels started to see that cred as one more marketable commodity, and muddied the waters. Take the example of Lizzy Grant. She was renamed Lana Del Rey by her manager and her signing to Interscope Records went unannounced for 3 months to keep that “indie” cred intact while she was hyped as the next big thing. That part isn’t uncommon. Her currently ongoing flame-out, though, is atypical, and due in part to the aforementioned regime change. Cred is not as respected a currency as talent all of the sudden. Being a millionaire’s daughter probably hasn’t helped Del Rey in that regard, especially when she’s tried to present herself as a self-made artist who used to live in a trailer park. Regardless, she wasn’t ready prime time. She bombed on SNL in her national TV debut and subsequently postponed a 30-date tour.

In single-handedly raising the bar for talent and substance in pop music, even Adele’s less-than-supermodel-svelte appearance might be to her advantage. In a strange way it just drives home the point to fans that the music’s the thing. The quality of the music matters now–it’s depth, meaning and authenticity of performance–over style, image, artifice. And some artists who have gotten by without those qualities the past few years won’t in the next few. Having been given a whiff of something more real, fans will be sniffing around for fakes.

It will be interesting to see who’s left without a chair when the song stops.

Lady Gaga is safe: despite sharing with Del Rey a fake name and a reliance on a look, she actually has enough musical and especially songwriting talent to remain a mega-star. Plus she actually makes art out of the artifice. It’s actually part of her message, and although only her fans seem to understand she has a message, that’s not a real problem when your fans number in the millions. Britney Spears is more a product of writers and producers, but as long as she continues to work with the best ones in the business she’ll probably keep dropping great dance tracks and making videos people want to see. Ke$ha? She’s shown the ability to at least co-write hit songs time and again, even if she is sort of writing the same song every time. I guess we’ll see if the public tires of that shtick, or if her artistic vision reaches beyond songs about clubbing. If not, in twenty years’ time she might be this era’s KC & The Sunshine Band.

If Adele’s reign marks a shift toward music of greater resonance and meaning, I welcome it. Long live the queen.

And I did it all without shooting fireworks from my boobs!

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