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Madonna News - October 2008

Sticky & Sweet Tour in Chicago – Slant Magazine Review

It’s Madonna’s job to create buzz. Hence the name of her Sticky & Sweet Tour—only slightly less misleading than her 2004 Re-Invention Tour, which suggested a career change but settled for a big-band version of “Deeper and Deeper.” In her latest show, Madge enters stage in an “M”-encrusted throne grinding to “Candy Shop,” but it’s not quite the 50-year-old porn romp you might expect. By the time she transitions to “Human Nature” and Britney Spears shows up in a video trapped in an elevator and echoing, “I’m not your bitch/Don’t hang your shit on me,” it’s the same as all her shows: A remixed mind-f*ck.

Before “4 Minutes,” the Top 5 duet with Justin Timberlake, it had been seven years since a Madonna single seriously contended on mainstream radio. (Part of me wanted to think she was selling out with Hard Candy. The same artist who sampled Main Source on “Human Nature” was suddenly tapping…Timbaland? But then the Pharrell-produced “Heartbeat” and “Give It 2 Me” are both as pure and as fake as anything she’s made since her debut 25 years ago.) But as always, she’s also in the news for a couple other things: her directorial debut, Filth and Wisdom, and her maybe-it-did-maybe-it-didn’t-happen affair with Alex Rodriguez, which prompted Adam Sternbergh in New York to theorize that her “true art” is that “she’s so good at making us talk about her.” It’s a cliche to say Madonna is a queen of self-promotion, but Sternbergh’s scarily misogynistic description of the singer as a “hyperbaric cougar” and an “asexual-android” gets at what has nagged the singer for years: the media’s constant fascination with eviscerating her.

So it’s no surprise that Madonna’s new show comes off not unlike an act of self-defense. She dresses in a boxer uniform for a “Die Another Day” backdrop, emphasizing her already-muscular arms. Unlike your run-of-the-mill diva, Madonna is willing to get dirty for her art, and she sometimes gets lost in her backup dancers’ routine, though she’s quick to remind the audience, “I’m still the one in control.” Even so, Madonna has always been willing to make fun of her own image. During “She’s Not Me,” she makes out with a younger version of herself (the horny bride from the 1984 VMAs), and then kicks her to the curb.

The most overtly political moment is a montage called “Get Stupid,” which starts with an image of a swastika and ends with images of John Lennon and Barack Obama. A song about the freedom to dance (“Beat Goes On”) becomes an anthem for political frustration, and it’s the only moment that’s generated any real controversy, but she doesn’t say anything about either the Republican or the Democratic candidate that she hasn’t said before. The power of any great Madonna song is implicit: “Say what you like/Do what you feel/You know exactly who you are.”

Past becomes present at a Madonna show. The singer is known for reinventing her old material—no classic is sacred (this time she turns “Ray of Light” into even more of a drug-induced European dance party). There are some uninspired rock-star moments (basically anytime she holds an electric guitar), but Madonna’s ability to redefine and recontextualize every song is still awe-inspiring. A little bit of her Erotica-era cheekiness reappears during Sticky & Sweet, from putting her dancers in bondage outfits during a mash-up of “Vogue” and “4 Minutes” to jumping rope during “Into the Groove,” the backdrop of which pays homage to her old friend, the late Keith Haring.

Sternbergh’s right in a way: “Of course it’s Madonna.” She makes the rules, but she also breaks them. Like a sex instructor, Madonna rules over her audience and tells them when they’re allowed to get off (at one point mock-masturbating over someone’s head). And when the words “Game Over” flash on the screen at the end of the show, you’re just happy to have played along.

Madonna featured in a new book by Dave Hogan

Access All Areas by Dave Hogan with David Clayton
Published by Green Umbrella and available through and

Press release : Covering 25 years of working closely with celebrities, rock stars and personalities Access All Areas features photographs from some of the most famous and infamous events on the planet. This is more than just a collection of his most famous photographs. Accompanying some of the most iconic images in the entertainment world today are the stories behind the shots; this is one of the most fascinating books of the year from the man with unprecedented access to the most famous stars of their time.

Dave Hogan began his photography career at Stringfellows over 25 years ago and has since shot every major pop, rock and film star and red carpet event including Live Aid and Live 8. He is Getty Images’ and The Sun’s celebrity photographer. This book is a fascinating roller-coaster ride through his 25 year career photographing stars from Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, U2, Duran Duran, Madonna, Britney Spears ( yes that kiss was one of Dave Hogan’s shots!), Kylie Minogue and many more.

Dave Hogan was famously run over by Madonna and appeared on the front page of The Sun with the headline ‘Maimed by Madonna’. Despite the world-wide furore Dave Hogan refused to sue Madonna and went on to photograph her again.

With a Foreword by The Sun’s Showbiz Editor Gordon Smart and featuring quotes by many of the artists featured this is your pass to the stories behind the stars.
Hogan tells us the real stories about his own ‘Heroes’ and this is a book you won’t be able to put down!

Previews :

Madonna in Access All Areas by Dave Hogan with David ClaytonMadonna in Access All Areas by Dave Hogan with David ClaytonMadonna in Access All Areas by Dave Hogan with David ClaytonMadonna in Access All Areas by Dave Hogan with David Clayton

Thanks to Emma Woodridge

“Miles Away” Single Tracklistings

International 2 track CD single

1. Miles Away (Album version)
2. Miles Away (Thin White Duke Remix)

Maxi CD single

1. Miles Away (Album version)
2. Miles Away (Thin White Duke Remix)
3. Miles Away (Demo Rebirth)
4. Miles Away (Johnny Vicious Club)

Digital Maxi Single

1. Miles Away (Album version)
2. Miles Away (Thin White Duke Remix)
3. Miles Away (Demo Rebirth)
4. Miles Away (Johnny Vicious Club)

source : tribe

Rumour : Sticky And Sweet coming to Australia

First Madonna was coming to Australia. And then she wasn’t coming. Now this morning on Channel Seven’s Sunrise Molly Meldrum confirmed that Madonna is infact bringing her Sticky And Sweet Tour to Australia after all, and it could be as early as January 2009.

According to Sunrise there are two promoters fighting over Madonna right now, and ticket prices are yet to be confirmed. It’s also unknown whether she will bring the entire stage and production elements of the Sticky And Sweet Tour, or if it will be a scaled back version of the show.

Media reported on the last round of negotiations, alleging that Madonna was offered “millions of dollars” to play two stadium gigs in Sydney and Melbourne. Whether the current offers will see her touring to more Australian cities remains to be seen.

Madonna hasn’t toured here since her Girlie Show in November 1993.

source :

The “Filth and Wisdom” of Madonna

Some showbiz cliches exist for a reason.

For nearly a quarter of a century, Madonna, who turned 50 this year, has been a music megastar, a pop culture provocateur and a global brand name. But what she really wants to do is direct.

“I’ve been in relationships with a lot of filmmakers,” she said with a laugh in a recent interview. (Long before Guy Ritchie, her soon-to-be ex, there was Warren Beatty, and before him, Sean Penn, not yet a director at the time.) “I’ve been awfully envious of them. I guess I got tired of just wishing I was doing something and decided to do it.”

Madonna was speaking in her Upper West Side apartment, at the start of a week that was shaping up as a media perfect storm. It was the day after she completed the sold-out New York run of her Sticky & Sweet Tour, a few hours before the downtown premiere of her directorial debut, “Filth and Wisdom,” and two days before news of her split from Ritchie made tabloid front pages around the world.

In a lavender-walled drawing room overlooking Central Park and filled with photographs of her children, she sat beneath an angular nude by the Art Deco painter Tamara de Lempicka and discussed her new incarnation as scrappy indie auteur. Madonna, it goes without saying, is a take-charge interviewee: by turns gracious and brisk, easily amused by herself and actually quite funny. Irony is not part of her repertoire, though, nor is self-deprecation. Her sense of humor seems to revolve around an almost gleeful sense of her imperiousness. She speaks in clipped, semiformal cadences and she has a habit of finishing her interviewer’s questions.

Madonna’s turns in front of the camera — in hall-of-infamy disasters such as “Shanghai Surprise” and “Swept Away” — have long been the stuff of punch lines. But the leap to directing is perhaps not such a huge one for the high priestess of the music video. This pop star’s great talent — some would say her greatest — is as a maker and manipulator of images. Who would deny that she is a visual artist in her own right? In the heyday of MTV, no one could match her flair for iconographic reinvention, whether channeling Marilyn Monroe in the “Material Girl” clip (directed by Mary Lambert) or playing the dominatrix queen of a “Metropolis”-like kingdom in “Express Yourself” ( David Fincher).

When the conversation turned to her music videos, she declared theatrically, “I discovered David Fincher.” Madonna has long sought out arty up-and-comers to direct her promos (Mark Romanek, Chris Cunningham, Jonas Akerlund), but she made clear that her involvement did not stop with hiring them. “I take at least 50 percent of the credit for directing and coming up with concepts,” she said.

When she decided to write a screenplay, she said, “I would try and pick Guy’s brain. He said, ‘Just write what you know,’ which was simple and good advice. The fact of the matter is that all the work I do is very autobiographical, directly or indirectly, because who do I know better than me?”

“Filth and Wisdom,” which premiered at the Berlin Film Festival and opens in Los Angeles on Friday, is indeed proudly Madonna-centric, but it looks back on a distant chapter of her life — you could call it a drama of the Madonna origin myth. Just as her last two albums, “Hard Candy” (2008) and “Confessions on a Dance Floor” (2005), summoned the electro beats of her early-’80s club-going days, this scruffy roommate comedy — although set in a drably anonymous present-day London — is a sweet-tempered ode to her bohemian youth in New York.

The aspirations of the film’s three friends — singing, dancing, charity work in Africa — broadly represent the Madonna career project. At its center, though, is a seemingly un-Madonna-like figure: the Ukrainian-born indie rocker and poet-philosopher Eugene Hutz, ringleader of the Gypsy-punk troupe Gogol Bordello, basically playing a version of himself.

After hearing Hutz’s music and seeing him in Liev Schreiber’s 2005 film “Everything Is Illuminated,” Madonna detected a kinship. “I connect to people who I recognize as having gone through the struggle,” she said.

By “struggle” she means the plight of the artist who has not yet found an audience — a subject that is still dear to her heart. “She wasn’t born selling out Madison Square Garden,” Hutz said in a separate interview. Or, as she put it, “You must realize that I once was a struggling artist. I’m now a struggling filmmaker.”

“Filth and Wisdom” recasts in playful, romantic terms the creative drive that, in Madonna’s case, has often registered as careerist calculation (the Material Girl who once titled a tour “Blond Ambition” is herself partly responsible for the image). “Longing is such a charismatic thing,” Hutz said. “It speaks to dedication and passion.”

Given that Madonna has always been a genius of cool by association, it’s no surprise that “Filth and Wisdom” flaunts its aesthetic influences. “I didn’t think that I made a movie for the masses of America,” she said. “It has more of a European sensibility.”

At Berlin, she was mocked by some critics for name-dropping Jean-Luc Godard and Pier Paolo Pasolini in her press kit (it didn’t help that both names were misspelled), but the Godard comparison isn’t wildly off base, since “Filth,” with its jumpy energy and voice-over digressions, samples freely from the French New Wave playbook.

When Madonna talks about movies and cinephilia, she sounds like your typical earnest neophyte director. “I don’t have a memory of going to movies,” she said. “My father frowned upon it and thought it was a decadent indulgence.” But as a dance student at the University of Michigan, she discovered a local art house, and along with it, the French New Wave and the golden age of Italian cinema, from the neo-realism of Rossellini and Visconti to the more in-your-face poetics of Fellini and Pasolini. She once wrote to Fellini — “a begging letter and a fan letter,” asking him to direct the video for her 1993 single “Rain.” (He politely declined; she framed his response.)

The low-budget grubbiness of “Filth and Wisdom” is partly a matter of style, but it was also about minimizing expectations (overall, reviews for the film have been lukewarm at best). “I very deliberately kept it small and inexpensive,” she said. After the shoot she set up an editing suite in the basement of her London home. “My editors never got away from me,” she said, laughing. “I liked to do sneak attacks.”

In the past year Madonna has also written and produced a documentary (directed by Nathan Rissman, her former gardener) about the effect of AIDS on children in Malawi, called “I Am Because We Are.” Spurred by her experiences visiting the country and adopting her now-3-year-old son, David, the film reflects her belief that documentaries should take a stand rather than simply record reality.

“I got into an argument with someone at the Sundance festival who said I have to make a choice between being an activist and a filmmaker,” she said. “That’s rubbish. I’ve been an activist and an artist all my life.”

In this election season, those activist flourishes have included banning Sarah Palin from her tour (it’s shtick she’s worked into her act) and projecting a montage at her shows juxtaposing Barack Obama and Gandhi and John McCain and Hitler. “I’m allowed to have an opinion,” she said. “If Pasolini did it, I can too.”

Not only is Madonna a fan of Pasolini, the Italian provocateur with a gift for mingling the sacred and the profane, “Saló,” his anti-fascist screed adapted from the Marquis de Sade novel (complete with grueling scenes of humiliation and torture), was once a personal litmus test. “I used to sit people down and say, ‘Watch this movie and if you don’t like it we can’t be friends,’ ” she said. She used to do the same with a Frida Kahlo painting, “My Birth,” a bloody depiction of the artist’s emergence into the world.

But that was a younger, more judgmental Madonna. “I’m a little more compassionate and forgiving now,” she said.

She might even be looking to forgive and forget her own missteps. Not least for its creator, “Filth and Wisdom” is a fresh start in a less-than-distinguished movie career. “Trying to get into films through acting was a mistake,” she said. “Every time I would act in a movie I would get in these horrible arguments with directors about my vision. I would have to surrender to the idea that the director was the one with the vision. And that doesn’t fit with my personality.”

source : latimes

Madge, you look tired and old, says Kylie’s stylist

The UK style guru turned designer who has worked with Kylie for 17 years, said in Sydney that while the Oz poppette has evolved her wardrobe, Madonna’s has stayed the same.

“It’s tricky when you are a pop star and growing older but there are plenty of ways of still looking hot,” Baker said.

He said Kylie’s most recent concert wardrobe, designed by French fashion name Jean-Paul Gaultier, had moved on to a more covered but sexy look.

“Kylie’s gone high fashion,” Baker said.

But he claimed Madonna’s concert style was tired.

“Over the years her concert clothes have always been really interesting but I didn’t think there was anything new this time.

“The camera shots of her are also still very crotch-centric and we’ve seen this all before,” he said.

source :

Madonna getting younger with age

Two years after her last visit, and just one week after news broke of her impending divorce from husband Guy Ritchie, 50-year-old pop queen Madonna settled in for the first of two sold-out nights before 17,800 fans at the Bell Centre. And the party was most definitely on.

Relatively speaking, of course. The renowned perfectionist plans her shows to the T, and sticks to script every step of the way. But her music (particularly that of her last two albums) has stayed self-consciously young. And to her credit, despite rumours of her rigid stage presence – which was very much the case in 2006 – Madonna actually seemed to be having fun.

This was a looser show than the last – less bogged down by elaborate props, and leaving more room for Madge, her dancers and band to interact. A matrix of state-of-the-art screens, and hydraulic platforms provided the setting for her and her entourage to entertain.

After an elaborate video intro – featuring a candy factory/pinball game montage – she emerged on a throne, a leg provocatively straddled over one of the arms. The song was Candy Shop, off her new album Hard Candy. “Get up out of your seats,” she sang, as she and eight dancers pranced about to the clubby groove.

Video cameos dotted the evening, with the main players of the pop new school – Pharrell Williams, Kanye West, Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake – each making virtual appearances.

The performance was divided into four thematic segments: Pimp, NY Old School, Romani Gypsy and Rave Armageddon. A highlight of the first was the funky Beat Goes On (with Pharell), in which she and her dancers rolled down the catwalk in a Rolls Royce.

It was the second set, however, that stood out most. With Keith Haring videos playing on the big screens, Madonna and her entourage literally skipped (with ropes) their way through a dance remix of Get Into the Groove, decked out in colourful ’80s costumes.

Borderline was one of several songs she performed with electric guitar in hand (a first for her). She unmasked an array of Madonna wannabes (her dancers, dressed up as her different incarnations) in She’s Not Me, and rocked the house in the subway-and-graffiti-themed Music. This last number drew huge cheers – Madonna was at her best when sending up her New York City roots.

Montrealer Ric’key Pageot got his moment in the spotlight. Playing keyboards for on the tour, he accompanied her in a dramatic rendition of The Devil Wouldn’t Recognize You, in which she crouched then stood atop his piano, clad in a black cloak.

If songs such as Human Nature and Spanish Lesson fell flat, those instances were few and far between. Miles Away was a mid-show standout, as the room sang and clapped along to the infectious chorus. It was one of the few truly communal moments of the night.

Madonna isn’t one for singalongs. She would prefer her fans marvel at the spectacle. On this tour, she struck a compromise. Deadline meant an early exit, and missing the hits 4 Minutes, Like a Prayer and Hung Up.

But she had already pulled off an unlikely feat: getting younger with age. And she’ll do it all over again, tonight.

source : the gazzete