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Madonna News - February 2011

Madonna changes Malawi school plans

Madonna has abandoned her plan to build a girls-only school in Malawi as a result of logistical problems and other concerns.

But the new leader of her project said the pop star instead plans to build many more schools with other educational groups.

Trevor Neilson said part of the problem with Raising Malawi’s initial plan was that local villagers laid claim to the land the government had selected for the school.

He said Madonna’s new strategy would allow Raising Malawi to educate “10 times” the children initially targeted.

The singer, who has adopted a boy and a girl from Malawi, had initially planned to build a school for girls, most of whom do not get the opportunity to go to school.

The school was to be on an approximately 117-acre plot of government land near the capital, Lilongwe. But soon after the location was announced, several local villagers claimed they owned the land and the government was forcing them off of it.

“Obviously, Raising Malawi didn’t know anything about this, and was surprised, yet Raising Malawi paid those people over 130,000 dollars (£80,697), which in Malawi is a lot of money,” Mr Neilson said.

Even after that, he said, Raising Malawi never got title to the land. In addition, he said the school was being built in an area where there were not many children, and too much effort was being put into the design of the building.

“Madonna was shocked to find out how much time and money had been spent on architecture,” he said, though declining to give an exact estimate, simply saying “Too much!”

Instead of creating a Raising Malawi school, the new plan is to use Raising Malawi’s resources to partner with other non-governmental organisations already working to provide a better education in Malawi.

PA

Madonna on Slant’s Best Albums Of The 90s List

63. Madonna, Bedtime Stories
Over the years, Madonna has cited influences as disparate as the classical composers who soundtracked her early dance training and, despite Kurt Cobain’s assertion that she “ignored” them, the punk bands from her days as a drummer in the East Village, but R&B had the most audible impact on her music during the first 15 years of her career. So to view Bedtime Stories as anything other than an extension of what she’d been doing all along would be remiss. And instead of simply following American trends of the time, Madge infused the album with the edgier trip-hop sounds that were happening on the other side of the pond. But it was her refined literary taste, from Proust to Whitman, and both the media and the public’s rejection of her sexual politicking that truly informed the singer’s seventh album. Whether licking her wounds over lovers (“Take a Bow”) or critics (“Human Nature”), Madonna has never sounded more emotionally vulnerable or more cerebrally plugged in than she does here. SC

47. Madonna, Ray of Light
Don’t call it a comeback. Because while Madonna’s immediately preceeding genres of choice (R&B, adult contemporary, Broadway) were quickly rendering her relevance a thing to be admired only in the past tense, her chart prowess was still in fine form. No, Ray of Light was a rebirth, the sound of a queen, sitting on her throne, taking inventory of her icy, empty fortress—and not liking what she saw one bit. From “Drowned World” to “Frozen” to “Mer Girl,” water is a recurring theme, serving as a symbol of purification throughout. Madonna’s lyrics are notably devoid of any trace of cyncism here, and though it’s tempting to interpret her “answers” as obvious or absolute, it’s her sense of wonder and searching—and, of course, Patrick Leonard’s gorgeous melodies and William Orbit’s immaculate yet playful production—that elevates Ray of Light above mere New Age hogwash. SC

28. Madonna, Erotica
No Madonna album was ever met with a louder backlash or was more rampantly misrepresented than this dark masterpiece, so you know it was doing something right. Released on the tail-end of AIDS hysteria, Erotica is far from the opus to guiltless sexual fulfillment it—and its even more ridiculed accompanying tome Sex—was made out to be. Though there’s no doubt it espouses taking joy in physical pleasure (“Let me remind you in case you don’t already know/Dining out can happen down below”), no album seems more empathetically haunted by the act’s countless side effects (i.e. “Bad Girl,” “Thief of Hearts,” a purposefully monotonous house cover of Peggy Lee’s “Fever”). Underneath Madonna’s bondage getup and Shep Pettibone’s oversized drum tracks beats a truly pained heart. EH

Slant’s Best Albums Of The 90s

Guy Oseary twitts about Madonna’s New Album

I would love to let her rest, but she is eager to get into studio and get working on an album. I’m not pushing.. This is all her!
I’ve always wanted to a Madonna unplugged, the new album will be quite the opposite of unplugged. I have one word for you: DANCE
Most of the music Madonna is liking for new album are from all unknown producers. From what she played me, the tracks sound amazing…
via Twitter

Oseary on Tour DVDs

“I had a meeting with warner records last week to discuss the DVDs.. Its a start..”
via Twitter