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material_boy

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  1. Jimmy raved about the first album when he interviewed her for "MDNA." I think that's why her two performances on his show so far had been first album hits.
  2. Madonna 2018 Calendar pre-order

    I just got the email. I love this picture and adore this look -- maybe my favorite look on her since Confessions era. I desperately hope this is her look for the new album.
  3. Ditch it! New album 2018. Another new album 2020. AND ANOTHER new album 2022.
  4. Yes. Watch "Girl Gone Wild" MDNA and "Express Yourself" Blond Ambition back to back. Or "Deeper and Deeper" from the Girlie Show. Or "Future Lovers" Confessions -- a performance that also heavily featured out-sized screens and props, but never let Madonna bleed into them, even though she literally just sits down partway through the performance. Madonna's big production numbers are typically staged in such a way to make the spectacle revolve around her, literally, as she is often physically in the middle of the troupe or stage. M is always the primary figure, distinct from the troupe, and uniquely costumed. They use other visual cues to make her stand out as well, like hair and lighting. From 1990 - 2001, subtler visual cues and a sort of secondary staging were created for Donna and Nikki to make them stand out from the troupe but still framed them as subordinate to Madonna. Post-DWT, the same sort of thing was done with female dancers filling the traditional Donna and Nikki roles, as we see women "riders" join M in "Future Lovers" and two women frame M in the "Music Inferno" dance break during Confessions. She's spoken about the work that goes into setting up this dynamic and these visual cues, like when she said she wanted the ponytail in Blond Ambition so that she would have a more playful, feminine look to juxtapose the hard-edged, masculine imagery in the show. Take "Express Yourself" specifically, and look at how she and the girls are costumed compared to the men. Look at how they're framed by the men, and pop out from the troupe, even when everyone on stage is dancing in sync. The combined framing, costumery, hair, etc. almost subconsciously guide your eye to where Madonna is on stage at all times. It's excellent stage work. "Girl Gone Wild" -- from its staging to its choreography to its costuming -- seems to be trying to make her part of the spectacle, not the center of it. This happens basically from the moment she tears off the veil and walks onto the stage, as the dancers undo their red robes (from which Madonna's black costume pops initially) to reveal Madonna-esque black costumes, and immediately breaking down the first visual distinction from the troupe. Madonna and troupe break into synchronized choreography immediately -- from the first lyric of the song -- and spend more time during the performance in sync than almost any other Madonna live number. This is the second visual distinction to be broken. The red robes are removed entirely by the end of the first chorus, removing basically all costume distinction. By the start of the second chorus, Madonna is off to the side of the troupe, setting up a visual cue that pulls your eye away from Madonna and towards the dancers. The dancers walk down three steps as Madonna walks forward, and the stage mechanically lowers the dancers down to the main stage. It's a set-up that you'd think would re-establish Madonna as the primary visual object, but instead the stage has been repositioned in such a way that the dancers are framed by its moving pieces -- again making them the centerpiece and M a secondary visual object. The DVD even frames the shot such that Madonna is so far off to the side that she'd be cut out entirely if the video was converted to a smaller screen format. It's all too much to be coincidental, and the performance almost lampshades this dynamic during the bridge, when M tries desperately to crawl back to the troupe as she's held back one of the dancers. That the number ends with her "shooting" one of the dancers after the big dance break makes me think that this is all supposed to be symbolic of her breaking out of the pack, and standing on her own -- and considering that performance and tour draw heavy inspiration from her divorce, it seems like a good bet. Again, it's visually stunning, and among her most unique performances for the emphasis on effects, costumes and a dance troupe that de-emphasize Madonna. But I'd still be happier with Madonna and a spotlight than a high art performance that uses her as a prop as part of a larger commentary.
  5. Yes, bitch! Ditch that movie! Give us some MUSIC I am so excited for this new era. Rebel Heart reignited my passion for the Queen and now I'm ready for more
  6. +1 Tough interviews are the best interviews. She's at her best in them, and she gives as good as she gets. She just seems bored during fluff interviews. (And I get bored reading them.)
  7. Adele also used water in her most recent tour during "Set Fire to the Rain," and did so in a very simple and beautiful way. Sometimes less is more.
  8. The loons on this forum sometimes She was a prop in that number, and that was probably by design. The screens and set pieces are enormous, and positioned in that number in particular to loom on the stage. The Queen and dancers are staged to looked small in comparison. Little is done throughout the number to make her stand out from the dance troupe -- indeed, she is given the same choreography and worked into (not in front of) the troupe for much of the number. They even wear similar costumes! I'd bet $100 that if you talked to Michel Laprise about the number, he'd say that it was designed to demonstrate the scale of the show, to open things with such a bang as to overwhelm the audience, to make you go "holy shit!" -- and it does all of those things very well. It just downplays the Queen herself to do it. That doesn't make the performance bad. It's a conceptual and production masterpiece. But it's not one that centers Madonna, and I'm just saying it's not for me.
  9. I would much prefer a residency or a stripped-down tour of theaters / opera houses than another arena or stadium show, tbh. MDNA and Rebel Heart had their moments, but the big production mostly fell flat for me, with the emphasis and spectacle being put more and more on the people and things around her than on Madonna herself. Look at "Girl Gone Wild" -- everyone here loves the performance. And I'll admit that it is a wild, complicated, and dazzling number. But Madonna is just a prop in it. The huge screens, the moving stage, the legion of dancers -- they all overwhelm her. The whole MDNA show suffers for this sort of thing. It felt less like a Madonna show than a 21st century Alvin Alley-meets-Cirque du Soleil show, which also happens to have Madonna. I loved RHT so much more than MDNA because of its quiet moments. So do the people I know offline who saw both shows. The songs I keep going back and listening to, the performances I keep going back and watching on YouTube -- "True Blue," "Heartbreak City / Love Don't Live Here Anymore," "Who's that Girl," "Ghosttown," "Like a Virgin," "Rebel Heart," "La Vie en Rose" -- they're all performances in which the props and screens and dancers stripped away and it was just Madonna. If she can give me a whole show like that, I'd spend thousands to see it.
  10. It's time for me to take a different approach and really get back down to the beauty and simplicity of music and lyrics and intimacy. I didn't think some songs would be so moving or so fun to watch, like "True Blue." It's such a simple song. I'm playing the ukulele and just sitting there on stage, but I couldn't see the audience as closely as the camera did. Then [while watching the footage] I see all these couples together and people kissing and hugging — a real feeling of love and connection — and that really moved me. That was a pleasant surprise. You could go out every night and hear different kinds of music. There's a great jazz scene here. So right now I'm listening to a lot of local artists I've never heard of before, and that's been really inspiring. These are the three most exciting things she's said in at least the past 10 years. Maybe since "American Life." We had inklings of this sort of turn during the Rebel Heart era, with the "Ellen" mini-residency, the cover songs and quiet moments during the RHT, TOAC. It sounds like she's reconciling that she'll never top the charts again, no matter how good she is -- "Ghosttown" would have been #1 for a month if Taylor Swift had done it -- and just wants to make music that is true to herself, charts and sales be damned. And I am here for that. If she stays true to herself and ignores the fucktards around her (especially Guy "let's work with Pharrell again" Oseary) then this could be her greatest era since "Music." I don't know what genres she'll be bringing into this new album, but I am already more excited about a new Madonna album than I have been since the 00s.
  11. She did "Holiday" and "Borderline" in her last two appearances. Is "Lucky Star" next?
  12. Which setlists had the best oldies & newbies?

    +1 That Blond Ambition isn't at or near the top of this list despite featuring all five "LAP" singles and both "IB" singles (plus two other "IB" tracks) and notching brilliant, stunning, and (for most of them) iconic and definitive live renditions of each suggests people aren't considering was new at the time of each of these tours. Name me any tour that has as many definitively iconic performances of then-new songs as BA's "Express Yourself," "Like a Prayer," "Oh Father," "Vogue" and "Keep it Together."
  13. I love everything about this single, this album, this era. This was peak fandom for me. I visited a half dozen or more Madonna sites every single day. I bought every magazine, scrounged for every scrap of news or rumor. The Queen was so effortlessly cool in this era. She seemed so relaxed, so comfortable in her own skin. The music was cutting edge, unlike anything else out at the time -- but it still had that very Madonna feel to it. (I think it was melodies. She was undeniably the best melody-writer in the music biz from 1982-2000.) The urban cowgirl look was instantly iconic. Every girl in my high school had a cowboy hat after the music video dropped. (Boot-cut jeans, cowboy boots, and belt buckles followed soon after the "Don't Tell Me" video dropped.) The whole era was just the perfect mix of serious and fun from start to finish. Everything about this era was just right. Even the little things, like using consistent artwork on the spines of the cassette and CD singles. And the Letterman 2000 show remains one of my all-time favorite Madonna TV appearances. This era is perfect. My personal favorite, and among her all-time best. Erm, no. "Music" is a parody of faux-gangsta materialism that dominated rap and hip hop videos in the late-90s -- the big cars, the big tits, the absurdly objectified women, the expensive champagne, etc. etc. The whole video is a send-up of rap / hip hop iconography, right down to a direct shot at Puff Daddy on the license plate. "BIM" doesn't satirize anything -- if anything, it glorifies contemporary hip hop imagery and style. That's the exact opposite of "Music." "Music" says "Look at how stupid and ridiculous this is." "Bitch I'm Madonna" says "Look how cool and fun this is."
  14. So, the CONFESSIONS INTERLUDE...

    We didn't miss much.
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