Today in Madonna History: January 19, 2017

On January 19 2017, Madonna participated in a discussion about feminism with Elizabeth Alexander, Marilyn Minter and the director of the Brooklyn Museum (where the discussion was held), Anne Pasternak, in New York City.

Here’s how the New York Times reported on the discussion:

At the talk Thursday night — which was introduced by Anne Pasternak, the director of the Brooklyn Museum, and moderated by the poet and essayist Elizabeth Alexander — one of the most interesting discussions surrounded the topic of sexuality and aging.

Ms. Minter — who collaborated with Madonna on a video piece for the singer’s 2008 “Sticky and Sweet Tour” — said that it is considered acceptable for women artists to talk about their sexuality as they get older, so long as they make themselves the brunt of a joke, like “Phyllis Diller.”

Madonna replied that she has no interest in approaching it this way. “I want to take it very seriously,” she said, wearing a biker cap and a black T-shirt reading “Feminist.”

Both Madonna and Ms. Minter frequently cited the virtue of resilience, saying it had been central to their successes.

For example, Ms. Minter said, it was often the “white heat” and praise that got her into trouble as an artist and made her complacent about pushing forward.

Madonna said, “I think what’s been key to my survival, strangely enough, is the constant rejection and criticism.”

Even so, she said that if she had learned one thing from the election, it was that women needed to get better at supporting each other. She noted the robust support for Mr. Trump by white women and the fact that the sharpest criticism she’s faced over the years has been from other women.

“And I find that astounding,” Madonna said. “Men naturally bond together and support each other.”

Ms. Minter agreed: “I’ve seen that too. They work as a team until they get to the top. Then they try to kill each other!”

Unsurprisingly, both Madonna and Ms. Minter were headed south to take part in the Women’s March on Washington.

How were they getting there, Ms. Pasternak asked.

“I’m taking the bus,” said Madonna.

“Me too,” said Ms. Minter.

 

Today in Madonna History: October 13, 2017

On October 13 2017, Sainsbury’s (UK grocery store chain) released two limited edition Madonna albums on vinyl:

  • Ray Of Light – blue vinyl
  • Like A Virgin – clear vinyl

In 2016, Sainsbury’s released two other limited edition Madonna albums on vinyl:

  • True Blue – blue vinyl
  • Like A Prayer – red vinyl

Jay’s Note: Now the hunt begins .. how to secure a copy without paying an arm and a leg?

Today in Madonna History: September 27, 2017

On September 27 2017, Madonna made headlines around the world for both the MDNA Skin launch at Barney’s as well as an impromptu comedy stand-up gig she performed with Amy Schumer at the Comedy Cellar in New York.

Here’s what Billboard magazine had to say:

She sings, she dances, she acts, she has a new skincare line. But does she kill in a comedy club? Madonna added another notch to her creative belt on Tuesday night (Sept. 26) when she took the stage alongside pal Amy Schumer at New York’s legendary Comedy Cellar. The singer posted several pics from the surprise set, including one in which she’s standing next to Schumer, writing “And the next minute i was tagging along with @amyschumer at @nycomedycellar Making my stand up debut! What a thrill. Finally busted my cherry thank you Amy!”

According to attendees, Aziz Ansari, Jon Stewart and Louis C.K. also performed during the set.

Today in Madonna History: September 22, 2017

On September 22 2017, Madonna released a hilarious video to promote the MDNA skincare line (released at Barney’s in the USA on Tuesday September 26). In the video, directed by David Sabshon (filmed on July 25), Madonna was joined by Instagram starJosh Ostrovsky (commonly known as The Fat Jewish).

Here’s part of the hilarious dialog between the two:

“You know what I think, Josh? Pampering is the key to youth. I spray my face with Rose Mist spray, and I feel like I’m walking through a garden”

Fat Jew responds: “People ask my all the time, why do you look so glowing? Like you’re pregnant. And I say it’s because I mist myself with Rosé all day long.”

When Madonna asks if she can try the Rosé, “Will it send me down a spiral of shame?”

“You’re gonna make some really questionable decisions,” Fat Jew says.

“I’ve been doing that for 33 years,” Madonna points out.

 

Today in Madonna History: September 16, 2017

On September 15 2017, Madonna spoke to Mark Savage (BBC) about how after a career of huge production shows, she’s thinking about a smaller scale residency style show in the future.

“I’ve done so many shows – world tours, stadiums, sports arenas, you name it – that I feel like I have to reinvent that now too. I like doing intimate shows and being able to talk directly to the audience. This is something I’m exploring right now: the idea of doing a show that doesn’t travel the world, but stays in one place and utilizes not only humour and the music in a more intimate setting but other people’s music, as well, and other entertainment. Kind of a revolving door of amazing, gifted, unique talent – dancers, musicians, singers, comedians, me, humour. I don’t know! Like, I’m trying to come up with all those ideas now.”

Here’s part of their interview:

Before we start, there’s one thing I need to know: Did your FedEx package ever arrive?

Ha ha! Yes, it has. FedEx is blaming customs, customs is blaming FedEx and we’ll never know what happened. But I have it now.

So, I saw the Rebel Heart tour when you were in London and the DVD does a really good job of capturing what it was like to be in the audience. How do you go about that?

I was there every step of the way, every day for months and months. It’s really hard to capture the true feeling of the excitement and the passion and the heat and the blood, sweat and tears. I’m pleased with the way it came out.

There’s a particularly touching sequence during True Blue, where everybody in the audience embraces each other.

I know, it’s a very sweet, emotional moment in the show. I didn’t expect it to be, but when I look back at the DVD it almost brings a tear to my eye because everyone seems so in love.

How do you put a show like this together? Where do you get the ideas?

Everything’s based around my song choice. So first, I go through my catalogue of songs with my band and I start working on things that excite me and inspire me in the moment. Some songs I’m sick of doing and I don’t want to do them. Other songs I say, “No, I did that on the last tour, I don’t want to do it again.”

So I try to rotate things and I also try to reflect my current mood and what I’ve been feeling, and what’s been inspiring me artistically or filmically, politically, philosophically. I try to put songs together in groups that have thematic connection, and then I try to tell a story. And then I do the visuals. It’s quite a process.

What are the songs you don’t want to do again?

Well, I tend to not want to do the songs I did on the tour before. That’s what I mean. So if I did Material Girl on the tour before, or Express Yourself on the tour before, then I’ll say, “OK, I did that for 88 shows. I can’t do it again.”

How do you keep a healthy balance between new songs and your back catalogue?

It’s just playing in rehearsal. It’s really hard for me, especially with my older songs, to do them with the original arrangement. Because 33 years later, after doing it for so long, you just have to reinvent things. Well, I do.

And it’s fun for me to take an ’80s pop song and turn it into a salsa song, or turn it into a samba, or make an uptempo song into a ballad.

The DVD also includes the Tears of a Clown show you did in Melbourne. Was that a one-off or a trial run for a different type of Madonna concert?

I like doing intimate shows and being able to talk directly to the audience; to play with them and use humour and pathos and truth, and share my life – and also make up stories. I like the freedom of it and I like the intimacy of it, and I would like to explore doing it more in the future.

Maybe a residency?

Yeah, a residency. If I look back at the Rebel Heart tour, my favourite part was really the last section where I got to just sit on the stage and play my ukulele and sing La Vie en Rose and talk to the audience. [It was] just more intimate. More audience participation and connecting to human beings – I feel I’m craving that more and more.

Did it feel like there was more room for improvisation in that section?

Yeah, I have freedom and I can make mistakes. That’s another thing I do in Tears of a Clown – if I start a song off wrong and I make a boo-boo, I just turn around and go “Stop! Let’s start again!”

When you’re doing a sports arena show, you’re linked up to video, you can’t stop. Once the train leaves the station, you have to keep going.

There’s a certain kind of adrenalin rush to that – but there’s no room for error. So I like the idea of mistakes and free-styling. Free-falling, really. It’s more exciting to me right now.

You can read the full interview here.

Today in Madonna History: September 15, 2017

On September 15 2017, Madonna’s Rebel Heart Tour was released on DVD, blu-ray and double-CD.

Here is the official press release:

Madonna today released her long-awaited REBEL HEART TOUR concert film on a variety of formats. REBEL HEART TOUR was recorded around the world and features both live and behind the scenes material, as well as previously unreleased footage culminating with performances at the Sydney Qudos Bank Arena (formerly known as the Allphones Arena) in Australia in March of 2016.

REBEL HEART TOUR is nearly two hours long and features Madonna’s most recent hits from the Rebel Heart album, and some of the biggest classics of her career including stunning reinterpretations of old favourites, which were unique to the tour. Bonus features on the DVD, blu-ray and iTunes version are Like A Prayer and ‘An Excerpt From Tears Of A Clown’ – incredibly rare footage of Madonna’s one-off Melbourne theatre show, which was completely different to the Rebel Heart shows in both scale, content and production. Featuring music, art and mischief, the exclusive fan club show was a celebration of Madonna’s return to Australia after 23 years.

Eagle Vision are releasing the film on DVD and blu-ray (both with an exclusive 14-track highlights CD) and digital download. Also released is a 22-track double CD, which is also available on all digital music services. In addition to the physicaland digital formats, madonna.com have exclusive fan merchandise bundles.

MADONNA: REBEL HEART TOUR was co-directed by Danny B. Tull and Nathan Rissman, both of whom have worked extensively with Madonna on her feature films and tour movies.

The tracklist for MADONNA: REBEL HEART TOUR film and live concert album span all decades of the iconic superstar’s illustrious career, including songs from her chart-topping Rebel Heart album to classic fan favorites.

Produced by Live Nation Global Touring, the Rebel Heart Tour kicked off on September 9, 2015 in Montreal and visited arenas in 55 cities on four continents over seven months. Madonna performed 82 shows, plus the special Tears Of A Clown fan club show in Melbourne.

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