When she’s not riding on the side of flipped cars, M.I.A. is focused on creating artwork– the same artwork she designed for Beck’s beer bottles. Spin.com caught up with M.I.A. to chat about her new art endeavors and where she’s at with her highly anticipated fourth album. Since she flipped the bird in this year’s Super Bowl (where she performed with Madonna and Nicki Minaj), M.I.A. has been fairly lowkey. Before that she dropped an impromptu video for “Bad Girls,” but hasn’t followed up with another single from her forthcoming album Matangi. Until she satisfies our curiosity we’re happy to watch “Bad Girls” on repeat. Read more…
2012 Super Bowl Halftime Show
How much controversy can one empty gesture cause? If today’s Internet furor is anything to go by, a lot. In a blink-and-you’ll miss it moment (we didn’t even blink and we missed it the first time around!) during last night’s Super Bowl half time performance, rapper M.I.A. gave cameras the middle finger live on stage, as she suggestively sang “I don’t give a shhhh…” during Madonna‘s “Give Me All Your Luvin’”. In an vain attempt to erase the ‘obscene’ gesture, the broadcast blurred seconds later — but it was too late! We already saw it! That dreaded, awful… Middle finger! GASP!
Of the ‘incident’, Brian McCarthy, spokesman for the NFL said, “The obscene gesture in the performance was completely inappropriate, very disappointing and we apologize to our fans,” while NBC spokesman Christopher McCloskey said, “The NFL hired the talent and produced the halftime show. Our system was late to obscure the inappropriate gesture and we apologize to our viewers.” We feel like we really missed something here — on the spectrum of one to controversial in the Madonna-sphere, a flipped bird seems pretty weak.
We were really expecting the show to yield some real controversy — Madonna stealing a kiss with Nicki perchance (not that we think there’s anything wrong with that, but we imagine it really would have caused a stir!), or something along the lines of a boundary-pushing, 80s Madonna. Instead what we got was a half-baked push of the button, and not even by Madonna herself. It’s unclear whether or not the action was staged; if it was orchestrated by Madonna, we think it’s a cop out on her part to have the non-white, UK artist make the move. However, if it was an impromptu movement on M.I.A’s part, it seems like a fairly desperate attempt to reclaim the title of “edgy” pop star after the truffle fries incident.
Either way, the flipped bird was school-yard level offensive at best — and it seems like detractors were expecting to have something to gripe about before they even saw the show, so are grasping at straws to find something perturbing about the performance. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, and in this case, the complaint-mongers are milking that bird for all it’s worth.
Madonna redefined the word ‘spectacular’ with her Super Bowl half time show over the weekend. In what we’re sure cost the debt of several small third world countries, Madonna’s show was a no-holds-barred exercise in precision choreography and aesthetic decadence. Ushered in on the shoulders of an army of Roman Empire soldiers on a giant, regal float complete with gold throne, Madonna vogued to open the set, and what better song to vogue to than “Vogue”? After the perfectly synchronized, slow pace of Madonna’s voguing, the veteran broke seamlessly into “Music,” showing off some serious athletic agility and surely making America forget that she’s a woman in her 50s.
“Music” got a cool mash-up from guests LMFAO, who mixed the classic Madonna track with their hit “Party Rock Anthem.” The LMFAO boys shared a fun synchronized shuffle and some awkward slap-stick visual narrative with Madonna for the remix, ripping off her gladiator style skirt to reveal a simple black dress just in time for her new single “Give Me All Your Luvin.’” Nicki Minaj and M.I.A. joined Madge on stage for a gold pom pom filled dance extravaganza which wasn’t entirely without controversy (and what would a Madonna show be without controversy?), courtesy of M.I.A. and an inconspicuous enough little bird (more on that later).
You haven’t seen excitement until you’ve seen us talking about Madonna’s Super Bowl half time show. It’s palpable, electric, maybe a little bit Pointer Sisters — basically, we’re doing all that we can to stay calm for the next 72 hours or so. In order to curb our energy into something a bit more productive, we’ve spent the morning playing Madonna‘s Musical Director and coming up with both predicted and dream setlists for her roughly 12-15 minute show. See what you think and if you agree — let us know what your dream set is in the comments section!
PREDICTED SET LIST by Mark Graham (@unclegrambo):
“Ray Of Light” / “Give Me All Your Luvin’ (featuring Nicki Minaj & M.I.A.)” / “Express Yourself” / “Vogue” / “Music”
Billions of people will be watching Madonna’s Super Bowl halftime show, so there’s no doubt that she’ll be feeling the adrenaline and deliver a high energy, dance-y set for the fans. “Ray Of Light” is a very recognizable track that will get fans out of their seats and grooving from the get-go, at which point she can safely transition into the requisite “Go buy my new single!” part of the show. After she welcomes (and then quickly boots) Nicki Minaj and M.I.A to/from the stage, she’ll move into the portion of her set that, to paraphrase her backup dancer, “brings the gay.” Playing “Express Yourself” will be a subtle “In your face!” to Lady Gaga, and “Vogue” (maybe with Cee Lo?) would get both the fans in Indianapolis and on their couches all over the world going berserk. Closing with “Music” —featuring its anthemic chorus of “Music makes the people get together”— would be the most frenzied way to end her short set, and send everyone who’s watching off thinking “I LOVE MADONNA!”
In the post-Nipplegate era of Super Bowl halftime shows, a majority of the performers have been stadium rock acts, carefully chosen by the NFL because they, to borrow a political expression, play to the base. Acts like Bruce Springsteen, The Who and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers are all Rock And Roll Hall of Famers with undeniable chops and impressive catalogs, but also artists that are unquestionably “safe” (meaning, no one’s gonna get pissed and flip the channel when The Boss launches into “Born To Run”). However, this year’s selection of Madonna —one of the most controversial artists of the Eighties and Nineties— might very well push some of Joe Six-Pack’s buttons.
Today’s Gatecrasher column in the New York Daily News features a quote from an unnamed backup dancer of Madonna’s, one that promises that Her Madgesty is “bringing gay to the Super Bowl.” Now, Madonna’s status as a gay icon is undeniable —there’s a whole Wikipedia page devoted just to this topic— so this news has us wondering exactly how far she’s going to push the envelope. (Personally, our fingers are crossed for a quintuple-kiss between her, Nicki Minaj, M.I.A., Elton John and David Furnish.)
It’s official! After months of rumors, Madonna has been confirmed to be the guest performer at next year’s Super Bowl halftime show. Obviously our whole morning has been dedicated to speculation — we want to know what Madge will play! Considering the release of her new album is expected next spring, hot on the heels of the February 5 Super Bowl, we’re expecting Madonna to play a few new tracks, but there’s got to be room for a few classics too, right? We’ve put together our dream set list, what’s yours?
“Give Me All Your Love”: We heard a leaked demo of “Give Me All Your Love” in November, and the complete track will feature Nicki Minaj and M.I.A, so not only are we thinking it’s going to be Madge’s next big hit, we’re sort of hoping she’ll bring the girls out for a Super Bowl cameo.