It can’t hurt to have Madonna on your team. Onstage in Moscow last night, Madge voiced her support for the feminist punk band Pussy Riot, who have been in jail the past five months on charges of hooliganism, the night before their trial wrapped. This MDNA tour has been a particularly controversial one, with feelings and bits spilling freely, but Madonna’s words last night were careful, clear and — at least by those in attendance — uncontested.
“There are many sides to this story, and I mean no disrespect to the church or the government … I think that they have done something courageous, I think that they have paid the price for this act, and I pray for their freedom,” she offered during the show’s pause, “PUSSY RIOT” scrawled across her back. Then she called on the Moscow audience, who, “if you’re here as my fan, you feel that you deserve the right to be free,” to join her. The speech earned a massive applause.
Madonna is not the first artist to come out in support of Pussy Riot — Patti Smith, Sting, Pete Townsend, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, for a few, have spoken in their defense. She was bold, though, to voice her support in Moscow and on the eve of their trial’s close. Who are Pussy Riot? Check out our primer below.
After several weeks of controversy and defiance, Madonna has hewed ever so slightly to her protesters. The Queen of Pop compromised with critics in Poland, and incorporated World War II-era newsreel footage of the Warsaw Upsrising against the Nazis into her set during her MDNA tour stop there last week. The audience was, by all reports, very pleased with the tribute. Read more…
The stars, they are just like us! Sometimes they, too, are moved to tears by Madonna — oh, wait.
In Berlin over the weekend, a dramatic rework of “Like a Virgin” had the 53-year-old Queen of Pop herself reaching for her deepest vocal registers, and then the tissues. About three minutes into the video above, Madge loses herself to tears. Kneeling down at the edge of the stage, she took a beat or two to regain herself before she was raised to her feet by a shirtless back-up dancer so that she could finish the number.
Madonna is ensuring that 2012 is the unofficial year of the Material Girl, first with her “Give Me All Your Luvin'” video, then her Super Bowl half time show, and soon the release of her new album MDNA and world tour. To add to the drama and anticipation, Madonna has now also added the premier of the video for “Girl Gone Wild” to the list of awesome things to look forward to. The official video will drop on March 20th, and you can watch a teaser for the track here. The video is shot in black and white and features a decidedly vintage looking Madonna gyrating amongst a slew of buff, oiled male bodies. While the track is a club-thumping anthem with hints of dub, the visual harks back to 80s Madonna, and we’re hoping there’s some of the boundary pushing Madonna is known and revered for in the aesthetic theme.
History tells us that revenge is a dish best served… Melodically! And what better way to express bitter feelings than through song? Ask Madonna, whose new track “I Don’t Give A…” from MDNA includes what is allegedly a stab at ex-hubby Guy Richie. In the song, Madge sings, “I tried to be a good girl/I tried to be your wife/Diminished myself/And I swallowed my light/I tried to become all/That you expect of me/And if it was a failure/I don’t give a [bleep].” The song is apparently about losing her identity during that eight-year marriage, and we’re intrigued by the deeply personal nature of the song, as Madonna is known for her steely Ice Queen facade. Other tracks off the album reportedly embody the same spirit, with songs like “Bang Bang,” including lyrics like, “Bang bang, shot you dead/Shot my lover in the head/Now my lover is dead/And I have no regrets/He deserved it/And I’m going straight to hell/And I got a lot of friends there/And if I see that bitch in hell/I’m gonna shoot him in the head again/Cuz I want to see him die/Over and over.” We’d really hate to get on Madonna’s bad side!
The songs were heard at an invite-only listening party held by her press agent Liz Rosenberg on Friday night at The Agency Group in New York for MDNA. There was no hard copy of the lyrics handed out, so all reports come from how they were heard, and Rosenberg commented, “If those are the words you heard . . . I have not heard Madonna explain whether the lyrics are autobiographical or not. She doesn’t often explain lyrics to her songs, and she did have a few writing collaborators. I can only confirm that the response from the music press who heard the album was really exciting. They seemed to love it.” We’ll get to find out if the lyrics were reported accurately in a month’s time — MDNA drops on March 26th.
Madonna‘s riding the hype train and it doesn’t look like she’s disembarking any time soon. The Queen Of Pop, following her spectacular Super Bowl show (which was overshadowed by that middle finger), has announced that she’ll be taking to the road on tour to promote her forthcoming album, MDNA. The tour will kick of on May 29th in Tel Aviv and will continue until it wraps up States side in late November.
We’re guessing the tour will be just as much as a visual feast as the Super Bowl, and we fancy that Madge will play some of the classic hits too, but what we’re really curious about is the guests. Will she have any? Will she bring M.I.A. back for “Give Me All Your Luvin'” after The Bird Flip That Stopped The World Turning (it’s still unclear as to whether or not the incident was staged, or if Madonna is furious with Maya or not)? Or will Nicki be left to cover both rappers parts, after she behaved like such a good little girl for Mamma Madonna at the Super Bowl?