Madonna news - Feb. 2003


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28 February - Virgin Mary and Madonna inspire dance
Would you dare to compare the holy Virgin Mary with glamor celebrity Madonna? It could be interesting, especially if it is presented in the form of a dance. Four artists from Surakarta will be trying their hand at it, or rather their feet, and will stage a dance piece titled Pasamuan Maria dan Madonna (the Communion of Maria and Madonna) at Surakarta Cultural park in the Central Java town on Feb. 28. The choreography, which will bring together the two icons, is an interesting concept, as it unites two different ways of life while trying to seek their similarities.
"We do not have the slightest intention of disparaging the Virgin Mary. Although I'm a Buddhist, I have admired, even idolized, Virgin Mary for a long time," said artist Suprapto Suryodarmo at his Lemah Putih art studio in Surakarta. Apart from Suprapto, participating artists include dancer Eko Supriyanto, musician Dedek Wahyudi and lighting technician Tria Vita. Eko Supriyanto, who was one of Madonna's dancers during her recent tour, said the dance would try to expose the human side and positive aspects of these two icons as both of them have shaped the world.
"I really admire Madonna. From accompanying her on her tour, I saw that outside her glamourous celebrity life, she is a genius and a hard worker. She pays attention to other people and knows a lot of things about life," Eko said. "That's why I accepted Suprapto's offer to take part in this performance right away. I'm really interested in this line of work, and this is a challenge. Can we present an artist alongside a holy figure? This is a real challenge," said Eko, who will express his ideas through a contemporary dance piece done Madonna style. Musician Dedek Wahyudi, who will perform in Belgium in March 2003, said the dance piece might cause a controversy. "I don't think we have to concentrate on the negative aspects alone. As a Catholic, I want to praise the Virgin Mary in an artistic way," he said. From his experiences, he said that many religious-related performances had both their pros and cons. "But I don't think we have to worry because we started this with good intentions," he said.
Dancer Suprapto Suryodarmo said he had long thought of staging a dance piece on the Virgin Mary. It started in 1988 when he first learned about the mother of Jesus in an old church in London. Since then, he felt restless in finding a way to glorify her. "In praising her, I cannot do it the way Catholics do it. I have my own way of admiring and worshiping her," Suprapto said. His admiration of her, he said, not only came from the fact that she is a simple person with a strong will, but also because she's determined. "Can you imagine how sad it must have been for her to witness her own son being tortured and crucified right in front of her eyes? Still, she showed resolution and patience and it is her character that remains in my mind," he said. In showing his adoration, Suprapto will bring the figure of Virgin Mary closer to the figure of Goddess Sri, the goddess of prosperity in Javanese culture. "I will be presenting the figure of Goddess Sri as she seems to have been forgotten even though she is believed to bring fertility and prosperity. This was also the case when Virgin Mary was abandoned when Jesus was crucified. We will explore her solitariness in sorrow through this dance. This is relevant especially given the fact that many Catholics stay away from the church today."
The four participating artists, however, refused to label the show a collaboration. Instead, they prefer to call it a communion or paying their respects in their own way in the form of a contemporary and traditional dancing, music and lighting. (source: The Jakarta Post)

27 February - Changes to tracklisting *rumour*
More news from fansite MadonnaInternet: sources say there have been some changes to the tracklisting. 'Love Profusion' is actually 'Love Perfusion' and 'The Process' will be called 'X-Tatic Process'. And finally, Easy Ride would become the final track on the album, instead of Die Another Day. This would mean that the final tracklisting is as follows:

  1. American Life
  2. Hollywood
  3. I'm So Stupid
  4. Love Perfusion
  5. Nobody Knows Me
  6. Nothing Fails
  7. Intervention
  8. X-Tatic Process
  9. Mother And Father
  10. Die Another Day
  11. Easy Ride

The site also states:
- Produced by: Mirwais Ahmadzaï, Madonna.
- Collaborators: Guy Sigsworth, Jem Jones, Monti Pittman, Stuart Price, Mark Stent.
- Michel Colombier on: Die Another Day, Nothing Fails, Easy Ride.
- American Life will be remixed by Missy Eliott & Peter Rauhofer.
~ We're still waiting for an official confirmation of the tracklisting and credits.

27 February - AOL premiere for AL video / remix video *rumour*
According to MadonnaInternet, the American Life video will premiere exclusively on AOL on March 10th. A remix video would be released simultaneously with the regular video.

27 February - The Beats Within
Peter Magennis and Bruce Baron, two extremely well-informed Madonnafans, have written an interesting article on Madonna's unreleased songs. The first part, which talks mostly about the songs from the pre-fame period (late 70s - early 80s) can be read at Madonnarama.

26 February - Mondino and Fincher to direct new videos *rumour*
According to MadonnaInternet, Jean-Baptiste Mondino (director of Justify My Love, Human Nature & Don't Tell Me) will be directing the video for the second single Hollywood. David Fincher is also rumoured to be in charge of one of the upcoming videos.

25 February - Madonna's multimedia exhibition
If you thought the lines for the Da Vinci exhibit at the Met were long, just imagine what it will be like when Madonna makes her art-world debut next month. We hear that the Material Mom is collaborating with celebrity-fashion photographer Steven Klein on a multimedia exhibition at the Deitch Projects in Soho. The two teamed up after Klein shot Madonna for a staggering 44-page cover story on the singer for W magazine's April issue, timed to coincide with her new album set for this spring. Sources tell us that the Deitch installation is being designed by Giuseppe Lignano and Ada Tolla's LOT/EK architectural firm and will include Klein photos of Madonna, illustrated with animation, and audio and visual components edited from video that Klein shot of Madonna during the W shoot. "It's very artsy," one insider told us. No word on whether Madonna will be at the show's opening on March 27. The show is scheduled to run for six weeks, and there has already been talk of making it a traveling exhibition. One Tokyo gallerist has expressed interest in bringing it to Asia in September. (source: NewYorkMetro)

25 February - 44-page special in W Mag
The April issue of W Magazine will have 44 pages devoted to Madonna. Steven Klein photographed the photoshoot. Steve Cojocaru, fashion editor from People Magazine, saw the photos a few months ago and was ecstatic over her bold look. He said back then that it's very dance-inspired and that people will be amazed when the photos are made public. This spread will coincide with the release of her new album in April. (source: Dotmusic, thanx to SlyGuy)

24 February - Making of American Life video
From the American Life video You can download the MTV mini-special 'The Making of the American Life video' can be downloaded at fansite MadonnaInternet, where you can also find some cool screenshots! The 2-minute DivX video doesn't only feature the already-heard rap sample, but also some other parts of the song, including the chorus, which surprisingly turns out to be a slow, acoustic part, while the rest of the song features the typical Mirwais electronica sound. In the video Madonna is seen in army gear, both as a general and as a soldier (doing some exercising in the men's room!!). Her clothes were designed by Jean-Paul Gaultier and Stella McCartney. Her hair is long and black and was done by Luigi Moreno. She looks great in it and both the video and the song are gonna rock for sure!

24 February - 'Will & Grace' call for live audience
Madonna will be shooting her cameo for US TV show 'WILL & GRACE' at the CBS Studio Center at Studio City, California on March 18th! In order to attend the taping of this one-time event, send a self-addressed stamped envelope with the show's taping date and your personal info to: Audiences Unlimited, 100 Universal City Plaza, Building 3153, Universal City, CA 91608, USA. The episode with Madonna will be aired sometime in May. (source: MadonnaInternet)

24 February - Pink avoids Madonna, to keep the mystery
Rock chick Pink has yet to meet her idol Madonna - and keeping the Material Girl a mystery suits her fine. The 'Just Like a Pill' hitmaker has Madonna up on a pedestal and credits the singer with giving her the ambition to make it in the music industry. And Pink is not ready to chance a meeting with her in case they don't get on. She says, "I've looked up to her for so long. I don't want her to become human to me. I know how weird that sounds! I don't want to see her flaws - to not like her. "You meet some people and you find yourself thinking, why the hell did I look up to them in the first place? Not that I think she would be like that. I just don't want to chance it. I used to look up to her like she was my mother...like my mentor, my teacher. And if I met her and she didn't like me, I'd be crushed." (source: TeenMusic)

24 February - Parky snubs Madonna
Michael Parkinson has turned down the chance to interview Madonna - because she once snubbed him. He says he can't be bothered to talk to her on his chat show this spring. A BBC insider said: "Madonna may be one of the biggest names in pop but Michael doesn't play second fiddle to anyone. "She had her chance to be on his show in 2000 but cancelled at the last minute. Producers were very annoyed - and so was Michael. She won't get a second chance." Madonna is likely do an interview with Jonathan Ross instead. "They're close to a deal," said the source. (source: People.co.uk)

24 February - Australian tribute song to Madonna hits US radio
A novelty song by Australian rock band The Androids paying tribute to Madonna is poised to become a smash hit in the US. Influential Los Angeles station KIIS FM started playing Do It With Madonna last week after one of their staffers brought a copy back from Australia. Listeners besieged the station with more requests to hear the song and stations throughout the US also started playing it. The band, who are signed to local independent label Festival Mushroom records, found themselves in the middle of a multi-million dollar bidding war between American labels. They signed to Republic Records on Friday and expect to head to the US for showcase performances and a promo within the month. Do It With Madonna sings the praises of the pop survivor above the current crop of pop princesses including Britney Spears and Kylie Minogue. (source: Sunday Telegraph, thanx to Madonna Information Report)


From the American Life video From the American Life video 22 February - Glimse of American Life on TRL *official*
Tune in to TRL Today to get the first glimpse of Madonna's American Life video. Catch it at 4:00PM ET/PT [on MTV US]. (source: Madonna.com)


22 February - More video captures

As we move closer towards sunday's video preview, the excitement among fans is getting higher. Madonnafan DerrickD took following screengrabs from an MTV ad for the preview, showing Madonna in army gear with war images in the back. The picture posted by MTV (see below) obviously was reversed.

21 February - MTV gives American Life preview / first video pic *official*
MTV First pic from the American Life video [US] will air a sneak peak of American Life during their Grammy Pre-show. The show will air this Sunday, February 23 from 7-8 PM ET (= Monday 1-2 AM CET) and Monday, February 24 from 8-9 AM ET (= Monday 2-3 PM CET). (source: Madonna.com)
On the right, you can see the first picture from the video, posted by MTV. (Thanx to Robster for the image editing)

20 February - Swept Away in other theatres
A few days ago we wrote that Swept Away might still get a release in Europe and other territories. Well, guess what! Madonnafan Xavi kindly informs us that the movie is playing in Spanish theatres since Feb. 14th already (titled 'Barridos Por La Marea')! It seems the movie is playing in several other countries too (Finland, Norway and Philippines that I know of). After some research I've found some more release dates:
South Korea: 21 February
Mexico: 14 March
Brazil: 25 April
Italy: 16 May
Belgium: 21 May
France: 21 May ('A la Dérive')

20 February - Radio release confusion
Madonna.com announces: "Look out for American Life on your local radio station on March 25th." However, rumour has it that radio stations are waiting for a go-ahead, which could come any minute, in an attempt to surprise the fans with an early radio release after all. The next few days will tell (hopefully)... By the way, fansite Madonnarama has been hacked into, so the message saying the song will premiere on Madonna.com tonight is FAKE.

20 February - American Life sample put online by M herself?
According to following article, the American Life sample we heard, has been made intentionally to avoid illegal copies: "Madonna is making sure fans don't get illegal copies of her upcoming 'American Life' single by throwing a looped teaser into peer to peer networks such as Kazaa. The specially produced 4 second teaser has been looped to last exactly the length the legitimate copy will be. The tactic is designed to flood the illegal download market with a sample that is virtually useless but at the same time creates awareness of the new song. 'American Life' has already had a controversial introduction into the world with Madonna going as far as releasing a statement rejecting claims the song is Anti-Bush. "I am not Anti-Bush. I am not pro-Iraq. I am pro Peace" she said. "I have written a song and created a video which expresses my feelings about our culture and values and the illusions of what many people believe is the American dream - the perfect life". A review of the lyrics certainly indicates that she is talking more about herself than George Dubya. "I got a lawyer and a manager/ An agent and a chef/ Three nannies, an assistant/ And a driver and a jet. / A trainer and a butler/ And a bodyguard or five/ A gardener and a stylist/ Do you think I'm satisfied?" she will be heard rapping when the song is released next month." (source: Undercover.com)

19 February - Liz denies Bashir interview
British journo Martin Bashir may be suffering from the success of his interview with Michael Jackson. London's Daily Mirror claims Liz Hurley is ready to talk to him and that he's closing in on a chat with Madonna. But Hurley's rep tells us she has no intention of speaking with Bashir, who has been accused by Jackson of betraying him. As for Madonna, her rep says, "That's not on her schedule, nor will it be scheduled. I don't think anyone will be speaking to Martin Bashir for awhile. He may have ruined his career, too." (source: NY Daily News)

18 February - American Life lyrics
We seem to be getting closer to hearing American Life! Fansite MadonnaPower is hosting a demo of what probably is Madonna's rap part of American Life. You can read the lyrics of American Life here. And it's fair to say we can indeed expect the song on the radio soon!

18 February - Warner Germany press release
Madonna's album has been announced. It has the title "American Life" and is scheduled for release on the 21st of April. Madonna and Mirwais produced the album - a team that has had spectacular success, and a row of chart and club hits. American Life will contain a total of 11 tracks, one of which is the title-song. This will be, from the 24th of March, the first single to be heard on radio worldwide. (source and translation: Madonna Information Report)

18 February - Rumour update *rumour*
- Though press releases from Warner all state a late March single release to radio, there's still speculation that we'll get to hear American Life earlier.
- Rumour has it that Missy Elliot made a remix of American Life.
- Though we know the complete tracklisting, there's still a rumour about a track by Air, called 'Trick'. Could this possibly be the Japanese bonus track?
- Now that the new album dominates the Madonna news, it's quiet about Swept Away, but there still is talk about releasing it on the European mainland.

17 February - Madonna interview by Bashir? *rumour*
It's rumoured that Madonna will be the next interviewee for TV journalist Martin Bashir. According to tabloid reports, Bashir, who made the recent controversial documentary about Michael Jackson, is in negotiations with the star having pursued the project for the last six months. (source: Dotmusic)

17 February - M is exec producer of new film
Madonna's an executive producer on the new film "Agent Cody Banks" starring Frankie Muniz. Jason Alexander is also an executive producer on the movie. The film is co-produced by Maverick and MGM. The film carries a $20 million budget and will be released in the US on March 21. It was written by Scott Alexander, who also wrote "Man on the Moon', "People vs. Larry Flynt," and "Ed Wood." He also penned "Problem Child" 1-3, "That Darn Cat," and "Screwed." (source: IMDb)

17 February - Craig McDean too expensive for WBR *rumour*
Reps for the singer deny talk that she clashed with Warner Bros. Records chief Tom Whalley, after sending the label an astronomical bill for a photo session Craig McDean did for her new CD. "Whalley sent word back to Madonna that he wasn't paying the bill," says the source, since his boss, Warner Music Group CEO Roger Ames, recently told all his label heads to trim expenses. "So she called Ames, reminding him of how many records she sold. Ames called Whalley to ask him to make an exception for Madonna. But Whalley wouldn't budge. Things have gotten very tense." Madonna's rep, Liz Rosenberg denies Whalley and Ames spoke about the bill. "Tom Whalley doesn't get involved in that area of the company," said Rosenberg, who did confirm that McDean's bill for the photo session ran over $100,000. (source: NY Daily News)

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