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30 October - European Miles Away single formats revealed
Warner Music Netherlands today revealed the tracklists for the European single formats of Miles Away, to be released on Friday, November 21st:
2-track CD single
1. Album Version
2. Thin White Duke Remix
4-track Maxi-single / Digital EP
1. Album Version
2. Thin White Duke Remix
3. Demo Rebirth
4. Johnny Vicious Club
The 4-track maxi will also be available on iTunes as a digital download from November 21st to December 5th. No word on the other supposed remixers or on a US release date so far.
28 October - Sticky & Sweet Down Under?
First Madonna was coming to Australia. And then she wasn’t coming. Now this morning on Channel Seven's Sunrise Molly Meldrum confirmed that Madonna is infact bringing her Sticky And Sweet Tour to Australia after all, and it could be as early as January 2009. According to Sunrise there are two promoters fighting over Madonna right now, and ticket prices are yet to be confirmed. It's also unknown whether she will bring the entire stage and production elements of the Sticky And Sweet Tour, or if it will be a scaled back version of the show. Media reported on the last round of negotiations, alleging that Madonna was offered "millions of dollars" to play two stadium gigs in Sydney and Melbourne. Whether the current offers will see her touring to more Australian cities remains to be seen. Madonna hasn't toured here since her Girlie Show in November 1993. (source: SameSame)
25 October - Madonna interviewed about her relationship with directing
Some showbiz clichés exist for a reason.
For nearly a quarter of a century, Madonna, who turned 50 this year, has been a music megastar, a pop culture provocateur and a global brand name. But what she really wants to do is direct.
"I've been in relationships with a lot of filmmakers," she said with a laugh in a recent interview. (Long before Guy Ritchie, her soon-to-be ex, there was Warren Beatty, and before him, Sean Penn, not yet a director at the time.) "I've been awfully envious of them. I guess I got tired of just wishing I was doing something and decided to do it."
Madonna was speaking in her Upper West Side apartment, at the start of a week that was shaping up as a media perfect storm. It was the day after she completed the sold-out New York run of her Sticky & Sweet Tour, a few hours before the downtown premiere of her directorial debut, Filth and Wisdom, and two days before news of her split from Ritchie made tabloid front pages around the world.
In a lavender-walled drawing room overlooking Central Park and filled with photographs of her children, she sat beneath an angular nude by the Art Deco painter Tamara de Lempicka and discussed her new incarnation as scrappy indie auteur. Madonna, it goes without saying, is a take-charge interviewee: by turns gracious and brisk, easily amused by herself and actually quite funny. Irony is not part of her repertoire, though, nor is self-deprecation. Her sense of humor seems to revolve around an almost gleeful sense of her imperiousness. She speaks in clipped, semiformal cadences and she has a habit of finishing her interviewer's questions.
Madonna's turns in front of the camera -- in hall-of-infamy disasters such as Shanghai Surprise and Swept Away -- have long been the stuff of punch lines. But the leap to directing is perhaps not such a huge one for the high priestess of the music video. This pop star's great talent -- some would say her greatest -- is as a maker and manipulator of images. Who would deny that she is a visual artist in her own right? In the heyday of MTV, no one could match her flair for iconographic reinvention, whether channeling Marilyn Monroe in the Material Girl clip (directed by Mary Lambert) or playing the dominatrix queen of a "Metropolis"-like kingdom in Express Yourself (David Fincher).
When the conversation turned to her music videos, she declared theatrically, "I discovered David Fincher." Madonna has long sought out arty up-and-comers to direct her promos (Mark Romanek, Chris Cunningham, Jonas Akerlund), but she made clear that her involvement did not stop with hiring them. "I take at least 50 percent of the credit for directing and coming up with concepts," she said.
When she decided to write a screenplay, she said, "I would try and pick Guy's brain. He said, 'Just write what you know,' which was simple and good advice. The fact of the matter is that all the work I do is very autobiographical, directly or indirectly, because who do I know better than me?"
Filth and Wisdom, which premiered at the Berlin Film Festival and opens in Los Angeles on Friday, is indeed proudly Madonna-centric, but it looks back on a distant chapter of her life -- you could call it a drama of the Madonna origin myth. Just as her last two albums, Hard Candy (2008) and Confessions On A Dance Floor (2005), summoned the electro beats of her early-'80s club-going days, this scruffy roommate comedy -- although set in a drably anonymous present-day London -- is a sweet-tempered ode to her bohemian youth in New York.
The aspirations of the film's three friends -- singing, dancing, charity work in Africa -- broadly represent the Madonna career project. At its center, though, is a seemingly un-Madonna-like figure: the Ukrainian-born indie rocker and poet-philosopher Eugene Hutz, ringleader of the Gypsy-punk troupe Gogol Bordello, basically playing a version of himself.
After hearing Hutz's music and seeing him in Liev Schreiber's 2005 film "Everything Is Illuminated," Madonna detected a kinship. "I connect to people who I recognize as having gone through the struggle," she said.
By "struggle" she means the plight of the artist who has not yet found an audience -- a subject that is still dear to her heart. "She wasn't born selling out Madison Square Garden," Hutz said in a separate interview. Or, as she put it, "You must realize that I once was a struggling artist. I'm now a struggling filmmaker."
Filth and Wisdom recasts in playful, romantic terms the creative drive that, in Madonna's case, has often registered as careerist calculation (the Material Girl who once titled a tour Blond Ambition is herself partly responsible for the image). "Longing is such a charismatic thing," Hutz said. "It speaks to dedication and passion."
Given that Madonna has always been a genius of cool by association, it's no surprise that Filth and Wisdom flaunts its aesthetic influences. "I didn't think that I made a movie for the masses of America," she said. "It has more of a European sensibility."
At Berlin, she was mocked by some critics for name-dropping Jean-Luc Godard and Pier Paolo Pasolini in her press kit (it didn't help that both names were misspelled), but the Godard comparison isn't wildly off base, since "Filth," with its jumpy energy and voice-over digressions, samples freely from the French New Wave playbook.
When Madonna talks about movies and cinephilia, she sounds like your typical earnest neophyte director. "I don't have a memory of going to movies," she said. "My father frowned upon it and thought it was a decadent indulgence." But as a dance student at the University of Michigan, she discovered a local art house, and along with it, the French New Wave and the golden age of Italian cinema, from the neo-realism of Rossellini and Visconti to the more in-your-face poetics of Fellini and Pasolini. She once wrote to Fellini -- "a begging letter and a fan letter," asking him to direct the video for her 1993 single Rain. (He politely declined; she framed his response.)
The low-budget grubbiness of Filth and Wisdom is partly a matter of style, but it was also about minimizing expectations (overall, reviews for the film have been lukewarm at best). "I very deliberately kept it small and inexpensive," she said. After the shoot she set up an editing suite in the basement of her London home. "My editors never got away from me," she said, laughing. "I liked to do sneak attacks."
In the past year Madonna has also written and produced a documentary (directed by Nathan Rissman, her former gardener) about the effect of AIDS on children in Malawi, called I Am Because We Are. Spurred by her experiences visiting the country and adopting her now-3-year-old son, David, the film reflects her belief that documentaries should take a stand rather than simply record reality.
"I got into an argument with someone at the Sundance festival who said I have to make a choice between being an activist and a filmmaker," she said. "That's rubbish. I've been an activist and an artist all my life."
In this election season, those activist flourishes have included banning Sarah Palin from her tour (it's shtick she's worked into her act) and projecting a montage at her shows juxtaposing Barack Obama and Gandhi and John McCain and Hitler. "I'm allowed to have an opinion," she said. "If Pasolini did it, I can too."
Not only is Madonna a fan of Pasolini, the Italian provocateur with a gift for mingling the sacred and the profane, "Saló," his anti-fascist screed adapted from the Marquis de Sade novel (complete with grueling scenes of humiliation and torture), was once a personal litmus test. "I used to sit people down and say, 'Watch this movie and if you don't like it we can't be friends,' " she said. She used to do the same with a Frida Kahlo painting, "My Birth," a bloody depiction of the artist's emergence into the world.
But that was a younger, more judgmental Madonna. "I'm a little more compassionate and forgiving now," she said.
She might even be looking to forgive and forget her own missteps. Not least for its creator, Filth and Wisdom is a fresh start in a less-than-distinguished movie career. "Trying to get into films through acting was a mistake," she said. "Every time I would act in a movie I would get in these horrible arguments with directors about my vision. I would have to surrender to the idea that the director was the one with the vision. And that doesn't fit with my personality." (source: Los Angeles Times)
24 October - Miles Away to get tour video
Fellow fansite MadonnaUnderground announces that Warner Netherlands confirmed that the 3rd single of Hard Candy, Miles Away will receive an official video. The video will be a compilation of footage of Madonna's current tour, premiering on November 17th. Moreover, Madonna has not yet decided about the final tracklisting for the maxi-single, which is set to be in stores on November 24th.
24 October - Behind the scenes of Spanish Lesson
Visit the website of stunt coordinator, dancer and martial artist Stella Angelova to see some cool behind the scenes footage of the background video used during Spanish Lesson on the Sticky & Sweet Tour. In the actual video, you can see Stella's silhouette performing a Latino dance while the Spanish words appear at the same time when Madonna sings them.
22 October - Reflecting on a media frenzy
It's been one week since The Announcement, although it seems like ages already. Probably because of massive press coverage of the past few days, ironically much bigger than for Madonna's latest tour. Press & critics just rather love the dirty & juicy news. Sensational. And negative. As we at Mad-Eyes tried to keep up with the many articles, we quickly noticed how many contradictions were being written down. One source saying it would be settled easily and quietly, another claiming it would become a big fight. Some saying Guy's main concern were the kids, others saying he was in it for the money. That he would get half, or more or would not accept any. Money amounts differed by hundreds of thousands of dollars, euros and pounds.
One could tell which side the journalist was on, just by counting the dirt remarks on one of either partners. And then there were the accusations and the plots. Some of Madonna's remarks during her shows got magnified, eventhough the journalist didn't know she had been saying the same remark for a dozen shows in Europe already. So-called 'sources close to the couple' were coming out with their version of the story, their two cents and their sensation revelations. Guy is the bad one. Madonna is the bad one. All dirty. All sensational. All negative.
Needless to say, we gave up reading after only 2 days. With so many contradictions, it was too obvious that 90% of the articles were based on pure speculations. What do you do when there's such a hot story but you, the journalist, don't know any dirt? You come up with some anyhow. After running this fansite for over 7 years, we know how the press works and we've learned to take many articles with a grain of salt. Some with a rock of it. So in the past week we've only posted the official announcements of Madonna's publicist Liz Rosenberg. If you really want the dirt, then you don't have to look far online anyway.
But if you want our two cents... We're convinced that Madonna and Guy were once very much in love. No business deal, nothing calculated, just a loving relationship between two people who happened to be a bit more famous than others. Of course, that fame can cause a strain on the relationship. On top of the difficulties that every relationship has to go through. They surely had their ups and downs. The downs were always magnified a bit more in the press. And as with many couples, there came a day when they realized they couldn't bridge the differences and difficulties anymore. They must've tried their best. Mostly for the sake of their children. But it wasn't to be. When exactly they gave up, we'll probably never know. Does it matter? Not really. Only thing that matters now is that they find a mature way to get this settled. In a healthy way for both parties, and mostly the children.
Guy will surely get a fair amount of money, but at the same time, a smart woman like Madonna won't allow to get tricked. They'll have to figure out an agreement of visit rights for the kids, especially if Madonna would decide to move away from London. What benefits most to achieve all that? To respect their privacy, like they asked in their first statement. It's none of our business. Let's focus instead on her great music. And oh by the way, she's on a fantastic world tour, did you know? It's a utopia to think the press would let go off this juicy story. Because - let's face it - they've been craving for it for years. But here at Mad-Eyes, we do wanna try it. Wanna join?
~ The Mad-Eyes team
21 October - Which Prayer pleases you most?
From the 4 tours on which Vogue was performed, almost half of the Mad-Eyes visitors preferred the performance on the Re-Invention Tour. Now we aim the spotlights on another classic that has been performed on 3 tours so far: Like A Prayer. Cast you vote now.
Attention: due to a technical problem, the votes so far haven't been registered correctly, so we were obliged to reset the results. You can now vote again.
20 October - First Madonna recording surfaces
An unreleased tape featuring some of Madonna's earliest recordings has been unearthed. The tape, which was recorded roughly 27 years ago, captures the era in Madonna's life when she was living in the basement of a Queens, New York synagogue with Ed and Dan Gilroy, who was her boyfriend at the time. Madonna spoke about the brothers in her reflective induction speech at this year's Rock & Roll Hall of Fame ceremony. Snippets of that speech are interspersed with the old recording, which features one of her early songs 'Born To Be A Dancer'. The tape also features Madonna playing guitar and drums on the 'first song' she'd ever written, 'Tell the Truth'. Soon after the recordings, as Madonna also noted in her Hall of Fame speech, she and her band began playing NYC venues like CBGB and Max's Kansas City. Based on the excerpts, it's safe to say that Madonna would have made an awesome Debbie Harry if she didn't become the Material Girl. (source: Rolling Stone) Listen to the tape and read the full story here.
20 October - No divorce settlement finalized yet
Madonna's divorce settlement with her estranged husband Guy Ritchie has yet to be finalized, the singer's publicist said Sunday. The Sun and The Mail on Sunday reported that the two had struck a deal over their finances and how to split their property. The Mail also reported that they had agreed to a custody arrangement for the couple's children. In a brief e-mail message sent to The Associated Press, Liz Rosenberg said she would not be commenting on media reports that the pop star and her film director husband had reached or were about to agree on how to share the couple's multimillion dollar fortune and custody of their children. "I will not be commenting on the various reports regarding the divorce or of the settlement which has not been finalized," Rosenberg said. A statement from Guy Ritchie's representatives in London also declined comment. Madonna and Ritchie announced their separation Wednesday after nearly eight years of marriage and Britain's tabloid press has speculated wildly on the outcome of the high-profile split. Madonna and Ritchie married in December 2000 at a castle in Scotland. The couple are reportedly worth around $525 million, the bulk of that belonging to Madonna. Ritchie has an estimated $35 million fortune. They own homes in London, Los Angeles and New York, and a 1,200-acre retreat in Wiltshire, England. The couple have two children: Rocco, 8, and David Banda, 3, who was adopted in Malawi in 2006. Madonna also has a 12-year-old daughter, Lourdes, from her relationship with personal trainer Carlos Leon. (source: AP)
17 October - Montrealer keyboardist loves playing with Madonna
Montrealer Ric'key Pageot realizes he got a sweet gig as a keyboardist, pianist - and yes, even accordion player - on Madonna's Sticky and Sweet Tour, which pulls into the Air Canada Centre tonight for the first of two sold-out shows.
"Oh, my God! I grew up with this music," said Pageot, who hails from a musical family, studied at Vanier College and McGill University and was previously the musical director with Cirque Du Soleil's touring production, Delirium.
"And I'm fortunate enough now to be going toward the stage with her and playing this music. It hit me a couple of times, even right now. I'm very thankful to be on this gig but sometimes it's very easy to forget that I'm playing with Madonna. And all these songs I've grown up listening to, back in the '80s and '90s, so I've been blessed."
Pageot's father, Fritz, is a bass player. His older brother, Steve, is a 2004 Grammy winner and his younger brother, Tony, is a drummer.
What the 31-year-old musician, who moved to L.A. with his wife/singer Dessy Di Lauro at the beginning of 2008, didn't know going into the Sticky and Sweet Tour is that he would end up alone with Madonna in the show's visually stunning climax.
The moment in question occurs as Madge sits atop his piano singing and writhing around during the new song, Devil Wouldn't Recognize You, while a circular wall of lights and watery images swirls around just the two of them on a smaller b-stage away from the rest of the band members.
"When I listened to that song I fell in love with that piano part. So I started practising it and I just started coming up with new stuff, new lines, where would I go, where would I take the music, if it were my song, if I had the power to do that," said Pageot down the line from Boston earlier this week.
"So I came to rehearsal and started playing the part exactly the way it is on the album and then M (his and other's nickname for Madonna) just says, 'Well, I want this song to go somewhere else.'
And I jumped out of my seat.
"I told M, 'Well, I came up with some parts for this song. Do you want to listen to them?' And I started playing them for her and she said, 'Okay' and she started breaking down that whole song and just featuring me on that part. And then a couple of days later she said I would be on the b-stage, playing on a grand piano with her on top. I was like, 'Oh, my God!' That's exactly how envisioned that song when I first heard that song and I started practising it."
Pageot got the Madonna gig after staying in touch with Sticky and Sweet musical director Kevin Antunes, who he first met at a Cirque stop in 2006.
"Kevin called me and he said, 'You play accordion, right?' Which was so funny because after the Cirque gig I was like, 'Okay, I can put it aside, I don't think I'm ever going to get a gig playing accordion again.' Lo and behold, he called me and said, 'Well, what I'm about to tell you is going involve you playing accordion,' which was the Madonna promo gigs."
Pageot was hired initially to play three club dates in New York, Paris and Kent, England, that Madge performed earlier this year to promote the release of her new album, Hard Candy, before getting hired for the full Sticky and Sweet tour.
Madonna's other Canadian stops are Montreal's Bell Centre on Wednesday and Thursday (Oct. 22-23) and Vancouver's B.C. Place Stadium for her first-ever show there on Oct. 30.
Pageot is especially excited about playing to a hometown crowd next week. "Going back to Montreal, I speak to some friends back home and they're saying that I'm the talk of the town in Montreal," he says. "To me, I'm just looking forward to seeing everyone's reactions and seeing my friends. I just can't wait. My family's going to be there. My in-laws bought like close to 20 tickets. I'm already verklempt right now."
Divorce, what divorce?
Montrealer Ric'key Pageot says Madonna's split from hubby Guy Ritchie wasn't discussed on stage or off this past Wednesday night as the Sticky and Sweet road show pulled into Boston for the beginning of a two-night stand.
Despite rumours that the eight-year marriage between the pop-star and the British director was on the rocks since the summer, Madonna's camp only officially confirmed the impending divorce on Wednesday.
"Boston went really well," said Pageot down the line from Beantown earlier this week. "You're always expecting something different every night because every crowd reacts differently to each song and Boston was great."
Reviewers said Madonna didn't address the marriage breakup from the stage in Boston.
As for talk about the split off-stage, Pageot, said, "No one really talked about it," before pausing and adding: "I'm not sure if I'm allowed to talk about that with you." (source: The Calgary Sun)
17 October - Mad-Eyes presents: 8 years of Madonna & Guy
To say good-bye to a remarkable period of Madonna's life, Mad-Eyes presents you a montage of the best moments of the 8 years of Madonna & Guy Ritchie as a gift. The video is set to the soundtrack of the new single Miles Away, which will always remind us of the end of an era, whenever we hear it. We'd like to dedicate our gift to everyone, who supported the couple through thick and thin! Click here to watch the video on our intro page!
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