Sunday, September 23, 2012
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
When reviewing Madonna's single "Give Me All Your Luvin'," one journalist commented that it sounded like something Katy Perry might sing. That my friend, is like comparing the beauty of a 10-inch dick to the infected lumps on a twat one might have to have surgically removed. Madonna is, has been, and will always be the queen of pop. In five years, when Katy Perry is performing her greatest "hits" on local Koren TV shows, Madonna will be filling arenas worldwide. With MDNA, Madonna has proven to not only be relevant, but still be Madonna, the biggest musical star since The Beatles, the sexiest woman in the business, and probably one of the few mega successes not attached to the Illuminati!
Madonna always does good on her own, but MDNA has it's share of collaborations. With guest stars like Nicki Minaj and LMFAO, one might wonder why Madonna has just recently (well, since 2003) worked with “trendy” artists at the peak of their careers? (But to be honest, after working with Justin Timeberlake and Kanye West on her last record, she could have worked with a Tickle Me Elmo and I still would have seen improvement in her “tastes.” When it comes to Hard Candy, let's just say I thank the Lord for digital editing!)
The truth is Madonna is a business woman, and she needs to make money to feed the African babies! Let's just happy Madonna wasn't always like that, or it would have been “Justify My Love" (Featuring MC Hammer). To be fair, though, Nicki definitely adds a good amount of tasty flavah to fun single “Give Me All Your Luvin”and the chunky, yet funky “I Don't Give a..” In it, and “Love Spent” Madonna takes some jabs at ex-husband Guy Ritchie. One might compare this record to 1989's Like a Prayer, as it's another post-divorce, but let's not. MDNA is a great record, but let's not compare it to a legendary M record! It would spoil it.
With MDNA, Madonna gets back to having a dirty, sexy, fun time. Perhaps M's best single since "Frozen," "Girl Gone Wild" throws it down on the dancefloor with it's bottom-ready beats and, even better, it's homoerotic, bottom-ready video! And one just has to love the lyrical allusion to Cyndi Lauper. You just KNOW Madonna is singing about girls just wanting to have some fun and at the same time thinking "this bitch Lauper, everyone thought you was gonna outlast me, and 25 years later, I'm still the queen, bitch!!" Madonna's so cute.
There are a few other dancefloor drugs on the disc. In "I'm Addicted," Madonna tells us something we already suspected, "I'm a dic-." "Some Girls" talks a lot of shit about stuck-up hoochie mamas, and is frankly, the weakest dance track on the album, but hell, it's Madonna doing dance! So I'm in! But it's "Turn on the Radio" where Madonna really shoves her music in your ear. Sounds a little like a True Blue-era album track set to a modern dance beat, but that's a good thing! With a sugary sweet voice and a cute lyrical theme, Madonna makes you realize that no matter how many men, women, and puppies she "simulated" sex with in her 1992 autobiography SEX, she's still innocent at heart.
One thing you learn about Madonna on this record, is that she can be one angry bitch! In "Gang Bang" (which isn't a song about Madonna's experience in a cholo sex club, sadly), Madonna not only kills the bastard who done her wrong, she makes sure that fucker has never been deader! All this to a deep, throbbing, dark beat that makes you wonder if this is the same woman who chirps "Ooo La La, You're a Superstar" only a few tracks later. This song may not become a single, but is definitely THE song to download if you don't wanna mess with the entire disc.
Another thing you learn about this album, underneath it all, she's an artist. As she has done since True Blue, while she has her party songs, her fillers and her smashes, she also has her lyrically rich and deep moments. It's those moments that separate her from Britney Spears and Gaga. “Masterpiece” and “Fallin Free” bring back the creamy, diverse vocals of Madonna that she hasn't used since Ray of Light. That was 1998, almost 15 years! Fifteen! She got the voice, why not use it?
MDNA may be a goddamn good record, BUT, it still has it's Shanghai Surprise moments! "B-Day Song," if you wanna call it that (I call it a drunken night with MIA recorded and produced by a 5-year old) is just confusing. Ageism aside, even if Madonna recorded this song in 1979 on her pre-fame demos, it would still be age-inappropriate! When it comes to "I Fucked Up" Madonna didn't quite do that, at least not lyrically. I mean, she opens up (her soul), but the song just kind of drags like Paris Hilton's meat curtains might on a red carpet. And last, but definitely not least, "I'm A Sinner" written and produced with William Orbit.
William Orbit. This bitch. Now yes, Ray of Light was a great album, shit, it was epic! But as we learned with Music, Orbit should only be used sparingly, like garlic salt, or crack cocaine. The problem is, give him too much creative freedom and he makes your song sound like it belong on a "Best of the 60's TV Show Theme Songs" compilation. Leave that shit to Emma Bunton (Baby Spice)! Bitch knows how to work it!
The thing is,"Beautiful Killer" has a taste of the 60's Bond song, too! Only, unlike Orbit's shit, isn't shoved down your throat. It more slowly slides in and out, letting you taste it just a little- making "Killer" one of the best songs on the album. How was this NOT on the standard edition, and "Superstar" was?!?! Another bonus track, "Best Friend" sounds like the soundtrack to "Madonna: The Video Game!" (if ever made!) with computer beeps and her catchiest melody since "Bad Girl" it boggles the mind this isn't on the standard edition! Who makes these decisions?!?
One can only wonder about the tracks that did not make the cut. In recent years, leaks from 1992's “Shame” to 2008's “Animal” to 2010's “Broken” have proven to be strong unreleased songs, and in some cases, stronger than their album's first single (for example, Hard Candy).
Is MDNA in the same level as Madonna, Like a Prayer, Erotica, and Ray of Light? No. Does it smash all expectations after American Life, Confessions on a Dancefloor and Hard Candy? Fuck yeah! If she lost a lot of fans after the lyrically complicated, yet musically disappointing American Life, got a few pop-fans back who just wanted OK-dance music with the “Madonna-back-to-her-roots-without-actually-having-the-heart-of-retro-Madonna” Confessions, and pissed the same ones off with the strong, yet somewhat misguided Hard Candy, MDNA makes you L-U-V Madonna all over again.
Sunday, May 29, 2011
Elizabeth Berkley did something quite rare with her career. After being viciously attacked in every which way possible for her performance in the legendary film Showgirls, Berkley kept on, taking on challenges roles on screen and on stage, and more recent, creating a forum for young women to discuss their everyday issues, thus, Ask Elizabeth was born. The forum became a website, then upon request, a book.
A lot of her pain from the reaction to the film Showgirls went into Ask Elizabeth, a book penned by Elizabeth with the aide of young girls talking about real issues. The pages are filled with stories and advice that is directed toward young women, but could easily assist in the lives of any gay man as well. Ask Elizabeth deals with bullies, body image, friends, family, drama (something gays know nothing about) and much more.
Showgirls may have taught us how to land a spot in Goddess, how to watch our figure (brown rice and vegetables), and the proper pronunciation of Versace (“Ver-sase” ), but the newest project of Berkley ’s teaches us how to survive in the real world. From Saved by the Bell to Ask Elizabeth, Berkley has, and always will be, a goddess.
Eric Chavez: First of all, I would love to congratulate you on the success of the book. It’s an amazing piece of work. I’m a male, but I can understand everything you discuss in your book, from bullies to body image. I think that the book, aside from a few things, could be for both sexes.
Elizabeth Berkley: Yeah, it’s funny because the teachers have told me that the boys have been reading it too in discussion groups at school, which is so cool to me that it’s opening up that dialogue.
EC: Definitely. Now in the book, you discuss how people have criticized you in the past, and how one time a journalist even called you a “failure.” When I read that, my heart just dropped! I couldn’t believe it!
EB: It was real! I’m being honest. I mean people say awful things. No one goes unscaved, we all go through things. We just can’t let people’s nasty words become our beliefs about ourselves, you know?
EC: You know what, though? Maybe without that past, there might not have been an Ask Elizabeth book or website.
EB: You’re probably right. I may not have had the same level of desire to be of service in this area. I think often times when people choose to be part of a charity; it’s usually because something is very personal.
EC: Now that the book’s out and a success, is there still a television show planned in conjunction to the book?
EB: There are some tv ideas now that I’m exploring that could be a really powerful platform. It would just have to be different from what I’m doing because no one will want to watch a two hour workshop! I can’t wait to show it to you and share it. My original intention was to help the girls in an interactive way to give them a form to feel safe enough to ask the questions that they might feel alone in. For a long time they were asking me to create a website, but it’s not a real meaningful connection, it’s just sound bites, and so the girls asked me to make a book. I was so excited, so that’s why I took 15 of the most asked questions to create the book.
EC: You know, It’s hard growing up, period. This book doesn’t have one single answer, but it deals with issues that no one else really is, and the thing about it, because you’re a celebrity, people might see you in a movie and be like, “I like her, so I’m going to check this out. “ But I was shocked to see some bloggers show some disrespect to the book when it was originally announced to come out because it contains the writings from these young girls.
EB: For people, Ask Elizabeth has been such a private journey between me and the girls and their schools, until people understand, well first of all, I don’t care about people like that anyway, because they were not informed on what Ask Elizabeth is. Ask Elizabeth is a community of voices, it’s not me standing on a podium telling people how to run their lives, it’s girls helping each other sharing their wisdom and advice and I create a space for them to do it. So, there couldn’t be an Ask Elizabeth without their voices, just like I have a column on Oprah's website where it’s moms asking question, but it’s me and the girls answering. It’s not a celeb-vanity project.
EC: I know! In so many ways you are going to help girls and boys so much in the future. I don’t even know why they would hate on that! Speaking of that, I’ve always admired you because after Showgirls, and all the criticism, the unfair criticism, mind you, you carried that film brilliantly and no one else could have! I’m waiting for another vehicle starring you. You made Showgirls work. I mean that’s why it’s a cult film. I mean people don’t just love it or like that movie, they adore it! And I’m one of them! You made that movie magical.
EB: Thank you so much! I really appreciate what you’re saying, thank you so much for acknowledging me like that; it’s really beautiful to hear that from you. It is funny; I mean if that movie was so bad, why didn’t it die on the movie shelf? Clearly, there was something to it. It’s one of the top MGM top selling videos of all time, and people are watching it. It’s a cult classic now! I’m really looking forward to taking what I have become to really sink my teeth into a really juicy role or a comedy, I love doing comedies. I’m ready to step into that really good kind of role that you’re talking about, so we’ll both be excited at that moment.
EC: I once tweeted Cher, telling her she should do a movie with you! She never replied, but hopefully she saw that and has that in mind.
EB: I love her! I love her. That would be genius!
EC: Speaking of Showgirls, did you know there are people on Facebook who have created “Nomi Malone” profiles, and they quote your character in the film, or just take the character and run with it? It’s the funniest thing, they even have the Human Resources lady from the movie, that you have a one-minute interview with, she even has a Facebook page!
EB: (Laughs) I can’t wait to check it out.
EC: My next question is, for you, you’ve done so many amazing films and television shows, but if there were one movie or tv show in a time capsule to represent your talent the best for the future, what would it be?
EB: I think that I’m getting ready to do that one, I don’t there is one I would put in a time capsule yet. There are things I’m so proud of, but also, you know it’s so hard when you’re creative, I mean as a writer, yourself, when you see an article you wrote, there’s always something after the fact you wanna do better, or when you grow you can’t but look back and think “oh I wish I could do it again” but you can’t. So it’s hard for me to say that, because of my own personal growth, I wanna explore something new. I mean there moments I am proud of or experiences I take with me like working with Al Pacino or the great ladies of First Wives Club or working with Woody Allen. So those are amazing memories so me, but in terms of a full arch of a character, I am looking forward to that particular thing that makes me go “oh my god!” that represents what I can really do. I don’t think people have seen yet what I can really do. Only appetizers!
EC: I can’t wait for this film you’re talking about!
EB: I’m excited too! The last two years, this [book] has been my baby! It needed so much care and devotion. It was like being in labor for the past two years. Like this year I had to pass on a few things, including a Broadway show, to put this book out properly, which thankfully, I’m sure you’ve done your research because I can tell you’ve put a lot of care into this interview, I mean the fact that it’s number two on the New York Times Best Sellers List and the fact that it’s getting in the hands of all the girls who need it, and the meaningful connections I’m making in every city. I’m glad I’m able to be present for it, because it would have been sad to put it out in any other way.
EC: I hope that there is no critic that there that is bashing this book. I mean you deserve the critical acclaim. I mean this book is a beautiful thing, it isn’t trashy, you are out there helping these girls. It’s a positive thing.
EB: No! This has been received in such a beautiful way. It felt like a big hug! Even some of my guy friends have said, “oh my god, I need to be reminded of this.” It’s like we all have an adolescent girl in all of us. We’ve all been there. It’s just a lot of the issues are universal. And it’s the truth; I’m not pretending where everything is perfect and tied up in a pretty bow. There are times when we’re gonna have really great highs and lows, but what’s the choice what are we gonna do in those moments? Are we gonna be a victim, or are we gonna feel the feelings that have value and take action to change our situation, if we can.
Elizabeth Berkley's book "Ask Elizabeth" is currently on the New York Times Best Sellers List.
Viva La Lopez! JLo brings the heat with “Papi,” her latest single from the upcoming Love?. With her third single from the still-yet-to-be-released album (fourth if you count “Louboutins”…fifth, if you count “Fresh Out The Oven”), Lopez has topped herself with this spicy dancefloor anthem produced by RedOne.
Much more than “Alejandro,” JLo’s new song is custom made for all those papi chulos out there. While most contemporary club songs are a bit too robotic, “Papi” has that sexy rhythm that just makes you wanna get all hot n’ sweaty n’ sexy on the dancefloor.
Combining the hot new sounds of the clubs with a little sweet Latin flavor – something reminiscent of 80s-era Gloria Estefan – “Papi” leaves the competition in flames, making the track RedOne’s brightest moment.
One more thing to thank Santa Maria for: no rent-a-rappers! JLo’s finally on her own and soon to be burning up the charts and the clubs with the sweltering sound of “Papi.” Along with the hit singles “On the Floor” and “I’m Into You,” plus the leaks “Invading My Mind,” “Everybody’s Girl” and “(What is) Love?,” Love? shows every sign of being the hottest album of the year. After years of being (unjustly) more top of the flops than top of the pops, JLo is back on top and on fiyah.
Samantha James may not be anywhere to be found on the Billboard 100 or mainstream radio, but she is by far the best new artist of the past few years. Mixing electronica, deep house, chill, pop, soul, and lounge music, James has sensually crafted the perfect musical recipe. You may have heard James’ “Rise,” which topped the dance charts a few years ago, or more recently, “Waves of Change” which Kaskade mixed into a dance floor anthem.
Her new song, “Wings of Faith” makes for one of the most infectious charity songs ever, and all proceeds will go towards the aid of Japan. One reason this track is so luscious is because it avoids the cheesy, insincere trap so many charity songs dive down deep into. “Wings of Faith” consists of a blissfully beautiful dance beat that drips over the artist’s smooth vocals.
If you enjoy this track, make sure to check out Rise and Subconscious, two of the best electronica/chill/pop albums ever produced, if only because James, unlike other dance artists, actually has a, gasp, bassline in her music!
One of pop’s biggest mysteries ever has to be why Paula Abdul didn’t take advantage of her American Idol success and release more music during her time on the show. Sure, there were the crazy cool singles, “Dance Like There’s No Tomorrow” and “I’m Just Here For the Music,” but the woman had nearly a decade and no album? There was a time when Ms. Abdul gave the likes of Madonna and Janet Jackson a run for their money, but after 1995′s floptastic Head Over Heels, Abdul seemed a bit knocked out and gave up on music.
Now on iTunes, Paula Abdul’s collaboration with Shine 2009, “So Free” is actually quite an interesting dance track with a bit of a retro feel – it wouldn’t have been out of place on her 90s albums. A funky house track with a touch of acid jazz, “So Free” has more rhythm than most “dance” tracks out there now. It’s refreshing to listen to something that doesn’t sound like it was produced for robots on the dancefloor. The bad thing is that it is more a Shine 2009 song than a Paula Abdul one, but when she sings, she shines.
The question still remains: will Abdul ever release another album? It’s been nearly 16 years since her last proper LP, and fans are still waiting. Abdul herself is rather cold heartedly vague when asked about a possible LP album in the future. Obviously, Paula still has it, and for now “So Free” proves that Abdul will straight up be forever your girl.
It takes quite a woman to be on the throne for 30 years, but Miss Richfield 1981 has reigned supreme all this time and has lived to tell about it. In her show “30 Years on the Throne,” Miss Richfield takes a journey back through her life, celebrating her reign as the top beauty of the tiny Minnesota town, where “butter is a spice and gravy is a beverage” as she says. Miss Richfield 1981 plays one night only this Saturday, April 30 at 14th Street Playhouse.
Former journalist and Minnesota native Russ King is the creator and star of Miss Richfield 1981. Since the creation of the show, King’s success has taken over theaters, cabarets and television. If you haven’t seen “her” on stage, you may have caught her on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Today Show, TLC’s Cake Boss and Weekends with Samantha Brown on The Travel Channel.
Now Miss R’s critically acclaimed show makes its way to Atlanta for one appearance. With her fabulous mix of off the wall humor and Midwestern charm, her reign is destined to continue well into the next decade.