Madonna’s ‘Rebel Heart’ beats tonight in Houston

“Rebel Heart” is Madonna’s finest work in a decade, a diverse collection of songs that find her alternately defiant and vulnerable. And like her or not, you’ve probably grown up with her music in some way.

It didn’t hit me until “Like a Prayer” in 1989. Something about that album, sonically and visually, resonated with me. Every Madonna album since has given me something: the criminally underrated “Erotica” and “American Life;” the lush R&B bounce of “Bedtime Stories;” the towering, influential beauty of “Ray of Light” and the disco-heaven of “Confessions on a Dance Floor.” I found the chewy center in 2008’s “Hard Candy” and think much of the electro-pop current running through 2012’s “MDNA” was ahead of the curve.

Last year’s “Bitch I’m Madonna” was her 46th No. 1 on Billboard’s Dance Club Songs chart, making her the artist with the most. She performs new and old songs tonight at Toyota Center.

Come back tonight for a full review and photos from the show.


Read more

Why we love Madonna (again): Let us count the ways as concert hits H-Town

it really be more than 25 years since Madonna launched her Blonde Ambition tour in Houston? In 1990 she appeared before a sellout crowd at The Summit (now Lakewood Church) in a Jean Paul Gaultier cone bra and an I Dream of Jeannieponytail, thrilling a sellout crowd with such hits as “Express Yourself,” “Like a Virgin” and “Papa Don’t Preach.”

When she returned to Houston in 2008 for a sold-out concert at Minute Maid Park on her Sticky & Sweet Tour, I wrote a biting article for the Houston Chronicle stating the case that she wasn’t relevant anymore.

But now, as she prepares for a Tuesday night appearance at the Toyota Center on her Rebel Heart Tour, I’m in love with Madonna again. Here’s why:

1. She puts on a heck of a show

In that 1990 tour, Madonna redefined the concert show as a mixture of rock, performance art, fashion and Broadway, with five thematic acts, like a play. She does it again on the Rebel Heart Tour, with sets divided into Joan of Arc/Samuri, Rockabilly meets Tokyo, Latin/Gypsy, Party/Flapper and Encore.

2. Her newest CD is good

Despite no longer selling anywhere close to the level of Taylor Swift or Adele, Madonna’s lastest CD, Rebel Heart, has a lot of good music, featuring collaborations with Diplo, Avicil and Kayne West and songs about love, heartbreak and being a survivor. And who can resist “Bitch, I’m Madonna”?

Rebel Heart is a long, passionate, self-referential meditation on losing love and finding purpose in chilling times. It’s also a chance for the Queen of Pop to floss a bit and reflect on how she painstakingly carved a path others have happily twerked down in the years since her 1983 debut,” a Rolling Stone review asserts.

3. She mixes in the hits

Such classics as “Holiday,” “Material Girl,” “La Isla Bonita” and acoustic versions of “True Blue” and “Who’s That Girl” are part of the current tour. And three different songs on her new CD refer to old hits.

4. She puts on a fashion show

At 57, Madonna still has a remarkable taut body, the better to showcase designs from Alexander Wang, Jeremy Scott, Gucci designer Alessandro Michele and Prada designer Miuccia Prada. While some want her to act her age, she continues to redefine what age means, even if she is an “Unapologetic Bitch.”

5. And she may prove she’s human

At a Mexico City concert last week, Madonna appeared to tear up onstage as she referred to a custody battle over her 15-year-old-son with ex-husband Guy Ritchie, and delivered a candid speech about the difficult times she’s going through, according to Billboard.

“We all go through challenging times in our life, and that includes me,” she said. “I, too, go through challenging times in my life, and right now is one of them. Sometimes I think I can’t do a show. I don’t have the energy, I don’t have the strength.”

“I come out here tonight and I can see your faces, and I look into your eyes and I see so much love and it gives me strength. So thank you. You are rebel hearts. I feel your hearts beating with mine.”

Let’s see what happens in Houston.

Madonna appears at the Toyota Center Tuesday night

Read more at HoustonCultureMap

Read more

Madonna The Party’s Right Here: FM Radio Broadcast Blond Ambition Tour CD OUT NOW

The Party’s Right Here CD has just been released.

This Gold Fish release is a live FM Radio Broadcast recording of the Blond Ambition Tour in The Reunion Arena Dallas, Texas on 7th May 1990. This is an independent release and not supported by Warner Music and or Madonna.

You can order the CD through Amazon or (Dutch)

Item has been added to our Blond Ambition Tour page


Read more

Madonna’s Top 10 tracks of the 21st century

Mention Madonna these days, and folks still tend to envision dark roots, conical bras and maybe a rosary necklace or two. Hey, at least they aren’t remembering “Swept Away.” But Madonna always shuddered at the thought of becoming a nostalgia act. Over the past 15 years, she’s released five albums and 24 singles, and although none has achieved the cultural saturation of her MTV-era best, some of this stuff is pretty goddamned good. If you’ve got tickets for her concert at Toyota Center on Tuesday night, you’re going to want to know a bunch of it, too, because Ms. M dips only sparingly into her ‘80s and ‘90s back catalogue on tour. The rearview mirror has never really been her style.

But here at Rocks Off, pausing for musical reflection is kind of what we do, and it’s fair to say we’re geeked about Madonna’s return to Houston. That’s why we’ve been binging through the pop goddess’ 21st Century back catalogue for the past month, grooving in traffic during rush hour and memorizing lyrics just in case she decides to yank somebody in the crowd onstage Tuesday, Kendrick Lamar-style. In case you’re in a similar mood to get acquainted with Madonna’s best post-Music highlights, we’ve put together a handy list of her top ten tracks since Clinton left office. And because this is Madonna, we’ve included a shitload of music videos to go with ‘em.

We know you like to dance, because you already clicked on this story. So close the blinds, fire up that Bluetooth speaker you got for Christmas and fuck that rug up. We’ll see you on Tuesday.

Click HERE for the Top 10!

Read more

A Review of Madonna’s Rebel Heart Tour

he emerged from a steel cage onto the stage after about an hour between her and the opening act, DJ Mary Mac. But that’s okay, she’s the unapologetic Queen of Pop and you’re not really paying for punctuality. Instead you’re paying for the experience of seeing Madonna’s first visit to San Antonio. Dressed in Kimono-like garments, Madonna started the evening with “Iconic,” the pop song that features sound bites by none other than Mike Tyson. She undresses into “Bitch, I’m Madonna,” a Japanese Samurai-inspired backdrop that definitely pumped up the lady behind me who proclaimed that, “this was her motherfucking song,” and then proceeded to butcher every single word except for the repetitive “who do you think you are,” and “bitch, I’m Madonna.”

Madonna then makes it to center stage to grab a guitar and play a rocked-out version of “Burning Up.” This gives way to the risqué nuns and Shibari clips in the background to which she’s singing “Holy Water,” that, by far, left nothing to the imagination. She centers the stage with a Last Supper orgy that if you didn’t feel any kind of heat you should immediately check yourself for signs of life. The song is mixed with “Vogue.” This happens a lot; she remixes her hits and breathes new movement into them by putting them into her newer songs.

Read more

Madonna: ‘David Bowie Changed the Course of My Life Forever’

“I found him so inspiring and innovative. Unique and provocative. A real genius,” singer writes of Bowie

Tributes from the music community continue to pour in following the death of David Bowie, with Madonna penning a tribute to the rock icon to thank him for having such a profound impact on her career. “I’m devastated,” Madonna wrote after Bowie passed away Sunday following a battle with cancer. “David Bowie changed the course of my life forever.”

“I never felt like I fit in growing up in Michigan. Like an oddball or a freak. I went to see him in concert at Cobo Arena in Detroit,” Madonna wrote, adding that Bowie was her first concert. “I already had many of his records and was so inspired by the way he played with gender confusion. Was both masculine and feminine. Funny and serious. Clever and wise. His lyrics were witty ironic and mysterious.”

Like the chameleonic Bowie, Madonna similarly patterned her ever-changing stage personas after the “Thin White Duke.” “I saw how he created a persona and used different art forms within the arena of rock and roll to create entertainment,” she wrote. “I found him so inspiring and innovative. Unique and provocative. A real genius.”

Madonna concluded her tribute, “Thank you David Bowie. I owe you a lot. The world will miss you.”

After news of Bowie’s death was announced, Madonna also tweeted a photo of her and the rocker together with the caption, “So lucky to have met you!!!! Hot Tramp I love you So!”

Read Madonna’s entire remembrance to Bowie below.

I’m devastated.
David Bowie changed the course of my life forever. I never felt like I fit in growing up in Michigan. Like an oddball or a freak. I went to see him in concert at Cobo Arena in Detroit. It was the first concert I’d ever been too. I snuck out of the house with my girlfriend wearing a cape.
We got caught after and I was grounded for the summer. I didn’t care.
I already had many of his records and was so inspired by the way he played with gender confusion .
Was both masculine and feminine.
Funny and serious.
Clever and wise.
His lyrics were witty ironic and mysterious.
At the time he was the thin white Duke and he had mime artists on stage with him and very specific choreography
And I saw how he created a persona and used different art forms within the arena of rock and Roll to create entertainment.
I found him so inspiring and innovative.
Unique and provocative. A real Genius.
his music was always inspiring but seeing him live set me off on a journey that for me I hope will never end.
His photographs are hanging all over my house today.
He was so chic and beautiful and elegant.
So ahead of his time.
Thank you David Bowie.
I owe you a lot.  
The world will miss you.

Read more:
Follow us: @rollingstone on Twitter | RollingStone on Facebook

Read more

Filmography presents: all about Madonna in ‘Vision Quest / Crazy For You’


Let’s got back to the Fall of 1983 when Madonna starred in her first ‘major picture’, her first ‘real’ debut in a movie. Even though Madonna acted in the student film ‘A Certain Sacrifice’ before, this was never considered a serious movie.

Like we mentioned before, we have launched our Filmography again and are frequently updating it when we finish the transfer of the old files onto the new site. Vision Quest aka Crazy For You is now finished and improved. Here you can find:

  • movie facts
  • press cuttings
  • rare memorabilia (posters, VHS, DVD, records) from own collection
  • view the trailer
  • see the official music videos
  • watch Madonna’s cameo in the film
  • Buy the tracks and the film (order links)

Visit Vision Quest now, while we continue working on ‘Desperately Seeking Susan’

Read more

Madonna Remembers David Bowie: ‘Talented. Unique. Genius. Game Changer’

Madonna was among the many artists to share her admiration for David Bowie upon hearing news of the singer’s death in the early morning hours of Jan. 11.

Tweeting that she was “devastated” and that Bowie changed her life, Madonna referenced her very first concert in Detroit at age 15, where, while living in her father’s house, she snuck out despite his protests.

David Bowie’s Death: Musicians, Celebs and World Leaders React on Social Media

Some 23 years later, when Bowie was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 1996, Madonna was there to do the honors.

David Bowie on the Charts: From ‘Changes’ to ‘Fame’ and Beyond

“I don’t think that I breathed for two hours. It was the most amazing show that I’d ever seen, not just because the music was great, but because it was great theater,” she said at the ceremony. “Here’s this beautiful, androgynous man, just being so perverse … as David Byrne so beautifully put it … so unconventional, defying logic and basically blowing my mind. Anyway, I came home a changed woman, as you can see, and my father was not sleeping and he knew exactly where I went, and he grounded me for the rest of the summer. But it was worth every minute that I sat and suffered in my house that summer.”

Madonna, like much of the music community, is in shock with news of Bowie’s death at the age of 69. She shared three tweets in quick succession to share her grief and mark the singer’s passing, the last featuring a snap of the pair during a happy moment in the ’80s.

Read more at Yahoo

Read more

Don’t you dare call Madonna a bad mother

IF YOU’RE going to call a woman a bad mother, you better have evidence to back that claim up, proof that she has completely and utterly failed in her duties as a carer for her children.

For me, it doesn’t get much worse in terms of insults. They’re heavy, damaging words to throw at a woman and they cut deeply, no matter who that mother is.

Madonna proved this by posting a photo on her Instagram of her and her four kids on the road together.

The caption speaks for itself. It reads, “It’s possible to be an entertainer and a good mother!!! Too bad we don’t live in a society where many encourage strong independent single working Moms! The next great Frontier!”

One can only assume she is addressing the recent controversy that has surrounded her custody arrangement with ex-husband, Guy Ritchie. In December, their son Rocco failed to return to New York for Christmas and the start of the school year.

Read more

Madonna makes crowd wait, but doesn’t disappoint (San Antonio review)

Madonna’s rebel heart burned brightly until the wee hours Sunday at the AT&T Center at her first-ever San Antonio concert appearance.

About 15,000 fans, some of them dressed like the Material Girl circa 1984, waited patiently through an overly long DJ set for Madonna to finally hit the stage at 10:30 p.m. (the show was scheduled for an 8 p.m. start) and stayed until the very end which was a few minutes before 1 a.m.

he imaginative two-and-a-half hour show was 21 songs of pure Madonna with lots of help from a supporting cast of acrobatic dancers whose choreographed stunts, at times, upstaged the star.

Madonna’s entrance was spectacular with the artist descending onto the massive Rebel Heart Tour stage and runway in a gothic cage right into a horde of dancers dressed as Samurai warriors to sing “Iconic.”

She is incredibly fit, and showed it with gyrating dance moves with her feet on the ground and other times singing while hanging upside down on props or riding on her dancers’ shoulders.

The San Antonio set list and costume changes diverged little from other tour dates, though Madonna seemed especially playful and loose – and provocative.

During “Holy Water,” Madonna danced and pole danced on a crucifix-style pole with scantily-clad female dancers wearing nuns’ religious habits.

Various sections of the show were separated by video interludes and dance troupe routines.

Some of the simpler moments were best. For example, “True Blue” performed on ukulele and delivered in garb inspired by the ’50s.

The dramatic “HeartBreakCity” (and “Love Don’t Live Here Anymore”) served as intro to “Like a Virgin,” slightly slower and with a heavier modern beat.

None of Madonna’s early hits were delivered with original instrumentation or arrangements. She opted to give them a Latin flavor or modern electronics. For example, “Dress You Up” came dressed with the same driving acoustic guitar feel as “La Isla Bonita.”

The same was true for “Into the Groove” and “Lucky Star.”

Madonna toyed with fans at the foot of the runway, even throwing a small bouquet of flowers. She was in good humor throughout.

The most rocked up, satisfying arrangement came with “Music,” which added a jolt of energy. A “Deep in the Heart of Texas” moment fell a little flat, but Madonna added a sexual edge. “Material Girl” lumbered with a heavy, if somewhat lethargic beat.

She closed with “Unapologetic Bitch” and returned for an encore, “Holiday,” performed in yet another costume, this one with a patriotic flair.

The highlight of the night: Madonna’s throwback, steeped-in-irony dancing during “Like a Virgin,” which when paired with the heavier beat, looked almost cathartic.

At 57, Madonna remains a goddess of pop for the ages – talented, intelligent, imaginative and determined not to stagnate.

The rebel heart beats strong.

Read more at MySanAntonio

Read more

Madonna: The early years and as icon for generations (article by Manila Bulletin)

It’s hard to believe Madonna is 57. It seems only yesterday when she was this pretty young thing being all seductive on TV, particularly in the video for her 1984 hit “Like A Virgin.” It was the time she skyrocketed to fame. Impressionable girls memorized her songs by heart and tried to copy her look (rag on hair, big dangling crucifix, attitude on sleeves), while boys were only too happy to see them in short skirts and lace tank tops. Do you remember?

Not everyone was happy with Madonna’s success. Critics deemed the artist a flash-in the-pan even after she has had a string of hits. Madonna, even at that point, didn’t seem to have the formula for staying power. Some thought her success was mainly hinged on her image, a “trashy” one, some thought. It didn’t help that she fed that notion, even brandishing such slogans as “Boy Toy.”

Few realized it was all part of a huge plan.

• • •
Madonna was ambitious. Early on, she made clear she would stop at nothing to achieve world domination. She said so in an early appearance on “American Bandstand” right to the face of host Dick Clark.

Note that Madonna didn’t start as a musician. She was more of a dancer, a good one at that. She received a dance scholarship to the University of Michigan School of Music where she stayed for a couple of years before dropping out in 1978.

Apparently, the artist got inspired to dabble in music upon working with Patrick Hernandez, who had a big hit with “Born To Be Alive” in 1979. Hernandez told her she can do more than dance – that she could become a recording artist. It wasn’t false hopes but prophecy.

Taking the cue, Madonna tried joining several bands in New York, eventually becoming the drummer for the funk-pop outfit The Breakfast Club. Many believe Madonna only got the break because the band’s singer, Dan Gilroy, had the hots for her. Well, the two became an item.

madonna tours

It was Gilroy who is said to have taught Madonna how to play drums. Later, on Gilroy’s insistence, Madonna became the band’s second lead singer. But even then, Madonna believed she could be bigger than that.

So limited musical abilities notwithstanding, Madonna formed her own outfit named Emmy And The Emmys (with drummer Stephen Bray, who was actually her replacement in The Breakfast Club). The Emmys wrote punk and new wave songs, which many (including Madonna) thought didn’t suit her. She convinced Bray, who by then had become her boyfriend, to help her write and arrange a couple of dance tunes. Among these would be her first dance hits, “Everybody” and “Burning Up.”

Madonna pushed these songs to anyone she believes would let her through the door of a mainstream career. She eventually met Mark Kamins, a DJ from a New York club she used to frequent. Kamins, who had connections in Sire Records, gave her songs a shot.

They entered into a relationship when her debut single, ”Everybody,” released in 1982, and “Burning Up” released in 1983, became minor hits.

Soon, and to no one’s surprise, Madonna dropped Kamins. Before long, she hooked up with producer John “Jellybean” Benitez, who would help her achieve the next step: Crack the upper heights of the Billboard charts with the songs “Holiday” and “Borderline.”

The one-two punch prompted Sire Records to let her cut an eponymous debut album, which peaked at number eight on the Billboard 200.

Still, it was just the start.

Read more

Madonna shows Sean Penn PDA at Haiti benefit: “I love him as much as I did when I met him”

Madonna was ex husband Sean Penn’s date tonight at Penn’s annual Haiti fundraiser. After the revelation that Penn has interviewed international criminal El Chapo, it seems like he can handle his ex. They are thick as thieves, very affectionate, posing for pictures with two of Madonna’s children on the red carpet.

But the real excitement in the Montage hotel ballroom was Madonna’s surprise acoustic performance of “la vie en rose.” She accompanied herself on ukulele, and impressed everyone including Leonard DiCaprio and Justin Bieber (who stopped in briefly but lost interest). Madonna told the crowd, referring to Penn, “I love him as much as I did when I met him.” That was 30 years ago.

Are they back together? No one can say for sure, but the formerly married couple put on quite a show Saturday night while millions were being raised for Penn’s J/P Haiti foundation. They sat almost on top of each other at the main table, with DiCaprio across from them.

Last year, Penn’s date was Charlize Theron, and there were certainly many more celebs. But this year, aside from the main table, Pamela Anderson was the main attraction.

For a short time, when Madonna sang, pop twerp Justin Bieber ambled in and plopped down to watch her performance with a couple of friends. But when Madonna was finished, so was the Beebs. He hopped up and exited. A waiter told me Bieber basically “lives” at the Montage, as well as at a house in Beverly Hills.

Madonna later contributed the ukulele to the live auction. She told the auctioneer that she’d sign it, “lick it,” and “kiss it” when her tour was over in March. She also said she’d put something secret inside it for the highest bidder. “It will be wet inside and dry inside,” she said. When the auctioneer asked who’d made the ukulele, Madonna replied: “None of your f—ing business.”

A lunch with Penn and DiCaprio, plus a night at DiCaprio’s Palm Springs spread, went for the bargain price of $200,000. Of course, many in the room may not have known that Penn had interviewed El Chapo, and might have good anecdotes from that experience.

Penn is devoted to Haiti, and is clearly making progress down. He’s so passionate about it tears came to his eyes twice talking about getting health care for a dying teen. If he’s diverted Madonna’s attention from Kabbalah into this worthy cause, then he’s really scored points. Bravo!

Read more at Showbiz411

Read more

Madonna and Sean Penn Reignite Romance Rumors at Oscar Winner’s Annual Haiti Benefit Gala

Madonna and Sean Penn just can’t stay away from each other.
The pop music queen came out tonight to support her ex-husband at his annual Golden Globes eve Help Haiti Home gala benefiting J/P Haitian Relief Organization. They posed for pictures with Madonna’s kids Mercy and David before walking inside.
Once the program began, the pair was spotted sitting next to each other at a table in the center of the ballroom. When asked what brought her out tonight, Madonna told me, “Haiti.”
She surprised the crowd by performing “La Vie en Rose” while strumming her ukulele. “I want to say Sean that I love you from the moment that I laid eyes on you and I still love you just the same,” Madonna said.
The evening raised $7 million for J/P HRO.

Full article HERE

Read more