UK cassette sales grew by 94% in first half of 2019

Nearly 35,000 cassettes have been sold in the UK for the first half of 2019, according to a BPI report via Wired.

Billie Eilish took top place with 4,000 copies of her debut album When We Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?sold, followed by Catfish and The Bottlemen’s The Balance at 2, Madonna’s Madam X at 3, Lewis Capaldi’s Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent at 4, and Hozier’s Wasteland Baby at 5.

Despite the growth, the sales account for just 0.2% of total albums purchased during that period. By comparison, vinyl records accounted for 12% of UK album sales for the first 6 months of the year.

Check out the best sellers, and watch our film about DIY cassette culture below.

UK top selling albums on cassette, January – June 2019

1. Billie Eilish – When We Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?
2. Catfish and The Bottlemen – The Balance
3. Madonna – Madam X
4. Lewis Capaldi – Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent
5. Hozier – Wasteland Baby

More at The Vinyl Factory

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Jean Paul Gaultier discusses working on Madame X Tour costumes

— Who else from known musicians and actors you have worked closely?

— I made costumes for Kylie Minogue and her tour KylieX2008. I bought many outfits especially for any important ceremonies. All is remember! Marion Cotillard in my dress received “Oscar” in 2008. She played Edith Piaf. Easier just to call names — Nicole Kidman, Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Kim Kardashian, Katy Perry, Rihanna, cate Blanchett. It’s all a beautiful woman, versed in fashion. By the way, my collaboration with Madonna continues in full swing. I created a collection of costumes for her new tour Madame X. She wanted more black, more leather. Something Gothic. And then I got the idea. I said to Madonna, “Honey, you were Frida Kahlo, Marlene Dietrich, Marilyn Monroe. It was the turn of Joan of Arc”. She asked: “And who or what I had declared a Holy war?” “Age!” I replied.

Read the full interview with Jean Paul Gaultier at GalPost

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Win a Dutch Madame X bag and envelope set!

Concerto Recordstore in Amsterdam was the official host of the Dutch Madame X Releaseparty on June 13. For this event exclusive goodiebags were made and handed out to all customers who bought their copies.

Concerto Recordstore has been so kind to sent us a few Madame X goodiebags to give away through random lottery draw. These bags don’t include the full set from the releaseparty but come with the official Madame X postcard set and a CD sized official promo flat (UMusic U.K.)

To try and win a bag please send an email before Wednesday July 24 to: madonnaunderground@gmail.com 

Please include your full name and address, all entries without this information will be discarded.

Good luck!

Special thank you to Concerto Recordstore and UMusic U.K. 

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Madonna Releases Visually-Stunning Video “Batuka”

Madonna today unveiled a visually-stunning video for “Batuka” from her new #1 album Madame X. Directed by Emmanuel Adjei, who most recently collaborated with Madonna on her “Dark Ballet” video, the video features the all-female Orquestra Batukadeiras and was shot off the coast of Lisbon, Portugal where Madame X was born. Watch HERE.
 
“Batuka” is inspired by Batuque, a style of music created by the women that originated from Cape Verde. Condemned by the church for what was considered an act of rebellion, the female slaves were then forbidden to drum. But the inspiring and powerful women continued their singing and dancing, and the Batuque lives on today.

In Lisbon, while working on Madame X, Madonna formed a bond with Dino d’Santiago, a Portuguese singer of Cape Verdean descent. He began to introduce her to other musicians, including the all-female Orquestra Batukadeiras, who are featured on the song “Batuka.”

Madonna says, “We went to a tiny club in the middle of nowhere and a circle of women were sitting in chairs playing leather drums. The music started and they all took turns singing solos in Creole and dancing. It was so inspiring that I asked if possible, to collaborate with them. They agreed and we ended up in the studio recording ‘Batuka,’ this call-and-response song, live. It was a religious experience, just a total celebration of life.”

Madonna is getting ready to bring Madame X to life by embarking on a series of rare and intimate concert performances to take place exclusively in theaters, giving fans an opportunity to see her perform in an environment like they never have before. The Madame X Tour will kick off September 12th at the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House in New York and will feature multiple nights of shows in each city including performances at the Chicago Theatre, The Wiltern in Los Angeles, the Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, the Boch Center Wang Theatre in Boston, The Met Philadelphia and at the Fillmore Miami Beach at the Jackie Gleason Theatre. The Madame X Tour will continue in early 2020 with performances at the Coliseum in Lisbon, the Palladium in London and at the Grand Rex in Paris.  Tickets and further information is available at https://www.madonna.com/tour.

Madame X comes in a standard and deluxe version of the album and exclusive album bundles with limited edition merchandise are now available direct from Madonna.com.

More at Vents magazine

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Watch Madonna Embrace Euphoric Batuque Spirit in New ‘Batuka’ Video

Pop star filmed clip for Madame X track with Orquestra Batukadeiras off coast of Lisbon, Portugal

Madonna celebrates the rebellious spirit and legacy of batuque in the new video for “Batuka,” a track off her most recent album, Madame X.

As a series of title cards explains at the start of the video, batuque is a style of music and dance that was created by women in Cape Verde, a former Portuguese colony off the coast of Africa that played a crucial role in the slave trade. Madonna learned about batuque while living in Portugal, where she recorded some of Madame X, and both the song and video for “Batuka” feature the Orquestra Batukadeiras.

The video for “Batuka” was filmed off the coast of Lisbon and finds Madonna and the women of the Orquestra Batukadeiras singing, dancing and clapping in a studio and against the stunning backdrop of the ocean. In an interview with Refinery 29, where the “Batuka” video premiered, Madonna noted that the clip was meant to honor both the legacy of batuque and recreate the pop star’s first meeting with the Orquestra Batukadeiras.

Madonna released Madame X in June, marking her first album since 2015’s Rebel Heart. The singer will embark on a North American theater tour in support of the album this fall, starting with a 17-night residency at New York’s Howard Gilman Opera House, September 12th through October 7th. Madonna will perform similar multi-night stands in Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Boston and Philadelphia before wrapping with a stint in Miami, November 30th through December 19th.

More at RollingStone

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Jesus Luz: ‘Madonna inspired me to stop being sexist’

The 32-year-old model is “extremely grateful” to the Queen of Pop for helping him to be “more understanding of differences” and says his time with the 60-year-old singer made him a better man.

Speaking to Brazilian magazine Revista Quem, he said: “Living with Madonna has influenced the mindset I have today. I was very young when we dated and had an incredible life experience with her.

“I am extremely grateful to her. She inspired me to be the human being that I am today, more open to the unknown and more understanding of differences. I try to pass all this on to my daughter.

“I’m a very open-minded father, in a good way. My daughter is free to be whatever she wants, within the ethical principles that Carol [his wife] and l believe. I don’t agree with “boy or girl” toys. My daughter will play with whatever she wants.

“Sexism does not have a place in my house. I needed to stop being sexist. I am very mature now. I made this transition and believe we should all stop being sexist.”

Jesus went on to explain that he was originally attracted to Madonna’s sense of fun and insisted they met on a human level and he never saw her as “an icon”.

He said: “I do not believe in love at first sight. I’ve never experienced anything like it. What happened was chemistry at first sight, a connection. Love is something deeper that needs to be nurtured.

“Madonna has an incredible sense of humour and is an amazing mother. In our relationship, l met her as a human being, not as an icon.”

Madonna and Jesus split in 2010 after a year of dating.

More at FemaleFirst

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Let These Divas Make Your Playlist for Summer 2019

Madonna
Madame X
 (Interscope Records)

On the diva’s 14th release, Madonna examines the current state of the world while imagining a peaceful, harmonious way to move it forward. Of the anthemic “I Rise,” Madge says the track gives “voice to all marginalized people who feel they don’t have the opportunity to speak their minds.” It features a spoken-word intro from Emma Gonzalez, the young social activist, gun control advocate and survivor from the Parkland school shooting in early 2018. Earlier this summer in Israel, Madonna performed another Madame X track, “Future” at the Eurovision Song Contest — and stirred up some controversy: While telling her audience to “never underestimate the power of music to bring people together,” her set featured two male dancers walking arm-in-arm with Israeli and Palestinian flags on their respective backs. When she’s not pushing the envelope in a political sense, Madame X includes some notable bangers, including the pulsating lead single, “Medellin,”  a duet with the gorgeous Colombian reggaeton singer Maluma. Another collaboration, “Crave” with rapper Swae Lee, is a desire-tinged pop gem. This Queen won’t be passing her crown along anytime soon.

More at Metrosource

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Watch The Exclusive Premiere Of Madonna’s “Batuka” Video & Hear From The Woman Herself

 
Madonna is emailing me, and I’m totally fine. Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone. She’s been the wallpaper on my phone, my dance tutor, the inspiration for long-expired passwords, and now we’re emailing. Through intermediaries, and there’s no FaceTime in the cards, but still. An artist and (I usually hate this word) icon I’ve loved, celebrated, analyzed, cited and defended for 35 years, is answering some of my questions. Everything is absolutely chill, and I’m breathing normally. Keep your smelling salts.
 
The occasion: Refinery29 is exclusively premiering the video for “Batuka,” off Madame X, Madonna’s fourteenth studio album, which debuted at #1 last month on the Billboard 200. Like many critics and fans, I find Madame X to be particularly beautiful — her most cohesive and visionary LP since 2005’s disco opus Confessions on a Dance Floor, and her weirdest, most emotional dare since 2003’s woefully dismissed classic American Life. (Did I mention I’m a fan?)
Even more than Bush-era American Life, Madame X finds Madonna reckoning with a bleak global moment as she considers her own remarkable history. This time, much of the sound was inspired by the superstar’s extended time with her children in Portugal, where she immersed herself in, and then interpreted, a range of musical traditions local to the region. That includes batuque, a style that emphasizes drumming, singing, and dancing, which was created by Black women from the island of Cape Verde, a former Portuguese colony with a central role in the slave trade.
“Batuka” — a defiant, joyful cry for rebellion with a rousing call-and-response structure — is Madonna’s collaboration with the all-women Orquestra Batukadeiras, and they join her in the striking video, directed by Emmanuel Adjei and filmed off the coast of Lisbon. “I found them to be so strong, authentic, soulful, loving, generous, and kind,” Madonna told Refinery29 of her collaborators.
 
The sixth video (so far) during this very cinematic Madame X era finds Madonna in a jam session with the Orquestra, with haunting shots of the coastline that reference the area’s brutal history. We also get to marvel at stunning closeups of the women in the Orquestra — as well at the Queen of Pop dancing freestyle in a floral dress and combat boots. An undisputed master and innovator of the form since the advent of MTV in the 1980s (see: “Material Girl,” “Papa Don’t Preach,” “Express Yourself,” “Vogue”), Madonna, with “Batuka,” has now starred in over 75 music videos.
Here’s what Madonna told Refinery29 about recording and filming “Batuka,” working with the women, her own forgotten history of drumming, and more. It’s all very casual.
 
 
Refinery29: In the Inside Madame X short film, you spoke a bit about discovering Batuque and the Orquestra Batukadeiras, and then collaborating with the women on this song. What did these women teach you?
 
Madonna: “I learned a great deal from these women. Many of them came from very economically challenged backgrounds, without access to formal education. The ways we measure achievement and success in our conventional society fails to capture their singular brilliance and strength. I found them to be so strong, authentic, soulful, loving, generous, and kind. You can’t learn these things in school. They taught me those things. It’s a tough world out there, and it’s inspiring to work with people who have been through the struggle but still manage to manifest and share joy with us all. That was a big part of the lesson.”
 
The video serves to both recreate that recording experience and, it would seem, to evoke the painful-but-joyous history of Batuque, specifically its origins in Cape Verde and ties to slavery and suppression. How did you, your director Emmanuel Adjei, and the Orquestra work together to conceive of the visual narrative for the video?
 
“We wanted to honor how I met these women and our journey, with an organic and beautiful cinematic experience. We found a house that looked like a typical house that one would live in on the islands of Cape Verde next to the sea. Instead of me going to a small nightclub environment to meet them and hear them play, to then be invited into their circle, we choose a more natural and beautiful environment as the meeting place, ending up in the recording studio. It wasn’t easy to replicate the significance of our first meeting and how it all happened. How they invited me in and gave me a leather drum, sat me down and said ‘Join Us’. They took turns dancing and embracing me. They invited me into their world and made me feel extremely welcome. When I asked them to record with me it was the exact same experience. They were just as joyful, just as down to earth, just as open, just as loving. I tried to capture the simplicity of that exchange. I hope it captures the range of emotions that I felt coming from them, and their music. I wanted to show the strength and the history, and I felt like all of their faces were just so expressive. I wanted to capture that in all of their close-ups.”
Your dancing here seems improvised. How did you approach it?
 
“I was completely and utterly inspired by them. And there was no need or call for choreography. The dancing was organic and fluid; I just watched them move and joined them.”
 
Even your biggest fans might forget that in the beginning of your career, you were a drummer for the NYC band Breakfast Club. How did you draw upon this past work to approach “Batuka”?
 
“Drumming for me is connected to dancing, since they’re both centered in rhythm. Moving at different times and different rhythms and different time signatures. That segue from playing the drums came easily for me, since that was my first job in a band. It was authentic for me, and I love it. I love playing percussion.”
 
As you’ve described, “Madame X” takes on many disguises and persona. Who is she in “Batuka”?
 
“It’s all part of the journey of Madame X. Traveling to different places, different worlds, different cultures, experiencing different folk music. Madame X discovers and respects the history of it, of being inspired by it, and ultimately shares it with the world.”
 
Will the women join you onstage when you perform in a live setting?
 
“Yes, not only are they in my show, they are my choir in general. They’re my choir in ‘God Control’, ‘Like a Prayer’, ‘Come Alive,’ and ‘I Rise’. They’re even dancing in my show; they’ve become fully integrated in so many ways. It’s amazing. It’s crazy how multi-talented they all are and how ready they are to share this experience. It’s been so great having them become a part of everything. They’re going to blow people away; the world isn’t ready.”
 
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Madonna Teases Tour Rehearsal Video for ‘Rescue Me,’ Which She’s Never Performed Live

Madonna sent fans into overdrive on Thursday (July 18), when she shared a clip of her rehearsing a hit single she’s never performed live before: “Rescue Me.” (Watch below.)

“Rescue Me” peaked at No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100 in March of 1991, and was one of two new tracks she recorded for her first greatest hits album, The Immaculate Collection, which was released the previous year.

Madonna is prepping for her upcoming Madame X Tour, which launches on Sept. 12 in New York, and has been posting photos and videos on her social media accounts from tour rehearsals.

Madonna Performs at Pride Island 2019 | Billboard News
 

 

Embedded video

 
“Rescue Me” is one of Madonna’s three top 10 Hot 100 hits (out of 38) that she’s yet to perform live. That factoid was brought to Madonna’s attention back in May, when Billboard interviewed the Queen of Pop backstage during the show.

In the chat, Billboard appealed to Madonna to consider playing one those three tunes on the Madame X Tour. (The other top 10s she’s yet to sing live? “This Used to Be My Playground,” a No. 1 hit from 1992; and “I’ll Remember,” which spent four weeks at No. 2 in 1994.) Watch the exchange in the interview, below, starting at the 6:10 mark.

“I’ll tell you why [they haven’t been performed]: Because they’re very laidback dreamy songs,” she said, suggesting that they don’t fit into her very high-energy, kick-butt shows.

Billboard countered: “‘Rescue Me’’s kinda punchy.”

Madonna: “‘Rescue Me’’s kinda dope! I’ve actually… I’ll consider that one. Your love has given me hope, OK? To quote the song.” (Listen to the original version of the tune, below.)

Madonna

The Madame X Tour is slated to play 81 dates in theaters in 10 cities in the United States and Europe. The trek, in support of her No. 1 Billboard 200 album Madame X, will wrap on March 4, 2020 in Paris at the Le Grand Rex.

More at Billboard

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Here Is The Glimpse Of Madonna’s Upcoming New Video!

Madonna is a very well-known artist and she always creates content that is out of the box and loved by everyone.

Madonna’s new song video drops tomorrow!

Madonna’s new song’s video is going to drop tomorrow morning at 9 am EST on Refinery29 website. Madonna took to Instagram and shared a short glimpse of her new Batuka video. She also mentioned how excited she is for the release of her new video.

What is Madame X?

“World of Madame X” is a short documentary of Madonna which details the release of her new album ‘Madame X’. The documentary is an overindulgent exercise.

Madame X is her 14th album that has been released in June. This album is a testament for her affinity for taking on new characters and traits within her work. In the film as well as in the music video which are of her album, Madonna takes on multiple personas that suit her different moods accordingly!

All about her new album

The character of Madame X becomes extremely catchy because of the changing identities. Under the greater auspices of “bringing light to new places”, in Madonna’s words, Madame X is, “a dancer, a professor, a head of state, a housekeeper, an equestrian, a prisoner, a student, a mother, a child, a teacher, a nun, a singer, a saint, a whore” and, “a spy in the house of love.”

What is the film actually about?

Her film was shot in Lisbon, Portugal. This place is the central source of inspiration for Madonna’s latest release. Madonna narrates that she moves to the city to become a soccer mom. And her latest record is born which influences most of the musical traditions of the city. Among them are the fado and Cape Verdean styles such as morna and funaná. However,  throughout the film, the influence feels more like Madonna’s way to reinvent herself and less like a source of inspiration.

Madonna’s experience in Portugal is an appropriate metaphor for the “World of Madame X” project as a whole. This film gives little weight to the subtle difference of taking on new personas and sounds in the scope of the artist’s work. Madonna is simply doing what Madonna wants to do only with a little thought given to relevancy or her role as an artist.

More at The Inner Sane.com

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