Madonna news - May 2009


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29 May - Mirwais gets interviewed about Madonna and current projects
Mirwais gave an exclusive interview to French gay magazine Tetu, to promote his new musical project called Arabology with Lebanese signer Yasmine. He was asked several Madonna-related questions (thanx to AbsolumentMadonna for the translation):

Mirwais, after you worked with Madonna, people expected you to produce music for a huge US pop star...
Mirwais: It's not who I am. First of all, I didn't seek Madonna, she came to me. The fact is, she listened to my Production album, she loved 'Naive Song' and she wanted me to give it to her for her own album. I refused, but I accepted to collaborate with her, because there was no compromise in the work we were about to do. Also, once I collaborated with the Queen Bee, whoever came after her seemed a little boring to me! But many came to ask me to produce tracks, from Depeche Mode to Jennifer Lopez. But I said no to all of them.

You didn't work on any of the tracks featured on the latest Madonna album. Do you have any projects with her?
Mirwais: We still have some tracks that we're supposed to do together. Especially one that I really like, a very folkish song, but her latest album had a more R&B sound. Also, I've worked on 3 of her albums, I'm the only producer she collaborated with that much. I think I've had my share... I'm also convinced that she's someone I can easily make a very good track with. Just like with Daniel (Darc, from his first band, Taxi Girl), Juliette (part of his other ex-band, Juliette et les Independents) or Yasmine today.

Is Yas a political project?
Mirwais: Not at all. I don't want any misinterpretations on the subject, even though I'm Afgan and Yasmine is Lebanese! I'm well aware of the fact that the people are going to expect that we make some kind of political statements, especially about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict... I already experienced these kinds of situations. In 2003, when I wrote American Life with Madonna, it was around the time of the war in Iraq, and very few people supported her, especially in the press or in Hollywood...

Have you tried to make Madonna sing in Arabic?
Mirwais: No, but I could have. We stopped working together the moment I started working on the project with Yasmine. There were some Hebrew words on Confessions On A Dance Floor, but you know, Madonna's thing is more Kabbalah than the Arabic language! (laughs) At the same time, if you like it or not, I don't think Madonna is realy about making things change.

What about you, Yasmine, how would you feel about being called the Arabic Madonna?
Yasmine: You totally caught me off guard. What I can say, is that Madonna and George Michael helped me go through my sexual revolution. After all, it's an honour to be compared to her, but it's also a bit restrictive. I'm way more punk than she'll ever be, you know.

~ Of course Mirwais is not Madonna's most used producer, as she worked with Stephen Bray & Patrick Leonard for a longer period. Also, Mirwais must have forgotten that early 2005 he did collaborate with another act, namely with Fischerspooner, on the album 'Odyssey'.


29 May - Oakenfold wants to wow Madonna's diverse crowd
DJ Paul Oakenfold is struggling to put together a playlist for his upcoming shows supporting Madonna - because the crowd will be so diverse.
The superstar DJ will be the Material Girl's warm-up act on the latest leg of her Sticky & Sweet world tour this summer (09), and he wants to get everyone in the crowd fired up and dancing.
But he's finding it difficult to plan what music to play as he doesn't think his usual style will go down well with the wide range of fans Madonna attracts.
Oakenfold says, "Planning my set for a Madonna show is tough because she covers the spectrum. It's a white, black, gay, straight crowd, aged between 15 to 60. It's no good making it too underground.
"Despite the big venues, it'll still be clubby and I'll get the crowd going. And it doesn't take much to get Madonna in the mood."
Oakenfold is also teaming up with the singer to produce three new tracks on her upcoming Greatest Hits album. (source: ContactMusic)


28 May - Israel & other tidbits
According to fansite MadonnaTribe, the Sticky & Sweet Tour is indeed reaching Israel, as Madonna is set to end the 2009 tour on September 1st, in Tel Aviv's Hayarkon Park. An official announcement should be coming very soon.

Moreover, it seems Attitude magazine got the song titles wrong, because "I'm sorry" is just a repeated phrase in the song Broken, which means there are only 2 Oakenfold tracks (the correct title is possibly 'Broken (I'm Sorry)').

And finally, some new details were revealed on the upcoming changes of the tour setlist, check them out on our spoilers page!


27 May - 3 Oakenfold-produced song titles revealed
Nobody else knows about this (well aside from Paul Oakenfold, Madonna, some studio people, her manager, friends, Lourdes, Rocco, David and several hundread nannies) but we can exclusively reveal the name of the new songs that Paul Oakenfold has recorded with her royal highness, all time queen of the pop fiefdom and snout rubberer of the puffed up and self righteous in the poop (ie Madonna).
We just got off the blower with legendary superstar DJ Paul Oakenfold for a little interview we will be running in our July issue out at the end of June in our nightlife section. Paul is doing his amazing thing all over the world and has been Djing for the Madonna tour of last year which returns to London on Pride day July 4th before going to Manchester and then heading out into the wider world. So taken with the Oakenfold was she that she invited him into the studio to work on some new tracks for possible inclusion on Madonna's highly anticipated new Greatest Hits album due for release sometime this year.

Paul said Madonna was highly professional, he learned a lot and that the new tracks are 'lyrically classic Madonna with an edgy modern sound'.
'Oooh' we gasped, as we help the phone on a cord under our chin, and whipped up an omelette with the other hand, in a Thelma and Louise serving omelettes in a Texas Diner kind of way.
He told us the tracks were sitting right there next to him and he told us what they are called. He didn't know which ones would be the Greatest Hits CD and didn't know when it would be out, though he imagined the run up to Christmas 'when most greatest hits come out'. Our other pixie sources have told us that it may well be before that (ie Madonna wrote in a fan newsletter that it would be spring).

So, the song titles are... (in no order)

Broken

I'm Sorry

and

Celebrate

So there we are. We don't know what this says about our glorious leader's emotional state – the first two we decided were about her sadness at splitting from Guy but then we thought maybe she is saying 'celebrate my freedom, I'm sorry I waited so long and I've broken the bed with Jesus'.
But who knows.
We are hovering our hands over our crystal balls in a mystical manner and predict that the album may well just be called
MADONNA CELEBRATE. But that is just a guess, because we're slightly OCD.
Yay.
Paul Oakenfold supports Madonna at the O2 in London and in Manchester in early July. He also headlines at Wireless in Hyde Park, London. (source: Attitude)


26 May - Givenchy creating new looks for tour
Women's Wear Daily published an article on Ricardo Tisci of Givenchy, which includes a brief mention of the Sticky & Sweet Tour:
"Meanwhile, Tisci's costume design duties continue to grow. The designer said he's creating new looks for Madonna's ongoing tour"
Previously, Arianne Phillips was quoted for refurbishing and creating new looks for the 2009 leg of the tour. Currently, it is unknown whether all the costumes are going to be reworked, or Tisci was just asked to recreate the costumes that coincide with the newly added songs.
Ricardo Tisci of Givenchy is responsible for the Gangsta Pimp and Gypsy outfits of the show. Keep in mind that the DVD release of this tour is going to contain the 2008 version of the show and the changes are more likely to appear as separate bonus features, than as parts of a newly filmed full show.


24 May - Something to remember: Re-Invent Yourself!
Performing Die Another Day @ Re-Invention TourConstantly referred to as the Queen of Reinvention in the media, Madonna decided to take a spoof on that title when she launched her Re-Invention Tour 5 years ago, on May 24th, 2004. For her sixth full tour, Madonna decided to pay tribute to various eras of her career, as the main motive of the show was giving winks and nods to her past live extravaganzas and costumes. While the tour had a very limited itineary, only hitting North America and selected Western European cities, the show was well-received by fans and critics alike for redressing the balance after the so-called self-indulgent setlist of the Drowned World Tour, being her first ever live retrospective, revisiting many of her hits.
The show was divided into five different segments and featured at least one song from each of her studio albums. Unlike on her other tours, the five costumes practically remained the same during each of their respective acts. The designers of the ensembles were Christian Lacroix, Stella McCartney and Arianne Phillips. The concert included such highlights as the yoga-infused opener Vogue, the military march of Express Yourself, a gorgeously sung jazzy rendition of Deeper And Deeper, the high-energy tango of Die Another Day and the electric chair drama of the dark Evita finale Lament, the sincere acoustic folk of Mother And Father, and the back-to-back lighthearted fun of Into The Groove & Papa Don't Preach. All of Madonna's tours include samples, interpolations or live snippets of non-Madonna songs, but this is the only Madonna show that features a fully performed cover song, John Lennon's Imagine, "the ultimate peace song", as Madonna referred to it.
Unfortunately it also meant that her then-current American Life album did not have much share in the spotlight, it was especially surprising that Hollywood was relegated to an interlude and her then-most recent single Love Profusion was snubbed from the setlist.
Performing Into The Groove @ Re-Invention TourRe-Invention became the most lucrative tour of 2004 with grossing nearly $125 million and selling 900,000 tickets. Madonna decided to immortalize her life on the road and enlisted longtime collaborator Jonas Akerlund to capture her touring days on film, which resulted in the much-delayed I'm Going To Tell You A Secret, that eventually got released on DVD in mid-2006.
While the tour documentary features several perfectly shot, but edited performances from Paris (accompanied by a live CD that ironically puts the emphasis on American Life), unfortunately for fans it's the only way to see professional footage of the 2004 tour. Even after 5 years, there's still no DVD release in sight, and even though the final two shows in Lisbon were filmed, recently Madonna's manager Guy Oseary revealed that there are no immediate plans for the release but it would come out "someday"...
To celebrate the 5th anniversary of the Re-Invention Tour, check out our recently revamped details page and vote for your favourite segment of the show in our new poll!


20 May - Official Sticky & Sweet DVD performances for BlackBerry
10 videos taken from the upcoming Sticky & Sweet Tour DVD are now available for streaming for owners of a BlackBerry Bold from AT&T!

The selection includes the following performances:

Candy Shop
Beat Goes On
Vogue
Die Another Day
Music
Spanish Lesson
Miles Away
La Isla Bonita
Get Stupid
4 Minutes

For more info, please visit http://www.blackberry.com/select/madonna/ (source: Madonna.com)
~ If you do not have a BlackBerry, use this page and open the links of the song pages in QuickTime player to see a fantastic preview for a very promising DVD, filmed in Buenos Aires, Argentina!


17 May - How Madonna found her Jesus
She's always liked them hot, young and Latin, but Madonna's latest boy toy has another special charm -- he was a Kabbalist before they even met.
Madonna & Jesus @ The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute Gala Jesus Luz, 22, immersed himself in the religion while he was still a struggling model in Rio de Janeiro. Since the late 1990s, Madonna has been an avid follower of the movement, which stems from Jewish mysticism and equates God to a ray of light.
"Madonna must have thought she met God when she found Jesus," said a Kabbalah devotee in New York, noting that "Jesus Luz" translates from Portuguese as "Jesus Light." Leonardo Reis, manager of the Kabbalah Center in Rio, helped Luz with his studies starting in July 2008, six months before Jesus met Madonna. "All I can say to you is that Madonna is really, really happy with Jesus," Reis said. "When she found out he was into Kabbalah, they really started to hit it off." Reis organized a special Shabbat dinner for the couple and their friends after they met at a Rio photo shoot last December. The dinner, complete with lit candles and guests clothed in white, was held at sunset in Madonna's luxe suite at the Copacabana Palace Hotel with its stunning views of the Atlantic.
Spirituality has always been a part of Luz's life. His mother, Cristiane Regina da Silva, 37, is a member of the "Evangelicals," a growing Protestant cult movement in Brazil. His father, an administrator at a public hospital in the Rio suburbs, says he decided to name his son Jesus because he admired the philosophy of Christ. But four years after baby Jesus was born, the family split. Cristiane, a colorist at a tony Ipanema salon, raised Luz on her own in a gritty part of downtown Rio. Still, she was determined to give him the kind of life she never had. By the time he was an adolescent, Cristiane managed to save enough money to enroll him in a private prep school and encouraged his modeling career.
Madonna & Jesus for W Magazine Luz had star quality from a young age. At his prep school, girls sought out his autograph because of his intense blue eyes, said a former girlfriend. Those eyes must have also been a hit with photographer Steven Klein, who chose Luz's picture from a stack of portfolio shots provided by model agent Sergio Mattos. According to Mattos, Klein offered Luz and two other male models $100 each for a two-day shoot in Rio for W magazine. The models didn't know they would be working alongside Madonna until they arrived at the session in December.

After the first day of shooting, Luz went home to his mother in such a good mood that he insisted on celebrating. "The first picture session with Madonna resulted in his coming home really happy," said Cristiane in an interview with a Brazilian magazine. "He even opened a bottle of champagne."
But not everyone in Luz's circle was joining in the fun. Shortly after the W shoot, Jesus dumped girlfriend Krishna Siqueira, a sultry model who introduced him to Kabbalah when they started dating last July. "My mother gave Jesus letters of the Kabbalah for him to meditate on," said Siqueira, who like many of Luz's friends lost touch with the model after Madonna whisked him to New York this year.
Luz's move to the Big Apple has paid off. The boy toy, who is also devoted to macrobiotic cuisine and is fluent in English, is now a high-profile Ford Model who recently shot a Dolce & Gabbana's menswear campaign for fall/winter 2009-2010. Jesus Luz for Dolce & GabbanaAlthough Ford Models refused to say how much Luz makes per gig, a Brazilian newspaper reported that he was commanding a $100,000 fee to appear at a local fashion show shortly after he started dating Madonna. Luz's earnings have also enabled him to finance his mother's recent move into an upscale apartment in Ipanema.
In New York, Luz is now a regular at hotspots like the Waverly Inn and earlier this month escorted Madonna to the Metropolitan Museum's Costume Institute Ball, considered the city's society event of the year. He's friends with Marc Jacobs and the famous designer's Brazilian companion, Lorenzo Martone, who has become a mentor to the young model. In March, Jacobs wrote a letter to US authorities to help Luz obtain a work permit here.
Every Saturday morning, Madonna and Luz attend services at the Kabbalah Centre in Midtown, and he spends his free time jogging in Central Park, reading Deepak Chopra and attending a school for DJs, friends say. "His passion is electronic music," his best friend in Rio told The Post. "He is really working hard to become a DJ."
Luis Heitor Luz, Jesus' 46-year-old father, told The Post his son is firmly committed to the pop star. "I know he loves Madonna, and I wouldn't be surprised if they get married," he said. "People speak about the difference in their ages but this is nonsense. I was 23 and his mother was 14 when Jesus was born." Although it was recently reported that Madonna and Jesus planned to wed in a Kabbalah commitment ceremony, a spokeswoman for the pop queen last week flatly denied the rumors. But in Rio, a Kabbalist who knows the couple said, "There is no need for marriage. They are already spiritually joined." (source: New York Post)


16 May - Changes in the Sticky & Sweet Tour setlist
Fansite MadonnaTribe reveals the changes for the 2009 setlist of the Sticky & Sweet Tour, kicking off on July 4th in London. Check out our spoilers page to find out the details.
UPDATE: in spoilers, you can now find the titles of the songs that are IN as well as those that are OUT.

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