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Which breakup anthem should Madonna add to her 'Sticky & Sweet' tour set?

Madonnastickysweet_lYesterday’s word that Madonna and Guy Ritchie are divorcing was as expected as it was sad. Rumors of the couple’s inevitable split had been swirling for months, and (not surprisingly) (also a wee bit depressingly) a lot of the post-announcement talk centered on the cynical belief that the couple timed their announcement to coincide with the North American leg of her Sticky & Sweet tour and the Oct. 31 release of his new movie RocknRolla.

Yeah, I know, maybe there’s some truth in the speculation, but I’m kind of hoping Madge takes back the power, acknowledges the split, and expresses herself by adding a certified breakup anthem to her Sticky & Sweet set list. Sure, she could choose one of her own relationship farewells — think "Bye Bye Baby" or "The Power of Goodbye" or "You’ll See" — but I’m hoping for an iconic cover. Tell Madonna what you want to hear her sing in our poll below, or conversely, if you’re in favor of "other," then list your pick in the comments section below.

More on Madonna:
Madonna’s politically charged tour video: Is it any good?
Amy Winehouse and Madonna: Immortalized as Lego minifigures
Madonna’s 10 most underrated songs

addCredit(“Kevin Mazur/Getty Images”)

Madonna's politically charged tour video: Is it any good?

With all the recent furor over her (alleged) new face, (alleged) affair, and (alleged, we say!) marital problems, we almost forgot why Madonna became such a media target in the first place: The lady likes to push buttons. Political, sexual, spiritual, you name it; Madge has a long history of stirring the pot in her quest for artistic expression, social justice, and—let’s be honest here—plain old attention. So really, was anyone surprised by the news that her Sticky and Sweet Tour contains an incendiary video montage that links John McCain to Kim Jong Il and Hitler, while buddying Barack Obama with the Dalai Lama? The move is vintage Madge, a throwback to the feisty Italian-American girl of yore who supposedly told the Pope that if he wanted an audience with her, he could buy a ticket to her show. We loved that Madonna and we love her still, but it looks like age hasn’t made her any more eloquent. The stab at McCain (which found its way to YouTube this week) is about as clumsy as they come, and its nutty implications show a Madge who is less concerned about substance than shock value; otherwise we might be seeing something here that looks a little more like video art and a little less like a YouTube mashup made by an angsty armchair pundit.

What do you think PopWatchers? Is Madge’s video an edgy statement or just a cry for attention? And isn’t all the political junk just a smokescreen for the video’s real message that monocles are totally hot?

Name That Movie Mondays! (Vol. 6)

You remember how it works: We embed a song. You name the film that song was used in. Everyone who answers correctly feels good about themselves. (Or, maybe not…)
This week’s track is Madonna’s "Crazy For You." The answer after the jump.


Let's brainstorm scenarios for Britney and Madonna's latest venture!

Britneyspearsmadonna_lBritney Spears and Madonna are working together again! The 26-year-old pop star and sad driver of toy cars will shoot a video that will run on multiple 1,000-foot screens at Madge’s upcoming Sticky & Sweet tour. "Who cares?" you might think, but then again, if you start dreaming up possible video scenarios instead of doing your job, this news can actually be pretty fulfilling. (Especially when doing this IS your job.)

Right now I’m picturing Britney loungin’ on a plush cigarette-shaped sofa, casually popping cheese puffs into her mouth one by one while barely watching the only copy of Britney and Kevin: Chaotic ever purchased on DVD. (Side note: That horror show inspired one of EW.com’s all-time great TV Watches. Read it here.) The song is "Justify My Love (Of Chemical Additives Remix)," which will bleed seamlessly into "Candy Shop" right after Madonna bounds into the room doing a series of Tae-Bo kicks, then swings Britney around by her hair extensions for having such unhealthy eating habits. They’ll kick and scream, make up, exchange friendship bracelets composed of red string, then make out, because they realized they should never have been fighting, considering their mutual love of candy.

But I’m sure your scenario is more delicious…have at it!

Your finest camcorder production

Sonoframbow_lLast night, I saw a screening of the feel-good Sundance hit Son of Rambow (in theaters May 2). It’s about two young British boys — one a misunderstood, movie-loving bully; one a member of a religious sect that shuns entertainment (!) — who set out to make a sequel to First Blood. It’s set in the ’80s, so you get a great soundtrack (my favorite Cure song, "Close to Me," plays over the end credits). And since it’s really about the powerful imaginations and friendships we’re capable of as children, you will also get weepy — and nostalgic.

According to Rambow‘s production notes, writer-director Garth Jennings actually did shoot Rambo-inspired action-adventures with his friends after seeing a pirated video copy of First Blood when he was young. "Our stories, stunts, and special effects were outrageous in both ambition and stupidity," he admits, "but we thought our films were fantastic."

Did you ever commandeer the family camcorder and shoot your own productions? I only did it once, in high school, when my friend Mark wanted to film a solo recreation of the "Like a Prayer" number from Madonna’s Blond Ambition Tour. I remember walking into the bathroom, with the camera on, and saying "Oh…My…God," when I first saw him in his stuffed bra (underneath the black choir robe he’d borrowed from his church), putting on makeup and a somewhat sad, half-finished wig he’d made out of a rag mop. But the show had to go on… because my parents weren’t gonna be gone all night. We dimmed the lights in the family room, lit a few candles, positioned our friends Amy and Susi as adoring audience members, and I pressed record. Mark was amazing, right up until minute six, when he got dizzy doing those spins, stumbled around the room, and fell to the floor. I’m amazed that my laughter didn’t ruin the shot. I’d been standing on the couch, so I got a great angle. I wonder who has that tape now…

What was your finest camcorder production?

addCredit(“Bill Milner and Will Poulter: Maggie Ferreira”)

Is anyone else unexpectedly unexcited about the new Madonna CD?

Timberlakemadonna_lI’ve spent the last two decades locked in an oddly Pavlovian relationship with Madonna: She puts out a single, and I start salivating in anticipation of her album release date. So imagine my confusion that upon the release of "4 Minutes," her new duet with Justin Timberlake (pictured, with Madonna, at the latter’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction earlier this month), I’m experiencing symptoms of dry mouth and general ennui. The expected rush of anticipation over her upcoming Hard Candy disc (due April 29), well, it’s just not there. So what gives? Listen to the single, "4 Minutes," after the jump, and we’ll discuss.

addCredit(“Justin Timberlake and Madonna: Kevin Mazur/WireImage”)


Price put on priceless Madonna songs

Madonna_lGonna have a celebration? All across the nation? Not gonna happen — unless you’re willing to fork over a truckload of money to the original Material Girl. In an interview that aired Friday on New York’s Z100-FM, to promote the release of her forthcoming album, Hard Candy (due April 29), Madonna hinted that fans may have heard "Like A Virgin," live for the very last time.

”I’m not sure I can sing ‘Holiday’ or ‘Like A Virgin’ ever again,” said the singer, who then quickly amended her statement upon recognizing the opportunity to advance from ridiculously rich to absurdly wealthy. ”I just can’t — unless someone paid me like $30 million or something.” Well gosh, I guess I can just go ahead and cancel this gazillion dollar check, then. Who knew Madonna came so cheap? This holiday’s more affordable than the Budget Inn.

(Here’s a photo of Madonna at 1985’s Live Aid concert, where she sang "Holiday," presumably for free, along with "Into the Groove.")

How much would you pay to hear Madonna’s classics live? Did you know you could have Tara Reid, Michael Bolton, Nick Lachey, AND Mariah Carey to come to your birthday party, all for less than 3.5 million dollars?! And hey, I bet for an extra 20 bucks you could convince Tara to sing "Like A Virgin."

addCredit(“Madonna: Kevin Mazur/WireImage”)

On the scene: Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony

At the 23rd annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony at the Waldorf-Astoria in NYC on Monday, there were big stars (Madonna, Tom Hanks, Billy Joel), maximum-credibility artists (Iggy Pop, Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, Leonard Cohen), and by our count, three under-50 singers (Ben Harper, Damian Rice, and 49-and-a-half-year-old Joan Jett). So there was, you know, variety. But it may have been a mistake to broadcast, midway through the ceremony, footage of a jam session from 1988’s festivities. Performing "Satisfaction"? Jagger, Richards, Dylan, and Springsteen, as well as Ben E. King, Mary Wilson, John Fogerty, some non-Wilson Beach Boys, and a keytar! Nothing approached that kind of fantasy-camp lineup on Monday. Instead, we got Justin Timberlake, smirking and cracking innuendos like he was a Friar (his cheerleading testimonial seemed ready to burst into "San Dimas High School football rules!" at any moment); Lou Reed comparing a Leonard Cohen novel to Naked Lunch; a Tom Hanks speech so impassioned that he momentarily convinced the audience that the Dave Clark Five was the greatest band of the British Invasion; and, best of all, Iggy and the Stooges turning singles by fellow Detroiter Madonna ("Burning Up" — see embedded video below — and "Ray of Light") into no-wave anthems. ("The Stooges represent everything that’s against what she is," guitarist Ron Asheton told the Detroit Free Press on Monday, but bassist Mike Watt was seen bowing to Ms. Ciccone after the performance.)

Other notable moments, after the jump:


Catch a glimpse of 'Filth and Wisdom' (Madonna's directorial debut)

You may have read about Madonna screening her new feature, Filth and Wisdom, at the Berlin Film Festival this week, and now, Indiewire is screening a three-minute clip from the film (that you might not want to watch at the office, if your co-workers object to salty language and/or images of scantily-clad strippers rehearsing).

I’m not sure if there’s enough here to judge if Filth and Wisdom is good, bad, or somewhere in the middle, though I have to say, it’s nice to see a scene of a young woman who’s not proficient at working the pole. Cinematic depictions of exotic dancers always make it seem like any amateur can just grab hold and spin to her/his heart’s content (sometimes upside-down!); seeing a character lose a shoe and come to an awkward thud, well, it’s kinda invigorating, as is the moment where the young woman cleans her work station with some Windex.

The dialogue, on the other hand, is not quite as fresh. Somebody tell me the underlying message here isn’t "be the best stripper you can be," ’cause I can’t make heads or tails of the Madonna interview that accompanies the clip. "Non-judgment and duality"? Blah, blah, blah. I’m gonna go watch the video for "Burning Up" now.

To Care or Not to Care: Madonna the director

Madonna_lMadonna’s directorial debut, Filth and Wisdom, will premiere at February’s Berlin Film Festival. Apparently, it’s a "low-budget music-based comedy" that stars Richard E. Grant (Withnail & I). Are you jonesin’ to see what she’s capable of doing behind the camera? The woman’s never lacked vision. Or is your level of enthusiasm limp? (Maybe some folks, like those who starred in The Next Best Thing, shouldn’t be calling the shots on a movie set…)

And while we’re on the subject of Madonna and movies: Am I the only one who kinda liked Who’s That Girl, which was released 20 years ago?

addCredit(“Madonna: Jim Spellman/WireImage.com”)

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