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Tag: Madonna (71-80 of 120)

iPod inspection: The five best songs you never play

Madge_lLast weekend, in the midst of putting together a dinner-party playlist, I noticed something surprising: There are several hundred songs that I’ve never played on my iPod (which I’ve had for a year and a half) or the iTunes on my computer (which I’ve had for more than two years). And these ignored tracks don’t just include album filler that I haven’t gotten around to deleting; dozens of favorites have been sitting dormant for the last 24 months, just waiting for me to press play. Here’s my top five:

Groove Armada’s "At the River"
The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s "Manic Depression"
Kelli Ali’s "Psychic Cat"
Madonna’s "Don’t Tell Me"
Sade’s "Like a Tattoo"

How about you guys? Give your music library a good, thorough once-over and then share with your fellow PopWatchers: What are the five best songs you never play?

addCredit(“Madonna: Gilles Bensimon”)

What is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame thinking?!

Madonna_lSo the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced this year’s inductees today — and as usual, they’ve made some truly bizarre decisions. The lucky artists are Madonna, Leonard Cohen, John Mellencamp, the Dave Clark Five, and the Ventures. Now, Madge (pictured, around the time she started earning her place on this list) and L.Co are basically no-brainers, as PopWatch’s Gary Susman observed back in October: decades-long careers, unique and influential sounds, millions of loyal fans. No arguments there. Hey, I’ll even get on board with the instrumental surf-rock noodlers of the Ventures, this year’s biggest long-shot nominees. I might not be able to pick them out of a lineup or name a single member (unless "the guy with the wah-wah pedal" counts), but c’mon, you know you love to hum "Walk Don’t Run."

But those last two inductees? I’m sorry. John Mellencamp and Dave Clark seem like totally nice guys, even more or less competent musicians. But they’re not legends! At best, they’re cut-rate knockoffs of two legit legends who are already in the Hall of Fame — Bruce Springsteen and the Beatles, respectively. I still remember a feature that ran on the cover of my local paper’s arts section when I was about 10 years old, all about a very angry area man’s crusade to convince the world that those no-good Lennon and McCartney had ripped off his idols, the Dave Clark Five. (No, my local paper was NOT The Onion.) Did that lunatic somehow get on to the R’n’R HoF committee? And as for Mellencougar, or whatever his name is, this guy doesn’t belong anywhere but the Crass Shill Hall of Fame.

Meanwhile, the nominees who didn’t make the final cut this year — Chic, Donna Summer, the Beastie Boys, and Afrika Bambaataa — were hugely influential, each and every one of them. But hey, disco and rap didn’t play any important role in the last 25 years of popular music, right? Ugh. I guess I’m not exactly surprised, given the Hall’s always strained relationship with music made after LBJ left office, but still, this is ridiculous. Isn’t it?

addCredit(“Madonna: Kees Tabak / Sunshine / Retna”)

Do you care about the Madonna-Warner Bros. divorce?

Madonna_lSo by now, you’ve probably heard the news that Madonna is planning to end her 24-year relationship with Warner Bros. Records and sign a $120 million recording and touring deal with Live Nation, a concert-promotions company that will handle not only Madge’s record releases, but her touring and merchandising as well. I woke up this morning realizing I kinda had to mention it on PopWatch — I mean, it’s big news about one of the world’s biggest pop stars — but if I’m being completely honest, I can’t make myself care.

Okay, yeah, pundits are saying it’s another nail in the coffin of the record business as we know it, but given the labels’ "go platinum or get dumped" approach to music in recent years, perhaps that was inevitable. And ultimately, Madonna will still be making records (and a whole lot of money); as a consumer, it doesn’t really matter to me what label gets slapped on the back of the CD packaging. In fact, after reading this Associated Press news account, the thing that’s stuck in my brain like popcorn in the tooth is the following phrase: "the 49-year-old pop singer." Madonna’s going to be 50 next year? How did that happen? Is this why I sometimes have a pain in my knee when I get out of bed?

That said, I’m hoping Madonna’s move to Live Nation will herald a return to her status as the world’s greatest video artist. Hey, she’s got to do something with all those millions. Why not make a clip as lush and riveting as her classic "Bad Girl" (which you can catch in its entirety, after the jump)?

addCredit(“Madonna: Harold Cunningham/WireImage.com”)


Let's handicap the new Rock Hall of Fame nominees

Madonna_lAnother year, another batch of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees who make me feel really old. Remember, you have to have released your first record 25 years ago to be eligible, so the fact that the Beastie Boys and Madonna (pictured in 1983, at the dawn of her recording career) qualify this year makes my joints ache. Along with Madge and the rap/rock trio, this year’s nominees also include disco titans Donna Summer and Chic, rap trailblazer Afrika Bambaataa, rocker John Mellencamp, and three acts that flourished back in the ’60s: Brit-beat hitmakers the Dave Clark Five, singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen, and instrumental surf rockers the Ventures.

Of these nominees, Madonna seems the only shoo-in, and maybe Cohen, a critical fave who remains still active and influential. Chic, the DC5, and Mellencamp have all been nominated before; they may get in this time on sympathy votes among those who felt they were robbed before. Summer deserves it, but the anti-disco bias that has kept Chic out could work against her, too. The Beasties will surely make it in eventually, but voters may feel there’s plenty of time yet for them. Bambaataa may not have a substantial enough body of work, and the Ventures may be too arcane.

I know, anyone who had any amount of real rock and roll attitude wouldn’t want to be in the Hall, but let’s play along and speculate on who will actually get inducted at the annual ceremony next March, who deserves to get in, and who should have been nominated but wasn’t. (C’mon, guys, the Replacements!)

addCredit(“Madonna: Richard E. Aaron / Retna”)

iPod inspection!: Please press 'shuffle' now!

Hoff_lIt’s been a month since we last played a game of "iPod Inspection," and today, I thought it might be fun to just hit the old "Shuffle Songs" function, and see what my little silver friend has to say about me. So without further ado…

Susanna Hoffs (pictured),"Only Love"
OmaraPortuondo, "Siempre en Mi Córazon"
Anastacia,"I’m Outta Love"
CrystalWaters, "The Boy From Ipanema"
Madonna, "Hollywood"

Alrighty then!Apparently, my iPod is saying I’m gayer than a tangerine wearing a feather boashopping for ginger bodywash at Origins, but I think most of you already knewthat. So moving right along, what are the first five songs you get when you hit’shuffle,’ and what do these tracks reveal about who you are (if anything)?

addCredit(“Susanna Hoffs: Larry Busacca/Retna”)

50 biggest scandals since '82: What'd we forget?

So this morning we posted EW’s countdown of the top 25 biggest celebrity scandals of the past 25 years. (Online-only bonus: Check out Nos. 50-26 here!) Anyway, the full list of 50 is chock-full of things that make me die inside, including Ted Danson performing blackface while roasting then-girlfriend Whoopi Goldberg (No. 40), Woody Allen marrying Soon-Yi Previn (No. 6), and Michael Jackson dangling baby Blanket (No. 5). Other usual suspects on the list: R. Kelly, Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears, Mel Gibson.

Now we want to hear from you, P-Dubs: What did we forget to include? Maybe it’s too recent to go down in the annals of "xx"-dom, but seems like Denise Richards’ nasty split from Charlie Sheen (who’s already on this list, natch) and her subsequent involvement with friend Heather Locklear’s ex, Richie Sambora, is tawdry enough to deserve a spot here. What say you?

Madonna has an army

Madonna_lRemember those stories last week about paparazzi in Vietnam throwing things under Brangelina’s car? Well, similarly orphan-fond mom Madonna appears to have taken steps to avoid a similar situation: When she visited her kid’s Malawian orphanage yesterday, the building was circled by schoolchildren who threw rocks at the paparazzi to keep them away.

I’m not sure if this constitutes an official response on my part, but: hahahahahahahahahaha.

Okay, there is no way to know if Madonna had a hand in organizing that army of rock-pelting kids, but I sure as hell like her better if she did. Not that I’m advocating violence. And not that Madonna doesn’t actively cultivate publicity through her actions. Honestly, I’m not sure anyone’s innocent in this scenario. Maybe we should blame the gossip rags that pay top dollar for grainy photographs of famous people in private situations? Or maybe we should blame ourselves for caring in the first place? (Wait. Am I part of the problem? Quick! Pretend this post doesn’t exist!)

Weigh in, PopWatchers: You’re in a glass house and you each get one stone to throw. Where’s it going?

addCredit(“Madonna: AFP/Getty Images”)

Get ready to rock out and save the planet at Live Earth

Madonna_lAl Gore took another step toward sainthood — or at least becoming the next Bob Geldof — when the musical acts for his Live Earth concert extravaganza were announced today. As you’ll recall, the 24-hour, globally simulcast program will take place on July 7th (you know, 07/07/07, which symbolizes… well, I don’t know what) and feature scores of artists grinding out tunes in seven concerts on seven continents (oh, I get it now!) in order to raise awareness for climate crisis. The stars are a diverse lot, and, I must say, a pretty impressive one, too. Here are some of the bigger names:

Performing in London
• Beastie Boys
• Black-Eyed Peas
• Duran Duran
• Foo Fighters
• Genesis
• James Blunt
• John Legend
• Madonna
• Red Hot Chili Peppers

Performing in New Jersey
• Alicia Keys
• Bon Jovi
• Dave Matthews Band
• John Mayer
• Kanye West
• Kelly Clarkson
• Sheryl Crow
• Smashing Pumpkins
• The Police

So there you have it. Thoughts? Concerns? How do you think this lot compares to Live Aid’s 1985 roster? Or to that of Live 8 two summers ago? What about major acts like Madonna (pictured) and the Police roughing it with all sorts of flavors-of-the-moment? Where the bleep is U2? Maybe they’ll appear at one of the other five concerts, whose lineups have yet to be announced. Even still, will you tune in?

addCredit(“Madonna: Jun Sato/WireImage.com”)

Snap judgment: Corbin Bleu's 'Deal With It' video

And now it’s time for another installment of "Are You Old?" Please answer the following question.

Corbin Bleu is:
A) A delicious and savory way to prepare chicken.
B) An expensive alternative to French’s.
C) The former star of L.A. Law.
D) The name of Leah Remini’s baby boy.

And the answer is E) You are old! Ha ha, PopWatchers…I tricked you!

Corbin Bleu is one of the stars of that High School Musical thing the kids keep talking about, and now he has a new music video for a song called "Deal With It." (Don’t worry… I wouldn’t have known the answer 30 minutes ago, either). So let’s take a crash course in Teen 101 and watch the clip together.

The opening snippets of stilted dialogue from Corbin’s ladyfriend — "Corbin can you explain it to me? You know what? I don’t even wanna hear about it" — seem to have been stolen from Madonna’s H&M "What is IT?" campaign. But I will give 10 points for the way Corbin’s lustrous hair bounces as he looks to and fro in confusion while sitting in the driver’s seat. The rest of the video is relatively one-note, with Corbin (clad in a somewhat womanly black tank top) leading his teen troupe in a zealously edited dance routine, then later posing in front of an orange muscle car and sporting a dazzling orange sweatshirt. The song itself has an okay rubbery bassline, but vocally and lyrically, I don’t want to deal with it. You’re really gonna rhyme "I ain’t tellin’ you no lies" with "Tell me why you rolled your eyes"? Oh Corbin, trust me, you don’t want to get me started. And no, you are no Joey Lawrence.

Could Madonna's H&M ad be the new '30 Rock'?

So just when I’d finally come to the conclusion that, no, Madonna should not act again — late-night cable screenings of Swept Away will do that to even the most die-hard fanboy — out comes an ad campaign for the pop star’s new H&M clothing line that is wickedly addictive and twistedly funny. If you haven’t seen it yet…

Anyhow, I love this campaign so much that I would — no joke — tune in every week if the retail chain turned Madge’s stern fashion taskmistressbot into the lead character of a weekly network sitcom — think Sprockets meets Ugly Betty meets What Not to Wear. Just like the Law & Order‘s meet-the-corpse "dun-dun"  intro, each week’s H&M episode could begin the same way, with a hapless fashion victim being dragged before a style court, where Madonna would ask, "How can I help you?" Cut to 22 minutes of haute-couture courses, mildly violent fittings, and, of course, the final "look what they’ve done" reveals, complete with silent single tears from the mute female assistants, and you’ve got the perfect companion to 30 Rock.

Plus, it already got brilliant catchphrases.

Madonna: [Slap!]
Wacky "Mittel European" sidekick: "I lah-ve you!"

And I love it!

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