Views on pop culture through my eyes

Posts tagged ‘Madonna’

Christmas Album Wish List

Are you ready for Christmas music? As a music fan, I enjoy buying new Christmas music every year from my favorite artists. Over the years, I have amassed quite a collection of Christmas albums — everything from Amy Grant and Cyndi Lauper to En Vogue and Kenny Chesney. This year brings new seasonal music from Fantasia, Gwen Stefani and Sia. It seems like every artist records a Christmas album (or at least a song) over the course of their career. Here are the artists I hope to hear Christmas music from in the near future:

 

Superstars

  • Madonna. She only did “Santa Baby” on the “A Very Special Christmas” album. Image if she brought her song craft to some Christmas originals. I would love it, but I have serious doubts she will ever do it.
  • Bruce Springsteen. He has a Christmas song too, but no album as of yet. I can’t think of any rock Christmas albums. A mix of old and new would be music to many Boss lovers.
  • Diana Ross. Sure, she did an album with the Supremes, and even a solo Christmas album in 1994 — but it was never released in America. Isn’t time it came out here, or she recorded new takes on Christmas classics. She could call on her children to help her out.
  • Janet Jackson. Wouldn’t you love to hear what Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis and Janet would do with a batch of holiday tunes? I am sure we would be dancing around the Christmas tree!

 

Current Pop Stars

  • Rihanna. She is one of the most consistent hit-makers of the last decade. She always find ways to surprise her fans with her music. I would love to see this happen.
  • Lady GaGa. Yeah, she isn’t as popular as she used to be — but she can still sing as evidenced by this year’s Super Bowl. She could do an album of very traditional songs with Tony Bennett, or a dance-pop Christmas album. I would be interested in both.

 

Country

  • Dierks Bentley. Hunky county star Dierks could do a bluegrass Christmas album or a modern country pop album. He would shine on the CMA Christmas special I am sure.
  • Carrie Underwood. Vocal powerhouse Carrie Underwood would be sure to be a bestseller, if she ever releases a holiday album. I am sure there would be a few spiritual songs on there. Another one that I could see being a #1 album.
  • Little Big Town. This group, that I describe as a country version of Fleetwood Mac, is known for their trademark vocal harmonies. A good mix of traditional songs plus a few new tunes too would be a winning formula.

 

Divas

  • Taylor Dayne. Taylor has one of the most distinctive voices of the 80-90’s. I could see her putting her own spin on some Christmas favorites. “Tell It to my Heart, Santa” could be a good title for one song.
  • Jill Scott. I heard she was great at the Hollywood Bowl this past summer. A soulful holiday celebration, with a few gospel tinged numbers would be great.
  • Angie Stone. Another big-voiced R&B diva. She has worked with Josh Groban in the past, and Justin Timberlake is a fan too. Imagine a Christmas duets album, that would be something different in the market.
  • Jennifer Lopez. Can you think of a Latin pop Christmas album? Neither can I. Just imagine all the guest stars she could pull in for the accompanying TV special… Pitbull, Enrique, Marc Anthony, Lin-Manual, and more.
  • Britney Spears. She’s only done 1 Christmas song in the past. How about a Christmas album to tie us over till her next all-new pop album? I would love to hear her take on holiday classics, and a few choice new tunes too.

 

80’s

  • The Human League. The ground-breaking new-wave group could bring something new to the table for sure. I would definitely be up for this.
  • Bon Jovi. Jon and the crew would definitely rock the holiday. Again, a mix of new and old songs would be just right. Maybe even call in former duet partner, Jennifer Nettles.
  • Belinda Carlisle. The voice of the 80’s girl band, The Go-Go’s. Plus she had a decent solo career too. Songs about Christmas in L.A., or maybe songs with some hippie-dippy vibes.
  • Duran Duran. Another big 80’s band. They could call in Mark Ronson or Nile Rodgers (both of whom they worked with before) to produce the album for them. I would love to hear them take on some original songs.

 

Boy Bands

  • Backstreet Boys. NSync did a holiday album back in the day, surprisingly BSB did not. It is never too late. Call up Max Martin and get this one going. I am sure it would sell well for them.
  • One Direction. With the members all enjoying varying degrees of solo success, it may be awhile before we get to this album. But they are good singers, and would definitely bring something different to the table.

And that’s my list! Did I miss anyone? Did I leave out one of your favorites? Please sound off in the comments below. Thanks for reading.

KiltManinSoCal is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and Real Men Wear Kilts lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.

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Concerts from the Past I Wish I Could Have Attended

 

As a huge live music fan, this is a fun topic for me to talk about. All the performances mentioned happened in my lifetime. I am sure it would have been great to see Elvis or the Beatles during their heydays too, but I am not so familiar with their tours or performances. So that is why they are not included here. So in no particular order, here are performances I wish I had seen in person:

Blondie’s “The Hunter” tour
One of my all-time favorite groups, this was the last tour before they broke up in the 80’s… I think they even broke up during this tour. They were coming off a string of commercially successful albums (Parallel Lines, Eat to the Beat, AutoAmerican, “Call Me”); and this was the most successful version of the band as far as the lineup of the members. This tour played the Greek Theater in Los Angeles.

Bee Gee’s “Spirits Having Flown” tour
They had just come off the successful “Saturday Night Fever” soundtrack, and this was their first album since that breakthrough. This album had hits too: Tragedy, Love You Inside Out and Too Much Heaven. This tour stopped at Dodger Stadium.

Donna Summer’s “Bad Girls” tour
Donna was also celebrating back to back hit albums at this point. She had shown the world how great a live performer she was on the “Live and More” album. The tour for this fantastic double album I am sure was amazing. This tour stopped at the Hollywood Bowl.

Madonna’s “The Virgin Tour”
The first tour from the material girl. Tickets sold out so fast… I wasn’t able to get any. These would be the smallest venues she would ever play on a regular tour. And she has been at it for over 30 years now. It was just her, 2 backup dancers and the band, but you could tell from her performance this was someone to be taken seriously… with how she commanded the stage. This tour stopped at the Universal Amphitheatre and the Pacific Amphitheatre too.

Madonna’s “The Girlie Show”
Madonna was on the outs in the US during this tour. There had been a backlash after the Sex book and the “Erotica” album. There were a couple of US dates on this tour, but most of it was outside of the US. It would have been excellent to be there. No Los Angeles area performances.

Live Aid
The bi-coastal concerts to benefit hunger relief in Africa. Simultaneous concerts in both Philadelphia and London, this was the TV event of 1985. Anyone who is anyone was on this show: Queen, Madonna, Thompson Twins, Duran Duran, Mick Jagger, Tina Turner and so much more. It would have been great to say you saw part of it in person.

Luther Vandross
One of the greatest soul singers of the last century — he was one of those people who could sing practically anything. I never followed his career that closely… so I can’t single out a single tour from him. But when he died, I regretted never having the chance to see him perform live. Performed Hollywood Bowl, Universal and more in Los Angeles area.

Diana Ross “Concert in Central Park”
I remember seeing this performance on TV… the day with the rain and the makeup show too. Diana was a true trouper and definitely made sure the show went on. I have seen Diana a few times at the Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles, but that show would have been fun to be at.

So that’s my list. What performers and tours did you miss? I would love to hear from you.

KiltManinSoCal is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and Real Men Wear Kilts lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.

Can We Be Objective?

Can we really be objective when it comes to art? When we watch a film, listen to an album, stream a TV show, or go to an art gallery — we bring with us our pasts, our prejudices, likes and dislikes into the equation. And they will inform and affect how we react to the current item being experienced.objective

I came up with this topic, after I heard a discussion about Madonna’s appearance on the Grammys in 2015. The people on the podcast were asking “Did you like Madonna’s performance, because it is Madonna” or was it a good performance on it’s own? If you are a fan of her, you have a history with her… your favorite Madonna performances on music video or in her concerts. Would you have liked the performance by another artist?

Since I am a big entertainment fan, I ask myself questions like this all the time. It is hard when you go to a concert, to not compare the performance to the record, and to any previous times you have seen them perform. When you see a movie, you may compare the movie to a better one, or the actors to their previous movies. There have been plenty of times I thought the movie worked because of the actors. That if it was a bunch of nobodies in the film, it wouldn’t be as interesting as having actors you were more familiar with and invested in.

For live shows, they really can’t be compared to their records, especially with dance pop stuff. I would prefer to see the spectacle, with all the set changes, lights, dancers and costumes versus having every note sung perfectly and the singer just standing there. So for me, I can forgive some lip-synching if the performance is there. Adele you want to hear her hit every note, Madonna, well, she’s a great performer not a great singer.

And then think about all the entertainment award shows? It is sort of silly to pit one person against another… especially since art is so subjective, everyone has their own opinion about what makes something great or not. Maybe it would be fair, if you could have 5 different actors doing the exact same role, and then judging one against the other. But that is not going to happen. Same for having 5 different performers singing the same song — not going to happen.

What about Hollywood’s love of remakes or reboots? Is Ben Affleck a better Batman than Michael Keaton or Christian Bale? Is a sequel as good as the previous movie? I am sure you have your opinions, like we all do.

So to answer the Madonna question posed… yes, I enjoyed it because it was Madonna. But if it was Miley Cyrus doing the same performance, I think I would have liked it too. But if it was Selena Gomez, maybe not so much.

KiltManinSoCal is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and Real Men Wear Kilts lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.

Madonna: Still the Queen of Pop

Madonna in Concert
Tuesday, October 27, 2015
The Forum

Special guest: Michael Diamond

Rebel Heart Tour

Songs performed: Iconic, Bitch I’m Madonna, Burning Up, Holy Water/Vogue, Devil Pray, Messiah, Body Shop, True Blue, Deeper and Deeper, Heartbreak City/Love Don’t Live Here Anymore, Like a Virgin, S.E.X./Justify My Love, Living for Love, La Isla Bonita, Dress You Up/Into the Groove/Lucky Star, Like a Prayer, Rebel Heart, Illuminati, Music/Candy Shop, Material Girl, La Vie en Rose, Unapologetic Bitch, Holiday

Merchandise purchased: T-shirt, program

Comments: Madonna brought her latest world tour to the Forum in Inglewood, California for an outrageous spectacular. Touring behind her 13th studio album, “Rebel Heart,” Madonna showed why she is the queen of pop and consistently one of the most exciting live performers working today.MDN65131

Say what you want about Madonna, she knows how to put on a show. She gives you a spectacular that celebrates the new music, while also mining her distinctive and deep song catalog. After 32+ years in the music business, Madonna at 57 years young — still has people talking about her, singing and dancing along to her hits, and marveling at her performances.

Madonna came on around 10:20 PM, after a DJ set by Michael Diamond from 8:15 to 9:30 PM. A video intro played while Samurai warriors marched about the stage with large crosses on poles. The opening song was “Iconic,” which features fighter Mike Tyson and Chance the Rapper (both shown on the video also). Madonna was lowered from the top of the stage in a cage, with her dancing and singing inside of it. Then the cage opened and she interacted with the other dancers on the stage.

The stage was technical marvel again for this production. It had the one main stage, with a large section in the middle that also served as a movable elevated stage. It could be used vertically as a video screen, and at an angle too with dancers moving on and around it. There was a long catwalk into the audience that looked like a cross with a heart on the bottom of it. The catwalk had a circular area that could be elevated as well as various trapdoors too.

For “Bitch I’m Madonna,” Madonna danced with a troupe of geishas on the stage. The crowd loved singing along to that line. “Burning Up” was the first of the Madonna classics for the night. She performed a rocked up version of it while playing electric guitar on the elevated stage in the middle of the catwalk.

The next segment was one of the wildest. Set to the song “Holy Water” which is Madonna’s song about her vaginal juices being like holy water. So we got bikini girls with nun’s habits on stripper poles on the catwalk area. Then in the middle, it cut to “Vogue” with images of Renaissance artwork shown on the video screens. Then it was back to the main stage for the final segment of “Holy Water” complete with a recreation of the Last Supper. And including Madonna pushing a male dancer’s face into her crotch.

While Madonna is changing costumes and preparing for the next segment, we get the video interludes. The first was for the song “Messiah.” It featured a lone shirtless male dancer who danced with a large flying white cloth… which was lifted by the aid of large fans aimed into the air. Images from the “Ghosttown” video were played on the main screen.

For “Body Shop,” Madonna and her dancers did a routine in a mechanic’s garage. She brought back “True Blue” which she hasn’t performed in years — with Madonna accompanying herself on ukulele. Another lost gem was up next “Deeper and Deeper” from 1992’s Erotica album. It was given the full production dance treatment it deserved.

A circular 2-story staircase was lowered to the end of the catwalk. Madonna performed the song “Heartbreak City” as she ascended and descended the staircase, with a male dancer climbing all over it to get to her. It culminates with Madonna tossing the guy off the top of it… and he disappears under the stage. She mixed in her cover of Rose Royce’s “Love Don’t Live Here Anymore” off of the “Like a Virgin” album into this segment also.

“Like a Virgin” was a chance for Madonna to cavort on the catwalk by herself while the crowd sang along to every word.

The next interlude was for the song “S.E.X” with a bit of “Justify My Love” mixed in too. Scenes from Madonna’s Erotica and Justify My Love videos played on the back screen while on the slanted video stage, there were 4 beds with 4 different couples on the beds (3 straight, and one gay male couple). They proceeded to do a sexy routine that had the couples dancing over and grinding each other.

Next up was the Latin-themed segment. She recreated the video for “Living for Love,” with Madonna dressed up as a matador with a long dramatic cape that she had to have 2 people help carry. This was a high-energy remix of the song and not the album version. Madonna fought off her dancers who were dressed as bulls for this dramatic segment.

She re-worked a bunch of her early hits for a segment out on the catwalk. They were given a stripped down sort of Flamenco treatment. Songs included “La Isla Bonita,” “Dress You Up,” “Into the Groove” and “Lucky Star.” With her troupe of dancers in full latin-inspired costumes. “Like a Prayer” was sung next (She had been singing ‘Who’s That Girl” during most of the other tour stops). It is a definitely a crowd favorite, and always is.

The title track from the “Rebel Heart” album was up next. Madonna thanked her fans for their love over the last 32 years. She commented how the Forum was like a second home for her in Los Angeles, since she had performed there many times.

The last and most exciting of the video interludes was next. Seven dancers ascended long poles, and began to rock their bodies back and forth, causing the poles to bend and sway as well. It was set to the song “Illuminati.” Meanwhile on the stage there were more dancers outfitted in dressy tux and tails. Some of the dancers on the stage got lifted off the stage by the guys on the poles. And at times it seemed like the swaying guys were going to either hit the stage or the people in the audience because of the wide angle of the sway action.

The Hollywood segment was the last one before the finale and encore. Madonna was dressed as a sparkling flapper girl. And the troupe was either in tuxs or gowns for this segment. She started with a lounge version of “Music” before it transitioned into the version we know and love. She then mixed in “Candy Shop” from 2008’s Hard Candy album. She loves the song as she has performed it the last 2 times also (and it wasn’t even a single). Madonna did some high-energy dancing during this segment. During this segment there was even a topless girl that was dressed in an outfit inspired by Josephine Baker’s banana skirt outfit.

Another hit from the “Like a Virgin” days was performed next — “Material Girl”. It was done similar to the music video. With Madonna fending off a bunch of suitors. Madonna and the guys were on the upper edge of the slanted stage, and then pushed the guys down as she got rid of them. Then Madonna walked like a bride down the center part of the catwalk. She talked about the 3 rings of marriage: the engagement ring, the wedding ring and the suffering: saying she hasn’t been too lucky in the marriage department.

Taking a well-deserved rest, Madonna next sat down and sang the French song “La Vie en Rose” — a cover of a song by Edith Piaf. Again, it was her and the ukulele.

“Unapologetic Bitch” had Madonna and her dancers doing a routine at the end of the catwalk. They pulled someone from the crowd to be the unapologetic bitch for the night… turns out it was Katy Perry! She danced with M and the dancers and she even spanked her. Plus Madonna made her drink out of a flask shaped like a banana.

“Holiday” served as the finale. It was given a high-energy performance by Madonna and her dancers. Madonna carried a USA flag as a cape for most of this. One of her earliest hits, it remains one of her most enduring and happiest songs.

You could tell that Madonna was having a lot of fun during the show. And so was the crowd.

I was disappointed in that she didn’t do “Ghosttown” off the new album. It is one of my favorites. But she definitely surprised with some of the oldies pulled from her song catalog (Love Don’t Live Here Anymore, True Blue & Deeper and Deeper being the biggest surprises for me).

Thanks to Madonna and her troupe of talented musicians, singers, dancers, and acrobats for an amazing evening. Bring on the next tour for her 60th birthday!

KiltManinSoCal is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and Real Men Wear Kilts lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.

Madonna “Still a Rebel at Heart”

Everyone that knows me, knows that I am a huge Madonna fan. I have been loving this woman for over 32 years. It all started with “Holiday” and I have been with her every step of the way. I was going to originally just say a few words on the Winter Entertainment Wrapup… but I decided to write a whole blog about her new music.madonna-rebel-heart-album-cover-2014

“Rebel Heart” is Madonna’s 13th studio album. It is the follow-up to 2012’s “MDNA”. This is the album that was leaked on the internet at the end of last year. Madonna was forced to put out some of the tracks early, so she released 6 songs off of the album on Itunes, and gave her fans a release date and title for the new project.

Three more songs came out in February, with the rest of them out on March 10th. So what do I make of this 19-song album called “Rebel Heart”? This is easily her most diverse and eclectic album ever — we have dance, reggae, electronica, ballads, hip hop, folk and more. It would have easily been a double album back in the day.

The lead single “Living for Love” is her best first single since “Hung Up” from the “Confessions on the Dance Floor” CD. It has already reached #1 on the Billboard Dance chart. It is a fun dance song that recalls 90’s house music, and it features a gospel choir. Why it hasn’t gone anywhere on the Billboard Hot 100 is beyond me. Radio is totally freezing her out. She performed it on both the Grammy Awards and the Brit Awards too.

The album explores themes that Madonna has dealt with before: love, sex, religion, self esteem, and being a trailblazer. Producers on the album include: Kanye West, Diplo, Tony Gad, Ryan Tedder, Avicii and more. Special guests include: Nicki Minaj, Mike Tyson, Chance the Rapper and Nas. The 2nd single is going to be “Ghosttown” — one of my favorites from the album. It is a beautiful lush ballad.

This is the first time that Madonna has acknowledged her past in the songs. She has a bit of “Vogue” in “Holy Water” and some of “Justify my Love” in “Best Night.” She also built almost a whole song around references to her old songs in “Veni Vidi Vici” (I Came, I Saw, I Conquered).

There is only 1 real clunker for me, and that’s the song called “S.E.X.” Yes, we get it she likes sex, but the song itself is a bit ackward to me. And it doesn’t feel the least bit sexy either. Much better as far as sex appeal is “Best Night” (I like the world music vibes on this song). “Body Shop” is interesting with the car/sex references and the country guitars. “Holy Water” is interesting too musically, but the lyrics are about her vaginal juices being like ‘holy water’. Yeah, TMI! I do like the “Vogue” reference in the song.

Other highlights for me include: “Bitch, I’m Madonna” (one of her weirdest songs ever, but one that has grown on me, and sure to be fun in concert), “Joan of Arc” (showing some vulnerability), “Hold Tight” (another nice midtempo song), “Iconic” (about striving for excellence in your life), “Veni Vidi Vici”, “Inside Out” (another sexy love song), and the title track “Rebel Heart” too. In that song Madonna looks back on her life and career, the triumphs and missteps along the way. And she concludes that “Hell yeah, this is me, right where I am supposed to be.”

One thing for sure is that Madonna is never content to stay the same. And she challenges her fans with songs as diverse as this collection offers. She is always interesting and definitely has a unique and powerful perspective on life and love.

The album also comes in a 14-song version, as well as a super deluxe version with 4 more songs and 2 remixes. Of those extra songs, I like “Graffiti Heart” and “Beautfiul Scars” the best. Final grade: B-

KiltManinSoCal is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and Real Men Wear Kilts lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.

Ultimate Fantasy Concert

As a big music fan, one of the moments I remember growing up was watching the Live Aid concert special. This is the special that aired in 1985 and showed us footage from shows in London and Philadelphia. It was all to benefit the hunger crisis in Africa. A who’s who of performers and actors were involved that day: Madonna, Mick Jagger, Tina Turner, Phil Collins, Queen and on and on. Isn’t it about time we had another world musical event like that? I am sure it could be another charity event of some kind for AIDS, global warming, hunger, human rights, etc. So who would I want on the bill for this Ultimate Fantasy Concert?Concert Scene

Superstars
Madonna
Elton John
Bruce Springsteen
Annie Lennox (Eurythmics)
Beyonce
Justin Timberlake
Cher
U2
Janet Jackson
Prince
Celine Dion
Shania Twain
Tina Turner
Pink
Britney Spears
Christina Aguilera

Up and Comers
Rihanna
Katy Perry
Lady GaGa
Taylor Swift
Kelly Clarkson
Maroon 5
Coldplay
Black Eyed Peas
Alicia Keys
Kesha
Pitbull
Ne-Yo
Imagine Dragons
Bruno Mars

Maybe
Backstreet Boys
Mariah Carey
Usher
One Direction
Adele
Kylie Minogue
Jay Z.
Eminem

What location or country would host it? What networks would show it? Would you want to be there live? The closest we have gotten to an event like this these days is the I Heart Radio Festival they have had in Las Vegas the last few years.

Just imagine the pairings you could have with this lineup! How about Annie Lennox leading a chorus of “Sisters Doing It for Themselves” with Madonna, Adele, Pink, Katy Perry and Rihanna? Or how about Justin Timberlake, Ne-Yo, Prince and Bruno Mars doing an old James Brown song? I am sure it would be awesome TV and have us all talking about it years later. I can dream.

KiltManinSoCal is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and  Real Men Wear Kilts lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.

Best Dancers in Pop Music

Dancing allows an individual to express themselves with their body. Combine that with a competent singing voice, and you have an exciting entertainer — one who puts on a captivating live show and has some riveting music videos. Here’s my list of the best dancers in pop music (past and present), in no particular order:

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Prince
The Purple one is not one for elaborate choreography, but he sure knows how to move. And he usually does it in high heel boots too.

Madonna
Pop music’s queen didn’t get to where she is on her singing voice. She is a very athletic and limber dancer who puts on a high-energy live show.

Janet Jackson
Ever since she proclaimed her independence on “Control”, she has had a place in pop music history. Funky, fierce and in control, Janet is not one to mess with.

Justin Timberlake
He started out in boy band NSync, and went on to be a superstar in his solo career. He has shown how great a dancer he is in his concerts tours and videos.

Britney Spears
Sexy moves, along with suggestive lyrics, a hot body and catchy songs have all kept her career going strong. Definitely influenced by Madonna… she has learned well.

Lady GaGa
Mother monster has created some fantastic mini movies with her music videos. In concert, she put on a high-energy show (such that she injured herself this year, having to cancel the rest of the tour).

Paula Abdul
She started as a Laker Girl, and then did choreography for various film, TV and music videos projects. Not to mention her own chart topping singing career too.

Usher
He first opened for Janet Jackson as a teen, but has evolved into a one of the modern kings of R&B. He can have you banging in the club or wanting to make love.

Chris Brown
Say what you will about him as a person, but there is no denying this guy can move and entertain the crowds.

Beyonce
Destiny’s Child proved she could sing. But in her solo career, she has really proved she can move. And start a music video craze on YouTube too.

Jennifer Lopez
She started as a Fly Girl on “In Living Color,” and is now the triple threat (actor, dancer, singer) plus much more.

Ne-Yo
One of the smoothest movers out there, he makes it all seem so easy.

And let us not forget those who have died, and are now in the Dance Hall of Fame:

Michael Jackson
All of the male dancers on here have been influenced by him. He basically set the gold standard for being an entertainer. And he always gave the audience his all.

James Brown
Yes, he got easier to parody in his later years. But do yourself a  favor and check out his old performances. Another influential entertainer.

So did I leave anyone out? Who do you think is the best dancer in pop music? I would love to hear from you.

KiltManinSoCal is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and  Rock the Kilt lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.

Top Ten Madonna Performances

In the 30+ years of Madonna’s career, she has only gone on tour 9 times. The tours were: The Virgin Tour, Who’s That Girl Tour, Blonde Ambition Tour, The Girlie Show, The Drowned World Tour, The Re-Invention Tour, Confessions Tour, Sticky & Sweet Tour and MDNA Tour. She just won the award for Top Tour on the Billboard Music Awards this past week. In honor of Madonna’s latest tour coming to TV on Epix (plus a DVD later in 2013), I thought I would count down what I think are her 10 Best Live Performances:Madonna 2013

Like a Virgin (Blonde Ambition)
Who could forget the staging on this one? Madonna in gold lame with cone bra with 2 male dancers in exaggerated cone bras too, in some sort of harem/middle Eastern setting. And ending with a simulated masturbation sequence. Great lead in for the religious segment of the show.

American Life (Re-Invention Tour)
So the album was a flop, but the tour was not. Madonna gave us a hard rock version of this song. The dancers were dressed in military fatigues, while images of war and casualties played on video screens. There were some dancers dressed as religious figures (priest, nun, etc.). Plus dramatic use of a descended walkway.

Music Inferno (Confessions Tour)
I was absolutely going crazy during this one when I saw it. Madonna in a white suit inspired by “Saturday night Fever” as well as the lighted multi-color dance floor from the movie too. Plus John Travolta’s famous choreography from his dance solo in the film too. This was an awesome number!

Sky Fits Heaven (Drowned World Tour)
One of my lesser favorite tours only because of the lack of oldies, this was one of the stand-outs for me. The number had Madonna in a geisha oufit — swinging and flying around the stage like something out of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

Holiday (Who’s That Girl Tour)
Pure joy! Madonna has always had love for this song, and often reworks it for her shows. Celebrating her first stadium tour, this was her most elaborate show up to that point. Madonna, her band and dancers perform a high-energy routine that has everyone on their feet.

Give Me All Your Lovin (MDNA Tour)
From her most recent tour, Madonna as drum majorette leading cheerleaders and drummers in a high-stepping, demanding routine. She worked the V-shaped stage down front, and also had drummers suspended from the ceiling too.

Into the Groove (The Virgin Tour)
She has definitely had bigger productions of this on later tours, but the simplicity of the production is part of her charm here. This was her first tour, and it was obvious she was a star. Just Madonna (with a tambourine) and 2 male singer/dancers.

Give It to Me (Sticky & Sweet Tour)
Her 2nd time doing a stadium tour in the US, this was the finale song for this tour. An amped-up version compared to the album version, the set was inspired by video games and after the 2-hour show she performed, the lyrics took on new significance (No One’s Going to Stop Me!).

Fever (The Girlie Show)
Sadly, I never got to see this tour live as the show never came to Los Angeles. It was her take on the Peggy Lee classic “Fever” with her and 2 hot scantily-clad male dancers working it for all their worth. It ended with the 3 of them surrounded by flames as they descended under the stage.

Live to Tell (Confessions Tour)
Never one to shy away from controversy, this one had Madonna hanging from a mirrored cross with a crown of thorns on her head. Behind her on the video screens showed images of poverty and destruction caused by the AIDS crisis in Africa with emphasis on all the AIDS orphans. My take on it was she was saying that we should be like Jesus and do something to help these people.

With so many great performances through out her long and varied career, it was hard to narrow it down to just 10 songs. So did I get it right? Did I leave out one of your favorites? I would love to hear from you. I am sure I will be adding to this list after future tours.

KiltManinSoCal is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and  Rock the Kilt lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.

All-Time Favorite Love Songs

As Madonna sings, Love Makes the World Go World. Most artists have written them, or sung them in their careers. Some, become timeless classics, others fall by the way-side. I am here to celebrate some of the most memorable and enduring love songs of all time. You still hear these songs on Love Songs radio shows, and as dedication songs at weddings and anniversaries.Love Songs

Unforgettable (Nat King Cole)
Who doesn’t want to be unforgettable in their relationship? To be the person you’ll remember forever? It was written in 1951 by Irving Gordon, and reworked as a duet with his daughter Natalie in 1991.

Amazed (Lonestar)
Everything your lover does, makes you feel blessed and honored to be together. It was written in 1999 by Marv Green, Aimee Mayo & Chris Lindsey and was a #1 hit on both the country and pop charts.

Endless Love (Lionel Richie and Diana Ross)
No one remembers the flop movie this came from, but the song still lives on. Written in 1981 by Lionel Richie, it was remade by Luther Vandross and Mariah Carey in 1994.

I Will Always Love You (Dolly Parton/Whitney Houston)
A sad love song for sure, but one the greatest ever written. Written and recorded by Dolly Parton in 1973, and covered by Whitney Houston for the movie “The Bodyguard” in 1992. It’s hard not to get teary eyed hearing this.

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Why Should I Act My Age?

I am a huge Madonna fan. Recently I read an article entitled “Why Doesn’t Madonna Act Her Age?” They were pointing out that she is 54 years old, and lately she has been acting like someone much younger, showing her nipple in concert and riding piggyback on her 23 year old boyfriend. So what? She is Madonna, and she has shocked and enchanted us for the past 30+ years, why should she slow down now?Act Your Age?

I have heard the same thing said about me too. But who’s to say what is right or wrong for your age? I don’t like people telling me I am too old for this or that anymore than Madonna. For so much of my life I was concerned with what other people thought of me. When I stopped caring (or caring much less) is when I discovered myself more, and become the real me.

The things I hope would change with people’s age and maturity are being more open minded and accepting of those that are different. When you are young, you are listening to your parents, teachers and uninformed peers. Your world is small, and so is your world view. When you get out of your small circle, into college and the working world, I think you are exposed to more diversity and people from wildly different backgrounds from your own. This is when you question things like “Why do they say those bad things about gay people? — when all the ones you have met have been nice and down-to-earth.

I would hope that you act more responsibly. That you realize that all your actions have consequences… and that things you say and do have an effect on others. That you know you can’t go partying every night and be able to live a productive and healthy life. That you know how to manage a budget, make a healthy meal and how to cut back your carbon footprint.

So what does it matter if I am closing in on 50 and I still like boy bands, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, playing with stuffed animals, wearing Speedos and kilts (because I feel like it), cutting my hair in a Mohawk (or shaving it bald)? Who’s to say what 50 looks like? People are living longer these days. Just because we are older doesn’t mean we can’t have fun with life. That’s what Madonna is doing. She is enjoying her life, she has every right to! In the future, I am sure you will find some rest homes that have hip hop music playing for the people, and not old Frank Sinatra or Elvis tunes.

Spice69man is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Hiking in the Spirit and Real Kilt Men Wear Speedos. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.

 

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