Friday, August 31, 2012

SOTD...



Here it is: the barnd new single from Pet Shop Boys!



Thursday, August 30, 2012

Club Queen...



Madonna earns her record-extending 43rd No. 1 on Billboard’s Dance/Club Play Songs chart, as “Turn Up the Radio” lifts 2-1. (The ranking will refresh on Billboard.com Thursday, Aug. 30.)

“Turn up the Radio” is Madonna’s third Dance/Club Play Songs No. 1 from “MDNA,” which bowed atop the Billboard 200 the week of April 14. “Give Me All Your Luvin’,” featuring Nicki Minaj and M.I.A., led the week of March 31, while “Girl Gone Wild” reached No. 1 just three weeks later.
“Turn up the Radio” is headed for radio, too: Interscope Records begins seeking airplay for the song at mainstream top 40 stations on Sept. 25.

With her 43rd leading title on Dance/Club Play Songs, Madonna pulls further away from runner-up Janet Jackson, who has 19. Beyonce and Rihanna follow with 18 No. 1s each, trailed by Kristine W (16) and Mariah Carey (15).

Looking forward, with one more No. 1 on Dance/Club Play Songs, the Material Girl would claim even more historic honors. Upon her latest coronation, Madonna is now one No. 1 away from tying George Strait’s record for the most toppers on any single Billboard chart. The King of Country has sat at the Country Songs chart’s throne with 44 titles between 1981 and 2009. With one more No. 1 on Dance/Club Play Songs, the Queen of Pop would tie Strait for unmatched Billboard chart royalty.

Given her multi-format appeal, as opposed to Strait’s status as a country-exclusive act (and an unparalleled one, at that), Madonna leads not only Strait but also all artists for the most No. 1s on all Billboard charts combined. With “Turn up the Radio” ruling Dance/Club Play Songs, Madonna logs her record-extending 156th leader on an active, current-based domestic Billboard survey.

Here’s a breakdown of Madonna’s No. 1 sums on active, current-based U.S. charts: 43, Dance/Club Play Songs; 33, Hot Dance Singles Sales; 15, Hot Singles Sales; 12, Billboard Hot 100; 9, Radio Songs; 9, Music Video Sales; 8, Billboard 200; 7, Dance/Mix Show Airplay; 5, Adult Contemporary; 4, Internet Albums; 3, Digital Albums; 2, Dance/Electronic Albums; 2, Digital Songs; 2, Hot Digital Tracks; 1, Pop Songs; 1, Tastemaker Albums.

Here is an updated look at Madonna’s 43 Dance/Club Play Songs No. 1s, beginning with the double-sided single “Holiday”/”Lucky Star,” which reached the top the week of Sept. 24, 1983. (For titles that spent multiple weeks at No. 1, total frames in the lead are noted in parentheses).

1983, “Holiday”/”Lucky Star” (five weeks at No. 1)
1984, “Like a Virgin” (three)
1985, “Material Girl”
1985, “Angel”/”Into the Groove”
1987, “Open Your Heart”
1987, “Causing a Commotion (Remix)”
1988, “You Can Dance (LP Cuts)”
1989, “Like a Prayer” (two)
1989, “Express Yourself” (three)

1990, “Keep It Together”
1990, “Vogue” (two)
1991, “Justify My Love” (two)
1992, “Erotica”
1993, “Deeper and Deeper”
1993, “Fever”
1994, “Secret” (two)
1995, “Bedtime Story”
1997, “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina”
1998, “Frozen” (two)
1998, “Ray of Light” (four)
1999, “Nothing Really Matters” (two)
1999, “Beautiful Stranger” (two)

2000, “American Pie”
2000, “Music” (five)
2001, “Don’t Tell Me”
2001, “What It Feels Like for a Girl”
2001, “Impressive Instant” (two)
2002, “Die Another Day” (two)
2003, “American Life”
2003, “Hollywood”
2003, “Me Against the Music,” Britney Spears featuring Madonna (two)
2004, “Nothing Fails”
2004, “Love Profusion”
2005, “Hung Up” (four)
2006, “Sorry” (two)
2006, “Get Together”
2006, “Jump” (two)
2008, “4 Minutes,” Madonna featuring Justin Timberlake & Timbaland (two)
2008, “Give It 2 Me”
2009, “Celebration”

2012, “Give Me All Your Luvin’,” Madonna featuring Nicki Minaj & M.I.A.
2012, “Girl Gone Wild”
2012, “Turn Up the Radio”

Source: Billboard.com



Also: the European leg of the MDNA Tour has now finished - with EVERY SINGLE SHOW a sell out!



Here is what the wonderful Liz Smith wrote about the opening night of the tour in the US:


"Able to face fear or danger without flinching...resolute...invulnerable...valiant... venturesome." That is a portion of the dictionary definition of the word "fearless."

I don't know Madonna well enough (believe it or not) to assess that she is actually without fear as a woman, or a human being. In fact she has admitted to being just as, if not more, insecure, than the average person. Fame and constant scrutiny does that to a person. She is far softer and more vulnerable than her public persona suggests. I know that, for sure. But whatever she is with her children, her man, her issues, she remains without a doubt one the most fearless and true-to-herself artists in the world. Madonna kicked off the American leg of her "MDNA" tour in Philadelphia on Monday night. She was full of patriotism, praised America's freedom of speech, demanded the release of the imprisoned Russian performance artists Pussy Riot and denounced homophobia, as she has been doing for the last quarter century. (Long before Lady Gaga was telling her "little monsters" that they were "Born That Way," Madonna was exhorting her fans to "express themselves" and was in the forefront of the AIDS crisis.)

"MDNA" is what has become the standard mix for a Madonna show--mind-blowing brilliance, dazzling sets, incredible dancing. And then there's the stuff she does because she wants to! She is intent on taking her audience on a journey. Sometimes they are not ready for this journey. They want to groove on the old 1980s/90s jams, presented just as Madonna did in her famous videos. (Tough luck.) Madonna would wither and die if she had to repeat herself over and over. She is not messing with her fans, she's making sure they've grown up. Yeah, and that is despite the campy majorette outfit she wears at one point. She's not pretending time hasn't passed. She's a woman still young, still full of fun. (And wait until you see her marching band, in mid-air, elevated above the crowd!)

In "MDNA" Madonna gives her fans classics such as "Open Your Heart," "Vogue" "Express Yourself" "Human Nature" and "Like a Virgin." But, as in the case of "Like a Virgin," she has totally transformed the chirpy ode to being "shiny and new," into something almost unbearably dark. Is it pain? Is it pleasure? Is she suffering? Is she in ecstasy? Don't ask me, and don't ask Madonna. She hates to explain herself. She is far happier when the audience either makes up its own mind, or never does. Madonna considers herself a work in progress and she gives her audience the same respect. If you don't get it, don't worry. It's life. Who can explain life?



Madonna, in her own words, about the tour:


My show
Is a journey.
The journey of a soul from darkness to light
It is part cinematic musical theatre.
Part spectacle and sometimes intimate Performance art.
But above all its a journey
From darkness to light
From anger to love.
From chaos to order.

It's true there is a lot of violence in the beginning of the show and sometimes the use of fake guns - but they are used as metaphors.
I do not condone violence or the use of guns.
Rather they are symbols of wanting to appear strong and wanting to find a way to stop feelings that I find hurtful or damaging. In my case its wanting to stop the lies and hypocrisy of the church, the intolerance of many narrow minded cultures and societies I have experienced throughout my life and in some cases the pain I have felt from having my heart broken.

Ultimately as we follow through the journey of my story, the audience can see quite clearly what I see -
That the enemy is within and the only way to survive Disappointment Disapproval Judgment Heartbreak Jealousy Envy And Hatred Is with Love - not with revenge - not with guns and not with violence.

In spite of all the chaos and darkness and intolerance we seem to be encountering more and more in the world,
We cannot allow our anger or bitterness to swallow us up.
We come to understand that
There is an innate and pure love inside us all and we have to find a way to tap into it.

And we can't do it by being victims or placing the blame or pointing the finger at others.

But by recognizing that the enemy is within
And when we come to terms with it
And accept it
And struggle to change ourselves,
Then we can change the world without hurting anyone and we can inspire others to do the same.
When you watch a film there are usually good guys and bad guys to help illustrate this point, Sometimes I play both.
I enjoy acting out this journey.
For none of us are perfect and we all have our own journey of growth to go on.
I know people can relate to it.
It's very important to me as an artist that my show not be taken out of context.

It must be watched with an open heart from beginning to end. I am sure if it is viewed this way, the viewer will walk away feeling inspired, Invigorated and will want to make the world a better place.

And this of course was always my intention.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Leaving...



"Leaving", the second single from the new Pet Shop Boys album Elysium, will get its first play on radio this Friday, August 31st. It will be played between 9.30 and 12 on the Ken Bruce Show on BBC Radio 2 in the UK.

The single will be released on October 15th on CD, 12" vinyl and download bundles with extra tracks and remixes. There are two different covers - one featuring Neil Tennant, the other Chris Lowe. Elysium will be released on September 10th.

I WILL Stay In Touch!...



FINALLY!!!

Sandra has announced the release of her new album!!!

"Stay In Touch" will be released on October 26th in two editions: standard and a 2CD deluxe editions. A new single, "Infinite Kiss" will be delivered to radio stations in October, and there will be a music video made for the song. Read the full press release below:



This is going to be one of the main releases of the year for me, for sure! And considering how much I love the Blank & Jones produced "Maybe Tonight" in all it's retro-Sandra-Italo-goodness, I am very excited about this album! Bring on October please!

( Here is the press release in german )

Me and Blank & Jones after a studio session in Ibiza ... it was really a pleasure... 
can't wait for the album ! Sandra

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Monday, August 27, 2012

Tracks...



2012 has been a pretty terrible music year so far IMO. Only a couple of good albums and not an awful lot of  great singles either - which is why it's been quite a while since I last posted some tracks. But I did manage to get some songs together that make up a selection of everything from the excellent to the tacky goodness we all adore. So here goes:

Flowers For Fans...



Kylie Minogue will release a single in September that a lot of her fans (including myself) have been hoping for. She will release "Flower" as a single on September 24th! Taken from her upcoming Abbey Road Sessions album, it is not known yet if the single will actually come out as a physical single or if it will only be a digital "single".

"Flower" was written by Kylie and Steve Anderson and it was originally recorded during the sessions for the 2007 X album. The song did not end up on the album or as a B-side to any of the single, but Kylie did a stunning performance of the song on her X tour. It became an instant fan fave and it is great to see it finally getting an official release!



And here is this months K25 surprise: a live recording of the excellent "Tightrope"!

Life Is Too Short To Be Bitter...



Madonna has recorded a message to her fans in Australia, explaining why the MDNA tour will not come to Australia early next year as planned.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Get Into The Shape...



Madonna to release workout DVD series 'Addicted to Sweat'

You can dance... for perspiration.
Madonna is introducing a series of workout videos called 'Addicted to Sweat,' for fans who want to get fit while learning her dance moves.
The dance-based workout, which was designed by the 54 year-old star and her personal trainer Nicole Winhoffer, is designed to promote agility, flexibility, and strength.
No gym required - all you need is a chair and the floor.

The four-disc set, due out on Sept. 5, includes the same moves that Madonna introduced on her MDNA tour, including the 'Drop Down,' 'Hop Forward' and 'Ride the Horse.'
The workout is the latest from Madonna’s entry in the world of fitness since she began opening Hard Candy, her global chain of fitness centers.

She opened the first Hard Candy in Mexico City in 2010 and it expanding to Russia and South America.


More!...



Pet Shop Boys have completed writing their next album and plan to start recording the LP next month. When asked about the rumors circulating online that Elysium will be the duo’s last album, Neil Tennant told Attitude magazine: “No, No.  We’ve started writing the next album, actually.”

Chris Lowe added, “It’s finished in terms of writing. We’re recording in September, aren’t we? Neil also revealed it will be a dance record. “It will be out next year. We’re doing a dance album because this [Elysium] is so not a dance album. There are always tracks we didn’t put on the album.”

Elysium is slated for release in Japan on September 5th, Germany and most of Europe on September 7th, the United Kingdom, France and South American countries on September 10th and the United States on September 11th. The album will be available as a standard edition, a limited edition  2 CD set with instrumental versions of the songs and on limited edition double-vinyl.

The album leaked on-line this week and has been met with good reviews from fans, who link the album to 1991's "Behavior". Sounds good to me then - and fabulous news about another album next year! The boys are also planning a big world tour, so us PSB fans should be kept very entertained over the next year or so!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Still In A League Of Her Own!...



Madonna has been sued for nearly $10.5m (£6.6m) by Russian activists after she promoted gay rights at a show in St Petersburg earlier this month.

The singer called for "love and appreciation for the gay community" during the concert on August 9, prompting calls from politicians for her to be charged with illegal propaganda.

A group of nine have since filed a lawsuit against the 54-year-old, arguing that she violated a law passed in February making it illegal to promote homosexuality to minors by directing her comments at an audience allegedly containing fans as young as 12.

According to Russian news agency RIA Novosti, the complaint includes a video taken at the concert of Madonna stomping on an Orthodox cross (which she didn't!) and encouraging those in attendance to show off pink wristbands distributed during the show in support of homosexuals (which she certainly did!).

Defending the activists from accusations of outdated beliefs, their lawyer Alexander Pochuyev said: "No-one is burning anyone at the stake or carrying out an Inquisition. Modern civilization requires tolerance and respect for different values."

The lawsuit is also being levelled at the concert's organiser and the venue where it was held.


Madonna previously angered Russian conservatives with a tribute to the band Pussy Riot as they stood accused of hooliganism on the grounds of religious hatred. After they were sentenced to prison, Madonna released the following statement:

I protest the conviction and sentencing of Pussy Riot to a penal colony for two years for a 40 second performance extolling their political opinions. Even if one disagrees with the location or how they chose to express themselves, the sentence is too harsh and in fact is inhumane. I call on all those who love freedom to condemn this unjust punishment. I urge artists around the world to speak up in protest against this travesty. They’ve spent enough time in jail. I call on ALL of Russia to let Pussy Riot go free.



Thursday, August 16, 2012

Forever Young...



A very happy birthday to the queen of pop. Yes, Madonna turns 54 years young today!

 

From her birthday bash:

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Wild Boys...

Picture of Duran Duran

An excellent Duran Duran documentary from 2000.

 

A Year...



A brand new Kylie Minogue documentary is coming to UK TV - tonight!

Join Kylie backstage and on the road as she tours the world with her ground-breaking Aphrodite -- Les Folies tour. On opening night in Denmark The Daily Star said: "The .. pop princess set a new benchmark for arena shows with Les Folies and redefined the term 'spectacular' along the way. Don't miss it!!" This documentary follows Kylie, the cast and crew from the conceptualisation of the tour, right through rehearsals and their six months on the road.

My Year As Aphrodite premieres on Sky Living at 10pm on Tuesday 14 August 2012.

Taster...


For the forthcoming September issue of Electronic Beats Magazine, editor-in-chief Max Dax met Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe of the Pet Shop Boys for the cover story. In the exchange, Tennant and Lowe look increasingly comfortable in their roles as pop’s elder statesmen, ruminating with candidness—and, of course, arch wit—on a diverse range of subjects. From Kanye West to Trevor Horn. Here’s a taster to whet your appetite.

On the new album Elysium:

Neil: We’ve always primarily seen ourselves as songwriters. That’s the foundation of it all. This time, we considered making an album that was in one mood all the way through. I’m talking of a musical mood. We wanted the songs to be slower, more reflective, beautiful and with more sub-bass. And this is why we decided to go to Los Angeles and to work with Andrew Dawson. We knew that we’d get the backing vocals there because the city has a long tradition of professional vocal ensembles and it was clear to us from the beginning that we wanted that on many of the new songs. Elysium is different to the albums we’ve made before. For instance, some of the new songs don’t have a middle-eight, with the notable exception of “Winner”, which has one of the strongest middle-eights we have ever written. The majority of the new songs have a simpler structure though.

On Kanye West:

Neil: We wanted this smoothness and elegance. That’s why we went to Los Angeles. You know, in America they have super-professionalism. In Britain we have great ideas. But it’s always about style. In America they have the professionalism of Barbara Streisand and Aretha Franklin. In Britain we have David Bowie, Mick Jagger and the Beatles. That’s why we approached Andrew Dawson who had worked on the last few Kanye West albums. The electronic sound of 808s & Heartbreak appealed to us a lot. Its sparse, spare and sort of melancholic with all this aching and all this incredible bass. When we were writing “Invisible” that particular Kanye West sound seemed like a reference point.

On working with different producers on each album:

Max Dax: When you did Yes you’ve worked together with a team of producers called Xenomania. You mentioned other producers such as Trevor Horn, Stephen Hague and Andrew Dawson. Why do you always seem to seek for a new producer instead of teaming up with someone for a longer period of time?

Chris: There is definitely a hunger to seek out ways doing things differently. It’s a fascinating learning process to see how other people do things. That’s also one of the reasons why we do cover versions. We want to see how songs work and you learn it best by playing a song yourself.

Neil: I would sometimes tell Andrew Dawson: “If you were Trevor Horn you’d be doing this now.” Or “Trevor would put a choir on it.”

Max: Didn’t this annoy him?

Neil: No. Once he even asked me what Trevor would have done in a certain situation.

Max: And what did you tell him?

Neil: Record someone jumping into a swimming pool and use it as the snare.

On “Winner” and the Olympics:

Max: The release date of “Winner” was perfectly synchronized with the kick-off of the London Olympics—where you also presented the song for the first time live. Did you write it for the Olympics?

Neil: No, we didn’t. The idea for “Winner” came when we were on tour with Take That. Every night we’d leave the stadium while 70,000 or 80,000 people were going berserk to Take That singing, “Today this could be the greatest day of our lives”. And Chris said, “We have to write a mid-tempo anthem.”

Chris: We’ve never done it before.

Neil: We were talking about anthems in our hotel in Manchester. We were discussing “We Are the Champions” by Queen—and I’ve always hated the line “No time for losers”.

Max: Didn’t Freddie Mercury sing that very line at Live Aid, too?

Neil: He did, yes.

Chris: That wasn’t right.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

That's My Girl!...



MOSCOW — Madonna, the pop megastar known for her own less-than-pious adaptation of religious symbols and settings, used a sold-out concert here on Tuesday night to voice support for the three women from a feminist punk band who are being tried on hooliganism charges for staging an anti-Putin stunt on the altar of Moscow’s main Russian Orthodox cathedral.

During the show, which started more than two hours late, Madonna paused and gave a brief speech, reflecting on the privileges of American freedom and democracy. “As an artist, as a human being, as a woman, I have freedom to express my point of view, even if other people don’t agree with me,” she said. “Even if my government doesn’t agree with me.”

“So I just want to say a few words about Pussy Riot,” she continued. “I know there are many sides to every story, and I mean no disrespect to the church or the government. But I think that these three girls — Masha, Katya, Nadya — I think that they have done something courageous. I think they have paid the price for this act. And I pray for their freedom.”

Later, she appeared on stage in a black bra with the name of the band written in bold letters on her back. She also donned a balaclava, the band’s trademark headgear.

7 August 2012 - Moscow

Earlier Tuesday, the trial of the women — Maria Alyokhina, 24, Yekaterina Samutsevich, 29, and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 23 — moved swiftly toward a verdict, which could come this week. And once again, there was no shortage of courtroom theatrics, including from a lawyer for those identified as victims in the case. She re-emphasized the gravity of the stunt while declaring feminism to be a “mortal sin.”

The women have been in prison since March, not long after their February stunt — a profane “punk prayer” in which they beseeched the Virgin Mary to rid Russia of Vladimir V. Putin, who was then running for a third term as president.

They were charged with hooliganism motivated by religious hatred, which carries a potential punishment of seven years in prison. But Mr. Putin said last week in London that he hoped they were “not judged too severely,” though he added that the decision was the court’s.

After giving no immediate sign of being moved by those comments, the main prosecutor, Alexander Nikiforov, on Tuesday urged guilty verdicts and jail terms of three years. Mr. Nikiforov insisted that the women intended to insult the church and said the reference to Mr. Putin was added to a video of the action only later to create the appearance of a political protest.


Ms. Tolokonnikova, speaking from inside the glass enclosure in the courtroom where the defendants sit through the proceedings each day, said her “head explodes” every time she hears the accusations of religious hatred. “We are jokers, clowns, perhaps holy fools, but we don’t intend to harm anyone,” she said.

The episode in the cathedral was part of a cacophony of antigovernment protests, including large street rallies that followed disputed parliamentary elections in December.

But while critics largely cast the trial as an example of heavy-handedness, it has also proved politically useful for supporters of the Putin government by highlighting the close alliance between the Orthodox Church and the state, suggesting a divide between the urban liberals in the opposition and residents of the Russian heartland.

Even before her concert, Madonna was one of many celebrities from around the world calling for the young women’s release in the name of artistic and political freedom.

In interviews, she did not hide her disapproval of the Russian authorities, and she acknowledged that she herself had been sharply criticized by the Catholic Church.

“Yes, I have also upset the church many times,” she said in an interview with the newspaper Kommersant. “Several times they wanted to excommunicate me from the Catholic Church. Yes, I didn’t end up in prison for this, but that is because I live in a free country, and not in Russia.”

The authorities had been bracing for potential conflict. The American Embassy issued a warning about threats of violence at Tuesday’s concert and at another later this week in St. Petersburg, and there was a heavy police presence. But rumors of protests by supporters of the Orthodox Church did not materialize.

nytimes.com



Madonna supports the LGBT community & Pussy Riot

Also today, Pussy Riot took to their Twitter account to thank Madonna for her support and the risk she took defending them onstage, last night.
They wrote…

“DEAR MADONNA! We love you and you just might be changing Russia’s history right now. Thank you and a thousand prayers in return!”

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

SOTD...



For a brief moment in the mid-90s, 2wo Third3 were the greatest band in the world. The four-piece trio  only released four singles - an album was recorded by never issued - but they represent a perfect pocket of super-stylised pop. As well as Lee, Danny, Victor and "songwriter behind the scenes" Biff, 2wo Third3 were also the work of manager Tom Watkins (Pet Shop Boys, East 17, Bros) and London design firm Form (responsible for most decent record sleeves since 1991). They were also the first sort-of-openly gay pop band.

"I Want The World" was released in 1995 and peaked at #20 in the UK. I loved this track back when it was released and I still quite like it!

57!...



Madonna achieves a phenomenal 57th Top Ten hit on the U.S. Billboard Dance/Club Play Chart, as "Turn Up The Radio" vaults to No. 8 in its 3rd week on the dance chart. Another #1 on the way?

However, no physical formats have been announced yet, meaning that this is the first proper Madonna single EVER I have not bought, and will not buy unless there is a CD/12" release!

Precious Things...