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Music Makes The People Come Together

Beyonce's fans petition to reshoot her latest video. It looks like she was channeling a Shakira video and then decided to mix in some naughty home video bits with Jay-Z.

Madonna fans petition for more U.S. radio play.

And while on the subject...
My summer has come and (almost) gone without attending The Confessions Tour. I was warned that I might regret not going. This article makes me wonder if I should have seen Madonna in concert before it is too late. (Although, I don't know if a time will come when she will cease to rock pop.)

Even though NBC is broadcasting the concert later this Fall, surely network television will not capture all the essential nuances (crucifixtion reenactments, anti-Bush slurs, crotch grabbing and random dry humping) that make up a Madonna performance. It should be interesting to see what demographic the commercials are geared towards. I'm sure the show will be commercial heavy with a price tag like this.


Blogger kate said...

ok, first of all, i have to say a huge WTF to shakira -- and that whore wyclef for remaking a previous version of his own song (a version that was perfectly respectable, a modest hit, and that featured a female performer who can actually sing. poor claudette ortiz, she must be seething!!). i'm horrified. shakira's appeal baffles me. sure, she's hot (sort of... she always seems to be rolling around in something though), but i don't get the attraction of the jerky faux belly dancing. i have polled male friends about it and they all love it, though, so clearly i'm missing something. and don't get me started on the woman's voice. that isn't singing. it's noisemaking. wierd, back of the throat, mottled noisemaking. as a musician, it hurts me to hear.

second, i don't get the uproar over the beyonce video. clearly there is some sort of loose african-american historical narrative -- we get plantation shots, recreations of famous black photographs from the depression, some traditional african dance choreography mixed with an ensemble that suggests short tribal skirts, etc. it's all in there, and while i'm not quite sure what exactly she's trying to say, if jay-z is involved you know it's about power. whatever, like her other videos (or videos in general??) have been more coherent? (baby boy? she rolled around on a night beach for a couple minutes. was that a plot?) she looks amazing, is singing her heart out and shaking her ass. seems about right to me.

who do these fans think they are? is beyonce such a commercial product that she has no right to any artistic vision of her own? the whole thing seems ludicrous to me. she can do what she wants. people will buy or they won't, but petitioning to reshoot a video just seems stupid... like idiots shouting into the night. who are these people??

actually, i think beyonce is in an interesting position. she's basically guaranteed to dominate sales with this next album, and has somehow retained a level of innocence despite being jay-z's girl, always bootylicious, and no stranger to sexy lyrics, etc. she's everyone's diva darling and has never really gotten too dirrrty. so maybe she's cutting loose a little bit with this new one -- testing her limits. in her current spot, she really can't lose. the 'deja vu' single is no 'crazy in love' but it's a passable late summer high-wattage hit and will get played and purchased again and again. i'm assuming that she (and the rest of her machine) will be watching, judging, gaging audience response and carefully planning their next move, whether it's another forgettable film project, a high-profile duet, a strategic destiny's child reunion single, a perfume, etc. so while the petition is ridiculous, maybe it will make a subtle difference and the next video will be more crowd-pleasing. or maybe not. it's her damn prerogative.

7/23/2006 8:48 PM  
Blogger kate said...

oh, and madonna... i think you will regret it. but the real lesson is that we should have gone to coachella and seen the unusual, more intimate performance that won't end up broadcast from 100 different angles on youtube and ultimately be available on DVD, issued by the madonna machine itself.

that point about how those ticket prices are for die-hard fans only is a good one. i don't love madge like you do, but i appreciate her and know that seeing her perform would be an adventure. however, there's no way in hell i'd pay that much for a ticket, so i'm assuming those prices are, in a way, meant to weed out the truly undevoted (like me). i liked the time article.

7/23/2006 8:54 PM  
Blogger *g said...

Good point about Beyonce and her reputation. I'm not sure how she's remained relatively unscathed by the media.

Deja vu is definitely not Crazy in Love and although it has eventually won me over, I initially had issue with the fact that through the length of the song, her belting escalates to a point where it sounds like she is yelling. I hope the rest of the album has more substance to it. This song just sounds like both her and Jay-Z are leaning heavily on their past sucesses. Regarding the video, it reminds me of a fashion magazine spread. My point about Shakira is that if you look at the videos, there are some moves that are exactly the same. Shakira incorporates various genres in her choreography, so I can see where there might be similarities, but the beginning of both the Deja Vu video and the Hips Don't Lie Video both start with them scatilly clad against a wall and then it moves onto jilted movement and eventual gyrations in a chair. lol. I'm sure that she is not going to reshoot the video. At most, the fans might get a video for a remix of the song. Americans don't look at pop muscians as artists. They want the image they invested their purchase in. Especially in this time and age when they can pick their own popstars a la carte via American Idol.

I did not realize Wyclef had already issued a previous version of the song. It must have been a promotional move since they are touring together.

As far as your argument against Shakira... I am a fan of her songs in spanish. Her english speaking songs are weak. Yes, she does have a unique way of singing. Yes, singing. Much like her dancing, her style of singing borrows from various cultures and traditions for instance, Spanish and Arabic song. It's not for everyone. Of course men like her, she's a total hottie and is constantly embracing her sexuality and presenting it in a way that demonstrates she's in full control of the image she is projecting. I love how she constantly blends dance genres and the result is something totally her own. It's not the usual machine created sexualized cookie cut pop star. Supposedly, she is very intelligent and well read.Lol. Much like Madonna (a fact usually overlooked). Smart, powerful women are sexy. ...Of course, the majority of the male population is probably just thinking about the way she shakes her ass. *sigh*

7/23/2006 10:21 PM  
Blogger kate said...

lol woman it's not singing, what shakira does. for the record, i am hardly ignorant of how music works in other cultures, and also know quite a bit about the human voice -- i have a vocal performance degree, remember. what she does is can hardly be summed up as simply a "style" choice. but perhaps it is best to disagree on this one, as the bottom line is a matter of personal taste.

whether or not she comes off as smart and powerful is also arguable -- as someone who has been exposed to her on the very basic consumer level (heard a few songs, seen a few videos, done no research on her, know none of her fans), nothing about what she's doing says that she's doing much beyond shaking her ass. i'm not surprised to hear that she's a smart woman, and that's great, but i don't think that's what the vast majority of consumers are taking in.

who overlooks the fact that madonna is intelligent? that seems crazy to me -- her videos, especially, are filled with artistic and literary references and she's clearly an incredibly savvy businesswoman to have propelled herself this far and maintained such longevity. i think there are a few things that are sort of universally acknowledged about madonna: she's sexy, she's powerful, she can't sing or act, and she's one smart woman. you don't think?

i repeat: wyclef is a whore. the original was called 'dance like this' -- i'm pretty sure it's on iTunes. if you are familiar with it, this new version is just ridiculous. if not, i can't say which you'll prefer.

god, the american pop consumer is a frightening beast, i guess. i have gaps -- never seen american idol or anything like that so after a point i don't know what i'm talking about. ;)

(quite a comment session! lol)

7/23/2006 11:01 PM  
Blogger *g said...

Quite a session, indeed.

I was not attacking your musical knowledge,woman, merely trying to back my argument. We both know you are far more learned. Anyway, we are agreeing to disagree on this one.

I don't like "Hips Don't Lie". It definitely falls under the "weak" category. The dialogue between Shakira and Wyclef is cringe inducing. It is so ridiculous that it is blog worthy.I'm not familar with the original Wyclef song. I will have to check it out, although I am not holding my breath. I haven't been very impressed with him post-Fugees.

I agree, I do not think her reported wealth of knowledge is something that is easily recognizable on the surface. However, it seems to me that her work and stage persona is carefully created by her own interests and influences, not by a record company. That displays some level of intelligence and free thought.

...I wonder if the adults who signed the Beyonce petition are actively involved in issues that actually affect their lives.

7/24/2006 12:38 AM  

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