Tuesday, February 7, 2012

New News

All I can say is "WOW!!!"  I don't know about the rest of you guys out there, but I thought Madonna absolutely KILLED IT at The Super Bowl last weekend ... one of the best half-time shows I've EVER seen!  (I don't know what I was expecting exactly ... but this performance blew away EVERY preconceived notion I had about how relevant and timely Madonna might seem in 2012.)  By incorporating contemporary artists like Nicki Minaj, LMFAO and Cee Lo Green into the mix, she looked and sounded TOTALLY "with it" on a few of her greatest hits as well as a brand new song from her up-coming CD.  Elaborate staging, effects and support from dancers, drummers, marchers, choir singers, et al, made for one of the most entertaining fifteen minutes I've seen on TV in a long, long time.  Kudos to Madge for showing us all how to do it right ... without question, she is still a relevant artist ... and Sunday Night she showed her contemporaries ... as well as some of her proteges that she in some fashion mentored through her music and hoopla ... that mama's still got it!  WTG, Madonna!!!  (kk)
And, hot on the heels of her Super Super Bowl Performance, Madonna has announced her World Tour plans.  Billboard Magazine reports ... 
Madonna Announces 2012 World Tour Dates -- 
Her Biggest Tour Yet
February 07, 2012
By Ray Waddell, Nashville 
Fresh of her halftime performance at Super Bowl XLVI (which was viewed by 114 million people) comes details of the Madonna 2012 World Tour. The trek will begin May 29 in Tel Aviv, Israel, and will be her most extensive tour ever in terms of number of dates, according to Arthur Fogel, CEO of Live Nation Global Touring, worldwide producers of the tour. The tour will take Madonna to Australia for the first time in 20 years, as well as many markets she has never played before.
This will be Madonna's fifth tour with Fogel and Live Nation, and second under her long-term multi-rights deal with the promoter. Her last tour, Sticky & Sweet in 2008-2009, grossed $408 million according to Billboard Boxscore, the highest ever for a solo artist and third-highest of all time. Prior to that, Madonna's 2006 Confessions Tour grossed $194 million, according to Boxscore, then the highest ever for a female artist.
The 2012 tour will follow the release of Madonna's new album "MDNA," due March 26 on Live Nation Entertainment / Interscope Records, which creates myriad cross-promotional opportunities, according to Fogel. Having the recording and touring (not to mention merchandising and other rights) under one umbrella "gives you the freedom to line up all the different elements to sell tickets and to sell records," he says. "It's as great a set-up as you could have. If this doesn't work, I'm going into plumbing."
The tour will play arenas, stadiums and unique outdoor sights, including the Plains of Abraham in Quebec. Fogel tells Billboard.biz that production for the tour is in the conceptual stages, but did say, "it will be big and can get bigger," depending on the venue.
The tour will play 26 European markets, including London, Paris, Milan and Berlin, before hitting North American shores beginning Aug. 28 in Philadelphia. Twenty-six shows are planned for North America, including a Sept. 6 show at New York's Yankee Stadium, and an Oct. 10  performance at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Tickets are scheduled to go on sale beginning Feb. 10 in Tel Aviv and the U.K., with North American tickets going on sale beginning Feb. 13. Tickets for North America are available at Ticketmaster.com and LiveNation.com.
Madonna will play North America until just before Thanksgiving, then head to Latin America to tour until the holidays, then wrap the tour in Australia in early 2013, Fogel says. The entire tour will end up with close to 90 shows, which would be the most ever for Madonna; Sticky & Sweet ended up with 85 dates. When all is said and done, the upcoming tour will be one of the highest-grossing treks in history, potentially giving her two tours in the top five all time. Fogel says ticket scaling will be "almost identical" to Sticky & Sweet, though venue capacities will vary.
While Madonna's first headlining tour was in 1985, the upcoming run will only be her ninth. Sticky & Sweet was a monster by any measure. and included some blockbuster dates in a wide range of territories, 32 countries in all. Madonna sold 650,000 tickets in South America, 72,000 tickets at Zurich's Dübendorf Airfield-the largest attended concert ever in Switzerland-75,000 tickets in London, and four sellouts at New York's Madison Square Garden that sold 60,364 tickets. That tour wrapped where the next one begins, Tel Aviv.
As a touring artist, Madonna is relatively "fresh" compared to some artists with similar career longevity. "When I started working with her on the 2001 tour, she hadn't toured since the early '90s," Fogel points out. "The last tour was her biggest tour ever, it propelled her into the top-grossing tours of all time and was the top tour ever by a solo artist, and that was 25 years into her career. Whatever there is to be said, the facts speak for themselves: she's never been bigger, and she's a great performer with a great catalog and a great new record. She's one of those iconic legends at the top of her game."
Over the past decade, Madonna tours have moved into that elite status of the "event" tour, where the tour itself becomes a cultural touch point. And while there are other acts that are hugely popular on a global scale (Fogel works with a couple of them, including U2 and Lady GaGa) a Madonna tour remains a unique animal in terms of striking a chord with a passionate fan base and generating media coverage. "There are people out there who always want to set it up as her against other artists that have emerged, but the truth is they're all unique and great and have their space in the hearts and minds of fans," Fogel says. "I don't even think about that stuff, it's irrelevant."
In addition to her Super Bowl performance, last week also saw the release of Madonna's new single, "Give Me All Your Luvin." According to today's announcement, pre-orders for "MDNA" have already catapulted the record to No. 1 on iTunes in 51 countries, including the U.S., U.K., Germany, France, Spain, Canada, Italy, Sweden and the Netherlands.
U.S. residents ordering tickets online to a U.S. performance will receive their choice of a digital or physical copy of Madonna's new MDNA album with every ticket purchased. Citi is the official credit card of U.S. leg of the tour, and Citi card members will have access to pre-sale tickets beginning Feb. 8 through Citi's Private Pass® Program.
Lifetime Legacy members of Icon, Madonna's official fan club, will receive first access to tickets and VIP Packages starting today. Registered free Icon members will have the opportunity to purchase an Icon Live Pass, which gives them access to ticket and VIP Package pre-sales. Fans can sign up for a free Icon membership at Madonna.com today.
VIP Packages will are available through VIP Nation, including premium seats, exclusive merchandise and more. For more information please visit: www.VIPNation.com
29-May Tel Aviv, Israel Ramat Gam Stadium On Sale Feb. 10
3-Jun Abu Dhabi Yas Arena On Sale Feb. 27
7-Jun Istanbul, Turkey Turk Telecom Arena On sale soon
11-Jun Zagreb, Croatia Maksimir Stadium On Sale Feb. 17
14-Jun Milan, Italy Stadio San Siro On Sale Feb. 13
16-Jun Florence, Italy Stadio Franchi On Sale Feb. 13
20-Jun Barcelona, Spain Palau Sant Jordi On Sale Feb. 16
24-Jun Coimbra, Portugal Estadio Cidade de Coimbra On Sale Feb. 11
28-Jun Berlin, Germany O2 Arena On Sale Feb. 13
2-Jul Copenhagen, Denmark Parken Stadium On Sale Feb.
4-Jul Gothenburg, Sweden Ullevi Stadium On Sale Feb. 17
7-Jul Amsterdam,The Netherlands Ziggo Dome On Sale Feb. 11
12-Jul Brussels, Belgium Stade Roi-Baudouin On Sale Feb. 17
14-Jul Paris, France Stade De France On Sale Feb. 14
17-Jul London, UK Hyde Park On Sale Feb. 10
21-Jul Edinburgh, UK Murrayfield Stadium On Sale Feb. 10
24-Jul Dublin, Ireland Aviva Stadium On Sale Feb. 17
29-Jul Vienna, Austria Ernst-Happel-Stadion On Sale Feb. 24
1-Aug Warsaw, Poland National Stadium On Sale Feb. 17
7-Aug Moscow, Russia Olimpiski Arena On sale soon
8-Aug St. Petersburg, Russia SKK Arena On sale soon
12-Aug Helsinki, Finland Olympic Stadium On Sale Feb. 14
15-Aug Oslo, Norway Telenor Arena On Sale Feb. 20
18-Aug Zurich, Switzerland Stadion Letzigrund On Sale Feb. 24
21-Aug Nice, France Stade Charles-Erhmann On Sale Feb. 14
28-Aug Philadelphia, PA Wells Fargo Center On Sale Feb. 13
30-Aug Montreal, QC Bell Centre On Sale Feb. 18
1-Sep Quebec City, QC Plains of Abraham Site On Sale Feb. 17
4-Sep Boston, MA TD Garden On Sale Feb. 13
6-Sep New York, NY Yankee Stadium On Sale Feb. 13
10-Sep Ottawa, ON Scotiabank Place On Sale Feb. 13
12-Sep Toronto, ON Air Canada Centre On Sale Feb. 13
15-Sep Atlantic City, NJ Boardwalk Hall On Sale Feb. 27
19-Sep Chicago, IL United Center On Sale Feb. 13
23-Sep Washington, D.C. Verizon Center On Sale Feb. 13
29-Sep Vancouver, BC Rogers Arena On Sale Feb. 13
2-Oct Seattle, WA Key Arena On Sale Feb. 13
6-Oct San Jose, CA HP Pavilion On Sale Feb. 13
10-Oct Los Angeles, CA Staples Center On Sale Feb. 13
13-Oct Las Vegas, NV MGM Grand On Sale Feb. 27
16-Oct Phoenix, AZ US Airways Center On Sale Feb. 27
20-Oct Dallas, TX American Airlines Center On Sale Feb. 27
24-Oct Houston, TX Toyota Center On Sale Feb. 27
27-Oct New Orleans, LA New Orleans Arena On Sale Mar. 5
30-Oct Kansas City, MO Sprint Center On Sale Mar. 5
1-Nov St. Louis, MO Scottrade Center On Sale Mar. 5
3-Nov St. Paul, MN Xcel Energy Center On Sale Feb. 27
10-Nov Cleveland, OH Quicken Loans Arena On Sale Mar. 5
15-Nov Charlotte, NC Time Warner Cable Arena On Sale Mar. 5
17-Nov Atlanta, GA Philips Arena On Sale Mar. 5
TBC Miami, FL To Be Confirmed On Sale Soon
>>>Newt Gingrich Sued for Using Survivor's 'Eye of the Tiger' at Campaign Events  (Bill)
I'm missing something.
Wouldn't a candidate's organization go to BMI and ASCAP to obtain licenses?
Or, are they just (stupidly) ASS-uming the places they're appearing at,
have them or will obtain them?
That's putting a whale of a lotta trust in people with whom you at best
have dealings every four (or two or six) years.
Hi Kent -
When you think of it, Newt could so easily have asked Trade Martin to write him a special song.
Best Wishes,
Mike Edwards 
re:  SOUL TRAIN:  
I can't get BOUNCE TV in the suburbs but I found a Soul Train marathon on "Centric", a black-oriented cable station, Saturday afternoon.  The show was from either late '75 or early '76.  Bloodstone and The Dells were the guests (in LA of course) and featured songs included "Turning Point" (Tyrone Davis) and David Ruffin's "Walk Away From Love."  I did get to see the exhibit in downtown Chicago last year, although the late, great Don Cornelius wasn't there -- he'd already spoken there the day before.  Great Chicago shows from '71-'73 were aired.
We had a non-stop marathon running here, too ... Frannie had it on for a while on Saturday.  Personally, I just never really got into the show ... I was probably too old for it at the time (and felt it had already been done as good as it was going to be done on programs like American Bandstand, The Lloyd Thaxton Show, and evening programming like Shindig and Hullaballoo ... more of MY generation's music television.  That being said, there is NO question how much Don Cornelius helped advance Black Music in America ... I just don't think I appreciated it at the time.  (Frannie, on the other hand, is WAY more into '70's Soul that I am ... but I have most definitely come around these past 10-12 years or so!  Visiting the Philadelphia International Studios a couple of years ago was a REAL treat for both of us ... Forgotten Hits Readers Rich and Mamie set us up for a "private tour" and it was amazing and enlightening.  Love that music more than ever today!)  Honestly, the shows I watched Saturday Night look TRULY dated ... especially from a fashion standpoint ... but it is a part of our musical heritage and should be viewed that way.  (kk)

And Robert Feder reports this morning that Don Cornelius had just recently learned about his upcoming induction to The Illinois Broadcasters Hall Of Fame shortly before his death.  How sad that he won't be there to personally receive his award.  (kk)
Just weeks before his death, Soul Train legend Don Cornelius was selected for induction in the Illinois Broadcasters Hall of Fame.  Although the news had not yet been announced, the Chicago native was chosen shortly before the end of last year. Dennis Lyle, president and CEO of the Illinois Broadcasters Association, said the group had been in contact with Cornelius about setting a date for his induction, which now will occur posthumously. “It’s just tragic Don passed before entering IBA's Hall of Fame, but we're so thankful that he learned of — and accepted — our invitation for induction prior to his death,” Lyle said. “There's no rhyme or reason to the timing of our invitation to him for induction, but one need only read the passionate accolades being expressed of this talented icon since his passing to understand why a person of his caliber and talent was nominated and then received unanimous IBA board approval for induction. It certainly opens our eyes to the fact that, like Don, there remain many outstanding qualified candidates destined for IBA Hall of Fame consideration that are getting along in years." Oprah Winfrey and Bob Newhart were inducted last year.

Lots of press for Paul McCartney's new album of standards ... here are a few sent in to us by FH Reader Dave Barry ...  

Paul McCartney Blows 'Kiss' to Hollywoodby Piya Sinha-Roy
Reuters, January 20, 2012
Paul McCartney's new album "Kisses on the Bottom" will see the legendary Beatles' singer harking back to the golden era of Hollywood, bringing both old favorites and new compositions to his latest musical offering.
"Kisses on the Bottom," named after the lyrics on the album's first track "I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter," will showcase the former Beatle on a "deeply personal journey" singing classic American songs that inspired McCartney and bandmate John
Lennon when they wrote songs for the Beatles.
"When we grew up, we had my dad's or in John's case, his mother's era that we were listening to, and then when we came to write rock and roll songs, this informed the rock and roll," McCartney told reporters in London on Thursday.
He added the Beatles' "Honey Pie" was one such track "harking back to Hollywood."
The ex-Beatle said he was inspired by some of Hollywood's best known actors and singers, including Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and especially Fred Astaire, whose style and voice were a reference for McCartney throughout his career.
"Fred Astaire was just this fantastic character from that era, he's so elegant. Musically, his vocal style is very interesting ... he had this little voice that I kind of wanted to get near, so I tried that and that became a little bit of a signature with this album," said McCartney.
"It's this era that I love, it's a rich era for style, music and intelligent art."
Despite wanting to do this album "for a long time" through both his Beatles and solo careers, McCartney was forced to delay the record after British singers Robbie Williams and Rod Stewart released their own albums of big band classics. McCartney did not want to appear as if he was jumping on their "bandwagon."
"The album wasn't going to be the direction that everyone else was taking, so the songs are not quite as well known as some of the songs that Rod's been doing," said the singer.
McCartney teamed up with producer Tommy LiPuma and Grammy-winning jazz musician Diana Krall to record "Kisses on the Bottom" in London, New York and the famed Capitol Records studios in Los Angeles. He picked old favorites such as "More I Cannot Wish You" from the musical "Guys and Dolls" and a slow version of classic song "Bye Bye Blackbird."
McCartney also collaborated with legendary musician Stevie Wonder on "Only Our Hearts," a tribute to the music of the '30s and '40s, and Eric Clapton on "My Valentine," one of the singer's favorite tracks on the album and a love letter to his new wife, Nancy Shevell.
"The fact that I was working with great jazz musicians altered something. I don't know what's been altered, but it's really cool," the "Yesterday" singer said.
McCartney dropped hints that songs from the new album may be part of his upcoming performance at the London Olympics later this year, and also said that if asked, he would perform for Britain's Queen Elizabeth at her upcoming Diamond Jubilee festivities.
"Kisses on the Bottom" will be released on February 7.
Paul McCartney's New Album 'Kisses on the Bottom' Has Him Looking Back on the Old Daysby Amy Lee
Huffington Post, January 19, 2012
The sight of Fred Astaire in tails crooning "Cheek to Cheek" is hardly the first image that pops to mind when you think of the Beatles. But Paul McCartney's new album, "Kisses on the Bottom" will pay tribute to childhood songs that influenced him -- and the Beatles -- including
music by Astaire.
"My dad was the piano player at the New Years Eve dinner," McCartney said. "So he played these songs at home."
At an online press conference, McCartney reminisced about his early memories listening to songs like "It's Only a Paper Moon" and "Bye Bye Blackbird." His love of the standards was shared by another Beatle: John Lennon. McCartney says that when he and Lennon first got
together, they bonded over their shared taste.
"Those kinds of things drew us together," McCartney said. "And we'd be referencing those songs as we wrote the new songs."
The new album has apparently always been a project in the back of his mind. Former bandmate Ringo beat him to it on his 1970 album "Sentimental Journey," which also covers standards.
"I wanted to do it in The Beatles," he said. "I never got round to it because we were writing 'Sgt. Pepper,' 'The White Album,' the new stuff."
The influence of these standards is evident across Beatles records, as in the song "Honey Pie," which McCartney says "definitely hearken[s] back to pure Hollywood." And in the Beatles film "Magical Mystery Tour," the sequence set to "Your Mother Should Know" unfolds in the style of a 1930s musical, all four Beatles in tuxedos.
Pure Hollywood could also describe the content of his new album.  Recent film "The Artist" (which McCartney referenced, and called "great") takes place in the same era as the album's songs.
"I remember in the 60s when we were making 'Sgt. Pepper,' I used to say I really like Fred Astaire," McCartney said. "Fred's jackets are cut very close, with very slim sleeves, so I wanted one -- those kinds of stylistic things came from people like him."
The music came from McCartney's father, who was a self-taught musician. According to McCartney, his father wanted him to take lessons and learn "properly." But after three tries with a teacher, he gave it up.
"It wasn't what I was hearing in my head," he said, describing one last teacher who tried to assign him five-finger exercises. "I had already written 'When I'm 64' at that point. I couldn't go backwards."
McCartney wrote that song when he was 16. Now, he's 69. [But his perspective on age has changed quite a bit since those days.
"We thought thirty was like really old," he said. "Now I think it's amazingly young. There was a guy at John's art college who was 24 and we felt very sorry for him, he looked like a real old guy, he had a five -o-clock shadow, he looked really pathetic to us because we were like, 16."
Though some people might be content to rest on their laurels after the Beatles, McCartney just can't stop making music.
"I'm really just some kid from Liverpool still," McCartney said.
Paul McCartney's New Album: 'I Wanted to Do This with the Beatles'by Sean Michaels
London Guardian, January 20, 2012
Paul McCartney's new album is the album he always wanted to make with the Beatles, he has revealed. After bonding with John Lennon over 30s pop songs, McCartney said he dreamed of putting together a collection of old favourites. "I never got round to it because we were writing
Sgt Pepper [or] The White Album," he explained.
Kisses on the Bottom, due in February, is McCartney's first pop album in almost five years. Comprising 12 covers and two originals, it was inspired by the soundtrack of his childhood -- songs such as Bye Bye Blackbird and It's Only a Paper Moon, his father's favourite. "My dad
was a piano player," McCartney said in a webcast on Thursday. Like Lennon, McCartney grew up attending Liverpool sing-songs; this music, he said, "drew us together". "We'd be referencing those [classic] songs as we wrote the new song "I wanted to do [music like this] in the Beatles," he continued. But the Fab Four had too many projects, and after the band split, McCartney had too much competition. "Every time I came to this album someone else would do it," he explained, pointing to Ringo Starr's 1970 record, Sentimental Journey. "I kept saying, 'Well I can't do it now, it'll look like I'm jumping on the bandwagon.' But then I [decided] I'd just do it and not worry about the market."
The key to the new record, McCartney said, was "channelling Fred Astaire". With help from producer Tommy LiPuma, the 69-year-old experimented with a "littler voice". "We'd say, what song do you want to do? We'd pull up chords and lyrics … Kick it around and record it."
Unlike most producers, LiPuma sat in the tracking room with McCartney.
"It became more intimate." But they were also able to play and experiment -- slowing down Bye Bye Blackbird, for example. "I think that's why I had so much fun doing it Something much more staged is in store if McCartney wants to participate in this year's Olympic Games.
"If there is something they want me to do, they'll tend to dictate it rather than me," he said. The singer was due to meet a London 2012 official on Friday. McCartney could also "easily" be involved in the celebration of the Queen's diamond jubilee, in June. "[I'm] a big fan of the Queen," he said. "She does a great job." McCartney was one of the performers at the golden jubilee in 2002.
Kisses on the Bottom will be released by Hear Music on 6 February. Its cheeky title comes from the opening line of a song by Fats Waller, I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter.

And this from FH Reader Frank B ...

Kent ...
I never knew they recorded this song.  It's The Royal Teens doing "Hey Jude".  I like to call it "In The Still Of The Night" meets "Hey Jude".
What do you think ?
Frank B.