Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Does Madonna need Coachella?

I've got mixed emotions about Madonna playing the Coachella Valley Music Festival, which happens at the end of April. She'll be performing in the festival's dance tent on April 30, among an interesting bill of rock, pop and dance acts including Depeche Mode, Daft Punk, Massive Attack (maybe Maddy ought to get together with them to do that cover of Marvin Gaye's "I Want You"), Franz Ferdinand, Scissor Sisters, Bloc Party, James Blunt, and Sleater-Kinney. It makes me wish that I was in California. Being on such a bill will give her more credibility among the music intelligentsia both in the US and aboard.

On the other hand she needs to do more promo in her native country. While her album Confessions on a Dance Floor debuted at #1 on the US album chart (along with the rest of the world on their album charts), her videos have gotten major airtime on MTV and VH1, and the excellent first single "Hung Up" went to #7 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart, her current single "Sorry" isn't doing too well here--while the song has been topping the international charts, it has only gotten to #58 the same Hot 100. (Though at least it had charted on there, while three singles from her last album American Life have failed to do that.) Part of the problem is the US radio has been reluctant to play the single. Even many of the stations that did play "Hung Up" haven't taken up this one. It could be a number of reasons why...she's considered to be too old for Top 40's youth demographic (even though "Hung Up" went to #1 on MTV's TRL), some radio corporation honchos think that "she doesn't care about this country anymore" (because she lives in England now, or that she doesn't support Bush's war with Iraq, or both), or that she's doing dance music, a genre that hasn't gotten much love from radio in the past few years--it could be that the Top 40 stations that have been playing dance tracks like Cascada's "Everytime We Touch" or Rihanna's "S.O.S." have decided that adding the Madonna track onto their playlists would have been one dance track too many and decided to pass on it.

What Madonna needs to do if she wants her album to have to same staying power in America as it has been internationally, she needs to do more active promo here. A promo tour of the top ten/fifteen cities with stops at various radio stations and some in-store signings, not just in New York and L.A. And she needs to do more television appearances in the US as well, such as Saturday Night Live and The Tonight Show, and , and she needs to be seen performing the songs, not just giving interviews (like she did on Ellen, what a blown opprotunity to showcase "Sorry"). America had to wait until February to see Madonna perform "Hung Up" at the Grammys, while she has been treating Europeans to the same song for the prior few months. By that time Grammy time came around that single had peaked on the US charts and "Sorry" was getting prepared to come out.

And when she's giving interviews, Madonna ought to concentrate on the music. No more of that high falutin' Kabbalah mama act, stop telling how Lourdes is becoming a fag hag like her mother, and just get over that she fell off that horse, she's doing fine now. For a change talk about the difference on how dance music is treated between America and the rest of world. About why America needs to embrace dance music. Discuss why a post-911 America turned its back on dance and embraced macho hip-hop with a vengance. She needs to be reminded why she's doing the interviews in the first place: to get people interested in buying the new album.

If Madonna had taken a more active stance in promoting the album in the states and did the following...not just doing some music festival on the coast where the majority of Top 40 radio station listeners don't care about, "Sorry" would have fared better on the US airwaves. (And maybe "Hung Up" might have topped the US singles charts as well, like it has in the rest of the world.) But maybe she didn't want to do that, she does have a family after all, and America is not the world. It's not like she'll be collecting food stamps if Americans stopped buying her music. She'd rather aim at being credible, thank you very much. Hence her appearence at Coachella.

Still I look at the US charts reflecting a long night of despair with its constant diet of scowling rappers. The airwaves would be brighter and American life would be more endurable if Madonna would be singing her current songs on the radio. I hate to think what Americans are missing what the rest of the world are hearing.

And yes I do wish I had the money to go see her at Coachella. Oh well, I guess I can always hope that when she does a proper tour this summer she does come to Philly.

Okay I've ranted enough about her already. I think I'm going to stop posting about Madonna now. (At least for the time being.)


Blogger hot-lunch said...

more Madonna is always needed!

I'm sorry (no pun intended) to hear that Sorry is not faring so well south of the border. It's being played on radio stations here in Canada (at least in Vancouver) which is a great accomplishment since they barely played any of the singles from American Life.

As well, the video for Sorry has made its way to both MuchMusic and MuchMoreMusic. It helps that MuchMoreMusic has a website where you can vote for the Top 10, and I make my way there to vote constantly everyday!

Are you doing your part in getting "Sorry" played? Requesting it at radio stations either by phone or internet? (It's so high school, I know, but hey it might work!) In the words of Kylie, your disco needs you!

9:21 PM  
Blogger The Divine Ms. Jimmi said...

Madonna has just become a little bit to much, anyway. She peaked in the 90's. Now, it is realtivly over. I liked "Hung Up" but very little else of her new album. It is sort of dull.

1:06 AM  

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