Ricky Martin is a prolific man these days. He just released a Spanish-language album in February and he is already pushing out tunes from his forthcoming English-language album.
The first single, "Mr. Put It Down" features fellow Miami native Pitbull spitting out some of his signature Mr. Worldwide licks while Ricky counters with a few falsetto verses of his own. Not a bad pair.
You can sign up for weekly updates from Deadly Music! at the end of this post.
Girl Band: “Why they hide their bodies under my garage?”
Irish act Girl Band got a lot of people all hot and bothered last year with their brand of post punk anarchic alt rock on songs “Lawman” and “De Bom Bom,” both of which came close to hitting the White Light/White Heat sweet spot.
Supporting an upcoming U.S. release of some of their earlier work (cleverly titled The Early Years), just released is their gloriously raucous cover of Blawan‘s “Why they hide their bodies under my garage?” which is accompanied by an epic head wreck video which may leave you feeling a little queasy.
Their first track together “The Colour Blue” teams Vail’s sparse electronica as showcased on his work over the last couple of years - notably “Free” and EP Grow - with the understated vocals of singer/songwriter Lavery.
Listen to new tracks by Lyfe Indoors, Fred Thomas and Michael Price, AFTER THE JUMP...
Today is the release of Madonna's 13th studio album, Rebel Heart.
It's also the 33rd year she has been pushing out records, making political and social statements, and generally "causing a commotion" as one of her early tracks so aptly described it.
Part of that commotion was to challenge notions of sexuality and gender, and to battle social oppression. As her music evolved, so did her message, but I think you'll see that in the 26 examples to follow, she has always been there for the LGBT community, more than any other artist of her caliber.
Said Madonna in an early interview for her 1992 documentary Truth or Dare (which is clipped in the video above):
"What I think to be a big problem in the United States and that's homophobia - there's a big section in [Truth or Dare] devoted to that....These things exist in life. I'm only presenting life to people. I'm not presenting anything that probably they're not exposed to in everyday life but maybe they don't want to deal with it. You know, if you keep putting something in somebody's face eventually maybe they can come to terms with it."
At the start of her professional career ten years earlier, the world was facing a new plague, and the devastation it would wreak in the years ahead was unfathomable. Madonna was deeply affected by it.
When I first came up, the whole AIDS epidemic was starting, and the gay community that I experienced from the beginning of my career was mostly — and overwhelmingly — concerned with staying alive. And, also, I felt really aware of the preciousness of life and time. The gay community and people who were HIV-positive were treated so badly, and I was very disturbed by things. But I also saw a lot of love and connection in the gay community at that time.
Like all progress that is made in all marginalized communities or groups, I think after time goes by and you earn certain rights or you break through certain barriers, you could sometimes, maybe, take it for granted what you have now that you didn’t have before. And then that would lead to a certain lack of community, in a way, caring in a way, that I saw before.
Madonna saw several of her mentors and friends (like Martin Burgoyne, pictured) fall to the disease and used her concerts and interviews as forums to combat the stigmatization and myths surrounding HIV and AIDS. So she spoke up. Many, many times.
Other times she fought homophobia by creating visibility for gay people in ways only she could — through performance and video, much of it driven by her understanding that to shock people was a way to generate headlines. Call it selfish, but it still had the end result of putting images in the media that were not there before — images of gay sexuality and power.
She has spoken about how her interest in combating oppression grew over the course of her career:
"I'm aware of sexism, I'm aware of racism, I'm aware of homophobia. I'm aware of all these things.When I started out I didn't go 'okay these are all these things, these subjects that I want to tackle, that I want to make a change about.' But that's sort of the way my life's gone and it's a responsibility that fell in my lap that I actually welcome."
She also spoke about outing and the power of people coming out of the closet (see clip above):
"It's an explosive issue. On the one hand I can see their point of view, the people that want to out people, in saying 'If you people in powerful positions would come out and say that they're gay then the masses or the people that don't understand or the people who have prejudices against homosexuals would get rid of their stereotypes that gay people are perverts or whatever....On the other hand, the other side of the argument is I'll come out when I'm ready to come out...People do have the right to say what they want to say. It's unfortunate that there aren't more outspoken people on gay rights that are in powerful positions. And it's unfortunate that saying somebody's gay is such a frightening thing in the world today, that it's such a frightening concept."
Speaking up for gay rights is not just using the power of the microphone but showing and telling.
Madonna has done much of it over the course of her long and storied career.
Today, Madonna drops her thirteenth studio album and, frankly, her best work in at least 15 years. The full Rebel Heart experience is a genre-spanning affair, as bold and uncompromising as its iconic star.
The record will no doubt stir some debate in social circles, as it has in a smattering of early reviews. Will you fall into the camp that loves strummers like “Devil Pray” and “Rebel Heart”? Is lead single “Living For Love” throwaway pop bombast or Madonna’s best single since “Hung Up”? Are you charmed by the plucky “Body Shop” or do you find the metaphor instantly tiresome? Folks seem to agree that Rebel Heart is one of Madonna’s strongest 21st-century outputs, but which tracks are highlights and which are skippable seems to differ from listener to listener. Sonically, the diversity could be attributed to the bevy of collaborators who helped craft the sound of Rebel Heart. Hit-makers like Avicii, Kanye West and Diplo appear throughout the liner notes, each leaving their imprint among the collection of tracks.
It’s the lyrical content that keeps the whole affair feeling cohesive, with Madonna at her most personal at its center. She’s opening up about lost love, she’s discussing the price of prominence and reflecting back on one of the most notable careers in pop music history. Of course, this is still Madonna, so there’s plenty of sex, religious imagery and Queen of Pop posturing to go around, but throughout the far-flung ideas that make Rebel Heart so worthy of study, Madonna’s resilient spirit permeates each moment.
We had the chance to talk to her Madgesty last night along with several other journalists. She graciously entertained questions about the album, those leaks, and how she’s seen the gay community change around her.
See highlights of what she had to say at the roundtable conversation, AFTER THE JUMP …
The music video for Carly Rae Jepsen's über-catchy "I Really Like You" has dropped, featuring a lip-syncing, Tinder using, emoji loving Tom Hanks and a brief appearance by Justin Bieber during the video's closing dance celebration in the streets.
Said Somerville of the album: “I've finally made the disco album I always wanted to and never thought could. If I was 15 again I'd buy it, sit on my bed, slowly open the gate-fold, slide out the vinyl, place it on the turntable then jump off the bed and imagine someone just passed me a tambourine…I'd be in heaven! The horns, the strings, the bass, the guitars, the drums, the backing vocals and the melody….the escape. So open your ears embrace the groove and pay homage to an all too easily derided sound ... I LOVE Disco!"