tajybajyboo

Rays Of Light
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About tajybajyboo

  • Rank
    Lucky Star
  • Birthday 02/13/1981

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    London
  • M Fan Since
    1994
  1. To clarify, I don’t think Madonna is a ‘victim’ of racism. She may have been the intended target, but she has never allowed herself to be a victim. And when she talked about the expectations placed on ‘a skinny-ass white girl’, I think she was being very matter of fact. She wasn’t looking for sympathy. She’s never allowed herself the time to wallow in self-pity and I admire that the most about her. I wish I were more like her in that respect.
  2. Well it needed to be said and needs to be heard. I don’t mean to offend anyone. I’m here to make friends not ruffle feathers, but racism towards towards white people does exist, and Madonna has been repeatedly targeted throughout her career. Surely on one would deny that? She even referenced it herself in her speech! & Of course it makes people feel uncomfortable, as it well should, because racism is horrible, no matter who the target is. But it can’t and shouldn’t be ignored either. This is not about the in-balance of power in society, between white and non-white, but about judgements and criticisms made solely on the basis of skin colour. Madonna could quite literally be trying to raise an impoverished African nation, one child at a time, and yet there are certain people who will only ever see a white woman ‘taking’ black children out of Africa for her own wicked, selfish gain. ‘You only see what your eyes want to see. How can life be what you want it to be. You’re frozen when you’re heart’s not open’. This may not be the intended context of those lyrics, but it conveys exceptional meaning in these circumstances. I’m not trying to stir the pot here, but if Madonna has taught us anything , surely we should be more sensitive towards cultures and people we don’t understand? These are traditional garments worn by people in a country we may not know anything about, so it’s incredibley rude and ignorant to make glib criticisms and qualify them as mere ‘difference of opinion’. There are some who think gay people are disgusting. Should we blindly accept that as just a ‘difference of opinion’? Ultimately it’s someone else culture. It’s a part of their life, their identity. Perhaps it’s only ‘ugly’ because we don’t understand it, but if we took a moment, opened our hearts and minds, then perhaps we might appreciate it more? Anyway, this all said always with love and respect.
  3. No one is taking about the elephant in the room here. RACISM and MISOGYNY. Unfortunately there are too many people who can’t stand the fact that Madonna, a white woman, was chosen to acknowledge a black performer. This is the same racist misogyny BS that dogged her Michael Jackson and Prince tributes. It’s the same racist misogyny that compels so-called ‘fans’ to call her grills ugly, and criticise her outfit because they ignorantly think she looks like a ‘gypsy’, as if that were somehow a bad thing, even if it were true. Would anyone dare say the samething about a black man wearing grills? Would they call a Berber Warrior Queen ugly for wearing those clothes? No, of course not. But these choices are unacceptable for Madonna because she is a white western woman. It’s forbidden. It’s not for her. She ‘should’ know better by now. Well guess what? She’s been smashing down these barriers her entire career, combating petty, narrow-minded ignorance throughout her adult life. It makes perfect sense that Aretha Franklin was just a footnote in Madonna’s career, because no matter how influential Aretha Franklin may have been, her life pales in significance to Madonna’s achievements and all her detractors can’t stand it. They wanted to see a black artist up there so they could enjoy ‘their’ moment. It’s racism. Pure and simple. Call it what is and don’t shy away from it, because it’s not acceptable. I would hope after everything she’s gone through her ‘fans’ would understand it by now, and defend her unreservedly - but here we are, 2018, and there are still so many who entirely missed the point... yet again. Long live Madonna, because her work is clearly not done yet.
  4. tajybajyboo

    I loved Borderline and nice to include Don't Tell Me, but the TOAC extra is a just a really big tease. I did laugh out loud at the donkey joke. Perhaps it's a sign of the next tour to come...
  5. tajybajyboo

    Is anyone else getting really shit quality on the iTunes version of Like A Prayer? It looks like a YouTube video shot on first generation camera phone from 2006?!!!
  6. tajybajyboo

    That's an interesting concept. I would probably edit out some of the songs and make both alums just 10 songs each, but I wonder how it might have sold had the album/albums been released that way? In this day and age the shelf-life of an album is much shorter than it used to be 10-15 years ago (unless your Ed Sheeran or Adele!), so releasing it as part 1/part 2 would've prolonged interest during the Rebel Heart 'era'. I'd suggest releasing part 1 first, followed by the usual TV promotion, then begin the tour at the same time releasing part 2 and a new 'lead' single'. That way you get a second wave of interest at the beginning of the tour; and then once it's over, release a 3-disc double-CD Super deluxe edition + DVD of the tour.
  7. tajybajyboo

    Whilst it's true alternate covers are more collectable for fans, it does pose a problem from a manufacturing and marketing point of view: 1) There's a minimum print and replication order, so if any one cover sells more than the others, you can end up with a lot of excess stock on your hands. Do you then only re-print the version that sold more? 2) Multiple editions makes the Marketing campaign and product inconsistent, which is fine for die-hard who understand and track the alternate covers, but it can be very confusing for your average Joe who doesn't understand what they're buying. Essentially you run the risk of diluting your campaign, in the hope hard-core fans will buy multiple copies. It might work in this instance - let's be honest, anyone buying this is likely to be long-serving fan at this point in her career - but then again, I wonder if multiple artwork and track-lists had a negative impact on Rebel Heart's album sales? To my mind, the standard album had the right number of tracks, but the wrong songs chosen in an inconsistent order, which didn't serve a consistent story arc or mood. It felt messy and bizarrely missed the title track. How does that even happen?! For that reason, the 18-track Deluxe version was arguably better (and more definitive?), but would've been benefited from some considered editing to make a more succinct statement. Instead we had a potentially great album buried in an abundance of so-so songs - such a shame. With that in mind, I've found the scatter-gun, 'throw everything at the wall and see what sticks' approach to be the biggest problem with the Rebel Heart era. The creativity and the effort were all there, but the final product was confusing and the roll out (for reasons obviously beyond control) was messy. Going forward, I hope for her work will be clearer and more concise, both in terms of album track-list and show set-lists, starting with the Rebel Heart Tour DVD.
  8. tajybajyboo

    I work for a company called Blueprint London. We specialise in designing and printing artwork for the Home Entertainment industry, and my client is Universal Pictures. As both an industry professional and fan I am surprised this artwork was chosen for the press release (if not the final product). I can appreciate the concept but the execution falls short. No need to dwell on it's shortcomings here, as they've already been addressed elsewhere in this thread. Although I hope this isn't the final product, it would be very bad Marketing practise to announce a release date via press release showing one design, only to change it further down the line. It's confusing for fans, and the inconsistency would disrupt the sales momentum created by the press release in the first instance. That said, I suspect most die hard fans have already seen the show either on Showtime or via YouTube. Waiting this long after the event is a mistake in terms of physical release potential. However, I suspect the sale of the TV rights were far more profitable than the number of units any physical release could hope to achieve. The sales of those rights usually impose an exclusivity window before they can be resold to another distributor, or commit to a physical release, which is why we've waited so long for the DVD. A DVD/Blu-ray/CD is a nice memento for collector's, but it's not a money-spinner in this age. Remembering first and foremost that this is a business, I'd suggest it's increasingly irrelevant to compare the sales strategy of this release to any of her previous concert DVDs. The inclusion of a double-CD is potentially a good idea - the additional manufacturing costs are negligible compared to the perceived retail value, and it gives reason to buy the physical release if you've already watched it on Showtime. That said, I find it hard to believe anyone who wants the audio wouldn't have already ripped it (or simply downloaded it) from the internet by now, which is why not including the missing songs feels like a wasted opportunity on the physical release. I'm on the fence regarding TOAC. Yes, it's inclusion would've been a must-have for any fan; but then again it's increasingly mythical once-in-a-lifetime (or should that be twice-in-a-lifetime?) status makes it's even more special for those who got to see it. And in any case, it was a completely different show to Rebel Heart, so why would it be included in the Rebel Heart Tour DVD? One further thought - I suspect TOC is still a work in progress; a demo version of a show Madonna hopes to tour later on in life. It might not necessarily be called TOC and the set-list will surely be refined; but why put out an official release for a work-in-progress now, which might cannibalise sales of a new, far more polished tour in the future? Ultimately though, I'm a fan and I'm just grateful that we're getting a release. It's a brilliant show that deserves to be archived and remembered. Thank you again Madonna. I'm looking forward to it.
  9. tajybajyboo

    Gorgeous and fun, but bored of the grills now. The hair is nice but doesn't add anything to the overall look, and I feel like the dress would've benefitted from a slit seem showing army boot thigh-highs to complete the look. Good effort, although Ri-ri stole it this year. Katy Perry take note...
  10. It’s really interesting hearing everyone’s point of view. There doesn’t seem to be an overall consensus with opinions ranging far and wide, at both ends of the spectrum. Some love it; others hate it. I suppose that makes satisfying everyone very difficult. That said, having watched and re-watched, I’ve moved past my own initial frustrations and niggling criticisms. Now a few days later, I’m drawing a very different opinion. On the whole I love the recording, but for those who were disappointed, I wonder if it’s a failure of expectations, rather than intention? Allow me to elaborate… I have a motto in life – ‘excitement leads to expectation, disappointment, and then frustration’. That might seem pessimistic, but from past experience, I know I’ve been the victim of my own preconceived notions of what I wanted an album, a tour, or a video to be; only to find myself disappointed by the reality of what it ended up being. The excitement comes from the desire to repeat past pleasures. We all have our favourite live recordings – for me it’s Confessions, others say Girlie Show and so on, and so forth – there’s no right or wrong answer, just our own individual preference. But the desire to repeat a past experience and feel the same satisfaction can stifle our ability to enjoy something new and different. In recognising that, I read some fans have resigned themselves to the inevitable disappointment, but others were pleasantly surprised, when it wasn’t ‘as bad’ as they’d feared. For anyone feeling disappointed though (as I initially was), perhaps it’s worth looking again to understand what the recording is, rather than criticising it, for all the things it never intended to be? I’m not trying to deny or supress anyone’s opinion here. I believe fans in this forum have responded genuinely, even when I find their choice of words challenging. But for my own part, I’ve managed to move beyond my own gut reaction, and re-evaluate and appreciate this recording in a very different way. Which brings me to my next point – what is authenticity? Many have complained this recording (and others) doesn’t accurately represent a real ‘live’ show – the slow-motion effects, the frenetic editing, the sweetened vocals, overlaying backdrops, and most notably, the lack of visual-continuity, splicing multiple shows together, all detract from any true sense of authenticity, failing to accurately represent what it was like to be there, seeing the show in-person. Some would rather re-live a singular concert, faithfully re-created in ‘real’ time and space; but there’s a contradiction here – all of Madonna’s live recordings are a constructed reality, which dilutes the true experience. You don’t relive the hours you spent queuing and the frustration you felt desperately waiting for the show to start; or the annoying person who held up a flag or a sign, blocking your view so you spent the entire night watching the screens instead. You don’t hear the reverberations of the bass, muffling Madonna’s voice; or that annoying girl standing next to you singing – shouting – screaming the wrong lyrics. That’s reality; that’s truth; that’s authenticity. Anything less is a construct in the editing room. It’s reliant on the artistic choice of an editor, whose eyes and ears are predetermined by the recording technology and conventions of live performance editing at that particular time. None of that can truthfully recreate the ‘real’ experience of what it was like to be there in person, and how you felt in that moment. For me, and I’m sure others too, this show really began on youtube, months before I saw the lights go down over the arena floor. I have fragmented memories of the 3 shows I attended – feelings and emotions more than anything I can specifically remember. But in truth, I’ve experienced this show predominantly via my phone. I’ve seen all the different costumes, hair styles, speeches, and changes in the set-list through multiple videos. Accordingly, there’s not one single show that can accurately represent the totality of this tour for me. I no longer differentiate between my ‘real’ memories and the many, many videos I’ve watched since the tour began. Whatever I might have experienced at the time, has largely been lost and replaced with a new version of the ‘truth’ – all those video clips have overtaken ‘reality’, and that’s what I’ll remember most. Moreover, I see many fans spend the duration of the show watching the performance via their phones, so their experience was never really defined by their own eyes, but mediated and fragmented through the limitations of the video captured on their phones. I believe Madonna recognises this. For example, her decision to insert grainy fan footage during MDNA was not incidental. She’s aware it’s inconsistent with the professionally shot footage, but she recognises the way modern audiences experience her performance. It’s not the same now as it had been in the former years of her career, when you had a limited opportunity to see the show and then it was gone forever, with the only artefact being a single officially recorded performance. In the future, perhaps everyone will have 4k Ultra-HD video technology on their phones and access to social media, which may defy the requirement to bother creating an official version. In essence, anyone with that technology can be an editor, creating their own perfect version of the show. It’s already happening – you can see various full length concerts on youtube, comprising multiple angles from different concerts, all mixed together. These clips combine low and high-res footage, and there is often a lack of continuity in the visuals and audio, which I appreciate, comes from necessity rather than design; but nonetheless, these videos accurately represent the way many of us have experienced this tour. In doing the same, Madonna only reflects the ‘reality’ of our experience. She’s creating another version of the ‘truth’ relevant to our experiences with technology now. I don’t regard it as an attempt to deny, conceal or hide her shortcomings. She’s merely holding up the mirror and reflecting the world as she sees it, as any artist would do. Maybe it’s not the way we would like to re-live the show, but I can appreciate her reasons for doing it; which takes me to my third point – style! Since I’m Going To Tell You A Secret, Madonna has strived to create a unique style and a visual vocabulary for her live recordings, quite unlike any other performer. It defies convention, so it can seem quite challenging, easily misunderstood or dismissed as inappropriate for purpose. I’m not aware of any other performer who has taken so much interest and creative control over their live recordings, but who said a show can only be presented in one way anyway? Like Picasso and the Cubist movement before her, Madonna recognises the influence of technology, developing a new way of ‘seeing’ her art, reflected by the realities of the modern age. Her shows have defied the status quo, pushing the boundaries and expectations of live concert performance. 30 years deep into her career, the production values of her shows are a staple for many performers. It’s become the norm, we expect it, so who know, perhaps in another 10 years’ time, everyone will be editing their concerts in the same way, and that will become the ‘new normal’. I appreciate it’s not to everyone’s taste now, and this is only my opinion of course, but I suspect Madonna may be well ahead of the curve here, and for that I recognise and applaud her innovation, rebellion and revolution, even if her daring vision goes underappreciated in her own time. This is exactly why I love her. This is all food for thought of course. It’s just my opinion. I’m sure others will disagree, but please don’t pound on me if you feel differently. I come in peace! Epic post over and out.
  11. I was hoping to wait until I’d seen a seamless HD version, but finally succumbed to watching the Rutube videos. What can I say? I’m a sinner and I like it that way! For anyone still waiting to see it, I can only echo what’s already been said, but here’s a fuller review than most. In the plus column, the colours and image quality in this recording are amazing – much better than MDNA’s grainy Insta-crap filters. The editing is frenetic, but that’s not a bad thing, especially during Burning Up and Illuminati, which captures the insane energy of both performances extremely well. Even Messiah, which I had been indifferent too until now, picks up the pace with dramatic effect during Marvin’s solo. There are gentler and tender moments during True Blue, Heartbreak City, and La Vie En Rose. I loooved the audience shots during True Blue, and I’ll admit I shed a tear or two. All 3 are captured beautifully, but I agree with everyone – it was a terrible disappointment to lose Love Don’t Live Here Anymore, but still include a random speech about Detroit. The opening act is damn-near perfect, even though Devil Pray was ever-so-slightly edited, and I’d love to see Bitch I’m Madonna on Blu-ray 3D. As noted by others, it is more like a music video than a live performance, but nonetheless, it still looks awesome. I think the vocals and audio throughout are the best since the Confessions DVD. You can hear her voice, sometimes just barely over the backing track, but it sounds great and confirms she’s singing live, without needing to ‘sweeten’ the vocals as per Sticky & Sweet. Even Body Shop, which sounded ghastly most nights, fairs better here. The problems start in the second act, firstly during her six-pack-speech watching her hair go from only so-slightly-wavy, to super-curls, to super-quiff mid-way during Deeper & Deeper. The effect is jarring. It takes you away from the moment, which is a great, great shame. By the time you get to Like A Virgin, all pretence has been lost – it’s evidently supposed to be multiple performances spliced together, rather than a continuity error, which is fine, during a performance where we’re seeing her interact with fans all around the world. I particularly liked the extended ‘see my booty get down’, which I’d had thought was too short during the live shows. Living For Love and La Isla Bonita continued the costume-confusion managing 4 variants of the matador outfit; and I hated the fake audience cheers, during Living for Love, which was disappointing for me, because this was the performance I had looked forward to the most. That said, Dress You Up/Into The Groove were edited seamlessly, and I didn’t miss Lucky Star. Rebel Heart was a favourite, as I have a copy Ben Youdan’s album-cover collage, spinning around at the beginning of the first chorus, bought for me by my boyfriend. We have very happy memories seeing the show together in London, so it was a really great moment to relive. I really hope Take a Bow and Like A Prayer make the final DVD cut, if only to give me another reason to buy it. The last act is so much better than I remember it. As mentioned before, Illuminati was insane. M was genuinely funny during the Music interlude and ‘will you marry me’ speech at the end of Material Girl; and Candy Shop continues to surprise me as the Hard Candy hit-that-never-was, popping up in every tour since. I hated the demo when it leaked in 2007, but I’ve loved all 3 live performances, this one possibly the most – those slut-drops are amazing! Unapologetic Bitch is another highlight, and I’m glad they included so many bitches in the final cut, even though a few more muscle-hunks wouldn’t have gone a miss. Finally Holiday encapsulates the best of this recording – the fast, frenzied editing; the crisp vocals, the vibrant colours; and the cumulative effect of multiple performances condensed into one. It’s not a song a particularly care for, having heard it a million times before, but I concede, it really was the perfect to way to end the show. In conclusion, this recording falls somewhere between Confessions and Sticky & Sweet, but is definitely an improvement over MDNA. Both audio and visuals are about 90% there, only falling frustratingly short by some unnecessary editing choices, when less would have achieved more. But when it’s good, it’s great. Overall, I found this tour, album, and era much more enjoyable than MDNA and Hard Candy. It was frustratingly blighted by Schadenfreude (leaks, capes and Drakes), and it’s such a shame that mainstream radio won’t embrace Madonna anymore. Their loss, but for her part, she certainly delivered. Rebel Heart is great album, buried beneath an overly-long and confused track-listing; but for the most-part, the tour and this recording, readdress that vision in an overwhelmingly positive and satisfying way. Thank you again Madonna. You are everything. Don’t go away for too long, because the world needs you now, more than ever before.
  12. Sounds great. Looks great. Super-duper excited. Can't wait!!!
  13. Times go by so slowly for those who wait...
  14. Wow! Wow! Wow! This looks so amazing! I'm so happy and super-excited right now. Thank you so much M. You thrill me!
  15. It has to be said - she looks gorgeous in that clip, with those big bambi eyes!