Julie Anne San Jose continues her hitmaking streak as Forever moves back up to #5 this week. This is her sixth top 10 overall. She already has two #1 songs this year alone. Youtube views: 242,782 (+2.06%)
Son of a Prison Guard becomes their fourth #1 hit in My Weekly Top 10 countdown. It is from their Bulletproof Picasso album. It's also Train's eighth top 10 hit overall. Youtube views: 1,579 views (+1.67%)
An American string quartet and an EDM DJ tops this year's MyFABE Music Awards. The Kronos Quartet and Zedd win four and three awards each in this year's awards. This is the first time a classical act tops the awards as the Kronos Quartet had two wins in the new classical category (Classical Act and Classical song - for The Beatitudes), the Movie/Musical/TV Song of the Year (The Beatitudes again from the Oscar-winning movie La Grande Belleza) and Instrumental/Acapella Song of the Year. On the other hand, DJ Zedd won two of the four most coveted trophies of the night, Artist of the Year and Album of the Year for True Colors. He also won Dance Act of the Year. The American new wave band Walk the Moon got the coveted Record of the Year award and another DJ production GTA got the New Artist of the Year award.
A DJ, an up-and-coming chanteuse and a provocative female singer-songwriter lead the nominees in the 6th MyFABE Music Awards. Zedd, Ariana Grande and Tori Amos all have six nominations each, making them the leaders in the 6th MyFABEMusic Awards. Tori Amos got nominated for three major awards, Artist, Album (for Unrepentant Geraldines) and Record of the Year (for Selkie), Pop Act of the Year and two nominations for Pop Song of the Year (for Selkie and Zedd got nominated for two major awards, Artist of the Year and Album of the Year for his album True Colors, and the two dance category awards (Dance Act and Dance Song of the Year) and one for Collaboration of the Year and surprisingly, in the R&B Song of the Year. Ariana Grande was also nominated for two major awards, Artist of the Year and Album of the Year for her album, My Everything. She also got nominated for Pop and R&B Act of the Year, and two nominations for R&B Song of the Year.
Lyca Gairanod gets her second #1 hit in My OPM Top 10 countdown this week, as Sa Isang Awit moves up to the top spot. Her first hit, Puwede Nang Mangarap also went all the way to #1. She was also the first champion of The Voice Kids Philippines. Youtube views: 76,263 (+41.65%)
The band Franco has five top 10 hits in my personal countdown. Three of them went all the way to #1. 2013 - Better Days (#1) 2015 - To Survive (#1) 2015 - A Beautiful Diversion (#1) 2015 - Across the Milky Way (#9) 2016 - Manipulator (#9)
Amos Lee gets his very first #1 hit in My Weekly Top 10 countdown, as Violin, moves up to the top spot this week. I saw his CD Mission Bell once again and I decided to play it again, and I discovered this gem of a song! Youtube views: 741,538 views (+0.75%)
Well, here are my votes for this year's Myx Music Awards. Well, I have bets in most of the categories. I will continue to support OPM! Favorite Music Video - JULIE ANNE SAN JOSE - Tidal Wave Favorite Song - JULIE ANNE SAN JOSE - Tidal Wave Favorite Artist - JULIE ANNE SAN JOSE Favorite Female Artist - JULIE ANNE SAN JOSE Favorite Male Artist - JUAN KARLOS LABAJO Favorite Group - GIMME 5 Favorite Mellow Video - JUAN KARLOS LABAJO - Para Sa 'Yo Favorite Rock Video - MAYONNAISE - Tayo Na Lang Dalawa Favorite Urban Video - SMUGGLAZ feat. ASHLEY GOSIENGFIAO Favorite New Artist - JASON DY Favorite Collaboration - JAMES REID / NADINE ILUSTRE - Hanap-Hanap Favorite Remake - CHRISTIAN BAUTISTA / JULIE ANNE SAN JOSE - Cruisin' Favorite Media Soundtrack - EBE DANCEL - Hanggang Wala Nang Bukas Favorite Guest Appearance in a Video - ELLA CRUZ in Isang Araw Favorite International Video - JUSTIN BIEBER - Where Are U Now Favorite Myx Celebrity VJ - JUAN KARLOS LABAJO
Jason Dy gets his second #1 hit in My OPM Top 10 countdown this week, as Milagro, ascends to the top spot. His first hit, Caught Up in that Feeling, also went all the way to #1. Youtube views: 46,002 views (+1.32%)
Justin Bieber's ninth top 10 hit in My Weekly Top 10 countdown, Sorry, stays at #2 for another week this week. It's the third top 10 hit from his Purpose album that makes its mark in my personal countdown. Youtube views: 999,000,236 views (+7.06%)
The Weeknd has three top 10 albums in the US and one of them went all the way to #1.
2012 - Trilogy (#4) 2013 - Kiss Land (#2) 2015 - Beauty Behind the Madness (#1) He also has four top 10 hits in the US. Two of them went all the way to #1. 2014 - Love Me Harder (with Ariana Grande) (#7) 2014 - Earned It (#3) 2015 - The Hills (#1) 2015 - Can't Feel My Face (#1)
Adele has four top 10 albums in the US. Three of them went all the way to #1. 2008 - 19 (#4) 2011 - 21 (#1) 2011 - Live at the Royal Albert Hall (#1) 2015 - 25 (#1) She also has five top 10 hit songs. Four of them went all the way to #1. 2010 - Rolling in the Deep (#1) 2011 - Someone Like You (#1) 2011 - Set Fire to the Rain (#1) 2010 - Skyfall (#8) 2015 - Hello (#1)
Timmy Pavino gets his second #1 hit in My OPM Top 10 countdown this week, as Good Vibes, moves up to the top spot. His last hit, Nothing Without You, also went all the way to #1. Youtube views: 12,0126 views
I have read with much happiness, the joy that most Filipinos felt when they saw Madonna perform here in Manila last week.
Their happiness reminded me of this series of e-mails I sent my grade school friends ten years ago when we watched Madonna's Confessions tour in London.
The e-mails essentially capture the same joy and happiness that I have read in many of the reactions from her fans. It's amazing that ten years later, Madonna is still capable of giving that same kind of love to her fans in her most recent tour.
This was the third Madonna concert Vic and I saw so at the time these e-mails were written, you can say we were already Madonna concert "veterans", but still, our excitement to watch her was still very apparent.
As usual, my e-mails ARE VERY LONG - and as my friends say - "parang andun din daw sila" kasi I'm so detailed daw with my descriptions.
It's only one hour and 15 minutes to go before Madonna's Confession starts at Wembley Arena. I am leaving in about 15 minutes for the venue. Should take us an hour to get there, as we learned that the venue is in Zone 4. Anyway, the weather here in London has turned nippy and cool, so I brought a jacket just in case.
Just came from Madonna's Confessions show just an hour ago, and I'm still catching my breath! I am so tired and sleepy already, as the unavailibility of any airconditioning at the Wembley Arena has sapped all my energy. More details of the show tomorrow.
"You pay peanuts, you get monkeys. Pay somewhere between 80 pounds (8T pesos) and 160 pounds (16T pesos), however, and you get horses."
- David Smyth, Evening Standard
And Madonna, of course. Writhing, dangling herself, shimmying like crazy and coming up with the goods to make sure her harem of lapdogs are pleased and satisfied. And very satisfied were Vic and I, giddy, excited, very pleased that Madonna paid us back very well!
Well, we had two major bloopers though. First, Vic forgot to bring cash, enough cash to buy lots of souvenirs of the show. It turned out that none of the cash ATMs at Wembley Arena read "foreign" cards. So be warned! If you are catching a show at Wembley, their ATMs and credit card readers don't accept "foreign" cards, maybe unless it's AMX (if you're American). Oh well, we were only able to buy a few shirts, posters and souvenir program with the cash we got. I had to clean out my wallet just to get all of them, only to find I had extra cash but in US dollars - and no money changer in sight. Oh well, next concert, I'll make sure we have enough money to buy the souvenirs. Second, Vic's camera had almost full memory. It turned out he left the blank cartridges in the hotel. There goes my videos!! Anyway, we were able to get some pictures of the show and got videos of the opening number and her song "Sorry" which our cousin requested. Otherwise, we could've taken more if the cartridge was empty. Lesson, bring an extra camera with EMPTY cartridges. Oh well, maybe it was destined to happen.
Other than those mishaps, it was wonderful to watch her perform again. This time, our seats were fabulous! We were able to get side tickets very near the stage. Also, as we were walking to our seats, we bumped into Duncan James (the cute guy in Blue). Apparently, we were in the same section, and Vic, after seeing him, couldn't contain himself and since we whisked past their group, he mumbled, feeling bad we did not stop and ask for pictures. Oh well, I should've taken the courage because Vic never does. I have to do the dirty work always, LOL! "Excuse me Mr. James, can we have a picture of you?" - imagine a big old bloke like me, asking a 20-something heartthrob, along with his four strapping mates, asking for a picture with him! Oh well, deep inside me just says, who cares, just say, "I'm Japanese!" and go clicking away! Anyway, as Edina of Absolutely Fabulous says, "Nobody here knows you anyway, and you'll most likely never see them again for the rest of your life!"
There were two big surprises, logistically. One, Wembley Arena is smaller than Araneta Coliseum. It is even smaller than the Asiaworld Arena here in HK. It was packed though, and even with those expensive tickets, Madonna had enough well-heeled fans crazy enough to use their credit to pay to watch her show! Second surprise, the arena had NO airconditioning! It's the height of summer in London, and no airconditioning inside. Madonna commented later on in the show, "I knew I was already in London when I go asking for airconditioning and they say, we have none." She later apologized for the heat, "I'm hot too!". Well, the heat did not dampen the spirits of her fans though, as professional as she is, hot or not, the show went on grandly.
It was safe to say that one-third of the audience was gay (or lesbian), mostly the ones who knew her in the 80's. Just like her last show, it was like one big high school reunion! Of course, there were many pretty young things too, like Duncan James, who were familiar with her new material, which consisted about 70% of her show. It was like the Confessions on a Dance Floor CD, played live! Beside me was a gay Brazilian, complete with their country's flag. (I always notice that the Brazilians here in London are brazenly patriotic, either carrying a Brazilian flag, or wearing a flag patch on their shirt. Guys, the World Cup ended last month, it's time to blend in now!) And beside Vic, was a gay couple speaking a Nordic language. Of course, there were the straight women, bringing their husbands along, making sure their hubbies were dressed appropriately for the occasion. Two seats away from me was this guy who was wearing white pants, a beautiful belt, a tucked in neat shirt, and if he were not snogging the chick beside him, I would've thought he was gay! Maybe his girlfriend said to him, "Honey, you have to look neat and fabulous tonight, to blend in. This is not a football game, ok?" And he looked fabulous! Oh well, kisses to these sweet straight men who tagged along with their wifeys, and although I noticed most of them did not know Madonna's new material, they did stand on their feet for old hits like "Like A Virgin", "Live to Tell", "La Isla Bonita" and "Lucky Star". Such troopers, you fellas! I should know, the row above us were all straight couples, and I was observing the blokes throughout the show. They got kisses from their wifeys when they showed they were having a good time too. (Sigh!) - Treading the intricacies of the relationships tightrope!
Madonna was also kind to her fans that night. Kind, because she made sure, many in the audience can see her closely. Aside from the main stage, she fashioned out a long catwalk that ended in a mini-stage, halfway across the front section. And our seats were near the end of that mini-stage, allowing us to see Madonna up close during most of the show. She also extended the stage on both the left and right side, and put it on the same level as the risers on both sides, making sure, those who paid on the left and right, can get good pictures and videos of her performance. Also, the entrance was magnificent. If you are still going to watch the show, skip this part. Anyhow, there is a big orb at the ceiling at the beginning of the show, and as the show starts, it slowly descends. As it reaches the bottom, this big dancing-lights orb, opens to reveal a flower, and inside that flower, is, Madonna, as she sings her first song amidst the wild cheers! We got it on video and I can't stop playing it. Grand entrances are a must for pop shows, and Madonna her own very well.
I wouldn't describe the whole show anymore as you will soon get it on DVD anyway, soon, but there were three numbers which I particularly loved. Obviously, the opening number was amazing, to say the least. Second, was when she rested, after dancing with abandon, Like It Or Not. During that rest period, she sang Drowned World which to me, is my most favorite song of hers. It was arranged sparingly this time, which made it more beautiful and poignant to hear. The performance of that song actually made it for me for that show. I didn't mind all the special effects. It was expected, after paying US$300 for each ticket. But it was the slow, simple rendition of that song that moved me, ironically. Of course, nothing beats the performance of the last song, Hung Up. I don't actually quite like this song, but interestingly, that night, maybe because of the incredible energy from the audience, and the expected 70's motif and choreography, I enjoyed dancing to it, as it was remixed appropriate for a grand exit. Madonna does not do encores anymore, and as the last note was played, the phrase "Have you confessed lately" came on the screen.
Oh, about the controversy about the cross and the cruficixion - I think it's old hat and an old trick from her. That trick is so 80's and does not shock me anymore. What shocks me now is that many gay boys here wear rosaries on their neck - as a fashion accessory! I couldn't quite get myself to snog someone who is wearing that on his neck. There's something about the Virgin Mary that can totally take out your libido down the drain. "I know you're real hot and cute but I can't think of dirty thoughts with that around your neck. Can you not wear that anymore please, especially when Catholics are around." Oh well, I heard it also became hip in Manila because Manny Pacquiao wore it. I think Manny's reason for wearing it was more of a talisman-like motivation. Here in London, it is just a fashion accessory. That's why it disturbs me a bit.
Also, another shocking revelation - not related to Madonna's show. Many of the white guys were afraid to hit on Vic and I, because they thought we were Muslims. Many Asians in the UK are from Malaysia, which is largely Muslim, so they see the color of our skin, and automatically, they think we're Muslim. This, from a cute American guy, who stripped on stage. We cornered him after the show for some dancing. Oh well, maybe next time, I should wear an "I'm a Catholic" shirt. That should effectively drive everyone away!
Political images were plenty in the show. Madonna even said "I go to Texas to suck George Bush's dick" - in her I Love New York song. Well, Madonna, middle, rural America doesn't hear or listen to you, so the US will always be at war for the next few years, and more of this rural boys will die, vainly, in my opinion, fighting an enemy that will continue to hate the US and what it stands for, much to consternation of peace-loving Americans. A wish for peace was a recurrent theme in her last show, when she sang John Lennon's Imagine. Sadly, two years onwards, nothing has changed.
But Corporation Madonna moves on, always on the lookout for her next reinvention.
Madonna is turning 48 this month! Are we, her fans, that old? And Rocco Ritchie turned 6 last month. Whew! How time flies!