Friday, April 8, 2016

MixtressRae's Top 5 Madonna Music Videos

I'm doing a "Blonde Ambition Triangle Party" on the radio show tonight (see top right of blog for details as to when/where) which means I am playing three songs each from three blonde broads: Gwen, Madonna, and Debbie.

This led me down a couple of rabbit holes. One of these rabbit holes involved revisiting a topic I have worried way too much about over the years: whether or not Gwen Stefani was ok, because of all of Gavin Rossdale's "darkness". I knew nothing about their relationship save Stefani's lyrics and these lyrics ("Dark Blue", "Danger Zone", "Serious", etc) made me think that Gavin is too detritus and hair dryers while Gwen is all hearts and flowers. How can they ever make it? I've long enjoyed Gwen's ballsiness when it comes to her lyrics. We all know WHO she's writing about, every time, and the lyrics aren't shrouded in metaphor ever. They are always right there, no interpretation needed. So you can understand why I worried. It turns out that Gwen and Gavin finally called it quits last year. I'm really happy for her. In an interview she (again with the ballsiness) stated that when she looks back on her music from the past almost 20 years that they've been together she finds a lot of "red flags". I've seriously literally been thinking that since at least 2000's "Return of Saturn". Her art isn't always good, but I think she deserves to be happy.

Rabbit hole #2 has to do with Madonna. A recent episode of "Rupaul's Drag Race" in which the runway theme (the looks debuted at the end of the episode via pageant-style runway) was Madonna confused me. Freaking DRAG QUEENS were charged with dressing up like MADONNA and four of them chose "The Power of Goodbye"-kimono-Madonna. WHY is that the first version of Madonna they thought of? It was very perplexing. By far, the coolest runway look was inspired by the "Bedtime Story" music video.
Acid Betty's recreation of one of the best moments in Madonna music-video herstory.
The disappointing runway made me start thinking about how young these queens are. Perhaps to them, the first version of Madonna they remember is kimono-Madonna. But they have GaGa to fill Madonna's void (I know she's not gone, but she hasn't reinvented herself in Madonna-style since mayyyybe kimono-Madonna. I so do NOT count that weird country thing she did in 2000.) now. Then I started thinking about Madonna's cultural significance. Then I had to pick my top 5 Madonna music that made me watch a BUNCH of them last night. At one point Michael said, "Is this cultural appropriation?" and I looked at him with an eyebrow raised, "Have you met Madonna?" Regardless of discussions of appropriation, Madonna brought aspects of worldwide culture to American pop music repeatedly. She introduced things to a lot of us dummies.

I don't think of myself as being a big Madonna fan but I grew up with her. The reinvention of her image every few years was a given as I was growing up and now that I'm grown I see how rare that is and I recognize how many aspects of world culture she introduced to me.

You can watch my top 5 Madonna music videos in chronological order above. Here they are in countdown list form:

5) Vogue: This is the video wherein Madonna appropriates New York drag culture.

4) Like a Prayer: Black Jesus? Burning crosses? Making out with Jesus? I'm sure this was controversial, but to my developing child-mind I was just like, "Oh, there's Jesus. Why is Jesus sad? There's Madonna making out with Jesus. Why doesn't she pull up those dress straps? That would drive me crazy. Her boobs look good, though."

3) Human Nature: I think this is the ONLY Madonna music video in which Madonna is hammy and goofy. I wish we had gotten more of this Madonna. My drag runway Madonna look would have been this outfit.

2) Frozen: Madonna's cultural appropriation of India's religions. The first time I ever saw an Om symbol was in this music video on Madonna's palm. I remember pausing my VHS tape and drawing it on my own palm. My second favorite Madonna music video moment is in this video (below).

1) Bedtime Story: Favorite Madonna album, music video, and song. FAVORITE Madonna music video moment below (also involving birds).

What are your favorites?