Summer Groove of the Day/Janet/”No Sleeep”

There’s no need to argue that Janet Jackson has owned our music lives all summer long…

Where do we truly begin when it comes to how the diva has simply teased and tantalized us during these past few hot-and-steamy months? It all began right around Memorial Day when the ageless icon not only announced a new record, Unbreakable, but also announced her Unbreakable World Tour (which kicked off last night in Vancouver), marking her grand return to concert diva form. Be still our Janet hearts…

But the real treat that the living legend served us with this summer was “No Sleeep,” the silky smooth Unbreakable lead single that instantly took us upstairs to the music bedroom and had its frisky way with us. With its plush music setting, breathy vocals and sizzling production provided by longtime Janet collaborators Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, “Sleeep” is as simple as it is seductive. While it may not be the powerhouse dance ditty that we’ve grown accustomed to from our groove goddess, it certainly got the job done this past summer…and then some. 

Go on, Ms. Janet






Madonna Summer Groove of the Day/”Express Yourself”

What’s really to say about “Express Yourself,” the second incredible single released from Madonna‘s Patchouli-kissed ’89 Like a Prayer set…….besides everything.

From the moment the Her Madgesty‘s anthem-for-the-ages hit Sony Walkman headphones in the summer of ’89, it immediately bulldozed its way into the Billboard Hot 100 top 5 and expressed itself straight to the number two spot for two weeks, with Simply Red‘s “If You Don’t Know Me by Now” and Martika’s (!)”Toy Soldiers” standing in the Material Girl’s way of achieving another number one single. While it didn’t become another top spot notch in her Boy Toy music belt, (it definitely should have), the song and its David Fincher directed trailblazing video made its mark on all of our Queen of Pop hearts that very fabulous moment it debuted on MTV. 

Filmed in April 1989, Madonna’s iconic “Express Yourself” video was inspired by the Fritz Lang classic film Metropolis, and it also marked the first time we were served with the Shep Pettibone rewiring of the beloved song. The infamous clip had a total budget of $5 million ($9.51 million in 2015 dollars), which made it the most expensive music video in history at the time it was made, and currently the legendary pop visual is the third most expensive video of all time. 

The general concept of the video was to portray the Material girl as a glamorous, gender-bending diva and chained masochist, with all those men serving to each and every one of her, um, needs. But as the clip ends, she picks one of them—played by model Cameron Alborzian—as her official boy toy, and the two of them express themselves with each other in as many positions possible.

Fun Fact-Madonna was dating Warren Beatty at that time, and asked him to play the part of a slave working at a factory; Beatty politely refused, saying later that “Madonna wanted the video as a show case of her sexual prowess, I never wanted to be a part of it.” 

Also, we just can’t leave out Madonna’s first live performance of “Express Yourself” at the 1989 MTV Video Music Awards, which is cone-bras down one of the best lived performances of her career. With backup singers Niki Haris and Donna De Lory by her side, the divas killed every step, every crotch-grab and would introduce us to vogueing, you know, that little dance trend that would take over our music lives the following year. 

With Madonna’s birthday inching just a little bit closer, it’s time to really express ourselves and get lost in these classic Madonna offerings that we will never forget. And remember, you don’t need diamond rings or 18 karat gold…just music. 





Madonna Summer Grooves of the Day/”Who’s That Girl”/”Causing a Commotion”

Musically picture it–summer of ’87. Ms. Madonna was all wrapped up in the pinnacle of her ’80s super-stardom, fresh from True Blue and heading straight into Like a Prayer mode. But in between the time she pleaded with papa and had us all down on our knees, she made a fun, flirty, disastrous little film called, Who’s That Girl, along with a soundtrack that was just oh, so much Madonna fun.

Released on August 7th, 1987, Who’s That Girl, the story of a street-smart diva, Nikki, who is falsely accused of murdering her boyfriend (and gets into lots of trouble with Griffin Dunne), was met with shade throwing reviews from critics who declared Madonna’s movie career officially dead now that her latest venture proved just as lackluster as her preceding film, Shangai Surprise. While, yes, Who’s That Girl was a Fantastic Four-sized bomb at the box office, it did go on to become a cult classic, and for many Madonna fans, it’s regarded as one of their favorite Queen of Pop flicks. 

But of course, the best part of all the Who’s That Girl pop culture action was its accompanying soundtrack (as well as the uber-succesful Who’s That Girl tour.) laced with a beat buffet of random synthed-up ’80s acts, and a handful of Madonna jams including the classic #1 title track, as well as “Causing a Commotion,” one of Madonna’s few #2 singles, and perhaps one of her most deliciously underrated. There’s also the cheeky, “Can’t Stop,” and the steamy, “The Look of Love,” which is one of Madge’s steamiest bedroom-ready beats. There’s also some other songs on the record, too, but did you ever really listen to them? Well, except maybe Club Nouveau’s “Step By Step.” Sorry, “El Coco Loco” by Coati Mundi. Oh, the ’80s.

Ready…set….Who’s That Girl.

Cause a summer music commotion..