MUSIC

Florida Man Sues Madonna: Should Concerts Start on Time?

"Ticketholders [have] to work and go to school the next day."

A Florida man is suing Madonna because she changed the start time of her show at the Fillmore Miami Beach from 8:30 to 10:30.

"Ticketholders [have] to work and go to school the next day, which prevent[s] them from attending a concert that would end at around 1:00 a.m.," the suit stated.

Nate Hollander's ticket did cost $1,024.95, so maybe he can't be blamed for expecting some special treatment. He also claims that he's unable to sell the tickets because the time change has caused the tickets to "[suffer] an extreme loss of value," making reselling "impossible."

For her part, Madonna is famous for being late. At a recent Las Vegas show, fans were told to arrive at 9:30, but she didn't show up until midnight. Because of the delay and the audience's subsequent outrage, over 500 refunds were issued.

Madonna - Material Girl (Official Music Video) www.youtube.com

Apparently, Madonna doesn't see a problem with her lateness. During a recent show in Las Vegas, she announced, "There's something that you all need to understand. And that is that a queen is never late."

Who's in the right here? How many Nate Hollanders have arrived at work tired the next morning because some pop star they paid $1,024.95 to see decided not to honor the not-so-sacred tradition of concert timeliness? Should stars like Madonna be expected to be on time? Is their time somehow fundamentally more important than the audience's? Is that part of the power imbalance that makes a star a star?

Of course, the phenomenon of concerts that start extremely late isn't a new one, nor is it reserved for queens like Madonna. Concerts start late for a lot of reasons—and unsurprisingly, one of the main ones has to do with revenue. The longer people wait around for a show to start, the more likely they are to buy drinks and food, and the more they drink, the more likely they are to shell out cash at the merch table.

Naturally, technical and logistical issues can also play a role. Musicians typically have an extremely short amount of time to go from one show to the next, and innumerable things can go wrong with the setup.

According to Lauryn Hill, another famously late performer, her delayed start times are purposeful. "Me being late to shows isn't because I don't respect my fans or their time, but the contrary, It can be argued that I care too much, and insist on things being right," she said. "I like to switch my show up regularly, change arrangements, add new songs, etc. This often leads to long sound checks, which leads to doors opening late, which leads to the show getting a late start. This element of perfectionism is about wanting the audience to experience the very best and most authentic musical experience they can from what I do."

Lauryn Hill- Killing Me Softly www.youtube.com

While stars with cult followings like Lauryn Hill and Madonna are often forgiven easily for their lateness, do-it-yourself shows that start late often get a bad rep when they take hours to get the ball rolling. On the other hand, indie artists and venues are the ones who face the worst fallout from technical and transportational mishaps, and don't always have the cash to ensure that everything is running smoothly. Sound engineering is one of the most underappreciated and difficult jobs in the music industry—anyone who's ever run a sound table knows that sound equipment can be unbelievably temperamental—and so maybe we shouldn't be so quick to get angry when the sound check takes a while.

On the other hand, nobody wants to have to loiter around at their friend's EP release show for six hours, especially when there's no reason for such extreme lateness. But in some ways, when you've been waiting that long, finally seeing an artist come out and smash their set is just that much more rewarding.

Regardless, it seems that Madonna has met her diva match in one Nate Hollander, who's certainly rocking back and forth in some dark room right now, whispering, "See you in court."

Culture Feature

​​This Haunts Me: The Shredded Cheese Wife Guy

One Texas couple became a meme after they went 18 minutes without shredded cheese on their fajitas. What could be worse?

Courtesy of Junkee

Karens. Even if you don't know them by name, you know who they are.

Karens have been asking to speak to managers all over American suburbia ever since Kate Gosselin debuted her infamous reverse-mullet on Jon and Kate Plus 8 in 2007. "Karens"—the collective nickname for middle-aged entitled white women who love nothing more than being pains in your ass—have been walking among us for quite some time, but as shelter-in-place orders and mask mandates have taken over the world, the presence of Karens has become even more apparent.

Last weekend, a Karen went viral in a since-deleted Tweet for a reason only Karens would empathize with. Jason Vicknair, a 40-year-old man from Allen, Texas, was just trying to enjoy his first date night out in three months with his wife at a Tex-Mex restaurant called Mi Cocina. Things took a turn for the worse.

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MUSIC

Songs About Loss for Día de los Muertos

These songs transcend lifetimes.

Día de los Muertos is about remembering the dead, celebrating their lives, and acknowledging the pain of losing loved ones.

It's a sacred day in Mexico and parts of South America, and it's very much not Halloween.

For Day of the Dead, we've compiled a selection of traditional and contemporary Mexican folk songs meant to honor the holiday, as well as everyone who has made the passage over to the other side.

You might know the last one, "Remember Me," from the film Coco, but Day of the Dead has inspired countless traditional songs, poems, and brilliant works of art. Ultimately, attendees at typical Day of the Dead celebrations will often play the kind of music that their departed loved ones enjoyed, so if you're looking to honor departed loved ones on this day, you might just want to spin their favorite tunes. That said, the Mexican folk music tradition is rich in tradition and sublime in sound, and some of these songs are too gorgeous not to share.

Remember, though, if you're not part of the culture that celebrates this holiday, be careful if, when, and how you decide to partake in this day. Make sure you're not appropriating these cultures, avoid wearing costumes, do some research on the holiday and its meaning and sacredness, and support Mexican artists and causes.

1. La Llorona

This folk song's origins are wrapped in obscurity, but it is known that the song originated a long time ago in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. In 1941, the composer Andres Henestrosa popularized the song. There are numerous modern versions, with everyone from Chavela Vargas to Lila Jones lending their voices and finger-picking skills to the track.

The tune's lyrics are said to come from the original legend of La Llorona, the ghostly "Weeping Woman" of Mexican and South American folklore. Some of the verses were probably written during the Mexican Revolution, and today, it's frequently used to scare children into going to bed. Since it tells the story of a ghost (or a woman who won't allow her lover to leave her, depending on the interpretation), it's a natural fit for Día de los Muertos.

La llorona , Chavela Vargas www.youtube.com

2. La Bruja

Just as La Llorona tells the story of a wicked, ghostly woman, so does La Bruja, which translates loosely to "The Witch." According to legend, La Bruja is a kind of witch that sucks blood like a vampire. Lyrically, like La Llorona, it's also been interpreted as being about a woman who goes out on the hunt for a man, though there are many legends about what its lyrics might be trying to say. Most of the song is from the perspective of someone getting stolen by a witch. Some believe it references the old folk story that witches would dance with candles on their heads, making it look like the candles were floating; others believe it has more ominous implications, but it's really up to the listener.

The song is often used as a children's rhyme, but it's also been gorgeously covered by many artists.

Vincente Chavarria | La Bruja | AEA Sessions www.youtube.com

3. Calaveritas — Ana Tijoux, Celso Piña

This song was released by Chilean rapper Ana Tijoux to honor the dead, specifically those lost during the Pinochet dictatorship. The title, "Calaveritas," means "little skulls," and it's full of loving messages for those whose lives were lost. Recorded with Mexican musician Celso Piña, it's a blend of traditional, folk, and experimental sounds with a powerful message. "We all carry within us / one who died before us / who appears when night falls and the sun goes out," read some of the lyrics. It also includes a quote from a revolutionary named Pierre Dubois who opposed Pinochet during his regime: "It is not enough to say that justice takes time but it arrives. Justice that is not exercised when appropriate is already unfair."

Ana Tijoux - Calaveritas www.youtube.com

4. Amor Eterno

This song was written in 1984 by Mexican singer Juan Gabriel and quickly became the most popular song for funerals in his native country. It's a rich, sad, and nostalgic piece, one that pays tribute to loves of old while acknowledging the pain of loss in the present. It's been covered magnificently by countless artists, but Silvana Estrada's version is incredibly moving in its delicacy and compassion.

Juan Gabriel - Amor Eterno (En Vivo [Desde el Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes]) www.youtube.com


This well-known song has a way of reappearing in times of need. After the shooting in El Paso, Texas this summer, the song became a staple at funerals and memorial services. "How I wish that you still lived that your precious eyes had never closed so that I could see them eternal love unforgettable," go the lyrics, which ensure that there's never a dry eye when this song is played.

5. Remember Me, Coco

This movie beautifully portrayed Día de los Muertos and was tied together by the gorgeous ballad "Remember Me." In the film, the song is capable of crossing the boundary between life and death, forming an everlasting bond that keeps memories alive and inspires new generations to continue old legacies. It perfectly captures the message of Día de los Muertos: Even after our loved ones say goodbye, they're kept alive by memories and in song, and that's something to celebrate.

Carlos Rivera - Recuérdame (De "Coco"/Versión de Carlos Rivera/Official Video) www.youtube.com


Benjamin Bratt - Remember Me (Official Video From "Coco") [Ernesto de la Cruz] www.youtube.com