Not content to rile the Romans, Madonna is maddening the Muscovites. After the Vatican protested her Rome concert last month, Madonna continued making waves among church leaders.

Reuters is reporting that the Material Girl is due to play a sold out stadium show in Moscow in just one week, but the Russian Orthodox Church, the largest of the Orthodox churches, doesn’t like the idea of the once-Catholic Madonna using religious imagery such as a crucifixition and a crown of thorns in her show. The news agency says the group is a “fringe” of the main Church body, but the Orthodox church (motto: we haven’t changed in 2000 years) is hardly the place to go avant-garde with the religious motif.

If nothing else Madonna deserves props for her continuing relevancy in music. Not only did she become embraced (literally!) by her successors, but she may be the shrewdest music promoter outside of Island or Def Jam. And make no mistake — this is all about hype.

How much hype? Madonna’s latest album, the time when CMC is usually cranking out the 3rd greatest hits melange, is last year’s Confessions of a Dance Floor, a #1 smash around the world. Not bad for a bleached blonde just shy of fifty. Like Elton John learned to do after the 1970s and Billy Joel never learned how to do, Madonna continues to be a part of contemporary music culture.

CD Spinning Today:
After seeing today’s story, I was tempted to reach for Mr. Mister’s Kyrie, but opted instead for Justin’s Sexyback. When the Material Girl can go legit (you remember dismissing her in the mid ’80s), Justin’s time could be near.