Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994

Archive for the ‘Music’

People in midlife, watch While We’re Young with your 25-year-old friends

April 15, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Movies, Music No Comments →

We found out that While We’re Young is showing in cinemas and we have no memory of a Noah Baumbach movie ever showing at the mall so we rushed to see it and were very glad because it’s about people our age.

“People our age” being those who, when filling out forms, hesitate at the blank for “age”, subtract the year of their birth from the current year, then re-compute because that can’t be right, that’s too high.

Being in your 40s feels strange because you’re not young anymore, and suddenly things you mocked when they first came out—the entire Lionel Richie discography, Sylvester Stallone movie themes—are adored by people in their 20s, except that their adoration is ironic so you’re not sure exactly where they stand or whether they stand for anything at all, but you know you still loathe “Hello” and “Eye of the Tiger”. But David Bowie, even minor David Bowie, is cool forever.

You don’t want to hang out with your older friends because they’re bitter or depressing or openly disapprove of your refusal to “settle down” or you’ve already heard all their stories, which were boring when you first heard them 20 years ago, or you’re not prepared to live in eternal nostalgia just yet, or you just don’t have anything in common anymore.

You are flattered because your 25-year-old friends seem to look up to you and want what you have, but they want it now, fast-tracked, and they don’t realize that your failures have a greater impact on how you turn out than your successes do. Early success is particularly tricky because when people have too much to lose they stop taking risks and get fossilized prematurely.

Rating: Highly recommended.

And yay, Adam Horovitz!

Bill Murray sings the love theme from Jaws; Miley Cyrus makes us shut up

April 14, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Music, Television 4 Comments →

The sketch in the Saturday Night Live 40th anniversary special that caused food to shoot out of our nose: Bill Murray as lounge singer Nick Ocean singing the love theme from Jaws. (Remember his theme from Star Wars?) Here he is, introduced by Maya Rudolph’s spot-on Beyonce.

The musical number that made us shut up and listen: Miley Cyrus singing Paul Simon’s 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover. In the lower register, none of that screeching every pop singer now resorts to. Her country style really works for the song. When she tires of being an easy target, that singer must be taken seriously.

In other music news, here’s an astute analysis of Madonna’s increasingly desperate attempts to get attention: Madonna Kisses Drake. It was recommended by our friend who has just realized his “mother” is fallible.

It’s like having your aunt kiss you at the graduation party. You know, the creepy old one who wears too much makeup and winks at you when you’re in the kitchen… The one who’s unmarried and seems to want to sleep with no one so much as YOU!

I get it Madonna. There’s ageism in the music business. But you can’t complain about it if you don’t ACT your age. You’re acting like a twenty year old. With all these publicity stunts, getting the brain dead press to fawn over you, because you give them access.

The second Euro-Pinoy Jazz Festival is happening this weekend

February 17, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Art, Music No Comments →

flyer front

This goes out to the 5 people who read our Whiplash review.

There’s a lot going on this month, including several plays we must watch (Dangerous Liaisons, Jean Genet’s Prisoner of Love, and Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard in Filipino). We asked Rody Vera why everything has to be crammed in the same four weekends, straining our powers of bilocation. He says it’s because it’s Arts Month.

We propose that the NCCA make it Arts Quarter, so the audience doesn’t have to do the headless chicken dance to see everything.

Whiplash asks: Can talent be tortured into greatness?

January 31, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Movies, Music 2 Comments →

Read our column at Meanwhile, here’s Buddy Rich.

Into the Woods is pleasant, forgettable fluff

January 29, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Movies, Music 1 Comment →

Even Sondheim fans suspect that in the Sondheim oeuvre, Into The Woods is a charming bit of fluff with a couple of good songs—No One Is Alone became a kind of anthem in the campaign against AIDS. Nonetheless we recall it with great affection as a funny musical riff on Bruno Bettelheim’s analysis of classic fairy tales. Other than famous stars, the Disney film by Rob Marshall doesn’t add anything to the material: with all the special effects at its disposal the movie actually looks smaller than the stage version.

It is entertaining enough, Emily Blunt is lovely, and Johnny Depp is creepy—who knew he’d be in two Sondheim movies? Chris Pine is hysterical—is he doing an impression of the original James Tiberius Kirk, William Shatner? And of course your Mother Meryl is in it (Our mother is Sigourney). We know the Princes are a joke, but was it really necessary to make them look like Siegfried and Roy? And how come listening to the soundtrack makes us feel things, but watching the movie makes us yearn to scoot outside for more popcorn?

P.S. We thought something was missing, so we checked. It turns out Disney has Disneyfied the musical that was the very opposite of Disney. The deaths are not so distressing, and most of the sex has been taken out, including the Princes Charmings’s affairs with Snow White and Sleeping Beauty. Neutered!

Five songs we’ve been listening to all day

January 05, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Music 2 Comments →

We have resolved to listen to more contemporary music and vary our usual playlist of bebop, Tom Waits and other singers who sound like escaped circus bears.

The St. Vincent is Mat the cat’s favorite song. His other favorite song is These Days by Nico. (How to tell which songs a cat really likes: If he lies down in front of the speakers when they’re on. When Koosi hated a song she would do parkour around the house while shrieking insanely.)

At Jackie’s door-warming party (Yes, to celebrate the new doors, which are worthy of celebration) last week, we had a long chat with Robin Rivera, whose name must be familiar to anyone who owns an Eraserheads album. He was their teacher at UP, and he produced the albums. Sir Robin (like Monty Python and the Holy Grail) scolded us for being unfamiliar with Dong Abay’s album Flipino, which he called the greatest Filipino album of the century so far. That’s what we’re listening to as soon as our copy arrives.