Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994

Archive for the ‘Music’

Daydreaming, a new song from Radiohead, video directed by Paul Thomas Anderson

May 09, 2016 By: jessicazafra Category: Movies, Music 3 Comments →

Thom, get a haircut.

Their new album A Moon-Shaped Pool dropped yesterday. Critics call it A Haunting, Stunning Triumph.

Electric Word Life: The rapture of Prince

April 29, 2016 By: jessicazafra Category: Music 1 Comment →


I was dreaming when I wrote this, forgive me if it goes astray. I’ve been trying to write about Prince since the terrible news broke early Friday morning, Manila time. It seemed important to get the word out before all the commentators had picked the bones clean, shaken their heads over his weirdness, and made quips about “The Artist Formerly Known As The Artist Formerly Known As Prince.”

They would not be wrong. He was weird, with a pure and honest weirdness that was not calculated for image-making, and he created a universe in which it wasn’t even worth remarking upon. At the height of his conflict with his record label, he did change his name into an unpronounceable symbol. This is cited as another instance of his weirdness, but let’s not forget that it hurt his record label, and it cost him millions. How do you buy albums by an artist whose name you can’t say? In his desire to get out of that contract, he churned out albums faster than the record company could sell them.

Read my column at BusinessWorld.

Prince is dead. We hate everything.

April 22, 2016 By: jessicazafra Category: Music 3 Comments →



* * * * *

Here are our favorite Prince songs. Send your lists.

Jessica Zafra
Anna Stesia
If I was your girlfriend
Sexy MF/Pope
When Doves Cry
Pop Life

Ricky Villabona
Raspberry Beret
I Would Die 4U
When Doves Cry
Strange Relationship
plus I Feel For You (Chaka Khan)
Nothing Compares 2U (Sinead O’Connor)
When You Were Mine (Cyndi Lauper)

Vinyl: When rock and roll ruled the world

April 15, 2016 By: jessicazafra Category: Music, Television No Comments →


The two-hour premiere is actually the newest film by Martin Scorsese, and it feels a lot like Goodfellas. A grisly murder is committed, a body is stuffed in the trunk and driven to the suburbs, and when the trunk is slammed you expect someone to look at the camera and say, “As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to have a record label.” Then the murder is mostly forgotten and we’re back in the music business in 1973.

What can we say about the Scorsese style that has not been said before? It’s all there: the restless camera, the rhythm of childhood asthma and cocaine, the all-consuming intensity. It can give you a bit of a headache, and the first time I saw the premiere I did not know what to make of it. It looks fantastic, the dialogue is hilarious and the attention to detail is insane, but why? What for? Then it occurred to me that it doesn’t have to mean anything. Do we look to “Jumping Jack Flash” for the meaning of life? No. We’re here for the feeling of being alive. Rock and roll!


Read our review of Vinyl in The Binge.

Culture Shock and Awe: A diary of National Arts Month

February 27, 2016 By: jessicazafra Category: Art, Movies, Music, Theatre No Comments →

A scene from the Met Opera’s Bluebeard’s Castle

ON SUNDAY we ran into Grace at the ballet at the Cultural Center, and on Wednesday we saw her again at the opening of the Art Fair. “Uyy, culture!” she said, and there has been an unusual number of arts and culture events in February. I know, because otherwise I would’ve seen Deadpool five times (You snobs don’t know what you’re missing. My favorite line: “Of course looks matter! Ever heard David Beckham speak?”). For a few weeks it felt like Manila was a Culture Capital, fairly teeming with plays, screenings of classic Filipino movies, art expositions, even opera.

Then I learned that February is National Arts Month, which means that when it ends we go back to being, as Noel puts it, culture lower-case.

Read it

Alan Rickman in Truly, Madly, Deeply

January 15, 2016 By: jessicazafra Category: Movies, Music 3 Comments →

In Anthony Minghella’s Truly, Madly, Deeply, Alan Rickman plays a dead cellist who reappears in his girlfriend Juliet Stevenson’s apartment, summoned back by her boundless grief. This was the second movie we saw him in; the first, of course, was Die Hard. Alan Rickman, you are welcome to haunt our houses any time. Thank you.