Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994

Archive for the ‘Music’

Today is Prince’s birthday.

June 07, 2016 By: jessicazafra Category: Music 1 Comment →

Your Purpleness, we know you did not want your work uploaded on YouTube, but we need it.

See how the weather provides the production design for Purple Rain.

Chris Evans, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Nate Parker interpret Diamonds and Pearls.

You need to listen to the cast recording of Hamilton now.

May 13, 2016 By: jessicazafra Category: Music, Theatre No Comments →


WHAT A COMFORT it is after an intense and contentious election to hear a musical that makes you want to give standing ovations to the idea of nationhood. The hairs on my arms rose, there were icy sparks down my backbone, and an irresistible force propelled me out of my seat to applaud this work. And I was all alone in my room.

Good luck getting tickets to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton, which apart from earning a MacArthur genius grant for its author has won a Pulitzer, a Grammy, Obie, and Drama Desk Awards, and is poised to win a truckload of Tonys. Hamilton has united two often opposing camps, the critics and the audience, with its rousing hip-hop treatment of American history. Until you manage to book your tickets, you’ll have to content yourself with listening to the original Broadway cast recording.

The subject of the play is Alexander Hamilton, the founding father who established the American financial system and is best known today as the face on the ten dollar bill. As a line from the show says: He doesn’t get enough credit for all the credit that he gave (them). I know little about American history, but I know who Hamilton is because I read a Justice League comic book in which he and his adversary Aaron Burr traveled through time and met Superman and company.

Continue reading The Binge, my column at BusinessWorld.

Listen to the original Broadway cast recording of Hamilton at Spotify.

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 →



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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.