Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994

Archive for the ‘Music’

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.


Some days the editor in your head just won’t shut up

December 28, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Current Events, Music No Comments →


On the radio: “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” the latest incarnation.

– Why should they, if they have other religions?
– And barring freak occurrences, there hasn’t been snow in Africa since the Ice Age.
– What about The Snows of Kilimanjaro?
– Damn you, Ernest Hemingway.

Advertising text: “The Greatest Artisanal Achievements of the Human Hand”.

– As opposed to the artisanal achievements of the human foot.
– I know lots of artisans who’ve achieved greatness with their left nostril, not to mention their small intestine.
– To say nothing of the artist Pricasso.
– Shouldn’t most artists be named that, though?