Zappagram #5

Bono and Edge visit Kyiv, Something is going on with Evan Dando, and Arcade Fire rocks SNL

Zappagram #5

Zappagram is the mother of all music newsletters, covering the latest in music news, reviews, interviews, releases, discovery, history, and more.

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Hey friends,

Last week wasn’t the busiest in terms of music news. However, it was a monumental week for me, and I’m excited to share some big news with you.

As of today, I’m working full-time as an independent writer.

My writing is published here on Substack and on Medium. Some content is exclusive to Substack, and some is only available on Medium.

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  3. You can always support me by sharing my content with others via social media, email, however you see fit. It’s all greatly appreciated. If more people read my work, I succeed. Failure is not an option.

This newsletter has been incredibly well-received, and I look forward to growing and expanding both here on Substack and on Medium.

I am always immensely grateful for your support in the form of your time and attention, and for the wonderful conversations we share. Thank you for reading my work and for inviting me into your inbox each week.

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Thanks for being the most important part of my work!

“Without music to decorate it, time is just a bunch of boring production deadlines or dates by which bills must be paid.” ―Frank Zappa

Recent Essays

The latest music essays by Chris Zappa


The last few weeks have been incredibly busy. I’m currently working on several drafts that will be completed soon. Please look for several music essays linked in next week’s newsletter. Here’s my most recent piece:

Things Are Great with Band of Horses
A return to greatness for Ben Bridwell & co.

Music News

The latest happenings in the world of music


Following a personal invitation from Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky, U2’s Bono and the Edge visited Kyiv on Sunday to perform an acoustic concert in one of the city’s subway stations-turned-bomb shelters. “The people in Ukraine are not just fighting for your own freedom, you are fighting for all of us who love freedom,” Bono told the audience, which included soldiers. “We pray that you will enjoy some of that peace soon.” [via RollingStone]

Something is going on with Evan Dando, but nobody really knows what. The Lemonheads were out on tour with Jawbreaker when they were suddenly dropped from the tour. Dando then flamed off on the band with some choice words for them on Twitter. Then he apologized. The entire fiasco, while bizarre, is chronicled here. [via Stereogum]

Ric Parnell, who portrayed Spinal Tap drummer Mick Shrimpton in the iconic 1984 film This Is Spinal Tap and later recorded and toured with the group, died Sunday, May 1, at the age of 70. Harry Shearer, who portrayed Spinal Tap bassist Derek Smalls, revealed the news on his Twitter account. No cause of death has been announced. [via Spin]

Heavy Rotation

Great music, new and old, getting lots of spins



The Juliana Theory: Still the Same Kids, Pt. 1 [listen]


The Ocean Greys: Where To Now [listen]


Beck: Morning Phase [listen]


The Juliana Theory: “Less Talk” [listen]


Mini Trees: “Moments In Between” [listen]


David Gray: “Last Boat To America” [listen]

Video Spotlight

See it to believe it


Although Gotye really only had this one big hit, you’ll likely remember it. (This entire album was actually great.) This performance from KCRW’s studio is more than 10 years old now, but it’s so good it deserves a revisit. Also, Kimbra’s backing vocals here are absolute 🔥.  [via YouTube]

New Releases

These albums have recently dropped


- MAY 6 -

Arcade Fire
We [listen]

Sharon Van Etten
We’ve Been Going About This All Wrong [listen]

Suki Waterhouse
I Can’t Let Go [listen]

Upcoming Releases

These albums are coming soon


- MAY 13 -

The Black Keys
Dropout Boogie

Florence and the Machine
Dance Fever

Sage Motel

The Rolling Stones
Live at The El Mocambo

The Smile
A Light For Attracting Attention

- MAY 20 -

Blake Morgan
Violent Delights

Delta Spirit
One Is One

- MAY 27 -

Liam Gallagher

Cruel Country

On the Horizon

Upcoming albums with no release date yet


Smashing Pumpkins Butthole Surfers The Cure Lana Del Rey Todd Rundgren

Tour Dates

Currently on tour


Aimee MannAndrew BirdArcade FireB-52’sBob DylanBroken Social Scene CaampDead & CoThe Doobie BrothersFather John MistyFlorence and the MachineInterpolJackson Browne James TaylorKhruangbin Local NativesLollapaloozaThe MelvinsMonophonicsThe NationalPrimus Ray LaMontagne Red Hot Chili PeppersRobert Plant & Alison KraussSmashing Pumpkins SpoonStevie NicksTears For Fears The War on DrugsThe WhoTori Amos

On This Date

Musical happenings of historical significance


May 3

Josh Tillman, a.k.a. Father John Misty is born in Rockville, Maryland. (1981) ♯ Jimi Hendrix records his classic song “Voodoo Chile.” (1968)

May 4

“The King of the Surf Guitar,” Dick Dale, is born in Boston. (1937) ♯ American rapper, musician, film director, and human rights activist Adam Yauch of The Beastie Boys dies of cancer aged 47. (2012)

May 5

Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward is born in Birmingham, England. (1948) ♯ Simple Minds singer Jim Kerr marries Pretenders singer Chrissie Hynde in a horse-drawn carriage in Central Park, New York City. (1984)

May 6

Bob Segar is born in Detroit, Michigan. (1945) ♯ In their Clearwater, Florida hotel room, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards work out the opening guitar riff of “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” following Richard's purchase of a Gibson fuzz-box earlier that day. (1965)

May 7

Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann is born in Palo Alto, California. (1946) ♯ Wilson Pickett is arrested after running into an 86-year-old man and yelling death threats whilst driving his car over the mayor's front lawn in Englewood, New Jersey. (1991)

May 8

American blues legend Robert Johnson is born in Hazelhurst, Mississippi. (1911) ♯ Roger Waters releases his first solo album, The Pros And Cons Of Hitch Hiking. (1984)

May 9

American singer-songwriter Billy Joel is born in New York City. (1949) ♯ Depeche Mode frontman Dave Gahan is born in Epping, Essex. (1962) ♯ The Doors audition for the position of the Whisky a Go Go house band. (1966)

Off Topic

May or may not be music-related



Daniel Radcliffe stars as Weird Al in a new biopic “Weird: The Al Yankovic Story” coming this fall to The Roku Channel. I didn’t even know Roku had a channel, did you? Watch the trailer here. [via YouTube]


Arcade Fire had a great performance on SNL. Their first song, “Unconditional I (Lookout Kid)” started off with Lin Butler exclaiming, “I love you, Eddie.” (Eddie is his son.) Butler’s guitar sported the words, “Call Your Mom.” He ended the song by blowing his mom a kiss on camera, saying, “I love you, mom.” Come for the music, stay for the feels, and for the wacky, flailing, waving-arm, inflatable tube men. [via YouTube]


Spin has a great interview with John Waters, the legendary “Elder of Filth” that’s worth checking out. [via Spin]


Billie Eilish’s upcoming UK tour will include a 6-day event focused on climate change action. “Overheated Live” will take place at London’s O2 Arena. An accompanying documentary will be available online to watch for free. I will highlight this when it’s available. [via Bustle]

Question of the Week



What are you enjoying most about Zappagram? I want this newsletter to be the best damn music newsletter on the planet, but in order for that to happen, I need your feedback. What do you love about it? What could use improvement? Is there a type of content you’d like to see that I’m not covering? Please leave a comment or hit reply on this email and let me know!

Your help is deeply appreciated.

As always, thanks for reading!

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Have the best week you’ve had all year!

Peace and love,
CZ 🤘🏻