Zappagram #17

Can I send you more writing throughout the week at no extra charge?

Zappagram #17

Hey friends,

I need your guidance on something.

This is the weekly newsletter you signed up for. However, I often publish other pieces throughout the week which I also publish here on Substack (and on Medium.)

Can I send you the other pieces I publish throughout the week too, or would you prefer to only receive this one weekly newsletter?

I don’t want to bombard you with too many emails, but I’d love for you to see everything I’m writing, not just this weekly newsletter.

Please let me know what you think. I want to be respectful of the fact that you’ve invited me into your inbox and the last thing I’d want to do is overstep my bounds.

Thanks in advance for your input on this.


Inquiring minds want to know


What’s one of your favorite bands or artists from the ‘80s that you feel was criminally underrated? Let me know in a private reply to this email or leave a comment and share with the rest of the class.

“Without music, life would be a mistake.
―Friedrich Nietzsche


The latest essays by Chris Zappa


The Worst Album Titles of All Time
Volume one (of many)

Celebrating the Queen of Bass, Carol Kaye
The fascinating story of an unsung music legend


New weekly playlists highlighting great music



Amanda Shires • Honeyyycrush • Maggie Rogers • Okey Dokey • King Princess • Andrew Tuttle • Faye Webster • She & Him • Joseph • Shaed

Spotify Apple Music


Spotify Apple Music


The latest happenings in the world of music


‘She Schooled Us All’: Inside Joni Mitchell’s Return to Newport Folk Festival
Festival organizers and performers share the joyful, surprising story behind Mitchell’s first full set in 20 years. [via RollingStone]

The Cure’s ‘Wish’ Set for 30th-Anniversary Reissue w/ 24 Unreleased Tracks
The three-CD set was remastered by singer Robert Smith at Abbey Road Studios. [via Billboard]

Brian Eno Announces First Solo Album in 5 Years
It’s a 10-song album and the first since 2005’s Another Day on Earth on which most of the songs feature his vocals. [via Pitchfork]

A New Tribute Album to Leonard Cohen is On the Way
Iggy Pop, James Taylor, Peter Gabriel, Norah Jones, and Mavis Staples are among the artists who have covered songs for the album. [via NME]

Castanets’ Ray Raposa Dead At 41
He was remembered by longtime friend Sufjan Stevens as "a bright star, a good friend, and a great musician." [via Stereogum]

Eddie Vedder Returns To Action At Pearl Jam’s Amsterdam Tour Finale
With Vedder back in action, Pearl Jam is scheduled to begin a fall North American run on Sept. 1 in Quebec City, Quebec. [via Spin]

Bob Dylan Accuser Drops Sexual Assault Lawsuit Following Allegations of Destroyed Evidence
The woman requested the case be dismissed "with prejudice," meaning it cannot be reopened. [via Consequence]


Listen to these recently dropped albums


Amanda Shires: Take It Like a Man [listen]

Andrew Tuttle: Fleeting Adventure [listen]

Chat Pile: God’s Country [listen]

King Princess: Hold On Baby [listen]

Maggie Rogers: Surrender [listen]

Of Montreal: Freewave Lucifer F<ck F^ck F>ck [listen]


These albums are coming soon



Glass Animals: Dreamland: Real Life Edition • Heavy Gus (feat. members of The Lumineers and Blind Pilot): Notions • Neil Young + Promise Of The Real: Noise & Flowers • Pussy Riot: Matriarchy Now


Alicia Keys: KEYS II • Danny Elfman: Bigger. Messier. • Erasure: Day-Glo (Based on a True Story) • Goo Goo Dolls: Chaos In Bloom • Hollywood Undead: Hotel Kalifornia


Cass McCombs: HeartmindCharlie Burg: Infinitely TallHot Chip: Freakout/Release • Marketa Irglova: LILAThe Mountain Goats: Bleed OutPanic! At The Disco: Viva Las VengeanceRöyksopp: Profound Mysteries IISilversun Pickups: Physical ThrillsWatkins Family Hour: Vol. II


See it to believe it


Carol Kaye: Rock's Most Prolific Session Musician
Last week I wrote a piece about the incredible Carol Kaye, one of the most prolific session musicians of the last 50 years. Her website states that “if you have listened to the radio or watched TV since 1958, you've heard Carol Kaye play.” That’s 100% accurate. Her playing is everywhere. [via YouTube]


Musical happenings of historical significance



Birthdays: Jerry Garcia (1942) • Robert Cray (1953) • Chuck D (1960) • Adam Duritz (1964) • MTV Europe was launched, the first video played being “Money For Nothing” by Dire Straits. (1987)


Birthdays: Andrew Gold (1951) • Butch Vig & Mojo Nixon (1957) • Peter Watts, road manager with Pink Floyd, died of a heroin overdose. Watts supplied the crazed laughter on Dark Side Of The Moon. (1976)


Birthdays: Tony Bennett (1926) • James Hetfield (1963) • The Beatles played their last ever performance at The Cavern Club in Liverpool. During their set a power cut silenced their instruments and plunged the Cavern into temporary darkness. (1963)


Birthdays: Louis Armstrong (1901) • Larry Knechtel (1940) • Pink Floyd released their debut album The Piper At the Gates of Dawn. (1967)


Birthdays: Pat Smear (1959) • Adam Yauch (MCA) of The Beastie Boys (1964) • David Crosby was sentenced to five years in jail in Texas for cocaine and firearms offenses. He slept through most of his trial. (1983) • Famed drummer, Jeff Porcaro, died age 38. (1992)


Birthdays: Andy Warhol (1928) • Elliot Smith (1969) • Stevie Wonder was seriously injured when the car he was riding in crashed into a truck near Winston-Salem, North Carolina, leaving him in a coma for four days. The accident also left him without any sense of smell. (1973) • The Wall opened in movie theaters in New York. (1982)


Birthday: Raul Malo (1965) • John Lennon began recording his final album, 'Double Fantasy' at The Hit Factory, in New York City. (1980)



Watch Billie Eilish Perform Intimate Acoustic Set at Amoeba Music
Billie Eilish marked the one-year anniversary of the release of her sophomore album Happier Than Ever Friday with a surprise performance at Amoeba Music in Hollywood. Watch it here. [via YouTube]

See Photos From the First Lollapalooza Tour in 1991
The grandaddy of all alternative rock events was launched during the summer of 1991 as a grand experiment in bringing a European-style festival to American shores. Trent Reznor looks so young! [via Billboard]

Joni Mitchell Announces New Asylum Albums (1972-1975) Box Set
The latest installment in Mitchell’s archival series arrives after her surprise appearance at the Newport Folk Festival. [via Pitchfork]

Jon Stewart Rips GOP for Blocking Veterans’ Health Bill: “Fuck the Republican Caucus”
In response to 25 Republicans flipping their vote on the PACT Act, which expands healthcare to veterans exposed to toxic burn pits. [via Consequence]

Please consider backing me with a paid subscription. I keep going and growing because of your generous support. Thanks for reading, for sharing, and for caring. It means the world to me that you’re here.

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Love, peace, and harmony.
CZ 🤘🏻