Zappagram #43

Music's biggest night happened with some surprising wins (congrats on the Grammy(s), George Santos!) and somebody has a birthday coming up (it's me, I have a birthday coming up)

Zappagram #43

Hey friends,

Who watched the Grammys? I caught the whole thing and planned to write about it here, then quickly realized that this newsletter would be so long it would break everyone’s inbox and possibly damage the space/time continuum.

Instead, I will be writing a separate piece about the Grammys which I’ll be publishing on Medium early this week. If you don’t already follow me on Medium, please do.

Sidenote: Either a paid Substack subscription or a paid Medium membership would make for a really nice birthday present. I know I can be hard to shop for, but if you can’t ask for what you really want for your own birthday, then when can you ask, right?

Moving on from the shameless plug: this week, I discovered a lap steel metal band called Velocihamster. (You read that correctly.) First of all, the band name is amazing by itself. Add lap steel covers of songs like “Ace Of Spades” or “Frankenstein” or “Thunderstruck” and how could you possibly go wrong? (Answer: You can’t. You can’t go wrong.)

Jack White fans: mark your calendars because Jack is the SNL musical guest on February 25th!

In new news for olds: Jethro Tull has new music out. Yep, that Jethro Tull. Crazy, right? Also, Nickel Creek announced a new 18-track album scheduled for release March 24th. So, BOLO for that.

Oh, and John Frusciante—the guitar player best known for playing in Red Hot Chili Peppers—just released an album of noise. One hour and forty-three minutes of migraine-inducing sounds that no one outside Fruiscante himself could ever want to hear. I listened so you don’t have to. My verdict? Instead go listen to a 56k modem connecting to dial-up internet. At least you’d have the comfort of nostalgia. Good job adding more pretentious bullshit in the form of undiluted noise to the world, I guess? This album really pisses me off, so much so that I’m probably going to have to write about it soon. Look for that on Medium in the coming weeks.

Okay. Enough of this. Take your protein pills. Put your helmet on.

Let’s do what we came here for…

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“Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet.”
—Bob Marley





Featuring: Caroline Polachek • Chastity Brown • Proper Pet • Deau Eyes • Deep Sea Diver • Tennis • Nathan Archie • Inhaler • The Utopiates • Groundlift • LANNDS • Jethro Tull

Spotify Apple Music


Spotify Apple Music



What the Artists Who Played Woodstock Were Paid
Their paychecks will blow your mind…

Tom Verlaine of Television, Dead at 73
Patti Smith eulogized that there was no one like him…

Remembering Music Legend David Crosby
Once, in a tweet, I told him how I’d grown up listening to his music and how much it always meant to me. I thanked him. He liked the tweet…



Ozzy Osbourne Retires From Touring After Ongoing Spinal Injury
The musician had planned to resume touring with a stretch of dates in Europe, but has canceled the shows due to the strain of traveling. [RollingStone]

The Smile Announce Summer 2023 North American Tour Dates
Plus, they’re releasing a new vinyl-only live EP. [Pitchfork]

Bruce Springsteen, 73 and Sunny, Defied Father Time at 2023 Tour Kickoff in Tampa: Review and Photos
Tan and muscled, 73 in the books but 53 in the looks, Bruce Springsteen sauntered onstage Wednesday night (February 1st) with nothing to prove and all the determination to prove it anyway. [Consequence]

Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross Scoring Next David Fincher Film, The Killer
The film will be released by Netflix on Nov. 10th. [Spin]

Bruce Springsteen Fanzine Backstreets Ending to Protest Ticket Costs
After 43 years, the fan-run publication is shutting down because of “concerts that we can hardly afford, that many of our readers cannot afford.” [Pitchfork]

Lollapalooza Docuseries Coming To Paramount+
There is no announced release date for Lolla yet, but presumably it will premiere before this year’s Lolla kicks off Aug. 3 in Chicago. [Stereogum]

Rob Zombie, Alice Cooper Set 2023 ‘Freaks on Parade’ Joint North American Tour
Filter and Ministry will open the 19-city late summer run. [Billboard]

The Tallest Man on Earth Announces New Album
Kristian Matsson’s new album Henry St. is out April 14. New song/video “Every Little Heart” is out now. Check it out here. [YouTube]

Gary Glitter Freed From Prison After Serving Half Of Sexual Abuse Sentence
For some unfathomable reason, this absolute garbage-ass piece of shit has been released from a U.K. prison after serving half of a 16-year sentence for attempted rape, four counts of indecent assault, and one count of having sex with a girl under 13. Disgusting. I wish hell were real so he could rot there. Fuck off into the sun. [Spin] (My commentary, not Spin’s.)

The Walkmen’s Hamilton Leithauser Receives Surprise Human Remains in the Mail
There are good surprises, like unexpected The Walkmen reunions, and there are bad surprises, like opening up your mail to find human remains. [Consequence]

Marilyn Manson Sued for 1990s Sexual Battery of a Minor
A woman claims that Manson sexually abused her multiple times in 1995 when she was 16 years old. [Pitchfork]

Bob Dylan’s Bootleg Series Is ‘Definitely Winding Down’
A source says there will not be many more chapters of the Bootleg Series following the new 'Time Out of Mind' box set. [RollingStone]

Lisa Loring, the Original Wednesday Addams, Dead at 64
Former child actress, who starred in the hit Sixties sitcom The Addams Family, died days after suffering a stroke. [RollingStone]

Melinda Dillon, Star of A Christmas Story and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Dead at 83
Dillon was twice nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. [Consequence]

Legendary Audio Engineer Steve Albini Built His Chicago Studio Brick by Brick
In this episode of World Cafe, we get a look inside the recording space where Albini engineered albums by bands like Nirvana, The Breeders, PJ Harvey, Jarvis Cocker and the Pixies. [NPR]

Carin Goldberg, Graphic Designer For Classic Albums and Books, Dead At 69
Goldberg died Jan. 19 at her home in Stanfordville, NY of a glioblastoma brain tumor. She was 69. [Stereogum]

Someone Has Recreated Radiohead’s In Rainbows Using Sounds Entirely From ‘Super Mario 64’
You can listen to all 10 tracks in their entirety here. [NME]



+ One of my favorite music journalists, Pamela Chelin, wrote an incredible piece on iconic music photographer Henry Diltz. It’s a beautifully written, fantastic read I strongly encourage you to take the time for. Diltz has photographed everyone and everything you can imagine—from the Monterey Pop Festival and Woodstock to more than 200 album covers—he’s an absolute legend who has seen it all.

+ It’s easy to get lost in a good podcast and that’s exactly what I’ve done recently with The Imbalanced History of Rock and Roll. I’m currently listening to their episode about CGBG and the New York punk scene of the late 70s. Highly recommended.

+ The Ramones played the Rainbow Theater in London on December 31, 1977. The show became It's Alive, which is widely regarded one of the best live albums of all time. Check out the way they kick the show off with Blitzkrieg Bop and tell me they weren’t the greatest rock and roll band of all time.



John Frusciante: : I I . [listen]
Iggy & The Stooges: Raw Power (50th Anniversary) [listen]
Korn: Requiem Mass  [listen]
The Smashing Pumpkins: ATUM – Act 2 [listen]
The Utopiates: Making History [listen]
The Velvet Hands: Sucker Punch [listen]
The Waeve: The Waeve  [listen]
WILSN: Those Days Are Over  [listen]
Young Fathers: Heavy Heavy [listen]


- FEB 10 -

El Ten Eleven: Valley of Fire
Mogwai: Mogwai Young Team (Remastered)
Paramore: This Is Why
The Rolling Stones: GRRR Live!
Tennis: Pollen
Yo La Tengo: This Stupid World

- FEB 14 -

Caroline Polachek: Desire, I Want to Turn Into You

- FEB 16 -

Slow Fiction: Slow Fiction EP

- FEB 24 -

Algiers: Shook
Death Valley Girls: Islands in the Sky
Gorillaz: Cracker Island
Neutral Milk Hotel: The Collected Works of Neutral Milk Hotel
Philip Selway: Strange Dance
The Church: The Hypnogogue

- MAR 3 -

Elvis Costello: The Songs of Bacharach & Costello
LANNDS: Music for the Future
Willie Nelson: I Don’t Know a Thing About Love


- FEB 6 -

Birthdays: Bob Marley (1945) • Kate McGarrigle (1946) • Axl Rose (1962) • Gord Downie of The Tragically Hip (1964) • Rick Astley (1966) • Carl Wilson of The Beach Boys died of cancer, aged 51. (1998)

- FEB 7 -

Birthdays: Garth Brooks (1962) • Danny Goffey of Supergrass (1974) • The Stooges released their third studio album Raw Power. (1973)

- FEB 8 -

Birthdays: Terry Melcher (1942) • Vince Neil (1961) • Anderson .Paak (1986) • Max Yasgur died of a heart attack aged 53. He was the owner of the dairy farm in Bethel, New York where Woodstock was held. (1973) • Marquee Moon, the debut album by American rock band Television, was released. (1977)

- FEB 9 -

Birthdays: Carole King (1942) • Joe Ely (1947) • Bill Haley died of a heart attack, aged 55. (1981) • Jazz composer, keyboardist, bandleader Chick Corea died age 79. (2021)

- FEB 10 -

Birthdays: Roberta Flack (1937) • Drummer Nigel Olsson (1949) • Cliff Burton of Metallica (1962) • Carole King released Tapestry. (1971) • Dave Alexander, the original bassist for The Stooges, died from pneumonia, aged 27. (1975) • The Clash started recording their debut album at CBS studios in London. (1977)

- FEB 11 -

Birthdays: Sheryl Crow (1962) • Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park (1977) • Whitney Houston was found dead in suite 434 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, submerged in the bathtub. (2012)

- FEB 12 -

Birthdays: Ray Manzarek of The Doors (1939) • Michael McDonald (1952) • Yours truly, Chris Zappa (1974) • Lisa Hannigan, Irish singer with Damien Rice (1981) • Blondie, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, and the Ramones all appeared at the Whisky a Go Go in Los Angeles, California. (1977) • Screamin' Jay Hawkins died, aged 70. (2000)

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Until next week,