Zappagram #54: Illiterate Light, so good live you'll wanna slap your mama (but please don't)

Zappagram #54: Illiterate Light, so good live you'll wanna slap your mama (but please don't)

Hey folks,

This past week, I was fortunate enough to be invited by my friends Jeff and Jake of Illiterate Light to catch their show when they came through town on tour in support of their latest album Sunburned. Until now, I had never gotten to see them live and, dear sweet 10lb. baby jeezus, let me tell you that they put on an incredible, high-energy, kick-ass show that you do not want to miss if they come to a town anywhere near you. Seriously, I can’t rave enough about them. Easily one of the best live shows I’ve ever seen, hands down (and I’ve seen a lot of live shows.)

Their next several dates are performing on the bill with Mo Lowda & The Humble who were also fantastic. Definitely check them out, too.

Incidentally, Jeff has also started a Substack (woo!) where he’s sharing behind-the-scenes stuff, videos, demos, and the like. Please go subscribe!

I’ll be talking more about the concert in this week’s podcast, and if you’re enjoying the show and/or the newsletter, please tell your friends, enemies, neighbors, property managers, bus drivers, beauticians, cashiers, and anyone else who will listen to you. In exchange, I give you my eternal thanks.

Okay, enough shameless self-promotion.

Ground control to reader. Take your protein pills. Put your helmet on.

This music newsletter ain’t gonna read itself.

“The only thing better than singing is more singing.”
—Ella Fitzgerald



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Featuring: Twin Ritual, St. Paul & The Broken Bones, Illiterate Light, Mo Lowda & The Humble, Seasaw, Joy Oladokun, Arlo Parks, Raul Malo, John Mellencamp, Billy Joel, Foo Fighters, Hello Luna, Winona Fighter, The Damned

Spotify Apple Music


Spotify Apple Music

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Foo Fighters Return With New Album ‘But Here We Are’
After teasing their return to new music and lining up headlining festival gigs, Foo Fighters have announced that their new album But Here We Are — the band’s first album since the death of drummer Taylor Hawkins — will arrive in June. [RollingStone]

Coachella Fined $117,000 for Breaking City Curfew All Three Nights
The festival was supposed to wrap up by midnight Pacific on Sunday night, but Frank Ocean’s headlining set went over by roughly 25 minutes. Additionally, Coachella also broke the 1:00 a.m. Pacific curfew on Friday and Saturday by 25 minutes and 22 minutes, respectively. [Pitchfork]

Cassette Tape Sales at 20-Year High
The spike has been driven by recent releases from major acts such as Arctic Monkeys, Harry Styles and Florence + the Machine. [NME]

Eddie Van Halen’s “Hot for Teacher” Guitar Sells for Nearly $4 Million at Auction
The guitar was billed as, “One of the most iconic guitars of the MTV era as played by the most influential guitarist of his generation.” [Consequence]

Bruce Springsteen Day to Take Place in New Jersey in September
"It is important that we recognize Bruce for all he has done and will continue to do,” Gov. Phil Murphy says. [Rollin gStone]

How Cities Are Celebrating Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour Stops
City officials have been pulling out all the stops to welcome the superstar. [Billboard]

Pearl Jam Announce Summer 2023 Tour Dates
Eddie Vedder & co. will play a string of U.S. show in Aug and Sept. [Pitchfork]

The Grateful Dead Join TikTok
According to a press release, The Grateful Dead’s TikTok account “will serve as an outlet to celebrate the decades of music, generations of community, and endless array of creativity that has woven the band and its fans into every new era of the world’s counterculture and consciousness.” [Consequence]

Ahmad Jamal – the Acclaimed Jazz Pianist Who Influenced Miles Davis – Has Died
The composer died at his home in Massachusetts after a long battle with prostate cancer. [NME]

The Pop Group’s Mark Stewart Dies at 62
The vocalist and founding member of the pioneering post-punk band also released several solo albums. [Pitchtfork]

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National Independent Talent Organization Reveals Plan to Reform Concert Ticketing
NITO has released a nine-point strategy to fix unfair ticketing practices, supported by 45 independent management companies and booking agencies. [Pitchfork]

Inside One Band’s Absurd, Infuriating Legal Nightmare
'It's corporate bullying,' says the singer from OK Go, who are being sued by a cereal company. [RollingSt one]

The Brazen Origins of Metallica
The metal legends just released their eleventh studio album, 72 Seasons. Read about how they came together in this piece by Cillea Houghton. [AmericanSongwriter]

Honoring the Musical Genius and Transgressive Power of Little Richard
Director Lisa Cortés on her new documentary Little Richard: I Am Everything, which opens Friday, April 21. [RollingStone]

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+ My friend, Kevin Alexander, runs On Repeat, a great music newsletter here on Substack which I highly recommend to anyone who loves to discover new music.

+ I just found the singer/songwriter/powerhouse that is Jake Wesley Rogers. He performed a live five-song set from a rural Tennessee courthouse because he wanted to sing his songs “in a place that, for so long, has meant injustice and pain for so many.” To me, his music makes the powerful statement that while we’ve come a long way, we’ve still got such a very long way to go.

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Billy Joel: Live at The Great American Music Hall [listen]
Everything But the Girl: Fuse [listen]
Seesaw: Projecting [listen]
St. Paul & The Broken Bones: Angels in Science [listen]
Stars: From Capleton Hill [listen]
Twin Ritual: Allie [listen]

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- APR 28 -

Glen Matlock (of Sex Pistols): Consequences Coming
Joy Oladokun: Proof Of Life
Smokey Robinson: GASMS
Stephen Stills: Stephen Stills Live at Berkeley 1971
Taj Mahal: Savoy
The Damned: Darkadelic
The National: First Two Pages of Frankenstein

- MAY 5 -

Durand Jones: Wait Til I Get Over
Ed Sheeran: - (subtract)
Jenny Owen Youngs: Offair: From The Forest Floor
The Lemon Twigs: Everything Harmony
Olivia Jean: Raving Ghost
SBTRKT: The Rat Road
The Smashing Pumpkins: ATUM (Act 3)
Sqürl: Silver Haze

- MAY 12 -

Alison Goldfrapp: The Love Invention
Daft Punk: Random Access Memories (10th Anniversary Edition)
Dropkick Murphys: Okemah Rising
Esben & The Witch: Hold Sacred
Madison McFerrin: I Hope You Can Forgive Me
Moby: Resound NYC

- MAY 19 -

Dave Matthews Band: Walk Around the Moon
Graham Nash: Now
Lewis Capaldi: Broken by Desire to Be Heavenly Sent
Paul Simon: Seven Psalms
Raul Malo: Say Less
Sufjan Stevens, Timo Andres & Conor Hanick: Reflections

- MAY 26 -

Arlo Parks: My Soft Machine
The Exploding Hearts: Guitar Romantic
Sparks: The Girl Is Crying in Her Latte

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- APR 24 -

Birthdays: Doug Clifford, drummer of Creedence Clearwater Revival (1945) • Nigel Harrison, bassist of Blondie (1951) • Boris Williams, drummer of The Cure (1958) • Billy Gould, bassist of Faith No More (1963) • Patty Schemel, drummer of Hole (1967) • Kelly Clarkson (1982) • Paul and Linda McCartney spent the evening with John Lennon at his New York Dakota apartment and watched Saturday Night Live on TV. Producer of the show Lorne Michaels made an offer on air asking The Beatles to turn up and play three songs live. Lennon and McCartney thought about taking a cab to the studio, but decided they were too tired. This was the last time Lennon and McCartney were together. (1976) • David Bowie married Somali born supermodel and actress Iman in Switzerland. (1992)

- APR 25 -

Birthdays: Ella Fitzgerald (1918) • Albert King (1923) • Stu Cook, bassist of Creedence Clearwater Revival (1945) • Andy Bell, lead singer of Erasure (1964) • Eric Avery, bassist of Jane's Addiction (1965) • Pamela Courson the long-term companion of the late Jim Morrison died of a drugs overdose. It was Courson who found The Doors singer dead on July 3, 1971 in the bathtub of their apartment in Paris. (1974)

- APR 26 -

Birthdays: Duane Eddy (1938) Giorgio Moroder (1940) • Gary Wright (1943)Roger Taylor, drummer of Duran Duran (1960) • Chris Mars, drummer of The Replacements (1961) • Country singer George Jones died, aged 81. (2013)

- APR 27 -

Birthdays: Cuba Gooding, singer of R&B group Main Ingredient, best known for their 1972 hit song “Everybody Plays the Fool.” (1944) • Kate Pierson, of The B-52s (1948) • Ace Frehley of Kiss (1951) • Sheena Easton (1959) • Bob Coombes of Supergrass (1972) • Patrick Stump of Fall Out Boy (1984) • Lizzo (1988) • Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament was the victim of a robbery outside Southern Tracks Recording studios in Atlanta, where the band were recording. Ament arrived at the rear of the studio when three assailants brandishing knives emerged from the woods wearing black masks. The robbers grabbed a BlackBerry and Ament's passport and stole $3,000 in cash and $4,000 worth of goods. (2009)

- APR 28 -

Birthdays: Chuck Leavell (1952) • Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth (1953) • Apple launched the iTunes store, the first widely successful legal music download service. (2003)

- APR 29 -

Birthdays: Duke Ellington (1899)Willie Nelson (1933) • Otis Rush (1934) • German artist, musician Klaus Voorman, who played bass with Manfred Mann and the Plastic Ono Band. Voorman designed the cover for The Beatles album Revolver (1942) • Tammi Terrell (1945) • American soul singer, songwriter and record producer Lorraine Chandler (1946) • Tommy James (1947) • After a gig in Memphis, Bruce Springsteen took a cab to Elvis Presley's Graceland home and proceeded to climb over the wall. A guard took him to be another random fan and apprehended him. (1976)

- APR 30 -

Birthdays: Wayne Kramer of MC5 (1948) • Wonder Mike of The Sugarhill Gang (1957) • Robert Reynolds, bassist from the American band The Mavericks (1962) • Justin Vernon (1981) • Lloyd Banks (1982) • Twiggs Lyndon, the road manager for The Allman Brothers Band was arrested for murder after he stabbed a club manager during an argument over a contract. At the ensuing trial, Lyndon's lawyers argued that he had been temporarily insane at the time of the incident and that touring with the Allman Brothers would drive anyone insane. Lyndon was acquitted. (1970) • Blues legend Muddy Waters (McKinley Morganfield) died in his sleep at his home in Westmont, Illinois, aged 68. (1983)

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Be excellent to each other,
CZ 🤘🏻