Zappagram #78: I put a spell on you

Zappagram #78: I put a spell on you

This week, I want everyone to listen to Morning Bear.

Morning Bear, the brainchild of Denver-based singer/songwriter John Runnels, is an orchestral indie folk project that channels emotion through vivid imagery and intricate melodies. Characterized by highly dynamic compositions, Morning Bear’s music is a synthesis of the calm and delicate stylings of artists like Bon Iver and Jose Gonzalez with the complexity and depth of the Fleet Foxes and Sufjan Stevens. Featuring soaring vocals and atypical arrangements, including cello, violin, piano, and more, Morning Bear provides a textured landscape behind pop-influenced hooks.

Morning Bear’s latest single, “Splitting Of The Wood” kicks off this week’s Zappagram playlist. Check it out, as well as all the other incredible new music I’ve included.

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

This newsletter ain’t gonna read itself.

I came into this world black, naked and ugly. And no matter how much I accumulate here, it's a short journey. I will go out of this world black, naked and ugly. So I enjoy life.
—Screamin’ Jay Hawkins






Featuring: Morning Bear, Taxiway, Sarah Jarosz, Madi Diaz, Tyler Ramsey, Joy Oladokun, Black Pumas, Brake, Sleater-Kinney, Lenny Kravitz


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Spotify Apple Music



  • Bruce Springsteen Gives Update on “Monster” Peptic Ulcer Disease [Consequence]

  • Tool to Hit Studio for New Album When Touring Wraps Up [Consequence]

  • Stewart Copeland Announces New Book ‘Police Diaries’ [Consequence]

  • Federal Trade Commission Proposes Ban on Hidden Concert Ticket Fees [Pitchfork]

  • Violent Femmes to Reissue Self-Titled Debut Album for 40th Anniversary [Pitchfork]

  • Rudolph Isley, Founding Member of the Isley Brothers, Dead at 84 [RollingStone]

  • Steely Dan’s Donald Fagen Out of Hospital After Unspecified Illness [RollingStone]

  • Thurston Moore Cancels Book Tour Due to “Debilitating” Health Condition [Pitchfork]

  • Les Claypool Announces Career-Spanning Box Set ‘Adverse Yaw’ [Consequence]

  • Explosions in the Sky Announce Vinyl Reissues for Early Albums [Consequence]

  • Lana Del Rey Donated “Every Dollar” from Tour “Back Into” Cities She Played [Consequence]



Caroline Polachek just did NPR’s Tiny Desk. A must-see for any fans of hers.



Boygenius: The Rest EP [listen]
Holly Humberstone
: Paint My Bedroom Black [listen]
Margo Price: Strays II [listen]
Ringo Starr: Rewind Forward EP [listen]



- OCT 20 -

Blink-182: One More Time...
Bombay Bicycle Club: My Big Day
Devo: 50 Years of De-Evolution 1973–2023
Duff McKagan: Lighthouse
The Rolling Stones: Hackney Diamonds
The Shins: Chutes Too Narrow (20th Anniversary Remaster)

- OCT 27 -

Black Pumas: Chronicles of a Diamond
DJ Shadow: Action Adventure
The Gaslight Anthem: History Books
José González: Veneer (20th Anniversary Deluxe Edition)
The Kills: God Games
Nirvana: In Utero (30th Anniversary Super Deluxe)
Prince: Diamonds and Pearls (Super Deluxe Edition)
Taylor Swift: 1989 (Taylor’s Version)
U2: Zooropa (Vinyl Reissue)

- NOV 3 -

Bob Marley and The Wailers: Catch a Fire (50th Anniversary Edition)
Christine McVie: Christine McVie (Reissue)
Christine McVie: In the Meantime (Reissue)
Cold War Kids: Cold War Kids
Dave Matthews Band: Before These Crowded Streets (Vinyl Reissue)
Frank Zappa: Over-Nite Sensation (50th Anniversary Edition)
Jimmy Buffett: Equal Strain on All Parts
Neil Young: Time Fades Away 50 (Vinyl Reissue)
Semisonic: Little Bit of Sun
The Struts: Pretty Vicious

- NOV 10 -

Beirut: Hadsel
Cannons: Heartbeat Highway
Cat Power: Cat Power Sings Dylan: The 1966 Royal Albert Hall Concert
New Order: Substance (2023 Expanded Reissue)
Public Enemy: It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back (Vinyl Reissue)
Pure Bathing Culture: Chalice
R.E.M.: Up (25th Anniversary Edition)



- OCT 16 -

Birthdays: Nico (1938) • Bob Weir (1947) • Bob Mould (1960) • Flea (1962) • John Mayer (1977) • Legendary NYC punk club CBGB closed its doors after 33 years. (2006) • Patti Smith was said to be moved to tears after a fan returned a bag of stolen goods to the singer 36 years after they went missing. They included a shirt worn for a 1978 Rolling Stone cover shot and a bandana given to her by her late brother. The items went missing in June 1979 when a truck, which was carrying $40,000 in amplifiers, guitars, and other musical equipment, was stolen from outside a hotel after Smith and her band played a show at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago. (2015)

- OCT 17 -

Birthdays: Barney Kessel (1923) • Jim Seals (1941) • Ziggy Marley (1968) • Wyclef Jean (1972) • Eminem (1972) • Four Tops singer Levi Stubbs died at his Detroit home, aged 72. (2008)

- OCT 18 -

Birthdays: Chuck Berry (1926) • Laura Nyro (1947) • An image of a naked John Lennon taken on the last day of his life, was named the top US magazine cover of the past 40 years. The Rolling Stone front cover, taken by Annie Leibovitz and showing Lennon curled around Yoko Ono, was picked by editors, artists, and designers. (2005)

- OCT 19 -

Birthdays: Peter Tosh (1944) • Pat Simmons (1948) • A-Ha went to No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Take On Me', making them the first Norwegian group to score a US No.1. The video for the song featured the band in a pencil-sketch animation method called rotoscoping, combined with live action which won six awards and was nominated for two others at the 1986 MTV Video Music Awards. (1985) • Spencer Davis, one of the key figures of the 60s beat scene, died at the age of 81. (2020)

- OCT 20 -

Birthdays: Tom Petty (1950) • Snoop Dogg (1971) • Ronnie Van Zant, Steve Gaines, and Cassie Gaines of Lynyrd Skynyrd were all killed along with manager Dean Kilpatrick when their rented plane ran out of fuel and crashed into a densely wooded thicket in the middle of a swamp in Gillsburg, Mississippi. The crash seriously injured the rest of the band and crew who were due to play at Louisiana University that evening. (1977)

- OCT 21 -

Birthdays: Manfred Mann (1940) • Steve Cropper (1941) • Elvin Bishop (1942) • Lux Interior of The Cramps (1946) • Brent Mydland (1952) • Steve Lukather and Julian Cope (1957) • Green Day singer Billie Joe was arrested and fined $141 after mooning the audience during a gig in Milwaukee. (1995)

- OCT 22 -

Birthdays: Leslie West of Mountain (1945) • Stiv Bators of Dead Boys (1956) • Shelby Lynne (1968) • Elliott Smith died under somewhat mysterious circumstances at the age of 34. (2003)

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Until next week, friends…


Zappagram is the mother of all music podcasts and newsletters, covering the latest in music news, reviews, interviews, releases, discovery, history, and more. Hosted by music journalist Chris Zappa.