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Next Week in Music | March 15-21 • The Short List: 8 Titles I Want to Hear

Loretta & Lanois, Dwyer & Deniz, Serj & Starr & Stanley — they're all on the way.

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Lana Del Rey, Justin Bieber, Harry Connick Jr. and Sting are just a few of the heavy hitters dropping new tunes this week. Will I listen to them? Yeah, probably — though they’ll have to take a backseat to these releases:

 


John Dwyer, Ted Byrnes, Greg Coates, Tom Dolas, Brad Caulkins
Endless Garbage

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Walk the dog. Exercise. Make art.’The mind is happy when the body is.’ Things I can potentially fill my days with if I am stuck at home for months on end… Then, one day, I hear a frenetic, free drummer playing in his garage a few blocks from me. And I think ‘interesting.’ I stand outside his garage staring at the wall, like a fool, for a minute, then decide to leave a note on the car parked there. This is how I ended up meeting and working with Ted Byrnes. He wasn’t creeped out, and he ended up sending me a pile of truly spontaneous drums recordings from the carport to work with. I decided to have every musician come in one at at time and just take a wild pass at their track over the drums. None of these people had ever met or played together. I was the connecting thread. I scratched the surface initially with electric bass, saxophone, guitars, cuica, synthesizers, flute and effects, but soon realized I would need heavy hitters to make this place habitable. Greg Coates, upright bass expressionist extraordinaire, hacked through the dense weeds, vines and frayed cabling. He lays the map out and makes breathing room. Space to swing a cat. Tom Dolas (keys), my often foil, came in and began tip-toeing through the rubble and refuse. Dotting the layout with flecks of light, flights of fancy and potential tangential trajectories. Then the finisher, Brad Caulkins on horns. As always, Brad came in like grace itself, scanned the floor for food, and huffed and puffed and blew the house down. He takes a bruiser situation and lends it some warmth and hospitality, old school. After I spent a bit of time mixing and editing this down to a palatable offering I couldn’t help but think about human consumption… Endless Garbage seemed a fitting title. A cacophonous and glorious sketch of ourselves. For fans of Albert Ayler, ECM records, Gong, improvisation, sustainability and consumption.”


Daniel Lanois
Heavy Sun

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Recorded in Los Angeles and Toronto, Heavy Sun fuses classic gospel and modern electronics, mixing gritty, human textures with crisp, digital accents and lush, swirling atmospherics to create a sound that’s at once warmly familiar and boldly unexpected. The arrangements here are spacious and dreamy, anchored by rich, righteous organ topped with airy falsetto and mesmerizing four-part harmony, and the writing is buoyant and soulful to match, tapping into the shared uncertainty of the human condition to offer hope, comfort, and connection at a time when all three-run in desperately short supply. “We want to lift people’s spirits with this music,” says Lanois. “It’s so easy to feel isolated right now, but we want everyone to feel included in what we’re doing.” That communal spirit is on full display here, with Daniel Lanois and his bandmates — guitarist/vocalist Rocco DeLuca, organist/vocalist Johnny Shepherd, and bassist/vocalist Jim Wilson — showcasing an undeniable chemistry and boundless appetite for sonic discovery that far surpasses the influence of any individual member.”


Loretta Lynn
Still Woman Enough

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “American music icon Loretta Lynn’s 50th solo studio album, Still Woman Enough celebrates women in country music. From her homage to the originators, Mother Maybelle Carter and the Carter Family (via her cover of Keep On The Sunny Side) through a new interpretation of her very first single I’m A Honky Tonk Girl, Loretta Lynn acknowledges her role in the continuum of American country music with a special collaboration with Reba McEntire and Carrie Underwood, and duets with Margo Price and Tanya Tucker, sharing the musical torch with some of the brightest lights and biggest stars in contemporary country music. “I am just so thankful to have some of my friends join me on my new album. We girl singers gotta stick together,” said Loretta Lynn. “It’s amazing how much has happened in the fifty years since ‘Coal Miner’s Daughter’ first came out and I’m extremely grateful to be given a part to play in the history of American music.”


Paul Stanley’s Soul Station
Now And Then

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Kiss co-founder & frontman, best-selling author and Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Paul Stanley has spent the last few years developing a project close to his heart. Soul Station is a band gathering some of today’s leading musicians to pay tribute to the greatest artists and songs from the R&B and soul catalog to keep this vital music current. While a surprise to many, Stanley’s early pivotal roots in this music has quietly turned this passion into a celebrated touring and recording band. Stanley’s 15-piece ensemble group has toured the U.S. and Japan, and recently recorded an album of nine classic soul songs and five new original songs. Says Stanley: “Long before I ever heard the great British bands, I grew up listening to Philly soul, Motown and so much more. I was lucky to see Otis Redding and Solomon Burke, among others. That music and its storytelling gave me strength and hope even in some tough days. The great classics of that era are magical medicine for most and I felt myself drawn back to that era for some sorcery I think we could all use.”


Ringo Starr
Zoom In

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Ringo Starr’s new EP Zoom In, which was recorded at his home studio between April and October 2020. For this EP, Starr collaborated with musicians, songwriters and producers like Robbie Krieger, Steve Lukather, Benmont Tench, Paul McCartney, Joe Walsh, Corinne Bailey Rae, Eric Burton (Black Pumas), Sheryl Crow, Finneas, Dave Grohl, Ben Harper, Lenny Kravitz, Jenny Lewis, Chris Stapleton and Yola. For all his many creative successes, Ringo is and always will be first and foremost a musician, a drummer. Ringo’s candor, wit and soul are the lifeblood of his music. Peace and love are his life’s rhythm and melody, and he propels this universal message in everything he does: his evocative artwork, his enthusiastic live performances, his legendary songs, all imbued with the joy, reflection, and wisdom of the music icon the world knows and loves simply as “Ringo.”


Serj Tankian
Elasticity

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “When I conceived possibly doing another record with the guys from System of a Down a few years back, I started working on a set of songs that I arranged in rock format for that purpose,” Serj Tankian explains. “As we weren’t able to see eye to eye on the vision going forward with an SOAD album, I decided to release these songs under my moniker.” With his trademark eclecticism and one-of-a-kind vocal style, Serj delivers a collection that runs the gamut from hard-driving, electronically enhanced anthems like the title track, a rallying cry for his beloved Armenia (Electric Yerevan), the tongue-in-cheek political mash-up of Your Mom, the piano-laden How Many Times? and Rumi, a song that Serj wrote both about his son Rumi and Rumi the poet.”


Deniz Tek
Take It To The Vertical

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Garage rock legend Deniz Tek will reissue his groundbreaking 1992 solo debut Take It To The Vertical for the first time. Recorded in Houston, Texas, the album features Radio Birdman’s Chris Masuak on guitar and keyboards, and The StoogesScott Asheton on drums. This amazing album has been long out of print, rare, and nearly impossible to find. Deniz Tek is a guitarist, singer/songwriter and record producer from Ann Arbor, Michigan. His career in music, grounded in late-’60s Detroit rock, extends through several decades and across continents. He is best known as a founding member of the influential and groundbreaking Australian independent hard rock band Radio Birdman.”


Chad VanGaalen
World’s Most Stressed Out Gardener

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “2020 was a terrible year for gardening. It was terrible for peppers, it was terrible for tomatoes, it was terrible for the condition of the soul. But Chad VanGaalen somehow raised a garden all the same: carrots and sprouts and broccoli and a revivifying new album, all of them grown at home. He likes to eat directly off the plant, he says — “I get down on my knees and graze. It’s nice to feel the vegetables in your face” — and the 13 songs on World’s Most Stressed Out Gardener were harvested with just such a spirit: in their raw state, young and vegetal, at the very moment, they were made.”