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Next Week in Music | Dec. 13-19 • The Short List: 3 Titles You Want to Hear

We are down the short strokes here, people. Not that I'm complaining …


Some people have their holiday shopping done. Other folks don’t start until the afternoon of the 24th (yeah, I’m looking at you, John). If you’re still looking for a last-minute album — or just need some new music to take your mind off how far behind you are — here are a few likely candidates (emphasis on few; we’re definitely down the short strokes when it comes to 2021 releases. Not that I’m complaining):


John Dwyer, Ryan Sawyer, Greg Coates, Wilder Zoby + Andres Renteria
Gong Splat

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “What’s this? Today’s holiday gift? One final transmission from the core of the planet! Cresting slabs of concrete and powdered bone, rich soil — improvisation freak flag flitters atop a gutted highrise: Gong Splat. Featuring Ryan Sawyer on drums, Greg Coates on upright bass, Wilder Zoby on synth and mellotron, Andres Renteria on conga, bongos and hand percussion, and John Dwyer on guitar, synths, pan flute, cuíca, hand percussion, space drum and effects. This one is spitting fat and neon night-light city drives, white in the corner of the pilot’s mouth. Furry, fuzzy and frenetic, motorik and full of blood-rich ticks … maggots unite! There’s a show tonight! Welcome back humans.”

Johnny Marr
Fever Dreams Pt 2 EP

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Fever Dreams Pt 2  will preview four brand-new tracks that make up the second quarter of Johnny Marr’s forthcoming double album Fever Dreams Pts 1-4. Sensory Street follows on electro-soul album opener Spirit, Power and Soul’s anthemic strand — a startling track with strident electronics that Marr describes as, “the story of a surreal 48 hours in subterranean England.” Tenement Time marks the end of the double album’s first half. A rousing, reflective creation fusing sonic power with an emotional potency. Both highlight Fever Dreams Pts 1-4’s sheer sonic scale.”

Frank Zappa
200 Motels 50th Anniversary Edition

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Released in October 1971, Frank Zappa’s 200 Motels was a miraculous feat, a cinematic collision of the venerated musician and composer’s kaleidoscopic musical and visual worlds that brought together Zappa and his band, The Mothers, Ringo Starr as Zappa — as “a large dwarf” — Keith Moon as a perverted nun, Pamela Des Barres in her acting debut, noted thespian Theodore Bikel, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and an incredible assortment of characters (both on screen and off) for a “surrealistic documentary” about the bizarre life of a touring musician. In celebration of 200 Motels’ golden anniversary, the soundtrack is being reissued in a definitive six-disc box set that includes a staggering amount of unreleased and rare material unearthed from FZ’s vault, including original demos, studio outtakes, work mixes, interviews and movie ads, along with newly discovered dialog reels, revealing an early audio edit of the film. Also included is a wealth of never-before-heard audio documentary material surrounding the project.”