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Next Week in Music | Dec. 12-18 • The Short List: 3 Titles You Want to Hear

A new Zappa box set and two garage-rock gems are the cream of the upcoming crop.

We are getting down the short strokes here, people. With just 150 new releases on the way, the pickin’s are getting mighty slim. But I did find a trio of imminent arrivals that deserve to be at the top of your playlist:


A Cruel Winner’s World

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Toeheads are pulverizing Detroit’s garage-rock scene, and their self-produced record A Cruel Winner’s World is encased in debauchery, sincerity, and relatability. The dense, jagged lo-fi recordings shake and rattle to the very core; drums like a china cabinet tumbling down a flight of stairs, all being held tightly together by roaring vocal melodies and vehement basslines. This fourth collection of songs (their first 12″ record) is equal parts nostalgic and innovative, evoking their tantalizing essence. There is no rhythm or reason for one to forgo a listen.”

Werewolf Jones
Rot Away

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Sophomore album from Detroit’s grittiest punkers! This album sees the band evolving from nihilistic scum punk toward a more refined post-punk garage rock sound that only a band from a decimated rust-belt town like Detroit could offer! If there is such a thing as Michigan punk, it’s Werewolf Jones. Musically, the band falls perfectly in line with the Detroit lineage of punk that starts with the noisy psychedelics of Destroy All Monsters, continues with the hardcore rock of Negative Approach, and meanders into the experimental territory.”

Frank Zappa
Waka / Wazoo

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Waka/Wazoo is a comprehensive box set celebrating the 50th anniversary of The Mothers Of Invention’s Waka/Jawaka and Grand Wazoo experience from 1972. During the aftermath of being pushed off the stage at the Rainbow Theatre in London, England, FZ found himself recuperating for months in his home in Laurel Canyon. Although he was confined to a wheelchair, his work ethic could not be tamed. During this time, he managed, among other things, to assemble an ensemble that quenched his thirst and desire to work with a large electric orchestra. Ultimately, a 20-piece group was contracted, along with recording sessions and an eight-city tour. Shortly thereafter, a scaled down 10-piece configuration, now known as the Petit Wazoo, toured for almost two months. After all was said and done, FZ finished the experiment with two albums in the can, Waka/Jawaka and The Grand Wazoo, plus two tours and an archive of show masters in his vault. It was a monumental feat for a guy with a cast on his leg and a conductor’s baton in his hand. The Waka/Wazoo box set features a complete historical rundown of the entire project, with alternate takes of almost every composition recorded during the album sessions, plus vault mix session outtakes and oddities. Also included is the full final show of the 10-piece tour, recorded at the famous Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco on Dec. 15, 1972.”