Wednesday , February 28 2024
Wilco headlines this week's new albums and Sony opens its Woodstock vaults...

New Music Releases For June 30, 2009: Wilco, Levon Helm, Rob Thomas, Moby, Whitesnake, Twisted Sister, and The Woodstock Experience!

For the first time since I took this vaunted position of writing our weekly new release column and buyer's guide, there's only one title on this list that qualifies as a must have.  There are a few items here of casual interest that may one day be added.  There are a few items here of interest because regardless of how bribeable I am, I can't think of what it would take me to listen to them for free to say nothing of actually paying money to own them!

Wilco (The Album)

Credit where credit is due.  I kept reading about how great Yankee Hotel Foxtrot was and about the bizarre circumstances surrounding its release, so I asked a then co-worker about them and the album.  He told me he liked them and had seen them in Europe.  I rolled the dice.  It took a few listens, but it finally sunk in for me.  Since then I've avidly collected Wilco's back catalog as well as their new ones and become quite the Wilco fan. 

So I bought the album this morning and saw the band has opened Wilco (The Album) with "Wilco (The Song)."  Jeff Tweedy may be getting a little too cute by half with this.  I've now listened to it a handful of times, beginning to end and I'm not sure what I think.  I like Wilco and this is a good Wilco record.  It's hard to imagine these guys getting in a room and coming out with nothing, but this one has yet to wrap its arms around me even if "Wilco will love you, baby."

The Woodstock Experience

Well, credit the labels for noticing the 40th anniversary of Woodstock.  There's been a new box set and now Sony Legacy is releasing a slew of live performances by its artists at the famed festival.  Jimi Hendrix's performance is still arguably the most famous of the weekend and has long been available.  Sony is now offering up sets from Santana, Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane, Johnny Winter, and Sly & The Family Stone. 

Hair Metal Re-Issues

Last week we had two re-issues from Def Leppard, a band somewhat unfairly lumped in with hair metal.  This week, we get re-issues from Twisted Sister and Whitesnake. 

Let's start with Twisted Sister and the 25th anniversary of Stay Hungry.  These guys always seemed like more of a novelty act than a real band to me, owing much of their success to videos and the blossoming of MTV as a commercial force.  They are hardly alone in that category, but where some acts harnessed the platform and developed musically, Twisted Sister got left behind.  For those of you who did listen to them for the music, this edition features a second disc with 16 songs, many of which have never been released.

I'll confess to having been a Whitesnake fan in high school and yes, I even liked Slip of the Tongue at the time.  I was a big fan of Steve Vai and still think he's a brilliant musician.  It is not his fault this album aged so poorly.  At the time, there were songs on this record that made me wince.  Now I'd be shocked if there were songs that didn't.  As for Slide It In, that's the album that laid the groundwork for the smashing success of their self-titled record that sits between these two albums being re-issued today.  Both albums have been remastered and feature DVDs with rare and unseen bonus content.

Rob Thomas

If this guy has learned a single new trick since Yourself Or Someone Like You, I can't spot it.  I've heard the first single and it's paint-by-numbers Rob Thomas, which is about as paint-by-numbers as you can possibly get!  That anyone could run off a string of hits as a rock-oriented artist when the pop landscape is so beat-driven is actually a lot more impressive than the music.  He's a pedestrian vocalist and his melodic instincts are ordinary, but people keep buying what he's selling.

Here's the full list of this week's new releases…

Wilco (The Album)

Levon Helm
Electric Dirt

Wait for Me

Brad Paisley
American Saturday Night

Rob Thomas

Ace Hood

Jon Balke/Amina Alaoui/Jonhassell/Kheir Eddine M'Kachiche/Bjarte Eike

Beastie Boys
Hello Nasty

Dave Brubeck
Essential Standards

Ossie Davis
A Voice Ringing O'er the Gale! The Orato

April Rain

Ensemble devotio moderna
Loff unde ere (Praise and Glory): Music from Medingen Convent

Bill Evans
Essential Standards

Fine Arts Quartet
Fauré: Piano Quintets

Elliot Goldenthal
Public Enemies [Score]

Vince Guaraldi
Essential Standards

Robin Guthrie
Angel Falls

David Jaurequi
Fox Bat Strategy: A Tribute to Dave Jaurequi

Jefferson Airplane
The Woodstock Experience

Janis Joplin
The Woodstock Experience

Eleni Karaindrou
Dust of Time (Music for the Film by Theo Angelopolous)

Killswitch Engage
Killswitch Engage [2009]

Joseph Levine
American Ballets

If Tomorrow Comes…

Leslie Mendelson
Swan Feathers

Nouvelle Vague

Ted Nugent
Motor City Mayhem: 6,000th Concert

Michael Schønwandt
Nielsen: Symphonies Nos. 4 & 5

Evan Parker/Electro-Acoustic Ensemble
The Moment's Energy

Art Pepper
Essential Standards

Woodstock Experience

Andy Sheppard
Movements in Colour

Sly & Family Stone
The Woodstock Experience

Stephen Sondheim
Road Show

Rod Stewart
A Night on the Town [Collector's Edition]

Rod Stewart
Atlantic Crossing [Collector's Edition]

Tanya Tucker
My Turn

Twisted Sister
Stay Hungry: 25th Anniversary Edition

Various Artists
Now That's What I Call the 80s, Vol. 2

Various Artists
Now, Vol. 31 [US]
Slide It In [25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition] [Bonus Tracks] [CD/DVD]

Slip of the Tongue [20th Anniversary Deluxe Edition] [Bonus Tracks] [CD/DVD]]

Johnny Winter
The Woodstock Experience

Wu-Tang Clan
Playlist: The Very Best of Wu-Tang Clan

About Josh Hathaway

Check Also

Nektar-Remember the Future

Music Reviews: Nektar’s ‘Remember the Future’ Box Set, plus ‘The Johnny Winter Story’

Reviews: a box set for the 50th anniversary of Nektar's Remember the Future, plus Johnny Winter.