New Music Monday: Levon Helm, Kiss, Dinah Thorpe, Adler, David Hasselhoff, Flotsam and Jetsam

If you’re missing Levon Helm (who hand-picked the selections for a new live set before passing), or just a few of your old Kiss singles (a box from their classic era on Casablanca is pending), New Music Monday is here for you.

Elsewhere, Steven Adler, the erstwhile Guns n’ Roses drummer, returns with a solo album — while Flotsam and Jetsam have a new fan-funded project; Gary Clark’s excellent new album Blak and Blu is coming on vinyl; and, oh yeah, there’s David Hasselhoff!

Out this week, too, is new stuff from Jeff Babko, Dinah Thorpe and Karl 2000, as well as a partially recommended greatest-hits package from Helix. Who can resist “Rock You,” right?

ADLER – BACK FROM THE DEAD (POP/ROCK): Steven Adler is probably best known as the drummer with the drug problem so legendary that it managed to get him kicked out of Guns n’ Roses. He seems to have his life back on track now, though, and word is that this record’s pretty good. — Fred Phillips

Alice CooperOld School [1964-74] (Pop/Rock)
BlurParklive [Live CD/DVD Box Set] (Pop/Rock)
ChevelleStray Arrows: A Collection Of Favorites (Pop/Rock)

DAVID HASSELHOFF – JUMP IN MY CAR (POP/ROCK): Dammit. Now I have to re-arrange my year-end “best of” list. — Fred Phillips

DINAH THORPE – 12 (POP/ROCK): A weirdly addictive amalgam of singer-songwriter and torchy sounds like Joni Mitchell and Nina Simone, but with a folk-rock edge via Pete Seeger, and then these additional musical flourishes that are quite simply all over the map — from Leonard Cohen to Dolly Parton to the Beatles to the Roots to Beethoven. The Toronto-based indie chanteuse, who you might remember from MTV’s “Sixteen and Pregnant” (which featured her “Election Song”) or the film “Love American Skin” (which saw Diana Scheunemann include “In the Country”), has already received a Juno award for this album. Is it any surprise, really, that 12 — which so thrillingly combines pop, country, cabaret, folk and something like jazz — actually includes a song called “Weird”? — Nick DeRiso

Florida Georgia LineHere’s To The Good Times (Country)

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FLOTSAM AND JETSAM – UGLY NOISE (POP/ROCK): The band has taken an unusual approach to creating this record through pledges from fans, but the clips that I’ve heard sound really, really good. I mean, Drift good, and that’s my favorite record by the band. Their last outing, 2010′s The Cold, was something of a comeback musically; this sounds like a great next step. (More here.) — Fred Phillips

GARY CLARK JR. – BLAK AND BLU [VINYL] (BLUES): For the uninitiated, this album — now seeing release on vinyl — finds Clark creating at a furious pace. Of course, the Austin singer-songwriter references a series of earlier EPs here, but that takes nothing away from the many moments where he works with fresh paint, fashioning a sweeping, impressionistic collection of African American styles. They don’t make records like this anymore, both in the sense that Blak and Blu aspires sometimes to more than it could possibly reach, and also that it pushes so hard against the boundaries that tend to enclose musical subgenres nowadays. (More here.) — Nick DeRiso

HELIX – BEST OF 1983-2012 (POP/ROCK): Man, I really love “Rock You,” but can you really fill a whole album with it? — Fred Phillips

HinterWelcome to the Freakshow [Expanded] (Pop/Rock)
Jacob MorrisMoths (Pop/Rock)

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JEFF BABKO – CRUX (JAZZ): This keyboardist’s most visible role is as a composer, arranger and performer on the Jimmy Kimmel Show, and logically, he’s scored movies, too (The 40 Year Old Virgin, Garden State, Super Bad, etc.). He’s also filled in for David Paich in Toto, co-leading a straight jazz band with Toto drummer Simon Phillips, gigging/recording with James Taylor, Larry Carlton, Sheryl Crow, Julio Iglesias, Steve Lukather and Joe Cocker — he’s on Cocker’s newest CD, Hard Knocks. Crux, like other Babko records, falls into the jazz fusion category, but also like prior records, it’s a good way to take in all his abilities as a skilled keyboardist, composer, bandleader and arranger. And Babko’s wide respect in the music business affords him the ability to surround himself with talent commiserate with the project. (More here.) — S. Victor Aaron

John FaheyTranscendental Waterfall: Guitar Excursions 1963-67 (Folk)
John HartfordAereo-Plain; Morning Bugle: The Complete Warner (Country)
Johnny CashThe Complete Columbia Album Collection (Country)
Johnny MathisSo Nice; Johnny Mathis Sings; This Is Love; Ole’ (Vocals)

KARL 2000 – KARL 2000 (JAZZ): A delightfully off-kilter saxophone trio with a Greenville, S.C.-meets-New York City lineage, Karl 2000 presents folk, jazz, choral and popular music with an offhanded humor and a ballsy sound courtesy of its power-trio format, ala the Alexandrov Ensemble. That means saxist Daniel Rovin (born in NYC, but raised in Greenville), New York-based drummer Dave Miller and bassist Austin White (born in Greenville, but a NYC transplant) are just as likely to dive into a weirdly transfixing original, a traditional Russian tune or, say, David Cassidy’s “I Think I Love You” (no kidding) — and, through it all, they race along with a fizzy sense of adventure. Very fun. — Nick DeRiso

Kei$haWarrior (Pop/Rock)

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KISS – THE CASABLANCA SINGLES 1974-82 (POP/ROCK): Much like the similar Dio set released a while back, this collection is interesting, with each disc set up like the original single. It’s a cool thing to have, but given the price and the fact that most fans probably own all of these songs already, I’d imagine it’s only for the most hardcore collector. Smells like a Christmas cash-in. (More here.) — Fred Phillips

LEVON HELM – MIDNIGHT RAMBLE SESSIONS III (POP/ROCK): Before his untimely death from cancer, Helm handpicked each of these tracks, recorded during his regular barn-dance/concert happenings in Woodstock, N.Y., creating a set that moves from Bob Dylan’s “Simple Twist of Fate” to Elmore James’ “Shake Your Money Maker.” Guests include Chris Robinson of the Black Crowes, Allen Toussaint — whose “Certain Girl” is featured — and the Levon Helm Band. The album’s high point comes early, with Helm’s set-opening take on Muddy Water’s titanic “Same Thing,” recorded in February 2009 — just 14 months before the former Band singer and drummer passed. Helm closes things out with propulsive version on Al Green’s “Take Me to the River,” once again underscoring his underrated versatility across a broad landscape of musical genres. (More here.) — Nick DeRiso

Scott Healy EnsembleHudson City Suite (Jazz)
Smashing PumpkinsMellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness [Box Set] (Pop/Rock)
Son HouseFather of Folk Blues (Blues)
Taylor SwiftRed [Vinyl] (Country)
The CranberriesLive at the Hammersmith Apollo, London 2012 DVD (Pop/Rock)
The MonkeesSelections From The Headquarters Sessions (Pop/Rock)

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