John Mayer's new release Where The Light IsThe 4th of July weekend seems like the perfect time to release new music. You figure that folks planning the long weekend and heading out to the beach or a barbecue will want to take some tunes along for the ride, right? Well, how come there isn’t anything good coming out this week? Sheesh.

Here are some highlights (relatively speaking, that is):

John Mayer “Where The Light Is”: For whatever reason, Mayer is taking some guff for having released so many live albums in a relatively short time. This is his third officially-sanctioned concert release in 7 years (although the John Mayer Trio album was almost completely new material). Of course, those same people won’t mention the fact that Pearl Jam had put out about 500 live albums before their 10 year anniversary. Anyway, I’ve seen Mayer live once and, as much as I love the guy (as explained in yesterday’s post), he was good if not great. Although the guitar at his shows is a little more showy, his records don’t sound a hell of a lot different from his records, and his stage patter can border on smarmy/obnoxious. Anyhow, when a live album from someone whose already put out a pair of live albums in less than a decade is your top choice this week, you know you’re in trouble. This is also available on DVD.

G-Unit “T.O.S. (Terminate on Sight)” : As is now typical Fiddy fashion, there have been more than a few contrived “beefs” coming to light just as the promo campaign for this album was kicking in. There was a back and forth with former Unit associate The Game (whose “L.A.X.” was originally supposed to release the same day and then got pushed back), followed by the departure of group member Young Buck amid a flurry of accusations. Finally, there was the burning down of Fiddy’s baby mama’s house, which the man himself has been accused of masterminding. Does any of this have anything to do with the actual music? No. Which is one of many reasons I would steer clear of this.

Vanessa Hudgens “Identified”: Hey, it’s the ethnically ambiguous “High School Musical” chick who’s dating Zac Efron and showed off her vajoojie in some pictures that leaked on the net last year!! Who cares??? Unfortunately, fellas, she did not decide to disrobe in any of the album artwork. Oh well. There went her chance to actually sell records.

Los Lonely Boys “Forgiven”: Talk about time passing you by. Five or so years ago, Los Lonely Boys were the next rootsy-rock thing, winning a Grammy for their huge (and completely unmemorable) hit “Heaven”. They released a second album that went nowhere at an alarmingly fast rate and then got their best-known song completely jacked by has-beens Arrested Development on “Hit Me Baby One More Time” (remember that show?) and now, they’re wondering if anyone outside the immediate Lonely Boy family will pick up their new album, “Forgiven”. Mmm…prolly not.

AD’s version was so good, the band still performs it live.

Go West “Futurenow”: Yup, Go West has decided to head back into the studio and make another album-their first since 1992’s “Indian Summer”. Most of you reading right now are scratching your heads and wondering who the hell Go West are. The rest of you are probably wondering why Go West didn’t leave well enough alone and stay in the Witness Protection Program or wherever the hell they were. Anyway, I won’t even pretend to be interested in what they sound like in 2008, but for those of you still nostalgic for the band’s sound, I present you with the video for “King of Wishful Thinking”, the band’s biggest hit and a staple of shopping malls and chain restaurants everywhere.

Not much else to report in the way of new music. There’s another live album from those My Chemical Romance guys (I really don’t get them), a new album from Night Ranger (it was a toss-up between posting “King of Wishful Thinking” or the video for “Sister Christian”), a multi-disc version of Willie Nelson‘s classic standards album “Stardust” (damn, it, Willie. The last ten years of Rod Stewart is YOUR fault), and a slew of Van Morrison reissues. Enjoy and happy shopping!

Ahhh…and for a complete list of this week’s new releases, you can click here: