First up, we have the excellent "He Is My Story: The Sanctified Soul of Arizona Dranes," the first book/CD project from well-regarded archival label Tompkins Square, featuring 44 pages of hardcover liner notes by retired American-Statesman music writer Michael Corcoran.
Corcoran knows about as much about Dranes as there is to know. He did years of original research on the blind, Pentecostal pianist/singer and places her music in sharp relief, filling details about Dranes' life (no, she wasn't able to play magically the "Christian barrelhouse" she essentially invented, she was classically trained and graduated from Austin's Institute for Deaf, Dumb and Blind Colored Youths in 1912) and provides the strongest biography yet written of this extraordinary woman.
The CD contains nicely remastered versions of all 16 of Dranes' singular songs. Nothing ever quite sounded like this and nothing ever quite will again.
Corcoran will sign copies of the new release at 5 p.m. Thursday at the Texas Music Museum, 1009 E. 11th St.
It's a big week for indie rock (or indie-identified rock on major labels). Animal Collective's new one, "Centipede Hz," is in stores today, as well as "sun," a confident and powerful new record from Chan Marshall, doing business as Cat Power. It's her first album of new material since 2006.
Veteran rocker Bob Mould follows up reissues of his '90s band Sugar's catalog on Merge Records with "Silver Age," his new full-band solo album, also on Merge. Enigmatic punk/folk/goth (but more folk than any of them) (I think) artist Cult of Youth's new album "Love Will Prevail" is out, as are "Breakup Song," a new one from Deerhoof, the Fresh & Onlys' "Long Slow Dance" and "For My Parents," a new album from stretched-out, epic Japanese guitar rockers Mono.
Also, there is a new album from Matchbox 20 called "North." It is their first in 10 years. So there's that.
Are you one of those people who quietly worships Jason Statham? Then you probably already know that "Safe" (not the Todd Haynes movie of the same name) is out on Blu-ray today. If you are a horror nerd — and Cthulhu knows there are a ton of them in Austin — you should probably know that "Re-Animator" makes its Blu-ray debut today.
Kat Dennings fans (and really, who isn't one?) will be delighted to know that the first season of "2 Broke Girls" is out on DVD and Blu-ray today. Are there other people on that show? Does anyone know?
The biggest book release this week is "No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden" by Mark Owen, a pseudonym used by a Navy SEAL who participated in the historic mission.
Also look for "Mortality," the final book by the late Christopher Hitchens.
Contact Joe Gross at 912-5926