This week is a big one for music, and it will continue to be so as we approach the holiday season. Ryan Adams new CD Ashes & Fire comes out, his first since he married popster Mandy Moore and got ear-sick. Bjork's Biophilia is awesome because Bjork is awesome. And it has an iPad app. More: Crooked Fingers new Breaks in the Armor, Aussie Ben Lee's Deeper Into Dream and Brit James Blake (swoon) Enough Thunder EP. There is a best of Alejandro Escovedo CD out today, and he has some local ties. The soundtrack to the film Norman is mostly a score by Andrew Bird, but has contributions from Wolf Parade, Chad VanGaalen and Richard Swift. Future Islands have a new one, thematically titled, On the Water. Radiohead has a remix record called... ready, take this down, TKOL RMX 234567. He he. The Jesus and Mary Chain's records are getting remastered and re-released. This week: Munki and Stoned & Dethroned. Peter Gabriel questionably re-recorded his greatest hits with a big orchestra, it's called New Blood. And, with the holidays coming up, there a bunch of box sets: Ben Folds (judge of The Sing Off!), John Fahey and The Smiths are among the best picks. You might want to skip the online shops and get your CDs at a small, local store. If so, try Lou's Records. ---
In DVDs, the big news is that the first season of Jem and the Holograms is finally out. Let's all squeal with shrill delight! No, really, up until now, the previous release of the DVD was so rare it was getting upwards of $100. It's the perfect gift for the girl who grew up in the '80s wanting to out-sing The Misfits (no, not those Misfits.) And trivia time: Britta Phillips was the singing voice for Jem, she of The Belltower, Luna and Dean and Britta. There's also a 26-DVD box set, (no, really) of David Tennant's time as Doctor Who. The Columbine-inspired drama Beautiful Boy with Michael Sheen comes out today, and I'll see anything with Michael Sheen. If you like your movies creepy, have you seen The Bad Seed? From 1956? Blu-Ray version today. Also, Green Lantern and Horrible Bosses are out. Snooze. Perhaps you're boycotting Netflix. Good on you. You can rent DVDs at Completely Video.
There aren't a lot of books out this week except one I've been waiting for: The Marriage Plot by the mildly weirdo writer Jeffrey Eugenides, writer of the Virgin Suicides and Middlesex, two outstanding reads that won a lot of awards. Eschew the online megastore and check out Warwick's in La Jolla.