Wow, there’s a lot of cool stuff out this week.
“Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race” by Margot Lee Shetterly (William Morrow). The true story of the African-American, female mathematicians at NASA whose work helped some of America’s greatest achievements in space. You might have seen a trailer for the movie based on this story starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monae, Kirsten Dunst and Kevin Costner. (Sept. 6)
“Atlanta” (FX). The new comedy from Donald Glover (“Community”) about a fellow who goes back home to Atlanta only to see his cousin’s rap career explode. (Sept. 6)
Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, “Skeleton Tree” (Bad Seed Ltd.) The band’s first studio album since 2013 and first since the tragic, accidental death of Cave’s 15-year-old son. It is entirely possible that this album will be too intense to listen to, but his fans look forward to trying. The Alamo is screening “One More Time with Feeling,” the documentary about the album. (Sept. 9)
M.I.A., “A.I.M.” (Interscope). Four singles are already circulating from the fifth album from this groundbreaking rapper. (Sept. 9)
Creedence Clearwater Revival, “1969 Archive Box” (Fantasy). Very few bands — not even the Beatles or the Stones, I would venture — had a year quite like CCR’s 1969. This set, originally released on Record Store Day 2016, contains LP and CD versions of the “Bayou Country,” “Green River” and “Willie & The Poor Boys” albums, plus three 7-inch EPs, a 60-page composition notebook, poster and more. Retailing out at more than $140, this is a deluxe item, for sure, and all of these albums can be found for cheap at any used record store on the planet, but, once again, let us acknowledge the unreal output over a roughtly 12 month period of one of the greatest American rock bands, bar none.
Okkervil River, “Away” (ATO). Reeling from some personal issues, Okkervil leader (and former Austinite) Will Sheff recruits Marissa Nadler and former bandmate (and Shearwater leader) Jonathan Meiburg for some of his most profoundly personal songs. (Sept. 9)
Wilco, “Schmilco” (dBPm/ANTI- /Epitaph). Man, that is a perfect title. It’s at least as good a name as the last album, which was called “Star Wars.” This one can actually be found in stores right this second. (Sept. 9)