mariahWelcome to the first new release Tuesday of 2009. While most of the country will be fixated on something FAR more important, there’s no reason you can’t duck out of the inaugural festivities to pop into your local pre-recorded music emporium to check out the new releases. Here’s what’s happenin’:

It’s a good week to be indie and somewhat androgynous, as today brings us new releases from Antony & the Johnsons and Andrew Bird. Jam band lovers will get down to Umphrey’s McGee‘s Mantis, while some of the same indie folks who’ll pick up the Bird and Antony releases will wanna dig in to Animal Collective‘s Merriweather Post Pavilion. Jazz vocalist Jane Monheit graces us with a covers album called The Lovers, The Dreamers & Me (also known as the same title R&B singer Alice Smith gave her album three or so years ago), and AmIdol fanatics will rejoice (or throw up in their mouths) because Sanjaya Malakar makes his debut with an EP only available through called Dancing to the Music in My Head.

With Valentine’s Day approaching, the love songs compilations are going to start arriving fast and furious. Sony Music is unleashing a new ballads-themed series called From the Heart, and the first set of releases in this series come from a wide range of artists including Air Supply, Billie Holiday and Miles Davis. Speaking of Miles, a deluxe reissue of Kind of Blue hits stores today, as does a double-disc love songs set from Frank Sinatra. Thom Yorke‘s The Eraser gets the album-length remix treatment today, and finally, Mariah Carey gets her own ballads collection, featuring many of her best known hits-and no rapper cameos!!

Happy shopping & Happy inauguration day!!

Oh, get yer full list of new releases here.