Caught a Ghost's Tessa Thompson and Jesse Nolan unveil their debut album, Human Nature, today. (Shelby Duncan)
This is no April Fool’s joke. The following will make you laugh, cry, get angry and dance – perhaps all at the same time. Here’s a breakdown of this week’s music, literary and DVD releases.
Caught a Ghost – Human Nature (+1)
“Blues musicians used to say you caught a ghost if you gave a good performance… like you were possessed,” informs Jesse Nolan. The singer-songwriter/producer at the helm of the L.A. trio, which is rounded out by vocalist/percussionist Tessa Thompson (whom you may recognize from “Veronica Mars,” “Cold Case” or “Copper”) and drummer Stephen Edelstein, is a fan of music from all eras, and Caught a Ghost succeeds in continuing to carve their own niche of electronic soul with their fantastic debut album, Human Nature. Electronic noises snap you to attention before a choir bursts into the chorus of opener “No Sugar in My Coffee.” Then, piano keys are tickled and paired with pulsating drumbeats, horns and soaring vocals in “Sleeping At Night.” Other standouts include the title track, “Time Go” and “Connected.” Make sure to join the band as they celebrate the album’s release with a show at Bootleg Bar this Friday, April 4.
Christina Perri – Head or Heart (Atlantic)
The singer-songwriter has such a knack for crafting songs that not only tug but completely yank out your heartstrings, leaving you bleary-eyed and breathless (see: “Jar of Hearts” and “A Thousand Years”). She continues to infuse emotion into every measure of the 13 songs on her sophomore full-length, Head or Heart. First single “Human” is by far the standout ballad, while the more uptempo “Burning Gold,” co-written with Kid Harpoon, and “I Don’t Wanna Break,” co-written with fun.’s Jack Antonoff, are quite infectious. The L.A. transplant (by way of Philadelphia) embarks on a North American tour in support of the album this week, and it stops at the Wiltern on May 17.
Dan Croll – Sweet Disarray (Capitol)
The Liverpool native is testament to the saying that you can never judge a book by its cover. One shouldn’t be fooled by his slim build, glasses or sensitive songs, Croll is a rugby fanatic whose career in the sport was thwarted by a broken leg, a former nightclub doorman and he resides above a strip club. Not sure if you would be more surprised at those facts or that the extremely talented singer-songwriter graduated from the Liverpool Institute for the Performing Arts, has worked with fellow Liverpudlian Sir Paul McCartney and won National Songwriter of the Year from the Musician’s Benevolent Fund. His highly anticipated debut album, Sweet Disarray, is finally available today, and there are several folk-meets-electronic gems sprinkled throughout the tracklist of 12, including “In/Out,” “Compliment Your Soul,” “Can You Hear Me” and the gorgeous “Home.” He visits Los Angeles on Friday, April 4, for a set at the El Rey.
Kaiser Chiefs – Education, Education, Education & War (ATO)
Education, Education, Education & War is the Kaiser Chiefs’ first effort since founding drummer and chief songwriter Nick Hodgson left the band in 2012. The Leeds-based fivesome (fronted by “The Voice UK” coach Ricky Wilson) unveiled a few of the new songs, like first single “Coming Home” and the explosive “Misery Company,” from their fifth studio album at shows last year to high praise. Written in London, Los Angeles and Nashville, the 10 tracks were recorded in Atlanta, Ga., and mixed by Michael Brauer (My Morning Jacket, Coldplay) with producer Ben H. Allen III (Gnarls Barkley, Animal Collective, Deerhunter). A global enterprise that will undoubtedly please Kaiser Chiefs fans the world over.
Also available – Adanowsky’s ADA; A.J. Ellis’ Bury the Devil; Architecture in Helsinki’s Now + 4eva; Austrian Death Machine’s Triple Brutal; Band of Skulls’ Himalayan; The Body’s I Shall Die Here; Chevelle’s La Gargola; Chiodos’ Devil; Cloud Nothings’ Here and Nowhere Else; Fartbarf’s Dirty Power; Hank Williams III’s Ramblin’ Man; Inventions’ self-titled; Jamaica’s Ventura; Jon Langford & Skull Orchard’s Here Be Monsters; Lacuna Coil’s Broken Crown Halo; Leon Russell’s Life Journey; Mac DeMarco’s Salad Days; Manchester Orchestra’s Cope; Matt Andersen’s Weightless; Maximo Park’s Too Much Information; Mike Dillon’s Band of Outsiders; Mike Oldfield’s Man on the Rocks; Mobb Deep’s The Infamous Mobb Deep; Nickel Creek’s A Dotted Line; Pattern Is Movement’s self-titled; Power Take Off’s This is Late; S. Carey’s Range of Light; Saintseneca’s Dark Arc; The Singles’ Look How Fast a Heart Can Break; Smoke DZA’s Dream.ZONE.Achieve; Split Single’s Fragmented World; Steel Panther’s All You Can Eat; Thievery Corporation’s Saudade; Timbre Timbre’s Hot Dreams; This Is Your Life (Ronnie James Dio tribute); The Used’s Imaginary Enemy; White Hinterland’s Baby
Carla’s Comfort Foods: Favorite Dishes from Around the World by Carla Hall (Atria)
Regardless of cultural background, two people can find common ground quickly and easily when it comes to a talking about food. From Southern Peach Cobbler and Greek Baklava to German Double-Mustard Potato Salad and Indian Chile, Pea and Coconut Chutney, the “Top Chef” alumna and co-host of “The Chew” guides you in recreating some of her favorite comfort dishes from around the world. In this follow-up to Cooking with Love: Comfort Food That Hugs You, her 2012 cookbook debut, she shares recipes, stories and seasoning tips to transform your average weekday dinner into a scrumptious meal with ease.
Also available – 8 Weeks to SEALFIT by Mark Divine; The Complete Cooking for Two Cookbook by America’s Test Kitchen Editors; The Empathy Exams by Leslie Jamison; Flash Boys by Michael Lewis; Frog Music by Emma Donoghue; I’ve Got You Under My Skin by Mary Higgins Clark; John Wayne: The Life and Legend by Scott Eyman; The King (The Black Dagger Brotherhood) by J.R. Ward; The Last Pirate by Tony Dokoupil
Film – The ever-classy news team (played by Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, David Koechner and Christina Applegate) returns for more antics in Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues; 47 Ronin stars Keanu Reeves as a former slave who joins the group of samurai intent on avenging the murder of their master; John Cusack, Robert De Niro and Crispin Glover in action crime thriller The Bag Man
Music – A MusicCares Tribute to Neil Young
TV – Action: The Complete Series; Broadchurch: Season 1; The Client List: Season 2; Finding Bigfoot: Volume 3; Psych: Season 8
Also available – At Middleton; Emulation; Four Seasons; L’Immortelle; Inspired Guns; Knights of Badassdom; The Pirate Fairy; The War Wagon; When Jews Were Funny