Operation Every Band

SXSW/Coachella Crossover – Saturday Artists

Our Coachella coverage continues through this week and next as we ramp up to covering Weekend Two of Coachella 2014.  Here’s a continuation of the SXSW/Coachella crossover to transition to the big stages and tents of Indio.  Saturday features a bunch of great highlights proving the strength of Coachella’s mid- and lower-card. 

Foster the People


The Head and the Heart

City and Colour



Washed Out



Laura Mvula

Blood Orange

Young & Sick

Syd Arthur

My Final Thoughts – The Head and the Heart

Photo courtesy of Eugene Daily News

All the way back in May, just a couple months into “The 12” project, I was perusing through YouTube to dig up some videos for a Tour Report for The Head and the Heart.  I came across a performance of “Lost in My Mind” that completely changed my perception of what this band was able to achieve.  First comes a couple handclaps from the crowd, then a few folks up front singing along as Russell began the first verse.  By the first chorus, the crowd was belting along with the band ecstatically.  I’ve heard “Lost in My Mind” probably a hundred times in the last month, but this particular moment still gives me goose bumps as I’m writing today.  What I’m sure started as a simple folk-pop song suddenly turned into an anthem for the burgeoning folk-rock scene so prominent in 2011.  Billboard had it right when they put The Head and the Heart on their cover this summer.  This band isn’t just the next addition to compliment the indie folk scene; they are a musical force unlike any act that has come into the national spotlight this year.

The Head and the Heart’s fans absolutely adore “their” band.  While following them for the last six months, I’m reminded of another band that meant so much to me growing up.  When I was about to enter high school around 1994, I was given a cassette of a relatively unknown group called Dave Matthews Band that would turn into my first musical obsession over the following half-decade.  Within months, the band was graduating from clubs to amphitheaters based not just on their live sound, which at the time was revelatory to me, but due to their fervent fanbase.  Dave Matthews Band built a community through an open recording policy that allowed fans to trade tapes of live concerts across the country.  It’s an antiquated approach looking back from 2011, but at the time they were blazing a new trail given they only had one self-released album at the time.  The rest of their story is pretty well known at this point as Dave Matthews Band continues to be one of the top touring acts in music as they enter their twentieth year.  I’m not seeing multiple shows across the Northeast like I once had, but they memory and meaning that band means to me helped shape a passion in me for music that at the time I didn’t even know existed.

So what does this all have to do with The Head and the Heart?  From Facebook and Twitter updates to a fan site completely dedicated to the band, there seems to be the same relative buzz surrounding the band as I felt with the Dave Matthews Band back in the early Nineties.  Of all the band’s we covered, I believe the most in The Head and the Heart’s longevity.  The fans that have been shouting the band’s name from virtual mountaintops are the kind of folks that will dedicate their all into the young band.  They aren’t going to check out a show once in a while standing by the back of the bar.  They’ll be right up front, feeling part of something rather than just being a casual observer.  This level of support cannot be taken lightly, a fact that The Head and the Heart seem to completely understand.  Of all the bands we covered, they easily pushed out our stories more than any other.  Through little notes of thanks, their support of my project kept me not only believing in them, but believing in myself.  The Head and the Heart have moved me not only through their music, but also through how much they care about really making an impact to every fan at every show.  You want to not only cheer with them, you want to cheer for them.

My story with The Head and the Heart has been mirrored by fans across the country.  They have become a musical ambassador for Seattle while selling out shows on the other side of the country.  They’ve even gained some significant traction in Europe; London’s Rough Trade Records recently named their self-titled LP as one of their top selling records of the year.  The Head and the Heart are a true musical success story in 2011 and I would be very surprised if their rise doesn’t continue beyond their wildest expectations.  The band has some talented songwriters, but their true power comes when they hit the stage.  Whether it’s Josiah Johnson dancing like he’s seeing his favorite band or Charity Thielen spine-tingling vocal run on “River and Roads”, The Head and the Heart delivers moments unlike any band on the scene right now.  If this is just an early chapter, the future is truly limitless.  I’m so thankful to be a small part of their story this year.  In a music world where bands can come in and out of the spotlight in a heartbeat, The Head and the Heart are sealing their foundation to carry them through for years and years.

As a final aside, fans of the Head and the Heart that have been digging my coverage need not worry that we’re closing up shop on “The 12” (We’ll be transitioning completely to SXSW coverage tomorrow).  The band’s dedicated fan community, Lost in My Mind, has evolved into a great place for up-to-date information and insight on the band.  Keep up the great work Daniel!  

The Head and the Heart News Roundup – October

And so goes our last news report for The Head and the Heart.  This month’s stories include a PBS documentary (also featuring Macklemore & Ryan Lewis), some unreleased songs by the bay and an appearance on Letterman.

10/14/11 – Something in the Water Premiers on KCTS

“Something in the Water” is a PBS documentary exploring the Seattle music scene featuring performances by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Shabazz Palaces and The Head and the Heart.  The program revolves around Seattle radio station KEXP and its influence on the scene.  Director Ward Serrill displays the evolution from grunge-era Seattle to the diverse Pacific Northwest music scene that is thriving today.  The Head and the Heart chime in around the nine-minute mark amid clips of the band’s performance of “Lost in My Mind” on Conan.

Watch Something in the Water on PBS. See more from KCTS 9 Documentaries.

10/18/11 – The Doe Bay Sessions 2011

The Head and the Heart have developed a strong relationship with the intimate Doe Bay Festival, not only playing back-to-back years but also recording video sessions for Sound on the Sound both years.  Even though the band has risen to headliner status, this up-close look plays like friends around a campfire.  As an added bonus, the band chose to perform two unreleased tracks, “Seat Beside Me” and “Oh Virginia” to give fans more high quality recordings of non-LP tracks.

The 2011 Doe Bay Sessions - The Head and The Heart from Sound on the Sound on Vimeo.

10/28/11 – “Lost in My Mind” on Letterman

Two days after fellow “12” band The Civil Wars graced the stage at the Ed Sullivan Theater, The Head and the Heart performed on Late Night with David Letterman.  The band stuck with the “Lost in My Mind” and gave another energetic and engaging late night performance.  Letterman is a great accomplishment for the band and is our cap on The Head and the Heart coverage before we switch off to SXSW.

The Head and the Heart Tour Report – US Fall Tour Part 2

10/6/11 – Turner Hall – Milwaukee, WI (courtesy of AV Club)

The road travelled on in beginning of October for The Head and the Heart as the band picked up the second half of their headlining US tour in Milwaukee.  The band had played Turner Hall a few months back, yet then they were just playing the role of opening band for Iron & Wine.  Third Coast Digest summed up the experience with a praiseful reflection on the band’s growth:

Four months ago, The Head & the Heart were on the verge of breaking out. They were a band with something to prove on a national level, and they proved themselves to be serious players. In the following months, The Head & the Heart saw a dramatic rise in popularity and garnered a headlining tour of their own. Despite this sudden acclamation, their drive and passion wasn’t thwarted by repeated praise. Instead, they worked even harder and put on an even better show. This is a band that has an honest sound and genuine love for playing together.”

This leg of the tour saw growth in and of itself with the addition of “Oh Virginia” rotating in the encore opener slot with “Chasing a Ghost” now featuring Thielen on supporting vocals.  There was also some band cross-pollination both during the openers’ sets and dancing and singing onstage during “Lost in My Mind” nightly.  This communal spirit transcended to the audience as well in the form of singing, clapping and celebrating along with the band louder and louder as they approached the Pacific Northwest.  On the other side of the coin, The Head and the Heart’s level of outpouring onstage can come at a cost.  At a show in Minneapolis, Jonathan Russell let the road get the best of him as he walked off stage mid-set leaving the band to heroically push on without one of their primary vocalists.  The following day, the band shared some insight on the walk-out in a refreshingly self-aware way, calling the night “a necessary wake up” in response to a fan’s posting on their Facebook page regarding taking care of their health while on the road.

By the time The Head and the Heart reached Los Angeles, the energy of their live show continued to build.  They even got to hit a big festival stage with an early evening set at San Francisco’s Treasure Island Music Festival.  The last week of headlining shows took the band north through Eugene, Portland and Vancouver.  Portland’s SSG Music noted, “The Head and the Heart fueled their performance with fans’ vigor and reciprocated by performing passionately and delivering a dynamic gig”.  Finally, the band returned to their hometown of Seattle to play one of the biggest venues in town.  Opening for Death Cab for Cutie, The Head and the Hearts performance at the Key Arena even had Russell supercharged; after “Ghosts”, he leapt into the crowd for the perfunctory folk-rock crowd surf.  This whole tour represented a transition period for the band from “opener” to “headliner”, but it’s fitting that they get a little taste of performing in such a big crowd outside of the festival format.  This could be the next step for the buzzing band, but it’s unfortunately our last Tour Report for The Head and the Heart.  The band is set to close out the year with a European tour supporting My Morning Jacket, some big stage radio holiday shows and a visit to Australia for the Fall Music & Arts Festival surrounding New Years Eve.

OEB Video Diary:

Lost in My Mind – 10/9/11 – The Waiting Room – Omaha, NE

Chasing a Ghost – 10/10/11 – The Gothic – Denver, CO

Sally - 10/13/11 – The Music Box – Los Angeles, CA

Rivers and Roads – 10/15/11 – The Independent – San Francisco, CA

Cats & Dogs/Couer D’Alene – 10/22/11 – Key Arena – Seattle, WA

“The 12” Take On Letterman This Week

In the great words of Loretta Lynn, “We’ve come a long way, baby.”  This week, two of our bands, The Civil Wars and The Head and the Heart, will grace the Ed Sullivan Theater stage for Late Night with David Letterman.

Wednesday 10/26 – The Civil Wars

Friday 10/28 – The Head and the Heart

The Head and the Heart Tour Report – Fall US Tour - Part 1

9/27/11 – Bowery Ballroom – New York City (courtesy of The Bowery Presents)

Late last month, The Head and the Heart embarked on a month long headlining tour touching just about every corner of the United States.  The band has come a long way since SXSW, playing mid-sized theaters this tour with most shows selling out completely in advance.  Starting in New Orleans, the buzzed-about artists joined up with openers Thao and the Get Down Stay Down and Devil Whale for a well-rounded showcase of indie folk and rock.  The tour stretched up the East Coast through Atlanta, Chapel Hill, Washington DC and Charlottesville before reaching Philadelphia for a performance at the city’s Film and Music Festival.  An early tour highlight came in New York City, where the band performed across three nights at Brooklyn’s Hall of Williamsburg (which included a couple tunes accompanied the horn section from Iron & Wine) and the Bowery Ballroom.  All three shows sold-out, proving the band’s headlining status for tours to come.

The following week took The Head and the Heart across the northern part of the country traversing from Boston to Chicago across five consecutive dates.  Maimed and Tamed saw the band “truly come into their own” at Boston’s Royale (also sold-out) and the Cleveland Leader wrote, “It’s been a long time since I’ve been to a show that had so much energy both on stage and off.”  Most reviewers and fans agreed that the peak moments came with the band’s “big songs” of “Lost in My Mind”, “Down in the Valley” and “Rivers and Roads”, but these extended headlining sets allowed the band to work in some new songs amongst every song from their self-titled LP.  In addition to “Sally” (tent. title, also known as “New Jam”) and “Seat Beside Me”, Jonathan Russell used the first slot of the encore to rotate in some unreleased solo tunes including “Gone”, “Chasing a Ghost” and the first recorded performance of “Homecoming Heroes” (shared below).  All in all, the first leg of the tour proved the band’s fanbase isn’t limited to the Pacific Northwest like the beginning of the year; The Head and the Heart have become a national headlining draw.  We’ll pick up the next Tour Report in Milwaukee as the band heads west culminating with an arena performance opening for Death Cab For Cutie in their hometown of Seattle.

OEB Video Diary:

Lost in My Mind - 9/23/11 – 9:30 Club – Washington DC

Down in the Valley (w/ horns) – 9/26/11 – Music Hall of Williamsburg – Brooklyn, NY

Homecoming Heroes – 9/26/11 – Msic Hall of Williamsburg – Brooklyn, NY

Seat Beside Me – 9/27/11 – Bowery Ballroom – New York City

Gone – 9/30/11 – Royale – Boston, MA

The Head and the Heart – Three Days in Austin

Austin City Limits Festival

This September, The Head and the Heart kicked off their five-week headlining US tour in Austin anchored by an appearance at the Austin City Limits Festival.  ACL is one of the largest US festivals alongside the rest of the “Big Four” including Coachella, Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza.  The Head and the Heart fit in four gigs in three days surrounding ACL, treating their stop in Austin much like SXSW by fitting in as many gigs as possible over a short amount of time.  The first stop was at the new Moody’s Theater for a filming of the Austin City Limits television program amid a large and enthusiastic audience.  Their episode is expected to air later this year.  The next morning the band headed to Threadgills for a two-song set for KGSR 93.3/102.7 as part of their ACL morning broadcasts.  Finally, the band closed out Saturday night with an official ACL After Party at Antone’s supported by The Moondoggies.  The sold out show was “notably energetic” according to Billboard.  Inspired by a performance by the Arcade Fire the band took in a few hours earlier, the band stepped it up for a “receptive and raucous crowd”.

Finally, the band headed to Zilker Park for their ACL Festival set early on Sunday afternoon.  In front of a surprisingly large crowd especially for shortly after noon, The Head and the Head delivered a defining set equally exciting for fans and first-time listeners.  Consequence of Sound called their set “a triumph on all fronts” and Sound Spike was impressed with their “whimsical pop style that channeled the Beatles at times and made for a perfect beginning to the festival’s final day of music”.   The Head and the Heart’s run through Austin gave the band immediate momentum into their headlining tour which is already creating some major buzz in local outlets and markets on a daily basis.  We’ve consolidated videos from three of The Head and the Heart’s gigs throughout Austin (no strong footage has arisen from Moody’s Theater) including a few pro-shot videos directly from ACL’s YouTube feed.  Enjoy!

KGSR @ Threadgill’s: Down in the Valley, Lost in My Mind

ACL After Party @ Antone’s: Lost in My Mind, Rivers & Roads

ACL Fest @ Zilker Park: Lost in My Mind, Down in the Valley, Rivers & Roads, ‘Dancing with the Band’

The Head and the Heart News Round Up – August/September

The Head and the Heart are currently in the midst their first proper headlining tour, having just played a string of sold out shows up and down the East Coast.  In addition to positive reviews coming from local publications, The Head and the Heart showed up in a few national outlets throughout the last two months.  Here are some highlights:

8/5/11 – Lost in My Mind Releases First Part of a Full Band Interview Series

Lost in My Mind has recently shown up on the web as the first true fan site following The Head and the Heart.  To launch the site, Daniel Feinberg is sharing a series of interviews with the members of The Head and the Heart throughout the rest of the year.  Each clocking in around ten to fifteen minutes, these conversations provide more insight than the shorter interviews that most publications present.  So far, Feinberg has shared his interviews with Tyler Williams and Josiah Johnson with four more on the way.

Tyler Williams

Josiah Johnson

8/15/11 – The Head and the Heart’s Debut LP Released in the UK

The Head and the Heart last visited the UK in July and plan to return in November while touring in support for My Morning Jacket.  On August 15th, the band released their LP for the first time in the UK through Heavenly Records.  No only do British fans get a chance to pick up the record, the Heavenly Records release features three additional tracks drawn from the Fuel/Friends Chapel Sessions from March 2011, including the unreleased “Seat Beside Me (Josh McBride)” and “Chasing a Ghost”.

HVNLP85 Deluxe version - The Head and The Heart ‘Rivers And Roads’ by heavenlyrecordings HVNLP85 Deluxe version - The Head and The Heart ‘Josh McBride’ by heavenlyrecordings HVNLP85 Deluxe version - The Head and The Heart ‘Chasing A Ghost’ by heavenlyrecordings

8/29/11 – “Lost in My Mind” Featured in an American Express Commercial

Commercials have proven to be fertile and tested grounds for emerging artists in the last decade.  The Head and the Heart received their first commercial deal with American Express, who featured “Lost in My Mind” in a recent television commercial.  This promotion seemed to have a had a bit of effect already, with dozens of excited Facebook and Twitter posts emerging throughout the days following the commercial’s first airing.

American Express - Mulitply, feat. The Head and the Heart from Search Party on Vimeo.

9/6/11 – The Head and the Heart on Morning Becomes Eclectic

Early last month, KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic released their session with The Head and the Heart on the web.  The forty-five minute performance features eight tracks from the band’s self-titled album with a lengthy interview segment serving a halftime for the performance.  Jason Bentley’s conversation hits on topics including the band’s history, the organic growth of their recent success and a little bit on their next record, which could be released as soon as next spring. 

9/21/11 – The Head and the Heart Appear on Live From Paste

While The Head and the Heart were at the Newport Folk Festival last July, Paste recorded a couple tracks as part of their “Live From Paste” series.  Appearing in the remnants of an old fort, The Head and the Heart deliver stripped-down performances of “Honey Come Home” and “Winter Song” as a trio around a single microphone.  The songs are available to stream through Paste’s MPlayer.

ACL Preview – Sunday – 1:30-2:30

The Head and the Heart

Where You’ll Be: (percentages based on ACL Custom Schedules)

1.  The Head and the Heart (13.98%)

2.  Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. (10.41%)

3.  The Greencards (3.90%)

4.  The Durdens (0.23%)

Where We’ll Be:

The Head and the Heart: Well, I have been following the band’s every move since March, so this one should be a pretty obvious choice coming from the Operation Every Band camp.  For the uninitiated, The Head and the Heart have gone from a group of open-mic buddies based out of Seattle to one of the best indie success stories of the past year.  Through constant touring, The Head and the Heart have honed their craft and will expectedly come out towards the top of more than a few “best-of” lists post-ACL.  Their dedication is even shown just through their trip through Austin; they’ve already booked three additional sets surrounding ACL: a taping of Austin City Limits at the Moody’s Theater on Friday, followed by a radio set for KGSR 93.3/102.7 the following morning and a headlining gig at an official ACL after party at Antone’s late on Saturday night.  The only other note on the band’s ACL appearance is that it kicks off their first major US headlining tour, so they may be implementing some setlist changes (and hopefully some more focus on new tunes) if you’ve already caught them this year.  After you fall in love with the band at ACL, be sure to keep up with Operation Every Band’s project “The 12” for extensive The Head and the Heart coverage.

Wish We Could Also See:

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.: Normally when a band’s name borderlines on the ridiculous (or ridiculously awesome depending on your angle), it doesn’t bode well for their music.  Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. breaks that trend nicely.   They are a hard band to describe since their sound is so diverse, even with only one album to their name.  The basis of their songs is in indie pop, but it’s that weird type of catchy where you can bop your head while still being aware of their complex harmonic layering and underlying polyrhythms.  Throw in some folk guitar, electronic beats and melodies and a subtle harmony-based approach, and you’ll get the elements that make up Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.  In a surprising twist to the mood of their albums, the band is known for its fist-pumping live show, coming across more punk than their hipster sound.  Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. is one to watch over the next couple of years and will surely not disappoint what I expect will be a decent sized crowd unexpectedly drawn to their stage.

The Others:

The Greencards: Originally from Austin, The Greencards have gained a great deal of respect in serious bluegrass circles for their impressive musicianship and abilitiy to adapt other World Music styles (especially from Latin America) and a slight hint of pop into their progressive bluegrass sound.  

The Durdens: ACL continues their support of local gospel groups with the booking of The Durdens, yet another regular from Stubb’s weekly Gospel Brunch. 

The Head and the Heart – Mini-Tour Report – From Doe Bay to FYF

8/13/11 - Doe Bay Music Festival - Olga, WA (courtesy of Guerrilla Candy)

Compared to their heavy touring schedule throughout the last seven months, August served as a reprieve for the band, as they scheduled only two West Coast festival appearances between August 8th and Austin City Limits next weekend.  The first gig was a headlining appearance at the beautifully intimate Doe Bay Music Festival in Olga, WA.  From all reports the festival had an incredibly strong community vibe.  Beyond their well-received headlining main stage set, the band set up two additional impromptu performances on a beach and a in yoga studio.  Sound on the Sound said it best in their review of the festival:

“(The Head and the Heart) were the prime example of the “communal spirit” the fest is reputed for.  They were dancing in the front row with everyone else for their favorite bands. They were a part of the village, and not simply apart from the village. They were being the village that they wanted to see.”

After Doe Bay, members of The Head and the Heart popped up a few times throughout shows in Seattle.  First, Charity Thielen spearheaded a “Tribute to Feist” concert at The Triple Door where she performed “My Moon My Man” as well as a couple of originals.  Three days later, Johnson, Russell and Hensley showed back up at their old stomping grounds, the Conor Byrne Open Mic, for a fun three-song set.  Unfortunately, the most local press in August came from an appearance that members of the band made at the Tractor Tavern at the end of August.  After performing a short set, an intoxicated Russell confronted the venue’s soundman for “not being attentive or qualified” and proceeded to choke and the engineer according to The Seatlist.  Russell quickly issued a formal apology, but these things sometimes have a way of souring a band’s local reputation, a hallmark of The Head and the Heart’s rise in the last year. 

The band’s last appearance during their “break” was at Los Angeles’ FYF Festival last weekend.  Their mid-afternoon set was an early highlight to an energetic crowd among a diverse lineup.  Consequence of Sound noted “people sang along, and some even rocked the hell out”, and the Los Angeles Examiner wrote, “Their musicianship and the fact that almost every song sounded great made them a band to check out live.”  Next week, The Head and the Heart begin their first anticipated proper headlining tour where we will next pick up our coverage.

OEB Video Diary:

Lost in My Mind (sing-a-long) – 8/13/11 – Doe Bay Music Festival – Olga, WA

Down in the Valley (trio performance) – 8/21/11 - Conor Byrne Pub – Seattle, WA

No One To Let You Down (Ballard Sessions) – 8/21/11 – Outside the Conor Byrne – Seattle, WA

”New Jam” – 9/3/11 – FYF Festival – Los Angeles, CA

The Head and the Heart Tour Report – July/August Supporting The Decemberists

7/25/11 – Aragon Ballroom – Chicago, IL (courtesy of Nate Azark)

Throughout 2011, The Head and the Heart have had their share of headlining shows, but they’ve put a fair share of emphasis on finding opening gigs for some bigger indie folk/rock bands, including Iron & Wine, Death Cab for Cutie and The Low Anthem.  In late July, The Head and the Heart teamed up with The Decemberists for nine scheduled dates throughout the East and Midwest anchored by appearances at the Newport Folk Festival during the last weekend of the month.  The bands first met up in Chicago with The Head and the Heart providing a “short but energetic set that infused the crowd with energy and heated up the ballroom” according to local blog Gapers Block.  After gigs in Cleveland, Interlochen and Atlantic City, The Head and the Heart filled an off-date on the tour with a headlining gig at Woodstock’s Bearsville Theater that the Schenectady Daily Gazette called “a highly energetic show”. 

After the bands’ stopover at the Newport Folk Festival, they headed west through Lewiston, NY (well received by the Buffalo News), Charlottesville and Cincinnati.  The Decemberists had to cancel the final gig on the tour in Indianapolis due to illness, but The Head and the Heart were quick to react.  In a single day, the band played an in-store at Luna Music, a radio session at WTTS 92.3 and a just-booked set at the Earth House that evening.  The band closed out the tour with headlining shows in Chicago and Indianapolis.  These extended sets allowed the band to road test new material in front of fans that were ripe to sing along.  The Minneapolis City Pages had this to say about the band’s energy at the Varsity Theater: “Their joy was seriously infectious, and the crowd felt it too.  You’d have to be completely numb not to feel something.”  The Head and the Heart headed back to Seattle after the tour for an extended break with only a couple of festival appearances before starting their anticipated headlining US tour in mid-September.

OEB Video Diary:

Sounds Like Hallelujah – PNC Pavilion at Riverbend – Cincinnati, OH

Down in the Valley – 8/5/11 – Luna Music – Indianapolis, IN

Rivers and Roads – 8/6/11 – The Hideout – Chicago, IL

The Head and the Heart News Round-Up – July

The Head and the Heart started the month on with one of their biggest media highlights, a cover story for Billboard Magazine’s “State of Independence” issue.  The highlights didn’t end there.  July alone found the band showing up on ABC News, in the USA Today and online at Rollingstone.com.  The Head and the Heart have cemented their status as one of this year’s breakthrough bands and it seems everyone is catching on.  Here are some highlights from July:

7/7/11 – The Head and the Heart Featured as a Band “On the Verge” in USA Today

USA Today is one of the most widely distributed newspapers in the world that, in addition to news coverage, highlights culture stories in their Arts and Entertainment section daily.  Korina Lopez’s write up on The Head and the Heart is truly a major visibility piece for the rising band.  The story, part of the paper’s “On the Verge” series, features comments from Josiah Johnson regarding the band’s recent popularity, formation and chemistry.  Johnson shared this tidbit on the band’s onstage presence: “Our live shows are more rock, while our studio work is more pop.  The way we interact on stage, we almost forget that there’s an audience.  And I think that energy is what people gravitate to.”

7/16/11 – “Lost in My Mind” Featured on Good Morning America’s “Your Three Words” Series

ABC’s Good Morning America started “Your Three Words” a few years ago, challenging their audience to describe their week by holding up signs with just three words.  Last month, GMA soundtracked their “You Three Words” segment with “Lost in My Mind”.  The song’s emotional energy melded beautifully with heart-warming moments of families and friends and it’s great to see the band’s music used in such an effective and wide-reaching way.

7/19/11 – Rolling Stone Shares In-Studio Set with The Head and the Heart

Rolling Stone still sits on top of the music publication charts after fifty years of print, so any appearance for a breaking band is a pretty big deal.  The Head and the Heart recorded a stripped-down four-song set in Rolling Stone’s studio that the magazine’s website shared online last month.  The band’s set features a few songs from the LP, but also includes a rare cover of Jimmie Rodgers’ “T For Texas” and a short interview segment.  

Honey Come Home, Ghosts, Down in the Valley, T For Texas, Interview

David Wax Museum and The Head and the Heart Cross Paths at the Calgary Folk Music Festival

A few weekends ago, I was filled with excitement seeing two of the bands we’re following as part of “The 12”, The Civil Wars and David Wax Museum, sharing the same stage as they backed up the legendary Pete Seeger on a duo of folk sing-a-longs on NPR’s Newport Folk Festival live stream.  It wasn’t until a couple days later that I realized there was another collaboration between “our” bands earlier in July when members of The Head and the Heart joined David Wax Museum at the Calgary Folk Music Festival for a rousing extended performance of “Unfruitful”.  The full song was captured on YouTube in addition to several other performances across the grounds by both bands.  We’ve compiled all of these videos in the playlist below, but be sure to check out some truly unique performances including a reading of David Wax Museum’s “Let Me Rest” with one of Wax’s musical heroes Bonnie Prince Billy and a very raw performance of “Winter Song” with a half-naked The Head and the Heart.

David Wax Museum:

1.     Unfruitful (w/ The Head and the Heart and James Felice)

2.     Yes Maria Yes (w/ The Head and the Heart and others)

3.     Let Me Rest (w/ Bonnie “Prince” Billy)

The Head and the Heart:

4.     Winter Song (WTTW Session)

5.     Cats & Dogs -> Coeur D’Alene

6.     Ghosts

7.     Josiah Johnson Interview

And a couple more good ones from Vimeo for good measure (“Lost in My Mind” and “Winter Song”):

The Head and The Heart on Stampede City Sessions Roughcut Lost in my mind from Lorne Webber on Vimeo.

The Head and The Heart SCS part 2 from Lorne Webber on Vimeo.

"The 12" Leads Daytrotter "Top Sessions"

As of this morning, two of the top three sessions on Daytrotter are held down by artists we’re following as part of “The 12”.  The Civil Wars and James Vincent McMorrow’s sets were both added to the site in the last two weeks and have been popular downloads ever since.  The takes are intimate and raw from both acts, a trend among bands that record in Sean Moeller’s Rock Island, Illinois barn/studio.  The sets feature some nice unreleased tracks as well, capturing The Civil Wars’ “Disarm” cover and “Oh Henry” as well as McMorrow B-Sides “Red Dust” and “We Are Ghosts”.  Daytrotter has recorded hundreds of sessions over the last five years, now posting at least one new session everyday.  The site’s focus on new and unique musical content to the online listening landscape has set the benchmark for any new music blog or service.  Not only that, but they also provide a great forum for independent artists to display their songs to a wider international audience.  To prove their reach, Daytrotter has recorded sessions with an astonishing nine of the artists in “The 12”, from hip hop artist Dessa to the fuzz-rockers Yuck to the orchestral folk of Lost in the Trees.  We’ve compiled all of “The 12” Daytrotter sessions below (see more by click on the “Read More” button), which are freely downloadable directly from Daytrotter’s website.

8/9/11 - The Civil Wars

Birds of a Feather, Disarm (Smashing Pumpkins), C’est La Mort, Oh Henry

8/1/11 – James Vincent McMorrow

This Old Dark Machine, Follow You Down to the Red Oak Tree, Red Dust, We Are Ghosts

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The Head and the Heart – Mini-Tour Report – Seattle in July

7/22/11 – Capital Hill Block Party – Seattle, WA (courtesy of Another Rainy Day)

Fresh off their European tour, The Head and the Heart headed home for a main stage appearance at the Capital Hill Block Party on July 22nd.  Taking the stage immediately before headliner Ghostland Observatory, the band was greeted like hometown heroes at their well-attended set.  The gig shed some perspective on how much they’ve grown; the band played an early afternoon set on the festival’s smallest stage last year.  Another Rainy Saturday caught onto this sentiment, posting a lengthy story getting to the root of what currently makes them “Seattle’s Favorite Band”.  The Head and the Heart fit in a second show that Friday evening, performing a four-song set as a trio (Russell, Johnson and Thielen) at Café Vita’s Bean Room for local supporter KEXP.  Beyond energetic takes of “Lost in My Mind” and “Winter Song”, the trio treated fans to two unreleased tracks: “Seat Beside Me” and “Gone”.  As with most of their in-studio performances, KEXP archived the full audio on their website shortly thereafter.  The following day the band set off for Calagary for a duo of festival sets before jumping on tour with The Decemberists heading east.

OEB Video Diary:

Seat Beside Me – 7/22/11 – Café Vita’s Bean Room – Seattle, WA

Down in the Valley – 7/22/11 – Capital Hill Block Party – Seattle, WA