DID YOU READ

The Head And The Heart Woo At Antone’s “Review”

The Head And The Heart Woo At Antone’s “Review” (photo)

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The buzz has officially kicked in. The Head and The Heart – a band that self-released their debut album and broke big while opening for a series of Vampire Weekend dates – packed their third show at the SXSW festival with fans eager to clap along to the Seattle quintet’s unique mixture of harmony-driven, indie rock, folk, and bluegrass. The group met at an open mic night, which explains the diversity of their skills and sounds, and their self-titled album, which was re-released by SubPop in January, showcases the merging of these talents into an alt-Americana masterpiece.

The group welcomed the audience to their show the only way they know how — with an effusive, three-part harmony. Co-frontmen Josiah Johnson and Jon Russell took turns in the lead vocal/guitarist role, while husky-voiced Charity Thielen peppered in her husky backup vocals and violin accompaniment. The three singers’ perfectly enmeshed voices immediately telephone thoughts of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, as well as the larger harmonic indie groups of late, like labelmates, Fleet Foxes, but with a more overtly melodic center, a bluegrass bent, and a commitment to stage dancing and hand-clapping that inspires audience participation. Like many groups whose greatest thrill lies in vocal harmony, it’s “ba da daaas” and “oooh ooohs,” you look forward to most, well-mixed vocal effusions building to high crescendos that reach up and flow over into the codas like waterfalls.

The lyrics of the songs anchor them in the classic Americana space, while leaving room for stylistic genre crossover. On “Lost In My Mind,” lyrics like “Is your bridge getting built? Are your hands getting filled? Won’t you tell me my brother?” combined with the feverish follow-along hand claps, and Thielen’s snap trap voice, brings the group into gospel. And on poppier songs like “Honey Come Home,” the three vocals meld into one, while Kenny Hensley holds the infectious melodies on the keys, Tyler Williams brings a bouncing beat, and Johnson, Russell and Thielen jump up and down, intoning the repeat line, “Just want to be with the one I love. Just want to be with the one I love.” Forget the corny, ten-piece cover bands singing “Turn The Beat Around” – The Head and the Heart should play at your wedding. Their happy singers would dance over to each other’s microphones, shaking tambourines and whooping to the skies, and no guests would be able to stay in their seats around the tables of $100/plate chicken dinners. But at this rate, with the packed house at Antone’s turning away wristbanded concertgoers by the dozens, by the time you want to hire them, they’ll be well out of price range of mere mortal lovers.

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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”


Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”


But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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Draught Pick

Sam Adams “Keeps It Brockmire”

All New Brockmire airs Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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From baseball to beer, Jim Brockmire calls ’em like he sees ’em.

via GIPHY

It’s no wonder at all, then, that Sam Adams would reach out to Brockmire to be their shockingly-honest (and inevitably short-term) new spokesperson. Unscripted and unrestrained, he’ll talk straight about Sam—and we’ll take his word. Check out this new testimonial for proof:

See more Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC, presented by Samuel Adams. Good f***** beer.

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