An open letter to a Head and the Heart hater

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The Head and the Heart at Sasquatch! 2011. Christopher Nelson photo

Oh hey, Skeptical Stan. Brent here, writing from the land of reason.

Heard you making some pretty out-there assumptions about The Head and the Heart lately, about how they’re just an overhyped pop band (or even fauxlk , to steal a phrase from Robin Pecknold) that’s unwilling to take risks or even play more than two chords at a time. But I have to tell you, I just saw them play to a large, feverish crowd on the Sasquatch! main stage, and it wasn’t bad. In fact, I’m pretty sure I even enjoyed myself, even sang along to some songs.

Sure, their lyrics might tend to be about trees or valleys or some other scenery-type horseshit. They might break out into a few too many “oohs” and “ahhs” than necessary. And yeah, maybe frontman Jonathan Russell could have not mentioned he wrote a song at a friend’s nearby river house (those aren’t very cheap) just after singing about bricklaying and bridge building.

But here’s the thing: you listen to their record A LOT. And even YOU like to sing along to the songs. So what if the lyrics are kind of whack; these songs are good, and there’s a reason a lot of people are embracing THATH. It’s something I like to call the Dexy’s Midnight Runners Factor — every song has a tendency to build up to a crescendo, eventually hitting that “Come On Eileen” sweet spot. You know, where everybody HAS to sing along at the top of their lungs, HAS to clap as loudly as possible, and absolutely HAS to bounce up and down at that perfect tempo. It’s not a bad thing. As a matter of fact, it’s gosh darn awesome.

THATH is fun, end of story. If you want to continue being skeptical, then I guess that’s your prerogative. But if that is the case, screw you, Stan. You’re just trying to stop yourself from having an enjoyable time, and I’m not gonna let you get in my way of having fun at the same time.

Now excuse me while I go dance my ass off.


Brent Stecker

About Brent Stecker

Brent is a journalist and small-time musician based in Wenatchee, Wash. His passion for music wasn’t discovered until his teenage years, however, when he first got his hands on a Rage Against the Machine CD. He spent the rest of his adolescence broadening his musical tastes, obsessively learning guitar, and harnessing his writing abilities in journalism classes.