This whole craze of earnest men singing folk-pop (cough, Mumford and Sons; clear throat, new Avett Brothers record) has really thrown me off my game. I like folk music, and I love pop music, but when you throw together a bunch of handsome bearded men with deliberately wounded voices, and then give them lyrics about simpler, idyllic olden times and true loves, something about the whole thing really disgusts me. It also, unfortunately, has made me hypersensitive about bands that circle the niche but aren't necessarily of it. Two years ago, I might have sung the praises of this Seattle band's piano-heavy folk songs: "Kinda like Midlake!" Not today. But aware of this poisonous bias, I recuse myself from evaluating the Head and the Heart, which I am starting to suspect is actually pretty good. (The lively vocal climax that carries out "Lost in My Mind" is undeniably authentic and gorgeous.) And so I urge our readers to attend the show, ignore my personal baggage, and evaluate the band themselves.