Happy Together

More than a decade after dissolving the Go-Betweens, the reunited Robert Forster and Grant McLennan sound almost content to be where they are

Between engagements: Robert Forster and Grant McLennan
Between engagements: Robert Forster and Grant McLennan

What punctures the moment is that mix of dread and acceptance that always looms even in the earliest Go-Betweens music--the specter of age. They seemed to anticipate the gravity of passing years all along, even back when they started playing together as callow school chums. Forster sings of Smith, "When she sang 'About a Boy'/Kurt Cobain/I thought, 'What a shame/It wasn't about Tom Verlaine.'" The message is quite simple: Patti, Kurt Cobain wasn't for us. Ours is Tom Verlaine. Sing about angels, look at the sky, lift up your arms ("like she was pushing back cotton on some Midwestern farm"). But when you sing about rock and roll, sing about our rock and roll. The less contemporary context the better.

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