Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
You kind of have to wonder if Robert and Rachel Kolar aspired to be each other's drinking buddies when they were sitting across the table from one another, getting through their bowls of Lucky Charms when they were growing up. As children, that must have seemed like something so far off and distant in the future that there was no use dwelling on it. If it was meant to be, it was meant to be and they would be there for each other.
The way things have turned out, it sounds like they do this occasionally. They almost can't help themselves, being in a band together called He's My Brother, She's My Sister. It's one of those band names that would never beg any further explanation, but could drum up some Abbott & Costello acts, with flustered and tipsy bar patrons confused and begging for answers, asking, "Yeah, yeah, but what's your band called?" This only happens, of course, if the siblings are out and the night's getting a little long in the tooth. It's at this point when they start mentally writing crib notes, keeping closer tabs on what they've got cycling through their lubricated heads.
The Los Angeles group, which is a six-piece in-full, relies on the ways that getting slightly out of your normal being helps put punctuation marks in the spots where they need them. Everything prior to four beers in winds up trickling out as a run-on sentence, without any capitalization and deciphering much of it is tricky. It's best to junk a lot of it and get to the bottom of the important stuff after a few rounds and something of a more focused head. It's no coincidence that a few drinks loosens everyone up, throws some rosiness into the cheeks and fires up the beginning flashes of a smile. It could just be the sad and depressing residues washing away, albeit temporarily, or it could just be the booze talking. In some ways, it's always welcome, this reconfiguration of problems and pluses.
Robert and Rachel often trade lines in their songs, doubling conclusions most of the time and meeting in the middle, suggesting that even if they've split off and gone our separately, they've come to the same determinations. "How'm I Gonna Get Back Home," addresses the need to let go of consciousness and just let the lights go off for a little bit. It's as if some things just need to be said and there's only one way to have them said, to feel entirely free to say them. They sing, "In the morning things won't seem so sweet," but there's no voice telling anyone that any of this is a bad idea that should be nipped in the bud right now, before anything can't be taken back.
Rachel sings, "My luck's shot to shit, but I've still got my wits," and elsewhere asks, "Who would fall for a freak like me?/Well, who cares, I'm still gonna have some fun tonight." It must be that they've determined that it doesn't matter much because "all of a sudden, I feel like talking to everyone." In the end, in the morning, it's just going to wind up being a telltale night, with some pearls of wisdom in there, to be extracted over a late breakfast and hangover remedies.
*Essay originally published January, 2012