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Song of the day – 217: Cobirds Unite

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“It’s Rachel,” writes – er – Rachel. “Everett, I’m sure you’re wondering if it’s raining here. It fucking is.”

Did I ever tell you about the winter my future wife got turned away from Seattle, necessitating (a decade later) our move to Brisbane? It rained every single day for the next three months. Every single day. Even for the Pacific Northwest, that was a record. I spent most the days in an alcohol-deprived haze and most the nights in an alcohol-fuelled haze, bolstered by constant emails back to Brighton and by a Quasi album and a Foundations’ Greatest Hits that never grew tired. I never knew such extremes of emotion. Evenings were often spent in sparsely-populated bars, being serenaded by singers like Pete Krebs and Rusty Willoughby. Pull up a bottle of whiskey and a close temporary companion, and we’ll try and forget. I was having such an awesome time. I was having such a terrible time.

“So,” writes Rachel, “Rusty Willoughby and I have a project together, Cobirds Unite. The record comes out November 16th. It’s a new band, and in the last three months we’ve opened for Black Francis, Chrissie Hynde, and now Bob Mould.”

Ah yes, Rachel Flotard. Such rare good fun to hang out with. Played alongside the inimitable Kim Warnick in Visqueen. I know folk like Rachel, Kim and Rusty must exist in Brisbane, but they all seem to be avoiding me. Perhaps it’s my change of social circles. (I haven’t been drunk for over two years.) I met Chrissie Hynde once, backstage at a Breeders/Guided By Voices concert. To my shame, she recognised me before I recognised her – she had more questions, too. I wish Black Francis would make another decent record one of these decades.

“We’re kind of shitting with joy,” writes Rachel, “and having a real swell time making songs in the bad weather, holed up here. Everett, would you mind listening to this thing and giving it your 2 cents? I know you’re a busy bloke with a kid to raise, so thanks.”

So yes. Cobirds Unite. Wistful. Country-tinged. Two warm, star-speckled voices playing up against each other, and hamonising. Some delightful Hammond organ. Haunting. Heavenly. Hiccoughing. Heroic, in a mild way. Makes me miss the bars and fast friendships and rancour of the Pacific Northwest something rotten. (If I ever become nostalgic for a certain time, a certain place, it will be for Seattle 1998-1999, working for The Stranger. Nowhere else. I feel like The Mole from Wind In The Willows more and more with the passing of years.) Music for suburban romantics and homeless dreamers, music for folk who never fell out of love with music in the first place – there’s your pull quote, Rachel and Rusty. That’s your pull quote right there.

Thanks for thinking of me.

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