He's My Brother She's My Sister - "How'm I Gonna Get Back Home Tonight"
May 23, 2010
It was a bustling Sunday over in Silver Lake, the kids pouring out just down the hill for the second day of the Jubilee, and though we were just a couple blocks up, you surprisingly couldn't hear a thing. We were meeting at a house aptly referenced as Annakim's Wonderland, a lavishly bizarre and intricately beautiful abode, tucked beneath a heavy line of trees (almost) invisibly nestled amongst your typical Silver Lake mid-century-craftsmen neighborhood. Inside was evidence of a lifetime of careful collection, but only a glimpse as such.
After loading in what seemed like an unending amount of gear, and effectively taking over the entire living room, entry and dining room, a little preparatory beer or two (some hangovers to cure), and the overly accommodating host Annakim providing some fresh rainier cherries (which are the best kind, of course), the gang gathered around to play a few songs.
First off, Rob and Rachel are actually brother and sister, in case the name didn't tip you off. But He's My Brother She's My Sister is an all together strange musical being, to say the least. With a standing drummer, tap dancer, and cello making up the rhythm section, the live show is undeniably a spectacle. Always dressed to the T's (this day even included a few deliberate wardrobe changes), there is a definite element of theatricality going on, that while in other cases might undermine a band with a sense of the gimmick, here seems to work. That's probably because the music doesn't need a gimmick to hold itself up. These are brilliantly crafted songs, with romping hooks, endearing melodies, and an unabashed percussive backbone. Perhaps most surprising of all is that with such a strong hold on the foot-stomping, head-bobbing, jangling sing-alongs, the band manages not to pigeon-hole itself into that raucous (albeit delightful) country-ramble. And this is where the music really shines -- the hauntingly magnificent "The House That Isn't Mine," probably their most theatrical move performance-wise, with the group dawning masks and huddled in the corner of the room, is exceptionally enthralling. And though the song stands beautifully on its own, the added element of drama, with its almost sinister impersonality, actually works to deepen mood of the song.
As the day wound on, the band was joined by a few friends (for a little added backup here and there), including Jenny O. We also enjoyed some Two Boots, the gorgeous weather, and the company of Annakim's amazing dogs.
This is definitely an act I highly recommend catching live if you get the chance.
Find out more about He's My Brother She's My Sister @
Camera: Elliot Glass & Aaron Davidson
Sound: Elliot Glass (with help from Pipe)
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