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Between oceans

Go-Betweens haven't lost that sly smile

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The characters inhabiting the literary world of the Go Betweens, visiting Cat's Cradle Sunday, June 12, profess self-realizations, confess weaknesses and observe the world around them with a warm eye.

Grant McLennan and Robert Forster deftly illustrate their stories with a poet's acute awareness of words' sounds, nodding to writers, like Kerouac, who influence their outlook. The songwriting duo, old Brisbane schoolmates, has moved through various incarnations of the Go Betweens since 1982, traversing the pop underground with an obsessive clutch of fans.

This year's Oceans Apart, on Yep Roc, reveals McLennan and Forster's lyrical aplomb intact, with a new band shaping the songs. Drummer Glenn Thompson and bassist Adele Pickvance add a newfound rumble to the pop machinations, clip-clopping through these heady tales. At their best, the Go Betweens capture neo-romantic beauty in the everyday, without the baggage of lofty self-aggrandizement; reducing their songs to wide-eyed self-experience and humanism. 9 p.m. with Okkervil River and Robert Skoro.

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