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LISTS: 10 Coolest Couples In Music

LISTS:  10 Coolest Couples In Music (photo)

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Spring is in the air! Put away those winter coats, because the birds are tweeting, the flowers are blooming, and people are falling in love.

(left: Spring brings out the love bird in all of us!)

Ah yes, if the blue skies and green trees don’t do it for you, I’m sure a little pluck of the guitar strings or a pitch-perfect voice will do the trick. Maybe a buzz of feedback or a 16-bar rhyme stirs your soul?

Music, just like a terminal case of spring fever, is known to bring lovers together. Since we’re on the topic–and since the air is mighty fresh on this morn–now is as good of a time as any to take a look at the 10 Coolest Couples In Music.

Before you start ripping tulips out of the ground because your favorite love duos weren’t represented, let me do some clarification. The following list has a ’90s-’00s bias (which may tick off some Abba and Fleetwood Mac fans), represents couples that are currently in a relationship (that eliminates divorcees, Jack & Meg and Whitney & Bobby, as well as couples with one or both of its members deceased, Johnny & June, Paul & Linda, John & Yoko, Sonny & Cher, Sid & Nancy, and Kurt & Courtney), and only includes musical personalities (sorry David and Chris, Iman and Gwyneth disqualify you). Both of the members of the relationship also have to seem to get along with each other (ruling out–at least for now–Chris & Rihanna):

10. Win Butler & Régine Chassagne (Arcade Fire)
This match made in indie-heaven met at McGill University in Montreal, where Win persuaded Régine to join his band, Arcade Fire. After different line-up changes, there was a point in time when Win and Régine were the only two members left in the group (bad for getting a record deal, but great for romance). Win and Régine were married in 2003, recruited many more musicians over the years (they’d never again face the problem of having too few band-mates), and churned out two critically praised albums, Funeral and Neon Bible, in the ’00s.

9. Ben Gibbard and Zooey Deschanel
Rumor has it that Zooey Deschanel formed the musical act, She & Him, with M. Ward just to make herself eligible for this list. As explained above, if she was just an actress alone, she wouldn’t have been able to join Death Cab For Cutie’s, Ben Gibbard, in this ranking of coolest couples in music. This relationship is so cool, because it gives hope to every stocky, bespectacled, indie-rock nerd out there. Keep in mind though, even if Ben Gibbard had George Clooney-like looks, it wouldn’t mean crap if he wasn’t such a brilliant and sincere songwriter.
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8. Jason Hammel & Kori Gardner (Mates Of State)
If Jason and Kori lived down the street from you, and you knew nothing about their band, you’d assume they were just really nice neighbors. Don’t let their casual business attire and the fact that they’re parents fool you though–Jason and Kori are a husband-and-wife, indie-pop-duo known as Mates Of State. I can guarantee that most of your white-picket-fenced neighbors haven’t toured with Spoon and Death Cab For Cutie, done a nude Peta ad, or played Lollapalooza.

7. Nas & Kelis
Talk about cool! Nas is one of the most respected MCs of the last decade and Kelis has hip-hop/R&B crossover appeal out the wazoo. Talk to her for two minutes and you’ll also discover that she’s one down-to-earth gal who will be an awesome mother–which we’ll find out soon, because her and her hubby are expecting their first child later this summer.

6. Bruce Springsteen & Patty Scialfa (E Street Band)
Is there a better rock and roll fairy tale than this? How many times have we seen the adored rock dude fall for a super model, rather than the cute, girl-next-door band-mate? For a while, Bruce Springsteen was living out this scenario, until he came to his senses and married his redheaded E Street Band sweetheart.

5. Jay-Z & Beyonce
Here’s why Jay-Z and Beyonce’s relationship is so damn cool: If Jay-Z ever wants to get the hottest R&B singer to lay down a hook for a new track, he has to look no further than the other side of his bed. And if Beyonce ever wants to get the hottest MC to lay down a 16-bar rhyme on her latest single, she can do the same. That bed–or at least the people in it–also made a combined $162 million last year.

4. Matt Johnson & Kim Schifino (Matt and Kim)
Matt and Kim (who probably made considerably less than the couple mentioned above) is the name of a couple that doubles as a band. How many relationships–or music groups–can make that claim, huh? The two met in 2004 while attending the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, and haven’t left each other’s side since. Band life, which usually causes relationships to fizzle, seems to have done the exact opposite for Matt and Kim, who can’t be seen without a smile on their faces.

3. Gavin Rossdale & Gwen Stefani
You can hate Bush (the band, not the President), you can hate No Doubt, you can even hate the fact that Gwen and No Doubt bassist, Tony Kanal, never rekindled their long-term relationship, but c’mon people, you gotta admit that this is one cool couple. And it’s not like their relationship is based on looks alone either. The couple has been married since 2002, have two children, and have stayed together despite the fact that Gwen found out about Gavin having a child from a previous relationship (apparently Gavin didn’t know either, cause he had to take a paternity test in 2004 to find out).

2. Adam Horovitz and Kathleen Hanna
B-Boy and Riot Grrrl. If they ever have a child, I want to be the first to sign him/her to a record deal–imagine the musical genes in that kid! This may seem like an odd couple to some, since Kathleen (Bikini Kill, Le Tigre) is a devout feminist and Adrock’s Beastie Boys once used caged-women as stage props (let’s not even bring up the giant, inflatable penis). However, the Beasties cleaned up their act in the ’90s, and at the end of the decade Adrock and Kathleen became an item. When the couple got married in 2006, Adrock fittingly sported an old-school hip-hop-inspired wedding ring, with Kathleen’s name scripted in block letters.

1. Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon (Sonic Youth)
Does it get any cooler than Thurston and Kim? They were cool in the ’80s and ’90s, and they’re still freakin’ cool today. For anyone who thinks bands and romance can’t mix, let Thurston and Kim be your indie-rock role models. This year marks their silver anniversary as a married couple, and they’ve pretty much seen and done it all–floating like a Forest Gump-feather through the worlds of no wave, noise rock, punk, grunge, alternative, and indie rock. Their daughter Coco can also lay claim to having the coolest set of indie rock parents ever.

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Hard Out

Comedy From The Closet

Janice and Jeffrey Available Now On IFC's Comedy Crib

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She’s been referred to as “the love child of Amy Sedaris and Tracy Ullman,” and he’s a self-described “Italian who knows how to cook a great spaghetti alla carbonara.” They’re Mollie Merkel and Matteo Lane, prolific indie comedians who blended their robust creative juices to bring us the new Comedy Crib series Janice and Jeffrey. Mollie and Matteo took time to answer our probing questions about their series and themselves. Here’s a taste.

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IFC: How would you describe Janice and Jeffrey to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Mollie & Matteo: Janice and Jeffrey is about a married couple experiencing intimacy issues but who don’t have a clue it’s because they are gay. Their oblivion makes them even more endearing.  Their total lack of awareness provides for a buffet of comedy.

IFC: What’s your origin story? How did you two people meet and how long have you been working together?

Mollie: We met at a dive bar in Wrigley Field Chicago. It was a show called Entertaining Julie… It was a cool variety scene with lots of talented people. I was doing Janice one night and Matteo was doing an impression of Liza Minnelli. We sort of just fell in love with each other’s… ACT! Matteo made the first move and told me how much he loved Janice and I drove home feeling like I just met someone really special.

IFC: How would Janice describe Jeffrey?

Mollie: “He can paint, cook homemade Bolognese, and sing Opera. Not to mention he has a great body. He makes me feel empowered and free. He doesn’t suffocate me with attention so our love has room to breath.”

IFC: How would Jeffrey describe Janice?

Matteo: “Like a Ford. Built to last.”

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Mollie & Matteo: Our current political world is mirroring and reflecting this belief that homosexuality is wrong. So what better time for satire. Everyone is so pro gay and equal rights, which is of course what we want, too. But no one is looking at middle America and people actually in the closet. No one is saying, hey this is really painful and tragic, and sitting with that. Having compassion but providing the desperate relief of laughter…This seemed like the healthiest, best way to “fight” the gay rights “fight”.

IFC: Hummus is hilarious. Why is it so funny?

Mollie: It just seems like something people take really seriously, which is funny to me. I started to see it in a lot of lesbians’ refrigerators at a time. It’s like observing a lesbian in a comfortable shoe. It’s a language we speak. Pass the Hummus. Turn on the Indigo Girls would ya?

See the whole season of Janice and Jeffrey right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Die Hard Dads

Inspiration For Die Hard Dads

Die Hard is on IFC all Father's Day Long

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIPHY

Yippee ki-yay, everybody! It’s time to celebrate the those most literal of mother-effers: dads!

And just in case the title of this post left anything to the imagination, IFC is giving dads balls-to-the-wall ’80s treatment with a glorious marathon of action trailblazer Die Hard.

There are so many things we could say about Die Hard. We could talk about how it was comedian Bruce Willis’s first foray into action flicks, or Alan Rickman’s big screen debut. But dads don’t give a sh!t about that stuff.

No, dads just want to fantasize that they could be deathproof quip factory John McClane in their own mundane lives. So while you celebrate the fathers in your life, consider how John McClane would respond to these traditional “dad” moments…

Wedding Toasts

Dads always struggle to find the right words of welcome to extend to new family. John McClane, on the other hand, is the master of inclusivity.
Die Hard wedding

Using Public Restrooms

While nine out of ten dads would rather die than use a disgusting public bathroom, McClane isn’t bothered one bit. So long as he can fit a bloody foot in the sink, he’s G2G.
Die Hard restroom

Awkward Dancing

Because every dad needs a signature move.
Die Hard dance

Writing Thank You Notes

It can be hard for dads to express gratitude. Not only can McClane articulate his thanks, he makes it feel personal.
Die Hard thank you

Valentine’s Day

How would John McClane say “I heart you” in a way that ain’t cliche? The image speaks for itself.
Die Hard valentines

Shopping

The only thing most dads hate more than shopping is fielding eleventh-hour phone calls with additional items for the list. But does McClane throw a typical man-tantrum? Nope. He finds the words to express his feelings like a goddam adult.
Die Hard thank you

Last Minute Errands

John McClane knows when a fight isn’t worth fighting.
Die Hard errands

Sneaking Out Of The Office Early

What is this, high school? Make a real exit, dads.
Die Hard office

Think you or your dad could stand to be more like Bruce? Role model fodder abounds in the Die Hard marathon all Father’s Day long on IFC.

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Founding Farters

Know Your Nerd History

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIFs via Giphy

That we live in the heyday of nerds is no hot secret. Scientists are celebrities, musicians are robots and late night hosts can recite every word of the Silmarillion. It’s too easy to think that it’s always been this way. But the truth is we owe much to our nerd forebearers who toiled through the jock-filled ’80s so that we might take over the world.

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Our humble beginnings are perhaps best captured in iconic ’80s romp Revenge of the Nerds. Like the founding fathers of our Country, the titular nerds rose above their circumstances to culturally pave the way for every Colbert and deGrasse Tyson that we know and love today.

To make sure you’re in the know about our very important cultural roots, here’s a quick download of the vengeful nerds without whom our shameful stereotypes might never have evolved.

Lewis Skolnick

The George Washington of nerds whose unflappable optimism – even in the face of humiliating self-awareness – basically gave birth to the Geek Pride movement.

Gilbert Lowe

OK, this guy is wet blanket, but an important wet blanket. Think Aaron Burr to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton. His glass-mostly-empty attitude is a galvanizing force for Lewis. Who knows if Lewis could have kept up his optimism without Lowe’s Debbie-Downer outlook?

Arnold Poindexter

A music nerd who, after a soft start (inside joke, you’ll get it later), came out of his shell and let his passion lead instead of his anxiety. If you played an instrument (specifically, electric violin), and you were a nerd, this was your patron saint.

Booger

A sex-loving, blunt-smoking, nose-picking guitar hero. If you don’t think he sounds like a classic nerd, you’re absolutely right. And that’s the whole point. Along with Lamar, he simultaneously expanded the definition of nerd and gave pre-existing nerds a twisted sort of cred by association.

Lamar Latrell

Black, gay, and a crazy good breakdancer. In other words, a total groundbreaker. He proved to the world that nerds don’t have a single mold, but are simply outcasts waiting for their moment.

Ogre

Exceedingly stupid, this dumbass was monumental because he (in a sequel) leaves the jocks to become a nerd. Totally unheard of back then. Now all jocks are basically nerds.

Well, there they are. Never forget that we stand on their shoulders.

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC all month long.

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