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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.

Soap tv show

As the Spoof Turns

15 Hilarious Soap Opera Parodies

Catch the classic sitcom Soap Saturday mornings on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures Television

The soap opera is the indestructible core of television fandom. We celebrate modern series like The Wire and Breaking Bad with their ongoing storylines, but soap operas have been tangling more plot threads than a quilt for decades. Which is why pop culture enjoys parodying them so much.

Check out some of the funniest soap opera parodies below, and be sure to catch Soap Saturday mornings on IFC.

1. Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman

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Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman was a cult hit soap parody from the mind of Norman Lear that poked daily fun at the genre with epic twists and WTF moments. The first season culminated in a perfect satire of ratings stunts, with Mary being both confined to a psychiatric facility and chosen to be part of a Nielsen ratings family.


2. IKEA Heights

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IKEA Heights proves that the soap opera is alive and well, even if it has to be filmed undercover at a ready-to-assemble furniture store totally unaware of what’s happening. This unique webseries brought the classic formula to a new medium. Even IKEA saw the funny side — but has asked that future filmmakers apply through proper channels.


3. Fresno

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When you’re parodying ’80s nighttime soaps like Dallas and Dynasty , everything about your show has to equally sumptuous. The 1986 CBS miniseries Fresno delivered with a high-powered cast (Carol Burnett, Teri Garr and more in haute couture clothes!) locked in the struggle for the survival of a raisin cartel.


4. Soap

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Soap was the nighttime response to daytime soap operas: a primetime skewering of everything both silly and satisfying about the source material. Plots including demonic possession and alien abduction made it a cult favorite, and necessitated the first televised “viewer discretion” disclaimer. It also broke ground for featuring one of the first gay characters on television in the form of Billy Crystal’s Jodie Dallas. Revisit (or discover for the first time) this classic sitcom every Saturday morning on IFC.


5. Too Many Cooks

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Possibly the most perfect viral video ever made, Too Many Cooks distilled almost every style of television in a single intro sequence. The soap opera elements are maybe the most hilarious, with more characters and sudden shocking twists in an intro than most TV scribes manage in an entire season.


6. Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace

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Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace was more mockery than any one medium could handle. The endless complications of Darkplace Hospital are presented as an ongoing horror soap opera with behind-the-scenes anecdotes from writer, director, star, and self-described “dreamweaver visionary” Garth Marenghi and astoundingly incompetent actor/producer Dean Learner.


7. “Attitudes and Feelings, Both Desirable and Sometimes Secretive,” MadTV

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Soap opera connoisseurs know that the most melodramatic plots are found in Korea. MADtv‘s parody Tae Do  (translation: Attitudes and Feelings, Both Desirable and Sometimes Secretive) features the struggles of mild-mannered characters with far more feelings than their souls, or subtitles, could ever cope with.


8. Twin Peaks

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Twin Peaks, the twisted parody of small town soaps like Peyton Place whose own creator repeatedly insists is not a parody, has endured through pop culture since it changed television forever when it debuted in 1990. The show even had it’s own soap within in a soap called…


9. “Invitation to Love,” Twin Peaks

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Twin Peaks didn’t just parody soap operas — it parodied itself parodying soap operas with the in-universe show Invitation to Love. That’s more layers of deceit and drama than most televised love triangles.


10. “As The Stomach Turns,” The Carol Burnett Show

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The Carol Burnett Show poked fun at soaps with this enduring take on As The World Turns. In a case of life imitating art, one story involving demonic possession would go on to happen for “real” on Days of Our Lives.


11. Days of our Lives (Friends Edition)

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Still airing today, Days of Our Lives is one of the most famous soap operas of all time. They’re also excellent sports, as they allowed Friends star Joey Tribbiani to star as Dr Drake Ramoray, the only doctor to date his own stalker (while pretending to be his own evil twin). And then return after a brain-transplant.

And let’s not forget the greatest soap opera parody line ever written: “Come on Joey, you’re going up against a guy who survived his own cremation!”


12. Acorn Antiques

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First appearing on the BBC sketch comedy series Victoria Wood As Seen on TV, Acorn Antiques combines almost every low-budget soap opera trope into one amazing whole. The staff of a small town antique store suffer a disproportional number of amnesiac love-triangles, while entire storylines suddenly appear and disappear without warning or resolution. Acorn Antiques was so popular, it went on to become a hit West End musical.


13. “Point Place,” That 70s Show

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In a memorable That ’70s Show episode, an unemployed Red is reduced to watching soaps all day. He becomes obsessed despite the usual Red common-sense objections (like complaining that it’s impossible to fall in love with someone in a coma). His dreams render his own life as Point Place, a melodramatic nightmare where Kitty leaves him because he’s unemployed. (Click here to see all airings of That ’70s Show on IFC.)


14. The Spoils of Babylon

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Bursting from the minds of Will Ferrell and creators Andrew Steele and Matt Piedmont, The Spoils of Babylon was a spectacular parody of soap operas and epic mini-series like The Thorn Birds. Taking the parody even further, Ferrell himself played Eric Jonrosh, the author of the book on which the series was based. Jonrosh returned in The Spoils Before Dying, a jazzy murder mystery with its own share of soapy twists and turns.

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15. All My Children Finale, SNL

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SNL‘s final celebration of one of the biggest soaps of all time is interrupted by a relentless series of revelations from stage managers, lighting designers, make-up artists, and more. All of whom seem to have been married to or murdered by (or both) each other.

INDIE EAR MADNESS ’09: National Championship

INDIE EAR MADNESS ’09:  National Championship (photo)

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Three weeks ago, Indie Ear Madness ’09 began with 64 of the best indie-minded/respected bands in the land. After some fierce and furious competition, TV On The Radio and The Bouncing Souls were the only two acts left standing. Last night they went head to head, competing not only for the 2009 National Championship, but for indie music bragging rights, which (you’d think) would at least guarantee them a free shot of espresso in any non-chain coffee shop in America.

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MIXTAPE: Baseball Opening Day

MIXTAPE:  Baseball Opening Day (photo)

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Attention IFC film buffs–I’ve got some movie trivia for ya right now. What movie is this quote from: Do you like beisbol?

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