Monday, February 14, 2011

St. Valentine presents the Five All-Time Coolest Romantic Couples in Music

Being a lifetime bachelor I really don’t give Valentine’s Day much thought. Typically I wouldn’t even consider writing anything particular for the “holiday.” But reading Austin blogger Hipstercrite’s posting about her favorite indie/hipster movies kind of inspired me to wrench something out of my brain. I pondered possible options—best love song (which would be Damien Rice “The Blower’s Daughter”), best songs about infidelity (“The Seed”), best albums to get your freak-on to (any Maxwell album on this one)—and came up with this list. Here are my choices for the five all-time coolest romantic couples in music, countdown style…

5. Kurt & Courtney
If anybody ever personified the idea of the punk-rock couple it was Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love.  Sadly their story is as tragic as it is sweet. Blooming out of the early 90s grunge scene these two instantly began influencing each other’s music... and drug habits. Their respective albums In Utero and Live Through This are reflections on each other as much as they are introspections of themselves. Obviously this one doesn’t have a happy ending. Since Kurt’s death, Courtney has (semi)raised their daughter Frances Bean and kept Kurt's legacy intact by not raping his back catalog and flooding the world with half-assed posthumous projects. For that, Courtney deserves some recognition. 

4. Josh & Brody  
When Josh Homme hooked up with Brody Dalle (the now former Distiller) the image of them it hit as hard as a Queens of the Stone Age guitar riff. Josh with his Elvis-like smirk and Brody with her LA punk princess crown. Since their 2003 coupling, Homme expanded his QOTSA band into a full brand with side projects Eagles of Death Metal, Them Crooked Vultures, and producing Arctic Monkeys. Brody has been less active in her career focusing more on being a mother to their daughter, Camille Harley. She did adopt Homme’s traditional desert rock sound for her 2009 comeback album Spinnerette. A follow-up was expected this year, but may be pushed back due to Brody herself expecting the couple’s second bundle of heavy rock hell spawn this summer. While some may say they are just a tame version of Kurt and Courtney, I argue that they score extra points and rank higher on my list for two reasons. For one, neither is a raging heroin addict (anymore at least). Second, I’m pretty sure Josh and Brody could fuck up anybody in a tag team wrestling match. 

3. Jay-Z & Beyoncé
“Got the hottest chick in the game wearing my chain,” Jay-Z declared in his song “Public Service Announcement” off 2003’s blazin’ The Black Album. It was really the first official confirmation of what the two had not been talking about for at least a year prior. Hip-hop’s biggest star had scored R&B-pop’s hottest diva. Sean Carter is the only man in music with enough clout to buy his freedom from a major record label with the spare change in his back pocket. Beyoncé Knowles made what is [in kanye voice]THE GREATEST VIDEO OF ALL TIME![end kanye voice] So obviously these two belong together. They were the first, and remain the only, royal couple of hip-hop. While other rappers are hype to be at the BET awards, Jay and Beyoncé attend the Golden Globes and hang at the White House. The modern day Bonnie and Clyde are down to ride to the very end.  

2. David & Mick
Ok I may be stretching it on this one. Both parties deny that the toss ever occurred, but the story is now something of an urban legend.  Bowie’s ex-wife Angela reveled in 1990 that she once caught David in bed with Mick Jagger and it became the biggest rumor in rock history. It has gone through so many revisions over time— the two were or weren’t clothed, lovers or just friends, maybe passed out or high, blah blah. In writing this I noticed that I was putting the male first when naming the couples and naturally wrote “David & Mick” here. What it says about my instincts of who was pitcher and who was catcher on this one, I’m not sure. Maybe as a Bowie fanatic I can’t see him being anyone’s bitch. But I’ll leave that conversation for another time. Whether or not the fling is truth or fiction is still pure speculation. I for one believe it. Why? Seriously, you have seen the “Dancing in the Street” video. Nothing says we once had a man-on-man sex tussle like that shit. Case closed. 

1. Paul & Linda 
If the concept of “Love” is to ever be questioned, one need only look at Paul and Linda McCartney to see that it at least once existed and is real. During the 29 years of their marriage they were the classiest and hippest couple that ever jammed together—and by my calculations, it’s an honor they still hold. The importance of Linda on the legacy of Paul’s music is best confirmed when you also flip over the coin and see the alternative. Paul’s best frienamy John Lennon had his creativity slowly sucked away when he found the love of his life, leading to a sharp decline in the quality of his material (thanks a fucking lot, Yoko!). Paul on the other hand not only found inspiration in Linda, but a formidable creative partner that helped him craft the two best albums ever recorded by someone who was once in a band called the Beatles. Those albums being Ram and Band on the Run. Outside of music the two became strong advocates for animal rights along with other vegetarian and health food causes. Sadly their picture perfect relationship was cut short when Linda died of breast cancer in 1998. But in their time as a couple they were class acts, looked good together, brought out the best in each other, and were hipper than any hipster could ever wish to be. Cheers to Paul and Linda…


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  2. I'd vote for Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham. I mean, hey, that relationship begat Rumors (at least as it flamed out!)