Sleigh Bells and Ten Other Guy-Girl Rock Band Duos
Four guys used to be the prototypical make-up of a rock band. Trademarked by the Beatles, followed by the Who, the Doors, Led Zeppelin, U2, and a thousand others. Lately however, there have been a new number that dominates rock and roll and and addition of the "fairer" sex.
With greater and greater frequency, rock bands are duos made up solely of a man and woman. A prime example of this phenomenon lies in Brooklyn's Sleigh Bells. With these two coming to Culture Room November 2, now seems as good a time as any to explore ten great guy-girl duos.
10. The White Stripes
Jack and Meg White's publicity stunt of being coy over whether they were siblings or lovers made their music ubiquitous. From appearing in Napoleon Dynamite to being the soundtrack to the Miami Heat player intros, everyone knows their songs. The popularity of the White Stripes led to a boom of indie guy-girl bands that couldn't crack this list, from the Fiery Furnaces to Best Coast to Glass Candy to YACHT.
9. Captain and Tennille
Speaking of yacht rock, this seventies duo brought us hits like "Love Will Bring Us Together" and "Do That to Me One More Time." Tennille had her wide smile and Farrah Fawcett hair, while her partner captained the piano.
8. Wye Oak
Proving you can't judge a band by its name, this Maryland indie troupe has a much fuller sound than their bland handle suggests. Jenn Wasner sings and plays guitars while the bespectacled Andy Stack bangs the drums.
7. Matt & Kim
You don't have to wait long to see if this Brooklyn noise rock duo deserve to crack the list. They will be performing live at Cruzan Amphitheatre November 10 at the Coastline Festival with Passion Pit and two Door Cinema Club.
6. Beach House
Another duo based in Maryland (which, along with Brooklyn, seems to be a hotbed for this pattern). Beach House's dreamy sound, consisting of Alex Scally on guitar and Victoria Legrand on keys, is a soothing staple of indie radio.
5. Sonny & Cher
Probably the only Republican and Oscar winner represented on this list, the duo are probably now more famous for being the parents of Chaz Bono, but they once ruled pop culture with their own variety show and even guest starred in animated form in a Scooby Doo episode. Their songs "I Got You Babe" and "The Beat Goes On" still taste sugary sweet to these ears.
4. The Kills
Signed after the success of the White Stripes, British guitarist Jamie Hince and Florida native Alison Mosshart bring their own unique fury to rock n roll. Jack White continued to be an influence as Mosshart is an original member of White's larger band the Dead Weather.
3. The Moldy Peaches
If you liked the song Ellen Page was singing in the movie Juno, "Anyone Else But You," check out the catalog of the originators of that tune, the Moldy Peaches. Broken up since 2004, this New York duo of Adam Green and Kimya Dawson played a few reunion gigs after that 2007 movie's success. Pray that they make Juno 2 and we might see the two get together again.
2. The Raveonettes
This Danish garage rock duo has perhaps the best album of any artists on the list, 2003's sublime Chain Gang of Love. Recorded with the gimmick of it all being in the key of b flat major, it is perfection at its fuzziest. When Sharin Foo was on hiatus when pregnant, her bandmate Sune Rose Wagner kept the guy-girl dynamic by recruiting her sister as a substitute for a 2008 tour.
1. Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood
If you only know this duo from Nancy singing the Hazlewood penned "These Boots Are Made For Walkin'" you're in for a treat. 1967's Nancy & Lee and 1972's Nancy & Lee Again, beyond their creative titles, are textbook (if wholesome) examples of the possibilities when you trap a man and a woman and a bunch of instruments in a recording studio.
Sleigh Bells. With Doldrums. 8 p.m., on Saturday, November 2, at Culture Room 3045 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $25 plus fees. Call 954-564-1074, or visit cultureroom.net.
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