Ben Gibbard and Zooey Deschanel both enjoy wearing a silly hat, a basic freedom most Americans sadly don't take advantage of.
Well it finally happened. Indie rock icon and dorky eyeglasses connoisseur Ben Gibbard - better known to those few grandmothers and Buddhist monks (who actually don't know who he is) as the lead singer of Death Cab for Cutie and 2003's side project The Postal Service - got engaged last week to movie star and recent recording artist Zooey Deschanel, sister of TV's Emily Deschanel of Bones fame. I believe these two met before Ben was swept off his feet by Zooey's incredible performance in the recent Jim Carey knee-slapper Yes Man. Zooey recently teamed up with M. Ward of...M. Ward fame to create She & Him, a delightful little side project that showed the world Zooey's singing chops, since her performance in Elf doesn't quite do her justice.
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She & Him are nice enough, featuring plenty of lovely little ditties and heartfelt lyrics that help put M. Ward back on the map, since his solo material is pretty yawn-inducing. The two garnered enough attention to be nominated for a 2008 mtvU Woodie award for the "Left Field" category, further described as a category for artists in 2008 that evoked a response such as "where did they come from?" Where did Zooey Deschanel come from? Oh, perhaps the roughly 30 movies she has starred in, like the aforementioned Elf as well as Almost Famous, Mumford and Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Left field, indeed, mtvU. Well done.
Mr. Gibbard, who - with the help of The Decemberists' Colin Meloy - created the definitive look for affected indie troubadour types, has now given hope to the rest of those geeky dudes who require vision correction and who keep a journal. You know who I mean, that dude that shows up to work at your local coffee shop with his acoustic guitar slung around his shoulder. Well, Ben Gibbard has proved that if you keep writing down those whiny, melodramatic lyrics that keep running through your head and you can form a band that defines a genre, you might be able to settle down with an extremely attractive movie star. The odds are stacked, but it can be done. So rock those nerdy yet expensive glasses, button up that flannel, get an ironic haircut that is borders between either hipster-chic or just plain awful and keep plugging away at open mic nights.