In the indie-rock fan fiction that inevitably exists somewhere on the internet, Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile were likely getting 'shipped long before they announced a formal collaboration. Never mind that she's married (to a woman) and he's in a committed long-term relationship with his guitar. The pairing just makes too much sense. She writes hilariously deadpan songs that mine humor and pathos from life's small details, while he makes mumbly, stargazing folk rock that's at once expansive and low key. Stylistically, they go together like weed and Magic Eye posters.
And then, of course, there's their names. For an older generation, the phrase "Kurt and Courtney" brings to mind a different alt-rock power couple, albeit one that presided over an era of slackerism the new Kurt and Courtney are certainly familiar with. The irony is not lost on them—they allude to it briefly in the video for their single "Continental Breakfast." But how much in common do they really have with the King and Queen of Grunge? We put together this chart to find out.
KURT (Vile) & COURTNEY (Barnett) | KURT (Cobain) & COURTNEY (Love)
SEE IT: Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile play Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway, with Jen Cloher, on Friday, Oct. 20. 8 pm. $30-$45. All ages.