She & Him playing NPR

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[above: Them]

M. Ward didn't really need to diversify to keep up his cred: six solid albums over nearly a decade and he's been pretty much all up and down the folk-rock scene. Not bad for a guy who kind of looks like Javier Bardem on a bad hair day. But his recent teaming up with the actress Zooey Deschanel (who played the cutest space traveler ever to be named after an instant messaging program) as She & Him has brought him to hitherfore unknown territory, and heap-loads of press. Why? Because Zooey is so friggin' cute, mostly.

The duo will be playing today at 3pm EST on npr.

The music is a sort of not-so-alt-country with a playful, sexy innocence — a younger, less promiscuous Jenny Lewis meets a younger, more promiscuous Patsy Cline. Ward's production style and instrumentation don't quite push the bounds of the slide-guitars-and-cowboy-boots genre, but instead carry Zooey's voice along like an elegant, archaic horse-drawn buggy. Which is actually more fun to listen to than it sounds.

After a spamming SXSW they've announced a few isolated bi-coastal shows that should prove to be well-attended, as well as a April 22 spot on Conan O'Brien. And we all know Conan can make or break an artist with just a single well-scripted one liner.

21 New York, NY @ Hiro Ballroom
29 Los Angeles, CA OR @ Vista Theater

18 San Francisco, CA @ Oysterfest