Diapers and Dragons

Thursday, December 3, 2009

I Was Trying For Something Humorous And Then Found Myself Getting All Nasty. Must Have Been The Subject Matter.

We never talk trash, our rhymes are clean
Our rhymes are never vague and we say nothing obscene
So any sucker mcs who wanna battle us
Can you go at least 20 lines without a cuss?
Cause once we start to jam, you'll be in a state of shock
Clear the way party people, we're the new kids on the block
Ah, memories. Back in 1990, when I was a gangly, gawky, flat-as-a-stick seventh grader with bad skin and worse hair, someone brought a CD back from the United States that sent waves of (delayed) pop culture through our little boarding school. This was the Next Big Thing, what Regular Americans were listening to, and if we were going to be Cool, we had to be in love with

The New Kids On The Block

God help us all.

Boy bands had been around for a while, apparently (Menudo, anyone?), but NKOTB made them American as apple pie and pickup trucks with shotgun racks. The boys were so Cute. They were so Upbeat and Perky. More to the point for us, they were ICA*-approved, which meant that their lyrics would not offend the Powers That Be Were. That meant we were allowed to listen to the caterwauling music and dance er, bob our heads in appropriate restraint.

I didn't really get the music. But Everyone Loved NKotB, so therefore I loved NKOTB. And when the other girls asked me breathlessly which one was my favorite New Kid, I went with the most popular answer and said Joey...or was that Jordan? Crap, I don't remember any more. Because it was such an IMPORTANT decision, you know. The New Kid you liked best apparently said huge amounts about you.

I think some people may have gotten into fights over it, but mostly I just tried not to look too confused.

When NKOTB went out of style (thankfully quickly), I had hope that the days of boy band craze were of Yore. I should have known better.

In college, along came

The Backstreet Boys

who were then challenged by

'N Sync

and I believe people still debate who won that fight.

I am TOTALLY an 'N Sync girl, let me tell you. I mean, really. How could there be any competition there? Justin T., y'all!!!

Excuse me while I run to the restroom.

Whew. Sorry about that.

And if that weren't enough, along came the MMMMbopping Hansons

Aren't they nauseating adorable?

And lest we think that only the male half of the species offended, there were

The Spice Girls

I wish I could say that was all. But it wasn't.

What do I have against the Boy (and occasionally Girl) Bands?

Well. Where do I begin?

If you like meaningless and cheezy lyrics, derivative melodies, overchoreographed dance moves, an almost complete inability to write or actually PLAY music (and let's not even talk about originality here), and an overwhelming emphasis on merchandising and faux celebrity "news", then go for it. Boy Band it up. More power to ya.

Personally, I want to hurl.

And yet...there is something hypnotic about that pop-bubblegum, faux badass, overproduced stuff. It's kind of like Taco Bell or Cheetos. You know it's just so very bad for you, but once you start eating...you can't put it down.

Because while I may not have ever owned an album by one of these bands...

I did catch myself singing along to their songs.

And I kind of liked that one 'N Sync music video where they were marionettes.

And I did watch the Spice Girls movie.

 I may be going to Music Hell.

Um, so DraftQueen? Once you decide to forgive me for my musical sins, you want to send me some more mp3s? I'll be washing my brain out so it's clean enough to receive those luscious songs.

Oh, and you can thank Jason Mayo of Out-Numbered for the post topic. He apparently is a Backstreet Boys fanatic (seriously, all I can do is giggle) and has threatened to play Boy Band music through my window at night so it haunts my nightmares dreams.

I'd be a lot more scared if he knew where I live.

I'll never tell. I value my sanity too much.

*International Christian Academy, the now-defunct boarding school where I went for 7-9 and 11-12th grades. They were quite conservative there. Quite.

13 bits of love:

LoriM said...

Ha,that's funny I was thinking about these groups just this morning . . . Why? I can't remember; maybe heard one of them who has a solo career on the radio and tried to remember which group he was with - as if I ever knew. They were way past my time but some of my friends' kids liked them,ca. 1999 - must have been BSB. Then I wondered - Where did Boyz 2 Men fit in? Pre - NKOTB?

Heidi said...

Jordan looked like Frankenstein, with a square head. Joey was cuter (he had blue eyes, you see), natch.

But I really never quite got them either. I'm not sure I could name even one of their songs.

Dad said...

You lost me back there with the Monkeys!

Monica said...

You got the funny!

Arby said...

Age differences never become more apparent than when someone tells what they were doing at what age in what year. In 1990, when you were “a gangly, gawky, flat-as-a-stick seventh grader with bad skin and worse hair,” I was a college student completing an associate’s degree after having served in the Navy for five years. I was about to marry my first wife. Maybe that is why I have no active memory of any of these

Benny Goodman, anyone? Kai Winding? Dave Brubeck? Glenn Miller, Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey…

Momzombie said...

When I was in elementary school, the pop sensations were the Carpenters, The Osmonds the Jackson 5. See where that puts me on the timeline. I didn't like that stuff then and I still don't. I always found the members of the groups to be overly polished, their teeth a wee bit too white and Chiclety and their outfits a bit contrived. Pop music, you either get it or you don't.

Brenda said...

I loved loved Menudo. Ricky Martin was cute back them but the hawt one was Robi Rosa. Mmm...wonder where he is now?!

michelle said...

I'm too old for the whole boy band thing. I still refer to Mark Wahlberg as Marky Mark.

Ha Ha. Pathetic

GingerB said...

I am proud to say I never loved any of those bands. However, I have some dark secrets of my own. When PBS had a Barry Manilow concert on a fundraising day a few years ago, I sat down riveted and watched the whole thing.

Oh Mandy, well you came and you gave without taking . . .

A Teacher said...

You need to go back further than Menudo for Boy Bands. How about the Beach Boys? Still, it's something light and fluffy. While it is all pretty derivative, some of it can be nice in that escapist sort of way.

And without the Spice Girls we never would have had Wierd Al's polka versions of "Wannabe".

Stone Fox said...

oh, i LOVED NKOTB. i loved jonathan the most. turns out he's gay.

i love the idea of a boy band; completely safe and not sex-driven. i mean, i'm sure they had more than their shares of groupies, but the image of the band wasn't Hot Studs Who Will Steal Your Virginity and Then Leave You. nowadays (i am such an old fart for using that word), all the bands, whether they are boy bands, girl bands, solo artists, or whatever, are ALL sex-driven.

come to think of it, everything is sex-driven.

Draft Queen said...

Okay so in episode somewhere near 200 a certain podcaster outs some very scary information about me that pertains to NKOTB so I can't fault you for having fallen a victim. We were young (I was younger!) and easily impressed.

But OMG you need better music. I'm on the case.

Quality indie not over-produced music goodness will come to you.

melissa said...

the boy band craze came along when i was already deep into my obsession with duran duran.
i can't relate. because i was staring at posters of john taylor and simon lebon and fantasizing about them seeing me and falling in love and living happily ever after. yes, with both of them. how? i dunno, it seemed to work itself out in my fantasy.

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