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Oh No, More Boy Bands!
New instances of what is the sorry state of much of today's pop music scene, and what I think should be done about it.
Actually, I should apologize for using the term "bands" in this article's title, as these so-called "boy bands" aren't really bands at all, but rather producer's compliations - whom you almost never see with instruments during their concerts, nor do you ever see them listed as producers on their records - designed to make teen and tween girls swoon and scream before going into the "Where are they now?" scrapheap within two years.
I was reading the Sunday edition of the Los Angeles Times recently when I saw, on the front page of the Calendar (entertainment) section, a sight that made me go:
"Noooooo!! I thought we got rid of that 'boy band' crapola when N'Suck, I mean N'Sync, and Bad Stink Dorks, I mean Backstreet Boys, went away - now we got some more dweebs to worry about! AUUUUGH!!!"
Yes, I'm fully aware that Nick Carter and the rest of his little Backstreet playmates have recently toured with another so-called "band" from the late 80's, New Kids on The Block (GAG!), but still...
Anyhow, what I saw in that Sunday Times was a story about four new producer's compilations that, most unfortunately, are selling millions of records to teenyboppers, who are packing arenas and therefore worsening the state of pop music by liking these so-called musicians.
Four of these groups were featured in the article; like a little kid forced to eat his spinach at dinnertime and not allowed to have dessert until every morsel of Popeye's favorite food is in his stomach, I'll go ahead and describe these bunches of little boys whom I truly wish would run along:
1. Mindless Behavior
A new R & B group that, when I read about them, sounded like they were ripping off Boys II Men or New Edition.
Rather than getting together at school and doing small gigs like real bands, these boys - and I mean that literally as they are only 15 - trained for two years before releasing their first record, which of course went to #2 on the Billboard R & B/Hip Hop charts.
2. The Wanted
When I saw their picture in the Times, I thought, "Typical; five good-looking guys made solely to sell posters and give little girls crushes."
Their label mate is none other that Justin Bieber. Enough said.
3. One Direction
Simon Cowell, the magnate who so brilliantly badmouthed singers who couldn't cut it on American Idol, made like Lou Pearlman and, along with Nicole Scherzinger of Pussycat Dolls fame, put together these five little British boys a couple of years ago.
It is with regret that I say that they are now making a splash on this side of the Atlantic, warbling little ditties about teenage love and all of that crap.
All i have to say is this: I really, REALLY wish Simon would have said to these kids,
"You are the worst singers I've ever heard! If this was 2,000 years ago, you would have been stoned!"
This last "band" that I'm about to mention is one that I have the most contempt for:
4. Big Time Rush
These are four young guys who think they're huge studs, who were created by the Nickolodeon channel to anchor a pre-teen TV show.
I would say that this so-called "band" was made in the spirit of the Monkees, another band created for TV, except for one thing: The Monkees were talented and, unlike these boys, had real musicians who played instruments; Michael Nesmith, their guitarist, even wrote some of the Monkees' hits.
The reason I hold my worst contempt for this compilation is the fact that they committed the worst form of blasphemy posible in music: they sang Beatles songs in their little flick, oh so creatively called Big Time Movie.
It angered me to the point of wanting to change into the Incredible Hulk when I heard that they sang Beatles classics in their little film; it goes without saying that those four little boys, in my view (and I'm sure in the views of many others), had ABSOLUTELY NO RIGHT to sing a note from the greatest band of all time, for this simple reason:
Big Time Rush is not worthy, and will never, ever be worthy, to clean the Beatles' toilets, let alone sing their songs - how dare they even attempt to do such a heinous thing!
The worst thing about these little boy bands is that since they don't play instruments - at least on stage during their concerts - and have someone else write and produce pretty much all of their material rather than do all of that themselves like a real band, doing nothing but dancing elaborate numbers and lipsyncing to their voices on stage, they are doing nothing but undermining artistic integrity.
New Kids did it, N'Stink and Bad Road Dweebs did it, and now these new little boy bands are doing it.
And that, I must say, makes me most unhappy.
So much so that I propose this:
Back in 1979 Bill Veeck, the owner of baseball's Chicago White Sox, held a "Disco Demolition" night, where everyone who brought a disco album got into a White Sox doubleheader for a significant discount off of their ticket price, the disco albums being put into a pile in center field between games and blown up, with everybody loudly chanting "Disco Sucks!" during the occasion.
More than 30 years later, it's time to do something like that again, this time with these boy so-called "bands".
With the professional baseball season starting, I'm calling on at least one team - most likely a minor league one as the major league teams have an image to uphold - to hold a "Boy Band Demolition" night, where anyone who brought a boy band CD (or a Justin Bieber CD, as he's essentially a one-boy boy band) would get in for half price and, after the game, all the CDs would be blown up in center field with everyone chanting loudly:
"BOY BANDS SUCK!"
Since that Disco Demolition night effectively killed that genre, perhaps holding a Boy Band Demolition night will put an end to that type of "music" once and for all.
It's the only way I can think of for all of us fans of real music - where they actually write and produce their own material and play their own instruments (that's why, by the way, I respect groups like Hanson, the Jonas Brothers, and even Disney's Lemonade Mouth - at least they play instruments and, with the exception of Lemonade Mouth, have written many of their own songs) - to take a stand and tell the music industry that we won't tolerate these fake compilations anymore.
It's certanly an idea, one that I hope some owner of a minor league team will take and run with.
As for all those fans of this, well, I refuse to call it music: I'm sorry, but it's time for all of you to get into something real, where they actually have a say in the sounds that are made.
In other words...
Boy bands must go.
And that's about all I have to say about that.