By Tom Z
10:42 AM EDT, October 9, 2012
I'll never forget the exact moment when I realized boy bands had become a musical fad. Like 9/11 or the OJ verdict, it’s a moment I'll remember for the rest of my life. The year was 1998. I was on a family vacation, sitting at an ice cream shop in Cape Cod, and a pop radio station was playing in the background. And that's when it happened: I heard six boy band songs in a row. Six. Oh sure, I had heard boy band songs on the radio before, but they were few and far between, interspersed between the latest jams from the Duncan Sheik and Mark Morrison. But at this ice cream parlor, I heard a Backstreet Boys song, followed by NSYNC, followed by Savage Garden, a couple other second-level boy bands and finally another Backstreet Boys song. It was like the beginning of a Nic Cage movie, where Nic knows something suspicious is happening, but everyone else is oblivious. Everybody around me was blissfully eating their ice cream cones, but I knew we were in the midst of a pending boy band apocalypse. Sadly I was vindicated over the next 5 years as boy bands dominated the world, destroying quality music and leaving a trail of broken teenage hearts in their wake.
As a boy band survivor, I feel that it's my duty to speak out publicly against the proliferation of boy bands, so that we never again allow a full-fledged boy band era to occur. When a boy starts to sing falsetto, I will be there to blast some loud rock music. When a teenager starts to frost his tips blond, I will be there with a razor. When a young man dons an unbuttoned white shirt and gets sprayed down by a hose, I will be there to shut off the water valve. The threat of a new boy band era has never been as high as it is now, with One Direction topping the charts and Justin Bieber refusing to complete puberty. That's why I was pleased to read this new Slate article entitled "From Backstreet Boys to One Direction: How Boy Bands Have Changed." Author Amanda Hess explains why today's boy bands can't compete with the boy bands of yore. It's a interesting read, and it inspires me that perhaps there is hope in this post-boy band world. Here's an excerpt:
Songwriter Carl Falk may think that young women are so clueless that he can regurgitate all the old boy band tropes for them, but they’re apparently smart enough to recognize an outdated marketing gimmick when they see it. One Direction’s fans are repelled by any suggestion that the band is making a plea for female attention—many Directioners are so dedicated to the idea that Louis Tomlinson’s traditional romance with his girlfriend Eleanor is staged by the powers above, that they pick apart all of the couples’ awkward photos on their various fan blogs. In pop music as in real life, trying too hard is a major turn-off these days.
You know how the main complaint against Mitt Romney is that he's basically George Bush Part II? How people say that Mitt will return us to the failed policies that bankrupted our country, and that America can never let that happen again? That's EXACTLY how I feel about boy bands. Goddammit America, it hasn't even been ten years since we ridded the world of the scourge that was NSYNC. How can you let this happen again?! It's true what they say, we really are a nation of amnesiacs. Ironically Mitt Romney is the only person who can save us from another boy band explosion. Because A) Mitt believes the manufactured image of boy bands goes against the free market, and B) Mormons don't allow that kind of "devil music." When Mitt Romney is President you can only listen to Herman's Hermits or that "Our God is an Awesome God" song.
[Note: I do not include LFO in my demonization of boy bands. "Girl on TV" is a great song, I don't care what anybody says.]
Copyright © 2014, WTXX-TV