August 13, 2010

My Other Secret: Boy Bands

I love listening to music and pride myself on having very eclectic tastes. Ask any of my friends - if you take me out to a sing-along piano bar (such as my favorite: Howl at the Moon), I'm almost as likely to know the lyrics to oldies as I am to classic rock, hip hop, showtunes, pop, and even a smattering of country.

But my secret musical guilty pleasure? "Boy bands."

Why you may ask?

Well, I'm not really sure, but I think that if I go back to the days when my musical tastes were just beginning to develop, it all starts to make sense.

My parents, as I grew up, listened to two types of music - "oldies" (we're talking 1950s/early 60s) and showtunes. This is what I listened to, exclusively, for the first 11 or 12 years of my life. It was what we sang along to in the car or at home. In the 5th or 6th grade, when we had a talent show and my friends sang catchy current songs, I sang a song from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

There was, however, one exception to my oldies/showtunes childhood.....
New Kids on the Block
Oh Joey McIntire...

I loved New Kids on the Block. I had the big picture book of the band, a tshirt and even had the (why were these ever popular) oversized Donnie Wahlberg button. I also dreamed about Jordan knight and Joey McIntire and owned the cassette tape with the cover pictured above. I used to know all of the words to all of the songs (ok, maybe I still know most of the lyrics to "Hangin' Tough" and "(You Got It) The Right Stuff" and, my personal favorite "Popsicle").

Eventually my NKOTB obsession faded in to the background and I started to listen to more current music. It was slow goings (at least two of the songs I remember being played at my Bat Mitzvah in 1994 were Beach Boys songs). I purchased the Columbia House "buy 12 cds for a penny" deal and started picking out my own music ( Pearl Jam, En Vogue, Green Day, Boyz II Men, Mariah Carey, Ugly Kid Joe and some showtunes and oldies thrown in for good measure).

But then came the one true "Boy Band Era".

I was the late 1990s and if you were a teenage girl, chances are you loved a boy band. For most, alliances fell with either NSYNC or Backstreet Boys (BSB for short). 

From an outsider's perspective, the boy bands were all the same. Four or five young, (reasonably) good looking, (moderately) talented guys who came together (read: were brought together by that creepy guy in Florida) to bust out some tunes and some sick dance moves.

They were all relatively the same when it boiled down to it. Each guy had a role to play.

The Leader: 
NSYNC JC by unknown. Size 23.00 X 35.00 Art Poster Print Backstreet Boys~ Backstreet Boys Poster~ Brian~ Rare Original Poster Printed in 1999!!~ Approx 23" x 35"

The Young (Hot) One:
N' Sync ~ NSync Poster ~ Justin Timberlake ~ Rare Original Poster!!~ Approx 23" x 35"Backstreet Boys~ Backstreet Boys Poster~ Nick~ Rare Original Poster Printed in 1999!!~ Approx 23" x 35"

The Shy Guy

NSYNC Lance by unknown. Size 23.00 X 35.00 Art Poster Print on CanvasBackstreet Boys Howie Autographed Signed reprint PhotoBackstreet Boys Howie Autographed Signed reprint Photo

The Older Brother
NSYNC Joey by unknown. Size 23.00 X 35.00 Art Poster Print Backstreet Boys Kevin Richardson Music Poster Print - 24x36

The Rebel
N' Sync ~ NSync Poster ~ Chris~ Rare Original Poster Printed In 1998!!~ Approx 23" x 35"Backstreet Boys AJ McLean Music Poster Tatoos - 24x36

But their songs were innocent (sounding), the boys were dreamy, and they made you want to scream.

Sure, I think deep down we all knew that they were cheesy. The carefully manicured images, the overly-produced songs, it was all part of the show, but that didn't stop us from loving them any less. I saw NSYNC in concert TWICE. Once I paid for the ticket and sat in the nose bleed seats with my friend Kristina, and the second time I was given a free floor seat by my friends Ben and Robin who had won the tickets (I even skipped out on the second half of a double I was working at a restaurant to go). They were amazing concerts, and I remembered seeing Pink (before she got really big) when she opened for NSYNC at that first concert.

My sophomore year college roommate, Jamie, also shared my love. She was a HUGE fan of O-Town and we would have moments in our dorm that we would bust out singing some of the greatest hits of all of the boy bands.

In fact, my love for boy bands spilled over in to the realm of "fake" boy bands:

  • Did anyone else watch/love the MTV movie/tv show "2ge+her"? I was reminded of my love for this "group" recently by Jamie, and immediately went to YouTube to watch some of the videos. They produced such great hits as "You + Me = Us (I Know My Calculus)".
  • In grad school I heard about this off-Broadway musical about a fake Christian boy band Altar Boyz. I saw it once in NYC and once on tour, and both times it was amazing.
I can't help it. I have been known to rock out to some NSYNC and BSB when they come on my ipod.

I really just love boy bands. Don't Judge.

You know you had a favorite. Leave your favorite boy band or song by a boy band in the comments!

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