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Stop It!

Posted by purplemary54 on September 14, 2013

I’ve got a bone to pick.  Some hairs to split.  A devil to advocate for.

Some time back, Jeopardy! featured a category simply called “Musicians.”  Now, I like categories like this, because I’m good at them.  As the clues are revealed and the questions posited by contestants, I noticed all the artists in the category had one thing in common: All of them were singers.  I don’t remember who all the clues were about, but not one of them were known for playing a musical instrument.  Admittedly, an argument can be made that the voice is the instrument of these performers (probably a pretty good, convincing argument, too).  But it irked me a little.  For the most part, the voice is not considered a separate musical instrument; therefore, the category should’ve been called “Singers.”

That particular incident passed, but just recently, I’ve gotten another bee in my bonnet.  A burr under my saddle, if you will.

It has to do with that peculiar species of artist known as boy bands.

As long as there has been a commercial music industry, there have been acts that have been almost exclusively marketed for teen and pre-teen girls.  That’s not exactly shocking; adolescent girls are a pretty powerful consumer bloc.  Boy bands are aimed straight at their innocent little hearts.  There’s no hidden agenda: Gather together some reasonably talented, reasonably attractive teenage boys, and then plaster their faces on everything in order to rake in millions of dollars.  The music is almost incidental, although not universally awful.  (Well, I think it’s pretty bad; ‘N Sync’s “Bye Bye Bye” was the least offensive clip I could find.)  It helps to throw in some dancing, but it’s not necessary.  It’s really good if you can find a niche.  (Menudo is a good example of that.)  It isn’t exactly rocket science.

Of course, they’re also not bands.  With a very few minor exceptions (none of which I can think of  right now), they don’t play instruments of any kind.  There isn’t even a harmonica or triangle in anyone’s hands, much less a guitar.  I’m not ragging on them for their crappy music or their role as cogs in a moneymaking machine.  I don’t actually care about any of them.  I just hate hearing them referred to as bands.  They’re not bands.  I won’t say none of them knows how to play an instrument, but I have yet to see any of them try making a career out of it later.  They’re vocal groups.  That doesn’t make them less valuable than other artists; it just doesn’t make them a band.

I know I’m ranting like a lunatic here.  I know I’m quibbling.  I don’t care.  Everyone has their pet peeves, and this is one of mine.

Although I did finally think of a boy band that actually was a band.


3 Responses to “Stop It!”

  1. I agree with you

  2. rarasaur said

    Agreed! 🙂

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