Archive for the ‘Boy Bands’ Category

In yet another instalment of this live series, here are the performers I haven’t yet had a chance to see, but hopefully will get to one day.

Beyoncé

They called it “Beychella” for a reason. Plus, I’ve never seen anyone slay live.

Pink

I need to see her music live. I don’t know of any other chart topper that puts that much physical effort into their show (based on what I’ve heard,) and it’s sure to make me have a better appreciation for her music. So win-win for me.

Backstreet Boys

Seeing BSB live will channel the inner closeted boy band fan girl inside of me, and set her free. (In case you were wondering: Brian is still my fave.)

London Grammar

Their music breaks my heart every damn time, and I know witnessing them live will just destroy me (in the best way possible.)

Adele

When I first heard “Someone Like You,” I hadn’t had such a visceral reaction to a song in a very very long time. Adele knows how to express the deepest, darkest of emotions, with a perfect voice, which glorifies the pain and the sadness. Her music must to be experienced live (it’s just impossible to actually get tickets to her show.)

Dixie Chicks

I do my very best to be a well-rounded music fan, dabbling in as many genres as I can, to gain a more whole understanding of music. The Dixie Chicks were my gateway into country music, which is why I so badly want to see them live. Their music is beautiful, meaningful, and everything that makes them country, is what makes them so damn great.

Radiohead

I love Radiohead. My favourite way to listen to them is alone with headphones on, so I can drown out the world around me. I always hesitate to see them live when they come to town, because I don’t want that effect to get ruined when they play to thousands. Having said that, if I never get to see them live, I’ll never get over it. I missed them this year, here’s hoping they decide to come back.

 

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My definition of pop music will always bring me to the 90s/early 2000s. The era of boy bands and girls bands, the rise of Britney and Xtina, ‘N Sync and Backstreet Boys. As a teenager, as much as you fought it, it became impossible to ignore pop music. That’s because although it was contrived, overproduced, and purposely presented with a pretty face; it was also catchy, dancy and fun. Here are some Canadian artists that shone during this global pop movement.

Sugar Jones

Points to whoever remembers this all-girl pop group, because I really had to wrack my brain. They were formed as part of a reality music show – Popstars – back in 2001. We’re talking pre-American Idol, pre-X-Factor, pre-The Voice. It’s pretty certain they were the only and most diverse all-girl Canadian pop group ever, who likely came to be because of the hype surrounding girl bands at the time. Regardless of how they were created, this single hit #1 on the Canadian charts, and their self-titled debut/only album went as far as #2 (I have no idea how.)

Prozzäk

Oh, Prozzäk. Where do I even begin? This Toronto-based duo first graced us wither their animated presence in 1998, with their triple (!) platinum album Hot Show. All their videos feature appearances by cartoon characters Simon and Milo, who take us along on their adventures. Their sound is part Eiffel 65, part Right Said Fred, with a dash of Aqua. Hot Show featured hits such as “Omobolasire,” “Sucks to be You” and this gem right here (why do I know all the lyrics?!)

The Moffatts

One of Canada’s more successful boy bands brought us their first album, platinum-selling Chapter 1: A New Beginning, in 1998, when they were merely 14/15 years old. 4 brothers (including triplets) from B.C. banded together to essentially become the Canadian equivalent of Hanson. They were squeaky clean, with their frosted tips and long hair, while they sang tracks like “Girls of my Dreams” and “Miss You Like Crazy.” In 2000, they released their also-platinum album, Submodalities, along with a new image. They grew stubble, spiked up their hair, and were full of attitude, hoping they’d prove to everyone they weren’t kids anymore. Except, they were.

McMaster & James

This dreamy Winnipeg duo of Luke McMaster and Rob James, made every teenage girl weak in the knees. There’s nothing more swoon-worthy than a couple of good looking dudes expressing their feelings about love. In an time where music videos were actually key to a band’s success, these guys knew how to seduce the camera with their bedroom eyes, leaving viewers no choice but to fall for them. After releasing their self-titled debut in 2000, they sort of disappeared musically, but not without leaving this treasure. So, thank you.

soulDecision

Vancouver-based boy group soulDecision (yup, one word) came into our lives with platinum-selling 2000’s, No One Does it Better. Apparently, there were 3 guys in the band: lead singer and total babe Trevor Guthrie; the other less attractive singer David Bowman, and the creepy sunglass-wearing keyboard player, Ken Lewko. As a boy band, they easily did well, but unlike other boy bands, they actually wrote their own songs and played their own instruments (hence, keyboard guy.) Trevor now sports a ponytail and is all about EDM, (see “This is What it Feels Like” and  “Soundwave”), however it’s unclear what happened to the other 2. Here they all are – plus Canadian rap superstar Thrust – in all their glory.

Fefe Dobson

Fefe Dobson had to be added to this list, because this Toronto-based singer is one of the few female solo pop artists during this time. Her impact on the Canadian pop scene is that much more important, even though she was more rock rebel-chic than pop princess, as evidenced on “Bye, Bye Boyfriend.” Her 2003 self-titled debut album went platinum, and she has continued to make killer track after killer track ever since – as most underrated artists do. Her most recent album, 2010’s Joy, showed a more mature, confident, and versatile performer. See below.

Wave

It pains me a little to have this Niagara Falls duo on this list, because it forces me to admit that I was obsessed with them. It also means I have to confess that a friend and I re-enacted one of their music videos as an audition tape to become MuchMusic VJs – a fact that still makes me cringe to this day. Dave Thomson and Paul Gigliotti somehow managed to steal my heart back in 2001, with their debut Nothing as it Seems. I have no explanation as to my affinity for their music, so judge all you want. But watch this too.

Sky

Sky, oh Sky. Yet another male duo, this time hailing from Montreal. My version of Sky features James Renald (the blonde guy) and Antoine Sicotte (the bald guy.) Their first album, 1999’s platinum-selling Piece of Paradise was a regular on my boombox: it was a fun, pop album, not too different from everything else happening in the pop music scene, but for some reason, it stood out. Maybe it’s because Renald looks exactly like the character “Spike” from SMG’s TV version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Or maybe it was the video for “Some Kinda Wonderful” ; or how high pitched Renald’s voice got on “All I Want.” Or maybe, just maybe, it was this track, which hit #1 and remains such a monumental part of my high school days.

 

 

Lest We Forget

Posted: November 8, 2016 in 90s Music, Boy Bands
Tags: , , , ,

The term “boy band” is very broad. To me, you’re only considered a boy band if you are a group of young men who sing pop music, don’t play any instruments, dance pre-choreographed moves, and have squealing 12-year-old girls as fans. For my generation, it was New Kids on the Block, Backstreet Boys, and ‘N Sync. But let’s face it: there were many other boy bands along the way who contributed to all the hype. Let’s remember them.

LFO (aka Lyte Funkie Ones)

Unlike other 5-person boy bands, these guys were just 3. Their first hit “Summer Girls,” off 1999’s self-titled debut album, shot them to stardom. It had the most ridiculous, non-sensical lyrics ever written; commenting on everything from Chinese food, to Macaulay Culkin, to Michael J. Fox – yet it hooked everyone right in, because it’s just so darn catchy. With a line like “met a fly girl, and I can’t relax,” how can we forget their ode-to-Jennifer-Love-Hewitt single, “Girl on TV”?

b4-4

Yet another trio, this time hailing from Toronto (ie Thornhill.) b4-4 consisted of twin brothers Ryan and Dan, and odd-man-out Ohad, who showed up at my prom after party and zero people cared. It’s a pretty obscure band to reference, as they’re never brought up when mentioning boy bands. Their only track that anyone heard, “Get Down,” features the 3 of them in muscle shirts, shell necklaces, and coloured pants, just hanging out at the beach – yup, it was as awful as it sounds. Not to mention, the amount of gel in their hair, combined with their frosted tip colouring, and man-made “bed-“head,” is like a snapshot of year 2000.

5ive

Ah, finally: a boy band that stuck to the 5-person model we all know and love. In fact, even if you doubted how many members were in their band, you wouldn’t have to look far to find out. Right out of the UK during the boy band explosion, these guys really made a name for themselves, even selling millions of albums. 5ive’s members sported all kinds of hair styles from the classic spiky hair, to the laissez-faire mop look, and of course the shaved head.  They wore the baggy pants, jackets and seemed to have a thing for turtlenecks. Mostly though, they really knew how to stare deeply into the camera.

98 Degrees

You can’t have a throwback boy band list and not include this quartet. They had the talent, they had 2 brothers in the group, they had muscles. They even had that random awkward guy named Justin who did not fit in at all. They had all the elements to make it huge, and could even sing. For some reason though, they fell short in comparison to their competitors. Maybe it’s because they had more ballad tacks as opposed to dance-pop stuff? Maybe because Nick Lachey married Jessica Simpson? I guess we’ll never know.

O-Town

I obviously had to save the best for last. Not only is this 5-person pop band the epitome of all boy bands, we even got to experience the unnaturalness of their origin, on reality TV show, Making the Band in 2000. It was all so formulaic and scripted, especially the attempts to make them seem like “real” people with “real” problems. I’ll give them props as they’re one of the more ethnically diverse groups, thouth I’m sure every girl had a huge crush on blonde-hair, blue-eyed Ashley Angel (seriously, that’s his name.) Their fame not-so-shockingly dissipated rapidly, however, they did reunite in 2014 (sans Angel.) Bonus: they recently launched a kickstarter campaign to start their new album.