Poppin’ the Question

Our world is faced with so many challenging questions. I thought I should lend a hand and start answering them.

Which is the best boy band of all time?

Don’t worry, I’ll tell you.

Poppin' the Question

First, what’s the criteria of being a boy band? Good question. Unfortunately, Webster’s dictionary doesn’t define the term. Urban Dictionary does, but its definition is pretty offensive.

So here’s the rules:

(1)  If you play instruments, you’re not a boy band. Thus, the Beatles, BBMak, Jackson 5, and Hanson were not boy bands. They all had too much talent.

(2)  If you don’t do synchronized dance moves, you’re not a boy band. Thus, LFO was not a true boy band, despite the fact that “Summer Girls” was one of the finest works of art of the 20th Century.

(3)  If you are too cool to be labelled as a “boy band,” you are not a boy band. Thus, the Temptations are not a boy band.

So those are the rules. Now it’s time for both of you to find out which boys bands are the greatest of all time:

Here. We. Go.

5.  One Direction: This boy band has been tearing up the charts for the past three years and their poppy beats and spirited vocals . . . OMG, I can’t do this. One Direction is automatically disqualified for having a song named “Best Song Ever.” When I hear kids talk about how One Direction is the greatest boy band ever, honestly, I get defensive. “Are you serious? Have you ever heard of Justin Timberlake? Nick Carter? Nick Lachey?” And then I feel ashamed for arguing with an 11-year-old about boy bands.

Okay, here’s the real list:

5. O-Town:  O-Town represents the high point in the boy band craze, which was probably also the low point in American history. I know two O-Town songs. One is pretty bad. The other is “All or Nothing.” It is probably the greatest song ever recorded (no offense to Britney or Beethoven).

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4.  New Kids on the Block: These guys started the boy band craze. Sure, there were boy bands before NKOTB, but those boy bands didn’t have TV shows, action figures, or a song as righteous as “Hangin’ Tough.” I went to the infamous NKOTBSB concert a few years ago. It was amazing. And sad. Joey McIntyre cried. So did my soul.


3.  Boyz II Men:  These dudes were so cool with their white suits, soulful voices, and matching overalls. Honestly, I feel kind of bad about labeling them as a “boy band,” but if the matching and synchronized tapping shoe fits, you gotta roll with it. However, these boys/men were not your typical boy band. They were edgy. They spelled “boys” with a Z. Ballerz.

2.  *NSYNC:  I’m a big *NSYNC fan. How can you tell? I put the little star in front of the name. I’m that legit. *NSYNC had so many hits. So many epic videos. So many sweet dance moves. Yet, they find themselves in second place. Why? Because *NSYNC was really just JT and JC and three random dudes who kept showing up in the background. That’s not a band. That’s an American treasure, some other guy who is probably wondering what went wrong after 2001, and three random guys.

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1.  The Backsteet Boys:  I loved high school and pretty much everything about the late 1990s and early 2000s. Life was great. TRL was on TV every day, getting on the internet was a really big deal, 9/11 hadn’t happened yet, and gas was ninety cents a gallon. If there is one song that defined my high school experience, the turn of the millennium, and the boy band and cheesy pop music era, it was “I Want it That Way.” Sure, the lyrics don’t make any sense, but it doesn’t even matter when everything else about this song is fantastic. If you don’t sing along when you hear this song, or at least hum a little, you are probably a terrorist or a Nickelback fan.

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Martin Luther King Jr.
Albert Einstein
Jane Addams
Mother Teresea
Teddy Roosevelt
Jackie Robinson
Susan B. Anthony
Thomas Jefferson
Anne Frank
Rosa Parks
Justin Timberlake
Harriet Beecher Stowe
Nelson Mandela
Zack Morris


All of these people have four things in common:

(1) They are heroes of mine.

(2) They were ordinary people.  Not superheroes.

(3) They made mistakesBig ones.

(4) They changed the world.

You can too.

Whatever is stopping you, whether it’s insecurity or wasting too much time on Facebook, don’t let it.  Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Justin Case You Were Wondering…

The news is usually filled with an endless bevy of depressing, frustrating, and tragic stories.

This is not one of them.


For better or for worse, Justin Timberlake is one of the most influential individuals of my generation.  Music, movies, comedy, fashion, general awesomeness, and marrying Jessica Biel.  He’s got it all covered (except for Janet Jackson).  With so many hits over the years, it is finally time to decide, once and for all, JT’s five greatest songs.  Technically, JT’s top five songs according to a 30-year-old guy who should have outgrown this sort of stuff 15 years ago.JT3

Zach Morris aside:  “Suit & Tie” is terrible. (Sorry, Justin.)  The falsetto in that song is the worst thing I’ve heard since my co-worker told me the Potbelly’s across the street from our office closed.  Tragic.


If anyone is actually still reading, here are JT’s top five songs:

(1) Mirrors:  Yes, this is an unorthodox choice.  Yes, it is a brand new song.  Yes, it is JT’s best jam.  (Thanks for agreeing.)  The beat is sick, the singing is slick, and the song actually has a deep message.  However, be warned, it is a terrible karaoke song.  I’ve tried.  It’s too new.  And too slow.  And I’m a terrible singer.


(2) What Goes Around…Comes Around  This was my jam during the summer of 2007.  I used to listen to it every weekday morning as I hung out in Farragut Square and ate granola bars.  One morning, a homeless guy with no legs asked me for some food.  I gave him a granola bar.  During our exchange, he tipped out of his wheelchair.  I tried to help him back up.  He got crazy mad and gave me a stank eye so hot that it made the August D.C. air feel like a crisp Alaskan breeze.  As for the song, it’s amazing, but it’s also seven minutes long.  I take naps shorter than that.

(3) Bye, Bye, Bye:   JT has some songs of better “quality,” but this song (and Britney Spears and eating at IHOP) defined my high school years.  Plus, me and some buds formed a fake boy band, memorized all the lyrics and dance moves to this song, and busted them out whenever it was borderline appropriate.  (I just realized this song is 13 years old.  And now I’m the creepy old guy still writing about it.)

byebyebye(4)  I Want You Back (Warning: if you click that link, you’ll painfully realize that the ’90s were a long time ago):  The kids who were born the day this song was released are now 16 years old.  (sigh)  Back in 1997, me and some BFFs would spend every afternoon playing “Goldeneye” on the N64 (usually rocket launchers in the Complex).  One dude’s little sister would listen to this song 8,000 times in a row.  These heart-wrenching and passionate lyrics (not really) are buried deep within my soul (really).  Oddjob was my character of choice and I’m comfortable to admit that, even if all my friends hated me because of it.  (If you don’t get any of these “Goldeneye” references, congratulations on having a life in 1997.)

(5)  Cry Me a RiverYep, “My Love” (What happened to T.I.?), “Senorita,” “Tearing Up My Heart,” and “Love Stoned” are all quality songs, but “Cry Me a River” is the song that made it cool to listen to Justin Timberlake.  No longer did a hypothetical guy have to turn down the JT on his car radio speakers when he came to a stoplight.  After “Cry Me a River” came out, that hypothetial guy was set free.  Plus, this song killed any chance that Justin and Britney would get back together, thus, leaving the door open for a hypothetical guy to swoop in and make a move…IMG_5282