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.

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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.

Poppin the Question - 3

Bye.

Life’s Toughest Decision

This week I’ve written about one of my heroes, what it means to be a man, the purpose of life, and identity issues.  Thus, I thought I’d keep up the trend of serious posts.

It’s time to talk about heaven.

It’s time to talk about Britney Spears.

My ladies:

Life's Toughest Decision

Theologians, scholars, and Presidents have all debated the important topic of which Britney song is best.  Well, President Obama, I have the answers you’ve been looking for.  Here’s the official list of the best Britney songs:

#5:  “Baby One More Time” – You will always remember and cherish your first love.  This song and, more importantly, this video were the greatest inventions of the 20th Century (computers, televisions, and slap bracelets are overrated).  Tragically, this song came out fifteen years ago.  That makes me very sad and a little depressed.  I miss TRL, Ricky Martin, $1/gallon gas, and not being in my 30s.

My classy high school notebook:

Britney1a

#4:  “Piece of Me” – Britney kind of hit rock bottom in the mid-2000s.  That happens when the love of your life marries another woman.  However, she finally moved on from me and now Britney is back on top of the music world.  This song was her comeback anthem.  For that reason, if you are facing an obstacle in your life, you should listen to this song.  A lot.  If you’re not facing an obstacle in your life, you should still listen to this song.  A lot.

#3 – “Selfish” – I’m guessing that only those who are a bit too obsessed with Britney are familiar with this song.  Well, that’s a shame.  IT’S SO GOOD.  However, I love it for another reason too.  Within the confines of our homes, we all do weird stuff that we (hopefully) don’t do in public.  Well, when this song is played in our house, I change the lyrics to “Shellfish” and sing everything from our dog’s perspective.  I have no idea why, but it’s a family tradition.  Sometimes I feel sorry for our kids.

Britney2

#2 – “Toxic” – This was the peak of Britneymania (for me and the rest of the world).  THIS SONG ALSO WON A GRAMMY AWARD!  That proves to me that nothing is impossible.  That prestigious award and the music video for “Toxic” also confirms my long-held belief that Britney Spears is the greatest artist of our generation and probably the greatest in history (Michelangelo and Mozart are a close second and third).

#1 – Nope, it’s not “Dear Diary” or “E-Mail My Heart.”  Those songs are a little too deep for me.  Rather, it’s “Break the Ice.”  Again, this is a random choice.  However, I’m a history nerd and there’s a lot of history between me and this song.

In February 2009, I was still paying a lot of money to go to law school, we didn’t have much cash in savings, and the financial crisis was being mean to the entire world.  Plus, my future job was in limbo. Thus, we had to live frugally.  For Valentine’s Day, instead of jewelry or a spa day, I gave Amanda the (free) gift of dance.

Specifically, I put together an entire choreographed dance routine to this song and busted out a surprise performance on Valentine’s Day.  For two straight weeks, after Amanda went to bed, I’d go into our living room and practice my midnight dance moves.  On February 14, 2009, this once-in-a-lifetime (thankfully) performance went down.  There is a video.  However, it will not be posted here because (1) I can’t find it on our old computer and (2) it’s kinda creepy.  Alas, I’ve listened to “Break the Ice” more than any other song ever written.  Thus, it is Britney’s greatest.

THE performance (and our messy apartment):

britdance

TGIF!  Have a blessed weekend! Thanks for reading.  Yo.

Awkward White Guy Rap (Vol. VIII) – Beastie Boys

There are a lot of reasons I’m really thankful for my job.  I get a regular paycheck that can buy important stuff like Legos and Jordans (and baby stuff too, I guess).  Even better, our office has free animal crackers and monthly fajita buffets.  Most importantly, once a year, rapping is part of my job description.  Other than every day that I’m not at work, it’s my favorite day of the year.

Awkward White Guy Rap (Vol. VIII) - Beastie Boys

Walk This Way

Thrift Shop

Well, in 2013, it happened twice.

At the 2013 “Battle of the Law Firm Bands” event at the Black Cat in D.C., Sutherland Comfort brought down the house with an eclectic set of Alanis, Christina, Bruno Mars, Eminem, Gun ‘n Roses, and Maclemore songs.  We also raised $40,000 for the D.C. homeless community.  Even better, the entire event raised $250,000!  Holler!  Despite the excess amount of sweat I put off during our performance, someone from the D.C. Bar liked everyone else in the band so much that they asked us to perform at a fancy lawyer prom-esque event.

Like me at the aforementioned fajita buffet, we enthusiastically said “YES!  YES!  YES!”  It was a little different from what we’re used to, namely, there were fewer drunk people, less insanity, and more tuxedos.  However, we still gave it our best shot and the band crushed an eight-song set this past Saturday night.  Here’s our lawyerly rendition of “Sabotage” by the Beastie Boys.  Enjoy!

You can find all my other “Awkward White Guy Rap” videos here.  YouTube is full of other Sutherland Comfort videos that are much better, especially ones that don’t involve me.

Awkward White Guy Rap (Vol. V) – Miley Cyrus

If you think I’m loud, obnoxious, and annoying, it’s not my fault.  Blame Lamar.

Awkward White Guy Rap (Vol. 5) - Miley Cyrus

Before I met Lamar at Tallwood High School in 1998 (How was that 15 years ago?!?), I was a quiet dude who just wanted to watch “Beverly Hills 90210” all day (just like all the other fifteen year old guys).  For better or for worse, Lamar encouraged me to get involved at school, to always be a little weird, and to come out of my shell.

Awkward White Guy Raps (Vol. 5) - Miley Cyrus

Thanks, Lamar.

We were out of touch for nearly a decade, but Backstreet’s back and we just made a “rap” video.  There was no planning and no practice, so please don’t hate.

And stop hatin’ on Miley!

Here are all the earlier white boy jams:

Biggie

Dr. Dre and Snoop

Eminem

Taylor Swift

Awkward White Guy Rap (Vol. IV) – Taylor Swift

There are a few things in life that make me really proud:

(1)  I married a pretty cool lady;

(2)  I make awesome chili; and

(3)  I met Britney Spears.

Most importantly, me and some fellas from Capital City Church turned a TAYLOR SWIFT SONG INTO A RAP JAM!

Awkward White Guy Rap (Vol. IV) - Taylor Swift

I hope you like it!  Many thanks to Ron, Phil, and Evan for making my crazy dream come true.  If you think this video will help make someone’s day a little brighter, please share it.  We’re just trying to bring a few extra smiles to this wonderful world.

Enjoy!

Here are the previous editions of “Awkward White Guy Raps”:

Biggie’s “Hypnotize”

Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg’s “Still D.R.E.”

Eminem’s “Lose Yourself”