Everybody Wants A Piece Of The Jonas Brothers’ Action

Jul 23rd, 2008 // 29 Comments

21897122.jpgThe Jonas Brothers! They’re everywhere, and they’re going to be in even more places very soon, what with their recent booking on the MTV Video Music Awards and their Tiger Beat-ready mugs gracing the cover of the new Rolling Stone. (Nice that the editors gave a tip of the hat to last year’s Efron shirt-tug in the cover photo.) Now, obviously we’ve been covering the boys’ ascent since they first got sucked into Disney’s pop machine. So why is there something about all this JB love that seems a little, well, weird, even though it’s synced to the Aug. 12 release of their next album, A Little Bit Longer?

Maybe it’s because I’ve been watching how the Jonases’ ascent has been meticulously plotted by Disney over the past year, and how–despite being successful, and having a bunch of songs that I enjoy–one could argue that they’ve sort of fallen short in a relative sense. Having their Disney vehicle Camp Rock and its attendant soundtrack debut during the great Coldplay/Lil Wayne sales race probably didn’t help my perception of their potential for mass teen appeal; through last week, it had sold a good-for-2008 562,000 copies. And even though the teenpop crowd is supposed to be more immune from illegal downloading thanks to technological innovations like filtering software, sales of the JoBros’ forthcoming album’s lead single “Burning Up” softened in their third week, taking a 12% hit and just brushing the 400,000-sold mark. Meanwhile, their tour grosses this year have been decent, and their big headlining tour this summer is bringing out the StubHub profiteers once again, although the highest prices haven’t reached Miley levels yet.

(Speaking of Miley, one would think that if RS were really going for the teen-girl-squad demographic, they’d have put her on the cover long ago. Perhaps Jann still has lingering Billy Ray issues from the early ’90s, which, frankly, I couldn’t possibly blame him for.)

Perhaps what’s odd about the rush to embrace the Jonas Brothers–particularly on the part of the staid Stone–is that it seems like yet another naked attempt to champion The Way Things Were, i.e. when teenage girls all swooned for the same dreamy boys in unison, and the monoculture kept entities like RS and MTV in close proximity to the forefront of popular consensus. Even though the numbers haven’t really borne out that sort of mass appeal yet. Perhaps ticket sales for the tour and the scans for A Little Bit Longer will completely prove me wrong, and I’ll have egg on my face. That’s fine! I just get wary when the mainstream media seems sort of, well, desperate to get eyeballs at any cost.

Anyway, I’m sure this post will be swarmed by Jonas Brothers fans telling me that I’m wrong, that I’m a “hater,” etc. So let’s just post another picture!

AP080611051667.jpg

Aww.

The Jonas Brothers to perform at this year’s VMAs [AP]
The Jonas Brothers: Go Behind The Cover Story [RS]
[Photo: AP]

  1. Ned Raggett

    Nah, this is the only Jonas Bros. picture that matters — from your own archives!:

  2. NeverEnough

    Am I the only one who has never heard any of their songs?

    One of them is cute in a pedophile kinda way. The other two seem a bit… slow.

  3. Thierry

    Every time I see a picture of these guys, I wonder whether it’s a wax likeness or the real thing – like they keep getting photographed with the special Kim Cattrall/Barbara Walters camera.

  4. the rich girls are weeping

    There’s nothing that makes me feel more like an old lady than the fact that the very existence of the Jonas Brothers squicks me out beyond belief. I literally have to look away when I see pictures; scrolling through this post to leave a comment was a tiny nightmare.

  5. Anonymous

    I think we all need to remember that the Jonas Brothers serve, first and foremost, as a vehicle for Nick Jonas. This band are his training wheels for superstardom, enabling the spotlight to shine on him without all the pressure that comes with being the next big thing. Nick was the first brother in showbiz, iirc, even though he was the youngest. He’s the cute one, the one with the coolest outfits, the one the girls yell for, the one with the curly hair. I gotta believe his manager/parents are aware that he is the gravy train and his brothers are there to get whatever they can get before being dropped like a fat member in NSYNC.

    That’s my theory anyway.

  6. GhostOfDuane

    @drinkypuss: Close, but Joe’s the gravy train, hence the straightened hair.

  7. GhostOfDuane

    …and central placement on RS cover.

  8. Anonymous

    @GhostOfDuane: It is subtle, the shielding of Nick. Both of your points are entirely valid. Talk to the youths, though, and you’ll quickly find a consensus: There is Nick, and there are the other ones.

  9. Chris Molanphy

    @drinkypuss: Agreed with GhostOfDuane, it’s all about Joe – hence the solo Joe single from Camp Rock, which made the Top 40 on iTunes sales alone.

  10. phaballa

    @drinkypuss: Not to mention, they have the same manager as NSYNC (Johnny Wright), so you can bet that he’s looking forward into the future to creating the next Justin.

    As for the rest, the only song I like from them is Year 3000, about their neighbor building a time machine that goes into the future. And then I discovered that it’s actually a cover of a song from the UK group Busted, and the Busted version is funnier and better. Jonas Bros also cover Busted’s song ‘That’s What I Go to School For’, changing it from a song about being hot for a 30-something cat lady teacher who enjoys spanking boys with rulers to a song about having a crush on some random girl.

    LAMECAKES.

  11. GhostOfDuane

    @drinkypuss: As someone way too in touch with the attitudes of the Jonas fan base (is that Chris Hansen I see standing on my lawn?), it really is Joe’s world; the rest of us are just livin’ in it.

  12. GhostOfDuane

    Also, this argument hurts my soul!

  13. Nunya B

    @GhostOfDuane: It is not about Joe (even though he is the cutest one. Call me, dear!). Nick is the “songwriter”, the one who sings and plays, and Joe just gets a tambourine to play with on stage. The fans in my corner of the Internet vehemently and overwhelmingly prefer Nick as he’s the one who is supposed to be the most talented and intelligent of the three.

    POOR KEVIN he gets no love. That’s because he has ugly sideburns.

  14. NeverEnough

    @GhostOfDuane:
    I was about to post a picture of Chris Hansen offering you a seat when I noticed that I now have a star! Thank you, Powers That Be!

  15. NeverEnough

    @Nunya B: As creepy as it is for a 34 year old woman to say it, Joe is hot in a might-be-worth-the-jailtime kinda way. (Are you reading this, Joe? I have my own car and will buy you beer.)

  16. Nunya B

    @NeverEnough: Joe’s legal! We’re not disgusting. At least not in the eyes of the law.

    Chris Hansen is creepin’ on anyone who wants to sex Nick, though, as he’s FIFTEEN.

  17. Anonymous

    @GhostOfDuane: Look, i hear you. There is absolutely no one in my circle of friends who i can even approach this debate with, save my sister and a friend who works for Island/Def Jam.

  18. Nicolars

    @NeverEnough: I can’t believe I’m even discussing anything JoBro related but you’re right, Joe is the only attractive one. Nick looks like a potato farmer.

  19. NeverEnough

    @Nicolars: Totally agreed. He looks like, um, he could be a member of Syndrome of the Downs.

  20. Ned Raggett

    @NeverEnough: You are now worse than Michael Savage.

  21. NeverEnough

    @Ned Raggett: My job here is done.

  22. ObtuseIntolerant

    @drinkypuss: Disagree.

    Nick is The One and only if you are 15 or younger, with a few older stragglers. Joe is The One if you are 16 to 90.

    My 60-some mother can’t stand Nick, she finds him “unctuous”, and she thinks Joe is the only one the public will keep wanting.

    I have no idea. But I am 28 and Joe is my favorite.

  23. ObtuseIntolerant

    @NeverEnough: @Nunya B: There is nothing wrong with this love, but please…tone it down when you are speaking of my (almost 19 year old!) Pentecostal imaginary boyfriend. (see icon) I am a secular humanist but we’re working it out. 0_o

    Oh, and plus…Nick IS the most musical. Joe is the sweetest and smartest/most offbeat. Trust.

  24. ObtuseIntolerant

    Oh, and btw, Maura – totally agree on the post here, in general. Nicely done!

    Still, JB4EVA and whatnot.

  25. scarletvirtue

    @Nunya B: That’ll do it.

    The only person in rock (well, more like “pop-rock”) that should be allowed to have sideburns, and look good with them would be Patrick Stump.

    Now, I’m going to hide before I get rotten tomatoes thrown at me…

  26. Maura Johnston

    @scarletvirtue (Sadie, Sadie Married Lady): no, no. you’re in a safe space on that point.

  27. scarletvirtue

    @Maura Johnston: Oh good. :-)

  28. cheesebubble

    How timely. A few minutes ago, I just about tossed my cookies when an Oprah advert came on. Guess who tomorrow’s guests are — in addition to that midget family from Little People, Big World.

    @NeverEnough: Haven’t heard them either and I’m quite happy to keep it that way. Life is too short to listen to shitty music.

  29. Anonymous

    Is it wrong that I’ve never come across any of their music before, or is it just some strange vehicle for Disney to scrounge about for some money?

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