New Kids on the Block beg for your respect.


Dogpiling onto NKOtB is surely the easiest pot shot in blogging, admittedly. When it comes to the New Kids, you can shut your eyes, turn your head, fire wildly and be fairly certain to score a headshot.

But Gimme Noise is never above a good old fashioned target of opportunity. Cull out the sick and the weak and the old, isn't that the predator's biological function? Fortunately, no one can deny that the New Kids fit all three of those descriptors rather aptly. So as they gear up for 34 stop tour that kicks off late this May, they've begun the requisite whirlwind of press appearances, defending their indefensible pasts. Gimme Noise picks the Kids apart for your pleasure on this dreadful Wednesday afternoon.

Speaking to CNN, the kids are quick to address their commercial beginnings. Take this quixotic quote from Donnie Wahlberg: "I think it's easy to criticize things that you maybe don't quite know the story on. But the reality is, we're in the music business. John Mayer might be able to play the guitar better than any of us ... but we all signed record contracts."

How illuminating. Isn't this precisely what everyone new to be true about the kids from the beginning? "You don't understand, man. We signed CONTRACTS."

Another quote here from Wahlberg about why he doesn't begrudge other boy bands for hogging the limelight: "I found no bother in other boy bands taking the spotlight for a number of reasons: A, I was not interested in that spotlight myself. B, it was their time. C, we weren't even in a band anymore. I was doing other things ..."

Wahlberg would have you believe that he got bored with the torch and left it lying around for N'Sync to pick up. Right. As if the torch didn't have to be pried from his rigored hands. And perhaps it's for the best that he didn't enumerate his other pursuits. Posing for billboards for an East Saint Louis Joe's Crab Shack doesn't quite count as a "pursuit."

Sigh. Yes, it's mean spirited. But few bands have left so disappointing a skid mark on the boxer shorts of the music industry. The smear they became against performers, the genesis they gave to a new and terrible era of music being churned out with the effieincy, uniformity and care of a Union Carbide plant... That's pretty mean spirited too. The difference? We aren't the ones getting rich.