This Week in the Boy Band Afterlife: a Saga in Three Parts

Heir Jordan

Jordan Knight was one-fifth of the biggest and most craptacular boy band in U.S. history. While his website declares Jordan was the "frequent lead vocalist" of New Kids on the Block (known as NKOTB in their final days, before the group quietly floated into the ether), he was better known for his unofficial victory in the Cutest New Kid sweepstakes. The New Kids on the Block had little to do with altering the sound of pop music, but everything to do with changing the face of it—the rampant merchandising of NKOTB left Jordan and Co.'s visages scattered throughout landfills everywhere in the form of decomposing dolls, lunch boxes, comic strips and stained bed sheets.

Jeff Timmons, a direct-from-central-casting sensitive jock, was the "Other Dude" to Nick Lachey's "Guy Who Married Well" in 98 Degrees. He founded the band and is thus entirely responsible for such man-emotional tunes as "The Hardest Thing" and "I Do." Timmons and his "bros" in 98 Degrees liberated a doctrine of accessible-yet-non-threatening masculinity from the school of NKOTB and assembled an audio-visual starter kit of romantic sustenance for hungry tweens. Poor thing isn't very cute in the face, but he unbuttons his shirt (and arches his back for maximum abdominal bodaciousness) really well. Not bad, considering he's from Ohio.

Lastly, Bryan Abrams sang in not-particularly-successful Color Me Badd. Presumably it was their band uniform of leather jackets that made them "badd." In 1991, they released the track "I Wanna Sex You Up," from which my preteen psycho-sexual palate is still recovering. Abrams now keeps an online diary (the first entry is titled "Diary of a Badd Dad") and has recently recorded a song to benefit Hurricane Katrina victims with his tour compadres and Florida flotsam/teen dreams Nick and Aaron Carter.

Lock up your daughters!

Jordan Knight, Jeff Timmons and Bryan Abrams at  The Coach House, 33157 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, (949) 496-8930. Fri., Dec. 16, 8 p.m. $20.

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