It’s hard to remember it now, but there was a time when Donnie, Danny, Jordan, Jonathan, Joey, A.J., Brian, Nick and Howie ruled the world. In their prime (roughly 1984-2000), the members of the Backstreet Boys and New Kids on the Block ruled the teen pop world. That explains why the news about their blockbuster joint tour has set hearts aflutter across the popscape. And though some of their vocals were rough trade at points during Sunday night’s (November 21) American Music Awards TV debut, the energy, dance moves and magnetic pull of the respective bands’ greatest hits were undeniable.
But that’s not what excited me.
See, I’m a word guy, and nothing delights me more than clever wordplay (which might explain why we speak almost exclusively in “Runny Babbit” language in our house) and I suspect that the clever accountant who realized that these two group’s names combined made one amazing poster is sitting pretty at his vacation home in Aruba right now counting his millions.
There is nothing more elegant, clever and pleasing to the eye than the combination. In fact, it got me thinking about other acts whose combined names make for great eye and ear candy, even if their music doesn’t mesh as well as “I Want It … Step By Step.”
Girl Talk Talk
Yes, on the surface there’s little to suggest that contemporary mash-up king Gregg Gillis of Girl Talk has anything in common with ’80s English new wave act best known for such hits as “It’s My Life” and “Talk Talk.” But in addition to making for one awesome name, if you look at the kinds of songs Gillis samples in songs on albums like his new one, All Day, just behind classic hip-hop he clearly loves new wave and alt rock bands like General Public, Spacehog, Talking Heads, Bananarama, Depeche Mode and Madness.
The Arcade Firehose
One is a contemporary Canadian band with eight members known for lush concept albums about fear and loathing in the suburbs, the other was a short-lived power trio formed by former Minutemen rhythm section bassist Mike Watt and drummer George Hurley. Together they would be … a free-jazz-punk-funk-folk mess. But a way interesting one.
This is the least far-fetched of the bunch. British synth-pop group O.M.D. (Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark) recently got back together and released their first new album in more than 15 years, while Atlanta’s R.E.M. (formed just two years later in 1980) are still chugging along with three original members. Both favor dark pop songs about complicated love, and O.M.D. even had a song called “Georgia” on their best album (that would be 1981’s Architecture & Morality).
OK, this one would never happen. But man, wouldn’t that logo be killer?
What two bands would you like to see tour together? Put your bid in below in comments!