Where Boy Bands Go When They Die

There’s only one place where you’ll see herds of girls (and the occasional boy) of all ages walking ferociously together as if they were zombies who have found where the living are hiding out and need nourishment pronto– a stadium or arena where a boy band is performing live.

I recently experienced this as I attended the One Direction concert in Cleveland just a few nights ago. Custom-made t-shirts, light-up signs that would blind an ordinary human if looked at too closely, temporary (at least I hope) tattoos that matched the body art of band members to a tee, and vocal warm-ups, because the screaming and singing that happens at these things will shatter ear drums. I’m guilty of only the vocal warm-ups because, well, I’m 25 and needed some shred of dignity to be left knowing that I was among the older demographic at this concert.

The show itself was remarkable; One Direction can certainly put on an entertaining, spunky, comedic, flawless performance. Everyone in the stadium could feel the ominous “elephant in the room” so to speak, however. Just a few days before One Direction came to Cleveland to perform, it was announced that the band would be taking a “one-year hiatus” once their fifth album is released. No tour for it, no promotion, nothing.

Rumors have been swirling ever since.

So, I asked myself a very important question after I finally regained my voice yesterday: Where do boy bands go when they die?

And who’s responsible for the upkeep of Chris Kirkpatrick’s hair?

A convincing face, but sorry Mr. Kirkpatrick, you didn't make the cut. Your look wasn't professional enough.
A convincing face, but sorry Mr. Kirkpatrick, you didn’t make the cut. Your look wasn’t professional enough.

I grew up in THE boy band generation. I’m not ashamed of it and in fact, I am kind of obsessed with it. Other generations may try to be like, “hey- we had The Beatles” or “NKOTB was like, the ultimate boy band.” Oh really? Try having to choose between Backstreet Boys, *NSYNC (wtf was the asterisk ever for?), 98 Degrees (if you were into the less popular, older guy thing), O-TOWN (yeah, don’t think I forgot, Diddy), AND One Direction. Don’t even try to prove me wrong on this one. I’m far too dedicated and have way too much time on my hands.

I imagine where dissolved and lost boy bands go is a curious place; one where velour jumpsuits line a never-ending closet and where waterfalls flow with hair gel. Ex-band members don’t walk places; they moonwalk poorly. Off in a distant meadow, those who still can’t accept their fate try to sing scales and scat, only to fall on deaf ears.

There’s a bell off in the distance that rings the tone of AJ McLean’s voice every time a new heart is broken by the dissolution of a boy band. In that same area is a screen to the real world, the world where some members didn’t die. It’s a sad and pathetic sight to see Howie Dorough and every member of O-TOWN and half of 98 Degrees cry in desperation every time Justin Timberlake wakes even more popular than the day before and where Zayn Malik’s withering stare makes passersby crumble to the ground.

The death of body rolling as we know, AJ.
The death of body rolling as we know, AJ.

In Boy Band Purgatory, failed band members get 50 cents every time a group of people my age play their music on a Throwback Thursday. Kevin Richardson whispers to Ashley Parker Angel in that incredibly deep voice of his, “A.P.A., get a load of this– Nick [Carter] just got selected to be on Dancing With the Stars.” Angel replies, “Damn, Kev. At least your members are still getting a glimpse of the spotlight. Jacob lost his damn mind and starting dreading everyone’s hair over in the meadow.”

Hi, I'm Jacob. Please let me dread your locks.
Hi, I’m Jacob. Please let me dread your locks.

Am I sad that One Direction is supposedly “breaking up?” YOU BET YOUR GODDAMN ASS I AM. Who else is going to tell me what makes me beautiful? I’m holding out hope for them, which yes, I agree is foolish and I need to let it go. But one thing a boy band generation gal like me will tell you, is that we don’t give up. We persevere and pretend as best we can to like some band members when they go solo and then wish the others best as they make their way to Boy Band Purgatory.

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Not ‘Doing’ Social Media the Right Way? ‘Shake it Off’ & Learn from Taylor Swift

What can’t Taylor Swift do? Music aside, she is an incredible role model for children (and adults), she cares about others, she dons Calvin Harris on her right arm, and to top it all off, she KILLS it on social media.

Many businesses, even individuals, go day-to-day not knowing whether they’re ‘doing’ social media right. I would tell you to follow my own personal model of social media-ing because I like to think I do it just as good as Tay, except. She has over 62 million followers and I’m a questionable role model at best.

Here are five ways in which your organization or personal brand can improve on social media, as effortlessly taught by the red-lipped ‘Queen of Pop’ (sorry Britney) herself.

1. Leave no room for ‘Bad Blood’ in your social media interactions.

I guess you wouldn’t call Taylor Swift’s social media followers ‘customers,’ per se, but they definitely are buying into her brand, musically and personally. She responds to tweets at a pretty often rate for someone with over 62 million followers, and she gives those responses what they deserve. As an organization, it’s IMPERATIVE that you respond to current or potential customers in a timely fashion or else people will forget about you and think you don’t care about them. If Taylor can respond to any of her 62 mil, I’m pretty sure you can respond to your 1 mil. I’m talking to you, Pizza Hut. People don’t forget.

2. Everyone has ‘A Place in This World.’ Interact authentically.

As a brand, don’t just favorite a tweet someone mentions you in, unless there’s absolutely no way to respond. If a follower mentions you, it’s because they care enough to earn a response (whether they’re tweet is positive or negative). One of Taylor Swift’s followers reached out to the pop singer to share that her mother had passed away from cancer. Swift, who shared earlier this year that her own mother had been diagnosed with cancer, reached out and made this fan a priority. She even donated $50,000 to a fan who was diagnosed with cancer herself. I’m not saying go tell Taylor Swift you or someone you know has cancer in order to get a response. But when someone reaches out to your brand, make them feel important and that their issues matter.

3. ‘Jump Then Fall.’ Be true to who you are, even if your followers don’t always agree.

Chances are, your followers will respect your brand more if it sticks to what it knows and takes a firm stance. People may unfollow you, but those who stick with you, will respect you even more. Taylor did just this when she publicly announced she didn’t want her music on Spotify or Apple Music (although now that’s changed). She stood up for her peers in the music industry, and got A LOT of flack for it. Girl knows what she wants though, so all the respect to her.

4. ‘You’re Not Sorry’ is never an excuse. Always address and admit your wrongs on social media.

Recently, Taylor Swift got into it with Nicki Minaj on Twitter. While entertaining to the general public, Taylor Swift was quick to apologize and make things right. As a business, people will think you’re just trying to sweep negativity under the rug. We all make mistakes. Address it in one all-encompassing post on every social media channel you have, and move on. If I tell you your pizza was too saucy, PIZZA HUT, I expect a formal, public apology. Free breadsticks next time, ANYTHING.

5. Do it with ‘Style.’

No one knows how to keep it classy like you, Taylor. Donald Trump could learn a thing or hundred from you. As a brand, try not to offend people. I’m not kidding when I say you can look at every tweet on Donald Trump’s profile, then do the exact opposite. Empower everyone (especially the ladies)!