Column: The Jonas Brothers Are Good For Music
Recently, I found myself sat in front of a Freeview box with friends and alcohol, begrudgingly watching the worst music channels on TV (You know the ones; channels with titles like Mega Tunes TV or Hit Land). All delightfully cheesy and vaguely tolerable, until, a few beers in, the corner of the screen lit up with the world’s most irritating words, “Up next, The Jonas Brothers”.
The groan in the room was universal and I myself bashed away at the remote, heroically changing to some repeat on Dave. In the aftermath of this near disaster came the rumblings of overly manly assertion that, “This Disney shit is ruining music”. As much as this puts me in a minority, I disagree. In fact, The Jonas Brothers can only be a good thing.
First things first, let me assure you, I haven’t gone entirely mad. I despise every squeaky clean, zero riffed, soul-destroying, opal ring wearing note of any brand of ‘rock’ that is produced within a ten metre radius of the band or any of their products. The same applies with Hannah Montana, Justin Beiber and the entire cast of High School Musical. Just as well really, as none of the above are really musicians so much as they are marketing tools. But the effect that their brand of corporate approved noise has is, unquestionably, worth the pain.
When The Jonas Brothers were splashed on some corporate flipchart many moons ago, we know that they were accompanied by the words ‘Aim at children.’ This is the first reason they have some worth for music. They help kids discover music earlier, which is certainly important. There was nothing more embarrassing than going to college and talking to people who’d never even heard the name Johnny Cash. Remember back to when you were a little brat. What attracted you most, David Bowie and Led Zeppelin or Cow and Chicken and Pokémon? Without The Jonas Brothers’ pre-merchandised CD’s, complete with clothing, TV shows and dolls, music would never stand a chance of attracting the younglings. Certainly not when the genuinely fantastic Peppa Pig is there to catch their eyes.
Being hooked on The Jonas Brothers so early also gets the irritating ‘phase’ stage out of the way. The phase stage is annoying, and so are kids. They may as well overlap. We all had a phase stage, where we listened to something God-awful for months, before moving on and regretting the whole experience. Most people our age had emo or nu-metal. Mine was the constant playing of a Readers Digest disco classics record and yet now, my band of choice would likely have two guitarists, heaps of spandex and crazy hair. Everybody evens out from the phase, but the sooner it starts the sooner it ends.
Whilst Disney still exists in its current form, the likes of these twerps will continue to exist, but it’ll be interesting to see who their fans like ten years from now; and if nothing else, they make everything else sound an awful lot better.
Thomas Geddes, Music Columnist