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the trend is dead

So am I the only one asking the question "What ever happened to the Backstreet Boys?" I always knew they were destined for a Where Are They Now episode, but I didn't think it would be so soon.

Thankfully, the whole boy band plague seems to have come to its end, with just a few scratchy pock marks like Justin Timberlake hanging around as a reminder.

I wonder what the next phase or vanilla-flavored trend coated with sprinkles will be. Not just in music, but in pop-culture in general. If I could just learn to predict trends, or at least the coolness factor in fledgling products/ideas/music/shows, I would, of course, be rich.

Back many years ago - and yes I do go back so far as to remember a world without Shredder - I read in a magazine about a new show coming to the tube called Teenage Mutant Ninja Turltes. I scoffed at the name. I laughed at the idea. What kind of hip, with-it kid would admit to liking such an ill-conceived thing.

Did I mention that just last week I bought myself a Ninja Turtles Katana? Who knew that the Turtles would still be rockin' the sewer more than a decade later? Come on, there's no way you predicted their success, either.

When I try to predict future trends, I only come up with the thought that it's all been done before. Every cartoon and comic has been drawn already. There's not much difference between Yu Gi Oh! and Pokemon.

Every song has been written. The new punk bands are the old punk bands with less flare. Every Good Charlotte song has a Ramones song underneath it.

Every recreational fad is just the idea of the skateboard built a different way. How many ways can one fly off the ground using a wheel-driven object that will eventually obey gravity and leave you with life-long scars?

Allthe clothing trends are just rehashed fabrics from the 60's and 70's slapped with a "retro" tag. Retro is another way of saying "we're all out of ideas."

Is the trend dead? Just look at Christmas 2002, which went down in history as the year without a "must have" toy. No Tickle-Me Elmo or robotic pet or Playstation 2 for parents to fight over in the aisles of Toys-r-Us.

All the action movies and kung-fu movies and films with fake British accents have been done. If they make another white-guy/black-guy buddy movie, nobody will notice. They will think it's the same Martin Lawrence movie they saw the last time. Every disaster has been re-created for the big screen. There's nothing left.

Of course, the entertainment industry will prove me wrong. Months from now there will be a new fad, a new product to buy that will spawn twenty like products within a weeks time. There will be a new band with a new sound and fifty other bands will rush to the stuido to recreate the sound. All the kids will be wearing the same t-shirts or hats or shoes that they will discard for next year's cool shirts and hats and shoes.

I wouldn't mind the trends so much if I was just prescient enough to cash in on them. But as long as I didn't think of them I still reserve the right to label all future trends, fads, phases and genres as crap.

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Comments

First of all - T-U-R-T-L-E Power. Who knew Partners in Kryme could lay such funky beats? Where'd they go?

The trend is repetition. History is in a constant state of repetition. The New Kids begot the Backstreet Boys/N'Sync who will in turn spawn other crappy boy bands in a few years. I think it's kind of funny that some of the New Kids are back and have hit records. Nevermind that Donny has a tv show (Boomtown) and was in several movies as a bit player (like the Sixth Sense)

I wish I had the ability to guess the future, as it would help my financial situation greatly. I guess I have to wait for a SaveKaren site to become trendy again and move quickly.

What comes after THE CORE? How about the orbit of the moon starts degrading? Whaddya wanna bet?

As far as the music goes, I like the quote by Moby: "We will all look back in shame at a time when 12 year old girls determined what was music."

(psst...michele...I'll let you in on The Next Big Thing...it's a rock, ya see, and people will pay $$$ for them to have as "pets!" what a laff!)

Trends are dead? Trends are...? HEY! THIS COULD BE A TREND!

With sincerest apologies to Berke Breathed.

I wish the girl band trend would kick in again. They were always fun to watch with the sound turned off.

Menudo

great post, and really...how many times a year do you get a chance to use that cool word 'prescient'?

there's no time like the prescient.

Sometimes you get lucky and other times you are surprised. I got lucky when I bought TMNT #1 comic books but Pokeman caught me totally by surprise. Luckily I have a young daughter who clued me into it. I even managed to make some money on the stock before it tanked.
I guess that was lucky too.

Dave -- love the Bloom County reference.

As far as trends go, it's all about the reality programming. We've been in the midst of this trend for quite a long time, and it's even extended to pop music. S Club 7, Eden's Crush -- pop bands manufactured when MTV and the major networks decided to "Make the Band"? On top of that, there's reality programming on TV to the point where we know more about which contestants remain on American Idol than what's going on in Iraq.

In terms of what's coming in music, there's a ton of garage rock bands from Australia and Europe. The Datsuns, The Raveonettes, etc. Lo-fi is back.

Insider Tip #1
Gumby WILL make a comeback

In the interim invest heavily in
The Radioactive Adolescent Hamsters

The only trend I can see at the moment and slight future is that of comic books becoming movies... with X-men and Spiderman having done so well almost every comic property was snatched up by a development agency to have a script treatment done. This summer is simply the beginning with X-men 2, The Hulk, and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen coming out. In the next few years movies in the works are Amazing Spiderman, Blade 3, Punisher, Hellboy, Catwoman, the ever rumored Superman and Batman 5, Ghost Rider, Fantastic Four, and scores of indy titles that don't get much recognition but would translate well to screen.
And of course there is the trend for 80's nostalgia, proving once again that everything old is new again.

just a few words...

one: musicwise, there has been a not-so-trendy genre of music and clothing related to the rave scene that has been going on for the last 15odd years. i'm not talking about all this madonna remix shit, i'm talking about anabolic frolic, dj db, aphrodite, ayla, ak 1200, and a number of others who are very good and very talented. they have been creating a whole new, constantly evolving genre of music. hell, even glenn reynolds of instapundit fame likes it and produces it.

second: why you dissin my yu gi oh? its one of the few shows thats truely anime based in pop culture right now. granted, the marketing around it sucks, but then that tends to be true for a lot of good shows.

what, boy bands are dead? but i just wrote lance and justin all over my shoes! and my peachy folder.

wait a minute. do kids still use peachy folders?

dave, i was so gonna nail you for that bloom county theft. but then i thought, who better to steal from than berke.

right on brotha.

It should be realized that "serious" musicians thought the same about the Beatles (at the time) as we think about the BSB today...

One of my erstwhile friends, a jazz great who shall remain nameless, called the Beatles "the death of music". He said that just when music was starting to get really interesting, the Beatles came along and filled everybody's mind with crap.

I haven't seen him recently enough to ask him what he thinks of Eminem or 'NSync.

Popular music by definition sucks, for every generation.

It's all music created by managers and marketing -- all amps and attitude.

As (another) musician friend put it, when hearing Duran Duran for the first time: "It sounds really fantastic -- but when you listen closely, NOT MUCH IS ACTUALLY HAPPENING."

'Twas ever thus. Beethoven probably thought the same about Liszt.

I had a Backstreet Boy sighting on TV the other night. One of them, Brian, was singing "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" for an Atlanta Braves promotion. Good or bad - your pick.

I don't know Beethoven's opinion of Liszt but, this is Tchaikovsky on Brahms:

"I played over the music of that scoundrel Brahms. What a giftless bastard! It annoys me that this self-inflated mediocrity is hailed as a genius."

So soon? Surely you must be joking. They were hanging around forEVER...I thought they would never leave. I am so glad they are "bye, bye, bye..."

For a possible future clothing trend, check out www.luminex.it

Thank the lord boy bands are one the way out, it was hogging air time on the radio, and Kim, don't you dare 'dis the Beatles they're the foundation of rock 'n roll, pop, and in a way country. Anyway, I'm suprised Justin Timberlake hasn't tried to hang himself yet or something, he's had 1 hit solo, I think it's a fluke.

Ha! I said the same thing about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! Good thing I stay out of the stock market.

You should check out the original TMNT comics, they're very good. (There are some hardbound collections around.) Not the version based on the TV show, though.

Having just watched the "E! True Hollywood Story" about it, I think it's time for the Gong Show to return.

Nah, they'll be around forever and ever and ever and ever...

They'll probably go solo for about 400 years. Like the Beatles, only without all that pesky "talent".