I have discovered on this sojourn with my teenage daughter that my destiny in life is to be the father-in-law of Nick Jonas from the Jonas Brothers. I could do a lot worse.
If you are unfamiliar with the Jonas Brothers, then evidently you don't have a teenager in your life. They are three brothers (duh), Nick, Kevin and Joe, who are pop stars. They toured with Hannah Montana; if you don't know who she is, then you don't have a television in your life. This summer, they're out with Avril Lavigne, an old family favorite of ours.
Nick is the sensitive, curly-mopped one who shares lead vocals with Joe, the funny, straight-haired one. Kevin, apparently, gets the shortest shrift as lead guitarist, sort of the Mike Nesmith of the band. (There is also another younger sibling, named Frankie, the 'bonus Jonas' who presently is seen scootering through his brothers' pictures but might end up like Little Jimmy Osmond or Andy Gibb...well, hopefully not quite like Andy Gibb, who died at thirty from myocarditis after battling drugs.) Their dad is a minister and a musician, and their mom is a chorister, so the lineage is pretty solid. The performing brothers all sport purity/chastity rings, which gives me considerable hope that Nick won't be damaged goods by the time he joins our family.
My daughter and I took a brief visit to her grandmother's place in Winston-Salem, and during the ride, I got schooled on the nuances of said brothers' catalog of songs, along with Miley/Hannah's tunes. I have always tried to listen with an open mind to what my daughter likes. We spent a lot of time Saturday mornings in New Orleans delivering flowers and listening to Britney, Avril and Lindsay Lohan. It wasn't always what I'd have wanted to listen to, I admit, but it did keep me in my kid's musical loop, so to speak. None of it was completely horrible.
I honestly enjoyed the songs I heard by the JoBros (to use the fan vernacular); they are all fairly rockin', with a reasonable amount of pop production tricks. "That's Just the Way We Roll" is giddy fun; "Hello, Beautiful", which Nick sings a lot of, is whispery sensitive, the kind of lyric line that my teenager likes. And sibling harmony, as evidenced by the Louvins, Everlys, Cowsills and the King and Williams families, cannot be beat--like slicing a single voice into several different notes.
I did fail my pop quizzes on which of the bros sang lead on whatever song was playing at the moment, although I bet I'd do much better now, with repeated listenings.
I've applied to be their MySpace 'friend' and although I haven't been approved, my daughter, ever the optimist, says it's only a matter of time. We can only hope.
They'll be touring all summer long (possibly for the rest of their lives, if they play their cards right) so maybe we'll cross paths at a Flying J truckstop late one night while the buses refuel. Perhaps we'll chat about high fuel prices, Les Pauls and the upcoming election. Maybe, in a life-imitates-Hannah Montana turn of events, they'll decide I'm the perfect guy, as they did with Billy Ray Cyrus, to co-write with them on their next album. (I doubt seriously I'd end up in their road band, as it's full of good looking younger guys already. It'd look like the bands I used to see at the Lusher School Crawfish boils in New Orleans, whom I always snarkily referred to as Some Guys with Their Dad.) I'll get our driver to snap a picture with me and Nick to send to my envious daughter, who I'll soothe with the promise of t-shirts and copious swag.
So, when all is said and done, Nick Jonas would be a welcome addition to the family; frankly, I'd be a lot more worried if my daughter was in rapture over any number of other more sordid lesser lights in today's pop world. (I won't name names but I'm sure you know who they are, unless you don't have a teenager or a television at your disposal.)