They're baaaaaaack. New Kids on the Block have a new album (The Block), a new hit single ("Single," featuring Ne-Yo) and a reunion tour that croons its way to Toyota Center Thursday. They have a new look, too: late-thirties. Three of the five Kids — Jonathan Knight, Danny Wood and Donnie Wahlberg — are a year away from being the New Kids Over the Hill; the other two, Joey McIntyre and Jordan Knight, aren't far behind.
So, what odd jobs have NKOTB attempted since disbanding in 1994? Where do you go when adolescent girls decide you've no longer got "The Right Stuff"? The answers, in descending order of desirability:
1. Jonathan Knight has fared well as a real-estate developer in Essex, Massachusetts. The Southern Essex District Registry of Deeds lists multiple sales in excess of $1 million in which Knight acted as grantor. In other words, Knight doesn't have to sell bubblegum pop in order to make a mint.
New Kids on the Block
With Natasha Bedingfield, 7 p.m. Thursday, October 16, at Toyota Center, 1510 Polk, 713-758-7200.
2. Like his brother Mark, Donnie Wahlberg has channeled his talents toward acting. Among his film credits are Ransom, The Sixth Sense and Saw II, III and IV. This experience puts Wahlberg in elbow-brushing proximity to Mel Gibson, Bruce Willis and a lot of screaming teenagers — a natural transition from the NKOTB days.
3. In 1999, younger Knight brother Jordan embarked on a solo career, with moderate success. His eponymous debut album garnered decent reviews, strong sales and an MTV Video Music Award nomination. His follow-up albums failed to do as well, however, including the nostalgic, completely unironic Jordan Knight Performs New Kids on the Block: The Remix Album.
4. Joey McIntyre has cultivated his theatrical side, playing a witch's love interest in Broadway's Wicked in 2004. One year later, he was the fourth contestant eliminated on Dancing with the Stars. The former boy band dancer was out-hoofed by actor John O'Hurley and model Kelly Monaco, with whom McIntyre was not "Hangin' Tough."
5. Danny Wood appeared on the MTV UK series Totally Boyband. The show attempted to create a new band, called Upper Street, out of has-been former boy-band members. Wood was the biggest celebrity in the lineup. Not surprisingly, Upper Street's first and only single, appropriately titled "The One," tanked dismally in England and never charted in the States.
They've still got big balls: Tickets forAC/DC's December 14 show at Toyota Center, the Aussies' first U.S. tour in eight years, sold out within 30 minutes October 4.•Scarface paid tribute to one of his few lyrical peers, Bay Area wordsmith Too Short, on last week's VH-1 Hip-Hop Honors 2008. •Further belying his "retirement" — he's said repeatedly next month's LP Emeritus will be his last — Face is also rumored to be working on an album with Bun B. •Beyoncé is back with a double-shot of singles from her forthcoming album, I Am. "If I Were a Boy" is being worked to Top 40 radio, "Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)" to urban. •Several artists from around the U.S. will spend the next few months crafting installations inspired by Houston blues great Lightnin' Hopkins under the aegis of Houston's Project Row Houses.
3710 Main, 713-533-9525
1. Rodney Crowell, Sex & Gasoline
2. Grupo Fantasma, Sonidos Gold
3. Okkervil River, The Stand Ins
4. Ra Ra Riot, The Rhumb Line
5. Glen Campbell, Meet Glen Campbell
6. Various Artists, Como Now
(Dap-Tones Records compilation)
7. Various Artists, The In-Kraut Vol.1
8. Radiohead, OK Computer (LP)
9. Bachata Roja, Bachata Roja
10. Masters of Soul, Right On
Mutant Hardcore Flower Hour
KTRU (91.7 FM), 10 p.m.-1 a.m. Thursdays
DJ Rosa Guerrero picks ten choice cuts
1. Matthew Sweet, "Girlfriend (alternate take)"
2. Verbal Abuse, "Disintegration"
3. Dave Edmunds, "You'll Never Get Me Up
In One of Those"
4. The Patterns, "In My Own Time"
5. Rusted Shut, "Woman"
6. Pussy Galore, "Tumbling Dice"
7. Rolling Stones, "Tumbling Dice"
8. Secret Prostitutes,
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"Punk Adalah Ginjalku"
9. El Desmadre, "Society's Dead"
10. MC5, "Black to Comm"
(lists compiled by Chris Gray)