Hardcore Rebels vs. The Bubblegum Kiddies

July 11, 2009
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Listening to popular music can be a good way to stay in touch with change in our culture. Many popular bands make it to the pop chart. They are heard on the radio, are seen on TV shows and on the internet. There are some major differences about these bands that make them either appealing or trash. Some of these differences include their sound, image, and audience. These differences are prominently seen between two major pop groups: Green Day and the Jonas Brothers.
Sound is one of the most important things for any musical group and for them to survive it has to be appealing to the masses. Green Day’s lyrics focus mostly on alienation, hysteria, girls, the effects of doing drugs, and political issues; the latter is important in their acclaimed album American Idiot. Their sound is generally more pop punk, consisting of distorted guitar, fast manic drums, and relatively high treble bass, all accompanying Billie Joe Armstrong’s abrasive baritone as he belts out his rebel libretto and intense swearing that enlivens his already lively fans. In contrast, the Jonas Brothers’ lyrics relate to no one over 13 and are shallow, unintelligent, and extremely unoriginal, recycling overused themes such as love, losing your girlfriend to someone else, how everybody wants you, and being popular. Many of the Jonas Brothers’ fans must be deaf to the fuzzed up guitars with their simple and uninspired chords, and the rather weak vocals singing cotton-candy choruses in three part harmonies. According to a reviewer, the Jonas Brothers’ music is “typical sugar-coated crap that is launched at the hormonic girly population.”
In appearance, Green Day and the Jonas Brothers’ have only one thing in common: sloppy private school uniforms. Green Day, though, again utilizes more punk garb: spiky hair and mohawks, black eyeliner, leather, piercings, and tattoos. Their stage appearance, too, employs punk themes; on a live video of one of their most famous singles-“Boulevard of Broken Dreams”-their stage is lit with bright green dry ice and at the ending climax, flames shoot up from the stage. In an interview, the frontman, Billie Joe, explained that they are “three guys that like to play pop-punk music and get naked on stage. What’s not to like?” For JB fans, the rebel look obviously isn’t appealing; each of the three bros are clean-cut Disney stars that wouldn’t utter a swear word if their life depended on it. The corny clapping of hands and waving of arms accompanies their rather bad attempts at mock-playing their instruments, techno lights erratically flashing to the insistent beat, blinding the frenzied devotees as they scream “I love you” to their favored Jonas Brother.
How a band is born depends on its audience and to continue existing it must constantly feed its audience with just what they want. Green Day is a symbol of rebellion from the social structure, drawing the attention of hardcore punk fans, some Goth and emo, and many various ethnicities. The age group is diverse, as well. Any longtime pop punk connoisseur will swear upon their copy of Green Day’s newest album 21st Century Breakdown that Green Day belongs among the punk rock gods. On the other hand, the Jonas Brother’s have scaled Candy Mountain not just by their rather adorable faces and physic; they also have appealed to the overwhelming Christian sect, wearing purity rings to show they will abstain from physical pleasure until after marriage. Although not an altogether disagreeable tactic, the JB have become a symbol of purity and morality. Many hope that through their example, their children will follow their lead and make good choices. Again, the JB have made a fairly admirable maneuver in gaining the confidence of many parents whose young teenyboppers have been sucked into the gravitational pull of the Jonas Brother’s whirlwind.
Though different, these groups have a share in popularity, reaching out to hundreds. They introduce new ideas, draw attention to important issues, and change our culture with their inspirational compositions. Since 1987, Green Day has rocked the pop charts with their alluring unruliness. For four years, the Jonas Brothers have ruled the kiddie-rock stage with their recycled bubblegum. The question is: how much longer will either remain alive? Having experienced the sound and image of both Green Day and the Jonas Brothers, I have to say that my vote is for Green Day to “rock on” long after the Jonas Brothers have passed into obscurity like their predecessors: N’sync and the Backstreet Boys. The messages that Green Day imparts and their driving rock sound that sends the messages out, appeals to a larger range of ages and types of people, and will help with their longevity in the pop rock market. Although I have chosen one particular style of popular music that I prefer, I know that it is important to listen to many different groups that are on the market today to keep in touch with our ever changing culture.

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This article has 17 comments. Post your own now!

LuvJesus said...
Jan. 30, 2013 at 9:24 am
OK, this is good writing but what's up with the part about the Jonas Brothers "appealing to the overwhelming Christian sect"? I am not going to go into the argument about calling us a sect, or overwhelming, because that would take an entire essay. But I am going to remark that you make it sound like this is something wrong or stupid to do. If the Jonas Brothers want to have clean, appropriate lyrics, then let them! You make it sound like it is a problem to be a clean musical group. But your wr... (more »)
Snake_Tounge said...
Jul. 30, 2011 at 2:38 pm
Are you a journalist?? Cause if you are not, you should deffo become one :) Great article, loved it, and totally agree :)
browneyedcat said...
Apr. 22, 2011 at 12:56 pm
go green day!!! and happy earth day! :D
AnarchyIsMyFriend said...
Mar. 9, 2011 at 6:47 pm
Success said...
Jan. 24, 2011 at 3:45 pm
Isn't this totally biased.  I know it is an opinion, but REALLY?
moon_light_writer said...
Nov. 28, 2010 at 1:23 pm
Green Day is the best band ever! I totally get what you are saying in this article. The Jobros have no edge. Mainly, because they can't with disney channel on there hand. Green day is a legend. Good Job on yhe article! =)
moon_light_writer replied...
Nov. 28, 2010 at 1:24 pm
sorry I mean't 'the' not 'yhe'.
Dylan H. said...
Sept. 14, 2010 at 7:21 am

haha yea im still stuck in the 80's with Van Halen and ACDC


songofheaven said...
Apr. 19, 2010 at 11:26 pm
I totally get this. It seems like the farther you go back, the better the music gets. Personally, I don't know where we're going. Since 1900 it's been a steady stream of changing music preferences. From Jazz and Blues, to Bluegrass, to Swing, to Rock 'N Roll, to Pop Rock and Peacenik, to Hard Rock/Heavy Metal, to 80's pop and rock, and then to alternative and rap. Now our generation is stuck with teenybopper performers like Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, and other Disney Stars. Sick. So the qu... (more »)
garciachicka said...
Jan. 17, 2010 at 4:22 pm
this article is very well written. i like both green day and the jonas brothers(dont be so shocked,it is possible) i dont exactly get the point of it though. what is the point that you are trying to get through? that you like green day more? okay but i dont think that the jonas brothers lyrics just relate to just 13 and younger. try listening to a little bit longer or take a breath or even dont speak.theres more but i cant think of it now. this is a good article though,it really showcases a dif... (more »)
reginalove said...
Nov. 6, 2009 at 6:00 pm
Why does everyone try to down-size the Jonas Brothers? Ok so what they are on Disney and appeal to a younger fan base. So what? Why hate on them and compare them to Green Day? They are two different bands. Have you actually listened to the Jonas Brother's music? You'd be surprised at how one line in one of their songs actually has a deeper meaning. And about their songs only being relatable to 13 and under, thats not true. plenty of fans are older. Just because they're not all dep... (more »)
Erika453 replied...
Nov. 6, 2009 at 6:21 pm
first off, i love the jonas brothers! they are not just some cookie-cutter pop band. they're aren't even like the backstreet boys and others. their music isn't even the same! stop being a hater! green day is just a washed up band of old guys from the 90's that won't give up. who even cares about them anymore?
FluteChick replied...
Nov. 8, 2009 at 8:07 pm
First off, I respect all of your opinions. I compared the Jonas Brothers to Green Day because they were a band I preferred to the Jonas Brothers whose music I personally HAVE listened to since I actually had to write a paper on them (it wouldn't make sense to write something on someone I have never listened to; I am not stupid). I find it a bit unfair that you've accused me of not listening to them. It's fine with me if you listen to them. I was just required to write a comparison... (more »)
reginalove replied...
Nov. 10, 2009 at 9:35 pm
Okay, I respect your opinion totally. I just felt like you were putting down the Jonas Brothers and making them seem like some terrible band. I'm a Jonas fan and of course I'm going to defend them. Okay you've listened to them...if it's not your taste so be it,I wasn't calling you stupid...still this article seemed to be attacking them just because they're popular. Fine you don't
want to be popular, that wasn't my point. It seemed like you were hat... (more »)
reginalove replied...
Nov. 10, 2009 at 10:24 pm
Oh yeah, and I didn't accuse you of not listening to their music. I just asked...and what songs did you listen to? I hope you listened to them all because a lot of songs that aren't singles are better, especially their new ones.I'llstick with my "Bubble Gum Kiddies" and you'll stick with those "washed up old guys"which is fine. I actually like Green Day...but I like Jonas Brothers more.
tkten said...
Oct. 27, 2009 at 2:37 pm
This is well written and I agree on the Jonas Brothers part but Green Day is losing its touch. They're no longer the band they were in the early 90s. All their new stuff sounds practically the same to American Idiot.
Wolf said...
Sept. 25, 2009 at 7:23 pm
This is very well wrote, good job in it. I wouldn't exactly call Green Day punk anymore. Dookie and all before it were punk, but everything after is pop rock or alternative. just saying
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