Prize of Fame

When I asked my roommate if she was interested in attending the Kahlua Boston Music Awards with me, her first question was whether they'd be passing out free Kahlua. Failing that, she wanted to know if there would be anybody famous there? The only well-known musical celebrity slated to make an appearance that I could remember off-hand was Donna Summer. My roommate decided she'd pass.

Ah, yes. The power of celebrity.

Although I myself attended the awards with the ostensible objective of augmenting my knowledge of the Boston music underground, I must confess I was enticed, as any mortal must be, by the idea of swooning at the sight of Boston's hometown celebs. Flipping through the awards booklet, I began to get excited as I glimpsed a teaser promo on the inside cover, showing the smug faces of LFO along with the boast of the "Power of 3Times 5," LFO's label's commendation of the boys' five nominations, including act of

the year. But I, along with the throngs of groupie types congregating outside the Orpheum, eyeing the stretch limos rolling up with nervous expectation, was destined to be disappointed. Alas, the Lyte Funkie Ones were a no-show.

Star-seekers needn't have worried, however. Boston is still the home of the New Kids on the Block, two of whom have made praiseworthy efforts at pulling mildly successful independent careers from the wreckage that was NKOTB. Although the boys are teen idols no more (they are both in their late 20s), fans in the under-13 age bracket continue to adore Jordan Knight (winner of Single of the Year for "Give It to You") and Joey McIntyre (winner of Outstanding Video for "I Love You Came Too Late"). I was entirely flabbergasted to see both of them called to the stage at various points during the evening, as I wasn't aware there'd been anything worth salvaging (or, for that matter, whether they were worth all the fanfare they received in the first place). Their enthusiasm, gratitude and apparently genuine pleasure to be in attendance at the Awards (along with their still cute countenances) were met with a cacophony of young hoots and shrieks. Of course, much of the ruckus was due to carousing anti-establishment types like the group of twenty-something Goths sitting next to me, who amused themselves to no end by chanting "We love you Joey" whenever the Not-So-New Kid got anywhere near the stage. But even their cheers, dripping with sarcasm, were reflective of the consistently ebullient response garnered by a familiar face.