When you're tasked with writing about the Jonas Brothers, it can be hard to get enthused. All I could think to myself was, "Couldn't it have been Miley Cyrus instead?" Then I could have written an epic road trip itinerary to take you out of Arizona and into the promised land of states where 16-year-olds are legal.
I ran the idea by my girlfriend. "That's sexist," she helpfully informed me. You know what? She's right. Just look at Nick, the littlest Jonas. That little scamp has got only a month or two on Hannah Montana, and he's adorable. There have to be some girls — or guys — out there who would find that kind of information just as useful. So here it is.
Like I said, the Grand Canyon State is off-limits, and you should also be advised that there are some annoying federal regulations prohibiting you from trying to set the trip up through the U.S. Mail, by phone, or by Internet. And if I recall correctly, you may not be able to engage in interstate travel for the purposes of nailing a minor, no matter how hot, famous, or rich they are. And you should further be advised that all this information is online, and no one really knows yet whether the "Wikipedia defense" will hold up in court, though I can't envision a jury that could convict someone for loving the boy who crooned that "I wound up in detention; I still miss you."
Jonas Brothers are scheduled to perform Tuesday, August 11 in Glendale.
After their upcoming show at Jobing.com Arena, you can follow the tiniest JoBro to Texas, where he's playing in San Antonio. Be careful, though; the age of consent is 17 there, so you'll have to watch from afar. Same for New Orleans, the next stop on the tour. But August 16 — 16! — is your big chance, when the boys visit the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Center. The Alabama Legislature approves of this sort of behavior, and it's decided that if you're old enough to drive, you're old enough to bang.
And the best part of your rendezvous is that if Nick brings along his guitar, the trip won't be half bad, because whatever you may have heard about the Jonas Brothers, their new album isn't too bad at all. To be sure, their first album was a wretched, so-bad-it's-funny collection of bubble-gum pop tunes, unpalatable from the first track: "That's what I go to school for / Even though it is a real bore / You can call me crazy / She is so amazing."
Awful, right? Right. But their latest, Lines, Vines and Trying Times, show that the boys are growing up faster than their target demographic. It's not exactly the difference between Surfin' Safari and Pet Sounds, but maybe between Please Please Me and Help!
Haters can certainly find material to pick on, but after break-ups with Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus, the brothers Jonas have traded in their peppy vocals for a little more soul and their Mickey Mouse chords for crunchier, tougher riffs and a decent collaboration with rapper Common. The best track, "Poison Ivy," ventures enticingly close to glam metal, and in the end, we're left with a handful of other tracks, like "Much Better" and "What Did I Do to Your Heart," that are surprisingly catchy.
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Enjoy it while you can, though, because then the boys are off to Florida, where your love is forbidden.
Don't get discouraged, because next they're in North Carolina, Georgia and Kentucky, all of whom think your love is beautiful. After that, you only have to endure a stop in Nashville before you're back to Ohio, which also extends its blessings to your relationship. Well, unless you're also a man and you want his health benefits or to visit him in the hospital when he's sick. If so, you can take that mess to Massachusetts. From there, the boys are off to Europe, and from what I've heard, anything goes out in those parts.
Actually, most of the country is available for this technically innocent romp. The bad news is that all the friendly states are spread out in just the right way to force you to travel through the Puritan states — thereby running afoul of federal law — to get anywhere interesting. Ironically enough, Arizonans who want to corrupt non-smoking, non-drinking, home-schooled, purity-ring-wearing minors are forced to do so in the Bible Belt.
Maybe you can't stuff Nick Jonas and his adorable Jew-fro in your trunk for a cross-country lovefest, but you can still take his CD, and the feds can't do shit about it.