November 9, 2012

The "Biggest Fan"(tasy)

If you spend enough time around music fans—or more specifically, music fans meeting their idols—you get used to hearing certain comments. Some are flattering, some mean well but come out wrong, and some are so mortifying you have to wonder what made the person actually say it out loud.

“The show was great!”

“I love you!”

“I’ve had the biggest crush on you since I was 12!”

“I can’t believe people used to think you were the ugly one!”

And then there’s the old fallback:

“OMG, I’m your biggest fan!”

The funny thing is I’ve probably witnessed at least a dozen people claim to be the biggest fan, and it’s not a title than can be worn by 12 people at once. Honestly, I don’t think it’s a title anyone can ever hold. Maybe it’s silly, but I feel a little insulted every time I hear it.

It’s like trying to say you’re the biggest fan of chocolate. Based on what? Should we tally up all the chocolate bars you’ve eaten in your lifetime, have you write a 1,000 word essay on the beneficial effects of chocolate, put you and another chocolate lover in a cage with one Hershey bar and see what happens? What would it matter anyway?

It just strikes me as narrow-minded and silly to believe that you could ever definitively know that you care about something more than every other person on the planet. Even if we could somehow create a standard of measurement that factors in the number of years you’ve been a fan, the number of shows you’ve seen, the amount of merchandise you’ve purchased, and the number of times you've listened to an album, nobody would ever agree. You’ve got people that can afford to do and buy more, people that can’t, and people that won’t. You can be a huge fan and see a hundred shows because you can afford the money and the time off, and you can be a huge fan and never see Hanson live because you live in a different country or have a family to support. At the end of the day, you'll only ever know how far people were willing and able to go, but not how much they care about something.

Numbers and statistics are great for scientific research, but they can never measure how you really feel about something. Outside of those numeric pain scales in hospitals, it's just not normal to attach an exact value or a specific comparison to a feeling. Nobody goes around saying "I love you seven!" or "I love you slightly less than I love Sally, but more than Joe loves you!"

Bottom line: The way every other person in the world feels about a song or a band shouldn't change the way you feel about it, and that's all that matters.

October 28, 2012

Epcot Food & Wine Festival 2012

Sometimes life feels a little more like "If you give a mouse a cookie, he's going to want a flock of sheep." Which explains how I wound up renting a car, driving to Orlando, and then flying one way to California and back home again.

All complicated details aside, I ended up at the Epcot Food & Wine Festival to see Hanson for the 3rd year in a row, and I'm really running out of things to say about it. Once you've done it in a banana suit, you've pretty much got all of your bases covered.

We got park hopper passes and spent both days running around taking in as much as possible before the shows. We were lucky enough to get into a special preview of Fantasyland which was both unexpected and awesome.

I met Gaston there.

Despite his stance against books in the movie, he is at least literate based on the fact that he read my shirt out loud. When I told him that Hanson is my favorite band, he made an annoyed face and informed me that HE should be my favorite band and then had nothing more to do with me. Typical Gaston behavior, I suppose.

The Hanson shows were great as always, and it was fun getting to sing happy birthday to Zac at the end of the last show on the 22nd. My favorite part was definitely "In the City" as the final song the 2nd day. It's just the best way to end a show. Pictures will probably do more than any repetitive description I could give.

And then I flew across the country and hit the other Disney where we went to Mickey's Halloween Party and came home with 8.6 lbs of candy each, because who doesn't want to say they hit all of the Disney parks in the country in one week?

August 8, 2012

How To Tell Your Loved One That You're Going to Jamaica

1. Find a partner in crime and plot. You’ll need a roommate to split the costs, and it needs to be someone on the same page as you. This should be someone you can tolerate through not only four nights in a hotel room, but also ten months of anticipation and rationalization. Tell no one.

2. Pay the deposit and make it official. Give yourselves a virtual pat on the back for snagging the cheap[est] room, and ignore the relative nature of “cheap” in this situation.   
(i.e. cheap:Hanson::soon:Hanson)

3.  Now that it’s official, you can show moderate levels of excitement in corners of the internet that your friends/family/significant other don’t frequent. It’s not time to publicize your impulse vacation--yet.

4.  Continue to make payments on the trip. You can pay it off without asking for help, so do it, and do it quietly.

5. Enter a contest to have an extra night added to your trip free of charge.

6. Five months after booking, when you’ve paid everything off and worked hard all summer to replenish what you’ve used on your dream getaway, write a blog post. Speak liberally and post it somewhere where it will cross paths with your loved one(s). If you’re feeling bold, tag them in it. Now is your moment. (Hi, mom, dad! I love you :)
7. Allow two to three minutes for steps 1-6 to sink in. This may include intense moments of hair pulling, yelling, silence, sighing, and/or eerie laughter depending on the person and your individual situation. This will pass. (Note: Results may vary. Do not administer while your loved one is operating heavy machinery.)

8. Remind your loved one that while this may seem serious now, it has actually been true for months. In the meantime, the world has not imploded. You have not been selling anything dangerous or illegal for extra money (though you briefly entertained the idea of selling your rare pre-fame copy of “MMMBop”). You are not in debt and have not been surviving on ramen noodles to make up for the dent in your bank account. If necessary, use the phrase “it will be okay,” and mean it.

9. Include a shameless plug for votes for that free night somewhere in your post. If you’re coming clean, you might as well lay it all out. Click Here to help me out! You can vote every day if you're feeling generous.

10. If steps 5-7 do not succeed, proceed to Plan B.

Plan B:

Send a post card.

(Contest Update: The contest is over. I was chosen as the runner-up, which is odd since there was only supposed to be one winner. As Rachel put it, only I could win 2nd place in a contest that didn't even have a 2nd place. I'm not sure if this makes me extremely lucky or extremely unlucky, but thanks everyone that voted!  I won two DVDs from 5 of 5 and gave them away to friends in Jamaica since I already have the full set.)

July 18, 2012

Confessions, pt. 2

At the risk of sounding like Usher, this is part 2 of my confession post. Click here if you missed part 1.

Now that that's out of the way, I can tell you that I went to see One Direction in concert last month. I actually got in my car and drove 3 hours to see a band that was not Hanson and stood in a line where I didn't recognize a single face. It was weird.

The weirdest part of all was the feeling that I was looking at some kind of warped version of what 1997 must have been like for Hanson and their fans. There were home-made shirts and posters everywhere. SUVs and soccer mom vans had "One Direction" and a variety of inside jokes scribbled all over the windows in girly scripts (the "Puff Broccoli," "red jelly beans," and "MOE" of 2012). I walked around the block to find the main entrance, found a group of several hundred "Directioners" in puffy paint shirts, and I waited. Three minutes, I waited, until I realized the building looked a bit different than the part I saw when I parked and something felt off. I got up and went to investigate the front of the mob and was horrified at what I found. The sign on the side of the building said "Aloft."

I hadn't found the end of the line; I was at the band's hotel. I had to laugh at myself before high-tailing it back to the venue. I spend five years trying not to be that creeper Hanson fan that invades the band's privacy, and it takes one show to accidentally wind up at One Direction's hotel.

Better yet, the mother next to me at the show bragged about how she snuck her 11-year-old daughter right onto the boys' hotel floor before finally being told off by security for being a terrible mother by teaching her daughter that it was okay to invade someone's privacy. "I should have told him, those boys signed up for that lifestyle when they chose to become famous. I'm not teaching my daughter to invade their privacy--I'm teaching her to follow her dreams!" I smiled and nodded, because sometimes you just have to.

I watched 20,000 girls scream and throw stuff on stage and sing at the top of their lungs, and it was weird and foreign and not, all at the same time. All this and I haven't said a single word about One Direction and their music or their performance, and I have to wonder why I really went and what my true fascination is with this band. Great vocals? Catchy pop songs? Add that to the list of things I can't answer. Do I really have to, though, as long as I enjoy it?

And on the subject of things I can't explain, I leave you with this:

Confessions, pt. 1

I have a confession to make: I like One Direction.

Maybe that sounds silly coming from the girl that shamelessly follows Hanson around, but the key word here is shamelessly. Hanson has never been a guilty pleasure for me at all. I’m quite proud of their music, and telling people I’m a Hanson fan has always felt more like a privilege than a confession. I think that’s why I’m fighting myself so hard on liking One Direction. They embody every stereotype that people like to cast onto Hanson—a teenage boy band that doesn’t write their own music or play instruments. I’ve spent so long explaining that those things are NOT Hanson that it just feels wrong to like a band that actually fits that description. There are enough people in the world that don’t take me seriously because my favorite band is Hanson. Add another band with another stigma to the mix and it’s like verifying what people already think:

Holly has crappy taste in music.

And then my inner English teacher looks at the word “taste” and thinks about its synonyms, like “preference,” “favor,” “choice,” etc. What they all have in common is that by definition, they’re completely subjective, entirely up to the user. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and all that jazz. Basically, it’s my “taste” and darn it, nobody else is going to tell me what to feed it.

Click here for part 2, in which I go to a 1D show alone.

May 16, 2012

Tulsa 2012: No Sleep for Banditos

It's that time of year again, the time when I inevitably find myself in Tulsa. I flew this time, bringing my driving vs. flying ratio to an even 3:3. The trip was off to a great start with a two hour drive to Charleston where flights were cheaper and my best friend was willing to provide carsitting and chauffeur services free of charge. From there I had to practically run to my connecting flight in Atlanta that boarded a mere 5 minutes after my first flight landed--in a different terminal, of course. It always is. Thank God the sick kid on my flight waited until 15 minutes before landing to vomit on the plane.

My luck carried over to my friends when we found Beth's keys locked in the car at the hotel after they picked me up. We got rained on a lot waiting in line to check in the next day, and waited an ungodly four hours in line at the I <3 Hanson store later that afternoon. Major props to Hanson and their staff for keeping the store open late for everyone that waited in line for so long. The last fans didn't get out until around 10:30 that night, even though the store was supposed to close at 8. Let's pretend I didn't wait four hours and only buy one shirt.

The movie night was fun, maybe even moreso than I expected. Everyone was quoting TT&MON and it turned out way more funny than annoying. I could have passed on MONA, mostly because I was there so instead of enjoying the performance I was stuck scanning the crowd for myself and people I know. It was like trying to watch a movie but knowing your friends are extras in the background. Still, this was my 5 year anniversary since seeing Hanson for the first time and MONA was that very first show for me, so it was a nice sentimental moment anyway.

The block party was fun because it gave us all a reason to be in one big place and hang out, but aside from the lemonade stand and the merch booth, it didn't seem like people were buying much. I did enjoy the "Activity Bison" and made my own contribution despite a complete lack of  artistic ability (I contemplated writing something inside the buffalo to "make it my own" as per the instructions, then realized people at the tiny table might kill me if I sat there taking up time and space composing a paragraph). I got hot and maybe a little dehydrated and was ready to go back to the hotel room after that, but it's hard to do that when you travel in a huge group and the group keeps disappearing. I stood around miserable for a few minutes wishing they wouldn't take so long. Turns out they were all down the street by 3CG icing cupcakes to surprise me with since my birthday was on the 7th (I would've been born on Hanson Day, but I guess I was already running on Hanson time).  Since this is the 3rd time they've done this, you'd think I might start to catch on. Maybe next year.

[Insert lengthy ramble narrating all pointless line drama]. I originally explained all the pointless line drama, then I realized that it was, well, pointless. Come away from this knowing that the staff tried to enforce the 6:30 line up time, for which I am grateful. Things didn't work out so well and there were a few stampedes and clusters so everyone ended up jumbled. In the end it was a pretty level playing field in my mind since there were several hundred people there shortly after 6:30 and we all essentially waited the same amount of time anyway. I would have cared a lot more about all the cutting and pushing and stampeding had it been a regular show I had waited hours for. I didn't, and those that did weren't supposed to. It's not worth the word count I originally gave it.

Later staff picked people out of the line to sit in prominent places since the event was being filmed. It's not my favorite thing in the world, but it happened at MONA and it happens all the time in any live broadcast with a studio audience. I wasn't incredibly surprised or offended, again especially because we all essentially waited the same amount of time--it wasn't like I camped out only to have people show up later and get front row. Some of the people picked were already in front of me anyway. The people chosen were lucky; most of us that were left in line were not. It's life. I was, however, EXTREMELY disappointed hearing everyone tear apart the appearance of those selected, and the loud boos that followed them into the venue when they were let in first. I can't imagine a single person that "booed" would have said "Oh no, no thanks. That really wouldn't be fair to the others!" if they were asked.

The show was great. I got to hear so many songs I had never heard live before, and a few favorites I had. The video of Hanson at Mayfest in 1992 was one of the most adorable things I've ever seen, especially mini Hanson playing air guitar. Rain was great. Think was great. All this Love Crap was double great because my friend Holly #2 is the one that suggested they write it in the first place, and she was there to see it. I enjoyed the video clips to go along with the new EP songs, and Be My Own is growing on me every second (Isaac on the glockenspiel FTW).  I messed up the TBS dance worse than I can ever remember, but then I realized it was because Taylor was simultaneously messing up the TBS lyrics worse than I can ever remember. We recovered during the chorus and moved on. They said they would probably do another event in the fall in Tulsa for fan club members to hear their new songs for 20:12, and I'm thinking I'll be back for trip number seven before the year is over if I can help it.

We stood around and talked a lot after the show, saying goodbyes to friends that were leaving and trying hard not to leave ourselves. We wandered around to a bar in the area that had live music, probably just avoiding the inevitable. A few minutes later we headed back towards Cain's to meet up with some friends at a different bar and instead spotted a crowd of people waiting outside the venue door. It was really crowded so I didn't have much hope of them staying out long enough to reach us, but we ended up talking to all three Hansons and getting pictures with each. I accidentally led Isaac into doing his famous Kermit impression (FUTY, Isaac?) and may or may not have done an abbreviated version of my Charlie Mars impression for Zac.  It was so nice of them to brave the swarm outside and to take the time to take what had to be hundreds of pictures that night. They and their staff really gave us so much of their time and energy this weekend.

We ended the night with a chocolate milk party and started our final day as any good day should start, with cupcakes and chocolate milk in bed.

Tulsa trip #7 in the fall?

May 5, 2012

¡Cinco de Mayo es cinco años de Hanson también!

This May is a big milestone for Hanson. It marks 20 years since their formation as a band and 15 years since the release of Middle of Nowhere that launched their career. MON is now six years older than I was when I first fell in love with the music. Wrap your head around that for a moment.

But fandom landmarks aside, this May is important to me personally because it marks five years since I first saw this band live, my golden anniversary. Five years ago on 5/5, I flew to Tulsa, Oklahoma for my first Hanson experience. I guess I’ve always been a little go big or go home for these guys. I can remember feeling absolutely nuts for traveling over 1,100 miles for my first show, but at the same time, I felt so alive at the thought of going out and doing something crazy for once. When I got there, I was in awe of the fans. They had come from all over the world to wait for hours in line. They told me stories of meeting Hanson and camping out and going to dozens of shows. They showed me their tattoos and told me their favorite memories. I wanted dozens of shows, enough to pick a favorite. I wanted tattoos and memories. It all felt so fast, like diving headfirst into a relationship without looking. I made myself a promise. I had to wait five years. If I was every bit as Hanson crazy in five years, if I was still nuts enough to hop on a plane to Tulsa, then I could get my tattoo.

Today it’s been five years, and I’m taking a moment to assess how the time has passed, see if all my predictions were true. I can’t say I want a tattoo anymore; my body is still ink-free and will probably stay that way. But I’ve had my dozens of shows and my own memories. I’ve sat and talked to the new fans that have just rediscovered the awesomeness that is Hanson, just like I did. And next week, I’m hopping on a plane to Tulsa for my 55th show. Yep, crazier than ever.

Time capsule/prediction time…

In another 5 years, on their 25th/20th anniversary (wow!) I will:

-Still be a crazy Hanson fan
-Have seen at least another 20 shows (this is aiming low. I wonder if I’ll hit 100 by then)
-Have been to Tulsa at least 2 more times
-Have seen them in another country
-Still not have that tattoo
-Probably still not have drumsticks either

May 2, 2012

MMMBop turns 18; Hanson brothers remain 12.

Pop music fans around the world are perplexed, music critics say. What is the cause of this recent stir? Records show that pop song and chronic ear worm “MMMBop” of Hanson’s 1997 release Middle of Nowhere turns 18 this year. The song first appeared as a track on an indie album called Boomerang that was recorded in ’94 and released a year later. Yes folks, “MMMBop” has finally become legal.

The controversy, however, lies in the fact that Hanson themselves still remain 12, a phenomenon that has many looking to the media for answers.

“Look at them!” One outraged MTV supporter raves. “They were just featured on the MTV website. This picture is from last week. They can’t be a day older than thirteen!”

“It's unnatural,” a second critic agrees. "Something just isn't right. Have we been lied to?"

And just around the time of its 18th birthday, rumors are circulating that a beer of the song's namesake is in the works. Huffington Post recently spoke with Zac Hanson, resident drummer and youngest member of the age-defying band.

"We are soon going to be selling our own beer. I'm not joking - MMMhop IPA anyone?" Zac reportedly said.

Readers are demanding to know why the young teens have been permitted to create an alcoholic beverage they are not yet of age to consume, and with an 11-year-old spokesmanboy at that.

"It's true," a local L.A. Times reader admits. "I just read that the Hanson boys are making a beer. I looked at the picture that accompanied the article (shown left), and I said to myself, are they even old enough to drink? Hansonopoly is much more age-appropriate if you ask me."

It is unclear at this time whether the MMMboys have tapped into some age-defying secret, or if the media has been misconstruing their real ages for some time. Extreme Hanson activists have even taken to spreading the rumor that Taylor is having his fifth child to counteract the allegations that Hanson are still in their adolescence.

When asked directly about the age issue, MTV representatives are quoted as saying "It's a secret no one knows," but declined to comment further on the subject. It's a little bit weird, if you ask us.

*Note: It has been brought to my attention that "MMMBop" is NOT on Boomerang; it debuted on the indie album MMMBop in 1996, and therefore isn't actually 18 yet. Once upon a time, I knew this. Fortunately, part of a good satire is making stuff up, so just go with it. Kudos if you made it this far without realizing the error. I was convincing, right?

April 27, 2012

Down with Bieber Syndrome (aka No, You May Not Talk to Me. Thanks For Asking.)

I’ll admit it. I was listening to Justin Bieber’s “Boyfriend” on my way home from work today. I was singing along, not worrying about any potential gawkers when it occurred to me. I would likely break out into maniacal laughter if a guy ever looked at me and said “Hey, girl, let me talk to you” and meant it.

Rachel and I have had this discussion before regarding Hanson’s “Give a Little.”  The whole saw you from across the room and had to have you scenario only works in music videos, romantic comedies, and apparently pop songs. I imagine that Justin Bieber probably can walk up to a girl and say “hey, let me talk to you,” and yield the results he was hoping for. Heck, he could probably walk up and poke someone with a fork and get the same response. Real guys…not so much.

I can’t help but think about all the creepy guys that hit on me at work and wonder how they became infected with this Bieber syndrome that makes them believe they’re being suave when they’re making fools of themselves. Thank God they’re not taking cues from “Give a Little.” They’re ALWAYS old. Ancient, even. They take innocent questions like “Are you looking for anything in particular?” and respond with “yeah, a date with you.” I ask “Are you finding everything okay?” and they look me up and down slowly and say “I found you. You look okay,” then wink. When I was student teaching, a senior stopped me in the hallway once and said “Hey girl, I can get yo number?” It took all of my professional resolve not to blurt out “Only for some much-needed English tutoring, kid.” Gag. Cringe. Pass.

My point here is that these songs are a skewed image of what girls really want, and it’s hilarious to me that anyone can actually do or say those things with a straight face. If you put your hand on my hip, don't expect me to bat my eyelashes and blush. If you wrap your arms around my body and try to give me a little anything, it’s time to reach for the pepper spray. This is not Sixteen Candles, and you, sir, will never be my Buzz Lightyear. Just leave it to Bieber.

March 17, 2012

My Anti-Bucket List

I recently joined tumblr, and after swearing to myself that I'd delete it if I started aimlessly killing a lot of time (though I have yet to figure out what it's really for if that isn't the purpose), I keep finding myself browsing the bucket list tags. I've always been a little intrigued by the concept of a bucket list. Should I have one? Would I be more motivated to go out and do exciting things if I did? The more I look at other people's lists, the more I think no, I don't need one. Because instead of collecting things I want to do, I keep finding myself identifying things I've already done. I don't want a list of things I may never do, a collection of standards that I may never reach that might not even mean something to me in ten years. I think it would be too much like a new year's resolution for me--something with good intentions that ultimately falls short.

Instead, I want an anti-bucket list, an ever-growing list of things I've done that I never thought I'd do. Proof that I've put myself out there and lived life in some way. So here it is, my anti-bucket list, made possible in part by viewers like you (who I'm sure some of which were in the car or on the sidewalk with me), and also by my favorite band, who often motivates me to do stupid things like dance in a banana suit.

Photo credit me--unedited, probably taken haphazardly while driving, definitely taken somewhere between Maine and Florida. Make one of your own! You might be surprised by what you've already done.

February 10, 2012

Where’s the Love: 5 Reasons Why I Wag My Finger

There’s something unique about being a Hanson fan. We’re fiercely loyal and all a bit crazy, though in a large spectrum of ways. You’d like to think that our common love would bind us together, that all fans share this deep, unspoken understanding that means friendship by default. It’s not always the case. Here are a five times that love starts to wear thin for me.

1) 1, 2, 4, 52, 5, 3, -6? Wait…The number system. It’s flawed and we all know it, otherwise there would never be any arguments.  Some love it, and some hate it. It makes sense in theory, but the
problem is it never works the way it should. Number 15 is saving 13 and 14 for her friends that will be there “soon,” 56 is standing ahead of 20 for no apparent reason, and nobody has seen numbers 5-8 since the night before. It’s no wonder people that hate it feel the way they do. On the flip side, nobody wants to sit on a sidewalk for 16 hours and have someone walk up an hour before doors and stand at the front of the line because the “numbers don’t matter.” Really, they don’t. It’s an arbitrary system. Maybe one day I’ll show up first and start lettering people instead, just to see what happens (does it matter after 26 anyway?). At the end of the day, whether you carry a sharpie in each pocket or numbered yourself 1/8th for laughs, just stand behind whoever was ahead of you in line and we’ll all get along fine.

2) Cutting/Pushing. I guess I think of it as a sort of warped golden rule. I would never do it to you, so please don’t do it to me. GA should be a little more first come, first served, a little less survival of the fittest.

3) Cameras. It’s understandable to want to capture the epicness that is a Hanson show, bring it home, and relive it again and again; to share it with others that couldn’t be there, or to preserve something you don’t want to forget. I do it with words—I get it. With all the hi-tech gadgetry we have today, it’s as easy as whipping out your iPhone and pressing “record.” But if you’re going to record a whole song or take more than a few pictures, please plan ahead and find a spot where your camera won’t be in the way (and for God’s sake turn off the 1,000 kilowatt flash! No wonder Isaac wears sunglasses). We paid to see Hanson, not your Nikon D800. And my own personal disclaimer: Prop your camera above my 5’2” head at your own risk—I get good air during “If Only.”

4) Creepy conversations. I enjoy meeting nice fans, but it’s a deal breaker when someone says “So, which wife is your favorite?” Check, please! Other conversation topics to avoid: body parts, baby names for your hypothetical offspring, stories where the climax is eye contact, any and all Hansons that aren’t in the band.

5) Play by plays. No one wants to stand next to a narrator when we can see and hear everything for ourselves. Yes, we saw Isaac look at you (and everyone else in our vicinity—he does that). Yes, we recognize those opening chords for “Great Divide.” And “Lost Without Each Other.” And every other song you’ve correctly identified. And that time you yelled “I want your babies!”? It brought to mind kidnapping charges, since, you know, he already has babies, and you can’t have them.

What makes you wag YOUR finger? Feel free to comment.

January 7, 2012

Forever if (N)Ever

That awkward moment when Jon McLaughlin refutes your latest blog post...

I had that today.

From my blog post on Jan. 5th:

"...he was absolutely phenomenal, quite possibly the best piano player I've ever heard, and more than worth the $10 I spent to pick up his latest album (Forever If Ever)...Do yourself a favor--go to iTunes, youtube, Spotify,, etc. and listen.You won't regret it."

From Jon's blog today (Jan. 7th):

"my last record Forever If Ever is no longer up on iTunes, Amazon, my site, stores, anywhere. It has disappeared. So if you have already purchased your copy then great! It’s value just went up. It’s a collector’s item now. It once was worth $10.00 but now I estimate that it’s value has sky rocketed to at least $11.20-11.25."

You can check out his full entry here for further explanation, but you get the point.

So ah, maybe don't go out and look for Forever if Ever. But do keep this guy on your music radar.

And I for one will not be selling my copy for a $1.25 profit. With the autograph, it's got to be worth at least $12.50.

January 5, 2012

These Crazy Times

I have a confession: I'm glad Hanson canceled their show in Albany in October. True, I was more than a bit frustrated to suddenly find myself without a show to see or even a place to sleep, but sometimes you just have to go with the unexpected twists and make the best of them.

The silver lining presented itself when we remembered that Stephen Kellogg was playing a show in Albany the same night Hanson had been scheduled to play. We had tried to match up a day off from Hanson's tour to a SK6ers show along the way, but it just hadn't worked out. We ended up getting what we wanted, just not in the way we expected.

But even though Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers are great and always put on an amazing show, this still isn't the reason I'm glad Hanson canceled on us (what can I say? I already knew that about SK6ers). So what can make me glad to miss a Hanson show? Here's the full list:

Jon McLaughlin.

Not my first choice, not even my second choice--but the third string entertainment of the night. I'm sure he's had better compliments, but the bottom line is he was absolutely phenomenal, quite possibly the best piano player I've ever heard, and more than worth the $10 I spent to pick up his latest album (Forever If Ever) at the merch table after his performance. It provided an important part of the soundtrack for the next several thousand miles before I finally made it back home and still couldn't take it out of the CD player.

Why am I writing this three months later? Because I'm still obsessed with this album, and whoever is reading this right now should not have to miss a Hanson concert and find themselves on the street with no place to go in order to discover this music. Do yourself a favor--go to iTunes, youtube, Spotify,, etc. and listen.You won't regret it.

Not my video, but someone managed to capture the song that won me over and shared it on youtube. Enjoy!

P.S. If 2:33-3:18 doesn't win you over, I don't trust you as a person.