Category Archives: article

The definitive song of summer ranking, from TLC to Iggy Azalea

Entertainment Weekly 

Now that Memorial Day is officially in the rearview, and even thoughspeculation began months ago, the conversation (and let’s be honest, competition) over what will be the official song of the summer of 2015 can truly begin. In ascending to the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 this week, Taylor Swift has already made a strong case for “Bad Blood” as a contender, though it’s honestly probably too negative a tune to score a season’s worth of driving to the beach and drinking at barbecues.

Whatever ends up becoming the definitive anthem of the next few months will join a sacred fraternity of artists and songs that live on even after the sunburn fades. So here is a definitive ranking of the last 20 years of songs of summer, ranked from best to least-best.

Hanson, “MMMBop” (1997)
Too polarizing to be transcendent, which is why it can’t sit any higher than this. It’s still mildly amazing that “MMMBop” was produced by the Dust Brothers, the same dudes who helmed Beck’s Odelay and the Beastie Boys’ Paul’s Boutique. Then again, the engineer on “Call Me Maybe” also worked on this. [Marilyn Manson The Beautiful People]

Eat to the Beat 2015

Disney Parks Blog

Hanson will be at Eat to the Beat in Disney November 10, 11, 12 this year!

Now, I have the enviable task of giving you more info on this year’s festival – the lineup for 2015’s “Eat to the Beat” concert series.

Being a child of the ‘80s, I’m SUPER pumped for some of our new acts like Tiffany and Chaka Kahn. Also new to this year’s festival are the S.O.S. Band, Everclear and Maxi Priest.

Here’s the full list. Hope your favorite is on there!

  • David Cook – September 25-27, 2015
  • Wilson Phillips – September 28-29, 2015
  • Christopher Cross – September 30-October 1, 2015
  • Starship – October 2-4, 2015
  • Smash Mouth – October 5-7, 2015
  • The Pointer Sisters – October 8-9, 2015
  • 38 Special – October 10-11, 2015
  • Rick Springfield – October 12-13, 2015
  • Sugar Ray – October 14-16, 2015
  • The S.O.S. Band – October 17-18, 2015
  • Air Supply – October 19-21, 2015
  • Fuel – October 22-23, 2015
  • Tiffany (NEW!) – October 24-25, 2015
  • Dennis DeYoung – October 26-28, 2015
  • Jo Dee Messina – October 29-30, 2015
  • Everclear (NEW!) – October 31-November 1, 2015
  • Boyz II Men – November 2-4, 2015
  • Sister Hazel – November 5-6, 2015
  • Big Bad Voodoo Daddy – November 7-9, 2015
  • Hanson – November 10-12, 2015
  • Maxi Priest (NEW!) – November 13-14, 2015
  • Chaka Khan (NEW!) – November 15-16, 2015

Please note: Daily show times take place at 5:30 PM, 6:45 PM and 8:00 PM. Entertainment and appearances are subject to change without notice.

Be sure to check back to the Disney Parks Blog for updated info on this year’s festival.

Bonne ẻcoute!” (Happy Listening!)

Suze’s MOE Reviews

Be sure to head over to Postcards from the Pitt to read Suze’s reviews

of the MOE EP:

and of the MOE concert

Hanson fans from around the world bond in Tulsa for Hanson Day

Tulsa World


Isaac (left), Taylor and Zac Hanson will host The Hop Jam beer and music festival on Sunday.  TOM GILBERT/Tulsa World

People from all corners of the world converge on Tulsa each year for one reason: Hanson.

The band’s annual Hanson Day weekend has turned into a sort of Hanson-Con, drawing fans of the band from everywhere to hear from the band and get a personal experience.

Hanson may be the initiation for the gathering, yet the experience for fans is much richer.

“Aside from Hanson, it’s the city,” said Tara Stringer, who is attending her fourth Hanson Day weekend and came to Tulsa from Ontario, Canada.

“And it’s our friends. It’s like a big extended family,” added Jennifer Parks, at her second Hanson Day weekend from Chase City, Virginia.

Each year is like a big reunion for Hanson fans. They talk throughout the year but see one another only once a year for a weekend in May.

It started several years ago just by fans getting together to appreciate their favorite band. Members of Hanson saw what was going on and wanted to give back a little more. Then that turned into a lot more.

“There’s a lot behind the whole idea of doing it, which we talked a little about, just the whole ethos of creating an experience,” Taylor Hanson said. “We made a call about five years ago to really start thinking of the weekend of … as this comic-con.”

Events include meet-and-greets, a concert, a dissection of the band’s second album “This Time Around” for its 15th anniversary and a gallery showing of art created by Hanson.

The fans love the experience, too. Free to members of the Hanson fan club, the events show exactly why the band’s fan base is so intensely drawn to the band.

“That’s what’s unique about Hanson: They give back to the fans,” said Brandon James, who made the trip to Tulsa from San Bernardino County, California. “They create the personal connection, so you feel part of it, part of the process.”

And for the band, it’s a time to both reflect on their own past through some of these panels and discussions and experiment with new sounds that will keep the band pushing forward.

The band’s last public release was “Anthem” in 2013, though they release an EP of a handful of songs each Hanson Day. This year’s EP does take the band in a somewhat different direction, a newer sound that sticks to its core but leaves a little room to experiment.

“The EP originally started out as something like B-sides. Over the years it’s become something where we take a week or two and write and record and give it a name, give it a look and a feel and a creative vision,” Zac Hanson said. “It will be the everything bagel this year.”

Hanson Day events continue to grow, as well. Last year, it took a big leap forward with the addition of The Hop Jam beer and music festival, which is actually open to everyone, not just Hanson fan club members.

Hanson fans also get a chance to explore Tulsa, to see a city as it changes and grows each year.

“We’re excited to go to Cain’s, and it’s such a historical area,” said Toni Spaulding, from Chicago. She also said she and her group of friends planned to go to Legends bar and country dance club on Thursday, a big night especially with the Kenny Chesney concert down the street at the BOK Center.

With the Hanson fan community banding together each year, and continuing to grow with an expanding weekend of activities and more people, it affirms why they come to Tulsa each May.

“I loved last year, seeing how many people here support them,” Stringer said.

Hanson fans travel from all over the world for second annual Hop Jam festival

Tulsa World

The Hop Jam

Taylor Hanson and his brothers perform during The Hop Jam in the Brady district on May 17, 2015. TOM GILBERT/Tulsa World

For Mesen, Belgium, resident Ellen Van Looy, a visit to Tulsa this week to see one of her favorite bands — Hanson — was her first exposure to the United States and its culture.

Van Looy and her friend, Antwerp, Belgium, resident Laura Lauryssens, met about three years ago in Belgium and became instant friends over their shared love of the Hanson brothers — Isaac, Taylor and Zac — even having different Hanson lyrics tattooed on their arms. While neither was expecting Oklahoma’s unpredictable weather, which this weekend consisted of humidity, severe thunderstorms and tornadoes, both said the trip to Oklahoma for the second annual Hop Jam Beer and Music Festival was more than worth it.

“They are really genuine people who are dedicated to their art,” Van Looy said of the Tulsa natives. “It’s not about their fame or about their money. It’s about the art and what their fans get out of it. We’ve seen them in Europe a few times and people always tell us, ‘You have to see them in their hometown. They’re so happy.’”

Lauryssens and Van Looy were among thousands of people from all over the world who descended on Tulsa’s Brady Arts District on Sunday to see Hanson and sample beers from places such as Tulsa and Oklahoma City to Germany and New Zealand. VIP ticketholders lined up from the beer garden’s entrance to the Hop Jam’s stage in order to enter the area an hour early. Attendance to the event was free.

Attendance figures weren’t immediately available Sunday night.

“All the fans bond. It’s like one big family,” Lauryssens said. “In Belgium we are famous for our chocolate, beer and French fries. I wanted to try Mmmhops (The Hanson Brothers’ beer) but I was afraid I wouldn’t like it. It’s actually very good.”

Hanson first performed at Mayfest in 1992 and became internationally famous with the release of their single “MMMbop.” Most recently, the group released an album, called “Anthem,” in 2013 and also releases EPs to fan club members.

“Last year was my first time (in Tulsa) for the first Hop Jam, and I had a great time,” Long Island, New York, resident Jennifer Scheiner said. “It’s a great city. There’s a lot happening down here, and you can see there’s a great up-and-coming vibe.”

Scheiner met up with fellow New Yorker Zaida Ogando and Lake Havasu City, Arizona, resident Amanda Shaffner for this year’s show.

“They’re an amazing band,” Shaffner said. “I know that they inspire a lot of their fans, and it’s great to be able to come out here to this amazing city and celebrate that fact with people that love their music.”

Níle O’Hagan and her sister Rosalyn Murtagh flew to Tulsa from Northern Ireland earlier this week for the festival. While the siblings have traveled to Birmingham and London for past performances, an intercontinental trip is the farthest either has gone for a show.

“We dressed purely for sun,” O’Hagan said. “So it was a shock whenever we got so much rain, especially Saturday.”

Murtagh said each of the brothers’ albums was “cheery” and that Tulsans they’ve talked to were pleased but surprised to learn they traveled so far to see the band play. But the decision to travel was easy, she said.

“I was expecting a much bigger city, but everyone (in Tulsa) is very friendly,” she said.

The Hanson brothers told the Tulsa World earlier this week that they wanted the festival to be a part of the best possible representation of their hometown, saying they would carry what makes them Oklahomans wherever they go.

“They make connections with their lyrics that speak volumes to all kinds of people,” Bentonville, Arkansas, resident Kristen Lange said after taking a selfie with her new friend Aileen Pham, which showed them pointing at Isaac Hanson while he talked to fans in the beer garden. “They’ve said the evolution of music sticks with people throughout the years, and each (Hanson) song kind of has a different meaning as you go along in life.”

Pham, who traveled to Tulsa from Orange County, California, agreed.

“For me personally, it was cool to see siblings working together and creating music and making it,” she said. “It was inspiring to see someone who’s 12 or 14 try and make it in an industry that’s adult-dominated. It’s a great way to bring people downtown and showcase the beer in the community and listen to really good music.”

Tulsa keeps inspiring Hanson as they plan their future and that of Hop Jam

Tulsa World

Hanson in studio

Zac (left), Isaac and Taylor Hanson rehearse before The Hop Jam. Isaac (center) is playing a hop-shaped guitar created at Fab Lab Tulsa to be raffled off during the beer and music festival to raise money for Community Food Bank of Oklahoma.  TOM GILBERT/Tulsa World

Hanson’s 3CG studios on Main Street is surrounded by activity. There’s construction on either side of the red brick building, the sound of the Brady Arts District revitalizing at a breakneck pace.

For the international pop stars and Tulsa natives, they can’t think of a better place to be than right in the middle of it.

“Places are what you make them,” middle brother Taylor Hanson told the Tulsa World in a lengthy interview in their studio. “We decided a long time ago to stay invested here. We could be a part of the good things happening.”

Not only have they stayed invested in Tulsa and the growth of downtown — they were in this studio well before the empty warehouses around them were converted to museums and an empty lot became Guthrie Green — but they also continue to grow their investment. Proof of that will come Sunday when thousands flock to the Brady Arts District for the second Hop Jam beer and music festival.

The event brings a variety of music and beer from across the world, and it’s all free to attend. It shows Hanson’s commitment to be a part of Tulsa’s revitalization, to be a part of the growth so that all parts of the city rise together.

But working and living in Tulsa has also given the brothers a unique view of their work.

After all, a Tulsa stage in May is where they got their start, so it’s fitting that each year at the same time they want to bring the community together to celebrate what got them to where they are now.

The second Jam

And with The Hop Jam, their yearly party in May continues and will keep growing.

After last year, they said they had a few things they were surprised by and a few things they needed to change to make the most out of the festival.

“We were well prepared, but underprepared for the level of response,” oldest brother Isaac Hanson said.

So this year, they plan to start the music earlier, pack more music into the time and finish earlier. They also plan to bring more beer. Lots of it.

“It was all Oklahoma beers last time,” Taylor Hanson said. “This year, there’s a huge number of non-Oklahoma beers and special stuff. That’s good because we want people to begin to go ‘OK, I’m going to this, stoke the fire.’ This is an event where we want to be recognized.”

The band will perform to close out the event this year, though they said they do plan to step back at some point. In fact, they said they planned to do that this year but felt like the young festival still needed a show from its hosts.

What they hope to do with the lineup, however, is to make it eclectic and fun. They want people to put The Hop Jam on their schedule every year no matter who is playing or what beer is being poured.

“I think one of the main takeaways is just developing the brand of what The Hop Jam is,” Taylor Hanson said. “All of it together is what makes up what The Hop Jam is. The bands are going to change every time, and the beers will evolve. You’re trying to figure out what’s at the core that is us, that is the identity of the festival. If you step back from the whole, what’s your takeaway. The takeaway I think is authentic and hip.”

May stands out

The band’s first performance was at Mayfest in 1992. They were very young at the time, singing covers and a few of their own songs.

It would be in 1997 that Hanson became a household name. May of that year saw the release of “Middle of Nowhere,” which included the song “MMMbop.” Soon, they were everywhere and their career had taken off.

Their second album, also released in May, didn’t reach the same level as “Middle of Nowhere” but showed that the band was free to stretch their own creativity, Taylor Hanson said.

Then through the years, that has been a theme of the band’s: They look for a strong melody but take different paths to get there.

That can be seen with their latest work, an EP that will be given only to fan club members as part of the Hanson Day weekend events that go on before The Hop Jam.

“We really tried to challenge ourselves to start off without being a live band and put ourselves in our writing spaces,” Taylor Hanson said. “We started writing with more synthetic sounds. We usually start with a keyboard or guitar, and it kind of influenced our sound. As far as where we are musically, I think we’re really enjoying collaborating and getting the colors of other writers and other musicians.”

In this year’s EP, Hanson previewed a synth-heavy track that’s a departure from their normal pop/rock. But it still has what Hanson fans have come to expect and hope for with a strong chorus and catchy tune.

“Over the years it’s become something where we take a week or two and write and record and give it a name, give it a look and a feel and a creative vision,” drummer and youngest brother Zac Hanson said. “It will be the everything bagel this year.”

Those fan club EPs give the band a chance to explore, as well.

“It allows us to go, ‘We’re going to have fun with this little taster,’” Taylor Hanson said. “You do hear flavors of that. Sometimes you try something and say, ‘Wow, I didn’t know that was going to work out well. We should do that three or four times.’”

New music

They still work on new music, but they’ve slowed their pace since the release of “Anthem” in 2013. In addition to the Hanson fan club EP, they have done more work recently with their line of beer and worked on collaborations with other artists.

“It’s been about trying to give ourselves the adequate time to focus on some other things that we’ve always wanted to do but never given enough focus to,” Isaac Hanson said. “It always became something that is ‘Oh yeah, when we get to it’ as opposed to something we were really aggressively going after.”

Some of their recent collaborators include Blues Traveler and Owl City. Those collaborations have helped the band find new sounds.

They said that though they aren’t specifically working solely on a new album, it is something they do have on the horizon and plan to work on this year.

“We’re working toward a record next year, but we think the right projects are what’s most important,” Taylor Hanson said. “So we’ve tried to curate a situation now where we’re creative and we can time the next releases based on something beyond, ‘Hey, it’s time for another record.’”

Still growing in Tulsa

And the Hansons said that Tulsa provides them the best place to incubate that as they continue to grow.

Oklahoma musicians have a work ethic and authenticity that makes them stand out, Taylor Hanson said.

“If you look at all the musicians — from Wayne Coyne to Woody Guthrie to Reba McEntire to us to The Gap Band — there’s something about all the Oklahoma artists that is very authentic,” Taylor Hanson said. “Everybody that puts something out, there’s very little posing.”

There’s a heartiness, he said. The pioneer spirit continues in the state’s creativity and work ethic, and it’s more than just music — it’s an inspiration for continued growth.

“The ethos we’re talking about, we would carry with us what makes us guys from Oklahoma wherever we went,” Taylor Hanson said. “The fact that we would stay close to what makes us who we are, that is the unique element. It’s not about a place, it’s about deciding what you’re going to do.”

Tulsa has a spirit that defines the city, they said. It’s a spirit of hard work and dedication that inspires them to work more and harder on a variety of projects as much as anything else.

“I think our job as artists is to see the potential,” Zac Hanson said. “There is a part in us that sees what we want Tulsa to be, what represents us and how we want to be part of making it that anthem. That same DNA that makes us want to write songs and create things also makes us want to be a part of the best version of our hometown.”


Hop Jam brewers get a taste of Tulsa while showcasing their beers

Tulsa World

More beer. That’s what attendees wanted at The Hop Jam’s inaugural year last year.

And boy did they get it.

Brewers lined Main Street during the second The Hop Jam beer and music festival on Sunday, and they all came prepared.

The event, founded by pop stars and MMMhops brewers the Hanson brothers, was created to showcase music and craft beers, the Brady Arts District, and the city of Tulsa.

And it did that and more, drawing well-established brewers from around the world who had nothing but nice things to say about the city.

The list of brewers included 14 Oklahoma breweries, seven from elsewhere in the United States and nine international breweries.

Organizers and brewers learned a lot from Hop Jam’s first year about how to prepare for this beer-tasting event and free music festival, said Wes Alexander, director of sales and marketing for Marshall Brewing Co.

“The idea was to hold a free concert, but we don’t really know how many people are going to show up for a free concert. Well, you have a baseline now,” Alexander said. “Last year demand outstripped supply.

“This year everyone has the ideology of, ‘We are going to come with all the beer that we possibly can, and we are going to make sure that everyone gets taken care of and that is happening.’”

There were more brewers offering more beers, more vendors, more space for brewers to spread out, more volunteers to help the brewers and better access for the brewers to work, Alexander noted.

In addition to the local breweries represented at The Hop Jam, beer tasters were treated to many beers that they might not otherwise get to taste.

And the Hanson brothers served as ambassadors for the festival, meeting and networking with brewers all over the world and inviting them to come to their festival in Tulsa, including Stephan Michel, owner of Mahrs Bräu brewery in Bamberg, Germany.

The brewery was started in 1602 and purchased by the Michel family in 1895. Stephan Michel represents the fourth generation of the family at the brewery.

Michel met Taylor Hanson at a beer festival in California last year.

“It was kind of funny because I did not know who he was. But I saw that every five minutes somebody asked him, ‘Can we do a picture?’ So I was like, who is this guy?

“So I walked up to him and said, ‘Hey, Taylor, is your beer so famous already that everybody wants to take a picture? Nobody is coming to me and asking me for a picture.’”

Taylor Hanson explained that he and his brothers launched pop music careers in the early ’90s, and that was why his photo was in such high demand.

“And we became friends. We have the same spirit,” Michel said.

Michel said he has been impressed with Tulsa during his time here for the festival and he plans to come back and collaborate with the Hanson brothers on beers in the future.

“This city is pretty cool. I like the old brick buildings,” Michel said. “I like the style, and the people are very cool here, very open, very friendly. I will come back for sure.”

Ben Middlemiss of New Zealand’s Ben Middlemiss Brewing shared Michel’s sentiments about the host city for The Hop Jam.

Middlemiss met the Hanson brothers when they did a concert in New Zealand. He showed the brothers around and shared his beer with them.

“They liked my beer so much they said ‘We need to have you come to Tulsa,’” Middlemiss said.

While here, Middlemiss toured the Prairie Artisan Ales brewery and was impressed by the Woody Guthrie Center. Tulsa feels very much like home to him.

“I told my lady in New Zealand, ‘You would love here. It is just like home.’ The people are friendly and you feel safe and comfortable walking around during the day or night. Some cities in America, I am not so sure about. You feel nervous, just a little apprehensive.

“But here, it is just like home.”

What the Ale: Hop Jam was jam packed full of great beers

Tulsa World


The Hop Jam was jam packed full of great beers.

In addition to all the great Oklahoma breweries. Taylor Hanson brought in some brewers from as far off as New Zealand. That is some dedication to the industry.

The Hanson brothers are all about their own beer, as well as their music, but they are also about growing the craft beer industry. A lot of the people who attended The Hop Jam weren’t necessarily craft beer fans. That is a good thing. This festival gave them the opportunity to try a lot of different types of beers.

The Hansons are growing the craft beer industry not just in Tulsa but all over the world. They are using their worldwide fan base to spread the word that Oklahoma has great beers. They are also using their travels to recruit great brewers to Oklahoma, and hopefully to have their beers sold here.

The sea of green hats that swarmed all the tents during the opening of the VIP portion of the beer tasting was proof they have gotten the word out.

“We are excited to be hosting the Hop Jam with all these amazing brewers from all over Oklahoma as well as across the United States and some international beers as well,” Isaac Hanson said.

I know a lot of people were excited. I followed Isaac around to get photos of brewers signing the Hop Jam guitar, and he was stopped every five feet for a “quick photo.” He was very gracious. That is why Hanson can pull people from all over the world to come to Tulsa.

They love our town, and I for one want to thank them for all they do for it.

When Hanson tours they also tour breweries and find out what is going on in the rest of the world. Taylor invited Stephan Michel — owner of Mahrs Bräu brewery in Bamberg, Germany — to pour his beer at this year’s Hop Jam. Michel said yes. He also has a different approach to brewing that fits right in with most of the Hanson fan base.

“I brew beer for women. Women tell you the truth. When they take one sip, they tell you if they like it or not, the guys are different they drink it down, they don’t care,” Michel said.

In other Hop Jam-related news, Iron Monk’s Milk Stout won the What the Ale voting for favorite Hop Jam beer. During every voting opportunity, it won by a wide margin. They have some loyal fans.

“I think it had a lot to do with Stillwater itself. Our community is really loyal to local stuff. The word spread that our beer was on there, and it just kind of took off,” said Jerod Millirons co-founder of Iron Monk Brewing Co.

This year’s Hop Jam was bigger and better than last year’s. Lets hope next year’s is bigger, too.

This Week in Billboard Chart History: In 2011, Adele Began ‘Rolling’ at No. 1


May 24, 1997
Its lyrics may have been somewhat nonsensical, but, thanks to its undeniable hook, Hanson‘s “MmmBop” became a smash. On this date in 1997, it began a three-week stay atop the Billboard Hot 100.

New album Owl City have partnered with Hanson


Owl City letras
Hanson letras

(translated using google translate)

After releasing the cover art, Owl City decided gracing fans with a list of tracks that will make up the new album Mobile Orchestra“. The fifth composer’s studio work and multi-instrumentalist will consist of 10 songs, five of them partnerships.

In addition to the already revealed Aloe Blacc on the first single “Verge”, the disc will the participation of Sarah Russell, Britt Nicole, Country Singer Jake Owen and brothers feel of the trio 90 years: Hanson.

Mobile Orchestrais scheduled for release on July 10, but enter into pre-sale on Thursday (14) shortly after the release of the first work of music. Who acquired it in advance will be entitled to download the single and two tracks.

1. Verge (feat. Aloe Blacc)
2. I Found Love
3. Thunderstruck (feat. Sarah Russel)
4. My Everything
5. Unbelievable (feat. Hanson)
6. Bird with a Broken Wing
7. Back Home (feat. Jake Owen)
8. Can’t Live Without You
9. You’re Not Alone (feat. Britt Nicole)
10. This Isn’t The End