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Danielle’s Back to the Island Review

Danielle recaps her trip to Back to the Island on her blog, I Dig Music.  Check it out!

Offbeat: Hanson among the performers at the governor’s Inaugural Ball

Tulsa World


Hanson performs at The Hop Jam May 18, 2014. MIKE SIMONS/Tulsa World

An array of artists and musicians from across the state will take the stage in Oklahoma City next week to welcome Gov. Mary Fallin to her second term.

Set to perform are Hanson, Bixby-native Justin Adams, rockabilly star Wanda Jackson, fiddle champion Byron Berline, renowned violinist Kyle Dillingham, the jazz group Justin Echols Quartet, operatic soprano Leona Mitchell, Comanche flutist Timothy Nevaquaya and the Oklahoma City-based soul and rock band Matt Stansberry & the Romance. There will also be performances by the Oklahoma City Ballet and the Oklahoma City Thunder dance team, the Thunder Girls.

That’s a pretty good cross-section of music from across the state. Should make for a great show.

Larry Gatlin will reprise his role as Will Rogers to serve as emcee for the event, set for 7 p.m. Monday in Oklahoma City, according to a release from the governor’s office. A small number of invitations to the event are available and an invitation can be requested by emailing

11 90s Heartthrobs: Then and Now


THEN: Drumming his lil heart out in Hanson.

NOW: Still drumming his lil heart out in Hanson.

Also drumming his lil heart out in Hanson.

ICYMI: He’s the drummer for Hanson.

That time pop sensation Hanson did ‘Christmas in Washington’ TV special #TBT

Washington Post

Before the Jonas Brothers and One Direction, there was pop sensation Hanson. And before there was Taylor Swift’s addictive “Shake it Off,” there was Hanson’s “MMMbop.”

For this week’s Throwback Thursday, we’re hopping in Santa’s sleigh (because it’s magical) and traveling back to 1997 — when the heartthrobs performed for NBC’s “Christmas in Washington” special held at the National Building Museum. The fresh-faced trio belted out “Merry Christmas Baby” to the elation of preteen girls (and boys) in the audience. The Clintons bopped along.

Noticeably absent from this year’s lineup is a pop act that matches the brothers’ popularity. It’s TNT’s final year sponsoring the 33-year-old George Stevens production, which airs Friday, Dec. 19, with performances from Rita Ora, Darius Rucker, Hunter Hayes, Christina Perri and Aloe Blacc.



Then + Now: ’90s Teen Heartthrobs


Brenda Chase, Hulton Archive, Getty Images / Eamonn M. McCormack, Getty Images
Then: The band of three blonde, long-haired brothers from Tulsa, Okla,. hit it big in 1997 with their smash hit ‘MMMBop,’ sending millions of girls into a screaming frenzy and propelling their debut album, ‘Middle of Nowhere,’ to achieve four-times platinum status in the U.S. and sell over 10 million copies worldwide. After releasing the rock-sounding, edgier ‘This Time Around’ in 2000, Hanson left their major label in 2003 due to creative differences with the company (a grueling process they capture in the documentary ‘Strong Enough to Break’). In 2004, after deciding to form their own record label, the band came out with their first independent release, ‘Underneath,’ which peaked at the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Top Independent Albums chart.

Now: Hanson have continued to make music, infusing soul and their distinct harmonies into their classic pop-rock sound. The band, who have a deeply passionate and dedicated fan base, tour worldwide and participate in one-mile barefoot walks with their fans to raise awareness about poverty and health issues in Africa and around the world. In 2013, Isaac, Taylor and Zac released their ninth studio effort, ‘Anthem,’ and celebrated 21 years as a band by creating their own brand of IPA beer, appropriately titled Mmmhops. And sorry to disappoint, ladies: All three brothers are married with children.

Read More: Then + Now: ’90s Teen Heartthrobs |

The top 20 catchiest songs of all time, according to science


A year-long survey by the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester has revealed the top 10 most persistent earworms — with the Spice Girls topping the list.

Eric Mutrie, CC BY 2.0

The catchiest song of all time has been revealed, and it ought to surprise absolutely no one. When it comes to recognisability, Spice Girls’ “Wannabe” is number one, with users taking, on average, just 2.29 seconds to pick the song.

The result is part of a year-long study, conducted by the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) in Manchester, UK. Users were directed to a special website where they could play an online game calledHooked on Music, which contained clips from 1,000 hit songs from the past 70 years — the top selling 40 tracks of each decade since the 1940s.

There were four modes: Recognise that Tune, where users had to hum along with the track, continuing when the sound dropped out and gauging whether they were still in time when the sound resumed; What’s the Hook, where users had to listen to two different clips from the same song and choose which clip was catchier; Time Trial, where users had to recognise as many songs as possible in three minutes; and In a Row, where users had to recognise as many songs in a row as they could.

The game collected data from over 12,000 people, who, on average, found Wannabe the most recognisable song. Lou Bega’s Mambo No 5 came in second at 2.48 seconds, with Survivor’s Eye of the Tiger coming in third at 2.62 seconds. The average overall time it took to recognise a clip was 5 seconds.

“I work within a group that studies music cognition in general — any way in which the brain processes music — and we were particularly interested in music and memory and why exactly it is that certain pieces of music stay in your memory for such a long time,” University of Amsterdam computational musicologist and designer of the survey Dr Ashley Burgoyne told the BBC.

“You may only hear something a couple of times yet 10 years later you immediately realise that you have heard it before. Yet other songs, even if you have heard them a lot, do not have this effect.”

The next step in the study will be examining the musical features that make a song “catchy”; so far, Dr Burgoyne believes that very strong melodic hooks play a key role, although that is merely an observation and further study is required.

From there, the team plans to channel the research into something a little more serious.

“If we have a better understanding of how the musical memory works, we are hopeful that we can move into research on people with dementia,” Dr Burgoyne said.

“There has already been some research that shows that if you can find the right piece of music, something that had a very strong meaning, playing that piece of music can be very therapeutic. But the challenge is figuring out what is the best piece of music.”

Here is the full list of the top 20 catchiest songs of all time:

  1. Spice Girls – Wannabe: 2.29 seconds
  2. Lou Bega – Mambo No 5: 2.48 seconds
  3. Survivor – Eye of the Tiger: 2.62 seconds
  4. Lady Gaga – Just Dance: 2.66 seconds
  5. ABBA – SOS: 2.73 seconds
  6. Roy Orbison – Pretty Woman: 2.73 seconds
  7. Michael Jackson – Beat It: 2.80 seconds
  8. Whitney Houston – I Will Always Love You: 2.83 seconds
  9. The Human League – Don’t You Want Me: 2.83 seconds
  10. Aerosmith – I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing: 2.84 seconds
  11. Lady Gaga – Poker Face: 2.88 seconds
  12. Hanson – MMMbop: 2.89 seconds
  13. Elvis Presley – It’s Now Or Never: 2.91 seconds
  14. Bachman-Turner Overdrive – You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet: 2.94 seconds
  15. Michael Jackson – Billie Jean: 2.97 seconds
  16. Culture Club – Karma Chameleon: 2.99 seconds
  17. Britney Spears – Baby One More Time: 2.99 seconds
  18. Elvis Presley – Devil in Disguise: 3.01 seconds
  19. Boney M – Rivers of Babylon: 3.03 seconds
  20. Elton John – Candle in the Wind: 3.04 seconds

MmmHops: The Hanson Brothers Reinvent Themselves With Beer


MmmHops: The Hanson Brothers Reinvent Themselves With Beer

I’ll admit to having a soft spot for band-plus-brewery special releases, and I’ve gone out of my way to score bottles of the Iron Maiden beer The Trooper, Mastodon’s The Hunter marzen from Germany’s Mahr’s Brau, and Dan the Automator’s cider-beer hybrid Positive Contact from Dogfish Head, among others. So when I recently opened a box from a local public relations firm that handles music biz clients I was both intrigued and frightened at what I found: four bottles of the Hanson brother’s new Mmmhops craft beer and a copy of their latest album, Anthem.

How would the pale ale—brewed at Oklahoma’s Mustang Brewery—stack up to the other musical brews? And how would the ale pair with the newest release from the band known for one song from 15 years ago? I was about to find out, but it would be difficult to overcome my existing prejudices.

I was primed to dislike Hanson’s ubiquitous single “MMMBop” when it took over airwaves and cable music channels in early 1997. I was wrapping up my freshman year of college in Santa Cruz, California and a girl down the hall of my dorm was infected by the brothers’ saccharine earworm early on. I remember her stereo would alternate between blasting the nauseatingly peppy MMMBop and that even more infectious tune by Deep Blue Something—Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Over and over and over. At a furious volume.

It was enough to drive one to drink, and back in those days I turned to bottles of Henry Weinhard’s Private Reserve or Pete’s Wicked Ale. Not paragons of the craft brewing revolution, but not too shabby for 1997.

My tastes in music and in beer are straightforward. I like the 12 bar blues, indulgent guitar solos and hoppy pale ales. For me it doesn’t get much better than a sixer of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and a Hold Steady album on the stereo, so I wasn’t expecting much when I sat down with the four bottles, the CD, and a notebook, but I was surprised by the results.

I’ll give it to you straight—both the brew and the disc surpassed my admittedly low expectations. And while you probably won’t find Anthem playing on my stereo much, I wouldn’t hesitate to order a pint of Mmmhops.

The beer is labeled as a “pale ale” but the alcohol content of over 7% ABV, and the intense hop character and firm bitterness place the beer very firmly in the IPA category. My sample bottles were noticeably less-than-fresh (par for the course with these types of sample packages unfortunately), but I was struck by just how much pungent hop character was still present alongside the twang of oxidation. The IPA has a sturdy malt body that carries some sweetness into the finish, and while the hop aroma was faded, there was still enough resinous pine and bright citrus rind character to offset the slightly stale-tasting malts. There was a pleasant flavor of orange oil and tropical fruit that lingered in the finish alongside the pronounced bitterness.

It was an unexpectedly flavorful brew that would have been even more impressive fresh. Living in Los Angeles, I have my pick of world class IPAs brewed in the west coast-style (well attenuated with little malt character and as hoppy as can be—brews like Ballast Point Sculpin, Firestone Walker Union Jack, or Russian River Blind Pig) and the more malt-balanced east coast IPA style—like Mmmhops—is a nice occasional change-of-pace. I’m looking forward to trying Mmmhops again (though that might be tough as the beer is currently only available in the brothers’ home state of Oklahoma).

As for Anthem—the bubblegum rock was more tolerable than I’d anticipated, but I still needed to open some additional bottles to get through the disc. While you might have expected it from the beer, it was actually the album that had more of a “homebrew” vibe. Written, performed, and produced by the brothers, the songs could have used input from some ears that weren’t the bands, someone to pull them back from the worst of their indulgences and maybe even fight to trim the disc’s 13 songs into a more focused tracklist. At its worst, the album sounds overproduced and over polished (especially the lifeless drums and occasionally overwrought lyrics), but the brothers do manage some genuinely fun moments. “You Can’t Stop Us” starts with a downright dirty riff and the most impassioned vocals on the album, but it also has a chorus that sounds like an outtake from a Hagar-era Van Halen song (not a good thing). It’s the Michael Jackson-tinged “I’ve Got Soul,” with its funky guitar line and horn blasts, that is the album at its most fun and unabashed.

The scary thing for me was how much the album grew on me after a few listens while writing this article. After a couple of pints and a couple of listens, I was groovin’ to Anthem and tapping my foot even if my tongue was tucked in my cheek. As slick as the production is, and as on the nose as the lyrics can be, you can tell that the brothers were having a blast making the album—and that vibe is almost as infectious as that first breakout hit song, MMMBop—a song that built their studio, record label, and beer brand.

Make your jokes and take your shots at the brothers Hanson, but don’t say that they’re not music lovers and beer lovers. They’re just guys with the means to pursue their passions, and enough smarts to not care about the haters. Anthem is about being true to yourself, and the Mmmhops brew is true to the spirit of craft beer (and pretty tasty too)!

Music Business Takeaways From The Forbes Under 30 Summit


A quartet of music’s top young acts rocked Philadelphia’s Piazza at Schmidt’s on Sunday night–local hip-hop duo OCD: Moosh & Twist, singer-songwriter LP, Pennsylvania native Wiz Khalifa and DJ/producer Afrojack–a terrific bill made even more remarkable by the fact that all attendees received their tickets not by purchasing them, but by doing good deeds.

The first Under 30 Music Festival, planned by Forbes in partnership with AEG and nonprofit resulted in the distribution of some 8,000 tickets to people who joined the campaign to end extreme poverty around the world. It was a smaller version of the Global Citizen Festival, and we hope it’ll grow in a similar fashion.

But Sunday night’s events were just a prelude to one of the most remarkable weeks in my time at this publication: the inaugural Forbes Under30 Summit. Think of it as a velvet-rope version of South By Southwest, reserved for the 1,000-plus members and graduates of our 30 Under 30 lists and a handful of mentors like former AOL AOL +1% chief Steve Case and billionaire investor Peter Thiel.

The event, which wrapped up yesterday, included keynotes from youthful newsmakers ranging from new anti-cyberbullying activist Monica Lewinsky to Nobel Peace Prize Winner Malala Yousafzai. There was still room, however, for plenty of discussion about the music business.

Summit attendees included the aforementioned musical acts, as well as the likes of Taylor Hanson (who also made a guest appearance at the concert, delivering a memorable duet with LP); Atom Factory founder and veteran artist manager Troy Carter; and a half-dozen members of last year’s 30 Under 30 list in music.

Many of those people took the main stage in front of 1,500 people–Afrojack discussed the art and science of leading a crowd in a one-on-one with yours truly; Carter served as a judge on a Shark Tank-style startup contest; Wiz Khalifa stuck around to preside over the Under 30 Fashion Show; Questlove did the same at the Under 30 Food Festival; others joined breakout sessions like my Music Goes Moneyball panel.

Now that I’m back and have had a moment to collect my thoughts, here are four of the key music-related takeaways I brought home from Philly.

Goodbye, genre boundaries. So it’s not exactly news that the lines between genres are blurring–I’ve certainly written about that extensively myself–but the past few days have underscored that even more sharply for me. From the Taylor Hanson/LP duet, to Troy Carter’s entrepreneurial exhibition, to Wiz Khalifa’s fashion forays, it’s becoming ever more obvious that the boundaries are breaking down not just between types of music but between music and other industries. Which is part of the reason why…

Artists must be their own advocates and marketers. As Hanson put it during the Music Goes Moneyball panel, “There are no open-source music companies. There are a lot of black boxes.” Understanding that is part of the reason his band of brothers is still quietly earning a living, touring the world while releasing records through their 3CG Records and supplementing their income by extending the Hanson brand into products their maturing fan base can enjoy, such as, yes, MmmHops beer. They also understand that…
Data is the new A&R. In the aforementioned panel, Taylor Hanson joined yours truly along with Spotify’s Sachin Dochi and Next Big Sound founder Alex White (whom I profiled last year). We talked about how big data is revolutionizing the music business–and, in many cases, it’s becoming as much a part of A&R as sabermetric analysis is with major league baseball front offices. “People don’t get in the music industry because they love data. Except for me,” said White, with a chuckle. “There’s never been this much data.” In the end, though…

There’s no draw like a good cause and good music. As much as I learned from the rest of the Summit, the highlight for me was the Under 30 Music Festival. Granted, there’s a level of bias here (I helped plan it). But watching thousands of onlookers of all ages–all of whom had done something worthy to gain admission–brave the elements as the show stretched into the night? It may sound corny, but that’s what it’s all about, and I sure hope to do it again next year.


Celebrity birthdays: Zac Hanson turns 29

Hello Magazine

Happy birthday Zac Hanson! As the MMMBop singer turns 29, HELLO! Online takes a look at what the stars have in store for Zac, and for you…

Perhaps, if we could only shed the weight of all our cares and concerns, we could become so light in spirit that the breeze of serendipity would sweep us off our feet and allow us to float on a pillow of wings towards some glorious stress-free future. We often imagine such possibilities in our dreams; but in waking life we soon discover that our most optimistic visions are obscured by the clouds of anxiety. Perhaps we should have more faith in those inspiring visions. This weekend brings you reason to trust them.

Click here to read your horoscope.



Zac Hanson was born on 22 October 1985 in Arlington, Virginia and grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Zac was home-schooled by his mother and at a young age he and his brothers, future band matesTaylor and Isaac, discovered their father’s rock and roll albums and their love for music began to blossom.

In 1992, along with his two older brothers, he formed boyband Hanson and learnt to play drums, guitar and piano.

The band took the world by storm in 1997 with the release of their first major album and debut single MMMBop, which made it to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Zac is still the second youngest artist to ever be nominated for a Grammy award when, at only 11-years-old, he was shortlisted in the Best Record of the Year category.

The Hanson boys formed their own record label 3CG in 2003 and have now played together for more than twenty years. In 2013 they released album Anthem, featuring the single Get the Girl Back which made huge waves in the indie market.

Zac married longtime girlfriend Kate Tucker in 2006 in front of 140 guests at the Second Ponce de Leon Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia. The couple have three children together: John, Junia and George Hanson.

Taylor’s Forbes #under30Summit Q&A

Forbes Facebook

Hey this is Taylor Hanson, very pleased to be joining you via the @forbes#under30summit in philadelphia. Let’s talk about music and the business surrounding it in our changing digital climate. I’m looking forward to your questions.
-Taylor H
Photo: Hey this is Taylor Hanson, very pleased to be joining you via the @forbes #under30summit in philadelphia. Let's talk about music and the business surrounding it in our changing digital climate. I'm looking forward to your questions.<br />
-Taylor H
Chrissy W: Hey Taylor, welcome back to our fine city of Philadelphia! Have you heard any local music while you were here?
Taylor: I started off with music on the first night of the conference sitting in with the amazing LP. As far as philly music, I am excited to heard a bit of questlove tonight when he dj’s the #under30summit after party
Traci J: Do you see any improvement in the radio industry happening? Do you think it will ever be the type of force it used to be?
Taylor: There is more music purchased or exchanged than ever before. We do need to work to create more platforms that value content creators (to help make a sustainable future for all creators) but I think the future is bright.
Maria Clara F:Hi Taylor, i have more of a doubt than a question itself. Sometimes you and some other independent artists sound like the industry itself represents more damage than benefits to their signed cast. I definitely see your point but if going independent and articulate connected to your fans is so much better, i wonder why the artists won’t just rebel already and leave the industry behind.
Taylor: That is an interesting question. I think you have to look at any change of tide in a major industry and recognize that a movement requires extraordinary leadership to unify people, artists are told they should fear those that know more and that stops them from taking hold of their careers. I hope to see more artits willing to take hold of their career in the future (we will all benefit)
Melissa N: Have you and the band considered streaming live concertd live session with fans using online websites such as
Taylor: We have been kicking back into gear with livestreaming through our own site and you should join us for a stream on Nov 1st. #alivetonight go to it includes live music and more
Laura D: HANSON was definitely a frontrunner when it came to digital presence in the 90s for bands (and my obsession with that turned into a career, so thank you for helping me be nerdy ). How do YOU stay on top of the trends vs the standards when it comes to digital promotions, communications, etc.? Or do you set your own?
Taylor: It is very difficult to stay on top of all social media we focus first on the content and our brand, and as new things arrise we use those tools as well as we can to surround that content and vision. You cannot chase trends.
Rebecca P: Why do you think the music industry has overlooked data or atleast qualitative data and what can they do to change that?
Taylor: The music industry does not have a history of learning from it’s mistakes or for that matter innovating from within. I think that is becuase it has not historically been veiwed as a business that people outside of entertainment would be able to invest in, but now with this more open business world that merges all creative sciences we have a better shot at making the music world a bit smarter
Suze R: How do you think the the music industries transition into the digital music age effects the songwriter?
Taylor: Songwriters need to be even more focused on knowing their business and protecting their content value.
Summer D: Taylor! When can we expect a new album and tour? Hope to see you back in New Orleans very soon
Taylor: We are focused on doing different projects (like taking the time to be at the Forbes #under30summit and you can expect a special tour next year. love new orleans!
Leonor D: This year is ending and I wonder What plans do you have to surprise your fans???
Taylor: It would not be a surprise if we told you!
Laura T: Best advice for an singer/songwriter looking to make a start in the industry? Since I started singing because of your music, figured who better to ask ps Hi from Adelaide, Australia!
Taylor: We love australia, we were just there. Advice. Start with knowing who you are as an artist. Get to know that and then get out and work. (also see the answer above regarding social media).
Brooklynn S: Do you think things like Spotify and Pandora are hurting or helping the music industry? I can see both positives and negatives. What are your thoughts?
Taylor: I think a concept is always valuable because even if you are releasing singles you still need to present a vision and a message to fans. I think of it more like being a designer and presenting a new line, or a season, it all ties together even though you have to buy one piece at a time.
Nikki S: Since starting 3CG Records, have you considered producing music for other musicians? HAve you already done this?
Taylor:   Yes producing other artists is something we are very excited to do more in the future. We have done some work as producers for outside artists, but that is one of the main focus’s for us now (between now and the next HANSON record). any artists in mind?
Ashley S: Hello Taylor do you have any new business adventures lined up?!?
Taylor: It is not a for profit business, but a non-profit venture I began earlier this year is called Food ON the MOve, which is a collaboration between food and hunger specialists in my hometown Tulsa Oklahoma, which focus’s on developing community partnership in areas designated as Food Deserts (areas without access to fresh produce of a grocery store). That is very exciting and I am hopeful it will help strengthen the dialog around hunger in my home state.
Megan P: How does Hanson continue to be successful in the music business after the many changes it’s seen over the years?
Taylor: We have amazing fans, and we always focus on putting our passion first. that does not mean every project is a hit but it means we keep the trust of those that matter most (we hope). We’ve also been very blessed.
Andre S: How does an unknown artist effectively market their music in this crazy time?
Taylor: Start with the basics. Start local with live performance. Use digital tools with focus (pick a key social media outlet that you connect with and make that your main platform). don’t try and please everyone, focus on knowing who YOU are and let others that love that come to you
Michael C: Taylor! hello front Portland- Music, merch, touring, brewing… what is your next vision?
Taylor:  HI Michael, glad that you are joining us. We have several great things in the works. I think our current vision within the music world is to begin generating more consistent content online through livestreaming and work toward some special collaborative projects with artists beyond the HANSON brand. I talked about it yesterday at the conference here #under30summit, that I believe in the concept of an ongoing flow of content from artists to keep the relationship strong.
Alex K: Have you been surprised by some of the successful business decisions you’ve been able to make thanks to the data analysis you discussed at the panel yesterday?
Taylor: Hi Alex, that is a great question. Yes the power of data in our new world is a valuable tool to empower our decisions. When you start with a mission you want to achieve that it is especially valuable to have data to back that up and help excecute it. The future is bright for the collaboration between content and great data
Julie P: Can you already tell us when we will get new music from Tinted Windows?
Taylor:  We are working on new songs now…release date TBD