Over the weekend I went to Tulsa, Oklahoma. It was for a festival of sorts, what we named a convention that was really a weekend of stuff put on by the band Hanson in honor of their 20 years as a band. At the beginning of the show they played (actually the second of two shows — they had to do two shows on Sunday night because so many people RSVP’d for the event) a video from their audition to play at Mayfest twenty years ago. Isaac was 11, Taylor was 9 and Zac was 6. It was precious.
If you’ve never been to Tulsa, it’s a small city in Oklahoma. The first time I landed there, I was shocked to see there were only five (!!) tall buildings in downtown. This is very unlike cities I’ve been to before, mostly on the northern east coast, even the small ones.
There are cute little stores and restaurants, really pretty houses and art on buildings. I ate fried pickles, breakfast for dinner and drank ice chai tea lattes. I even found a coffee place with tangerine kombucha. We rented bikes and reenacted music videos and blared music in the middle of the street at 11:30pm while we waited for a train to pass.
It was one of those weekends that was exactly what I needed. Even if I couldn’t put it all into words that makes sense just know that I returned home feeling inspired and full of music and love.
ps You can read the Good Groupie’s reaction to our weekend at her post here, where you can also see a video of part of the street dancing three of our friends did in attempts to reenact the Thinking About Something video they were in.
That’s something I was reminded of this weekend as we drove around Tulsa, listening to music we all have in common and the stuff we don’t – it’s so much fun to share a musical moment with someone, knowing you both have a connection to a song. – The Good Groupie.
Oh, Hanson. You probably remember them. If you’ve been a reader of this blog for any amount of time, or friends with me in real life for more than a month you’d have to know they are my favorite band. Even after fifteen years.
On May 6th, 1997 the Governor of Tulsa, OK declared that day Hanson Day in Tulsa and ever since Hanson fans have acknowledged this day as a “holiday” we have in common. One of those little things that separate us from everyone else. Everyone else being, mostly, the people who have forgotten about the band or taken the time to comment on (and make fun of) my love of the music.
Still fifteen years later I feel like I am defending myself when it comes to my music. It was just the other day that a co-worker was singing “Mmmbop lollipop” at me while we told a customer that my upcoming trip is, ultimately, to see Hanson perform in their hometown (something I also did seven years ago).
The favorite part goes way beyond “oh, hey I like this album”. It resonates deep within me and has made me who I am today.
The lyrics spoke to me when nothing else would, they describe my thoughts and feelings when I can’t put words to them. The first fiction I finished was, gulp, Hanson fan fiction. And I met many many amazing people and best friends through the love of Hanson.
In fact a friend of mine, Miranda the Good Groupie (who, might I add, will be venturing to Tulsa to see the boys with me this upcoming weekend) wrote a post that basically mimics everything I could write about in here called Why I Still Love Hanson 15 Years Later.
& If you’re interested in reading about that time I caught a ride with a near stranger to sleep on Sunset Boulevard, their cover of Troublemaker, how I am still listening or why the music moves me so much, read on my friends.
Happy Hanson Day <3
So I’m not one to watch music videos, ever. If I do, it’s usually playing on Youtube and I’m just there for the music. However, I love this song. It’s my favourite off this album and it just came out. So I’m sharing. Give A Little.
“They don’t know what it’s like to love one band,
one silly piece of music so much it hurts.” – Almost Famous
Sometimes I find it hard to believe they exist. I temporarily forget about the hours of love I’ve put into this band. I forget about how A Song To Sing was the first song I listened to when I got This Time Around. I forget that Underneath reminds me of developing photos in the dark toom at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.
It’s nights like last night when I am going to see them as if it’s a regular occurrence that gets me. Nights when I stand there and it’s all so surreal. Instead of feeling the anticipation, I am confused because this isn’t the way it’s supposed to be. It’s supposed to be instant friends and sing alongs in line. It’s supposed to be hours of excitement, necks craned to sneak a glance and endless wonderment. It’s supposed to be a group of my friends who know all the words, not me and my own doubt to memorize the new album.
The shows start off surreal in an odd mixture of familiarity and something else all together. Just before Isaac, Taylor and Zac appear, my excitement is at its highest. The moment the music begins to play I’ve forgotten how to breathe, I can’t stop smiling and the beat takes over. Everything comes rushing back in the form of cords and piano keys. I am at home, where I’m supposed to be.
I used to be so proud to shout it out, tell others that Hanson is my favourite band. I was happy and defensive, stubborn when I tried to convince you of their worth. Now I find myself trying to avoid announcing it to the work crew that Hanson is who I am going to see. It’s not that I’ve stopped caring, it’s that I’ve realized that no one else does. I can go without a round of co-workers singing Mmmbop terribly (and with the wrong words). This makes me feel like I’m harbouring a secret, indulging in a guilty pleasure, but it isn’t that at all.
It’s that Hanson is so ingrained in who I am, I don’t need to explain it to anyone else because they will not get it, even if I want them to. To them, Mmmbop it a long forgotten one hit wonder by boys who don’t exist anymore. It doesn’t matter though, because I’m still listening and that’s all that really does matter.