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Music Monday: Hanson Play EP

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Do You Believe In Love
Freak Out
Man On Top
Joyful Noise
Feeling Alive

 Last Monday Hanson released their latest EP, Play, a digital only release exclusive to Hanson.net. I had heard 4/5 songs in May in Tulsa and helped record parts of the songs, so I was very excited to hear the finished versions. If you had asked me weeks ago which song I thought would be my favorite I’d have hands down said “Do you Believe in Love”, I fell in love with it when Zac was working on it in a stream and was so excited when they started playing it in Tulsa, though it evolved from a simple piano ballad to a queen and the darkness inspired up tempo track.

After having listened to the EP on repeat several times now, I think Do You Believe In Love is #3 for me, maybe even #4 of 5!

Feeling Alive quickly became my favorite. It gave me goosebumps on a clip from the studio Zac had posted on hnet and continues to give me goosebumps even after multiple (and I do mean multiple) listens.

I also really love Freak Out and if they don’t use it to open a show in Jamaica (or even Disney!) I will be very disappointed. It is just the perfect let’s get things started and get you pumped song.

And Joyful noise is a great track as well. I enjoyed it in Tulsa and enjoy it finished even more. This EP is kind of a favorite, everything else tied for second-ish and then…

Man On Top. For whatever reason this song has not stood out to me. It’s not terrible but it just hasn’t grabbed me. It also sounds a lot like an old Hanson song to me (Look At You?)

Overall though I am super pumped for this new EP and if you ever have thought about maybe checking out what Hanson is up to musically, now would be the time to do it. This EP is available exclusively on Hanson.net and you do not need to be a (paid) member to purchase but will need to set up an account for their store to buy it.

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Top 15 Hanson Members Only Songs

As I mentioned before – Hanson is having us choose their top songs for reasons as yet unknown. (And whether or not we’ll ever know remains to be seen)  First they asked us to choose our Top 25 from (most) of their studio albums and B-sides.  The next survey was asking us to pick a Top 15 from their Members Only content.

For those of you who may not be Hanson fans – each year they release a CD of  about 5 tracks to current members of their fanclub that year as a thank you for being members.  In addition to these EPs they also listed some songs from EPs that were available to the public as well, though perhaps not as widely available as studio albums.

I took the same approach to this list as I did with the album lists – sorted them into “Yes”, “No”, “Maybe” and hoped I’d land somewhere near 15 with my “Yes” pile.  After the first go through I had 20 in my Yes column so I ended up having to remove 5 instead of adding some like I needed to do in the Studio list.

Looking back at the list, I’m not sure now (a couple weeks later) how I came to this conclusion and I might have a different list if you asked me to do it again now. I admittedly do not listen to the Members Only stuff as much as the rest – not because it’s not as good but typically I have the CD in my car after the Members Only Event and release and listen to it a bit too much for the following few weeks/months and then never really bother with them again. (And then lyrics to them end up being the trivia at BTTI and I do terribly or they end up playing them live at BTTI and I struggle to sing along – I really need to start making a playlist in November/December of them to prep me!)

Here’s my list…

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Hanson Top 25 Songs

Recently Hanson asked members of their fan club to choose their Top 25 songs from their albums (+ b-sides).  Since they didn’t include any of the members only tracks, this was a lot easier than I expected, but still not entirely too easy to put together.  I decided to “go with my gut” and put my list together as quickly as possible because I knew if I sat around debating any of the tracks, I’d never finish!

How I came to my concussions:

I put all the songs into an excel spreadsheet, and then quickly made a column next to them where I ranked them by “Yes”, “No” and “Maybe”.  Yes were definitely belonging in my Top 25, No definitely didn’t and maybe I could be swayed either way.

After my first run through, I ended up with 35 songs on my Yes/Maybe combined.

I then went through the Maybes and again ranked them Yes/No.  This landed me with a top 24! So close! So I went through the maybes that became No and grabbed on more to round out my list.

There has been some debate as to whether or not we should include MMMBop on our lists – but I felt that I had to.  Without it, who knows if we’d all be here, you know?  We also don’t know what the list is going to be used for – and I’d totally pick different songs if I was picking for a setlist base or if I was picking for songs I want to know more about how they were written or songs I am playing for someone who has never heard Hanson before or songs for a greatest hits… but I tried to combine a little of all of those lists because we weren’t given too much specific direction on what this list would be used for, if anything. (And then the guys went and posted in a newsletter they were surprised a couple weren’t in the running and I have a feeling that may end up skewing the results on people who voted after that newsletter…)  I’m not sure if they will ever let us see what the list ended up being – but I know there was no song on more than 58% of the lists at the time Leigh decided to share some stats with us on Hanson.net – and no song had no votes at all.  Very interesting!

And if you want to really torture yourself – I have the best of the rest up on Hansonstage which is the members only / random HNet tracks.  Voting for that ends in a couple of days and I still havent managed to pick my own top 25 yet!

Here’s what I ended up picking:

A Minute Without You
Already Home
And I Waited
Broken Angel
Cry/Cried
Dying To Be Alive
Fired Up
Give A Little
Hey
If Only
In The City
Juliet
Lost Without Each Other
Lost Without You
Mmmbop
Musical Ride
Runaway Run
Scream And Be Free
Smile
The Walk
Tonight
Weird
Where’s The Love
With You In Your Dreams
You Can’t Stop Us

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Book Review: Girl vs. Boy Band

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Girl vs Boy Band is a new series and let me tell you that if you think you can get away with reading just this one and then moving on, you’d be mistaken. It does end with a bit of a cliffhanger. Or as I like to say, it didn’t end. (I mean, obviously it did, but no real closure.)

The book is about Lark, who moved from Nashville to California with her music executive Mom after her parents got divorced.  She is a song writer with severe stage fright.  Her Mom ends up signing the hot big up and coming boy band Abbey Road from London and they come to the US to live with Lark and her Mom.

The book sets up the relationships between Lark and the boyband members as well as a friendship between Lark and one of the boys at school who tries to get her to perform with him in the school talent show.

I really liked the book and all the characters and am looking forward to the rest of the series!

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

For fans of Taylor Swift and One Direction comes a new tween series featuring an aspiring singer-songwriter and the boy band that could steal her spotlight.

Talented but painfully shy eighth-grader Lark secretly writes feisty, heartfelt songs about her life-about school, crushes on boys, not getting along with her mom, and missing her dad who lives in Nashville. But that secret becomes harder to keep when Lark’s mother, a music record executive at her own label, announces that British boy band Abbey Road will be coming to live with them while they make their first album!

Sharing her L.A. house with three noisy, mischievous rising stars isn’t as glamorous as expected, especially when things aren’t going smoothly with the band members. When one of them plagiarizes one of Lark’s songs and passes it off as his own, will Lark gain the courage to step into the spotlight herself?

Harmony Jones is the author of many novels for children and young adults. She splits her time between Connecticut and the Rhode Island coast, where she lives happily with her husband and their two incredibly spoiled golden retrievers. She is a lifelong fan of pop music, and even has a whole room in her house dedicated to her favorite group of all time – the Beatles!

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Throwback Thursday: Honor Society 8/23/08

Headliner: Honor Society
Opener(s): na
Venue: Presbyterian Church of Islip
Cost: $9

Setlist:

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Throwback Thursday: Jonas Brothers July 26, 2008

Headliner: Jonas Brothers
Opener(s): Demi Lovato, Avril Lavigne
Venue: Meadows Music Theater
Cost: $98

Setlist:

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Jim Gaffigan at Foxwoods

For my birthday (today!) I got myself and my mom tickets to see Jim Gaffigan at Foxwoods. I ended up getting some pretty sweet spots for his 10:30 show, even though I was kind of annoyed the show was at 10:30.  Of course, it sold out so quickly they added a 7:00pm show and I probably should have seen that coming!  We got there around 8 and were going to eat at the Hard Rock Cafe for my birthday, but with a 40 minute wait we weren’t sure that would allow for enough time to eat, play and make it to the show on time.

Before doors opened, I was busy catching Pokemon and doing some gambling, where I put $10 in a machine, played $0.50 and immediately won $15.30.  I played it down to $20 and ended the night with doubling my money.  Not bad! 😉

Just after 10:30pm it was time for the show to start.  The opener for the night was Ted Alexandro. My mom’s review was, “I didn’t think he was going to be that funny, but he was”  I mean, what more can you really ask for, right?

Jim came out at about 11 and did an hour set. He was great, as I expected – even though I did have a moment of uncertainty when a guy who sat at a slot machine a couple down from me told another guy who was trying to give away comp tickets that “we already saw him, and he sucked”… he later was saying that the slot machine sucked as well so I was hoping this guy just hated everything and I am probably right. (Either that or he had no idea what he was getting into seeing Jim.  Having read his books and watching his show every week, his set was basically what I had expected it to be – jokes about life, his kids and food!)

The last time I had seen Jim I was in college and he did a set on The View, so it was nice to see him in person again now that he’s blown up. (Literally and figuratively? I kid, he isn’t that fat in person!)

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Music Monday: Ticketmaster Settlement Vouchers

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Over the weekend Ticketmaster made good on the class action suit brought against them and many found vouchers in their account for pairs free general admission tickets and discounts on future ticket purchases.

To find out if your account has been credited, log in and go to your account and scroll to the “Active Vouchers” section. If you are on a mobile device, this link should work: https://www.ticketmaster.com/member/vouchers

It seems that the cap is 17 vouchers – that’s how many I ended up with and I haven’t seen anyone else with more than that.

It seems that the site has been having trouble loading vouchers since the announcement has been spread around social media telling everyone to check so if you can’t see how many you have yet, hang tight. The vouchers expire in 2020 and should be available for use at LiveNation venues. I am looking forward to seeing what shows end up available and have my fingers crossed that Hanson will end up in the list!

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My2K Tour

After Mixtape Festival in Hershey Park was announced for 2016, there was a lot of speculation that a tour was in the works with 98 Degrees, Dream, O-Town and Ryan Cabrera.  I had hoped it would be true because Mixtape Festival was the one day in August I was already going to a concert.  Finally it was announced to be true – the “MY2K tour” would be happening in July & August.

In true “Go Big or Go Home” fashion, Christine and Katie do stupid stuff part 98 (see what I did there?) came in to fruition when we decided we’d be doing the ultimate VIP package which includes front row tickets and M&Gs with the bands on the tour.  Dream & OTown also announced their own additional VIP experiences and we opted to go for O-Towns which includes a pre-show concert.

To get myself even more hyped up for the show than I already am… I put together a playlist and I figured I’d share it.  Look for all the details on how our VIP experiences went in early August 🙂

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Music Monday: Parachute Wide Awake

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Without You
What Side of Love
Jennie
Everything
Lonely With Me
Love Me Anyway
New Orleans
When You Move
Getaway
Crave
What Breaks My Heart
Waking Up

Last month Parachute released their newest album, Wide Awake and they are currently embarking on their Wide Awake tour.  Like their other albums, I find this to be a pretty solid listen and I can and have listened to it over and over in the car.  I have to say that I think my favorites are Lonely With Me, New Orleans and Getaway… though I do find that Jennie is often stuck in my head.

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