The Hop Jam 2017

Sunday after Hanson Day Weekend was over, it was time for the Hop Jam.  Once again I volunteered this year, so as far as the music portion went, I only saw a few performances. I was sure to sneak away from Castro’s set and watched it from the “VIP Box” that was my hotel room.  I ended up back at the hotel in time to hear KONGOS “Come With Me Now” and then of course, stopped all volunteering duties in order to see Hanson get inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame and see their performance.  Afterwards we picked up our volunteer shifts once again, doing all sorts of “fun” things to make sure that the street would be back to normal and no one would ever know such a huge festival had just went down.

The Hop Jam marked my 99th time hearing MMMBop live (which is pretty cool because #100 will be in Australia and that’s obviously why I had to go on such a big trip) and my 250th unique song heard live was their new single,  “I Was Born”.  It was also my 141st Hanson show meaning that I will most likely be hitting 150 in Australia / New Zealand. (Looking to be New Zealand based on the Members Only Events that were recently announced)

Here are a few highlights from the show:

Hanson getting inducted

Taylor starting Fired Up in the crowd


For most of the day I was at the entrance gate, watching people get pissed off because they couldn’t bring in outside food or drink (and one particularly happy guy dumped his water bottle at my feet because he was told to dump it. Thanks dude!) and handing out maps of the festival grounds and answering questions about where to get tickets scanned and all that good stuff.  I handed a map to someone and he commented about how he hoped now he wouldn’t get lost, I told him “Good luck!” and the security guy asked me what I said so I was like “…good luck?” and he goes “Oh. I thought you said ‘Get fucked'”  I mean… I’m not sure that is the language that I really should be using as a volunteer at a festival? But this guy was also making fun of everyone who tripped over the entrance fence to their face – I was a bit relieved when they moved him to a different gate and hopefully it was with less public interaction.


Music Monday: Hanson Members Only EP “In Color”

1. Somebody That Wants To Love You
2. Ghostwriter
3. Reach Out For My Hand
4. I Don’t Want To Go Home
5. I Lift You Up


One of the perks of heading to Hanson Day Weekend in Tulsa is that you get to pick up your Members Only EP at registration if you have joined/renewed for the year prior to arriving! This year they did 5 streams of the 5 songs on the EP so I had an idea of what to expect, but was a bit surprised with the final versions of some of the songs.

“I Don’t Want To Go Home” is the new Hanson fan anthem and the most popular line – “All my friends are here, I don’t want to go home” even made it on a Hanson symbol pin in the store.

Most of the songs are poppy and upbeat with the exception of “I Lift You Up” which is the one song that I have been skipping. Not because it’s not good, it is, but because it’s hard for me to get through listening to it.  This one is also interesting because some of the background tracks on it are just the guys breathing into an app on their phone – which Isaac held up to the mic during the live performance.


Book Review: According to a Source

According to a Source is about Ella who sometimes goes as Bella who works for a gossip mag getting all the latest dirt on all your favorite celebrities.  All the names of the celebrities in the books are what you might see in blind items on the internet but you can kind of get an idea of who they are based off of – “not so innocent oversexualized pop star” – yeah, thats gotta be loosely based on Britney Spears, right?  Ella manages to get all the dirt for The Life and even has managed to befriend actress and socialite Holiday Hall – who knows her secret, and her code that she only writes about things that happen in public.

When a new editor takes over at the magazine and tells the freelancers that there is only room for 4 of them and they will have to earn points based on what kind of stories they get, Ella struggles to keep up.  Her mother is very sick and she doesn’t want to tell anything about Holiday, even though she probably knows a secret or two.  When Ella finds herself in the middle of a scandal with Holiday and doesn’t report it to her editor, she pressures her for information and Ella cracks.

Can Ella make right after ruining so many careers, friendships and relationships?  She’s not sure, but she’s hit rock bottom and she is certainly going to try.

As someone who used to try and figure out all the blind items I read on the internet, this book was an interesting look at “behind the scenes” of how that information was sourced.  It also had a great storyline and just enough drama to keep things just over the top enough to keep me wanting to turn the page.

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

About the Book

We live in a society obsessed with celebrity, but have you ever wondered who is on the inside gathering the best celebrity gossip and how do they get access? According to a Source: A Novel by Abby Stern dishes on this behind the scenes world in a way that only a Hollywood insider could.

Ella Warren works for celebrity news website, The Life, as a club reporter. She’s assigned to stake out Hollywood’s hottest clubs and spy on the celebrities inside. When Ella is pressured by her Devil Wears Prada-type boss to find an exclusive story to keep her job, she has to decide if being in Hollywood’s elite inner circle is worth jeopardizing her friendship with actress Holiday Hall, her budding romance with Holiday’s agent, and her family.

A juicy, big-hearted novel about a young woman who loses herself in a fast-paced, glamorous world where finding your authentic self isn’t easy.

Hanson Day 2017 Recap

Over the weekend I headed back to Tulsa, OK for Hanson Day Weekend 2017! This was the biggest members only event yet and many of the activities sold out quickly. I managed to get tickets for all of the sold out events and here’s a bit of a recap for each of the events I attended… more details coming soon but I’m way more exhausted than I had anticipated.

I Heart Hanson Store

We waited in line for about 3 hours for the store to open and were some of the first ones inside. Things were a bit slow going inside the store probably due to the amount of shirts and accessories that were available. Highlights included a pin that said “All my friends are here I don’t want to go home”, a ridiculous amount of t-shirts and the Play EP on CD! (Previously the release had been digital only)  There were some things that I didn’t even realize were for sale so I may have to place an order once items go up on the website Friday.


Isaac hosted karaoke on Thursday night. A huge storm came through while we were waiting and it took me a while to be able to make it across the street from the bakery I was hiding in to the venue for karaoke so I ended up missing 2 songs.  Fans were able to sign up to sing (if they wanted) and names and songs were drawn at random and they were called up on stage. I opted to not participate but had a lot of fun watching my friends and other fans up performing on stage!  Isaac also did a rendition of “Stand By Me” on stage in addition to air guitar and singing with some of the other performers as well.

Hanson Gallery

Each year Zac does some original paintings in a gallery that has some for sale. In addition to the originals, there were also some prints. I was really hoping to get an original and/or something of a pansy.  When I got in to the gallery a little before 11, there were still originals left so I was able to get a painting! Unfortunately the print I had wanted of the pansy was sold out as they were limited to only 10 🙁  They also had a new “Hanson History” aspect of it which included some outfits and props from their music videos – including the MMMBop pansy which had a photo booth set up so you could get photos with it.  The pansy has been my favorite flower since before Hanson (When they video first came out my Mom said , “of course you like this song, it has your flower in it”) so I was pretty pumped about that.

Photos with the band

We were told to be in like by 1:15pm in order to ensure photos with the band – I was working a volunteer shift at the gallery until 1 when I heard they were saying “last call” for photos. We headed over there only to be told the guys had left – but others told us they were just taking a break. We took our chances and it started raining while we were waiting (I very much so debated wearing my poncho for the photo!) but we did end up being able to get a photo. My friend Maribeth teased that I should have worn the poncho and I said I didn’t want to get the guys wet to which Zac responded “That’s why she wanted you to wear it”


This year the lectures were an additional concert – an acoustic storytellers of sorts. The guys did songs and talked a bit about the stories behind them, or just whatever stories in general they wanted to tell. They started with a song that was not on the setlist – Rockin Robin – which they used to sing on the corner before they got their big break.  The guys each did a solo song as well!

ST Leaders Dinner 

I am a Hanson ST Leader for CT and we have a dinner to meet other leaders and discuss a bit what we needed to do to help promote the upcoming single release, tour, etc.  The guys showed up and Taylor said he liked the shirts I made for Maribeth and I and took a photo with us (that later ended up on the band’s instagram!)  It was pouring rain the whole time we were there which made for an interesting walk to our next event.

Hansonopoly Tournament

This tournament was a new addition this year.  There were 3 rounds lasting an hour each of modified Hansonopoly. I started off pretty well with everyone landing on my property but ended up coming in I think 3rd or 4th of 6.  The first round was fun but I didn’t like that if you lost, that was it. (Except that it gave us time to get to the dance party)  I had heard that the 2nd round was much more competitive though so I am not sure I would have enjoyed it much.

Dance Party

Taylor’s activity was the dance party.  We got there a bit late due to Hansonopoly and we didn’t stay very long either because at this point it was pretty late.  Taylor was DJing a mix of songs and everyone was hanging out. There seemed to be a lot less people than last year, I am not sure if they sold less tickets or if a lot of people ending up opting out because the day was such a long one!

Members Only Concert

Before the concert they had the “State of the Band” where they played the new music video that will be out on Friday (which I unfortunately couldn’t really see because of the set up) and announced that the Christmas album will be titled “Finally It’s Christmas” and that they will be doing a TOUR! Woo!

The concert started with the 5 new songs from the new EP “In Color” that they released to members, then they did some other members only songs and a few album tracks as well. They ended the show with a bit of Weird acapella.


Music Monday: John Mayer The Search for Everything

Still Feel Like Your Man
Emoji of a Wave
Love on the Weekend
In The Blood
Theme from “The Search for Everything”
Moving on And Getting Over
Never on the Day you leave
Roll it on home
You’re Gonna Live Forever In Me

Finally, Finally, Finally! John Mayer released “The Search For Everything” in its entirety on April 14.  I had previously reviewed Wave One and Wave Two – so here I am again with the full on album review.  It was kind of weird to get a “new” album but already be familiar with most of the tracks on it and that made listening to it all together a little bit strange because I felt totally comfortable and familiar with some and then a little bit like “who are you and what are you doing here?” with the rest of the tracks.  So after listening to it a couple of times all together, I listened to the newer tracks on their own to get a better feel for them. I keep going back to the Wave One and Wave Two tracks as favorites though – Love on the weekend, Emoji of a Wave have been on heavy rotation. To a lesser degree, Still Feel Like Your Man.  I do like how it is more of a throwback to my favorite John albums (Paradise Valley at this point I can take or leave, Born and Raised is alright but I prefer the “older” stuff) and that he worked with the same group from Continuum which is my favorite. (Today. I think. Who knows. We’ll see.)  Very much so looking forward to hearing some of these newer tracks in concert in August since he didn’t debut any of them live until the album came out – an idea which I get but was a little annoyed about as well.


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