Gifts for the Hanson Fan in Your Life

Gifts for the Hanson Fan in Your Life

This is probably the most unconventional gift guide you’ll ever read but there are so many Hanson fans in my life that I thought it would be fun to put together a post of unique things we might like for Christmas.

Snowed In on Vinyl
Amazon is selling a limited edition pressing of Snowed In on vinyl. While this is not an official piece of merchandise sold by the band themselves, it is still very cool. The U.S. version is green and if you live in the U.K., your pressing is white.

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Vintage Hanson Tee
This one takes me back to 1997 – I had this tee in the white version (and still do, except it’s full of holes and yellowed now). Urban Outfitters is selling the black version and I couldn’t be more excited!!

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2019 Hanson Wall Calendar
This is beautiful and handmade by someone on Etsy. Actually the next several ideas are from Etsy – sometimes fan created items are better than actual official merchandise from the Hanson.net store.

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Hanging Wooden Sign
I want this and may buy it for myself and kind of hate to share it in case it sells out!

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Hanson Pins
Add some flair to your bag or show the world who your favorite Hanson brother is with these handcrafted enamel pins. Pins not your thing? She also has patches and plenty of resistance approved designs as well if that’s your thing.


Tulsa Snow Globe
Made famous by 1997’s Tulsa, Tokyo and the Middle of Nowhere, the Tulsa Snow Globe is a coveted item for fans all over the world. Formerly sold at Saks, Ida Red now has them and ship, so what are you waiting for?

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Lyric Charm Bracelets
These can be customized and are handmade by another fan. I bought one a few years ago and love wearing mine stacked with other bracelets and I put my Hanson necklace pendant charm on it for an added personal touch.

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Indiana State Fair

Indiana State Fair

I kind of forgot how much I love going to the fair. It was a summer staple growing up – I was a 4-H farm kid and showed my mini lop rabbits for 10 years at the Gibson County Fair. A few of my other projects made it to the state fair and we came up a few times to see them, but other than working at the library’s booth, I don’t think I’d really had the fair experience for about five years.

Hanson played on the free stage Friday night and a bunch of my Kentucky crew came up for it, so we decided to make an afternoon/evening out of it and had so much fun!

I tried the lemonade strawberry boba first thing and it was kind of like an elevated lemon shake-up. It’s supposedly new to the fair this year. The bobas at the bottom of the drink are squishy liquid filled creations that didn’t really dissolve, so I had to fish them out at the end to get them all.

I also had the best funnel cake known to man. This booth is over by the midway area and has a bunch of different flavors like red velvet and mint chocolate chip. It was by far the best thing I ate at the fair and I almost finished the whole thing off by myself.

The fair also has an upscale beer/wine garden of sorts this year. Maybe it was there last year too, but for those who enjoy an adult beverage, there are moonshine lemon shake ups, alcohol infused ice cream and sangria along with local Indiana brews to choose from.

Also new to the fair this year: the Subaru skyride. I couldn’t get anyone on it with me but enjoyed my solo ride from one end of the fair to the other.

I also got some fried okra, so I wasn’t just eating sweet foods. Verdict on that: not great. My homemade okra is way better. Should have gone with something else, like the inside out grilled cheese, which was on my list to try but I got too full before I found it.

Then it was time for the main event: Hanson! It was SO NICE to not have to travel very far to see my favorite band. I don’t think they had played in Indy since 2011 and it was long overdue. Hanson, if you’re reading this, us Hoosiers are tired of fighting Chicago traffic to see you at the House of Blues.

The place was really full – the usual crowd was there at 3 p.m. waiting out in the hot sun (not doing that anymore) and there was actually some seating, which is rare at a Hanson show. We however, did not get to sit down because by the time we were done doing fair things, all seats were taken and it was standing room only.

Great show, great set list and lots of energy from my favorite band. Come back next year!!

Hanson Day 2017

Hanson Day 2017

If you aren’t a Hanson fan, you probably don’t know that every year they have a weekend long celebration in their hometown of Tulsa, OK. This year was extra special since it marks 20 years since their first major label album was released and fans from all over the world descended upon what we like to call “our Graceland.”

This was my third time going – I went in 2009 for the first time and then again in 2012 to celebrate 15 years. And even though I’ve been to 48 of the 50 states, I’m still working on getting pictures with all of the state signs (20 down, 30 to go). So instead of flying to Tulsa, I opted to fly to Dallas then make the 4 hour drive up to OK so I could get Texas & Oklahoma.

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My original plan was to stop in Oklahoma City on the way to Tulsa. I wanted to visit the memorial for the Oklahoma City bombing and also see the capitol. But on my way there, some severe storms rolled in and the area was under a tornado watch, so I bypassed all that and went directly to Tulsa. The storms followed me and about the time I was parking and getting ready to head to the first event of the weekend – Hanson karaoke – it started to rain.

Karaoke night was probably my least favorite part of the weekend. The song selection wasn’t great and most of the people who got chosen to sing, picked Hanson songs. And with the exception of one girl who rocked “In the City” most weren’t very good. Highlight of the night was Isaac’s hosting skills and his rendition of “Crazy” by Gnarls Barkley. When we left karaoke, it was POURING. And I mean, pouring. It wasn’t far to the car but our clothes and shoes got soaked and to top it all off, our hotel was out of power when we got back. It took two days for my clothes to dry out and the seats in the car were so wet that we had to sit on towels from our room the next day to keep us dry.

We started off day 2 with Hurts Donuts. I got the Apple Pie doughnut and it was delicious! My friend Lacy got a Strawberry Shortcake and it was really good too. Then it was time for group photos with the band! Also about that time, the sky was about to open up and pour on us again. Thankfully, Hanson moved the huge line in to Cains Ballroom where we waited in lines (the theme of the weekend) that actually moved pretty fast. We were also happy that we knew everyone in our group – sometimes you get stuck with random people and it’s more fun if everyone in the photo are friends 🙂

That afternoon we went thrifting, ate lunch on Route 66 and visited some local gift shops. We also attempted to stand in the line for the Hanson store but when it started pouring again, we gave up & came back later in the day. That night we met up with our group photo friends for dinner then went to the dance party that was DJ’d by Taylor. The dance party was a lot more fun than previous dance parties. I actually stayed out until about 2 AM!


I had plans on day three to get up really early and go get the Arkansas and Missouri state signs. Tulsa is only about an hour away from Arkansas and an hour and a half from Missouri. But after staying up so late, I just made it to Arkansas and decided to get Missouri some other time. It also rained on the way there but finally cleared up by the time I got back. Lacy & I went to lunch at Mexicali then went to the special Hanson exhibit at the museum in town. It was a little underwhelming – I expected more items to be on display but it was really cool to see the piano from the “Lost Without Each Other” video. However, they wouldn’t let us take photos!! That was extremely disappointing, but I sneaked in a few anyway when they weren’t looking. They also had a fun photo booth set up where we could take pictures in front of the pansy from the MMMbop video.

We got a few pictures with some other murals around town then met up with friends for the concert that night! Before the concert was the State of the Band, which is pretty much just updates on what’s going on in Hansonland. We got a world premier video for the new single “I Was Born” which features all their kids and left the entire room weepy. They also played some footage from the recording of Snowed In and the new Christmas album, which comes out in Nov. The show itself was mostly songs from previous fan club only CDs, which was kind of cool because it wasn’t the typical set list.

After the concert, I walked back to our hotel and went straight to bed because I wanted to get up at 5:30 AM to head back to Dallas. When I got back to Dallas, I had plenty of time to kill before my flight so I found a giant eye ball in the center of downtown, a cool mural on my way to eat Torchy’s for the second time, then spent about an hour at the President George W. Bush Presidential Library.

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What I didn’t know was that I was going to be delayed about 9 hours in the airport due to storms moving in to Texas 🙁  It took forever to board, then when we finally got on, we sat there for a long time before they made the announcement that flights to Houston were grounded and everyone with connections there needed to get off to be re-routed. They had us stand in another really long line and I finally got put on a direct flight to Indy which was scheduled to leave at 8:55. By this time it was 4 o’clock so that didn’t seem too long but as the day went on, the flight kept getting delayed even later and we finally got in the air about 10 PM, which got us back to Indy at 12:30 AM. I got home shortly after 1 AM, tried to sleep (the cats were excited so it wasn’t a very restful night) and then dragged myself out of bed to come to work.

It was a great trip though & I will hopefully make it back again – maybe for the 30 year reunion 😉 It was great to see many of my extended Hanson “family” and make new friends along the way. Here’s to 20 more years!

Top 25 Favorite Hanson Songs

Top 25 Favorite Hanson Songs

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Over on Hanson.net, Hanson is asking fan club members to select their Top 25 favorite songs in honor of next year’s 20th anniversary (and their 25th anniversary as a band together). I took the survey but it really wasn’t complete because they only listed tracks on their studio albums. Some of their best work is on the fan club member CDs or tracks that “don’t exist” as Zac put it when I asked him once to play an obscure non-album track.

I’ve seen a lot of the other fans making their own lists to share, so I thought I would do the same – it is much tougher than you’d imagine because it’s really incredibly hard to rank certain songs above each other. So here we go!

1. Every Word I Say. This song was on the Penny & Me single. I love the lyrics, the way Taylor sings the song, Isaac’s part in the bridge and the overall huge sound of the song. One the best love songs the band has ever written. “I want you for always, I hear your name in every word I say.”

2. Tearin’ It Down. This is probably a controversial pick. I don’t really know a lot of people who love this song the way I do but there’s just something that grabs me. It’s actually my most played song on iTunes and the groove of the song can’t be beat. Up until last year they never played it live and when I finally heard it, I about lost it. “I’m not a wise man, but I see the haze.”

 

3. This Time Around. Hanson’s lead single off their second album took the band in a more rock and roll direction. It’s also become an anthem of sorts for the fans and remains one of my all time favorites to hear live. Plus, Taylor never looked sexier than he did in this video 😉 “All I know is that fear has got to go, this time around.”

 

4. Rock ‘n’ Roll Razorblade. Taylor has been quoted as saying if you don’t get this song, you don’t get the band. It’s really kind of a depressing story about a musician who just wants to play the kind of music he wants to play but is being told to play something else by the record label. My guess is this song was written during the midst of the band’s own struggles with their former label. It appears on the 2003 fan club CD. “Won’t you watch me bleed rock n roll razorblade.”

 

5. Great Divide. Inspired by their trip to Africa to help children in need, this song kicked off most of the tours between 2007 – 2009. It’s so hopeful, so inspiring and almost Biblical. Any time I feel down or overwhelmed by this crazy world, I listen to this song. “I find hope and it gives me rest. I find hope in a beating chest. I find hope in what eyes don’t see. I find hope in your hate for me. Have no fear when the waters rise. We can conquer this great divide.” 

 

6. Been There Before. This song makes me emotional (in a good way!). To me, the lyrics describe exactly what someone should feel when listening to their favorite band. “Does it move you, does it soothe you/Does it fill your heart and soul with the roots of rock and roll?” & “When you can’t get through it, you can listen to it.”

 

7. If Only. One of my very favorites to hear live, this one always brings down the house (literally). Everyone joins in and jumps in unison and if you’re at the Chicago House of Blues, the entire building shakes. I know people thought the DJ scratches were weird in this song, but I love them. “If only I had the guts to feel this way, if only you’d look at me and wanna stay, if only I could take you in my arms and say, I won’t go cuz I need you. I wanna hear you say it’ll always be this way and we’ll be hand in hand for every night and everyday /I wanna scream and shout cuz rules are never doubt /And all I care about is you and me and us and now.” 

8. Let You Go. I always thought this one could have been a huge hit on radio but it was never an album track and up until recently Zac insisted to me that it did not exist. I think it finally showed up on something a few years ago but I don’t remember what. I’ve had a rough leaked cut for years now 😉 “Let’s turn it around/I know that it’s love that I’ve found/And I promise I won’t let you down.”

 

9. Tragic Symphony. Taylor channels his inner Michael Jackson and it’s pretty darn phenomenal. “Well, the lie you composed is intricate, but if it don’t bleed then it ain’t no cut.”

10. Deeper. This was another one I thought would be a big radio hit. It’s kind of a sappy Isaac love song but it’s always been a favorite of mine and I especially love that Michelle Branch sings back-up vocals. I legit cried when I heard this one live for the first time in Louisville back in 2008. “Every simple notion is poetry in motion /Can’t you see it’s pushing me over the edge /This wrecking ball you’re holding /Could crush the heart you’ve stolen /I give you my devotion all over again And if you let me try tonight you just might see that I’m falling deeper and deeper and deeper in love.” 

11. A Song to Sing. This is another emotional one and might just be Hanson’s best written song. Sometimes we’re lucky enough to hear that extra third verse that didn’t exist on the album version.I really want to copy all the lyrics because they’re just that good, but I’ll just pick a few. “I’m looking for a song to sing, looking for a friend to borrow. I’m looking for my radio, so I might find a heart to follow. I’ve never been this longing for your lovin’.  I’ve never been so wearin’ down to nothin’. I’ve never been just looking for a reason. So maybe you’ve been thinkin’ of me.”

12. Strong Enough to Break. This song really struck a chord with me when I first heard it because at the time, a friendship was ending. I know it’s about the band’s break-up with their record label but at the time, it really reflected how I was feeling inside. “Throw me a line so I can anchor my pain , the fabric is about to fray.”


13. A Minute Without You. On to happier tunes! This one doesn’t age and I think I’ve probably heard it 27 times live but it’s just one that needs to be played at every show. It’s also special for the fans because what would we ever have done without this band in our lives? “I can’t keep myself from thinking about you/It’s because I love you, and I know that it’s true, whoooa/I’ll call it desperation, can’t you see it in my eyes?/That I want be with you until the sun falls from the sky.



14. Lost Without Each Other. This one’s for anyone whose ever been in love and had a fight with their significant other. And the video was amazing. Are you listening? “Don’t go telling me we’re over /When you know you’re my one and only lover /And I won’t go saying that we’re OK when we’re /Lost without each other.” 

15. Lost Without You. I haven’t heard this one live yet – for some reason they never played it on the Anthem tour shows I went to. I love the lyrics, the harmonies and the soaring chorus – definitely one of the best songs off Anthem. “I’m gonna take this moment and chase this fear right out of me.”

16. Thinking ‘Bout Somthin’. This one instantly puts you in a good mood and makes you want to get up and dance. It’s a throwback sound that was the perfect lead off single to Shout It Out. It got some national attention when a DJ in Chicago played it but didn’t tell people who it was and the song became one of the most requested. I tried to learn the dance but failed 🙁 We still had fun with it at our wedding reception though. Look for Weird Al in the video! “Well I’ve got girls in line/waiting for these arms of mine/Listen up to what I say.”

16. In the City. This is as close to a headbanger as you’ll get with Hanson. It fantastic live – usually closes out the set and just when you think you have nothing left to give, you find yourself jumping up and down and screaming along with Taylor as he sings about a man scorned by his lover. “I’m gonna ask you once again, do you love me?”

18. Tonight. This is another one that’s really special for the fans – there are several other songs referenced in the lyrics and if you’re a casual listener, you won’t pick up on that. Can’t go wrong with a beautifully written, mid-tempo piano ballad. I also love that they alternate lead vocals. “Chase down the dream and don’t give up without a fight.”

19. For Your Love. This one’s another tear-jerker. I played it at my wedding and would have used it as a first dance if Hanson hadn’t been vetoed by my husband. Isaac ballads can sometimes be mopey but this one is perfect. “I would tear down any wall/ And for your love/ I’ll turn my back on this world/ For your love/ Every treasure I’d deny myself/ For your love, I’m fighting.”

20. These Walls. This song came out at a time when I was having a hard time finding a job and the lyrics really represented how I felt about my life at the time. I’m not in that place anymore but it’s still one of my favorites from Shout it Out. “The sky is falling all over again/Just another day’s conclusion/Another disillusion/The sky is falling all over again/Am I losing my composure? Way too much exposure to compromise/I can’t take on these walls.”

21. Give A Little. So infectious. The horns, the dancing. One of the best songs off Shout It Out. “Give a little heart and soul.”

22. Penny & Me. A breezy, fun summer song that came four years after their second album. We were beginning to think we might never get another album from the band but they finally broke free of their record label and gave us this triumphant return to #1 on the indie charts. It’s the perfect driving around town with your windows down song. “Turn the radio up, push the pedal to the ground.”

23. Hope It Comes Soon. This song is never not relevant. Off the Take the Walk EP.  “Feels like change is coming, well I hope it comes soon.” 

 

24. On the Road. This song was off the 2014 Fan Club member CD and it has such a rootsy, different feel for the band and I really dug it. I think they should make more songs like this. Unfortunately there aren’t many high quality videos on Youtube – just fast forward the first minute and a half to get to the song unless you want to see Zac acting silly. “And there is no destination but the journey you are on, on the road.”

25. Mmmbop. I toyed with this one because it seemed so cliche. And I’m pretty tired of hearing it live, although I still get excited when they play it. But it was the track that introduced me to the band, so it deserves a spot in the top 25. Also, the lyrics still hit home. “Hold on to the ones who really care, in the end they’ll be the only ones there.”