As we kick off the release of my rock star romantic comedy, In Over Her Head: Lights, Camera, Anxiety, I'm having authors come on to share their own music favorites. Today we have young adult author, Kadee Carder on sharing her favorite with us. Read on...
Mmm bop, ba duba dop
ba du bop, ba duba dop
ba du bop, ba duba dop
They may not have started off with the most earth-shattering lyrics when they hit the top music charts, but over the years Hanson has evolved into a group who changes lives with their passion, musicianship, and skill.
I first heard MMMbop on the radio when I was in seventh grade, a pixie-haired fourteen-year old with Devon Sawa and Jonathan Taylor Thomas posters plastered up on my yellow walls. A large poster of Taylor Hanson soon joined them, as I snatched the orange Hanson “Middle of Nowhere” CD from the nearby Hastings and started playing and replaying those unforgettable and fantastically catchy lyrics. Instant fan. I raised my hand as Taylor sang, “Where’s the love?” and pined away while they chorused, “I will come to you, oh, I will come to you.” (Still right here, Taylor. Waves hand.)
I wasn’t the best fan, and I won’t claim to be, but through the years I have always come back to random Hanson hits and added them to my collection. The song “Thinking About Something” has been on my workout playlist, and whenever I suggest amazing music videos to friends, I tell them to watch the video – a cleverly crafted recreation of “Shake A Taile Feather,” from the movie “Blues Brothers.” In an interview with MTV: “They re-created the music-shop set from the "Blues Brothers" film (building it in the offices of their 3GC Records), recruited both fans and professional dancers and got to work. They shot the "Somethin'" video in two days, taking great pains to match the film, frame by frame, right down to the costumes and thoroughly outrageous facial hair of the Blues Brothers Band.” These guys go big and it hits home.
My college roommate, writing buddy, and BFF Amy Cefoldo is a mega Hanson fan. We randomly send links to Hanson videos to each other. When we heard that they were touring their “String Theory” album and would be wrapping up in Tulsa, Oklahoma, (and tickets were super cheap), we hopped on the Christmas money train and grabbed our seats. After a seven-hour road trip up to Tulsa, we definitely fangirled through the entire once-in-a-lifetime concert.
I gotta be honest, guys. “String Theory” is one of my favorite albums of all time. Hanson decided to make their twenty-year album special, by combining their three-person band with a symphony orchestra.
“I was born to do something
No one's ever done,
no one's ever done before
I was born to go somewhere
No one's ever gone,
no one's ever gone before
I was born to be someone
No one's ever been
No one’s ever been before.”
With uplifting, inspirational lyrics throughout every track, and a full-bodied, beautiful sound of the symphony alongside their piano, electric, and bass guitars, it’s a unique and breathtaking album. “I Was Born,” “Battle Cry,” and “Joyful Noise,” are all requests my daughters make as we rock and roll down the highway.
One thing I love about Hanson is how authentic and real they are. They’re just three dudes, brothers, who love making music. While Taylor and I are the same age (still waving hand), he and his brothers Isaac and Zac come from a supportive Tulsa family and have other siblings, including brother Joshua who has started his own band.
A recent interview from Entertainment Tonight showed the brothers as they are:
“Taylor, lead singer and keyboardist, is calm, even and friendly, and when he speaks, manages to deliver honest and thoughtful responses in pitch-perfect soundbite form. “He’s the serious brother,” Isaac ribs.
Isaac’s aura is warm and self-deprecating, with an easy laugh as he admits to being “a little bit OCD” and jokes, “Thank goodness we were in a band because I would have never, ever found a woman.”
“It’s still amazing that he did,” Zac fires back, clearly still a vivacious kid at heart with a passion for video games and 3D printers. With 12 kids between the three brothers, Zac has proudly taken on Christmas morning toy duty and once, he recalls, taught the younger generation how to “destroy” pumpkins with large replica swords.
“It’s very safe, actually,” he explains, an oversized, mischievous grin sweeping across his face, “as long as you’re on the right end.”
And if that’s not cool enough, in May 2013, they launched their own beer: Mmmhops. The Hanson brothers partnered with craft beer company Mustang Brewing to create the drink as their way of raising a toast to their 21st anniversary.
They also own their recording studio, 3CG, located in downtown Tulsa.
So if you are feeling like maybe you’ve been needing some great music, definitely go check out Hanson. They’ll bring you up and make you want to jam.
Their philosophy about music and art?
From their website: “We are purely there to chase the muse, trying to find new ways to explore and articulate the feelings of being human, the joy, the pain, the love, the hopes, the fun and desire for a better tomorrow. That is after all what music is, a contained way of telling one another how we feel, what we think, who we are. And music does not care whether you wrote it, recorded it or are listening to it, in any case the feelings are no less true or real. That is what makes music so special, it unites us, and even if it is for a brief 3-4 minutes that feeling can stay with us forever. That is why we do music. That is what we care about. The honest power of an emotional and musical connection and the trust that it creates.”
Here's to the artists, the seekers, the listeners, the hopefuls, the broken, making a joyful noise as it heals our souls, to a band whose days are only just getting better as they go.
Fierce yet sparkly, I rally seekers to thrive in their stories. The goal is magic, the medium is ink, and the fuel is coffee. And sometimes pizza. I teach English on the university level when I'm not dancing around the living room with my family, lifting heavy at the gym, traveling the planet, or binging superhero shows.
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Author of the Landry's True Colors Series, the Cecily Taylor Series, the Star Series, and Dating the It Guy.