rhoda_rants: (hanson)
So, every couple years or so I check in with Hanson. If you've been around any length of time on this blog, you've probably noticed. I've been a fan for nineteen years and six albums now--not counting the demo recordings, live albums, the Christmas album, songs written for movie soundtracks, and rare exclusives they throw in as a bonus disc if you buy the live DVDs or behind-the-scenes stuff. According to iTunes, I actually have fifteen albums. And I don't even have access to the fanclub EPs. (Yet.) The reason I check in with them every couple of years or so is that they are always working on something new. Also, since Taylor is my age, and I kind of grew up with this music as they were growing up themselves and growing as artists, I see particular albums as signposts for my life. Each release connects to a different memory. I imagine I'm not the only Fanson who feels that way. (Yes, that's what we call ourselves.)

You know what's weird about Hanson though? With the nostalgia for all things 90s wafting through the stratosphere these days, I feel like that first album--particularly the song "MMMBop"--has become retroactively cool in a way it just wasn't in 1997. I've talked before about the dismissive fuckery I have put up with my entire adult life for being a fan, and it was no easier in the early days. People lump them in with TRL regulars like *NSYNC and the Backstreet Boys in terms of both fanbase and the surrounding culture, but that's not really accurate. When "MMMBop" first came out, young teenagers weren't listening to pop music. We were listening to Nine Inch Nails, Nirvana, The Smashing Pumpkins, Pearl Jam, REM, Alice In Chains, Live, Garbage--it was a VERY different scene. So if you were the one 14-year-old in the mall covertly trying to buy a copy of Middle of Nowhere while your friends were in the back of the music store, you had no one to geek out with. And I mean no one.

Meanwhile, we Millennials have grown up into twenty-and-thirty-something bloggers, content creators, and artists, and we've started looking at the culture of our childhood with fresh eyes. There's a whole fleet of vloggers devoted to critiquing and analyzing our favorite things from the 90s. One such vlogger is Todd In the Shadows, Channel Awesome's resident pop music expert. Last year he did a One Hit Wonderland episode on Hanson, and "MMMBop," which is a pretty good refresher course on their career up till now.

Well, sort of:


ONE HIT WONDERLAND: "MMMBop" by Hanson from Todd in the Shadows on Vimeo.



Read more. . . )
rhoda_rants: (last quarter)
Full list under here. )

I've added a few "days" to the meme per request from one of the commenters on [livejournal.com profile] hanson. Since I based this off of an MCR meme, I kind of forgot that Hanson's been together actually longer than they have, and therefore have more material to draw from for a thing like this.

Moving on:

Rhoda's favorite song off of Shout it Out - "Carry You There."



FYI, I picked the SXSW 4 Japan performance of that song because I realized somewhat recently that not only was Hanson involved in that whole relief effort--it was their idea. I'm a little destroyed that I missed that. And incredibly proud of the boys for putting it all together. (GAH! I hate being out of the loop. But whatever, that's why I'm doing this.)

At first, I wasn't that sold on Shout It Out as an album, but just as with Underneath, it's starting to grow on me. This sometimes happens with an artist I've loved for years--the sound changes and evolves just a little bit from one era to the next. Not much--it's still Hanson, after all--but enough that on first listen, I'm not really sure what to expect. Shout It Out has a more big-band, Motown feel to it than their other work, and "Carry You There" almost feels like a gospel track. If any of us had any doubts as to whether the term "blue-eyed soul" could apply to Hanson, this one seals it. Their voices are just so well suited to this style of music. That might seem a little obvious, since this is their music after all, but with this album, I feel like they've finally become what they always wanted to be in the first place. I'm not sure exactly where I'm going with that thought, but--well, just listen.
rhoda_rants: (sheik)
Full list under here. )

Just a quick fyi: I won't be embedding videos for all of these. Depends whether I can find a good quality one that isn't too incriminating or questionable. Couldn't make it happen here--just wanted to make it clear why. Moving on:

Day 2- Favorite song off of This Time Around? "In the City."

Another hard choice, but for a different reason--I love ALL these songs way too much to pick just one. I eventually settled on "In the City" because of the way it builds. It starts kind of low-key and low-tempo, and then rocks out just a little bit more with each verse. Also--John Popper--who Zac described as "the Eddie Van Halen of harmonica," if I'm remembering that right--ripping up that harmonica solo in the bridge is a fantastic highlight not just of the song, but of the whole album for me. Hell, just John Popper being on it period is awesome, and gave listeners their first clue that maybe they'd misjudged what Hanson was all about previously. If they were paying attention, that is. There's an energy behind this song that gives me the impression they must have jammed on it for like half an hour before tracking it properly. It just sounds fun.

(Cross-posted to [livejournal.com profile] hanson.)
rhoda_rants: (taylor)
Day 1- Favorite song of off Middle of Nowhere? "Thinking of You."
Days 2 thru 23 here... )



This was a tough one, because although it's the first album I bought and very close to me, the songs aren't as strong here as they are . . . well, everywhere else. It's overproduced and loaded with earworms, and I have to be in the right mood for it. (As an aside--the first time I saw The Ring and was subsequently traumatized by it, this album is what I listened to over and over to get myself out of that headspace. It helped. I still didn't sleep for three days, but it helped.)

I like "Thinking of You" because it's a good opener. One thing I always appreciate is how a band arranges the tracks on their album. The way one song flows into the next really makes a difference in the overall album experience, and because I'm one of those odd people who still buys CDs (as opposed to downloading individual MP3s) and listens to them from beginning to end without skipping anything, at least during the initial play-through, I always notice things like that.

Hanson has always had more hands-on involvement in their own production, marketing and other various artistic decisions than many other pop acts out there, and that was true even before any of them were old enough to vote. What I find interesting about this album especially is that, while a handful of producers and professional songwriters put some things together for them, the ones written by the boys tend to stand out, and the album opener is one of those tracks.

(Cross-posted to [livejournal.com profile] hanson.)
rhoda_rants: (doctor who)
As promised. :) Enjoy!

Icons:

10 Things I Hate About You--1
Benny & Joon--1
Harry Potter--4
The Crow--2
The Princess Bride--3
Romeo + Juliet--3
Lord of the Rings--2
Sleepy Hollow--4
Sweeney Todd--3
The Woman in Black--2
X-Men--4
Sandman--3
My Chemical Romance--3
Hanson--7
Emma Watson--3
Hyde--6


Friends Only Banners:

Hanson--1
Hyde--1
Lord of the Rings--2
My Chemical Romance--2
Sweeney Todd--1


Preview:


All Under Here! )

All the usual rules apply--want, take, have, give credit.
rhoda_rants: (romy)

It appears that Yahoo! is giving up on their free web service, GeoCities, in order to make way for some kind of pay-only nonsense. SO! That "Under Construction" page of mine is still under construction, but I hooked up the link on the frontpage so that y'all can get in there and browse. To make it easier, click here: Rhoda's Junk Page.

In the meantime, I reckon I need some other place to store my fanfiction indefinitely. Some of it's up on FF.net, which is fine. But the rest needs posting too. So I suppose I might be reposting some of my old fanfic here in the coming months. I might go fishing for communities to post them in as well - let's see if I can't broaden my audience a bit.

With that in mind, these are the fics that I need to reload:

"Vortex" - a 3-way crossover starring My Chemical Romance, AFI, and Criss Angel. It's a supernatural thriller about the End of the World, and the boys in MCR are my protagonists. They get stuck in the middle of a war that crosses through reality and time, and the others are key players in a mystery that only becomes clear in the last couple of chapters. (At least, I hope.) I don't like to play favorites with my fics, but I do have a soft spot for this one.

"The Promo" - still in progress, but there are only like two chapters left that I need to write. Another 3-way crossover, also with MCR, but also with Silent Hill and The Haunting of Molly Hartley. The boys are given a copy of the latest Silent Hill game, and somehow cross over into the world of the game. Before long the fun wanes and the horror mounts.

"Fire, Dreams, Mirrors" - a four-part horror saga starring Hanson, with a guest appearance by Kurt Cobain in part three. Zac's new house is haunted, so Taylor comes over to visit to convince him there's nothing wrong. Unfortunately, the ghosts are not only real, but more interested in Taylor than Zac. (Yes, that's ghosts, plural.) This one was nominated for an award in Hanfic world several years ago. Didn't win, but what the hell - I'm pimping that for all it's worth.

Which one should I get on first? Any requests? (And in case you're wondering, no I haven't forgotten my Jasper fic - updates are pending, I'm in a tough spot. That X-Men vs. Sparklepires thing is pretty well dead, though.)
rhoda_rants: (taylor hanson)
Hey guess what? I got an iPod Shuffle! My stepdad got himself an iPhone, and he doesn't use the Shuffle anymore, so he gave it to me. Also he was convinced there was something wrong with it and couldn't figure out how to make it work. So I took it to the store to get some headphones and confirm that, no, nothing's wrong with it, and I'm currently listening to it! Woohoo!! I held out on the iPod craze for as long as I could, and I still don't think this counts because it's a hand-me-down - technically, I paid no money for it, so the boycott's still on. At least that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Now, about that Vulcan..... )

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