So I'm still in drizzly Tulsa, Oklahoma on day 2 of Hanson Day. I go down to the hotel restaurant for breakfast. I only eat half, I'd like to be able to still fit in my jeans when I leave lol.
First order of business is the listening party, where we hear all of the songs of the new album. The listening party takes place in a small club across the street from 3CG (most of the activities take place in this area, aka The Brady Arts District, more about this later). I walk in and I have to check my purse at the door, can't have any secret recordings here! Seats are set up theatre style with several instruments set up on the stage. I start to think that one, or all of them will pop up on stage and start speaking or something. My theory is debunked when one of the songs starts play on the PA. I hear the whole album start to finish. One thing about Hanson, they don't bore. This album is very different from their last few albums. Its almost a more grown up This Time Around (their second major album after Middle of Nowhere, they were aged 14,17, and 19 at the time of its release). Alot of rock influences, with guest vocals from Michael Fitzpatrick (from Fitz and the Tantrums) on one song. I can see why its titled "Anthem".
I walk out of the club and its pouring even harder then before. I quickly realize that the strapless summer dress I was hoping to wear to show of my new back tattoo will not be worn at all . I grab my mui expensive, but sturdy umbrella and head to a hipstery coffee shop a few doors over until my next event, the walk.
As mentioned above, many of the festivities take place in a neighbourhood in downtown Tulsa referred to the Brady Arts District. While this district had been historically relevant to the city since it's incorporation in the late 1890s, its been pretty stark up until recently. This is my third time to Tulsa and on my previous trips, there barely anything around. Just several mostly small, vacant store fronts and such. But there is definitely more now; bars, museums, shops, etc. It had gone through a gentrification period over the last year. It was originally named after W Tate Brady, a business owner and civic leader that was heavily involved with the incorporation of the city way, way back. It was later discovered that this particular Brady, at some point, was also a member of the Ku Klux Klan. Learning the disturbing fact, city council voted to re-honer the district after Matthew Brady, a New York civil war photographer with no ties to Tulsa. Easier then renaming the place I guess.
After warming myself up and chatting with other Fansons (yes, you read that right), from around the globe (I'm always disappointed when I find out that I haven't travelled the farthest to see them.) I stumble upon girls from dinner and we head to the walk. The walk is a one mile walk that they do as part of their charity. Everyone that signs up for the walk has $1 donated in their name to the of the causes they're involved in for developing countries, mainly Africa. Was a big part of their 4th album, titled The Walk (wonder where they got that name?).
Credit for these photos goes to Jennifer Marie, as some of mine have mysteriously vanished
It all started when one of their friends developed some sort of technology to lessen the spread of HIV from nursing mothers to infants, and they wanted to be involved. Taylor didn't explain it too well, so don't expect me to lol. The guys starts out talking about they current charitable projects and causes their involved in. The causes involve education, clothing and supplies donation, medical efforts, infrastructure etc. Another major cause was a partnership with Tom's shoes. They sell shoes at their shows and a pair is donated overseas somewhere. Along with a 'shoe drop' in Soweto that they arranged when they were recording the album with a local choir. Anyhoo, after they babble a bit more, the walk continues around the area. I try to look for people I know and say hi, I know a few people from Chicago, NYC, even a few from Tulsa from when I crashed on someone's couch during the music video shoot.
The walk concludes in Guthrie Green, a new park to go along with the new neighbourhood. I chat with a few other people, mostly other women, surprise surprise. I keep telling my guy friends that Hanson events are a great place to pick up women. Throngs of randy ladies and almost no competition. If you can name one song aside from mmmbop, she'll be putty in your hands. If you somewhat resemble one of them (they've cut their hair since the early 2000s), she'll do you regardless with great enthusiasm. So long as you don't care that you're the furthest thing from her mind.
The Walk at Guthrie Green
Credit for this photo goes to Maria Warren, I have one just like it, somewhere
Tuckered out from all of the commotion, I head back to my hotel for a break. Girl, Interrupted is on.
After a dinner at a much better tex-mex restaurant. I try to track down a friend of mine from NYC who I know is around. Her name is either/or Kimberly or Ana, not sure which. Next on the agenda is the documentary screening at Circle Cinema. In the lineup to get my wristband, I met a girl from Austin. We strike up a convo and noticing that I do not have a car, she says she'd gladly give me a ride while in town. I take her up on the offer to go to the movie theatre since it is far out of the area. We settle in and watch the doc. We are surprised to see that they almost broke up in the process of making this album. I immediately imagined Tulsa in an apocalyptic state, with fans from far and wide, storming the streets in protest.
The doc ends and we head back downtown.
Peace out homies.