Hanson Last Month
by H.notes Staff Writer mmm_marica@hanson.net

So! I got that precious little package from Japan I mentioned last time we talked. It arrived 5 days after I got the email that it was shipped by regular mail - so I really didn't have to beat myself on the head too much that I didn't go with express shipping.

Of course - I am talking about The Walk - Hanson's fourth studio album. The third in this millennium (which didn't start until 2001 - but we will not split hairs now!); the second for Hanson as independent artists and the first where Taylor doesn't have the majority of leads (ducks). So I am going to share my thoughts on it. And there is no way you can escape or not agree with me.

Actually - there is a way on the former. That little X in the top right corner if you are on Explorer. Or the "Back" button. If you are not on Explorer - then I can't help you. But I am sure that you can find your way out.

Since you stayed - I am warning you again - there is no way that you will not agree with me about the record itself. I will be speaking only facts.

  1. The CD came in a brown box and was padded with bubble wrap and fabulous light green tissue paper. You don't agree? Well you didn't order through CD Japan then. Sorry.
  2. It weighs exactly 98 grams. With the jewel case and without the white leaflet with lyrics in Japanese. I know that it's important to the Japanese people though. But I don't have it handy here so I can't weigh it.
  3. The CD itself weighs 16 grams.
  4. My humble apologies to the ones that prefer the imperial measures - but it's 21st century and it's metric all the way.
  5. I know, I know. The previous is not a fact but my humble apology - but I don't want to break this sequence.
  6. The leaflet (the one in English, since we already put the one in Japanese on the side) has 16 pages.
  7. There is a traffic light on the front page, which will give a heart attack to the guys in DMV or RTA or whatever the guys that care about the traffic in your neck of the woods are called. Hanson, I am all for artistic expression and such - but pedestrians do not walk on RED. Nor on AMBER for that matter, as it's shown on the CD itself.
  8. There are 18 pictures on the leaflet.
  9. Zac makes the best heel-click of the three.
  10. The lyrics are written in white, black or terracotta. I concede - the fashion followers may not agree with me on the last one but I am talking to Hanson fans, not the staff of Vogue.
  11. There are 14 songs on the track list.
  12. When you put the CD in your PC (hopefully to only listen to it or rip it for your iPod) it hogs your PC. Again - Mac users may disagree.
  13. When you finally get out of that one and manage to launch the good ole Windows Media Player - it shows 16 tracks.
  14. What's with the artists and "bonus" or "hidden" tracks or whatever - beats me. What do they think? We will not get them if we are not good? Or maybe we will not find them if they are "hidden"? Hanson may hide them under the ice cap on the North Pole - we will find them.
  15. Sorry. The previous item was not a fact - that was just me venting.
  16. The CD has 16 songs.
  17. Zac sings "lead" on 7.
  18. Taylor sings ""lead"" on 6.5.
  19. On 1.5 - it's Ike on the lead (Ike!!!)
  20. Dliwryd School Choir, Soweto, SA has 1 lead (or shall we say 0.1 lead? The track is 24 seconds).
  21. Georgia kicks ass!!! No? Okay. Let's try this then:
  22. <insert song name> kicks ass!!!
  23. Taylor ... nevermind.
  24. The record kicks ass.
  25. The last one is an opinion but hey.

What else did Hanson do in the past 30 days apart from straining Yubin (the Japan postal service) to the max?

The guys did 4 shows on the East Coast. "Well, of course!" - I can just hear the rest of the world grumbling under their breath. They called them preview concerts. They got a wee of a surprise when they realised that their surprise was ruined, owing to the aforementioned Japan postal service. The crowd knew the new songs (the ones that were supposed to be pre-viewed) word for word. (They sang MMMBop out of tune on one concert though. The crowd - not Hanson. Sheesh!)

Anyway - as I said, Hanson performed 4 shows. Or actually 3, since the Allentown one turned out to be a well-concealed drill for the local fire department. Or maybe an attempt for the Guinness Book of World records or even Jackass - how many people you can cram into a place the size of my living room. Scary - but this time all the kudos go to the crowd. Not so much because they didn't kill each other (although my hat off for that, too) but because they didn't blame the guys for that. Very surprising. Shocking actually.

I can't tell you more about the concerts. I mean, I could - but that would mean describing the grainy 15 second clips streaming from YouTube.

Let's move on to the fabulous video FUTY's. Now that is something that YouTube doesn't have. Or shouldn't have. Sigh.

Let's not? Oh OK - that's the exclusive stuff for the members. Fair enough. But it needs to be said that we got about a dozen of those in the past 30 days - all of them from Zac's camera. The guy is a real pro. He can walk, talk, sleep, eat, drink, descend down steep staircases, show self and do cartwheels - all that recording with amazingly steady hand. And he is the drummer. The one that bangs the skins (among other things) for living. Amazing.

Some of them are real gems. What am I talking about? All of them are real gems! I really have hard time deciding what I like better - the impromptu funky jam in a Tokyo music store or the Crocodile Rock's (the said Allentown) dungeon of a backstage and the guys cracking up jokes. Or the three million radio liners they did in Japan in one sitting. I am sure that it's as interesting to do as watching the grass grow or the paint dry - but hey - the guys did it and Zac recorded it to the great enjoyment of all of us.

I can move on to the podcasts of Taking The Walk - that appear on iTunes with obscene regularity. As a fellow hanson.netter said in a post: "It's like a TV series that continues and that we want to see every week. "It's like House, Lost or Jerry Spr... Oops! Nevermind me! Let me just tell you that I am saving my comments for when the podcasts are complete. "Lucky" you.

I better finish - but not before I address the middle Hanson.

Taylor? Your explanation of what casbah is in "Rock The Casbah?" I am positive that the sharif won't like it.