I don’t play the ‘lame’ game

On AMS election night I was sleepily awaiting a photo op when, to everyone’s surprise, a familiar beat came bumping through the halls. At once the rhythm drew everyone to their feet, and as they sprang up to see what was the matter, I heard one bystander snarl “they’re lame girls” in reference to the male artists at hand.

“Mmmbop:” that’s right kids, “Mmmbop.” As I grooved to some classic prepubescent harmony behind the doors of the AMS, onlookers dared to shut down my joy with nine-year-old superficial criticisms and recycled ignorant remarks about how “lame” Hanson is. “Lame” is a word I use far too often, and in the realm of music I would be happier if we could cut it out. You’re supposed to enjoy music, and you’re supposed to smile when you hear your favorite song. You aren’t supposed to be afraid of whether or not everyone else thinks you made a cool choice. Obsessed with the harmony-wheeling threesome since birth, my sister was pumped for her second Hanson concert and invited me along and ... I went. It was positively splendid. I am now smitten with their platinum heads and frankly, I want my posters back.

One problem I have with criticizing the music people listen to is that it’s often a case of judging the “lame”-looking book by its cover. Most music bashers have no idea what they’re talking about, myself included. They haven’t taken the time to actually educate themselves about the bands they criticize. Let’s get educated, shall we? In 1997 Hanson released their first album which propelled them to massive pop fame at an intense pace, particularly their songs “Mmmbop” and “Where’s The Love ... .” With number one hits, world tours and bags of money in the can, these kids were only 11, 13 and 16 when they were signed to a major record label, Mercury. But alas, what has been happening in the major label industry lately? Britney Spears and Nick Carter’s little brother, that’s what! After realizing how depressing the music industry is today and leaving Mercury/Island Def Jam behind, Hanson started their own independent record label, “3CG Records,” and they are now past their eighth album release. Record labels are moving away from the fine days of quality bands and towards manufactured quick-sell hits with disposable one-time use artists who can’t even sing, let alone write.

Hanson didn’t die. As most people would say, they went “indie.” The band now writes, records, produces and releases their own music, not to mention the fact that they have always penned their own songs and played their own instruments, Britney. Their last album, Underneath, is one of the most successful independently released records in history, entering the Billboard Independent Chart at number one. This past year Hanson played at university campuses across the United States on a tour entitled “Are You Listening?” During the tour, the band also led discussions regarding the corporate versus independent music scenes. They have been earning nothing but praise as a mature and genuine indie rock band and they are simply just adorable. The hair is gone and the masculinity is shining through, dear bystander, just ask the pit of screaming twentysomethings I left back in the T-dot.

My name is Katrina and I like Hanson.

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