Thursday, September 29, 2005

Now You Know

So, I got together with my wife for lunch today, and we went to a friend’s house to pick up the Circus tickets she’d gotten for us.

While Jodi was in the house getting the tickets, Jacob is sitting behind me and he starts chatting (to get the full impact of this conversation, you have to imagine it in his cute little halting five-year-old voice).



“Why do we need tickets?”

Well, so that they can tell that we paid to get into the Circus.

“Why are the called tickets?”

Hmmm… I don’t know.

A pause.

“You’re not the smart one, are you?”

So, there you have it folks. Factual and authoritative. Take whatever I say from this point on with a grain of salt.


Mark Hansen

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

20 things that most people who know me now don’t know about me

(By special urging from my friends in the UtahKids email list)

1. When I was a child I used to read the encyclopedia for fun
2. I also used to get beat up a lot. I wonder if there’s a connection…
3. I hated gym class, and dodgeball still brings up deep emotional scars.
4. I played the cello from 5th grade into my first years of college
5. My father is a Physics professor (semi-retired)
6. The first “F” I ever got in my life was in a High-School Physics class
7. I used to have very long hair
8. I used to go to church in jeans, with a tiny sword dangling from my ear.
9. I used to wear shredded shirts, bandannas and jeans with holes in the knees.
10. I’m sometimes embarrassed to look at old pictures of me
11. I’ve been a Mormon all my life, and always pretty active. I served a mission in Honduras and returned in 1984
12. I’ve only been married once, to only one woman
13. I got to schedule our wedding day. I put it two days after my birthday so I would never forget my anniversary.
14. Whatever the reason she stays with me, we’ve been married 18 years.
15. I can count the number of girlfriends I’ve had (before I married) on one hand.
16. I’ve only had one girlfriend since I got married. That’s OK, because my wife and girlfriend are the same
17. Most days I can’t figure out why my wife stays with me
18. The other days I’m ecstatic she does
19. I was a creative writing minor, and even took some graduate level creative writing classes and workshops. I used to write a lot of stories, mostly really bad sci-fi and fantasy. I also wrote a lot of poetry, a small part of which is actually pretty good.
20. I have currently written over 100 songs
21. I have recorded over 50 of them, eleven of which are available on a CD called “One United Generation” (shameless plug). Four other songs are also available from my website (
22. Out of those 100 songs, only about 10 are love songs, and 6-7 of those are for Jodi
23. I can tell you the evolutionary forms of most Pokemon, especially the first 150
24. I’m probably the only person you know that’s my age that owns his own Pokemon cards
25. I can’t tell you how to play Yu-Gi-Oh
26. I can’t tell you why you would want to, either
27. I draw a picture of both of my children every year
28. I don’t like to play “Truth or Dare” or “Most Embarrassing Moments”, or any other game that makes me look like an idiot on purpose.
29. I do it well enough accidentally, thank you very much
30. I love to read comics (My favorites are Doonesbury, Calvin and Hobbes, Luann, and a number of web-only strips)
31. I used to draw editorial cartoons, and have had several of them published.
32. My favorite TV shows are on Cartoon Network (Samurai Jack, Teen Titans, Batman Beyond…)
33. My favorite live shows are Law & Order, and almost anything on the History Channel
34. I’ve taken many years of college, and currently have enough numerical credits to have a bachelor’s degree.
35. Since I’ve changed my major so many times, I have few required classes for any one program and so to actually GET a bachelor’s degree, I would have to go to school for several more years.
36. My snoring has been compared to the sound of jet aircraft
37. My wife wishes my snoring were as quiet as a jet aircraft

Mark Hansen

Monday, September 12, 2005

New LDS Music Podcast

Adding to the slowly growing world of LDS podcasts, there’s LDS Music Today. This one’s being done by a friend of mine that was a part of the LDS Musician’s yahoogroup, named Matt Armstrong.

First off, this guy’s an incredible singer, songwriter, and producer/arranger in his own right. And he’s decided to jump into the podcast foray showcasing both independent and signed LDS artists. Actually, all of the artists in his first episode are unsigned, although several of them have distribution deals with some big boys, I’m not aware that any of them are signed to a label.

Some of his pre-release postings on ldsmusicians implied that while he wants to give some coverage to the big boys (and girls), he’s also committed to helping the best of the undiscovered as well. He’s also said that he’s committed to presenting a wide variety of sounds and styles. I sincerely hope that he can get enough material to make good on both of those promises!

This first episode starts with Fiddlesticks, singing “The Earth Was Once A Garden Place”, which is one of my favorites of theirs. It also includes tunes by David Edwards, Stephanie Smith, Matt himself, and Wayne Burton. I’ve been listening to it while typing, and it’s really well done. Especially given that many podcasts are not the most clear of recordings. He’s got a good speaking voice, recorded well, and his banter is smooth and easy to listen to.

There are two addresses associated with the podcast, the blog, and the main site for the podcast itself.

I’m really excited by what I’ve discovered in LDS podcasting so far. Still in its infancy, I’m hoping that all these podcasts live up to their potential. The one thing that will help them most is listeners and feedback.

Mark Hansen

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

A Tribute to Jim Anglesey

I owe a lot, in my musical career (such as it is) to my mentors. People who, for some bizarre reason or another, have taught me much about how to succeed in music. Some by words and advice, some by good example, some by bad example. Some have used all three techniques to guide me to better choices.

From Chance Thomas, I learned that money, while important, shouldn’t be the only driving force behind choosing projects. I also learned of the power of the press release.

From Clive Romney, I learned how constant learning and education can strengthen your career.

From Dan Whitley, I learned how to press on ahead with what you have at hand, instead of sitting still and complaining that the lack of something was holding you back.

But as cool as those guys are, this posting isn’t about them.

This one’s about Jim Anglesey, because he’s really responsible for me getting my start in music. And because he died of leukemia this last weekend.

I met him in the late ‘80’s, when he was running Suite Sound Studios downtown. I was an upstart producer/engineer trying to stake my claim in the local scene. I was driven, but often my methods were counterproductive. But in spite of that, he let me have a space in his studio, not only for an office, but for learning.

He taught me that drums should be miked from above, not below, because they’re snappier that way.

He taught me that if you want to be a successful, in demand producer and engineer, and someone asks what your favorite music is, you need to say, “let me check my schedule.”

He taught that mixes need to be “transparent”, and that when I’m mixing, I need to “see the line”, and I spent years listening and studying to try and figure out what on earth that meant and how to do it. I thought I understood it then. I’m just starting to see it now.

Indirectly, he taught me that my marriage is really more important than my music.

Many times, when I thought I’d failed at a task, he matter-of-factly pointed out that the task was done well, and it was only my own insecurities that were holding me back.

He taught me that when something goes wrong, you fix it or work around it and you move on with the show or the recording session. Complaining isn’t going to help.

He taught me that less is more in a song. I’m still working on that one…

He taught me that sometimes it’s better to forgive than to collect.

Most of all, he taught me that investing time and effort in people will, in the long run, bring you more benefit than anything else, and that it’s often a good idea to give opportunities to people, like me, that aren’t always ready to appreciate them.

But in retrospect, I sure appreciate them now.

Thanks, Jim!

Mark Hansen


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