Hey Gin Blossoms…..This Just In…..

Quote of the Day:

It’s great to be here at the….what is this? Natchez balloon fair midway? (derisive chuckle) Can somebody get a deep fried Snickers to the stage?”     —lead singer of the Gin Blossoms, ol’ whatshisname

As TB was sayin’, this just in, Gin Blossom dude……your little band has a few decent tunes, good enough for us to come hear ’em and to remind us of the early 90’s and our wasted youth, but not even on the radar of making our top 5000 ipod-worthy tunes, so don’t be mockin’ me and mine when we come out to help you make a little Raman Noodle money amidst your free-fall to obscurity. We clear?

TB and the gang get out to see live tunage just about any time its feasible. Occasionally we see a great band in its prime, but being that we live somewhat off the big venue path, we are a lot more likely to see performers whose moment in the limelight is behind them. The bands who have tasted arena-tours and are now relegated to the bar and festival scene handle things in two ways–some just dig playin’ their tunes and continue to belt it out and soak up the joy from the crowd and others, like the Gin Blossoms are bitter, believing they deserve better, are misunderstood and too good for the small market peons.

In just the last few years I’ve seen guys like Elvis Costello and Delbert McClinton just air it out. I saw Stone Temple Pilots with MD in Chicago blow the windows out of nearby buildings playing tunes made famous around the same time as the Gin Blossoms were enjoying their moment. I’ve seen hipster icon Ben Folds play to a Sunday crowd in a backwater town treat the fans like we were in on the joke with him, rather than the butt of it. Dudes that love to play, that make you love to hear their stuff even more after the show than you did before. Bands that will keep making solid cash for years to come because they respect the people who put that cash in their pockets.

And then I saw the Gin Blossoms in Natchez. At the Great Mississippi River Balloon Race, by the way, with about ten thousand people present, a helluva lot more than what they normally draw I’m fairly certain. Well, that’s how many were there at first. Each time the band made an insulting/pseudo-clever remark, a couple hundred peeled away and each time they tried to force feed us two crummy “new” tunes in a row they lost even more.

“Hey doesn’t anybody in this town know how to get the lights right?” “Will somebody please fix the sound!” Sorry dude, you looked and sounded bad, but the lights and mics were fine.

“We just came here to chew gum and kick ass, and we’re all out of gum (band snickers).” Really? Ten thousand people blank stared him for that one.

“What, did they run out of wine coolers or something?” No dude, we’re not rockin’ out because we came to hear “Hey Jealousy”, not those last three ballads you wrote on the bus, err, in the van last week.

Let me give you some professional advice Gin Blossoms and all you other bands on the way back down. There’s a lot of career yet to live if you do it right. The festivals ain’t so bad. I’ve got Delbert and Elvis and Ben and STP on my Ipod, put more songs on in fact after I saw ’em. Embrace your hits. Play the biggest ones for ten minutes or more in concert–you can always mix it up by throwin’ a little “Mustang Sally” after the guitar solo and before the fifth repetition of the chorus. I guarantee you that’ll keep us dancin’, wine coolers or not. Thank the people–you don’t even have to mean it, but if you can convince yourself you really do mean it, we’ll feel it. And don’t convince yourself we’re too damn stupid to miss the veiled insults between songs. I’ll follow you down, after all, but not that far.

About travellinbaen

I'm a 40 year old lawyer living in Ridgeland, Mississippi. I'm several years and a couple hundred miles removed from most of my old running buddies so I started the blog to provide an outlet for many of the observations and ideas that used to be the subjects of our late night/happy hour/halftime conversations and arguments.
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11 Responses to Hey Gin Blossoms…..This Just In…..

  1. kathy parker says:

    Yeah- I hate it when bands act like they’re too cool for certain fans that have stayed true to them. Very disappointing to hear that that is true of the Gin Blossoms because they are also on my Ipod- and Allison Road is one of my favorites.

    • TB and RSR agree that Allison Road is their best tune and I will even say it sounded good when they played it last week. Good enough I’d have probably added it to my library if they hadn’t pissed me off!

  2. Jessie Lou says:

    Sounds like they ran out of Gin and charm all at the same time.

  3. Harmony says:

    Really? A group like the Gin Blossoms can have such a, self imposed, rock-star mentality that they think they’re above it all? This read definitely sheds a new light on “Hey Jealousy”.

    Dear Gin Blossoms, If you can’t hang, you’re better off letting go entirely.

  4. Mac says:

    Beautiful. I love rants and this is a well written one.

  5. ZEEK says:

    TB- You sound like a true naysayer bro. Give em hell. I thought Gin Blossoms were talentless queers when Jealousy came out and they were just the poppy alternative to grunge at the time. So, I wouldn’t want to hear them anyway, but they certainly aren’t in any position to pull that kinda sh!t. Are you kidding? You shoulda jumped up on stage and put a Mississippi beatdown on their faggety a$$es!!

  6. Maybe the smart-ass bandmates are the real reason the co-founder killed himself.

  7. irvineredd says:

    “Frontman Robin Wilson is best known for his interaction with the crowd.”

    That’s an actual sentence from their wikipedia page. What a bunch douchebags! You gotta love when crappy bands who got incredibly lucky get to big for their britches (msp?). I second Zeek on this. You should have gotten up there and whooped and whomped somebody Slim Pickens style. Or at least just got on stage and given them a good old fashioned blank stare.

    You also gotta love when rock bands come to Mississippi and try to crap on the place, instead of being reverential to the place that gave birth to what they do. Ungrateful bastards.

  8. Smilyj says:

    Who are the Gin Blossoms? I thought that was a drink.

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