Gin Blossoms Feel A Whole Lot Better

12:42 AM. The Gin Blossoms have gotten a bad

rap. No one

takes them seriously. Well, that's not entirely true. Probably a few million or

so people took them seriously enough to purchase a copy of New Miserable

Experience the group's breakthough 1992 release. Anyone I ever mention the

Gin Blossoms to snears, derides them, and basically cringes. All the same, the

entire "Alive" tent was packed with people basically wanting to hear the group

perform two songs: 1) "Hey Jealousy" and 2) "Found Out About You." To tell you

the truth, that's why I was there. Now the thing about the Gin Blossoms is,

that while Eddie Vedder wants to be the kid out in the audience, the Gin

Blossoms really are that kid. They're those five kids down the block

disappearing into the garage, figuring out how to play all those cool power pop

songs by the Beatles and the Byrds and Big Star and the Raspberries and Tom

Petty and Marshall Crenshaw and.... Only they lucked out and got a record deal

and recorded two songs by a member of the group, Douglas Hopkins, who they

kicked out and who had some serious problems that resulted in him taking his

own life. Like I don't mean to bum you out or anything but that's what really

happened. So then about a year or more after the album came out "Hey Jealousy"

started getting some airplay and MTV play and pretty soon they weren't the guys

next door anymore, they were real rock stars. Only they still look like the

guys next door and act like them too. One of their problems, though, is that

their key songwriter is no longer with us. The first single off their

long-awaited follow-up to New Miserable Experience had all the right

power pop chords and the guys had just the right jangley tone and all, only

there didn't seem to be a song in there. The 18 song set started dragging aside

from "Found out About You" and "Hey Jealousy" and a sterling cover of "Feel A

Whole Lot Better," a '60s classic by the Byrds. But everyone in the tent was

either too drunk or stoned or whatever to notice that a fair number of the

songs didn't seem to have memorable melodies or hooks. Now it could be that

since it's 1:53 PM now and I haven't slept in, oh, 18 or so hours that maybe by

judgement is a tad off and, in fact, the set was tremendous. All I know is that

"Hey Jealousy" really rocked. Hope you had as rockin' a New Year as those of us

here at Apple's WebCentral did. Over and out.