Robin Wilson, left, Scott Johnson, Bill Leen and Jesse Valenzuela are alt-rock band Gin Blossoms. [livenation.com]

A stand alongside Nineties nostalgia

The Gin Blossoms are one of the more truly damned rock 'n' roll bands to grace the pop charts in the 1990s, according to an editorial review at amazon.com.

One can speculate the remark refers to the band's status as a radio pop-rock spinner during that decade.

Gin Blossoms helped shape what fans know as '90s radio. Its 1992 full-length studio album, "New Miserable Experience," put the band on the charts for nearly three years with hit songs "Hey Jealousy," "Until I Fall Away," "Found Out About You" and "Allison Road."

The group followed with a single, "Til I Hear It From You," co-written with singer and songwriter Marshall Crenshaw, that reached No. 9 on The Billboard Hot 100. Its second album, "Congratulations I'm Sorry," released in 1996, produced Top 10 hit "Follow You Down."

Success on the charts led to opportunities to appear on late-night television, and Gin Blossoms appeared on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" in 1993, "Late Show with David Letterman" in 1994, and "Saturday Night Live" in 1996. The band was a favorite of "Late Show" Music Director Paul Shaffer, and its music often wad featured as the show cut to and from commercials.

This year celebrates the 25th anniversary of the essential "New Miserable Experience," now available on vinyl, and Gin Blossoms will perform hits from the five-time platinum-selling album at shows on its NME Tour.

Hear the band's jangle-pop sound — a blend of rock and pop — delivered with a state-of-the-art sound system at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 9, at the Craterian Theater, 23 S. Central Ave., Medford. Tickets are $37, $40 or $43, $28, $31 or $34 for ages 22 and younger, and can be purchased at craterian.org, at the box office, 16 S. Bartlett St., or by calling 541-779-3000.

After dominating radio and MTV playlists for most of the '90s, Gin Blossoms took a brief turn-of-the-century hiatus, according to the band's website. It was a parting of the ways that singer Robin Wilson chalks up to "the mistaken impression that we could perform at that same level with another group."

It turned out to be an opportunity for Wilson and guitarist Jesse Valenzuela to recharge while working as solo artists and with other musicians. But Gin Blossoms’ magic proved impossible to ignore for long, and on New Year's Eve 2001 in their hometown of Tempe, Arizona, the band reconvened and never looked back, says the band's bio.

The revived band hit the road hard and earned a reputation as one of the busiest touring acts in the world, playing close to 150 shows a year. That experience shows on the 2006 "Major Lodge Victory," the band's first new recording in almost 10 years. The singles "Learning the Hard Way" and "Long Time Gone" from the album quickly became favorites among fans, and "Major Lodge Victory" made Billboard's Top 10 Independent Albums. Next, Gin Blossoms released "No Chocolate Cake," with the single "Miss Disarray," in 2010.

Today, many of the dozen songs on "New Miserable Experience" are still in radio rotation, Joseph Hudak wrote earlier this year in Rolling Stone. And the band continues to play them in concert, agreeably tapping into '90s nostalgia on package tours with bands such as Sugar Ray, Lit and Fastball.

"They're our cousins or brothers, all fighting the same good fight," Wilson says, who reinforces that the group is very much a working band. "In the summertime, we're chasing mercenary work: All the festivals and casinos we can get our hands on."

But the Gin Blossoms are not just a job, Hudak writes, or a guilty pleasure of the post-grunge era.

"Somehow we never really lost our credibility," Wilson says. "I hear people talk about other groups from my generation, and it's not always kind. I feel like we managed to survive without anybody's scorn."

The band is also looking to the future, working on an album with R.E.M. producers Don Dixon and Mitch Easter. Wilson praises it as the Gin Blossoms' best work since "New Miserable Experience."

Meanwhile, "Hey Jealousy" continues to turn up in the most random of places.

"It got everywhere," Valenzuela says in Hudak's interview. "You can hear it at the Lowe's hardware."

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