Music » Livewire

Wings on the West Bank

With the Gin Blossoms, Better Than Ezra, and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. Friday, June 18, at Scene Pavilion.

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What do chowing down on chicken wings and listening to second-tier 1990s pop-rock bands have in common? Oddly enough, at this retro celebration, the shared theme appears to be longevity: the fowl stubbornly contributing to those pesky pounds no amount of gym-going will obliterate, and the musicians tirelessly churning out the indelible hits that brought them semi-stardom during the last decade.

The Gin Blossoms' earnest but generic brand of jangle rock and sensitive-guy vocals brought them the most mainstream visibility, as such tunes as "Hey Jealousy," "Until I Fall Away," and "Til I Hear It From You" -- the latter a part of the quintessentially '90s slacker film Empire Records -- made them inoffensive jukebox favorites. Fellow Empire band Better Than Ezra often traveled in the same sub-R.E.M. territory as the Blossoms, as on the chiming "Desperately Wanting," although their massive hit "Good" was classic grunge lite. Big Bad Voodoo Daddy capitalized on the decade's inexplicable obsession with big band and swing with the irrepressible "You & Me & the Bottle Makes 3 Tonight." Unfortunately, their cheeky humor and jaunty horns sealed their one-hit wonder cutout-bin residency just as soon as kids traded in their wingtips for beer money.

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