Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Let's Play Two Soundtrack and Screenings

Yesterday, the Ten Club dropped a ton of news about Pearl Jam & Danny Clinch's upcoming film, Let's Play Two.
  • The official theatrical premiere will be September 27th and 28th at Metro Chicago.  Ten Club members only!
  • Other screenings around the nation start on September 28th.
  • You can pre-order the soundtrack on CD ($14.99 + $6.99 domestic S&H) or vinyl ($33.99 + $11.99 domestic S&H) right now.
  • The movie will premier on television on October 13th prior to the ALCS Game 1 on FS1.
  • There is a home video release coming November 17th.
  • Both shows' full bootlegs will be released on November 17th.
Here is the official announcement:
In celebration of Pearl Jam's legendary sold out performances at Wrigley Field on August 20th & 22nd, 2016 during the Chicago Cubs historic World Series championship season, Pearl Jam is set to release the documentary film Let’s Play Two and accompanying soundtrack album.

With Chicago being a hometown to Eddie Vedder, Pearl Jam has forged a relationship with the city, the Chicago Cubs and Wrigley Field that is unparalleled in the world of sports and music. From Ten to Lightning Bolt, this feature film shuffles through Pearl Jam’s ever-growing catalog of originals and covers -- spanning the band's 25-year career. Through the eyes of Danny Clinch and the voice of Pearl Jam, Let's Play Two showcases the journey of that special relationship.
Oh, and we got our longest trailer to date.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Let's Play Two - Trailer #2 (and Rumors)

  • Are we getting a boxed set? - UNCONFIRMED.
  • Will there be a vinyl release? - UNCONFIRMED.
  • Is this hitting select theaters on October 3rd? - UNCONFIRMED.
Do we know anything?  NO.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

The Glamour & The Squalor Score

Last year, Mike McCready created the score for Marq Evans movie, The Glamour & The Squalor.  Loudwire has announced that the score will be released as an album on September 1st (currently available for pre-order on Amazon).  They also have a streaming song, Grandmother Earth, premiere on their website.
McCready says, “The Score album is dedicated to Ashley, who helps me with my musical vision, my muse. And to my kids who inspire me daily. Thanks to Chris Adams for being awesome and a great organizer! Thanks to Kevin Moyer for suggesting we release this as an album! Thanks to Marco for allowing me to help his story. And to the entire cast and crew for The Glamour and The Squalor film. This is also in remembrance of all the musicians from Seattle who aren’t here anymore, but their music remains…”

Director Marq Evans adds, “Working with Mike on the score for The Glamour & The Squalor was a dream, not just because I’ve been a fan of his since I was a kid, but more importantly because of what a uniquely talented artist he is. Mike really felt the film, and the score he created elevated it to an entirely new level. It’s a beautiful listen and I’m so glad we’re putting it out.”

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Secret Stash Coming to Creating Equilibrium, August 26th

Creating Equilibrium has announced that Secret Stash, a band made up of Mike McCready, Stefan Lessard (Dave Matthews Band), Nate Ruess (fun.), and Sully Erna (Godsmack) will be on stage for a concert at heir event at Lake Tahoe, August 26th.

Tickets are available on their website.
Anchored by Stefan Lessard from Dave Matthews Band and Mike McCready from Pearl Jam, this iconic duo will be joined by a “secret stash” of musical friends, including Fun.’s Nate Ruess, Godsmack’s Sully Erna, saxophone player Michael Ghegan, and many more—all in one of California’s most majestic settings: the base of the KT22 mountain at Squaw Valley.

Joining them onstage will be special guests Dispatch. Fresh off the release of their celebrated sixth album, “America, Location 12,” the band returns to the road on their first national tour in five years. They will play their only California appearance at Creating Equilibrium. Rounding out the weekend’s list of musicians is R&B singer-songwriter, Allen Stone.

The Secret Stash, Dispatch and Allen Stone concert will be open to the public, with general admission and VIP tickets available now!

Let's Play Two


Wednesday, August 2, 2017

The Untold Story of Trevor Wilson

Gil Kaufman of Billboard, in recognition of the 25th anniversary of the video, Jeremy, has published an outstanding biography of the child star, Trevor Wilson, who, by the way, tragically drowned about a year ago at age 36.  Here's a snippet describing the young actor.
Just 12 at the time the video was made, Wilson blew away veteran video director Pellington on his audition tape, despite being sick as a dog on the day he went up against hundreds of fellow kid actors eager to show how they’d tapped into the title character's seething anger and despair. Pellington says he told Wilson to just “look at the camera and don’t say anything” no matter what happened around him. “I just played the song [during the shoot] and you could see something… something changes in the room," the director says of the alchemy he felt watching Wilson channel the title character's desperation.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Ed To Honor David Letterman in DC

David Letterman was kind enough to step in for Neil Young this past year and induct Pearl Jam into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  Now, Eddie is going to repay the favor, joining a long list of very funny comedians in honor of David Letterman at the 20th Annual Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.
Eddie Vedder will join Jimmy Kimmel, Steve Martin, John Mulaney, Bill Murray, Paul Shaffer, Martin Short, Sarah Silverman, and Jimmie Walker to salute David Letterman at the 20th Annual Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humor on Sunday, October 22, 2017 at 8 p.m.

In addition to honoring this country's greatest comedians, the Mark Twain Prize gala also also serves as a major fundraising event—all contributions help support the Center's year-round educational and artistic initiatives that reach millions of students, educators, and families throughout the nation.

Tickets on sale to the public August 9th.

Watch on PBS November 20th. Check your local listings.

Eddie Coming to Chicago with Pete Townshend's Classic Quadrophenia

This September, Pete Townshend's Classic Quadrophenia show is coming to Chicago, and Edd will be joining the show.  The show benefits Teen Cancer America.  Check out the details from the Ten Club.
On September 13, 2017 Eddie Vedder will join Pete Townshend, Billy Idol, Alfie Boe, the Chicagoland Pops Orchestra and Chicago Children’s Choir for one memorable night of music. Townshend will bring his Classic Quadrophenia stage show to the Rosemont Theatre as part of his ongoing efforts to raise money for Teen Cancer America.
Tickets on sale at 10am Friday, July 28, 2017

Friday, July 21, 2017

CCF Night at Safeco Field, September 8th

Every year, Mike McCready plays the national anthem at a Mariners' game in support of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation.  This year, if you purchase tickets for the September 8th game, you'll have a chance to collect a Mariners/Mike McCready cap at the game.

For details, visit the Ten Club.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Barrett Martin Releases New Mad Season Song, "Ascension"

Barrett Martin, who has played on over 100 albums, many of which with Mike McCready (Mad Season, Levee Walkers) and Matt Cameron (Skin Yard) is releasing a memoir full of his stories about his "musical adventures" called The Singing Earth.

You can pre-order the book which comes with a companion CD of various projects by Martin including a previously unreleased Mad Season instrumental called Ascension.  The book, also, by the way, currently comes with all five albums by the Barrett Martin Group.

Yahoo has shared the song as well as a trailer for Martin's book.  Go check it out today!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Hype! Collector's Edition Coming September 2017

ShoutFactory previously announced that they were working on a blu-ray/DVD to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the movie, Hype!  They have now officially announced the pre-sale of their Collector's Edition, available on September 29, 2017.  You can pre-order now for Blu-Ray ($17.98) or DVD ($14.98).  

UPDATE: Blabbermouth is reporting that the special features "will include a new audio commentary with [director, Doug] Pray, vintage interviews and performances, Peter Bagge's animated short Hate, outtakes, and a new featurette with interviews and insights from some of the original characters in Hype! two decades later."

Monday, July 10, 2017

Soldier Field 1995 Coming to Vinyl

It's about time!  We've been silent for a while here at The Sky I Scrape.  Pearl Jam has been largely quiet for the last couple of months.  They came back into news with a bang, announcing today that this year's vault release will be the long-loved, long-bootlegged, 1995 Soldier Field show in Chicago, Illinois.
This show was originally broadcast by Monkeywrench Radio and widely bootlegged. We've taken the original multi-track tapes and mixed and mastered the show for vinyl. Not all of the songs exist on multi-track tape, so we're including digital versions of the "missing tracks" from the original broadcast.
The 150gm vinyl album is available for pre-order now for $50 (plus $13.99 domestic S+H).  The website is already dragging from everyone rushing to buy one!  As always, CD and digital copies will be made available after the vinyl ships (est. December 2017 - January 2018).

Monday, May 22, 2017

Cornell: Not Everyone Escapes

Like most (white) American men of a certain age, grunge was my formative musical experience, and the music resonated with incredible power. Even my lesser lights in the big 6 grunge bands (I always included STP and the Pumpkins alongside the Seattle groups-it feels right spiritually, if not geographically) were still tremendous talents, and it seemed impossible that this much amazing music could come out of one brief moment in time (one I assumed would extend on into forever). 1991-1996 saw Ten, Nevermind, Gish, Badmotorfinger, Core, Dirt, Vs, Siamese Dream, In Utero, Jar of Flies, Vitalogy, Purple, Mellon Collie…, No Code, Tiny Music…, Down on the Upside. 6 bands. 5 years. 16 classic albums. Four genre-defining singers coming out of the same god damned town. What a time to find yourself first opening up to music. This became the benchmark against which we all came to measure what music could do. Even as we left these songs behind we expected new music to make us feel the same way.

During those formative years, struggling with the transition into adulthood, I found the darkness and the bleakness in grunge utterly compelling. It felt true, in a way that joy and light and peace and acceptance never did – at least not without being earned, purified through suffering. But one of the things that spoke to me the most about Pearl Jam, which I wasn't able to articulate until I was a bit older and started writing and talking about them in a systemic way, was the optimism that lay beneath the music, though you’d miss it on a superficial listen. Grunge reflected a lost soul searching for a companion to walk with them down a long, dark, lonely, road. In Pearl Jam's music, that ultimately lead someplace better, even if it lay someplace beyond the limits of your current vision. But for Kurt Cobain, Layne Staley, Scott Weiland, and now Chris Cornell, there was no way out. The road itself was the final destination.

Cornell's story is really striking in this regard. He's someone who seemed to make it out, and maybe he did, but the darkness and the demons stayed with him. Even if they were under control, all it takes is that one slip, that one bad night, that one mistake. And his death, or really what his death demonstrated, has made the music more vital. As I've grown up, started a family, a career, and have generally lived a very happy life there's a way in which the grunge themes that seemed so powerful became, if not nostalgic, at least historical. Something you interacted with from a distance and as memory. These songs were still great, but I had to remind myself that they were great. They were no longer living truths. As a result, I had a tendency to become ever so slightly dismissive of them. A little overwrought and over the top. Music for white suburban kids struggling with first world problems. Music for teenagers that play an important part in your transition to adulthood, but that are best left behind afterwards. Fondly recalled, but lacking the same fierce commitment and deadly seriousness.

I love Pearl Jam in part because their music grew past those themes. Themes of alienation became social and political, or personal in a way that reflects a life being lived. When there was a grievance it was a legit grievance with a world that failed to live up to its promise, rather than sullen personal, static, experience. And the best songs were inspirational - reflecting a desire to be a better person, to live a better life. They were written from a place of wisdom and experience - from someone who completed their journey and made it out alive, rather than from someone still stuck on the long, lonely road. And even if I preferred the songs written on the road, I was glad that they moved past it. The fact that they grew, that they weren't stuck in that moment, made those earlier moments feel more authentic - an important part of a larger, more vivid picture. A central chapter in a complex and moving arc, rather than the story in its entirety. It's why a middle aged album like Lightning Bolt, filled with middle aged themes like love, fear of loss, the inadequacy of what we leave behind, both resonant with me and make the earlier work simultaneously more vital.

It’s my experience, but it comes from a place of satisfaction, of having lived, thus far anyway, a good life. Pearl Jam speaks to my experiences. Chris Cornell's tragic death has been a stark and powerful reminder that not everyone escapes, or that you can escape and find yourself wandering back in a loop that feels closed, even if it isn't. That these songs no longer speak to my direct experience doesn't mean they have nothing to say. And in the last few days I find these lonelier, angrier, more hopeless and nihilistic songs have recaptured much of the dark power and terrible beauty lost with age and experience.

Chris Cornell was not one of my favorites in the grunge pantheon, but he was still in the pantheon. I was drawn more to Pearl Jam, Nirvana, and Alice in Chains. But there were no shortage of his songs that I adored, and Soundgarden was my younger brother’s first favorite band. I have vivid memories of him listening to my copy of Superunknown on my Sony discman on long driving vacations with my parents, and feeling proud of my work as a big brother. And given the place that grunge holds in the formation of my identity during those critical years, and Chris’s place within that story, his death hurts, and hurts more for seeing how raw that wound is for so many other people.

I have also received enough 'Eddie is the last man standing' texts from my friends that I find myself incredibly grateful for the fact that he is, especially since, 20+ years ago, he seemed the person the most likely to go first. Some fans have bemoaned the celebratory atmosphere that defines the modern Pearl Jam concert experience. But maybe we should be celebrating the vanquishing of our demons, and finding passage into safer harbors. I had the following thought watching the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony on my bootleg periscope feed - especially with the Alive - Given to Fly - Betterman run of songs.

In the story of grunge Eddie was cast as a martyr. That mystique was one of the things that drew us to him, and to the music. The scene was full of them. But what makes Pearl Jam's story special, possibly even unique, is that this messiah didn't have to die to liberate his followers. Instead it was the followers who helped saved the messiah. The night of the Hall of Fame I was so incredibly grateful for that as much as the music and the history. And that's why songs like Alive or Betterman can have their meaning almost entirely inverted from the original intent, and feel as powerful as ever. Maybe even more.

In the face of the alternative that is, I think, something to celebrate

Saturday, May 20, 2017

‘Part of Seattle died:’ reflecting on Chris Cornell’s death

Reposted with permission from Travis Hay of GuerrillaCandy.

The first text came at 5:29 a.m.

Half asleep, I awoke and looked at my phone. “Cornell!!! OMG!!” read the text.

The note was from my close friend Steven. We often text back and forth about various rock n’ roll musings. When I looked at my phone, bleary eyed and not quite awake, I figured that it could have meant anything. Although I figured it had to be big news since a pre-dawn text is highly unusual.

Maybe Chris Cornell broke up Soundgarden. Maybe he announced a free local concert. Maybe he endorsed Trump. Or maybe he … no, it couldn’t be that.

After trying to figure out what the text meant I checked my inbox. I’ve been out of the music journalism game for three years now but I still get some of the good press releases.

I didn’t get a press release. Didn’t need one. Because at the top of my inbox was a Rolling Stone newsletter with the subject “Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell dead at 52.”

Stunned, my response back to Steven was one word:



Like many, I immediately took to Twitter as part of my grieving process. I wanted to talk with my music-loving friends and my former readers and Twitter is my social media communication tool of choice. After expressing my shock and sadness, I briefly recounted the one time I met and interviewed Chris. I shared the short version of the story on Twitter because, well, there’s a 140-character limit on tweets so I had to be brief. Here’s a lengthier account of my experience.

I was assigned to review Audioslave’s 2005 concert in Everett for the Seattle P-I. The concert was special for Chris Cornell because his father lives in Everett. A day before the show I was asked by Chris’ publicist if I wanted to briefly talk with Chris to add some color to my review. I grew up a huge Soundgarden fan and I was just beginning my career as a budding music journalist. I could hardly believe what was being offered. I immediately said yes.

The day of the show I was escorted into the venue by Chris’ wife Vicky. I met his 1-year-old daughter. We ate vegetables from catering and talked for a little while before Chris showed up. I was very nervous.

When Chris arrived he asked me if I wanted to check out the opening band, which was 30 Seconds to Mars. I shrugged, not really knowing the protocol for when one of your teenage idols asks if you want to check out a band. We ended up watching Jared Leto and his bandmates for 15 minutes from the side of the stage. It was a surreal “is this really happening?” moment.

The interview was for color, which means it was to get small tidbits of info or anecdotal info from Chris that would enhance the review. I was told I only had five minutes. It had already been 20 and we hadn’t even started our interview. I was way out of my depth as a cub reporter hanging with rock royalty and was worried about not getting what I came for.

After watching Leto, Chris walked me to his tour bus to start our interview. If I was out of my depth before I was in an entire universe of uncharted territory now. I was playing it cool when we sat down to talk, acting as if I had been on dozens of rock stars’ tour buses in the past (I hadn’t), but on the inside teenage me, and then current me, was bursting.

Chris could tell I was nervous. He flashed a smile my way and offered me a water. That smile immediately calmed me down because I knew how transparent my cool front must have seemed. However, I didn’t stop bursting on the inside.

I pushed record on my tape recorder and the interview started. We talked about whether Soundgarden would ever reunite. He gave a “never say never” answer but insinuated it wouldn’t happen. We talked about what he was listening to at the time. We talked a little bit about politics. And we talked about his family. A lot.

Every time he spoke about his wife and daughter he became highly animated. He was very happy throughout the entire interview but when he talked about them the happiness was turned up to 11. That’s when I knew what to write about.

Oh, and that five-minute interview? It ended up lasting for more than an hour.

When the interview ended I was escorted back to the venue by Chris’ security guard. I was speechless the entire walk back. I couldn’t believe what had just happened. I spent an hour shooting the breeze with one of my idols. One of the biggest rock stars on the planet hung out with me on his tour bus for an hour. One-on-one. Forget being a professional music journalist. I was in music geek shock.

I could no longer keep my cool. I ended up hugging the security guard when we got back to the venue. I gushed about Chris and explained the entire interview to him. He was very surprised. It was awkward.

Needless to say, I got a lot more than color. In fact. I actually got a lengthy feature profile out of the interview that landed on the front page of the Seattle P-I. The profile. which I renamed “Chris Cornell on fatherhood and rockstardom” for Guerrilla Candy, focused on Chris’ then life as a dad who had remarried and found a new life outside of America.

When I tweeted the very abridged version of that experience I made sure to include a tweet about Chris as a father and how important his family was to him during that interview.

I remember almost every moment of that interview, and thanks to my tape recorder I have it all documented. But what I remember most was how Chris beamed when talked about his family. I made sure to include that in my grief tweets because I was sure his life as a father would get overlooked in all the rushed obits.

Reading back the transcript of that interview, these comments from Chris stand out:

The focus of my family, my wife Vicky, my daughter that is a year old, my son that’s coming, my 5-year old daughter (with former manager and ex-wife Susan Silver) who I don’t see that often. The focus on my wife and my children, it really helps me make sense of the music side of it somehow. There’s just something that’s just core, and I don’t know how to put it, sort of eternal. It’s something that’s natural, rhythmic, that makes sense in this family where it’s sort of shed the light on music and how much music makes sense.


Earlier in the morning, I was asked by a Sirius XM station to comment about Chris’ passing and I politely declined. This celebrity death hit too close to home and I was still figuring out how I was feeling. Besides, I knew there were many other qualified people who could talk about Chris and I was sure they would do so way more eloquently than I could.

I don’t mind being considered an expert on grunge, but not for situations like this. I retain my well-informed fan status when it comes matters like the death of one of my iconic teenage heroes.

A little while later I was contacted by a reporter for the Seattle P-I, my former paper. I didn’t feel like talking, but I did manage to send him a written statement he used for his story. This is part of the story:
“Chris was unparalleled a rock singer and icon,” local music journalist Travis Hay said via email. “Each of the major grunge vocalists had their imitators, but there was no equal for Chris. To this day there isn’t a vocalist who could hold notes the way he did or sing with the range he had, and he seemed to do it so effortlessly.

He was a powerhouse with Soundgarden and Audioslave and when he dialed things down for his solo material his voice was equally as powerful,” Hay said. “I don’t think there will ever be another voice as unique as Chris Cornell. I was lucky enough to spend an hour with him for a story I wrote more than a decade ago and that hour remains one of the highlights of my career.”

After crafting that carefully thought out statement, I opened up Facebook, which was a mistake. I estimate roughly 75% of my Facebook friends are music industry folks and a majority of those people either worked with Chris in some capacity or knew him personally. Facebook was a crushing place for me to visit.  It was too difficult for me to see my friends go through their grief while also processing my own.


Later in that night, I decided to attend the public memorial at the Seattle Center put together by KEXP. Prior to walking into the station’s public gathering space, I stopped at the International Fountain. The speakers were playing “Rusty Cage.” It felt appropriate to pause and reflect on the moment. I was also getting a very strong, and justified, feeling of deja vu.

Like many Seattle residents my age, I had been to a public memorial for a beloved grunge icon at Seattle Center previously. The year was 1994 and the circumstances were quite different.

As a teenager, I attended Kurt Cobain’s public memorial with my mom. I was at the International Fountain when hundreds of people rushed it to celebrate Kurt and grieve together. Very different circumstances but the same fountain. Deja vu highly merited.

I hadn’t really figured out how to process Chris Cornell’s death. I didn’t know him yet he was a very important and formative figure from my adolescence. I had only met him once, but that one encounter made a lasting impact. I wasn’t a friend or family member. He was just a guy who made music. Why should I feel sad?

But being there at the fountain, the same place I was 23 years ago, I managed to figure something out. I felt like I closed some sort of grief loop. I felt tranquil and serene. It finally felt okay to grieve and be truly sad. And in that moment I thought about Chris Cornell and how he talked about his daughter. It made me a little happier.

Then I thought about my 3-year-old son. I wondered how I would be able to comfort him when he inevitably faces tragedy. I became thankful for that moment in time because I knew figuring out how to process my grief would help me whenever I need to be there for my son. Knowing that made me a little happier too.

The memorial was touching. It felt good to be in the same room with hundreds of people who were feeling the same way I felt. Three DJs spoke a few words (John Richards, Sheryl Waters and Riz Rollins) and there was a display case at the back of the room with a gold record and various Soundgarden albums. During his comments John Richards said something that perfectly sums up what happened when Chris Cornell died. “Part of Seattle died today.” I think he was right.

Thank you KEXP for providing local music fans with a place to gather and grieve. And thank you Chris Cornell for everything you gave the world. You will be greatly missed.