Monday, January 15, 2018

Elvis Presley: The Searcher

Mike McCready has scored an Elvis Presley documentary project for HBO, Elvis Presley: The Searcher.  Here is the description of the film(s) posted by
This three-hour, two-film presentation focuses on Elvis Presley the musical artist, taking the audience on a comprehensive creative journey from his childhood through the final 1976 Jungle Room recording sessions. The films include stunning atmospheric shots taken inside Graceland, Elvis’ iconic home, and feature more than 20 new, primary source interviews with session players, producers, engineers, directors and other artists who knew him or who were profoundly influenced by him.
The film debuts on April 14th, and the Ten Club announced that "the documentary's musical companion will be available in physical and digital configurations" on Friday, April 6, giving us our second full score album by Mike McCready in as many years.

Let's Play All

The British Pearl Jam tribute band, Pearl Jamm, is bringing a potentially fun YouTube channel to fans.  Thinking that the Pearl Jam Anthology book might not provide quite enough instruction for a new guitarists, these guys have started posting tutorials for Pearl Jam songs.

Check out the channel here, and start hammering out some of your favorites.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Vault #7 Now Available on CD and Digital Formats

Though it's been available for a week or so from Nugs, the CD ($17.98), FLAC ($14.99-$19.99), ALAC ($14.99-$19.99), and MP3 ($9.99) versions of Pearl Jam's 1995 Soldier's Field show are now available at the Ten Club.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Jeff Opens Up On the Powell Movement

This morning, action sports podcast, The Powell Movement, features an interview with Jeff Ament, and wow, we now have a definitive, 80 minute history of Jeff Ament's life.

Let's get this out of the way right away, just like Jeff does.  He does confirm that Pearl Jam is writing.  “We’ve sort of been in writing mode here in Seattle the last couple of months. A typical day is getting together with anywhere from one to four of the guys and making music.”

After that, you're going to be treated a full life history of Ament, which includes:

  • his first job
  • learning to play guitar
  • Deranged Diction
  • Green River
  • Mother Love Bone
  • Pearl Jam
  • firing Dave Krusen, and then playing with him this past year
  • making the first tape of demos that Eddie Vedder eventually found
  • working for the art department for Singles
  • Ames Bros posters
This podcast is worth a listen. Grab your headphones and chill out.

Monday, January 1, 2018

2018 Fan Club Package

Pearl Jam unveiled their 2018 Fan Club shirt, and for the first time since the inception of the Analog/Digital program, they are giving members a shirt with the name "Pearl Jam" featured prominently, and no mention of the Ten Club (which, let's face it, is not what fans get excited about).

If you're an early payer and you dig the Stickman, head over to the Ten Club and get your annual gift.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Top Ten Pearl Jam Moments of 2017, #1

The Hall of Fame Induction

Usually, a single show wouldn't stand out as the greatest moment of the year, but in 2017, this was it.  Pearl Jam played ONE show.  With Pearl Jam not planning on taking a stage until March, this also creates the longest gap between Pearl Jam shows since 2010-11.  Oh man, were we desperate for live music.

And Pearl Jam deli ... OK, they didn't REALLY deliver.  Pearl Jam played 4 songs.  One song for each year we've been waiting for a new album.  Yeah, I'm sure the Rock Hall dictates how long you can play, but still.  2017 marks the least number of live Pearl Jam songs played in their history.

Those of us in the U.S., we're settling in for a drought, but Europe ... 2018 is your year!

Friday, December 29, 2017

In Memoriam, Chris Cornell

Yesterday's selection for the Top Ten Pearl Jam Moments, was admittedly inflated a bit, but we were looking for a way to include a fitting good-bye to one of the band's greatest friends.  There is no shortage of Pearl Jam fans who also love Chris Cornell, and many were broken this year, when the singer unexpectedly ended his own life following a Soundgarden show in Detroit.

His family stated that he was struggling with an addiction to Ativan, a high-dosage of which may have lead to his death.  With no note left behind, it was surely not something the singer had planned.  We can only guess that he suffered greatly that night.

So, since, surely, no member of Pearl Jam was untouched by Cornell's death, we pause today, when we would usually be celebrating Pearl Jam, to pay tribute to a friend and think of his family and ours.  Drug addiction is sweeping our nation, and suicides are the leading cause of death in the United States.  If you suffer, reach out.  If you think someone is suffering, talk to them, don't hesitate.  We all need each other, today and into 2018.

Good-bye, Good Friend.  You are loved.  You are missed.

Suicide Prevention Lifeline: - 800-273-8255 in the U.S.

Red Mosquito Members say good-bye:
Chris Cornell, The Start of Everything
Cornell, A Feeling of Loss
"Part of Seattle Died:' Reflecting On Chris Cornell's Death
Chris Cornell: Not Everyone Escapes

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Top Ten Pearl Jam Moments of 2017, #2

All The Singles Things

Fans of the movie Singles were pretty amped up two years ago when the movie was reissued in 2015 with a Record Store Day release of Citizen Dick's Touch Me, I'm Dick single on vinyl, but the rumors of a full soundtrack reissue fell through.

This year, Cameron Crowe made up for the slight.  In April, we got a reissue of the Singles soundtrack on vinyl and a Super Deluxe edition on CD which included a second disc loaded with 18 new tracks, including one Singles Blues 1, a track written and performed by Mike McCready.  That album was paired with a Record Store Day release of Pearl Jam's State of Love and Trust / Breath 7".

Then, later this year, in November, the Poncier demos, five tracks recorded by Chris Cornell during the filming of the movie were released on collectible color-variant 12" vinyls and cassettes.  It made a sad but fitting tribute to our lost friend.

Each individual item may have made our list, but put together, they are pushed near the top of our 2017 list, as we pile them all together and love each piece of this collection.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Top Ten Pearl Jam Moments of 2017, #3

Let's Play Two

Back in July, fans started to notice an interesting item on Amazon, some sort of Live at Wrigley Field item.  Was it a boxed set?  A film?  A bootleg?

It turns out, it was everything.  Pearl Jam hit theaters in October with Danny Clinch's film, Let's Play Two featuring footage shot over the course of Pearl Jam's two-night stand at Wrigley Field in 2016.  Gorgeously cut between footage of performances, interviews with the band members (mostly Ed), and footage of the Cubs' 2016 World Series win, Let's Play Two was a must-see moment of the year.

And Pearl Jam made it easy.  Let's Play Two was released in theaters all over the world, played on FSN, streamed on Amazon, and was finally released as DVD or BluRay.  You can even relive the music with the soundtrack on CD or vinyl or with either of the two bootlegs from 2016, which were finally released once the movie's press junket had run its course.

There are some that say this movie was so great, that it should hit #1.  They're not wrong, but we have other ideas.  Come back and check out our Top Two choices starting on Wednesday, December 27th.

Top Ten Pearl Jam Moments of 2017, #4

Ed Tours Europe

... and a bit of the U.S.

In a year when Pearl Jam played less live music than ... well, ever, Eddie Vedder picked up the slack a little bit with 13 shows in Europe, 3 shows in the U.S., and a couple of other scattered appearances, private shows, and even a quick performance with some fans outside Wrigley.

Though he gained a lot of press for taking a knee at his show in Tennessee in support of NFL players who were being criticized by Trump, the real, true highlight of Ed's 2017 was the debut of a new song called Share the Light at the Ohana Festival in September.

Is this a new Pearl Jam song?  The start of Ed's third solo album?  Listen to the song below and make your own decision.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Top Ten Pearl Jam Moments of 2017, #5

The Avocado Remix

Sure, we discussed the reissues already, but none of the material reissued this year made quite the same splash as the remix of Pearl Jam's eponymous album, otherwise known as Avocado.  Avocado was Pearl Jam's first foray into recording without a contract, named because this album was truly them.

From the start, fans balked at what they called the brickwalling of the album, which came out at a time when many artists were pushing the volume to eleven and drowning out subtler sounds by pushing all tracks all the way up.

Everyone was very hopeful that the album would fix that, and when some fans noticed that Spotify was hosting a new mix that highlighted many of the under-appreciated, softer moments of the album, there was hope.  Once the album started arriving on doorstops, some claimed that the remix was not much better than the original, and definitely less impressive than what was now called the Spotify Mix.  All of this, was complicated by the fact that no one knew where the Spotify Mix came from, and no one could compare it to a lossless digital format, since the band doesn't make any of their reissues available as CDs or FLAC files.

So, what was the end result?  Fighting, arguing, and zero consensus.  This was easily, the most contested minutia on or board for the last three months.  If you love Pearl Jam (the album OR the band) you'll probably want to complete your collection with a vinyl remix, or at the very least, go hunt down some FLAC files of the Spotify Mix.  If Pearl Jam doesn't give you a digital format, Pearl Jam fans will.

Top Ten Pearl Jam Moments of 2017, #6

Again Today

After four years or waiting, Pearl Jam finally recorded a new song.  No, they didn't WRITE a song, (unless you count the, yet to be released, contribution to the Basmati Blues soundtrack, Obey the Law of the Heart, and we DON'T), but they did record a song.

Early this year, Pearl Jam recorded a cover of Brandi Carlile's Again Today for her album, Cover Stories, featuring covers by many artist and released to benefit War Child.  The song is great, and could have been lifted off of Backspacer (which was recorded around the same time), but frankly, we were hoping for something new from the minds of Pearl Jam to come out of the studio.

You can pick up the album at Carlile's site or on Amazon.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Top Ten Pearl Jam Moments of 2017, #7

Vault #7, Soldier Field 1995

After years of being unable to get the vinyl copies of this show put out by KPNT, and then more years of only being able to find bootlegged versions of that vinyl, Pearl Jam has decided to wipe out the bootleggers with an official version of this classic show on vinyl.

Pearl Jam took the original multi-track tapes from July 11, 1995 and mixed and mastered the show for vinyl. Unfortunately, Pearl Jam tells us that some songs are missing on the multi-track tapes, so we're getting digital versions of the "missing tracks" from the original broadcast.

As of the writing of this post, the packages are arriving on doorsteps, and we expect digital and CD versions to be available soon.  Keep checking the Ten Club for more information.

Top Ten Pearl Jam Moments of 2017, #8

Last year, we were underwhelmed by the reissuing of No Code and Yield.  A couple of things makes this year's announcement a little more newsworthy, so ...

The Remasters

Binaural and Riot Act, long since out-of-print and hard to find, have been remastered and reissued by the Ten Club.  Pearl Jam (Avocado), which fans have complained about for year, got a remix by Brendan O'Brien.  There is much, MUCH debate about whether the new mix is better, worse, or even different.  Fans have even ripped the songs from Spotify, which is said to be a different, superior mix.  We encourage you to pick up some albums at Ten Club or on Amazon to determine for yourself.

More?  How about reissues of all the vinyl singles from those albums, including two, never-before-released-on-vinyl singles, and a reissue of the original mix of Ten?

More? How about a limited edition of 500 boxed sets that include all 10 Pearl Jam studio albums?

Pearl Jam did manage to release a lot of great reissues this year.  However, in all that reissuing, there are no unreleased demos and songs.  Being that this is a bunch of cleaned up versions of stuff we already own, there are a lot more cool things that happened this year.