Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Monday, June 29, 2009
Academy Makes Changes to Best Song Oscar
Last week, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences made the unexpected announcement that next year's Oscars will include 10 Best Picture nominees instead of the traditional five. Yesterday, Variety reported that the Academy will make two more changes that deviate considerably from the norm.
The first change involves the Best Song categories. Up until this point, there were always at least three nominations each year, with voters rating possible nominees on a scale of 6 to 10. However, the new rules state that if no song in a given year earns at least an 8.25, there will be no nominees that year. If at least one song achieves this minimum score, then it will be nominated as will the song with the second-highest score. As in previous years, there will be a maximum of five nominees per ceremony.
The Academy's changes come at the recommendation of members the music industry, who wish to see a more accurate and fair representation of movie music in a given year. Variety cited Eddie Vedder and Bruce Springsteen as artists who were unfairly shut out of consideration for nomination (for Into the Wild and The Wrestler, respectively).
The other big change involves several honorary awards, including the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award and the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. Instead of being included in the main Oscar-night telecast, these awards will now be presented at an invitation-only black-tie event in November. This allows the Academy to select more recipients each year, as it will not have to worry about the time constraints of a live broadcast.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Oh, and for those of you in our illustrious fiftieth state, there are still tickets available. Get this list of outlets here.
We'll be looking for fan reviews here, here, and here.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Labels Target Hardcore Fans with High-Priced Super-Deluxe Boxed Sets
By David Browne
The big news for Pixies’ fans is the fall release of Minotaur, a limited-edition package that compiles the band’s five studio albums (on vinyl, CD, DVD, and Blu-ray), along with a concert DVD, two posters and a 54-page book of artwork – all in a lavish clamshell box. The price? $495. “You hear a lot of people say, ‘Wow, this much for a box set?’” says Jeff Anderson, whose company, Artist in Residence, designed the package. “I say, ‘Wait until you see it. Our stuff isn’t cheap, but when you get it, you’ll understand why.’”
The old-fashioned box set, once considered the height of rock-fan luxury, has been replaced by a new wave of supersize packages designed to pull in hardcore fans – and pump a little extra cash into the ailing music business. Neil Young’s long-awaited Archives – 10 DVDs priced at $250 – recently arrived in stores, as did a $90 set from Green Day, a $60 Dave Matthews Band package (including 14 lithographs by the singer) and a $75 upgrade of Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood’s Live From Madison Square Garden.
This spring, the Beastie Boys released a fabric-covered edition of 1992’s Check Your Head on vinyl ($100). “I know this sounds corny, but you’re talking about a record that someone’s had a long-term relationship with,” says Mike D. “People don’t mind spending a bit more money to get a more in-depth version of that record.”
These products are tiny, however compared with other sets on their way: the Allman Brothers Band’s Beacon Box (out in late June) is a 45-disc $499 behemoth collection every night of their 2009 stand at
’s Beacon Theatre. Miles Davis’ complete New York recordings will be gathered in a 77-disc box. Columbia
For labels and stores, such packages can be risky endeavors. Sony has spent between $50 and several hundred dollars to produce each copy of its deluxe editions of Pearl Jam and Davis, among others. Store owners often hesitate to order multiple copies, fearing they’ll be stuck with unsold units. “Usually you’ll carry one and cross your fingers,” says Dan Dow, owner of Used Kids Records in
. “I can probably think of two or three people who might buy one of these, regardless of the times.” Columbus, Ohio
Yet that niche audience – “the ultrafan,” according to Legacy Recordings vice president Adam Block – is precisely what the labels have in mind. Legacy’s recent “Collector’s Edition Box Set” of Pearl Jam’s Ten – stuffed with fan bait such as photo prints, an unreleased live recording and scribblings from Eddie Vedder’s archives – sold 10,000 copies at $200 each. “When they’re done right,” says Block, “they can be highly profitable.” The high cost of these sets, so far, doesn’t seem to be hurting sales.
has already heard complaints about the value of the Pixies box – which doesn’t include any unreleased material – but claims he isn’t worried. “If someone’s that unsatisfied with it, send it back, because there’ll be people in line to buy it,” he says. “I’m positive of that.” Anderson
In the surest sign that labels stand to make a profit off such engorged packages, a slew of deluxe editions are on the horizon. In August, the Stone Roses’ 1989 debut will be expanded with two extra discs of music; Young’s Archives Vol. 2, is due in 2010.
Pearl Jam and the Beastie Boys are already eying megaboxes devoted to other albums in their catalogs. “It’s the musical equivalent of a coffee-table book,” says Mike D. “We should get really ambitious and have it be the whole coffee table.”
The discussion continues here.
Friday, June 26, 2009
This is a great time to be Eddie Vedder! Tickets for his two shows at the Hawaii Theater sold out so fast back in April -- blink once and you missed out! -- that all he has to do is find the theater, get paid, and then walk out on stage and do the show.
No need to talk to the press about his experiences on his latest tour without Pearl Jam, or what he plans to do after the tour ends here next Thursday, or, perhaps, a few words on behalf of some of the social issues he supports.
No need to show some love to the local radio stations that play his music by doing one of those celebrity station ID spots -- "Hi, I'm Eddie Vedder, and you're listening to [insert name of station here]!" As Jerry Reed put it so well back in 1971 with his Grammy Award-winning country cross-over hit, "When You're Hot, You're Hot."
Vedder is hot.
All things considered, he's earned the right to play "incommunicado," if that's what he wants to do. He's put in his time, paid his dues, and worked hard -- very hard -- for almost 25 years to get to where he is. Vedder didn't have stardom handed to him the way that Bob Marcucci and Pete DeAngelis made-over handsome 14-year old Fabiano Forte into one-name teen idol Fabian.
Nor did Vedder come into the business with the advantages that can come with having a father who has entertainment industry connections. Ricky Nelson, Gary Lewis, Nancy Sinatra and Dino, Desi & Billy all might have made the national pop charts on their own, but it certainly didn't hurt their chances that Ricky's father, Ozzie Nelson, was a former bandleader and producer of the family television show, that Jerry Lewis and Frank Sinatra were international "A-List" celebrities, and that Dino and Desi were the sons of Dean Martin and Desi Arnaz, respectively.
In contrast, and without delving too deep into what is now ancient history for Pearl Jam and Eddie Vedder fans, Vedder got where he is today with no help from either of his fathers.
Vedder didn't learn that Edward Louis Severson Jr., was his biological father, and not merely a friend of his parents, Karen and Peter Mueller, until after his father had died. No help from Dad there. Vedder's mother and stepfather divorced prior to Severson's death, while he was still in high school.
At first, he stayed with his stepfather so that he wouldn't have to change high schools, but by the time he was a senior, he was living on his own, going to high school and supporting himself by working nights.
No help there either.
Vedder eventually dropped out of school, joined his mother and the rest of the family in Chicago and got a job as a waiter; he also earned his GED. Several years later he returned to California and recorded demo tapes while working a variety of odd jobs. He was in and out of several bands in the late '80s -- The Butts, Indian Style and Bad Radio, to name three.
Vedder was working part-time at a gas station when a friend told him that some musicians in Seattle were looking for a singer. Vedder listened to their demo tape, wrote lyrics for three of their songs, recorded the vocals, and sent the tape to Seattle.
He was invited to audition, got the job, and the band became Pearl Jam.
Vedder and Pearl Jam have enjoyed almost non-stop success for two decades despite several abrupt personnel changes, a long-time refusal to make music videos, and a three-year boycott of Ticketmaster in the mid-'90s that received almost no support from their peers in the industry.
Eddie Vedder is known for speaking out on social and political issues between songs at his concerts. Maybe he feels that's the best way to reach the public on behalf of the causes he supports.
Oh well. Maybe next time.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
He said having the new album finished is like buying someone a Christmas present a couple months early. You can't wait to give it to them, especially when you know they are going to love it. He said he really just wanted to play the new album for us and the crowd ate that up.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Last night's Eddie show in Atlanta was awesome! I pre-recorded this episode sometime ago before leaving town and I hope you like it. Episode #6 takes us on a musical journey through time! June 24th has been one active day in the life of Pearl Jam. So tune in and hold on cause it’s quite the ride!
You know I love hearing from other fans so if you have any input or contribution to the podcast, please send me a message via email or Facebook or leave a comment on this post. As always, thanks for tuning in!
Then head to our forums to discuss it!
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
The discussion continues here.
This post seem short, so I'll throw in a random picture for no real reason.
Monday, June 22, 2009
The Pearl Jam world is ablaze with news about the track listing published in German magazine Visions July 2009 issue. If you’re reading this, you’ve probably already seen the track list, but here’s an overview of the news and information that is surfacing about “Backspacer”, Pearl Jam’s upcoming 11 song, 39 minute long album.
I'll give you the tracklisting below, but to honor those who avoid spoilers, I'll make you go to TwoFeetThick for the scan of Visions and the translation of the song descriptions.
Amongst The Waves
Speed of Sound
Force of Nature
Thank you, apsuhead, for the pictures and the discussion continues here.
Repost from TwoFeetThick sans sexy surfing Ed photo:
Fuel-TV "Porch" Video Contest
by: Kathy Davis
June 22, 2009
FUEL-TV is a cable TV network that features programs about extreme sports, 24-7. Skating, surfing, BMX biking - you name it, Fuel has it. The network has an awesome video contest centered around creating a video set to the tune of “Ten” track “Porch”. Press release:
(Vocus) June 22, 2009 — Action sports network FUEL TV is partnering up with Sony Music’s Legacy Recordings to give their fans a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to appear in the unique fan-created music video for Pearl Jam’s “Porch,” from the band’s iconic debut album Ten. ,
To enter, fans must submit the best action sports clip of themselves they have – skateboarding, surfing, BMX – anything goes. If it’s awesome, we want to see it. Entry is closed on July 18th, so get working on it. Winners will have their clip featured in the video next to pros such as Nolan Lee, Chris Martin and Brad Harper, as well as Pearl
Go towww.FUEL.TV/pearljam to enter. Jam.
Following the entry window, the public will have a chance to vote on the clips atwww.FUEL.TV/pearljam. The top ten videos will make the cut. The video will premiere ON-AIR on FUEL TV’s “The Daily Habit” this coming August. In addition to having their clips featured in the music video for “Porch,” one grand prize winner will also receive a full band copy of Rock Band for Xbox 360 and a Super Deluxe Edition of Ten. Ten runners up will receive a copy of Rock Band (disc only) for the Xbox 360 and the Legacy Edition of Ten.
Full press release can be found here.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Jack Black's dream of opening for Pearl Jam on his 40th birthday has been dashed by movie bosses - who forced him to turn down the chance to play with the rockers in San Fransisco, California.
The actor was asked to support Pearl Jam with his rock band Tenacious D at a concert which happens to fall on his milestone birthday on 28 August.
Black, who is currently filming Gulliver's Travels, begged movie bosses to give him the day off to play the gig - and he was devastated when they refused to relieve him of his filming commitments, insisting he must spend his birthday at work.
Black says, "I thought that'd be a good way to turn 40 - in front of a huge rock 'n roll audience. It would have been fantastic. But the moviemakers wouldn't let me because they said I might still be filming. I said, 'Come on, please I'm a star, let me off for one day.
' But they said, 'No, we paid you and now you have to work on your birthday.'
"I'm gonna be bad in the movie on purpose that day. That'll teach them."
I first saw Eddie Vedder live in 1994, when he and the band he fronts, Pearl Jam, played the Mid-South Coliseum. The grunge band's second album, Vs., had recently been released, and the concert was everything my 18-year-old heart could've hoped for. Pearl Jam played every song from their debut album, Ten, and all save one ("Rats") from Vs.
And yet what I remember most of that show isn't the music but the Vedder's politics. At one point at the '94 show, he asked the audience, "Is it okay to be gay in Memphis?" The crowd mostly booed back, "no." To my present shame, I was one of them. (At least I would eventually outgrow my childlike homophobia.) Vedder had a comeback to the Memphis masses: "Then you're all a bunch of fucking assholes."
The musician has been famous for his politics and socially liberal lyrics in his career, culminating, in my mind, with songs from Pearl Jam's Riot Act, released in 2002, an anti-Bush statement — pre-Iraq War, no less — at a time when it was very unpopular to be so in mainstream music. Vedder was ahead of the curve.
Last night, Vedder was back in Memphis to play a sold-out solo show at The Orpheum. His social causes were on display a little, but it wasn't in the political realm, per se, this time. Instead, it was a controversy close to home: the West Memphis 3.
Late in the show, Vedder said that the WM3 was once of the reasons he played Memphis on his short, eight-city tour. Unlike his confrontational approach to a controversial subject 15 years ago, Vedder was imploring and appealed to the reason of those in the crowd who might disagree with him. "All due respect to each of you as individuals," he started before presenting a case for getting better informed for that those who don't know or don't believe in the WM3's innocence. "You owe it to your country. It could happen to any of us. Three men are in prison, and they shouldn't be." He topped it off, not with a curse at his opponents but a kind of graceful plea: "Scout's honor."
Then Vedder launched into "Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town," a Pearl Jam hit from Vs., which seems a little perpendicular to the WM3 cause until you get to the line, "Small town predicts my fate. Perhaps that's what no one wants to see."
Vedder said he would be seeing imprisoned WM3 Damien Echols in a few days and expressed hope that it would be the last time he'd ever see him behind bars. Echolls co-wrote Pearl Jam's "Army Reserve" with Vedder on the band's last, self-titled album.
The show last night was designed to be intimate, relaxing, and measured, I suspect. When he first took the stage to a standing applause, Vedder asked everyone to "make yourselves at home, please." Vedder sat on a stool, and the crowd back into their seats.
But the audience wasn't having complacency. Cheers and hollers from individuals typically took on the form of "I love you, man!" It seemed like the gallery moments after Tiger Woods hits a drive. Vedder tried to defuse the distraction, saying he couldn't really understand what they were saying, that it just came back to him as them yelling, "I touch myself in the morning." His attempt at levity failed to short the boisterous love, and eventually he just kind of went with it. It morphed into an intimate, funny, no-pressure, energizing performance. (When Vedder had technical problems on a harmonica or guitar, the crowd just thought it was funny.)
Vedder commented on The Orpheum, saying, "[Growing up,] never in my wildest imagination did I think I'd be playing a place as nice as this." It kind of rose above typical concert/locale/audience ingratiation, because streams of people, clearly Orpheum rookies, walked down into the basin of the room to take a look at the gorgeous ceiling and gold-leaf appointment. It made me proud of Memphis, a little. Just sitting to my immediate front and back were a pair who had driven in from Chicago and a group who had flown in from Boston. That's pretty cool, and it speaks to the following Vedder/Pearl Jam has. What's the opposite of diaspora? That's what Pearl Jam concerts typically are.
Vedder mixed songs from the Pearl Jam catalog, from his solo recordings (such as his soundtrack work on the film Into the Wild), and covers. He did so with a battery of stringed instruments, including several guitars, a mandolin, and a ukulele.
The three highlights were a cover of "Can't Help Falling in Love," which he'd only ever played once before, at the request of Johnny Ramone. And Vedder closed out his first set with "Porch," from Pearl Jam's Ten. It was one, big, chill-inducing song. And his live version of the gorgeous vocal "Arc," from Riot Act, was staggering. Through playbacks of his voice, recorded live, and then with new parts sung over it, "Arc" had the effect of setting a great machine in motion. It was impressive stuff.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
I was creating a name for this writing in Word, and I chose EVRyman1 (standing for EV-Ryman-night 1).It kinda struck me – EVRyman- Ev(e)ryman. That’s the thing about Ed. When you’re in the room with him, before he starts singing, he draws you in. You feel like you know him, yet at the same time know he’s like no one else. Singularly unique, yet one of us somehow. How does that happen exactly? How is it possible? I guess trying to answer that question keeps me coming back time and time again. Saw the entire 2008 solo tour except Vancouver and San Diego 2, and then saw Chicago shows in the second leg. The black curtain that had been drawn across the stage of the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville after the most excellent Liam Finn’s opening set was dramatically thrown open, the sounds of “Tuolumne” swelled up. And out came our boy Ed, in blue jeans, white T-shirt, good old Boy Scout Troop 365 button-down shirt and shit kicker beige boots. Everyman gear. He sat on the stool, settled in and said “If you don’t mind, I’ve never been here so I’m gonna make myself at home, I suggest you do the same.” Cheers swelled and calmed, Ed said “We all in?” and he launched into “Walking The Cow”.
While Get Some seemed to be channeling the go for broke energy and speed that marked S/T at its best, The End picks up right where Into The Wild left off, with the same graceful melody that makes a song like Guaranteed float along so effortlessly. It’s a simple song, carried almost entirely by the sentiment and delivery.
Lyrically The End is an anxious, tearful farewell. It has put many reviewers in the mind of someone dying of a terminal disease, and in many ways reminds me of Sarah McLaughlin’s song Hold On—not musically per se, but both are dealing with similar themes. However, Hold On is accepting and hopeful, encouraging the listeners to make the very most of the time they have left. The End, for all its beauty, is a bitter song (or at least bittersweet). Rather than be grateful for the time that’s left the subject seems haunted by all that he did not do, all that is about to be taken away, and all that he will be leaving behind. There isn’t quiet determination or stoic acceptance here. The singer knows he’s been cheated, and he’s too scared to be angry. What he is most afraid of is being forgotten—the emptiness and annihilation that comes with death, and this is new lyrical territory for Eddie, as compared to the peaceful inevitability of Long Road or the memorial celebration in Light Years.
This is also one of the most vulnerable pieces we’ve heard from Eddie in a long time—almost like Thumbing My Way without the delusion or Parting Ways without the distance, although I suspect The End could end up being a stronger overall piece, even if the lyrics are not quite as good as the two previous songs. His delivery is breathless and urgent, with a striking contrast between soft, delicate pleading and powerful vocal swells. It's nice to hear Eddie soaring again.
We’ve only heard one unadorned live version of this so far, but if The End made the record this one has the potential to be the strongest PJ ballad in a very long time.
The discussion continues here!
Paste Magazine, 2-time National Magazine Award Nominee is raising funds from readers to keep the magazine going in this tough economy. Our friends in the Pearl Jam camp have offered up an amazing prize for us to auction for the campaign (see more at http://www.pastemagazine.com/savepaste).
Up for auction is a pair (2) of coveted FRONT ROW TICKETS for the Wednesday, June 24th engagement at Atlanta’s Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, plus two (2) limited edition posters from the tour autographed by Eddie Vedder.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
In celebration of me hopping a flight for Atlanta soon to catch the 2 Eddie gigs there next week, Episode #5 is heavy on the Eddie. I sprinkled in a side project tune and ended with a Six Degrees of Pearl Jam number just to keep it interesting but otherwise it’s all solo Ed akin to what I’m likely to hear next week. As always, I love hearing from other fans so if you have any comments or suggestions, please leave a comment on this post, Facebook me, or shoot me an email. Enjoy #5!
Then head to our forums to discuss it!
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Flight To Mars and Kristen Ward will be performing at Neumos in Seattle on Thursday, July 23. Doors open at 8pm, $15 Advance tickets on sale now at:ticketswest.com, Moe Bar, Rudy's Barbershops, select QFCs Buy tickets online.Founded in 2003, Flight to Mars, a tribute to the 80’s rock band UFO, features Pearl Jam lead guitarist Mike McCready. That same year, the yet to be named Flight to Mars lineup played live at Seattle’s Sunset Tavern as part of a surprise encore set after The Rockfords, McCready’s other side project, played the first ever CCFA benefit concert. Joining McCready in Flight to Mars are friends and local musicians Tim DiJulio (guitar), Gary Westlake (bass), Kelly Van Camp (drums) and Paul Passereli (vocals).
Monday, June 15, 2009
The Baltimore Sun is advising all Eddie Vedder fans to keep their cars gassed up because tonight, this whole Hannan-at-the-Vedder-shows thing may be working in reverse.
Vedder is in town as part of his solo tour, and will perform a second night at the Lyric Opera House tonight. He and Hannan recorded the critically acclaimed song "Society" together for Sean Penn's 2007 film Into the Wild.
In fact, I hear that Hannan is going to sit in with Vedder at the Lyric, and then Vedder is headed to South Baltimore for a song or two with Hannan.
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Eddie Vedder is a golden god to that sector of the rock-audience demographic that loves sports as much as it loves music.
On Thursday night, the first of a two-night sold-out solo stand at the Tower Theater, Vedder regaled the crowd with tales of soul-brother handshakes with Dr. J and bar-hopping during the NBA Finals with Sean Penn and Jack Nicholson (wherein a beautiful woman walks up to Jack and asks if he wants to dance, and Jack responds that she's chosen the wrong verb to describe what he wants to do with her), and made up a song on the spot that urged the Phillies to "do it again."
The crowd seemed just as thrilled with these moments of sports solidarity as they did with the songs he played. And he played plenty, drawing largely on his soundtrack work and well-chosen covers, along with a few Pearl Jam nuggets, in the course of a powerful two-hour set.
He performed seated before a series of changing theatrical backdrops - a tenement-lined street, a movie-studio backlot, a circus big top - amid a tableau of guitars and artsy bric-a-brac, all of which created the impression we were hanging out in Vedder's attic, drinking beers while the dude wailed.
He strummed the guitar - electric and acoustic, and switched to mandolin for "Rise" (from the Into the Wild soundtrack, and dedicated to Dr. J) - as fiercely as he sang, and that smoky, clenched-jaw baritone remains a potent instrument.
He leavened his own material (a rip-snorting "Lukin," a drifty "Guaranteed," and a showstopping "Last Kiss," which, though it was written by Wayne Cochran back in 1962, is kind of owned by Pearl Jam) with stirring reinterpretations of other people's songs. He killed on "Atlantic City" and "The Kids Are Alright," dedicated "Forever Young" to his daughter who turned 5 the day of the show, and turned "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" into a soccer chant.
Perhaps the most compelling, though, was the song he made up on the spot late in the first encore by looping his own voice, layering reverb-drenched wails and swooning bleats with a gorgeous, hummed melody that wouldn't sound out of place on a Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan album. Vedder closed with an exultant reading of Indio's "Hard Sun," while a hard rain fell outside.
Eddie Vedder and crew rolled out their new campaign on Conan O'Brien's debut Tonight Show with a blazing grunge rambler that promises "got some if you need it" and rips its streamlined even flow from consumerism-satirizing punks Devo. Vedder's self-loathing is nothing if not grandiose. And "Got Some" is nothing if not a reminder that Pearl Jam remain the gran old men of big-box ambivalence (whether or not they made a deal with Target, as has been reported). Vedder's bellow is pithy and pissy, and Stone Gossard and Mike McCready knock out splayed-crotch guitar fire to scorch the mall parking lot.
Continue the discussion on our forums.
Friday, June 12, 2009
2009 TOUR DATES SO FAR + GOMEZ OPENING SHOWS IN EUROPE
Pearl Jam is busy planning out the remainder of the year, but beyond the Europe shows, the 2 U.S. Festival appearances, and the Toronto and Chicago shows, nothing has been confirmed to date. The band would like to let you know that there are tentative plans to play a number of shows in the Western U.S. In the early fall. Please keep checking pearljam.com for the latest official news.
Did they say ... ? Oh yeah, they said "so far." What might be coming your way? Maybe Pearl Jam!
You can discuss it further here.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
It's hump day, so that must mean Episode #4 is up! Thanks to everyone for listening and contributing. Special thanks to fan-run sites The Sky I Scrape and Two Feet Thick. In addition to the official Pearl Jam site, both of these sites are great resources in putting this podcast together. But moreover, both have been great supporters of All That’s Sacred. So again, thank you!
As always, I love hearing from other fans so if you have any comments or suggestions, please leave a comment on this post, Facebook me, or shoot me an email. Hope you enjoy #4! Thanks and keep listening!
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Eddie Vedder was in Seattle recently for one of your starts, as were others from
PearlJam and Soundgarden. How did you get to know those guys?
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Episode #3 is up and I’m stoked! I invested in a new microphone and learned how to utilize my audio software a little better and the podcast has never sounded better. Even more exciting has been watching all the traffic to the site from all over the world. When I started doing this thing I never thought I’d be getting hits from places like Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, and Iceland! Most importantly, thank you all so much for the positive feedback and contributions to the podcast. It’s a lot of fun putting these together and I’m glad there is an audience out there enjoying them.
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Well we’ve heard our first officially sanctioned performance of material from the new record. The band plays it to death and it reminds me of the Real Me cover from the Who tribute. There are some cool guitar tones and Matt and Jeff propel the song along at a breakneck speed. It’s an upbeat punk rave up without the sensibilities Mike usually adds to them (i.e.—no blistering solo in the middle, instead, we have a little unhurried playing at the outro which contrasts nicely with the speed of the rest of the track and gives it a powerful urgency a faster piece might not have had)
Eddie is a bit questionable here. It’s hard to say if it is him, since he sounds like he’s singing his heart out, or if it is the mix, but he sounds faint—so it is either poor mixing or he’s just out of breath. If it was the later they probably should have picked a slightly easier song. What was really striking about the performance was how removed Eddie was from it. It’s rare to hear PJ without having the songs being carried/dominated by Eddie, and this was not his song. I suspect this is indicative of the mixing only because he sounded so great on the terrible bootlegs of The Fixer circulating right now.
I’m reluctant to judge the lyrics as Comatose sounded deceptively simple in the early versions that circulated, but once we heard a clear version that turned out to be one of the smartest and most lyrically compelling songs on S/T. given how hard it is to really hear Eddie here I want to withhold judgment until this is a single
Overall this struck me as an inconclusive debut. I was a little underwhelmed here but I was really excited about the terrible copies we’ve heard of The Fixer, and with a stronger vocal take this could be much stronger. Either way this certainly was no 2000 Letterman Grievance, and I can’t imagine this one going down in the canon as one of the legendary moments in the bands live history.
The discussion continues here ...
EDIT (8:58am ET): OK, I try to get things up fast around here, so I post first and ask questions later. It appears as though that might be the artwork for a "Get Some" single and NOT the album, Backspacer.
Discussion about Backspacer continues here ...
A lot of news today. We just found out that cartoonist Tom Tomorrow is responsible for some of Backspacer's artwork.
Now it can be (partly) told
So, one of the things I’ve been keeping busy with over the past few months, along with finishing up the children’s book, has been working on some artwork for Pearl Jam. Had to stay quiet about it until now, and I still can’t say too much about it, but I do want to note that the image that Conan held up tonight was only part of a greater whole — it wasn’t the finished album cover. And apart from saying that working with the band has been an utterly fantastic experience, that’s probably most of what I can share at this point.
In particular, the goal will be to use Twitter to complement Red Mosquito's well-known Setlist Relayer system, assuring for quick updates on the tour as it progresses. Keep your eyes peeled!
Monday, June 1, 2009
- Billboard.com confirms, that Red Mosquito totally nailed the album title more than a month ago! Yes, it appears as though it will be Backspacer.
- Yes, you're going to hear at least one new song tonight on The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien.
- It has also been confirmed that, Yes, despite the bemoaning of many a fan, the song called "The Fixer" that Pearl Jam was recording at the Showbox this past weekend will be part of a Cameron Crowe-produced Target ad. Will there be a Target-exclusive tie-in to the release of Backspacer? We do not yet know that.
Here is an excerpt from the Billboard article where Kelly Curtis discusses the Target partnership:
Curtis also confirmed that the band would tour to support this latest album, and that internationally, the album would be released via Universal Music Group.Want to discuss it futher, head over to the Red Mosquito Forum.
"I make decisions around the band's business that are consistent with their overall philosophy," said Curtis, "which is to sell music in a way that's accessible and affordable to their fans, on every distribution platform that their fans access music, and in a way that takes care of the little guys.
"Everyone's making assumptions because Target is a big corporation," said Curtis. "Its important to remember we just got out of this 18 year relationship with Sony, and I'm pretty sure they are a bigger corporation than Target. We have the freedom to pick our partners and more control when we've ever had before. We're excited to choose who we're in business with."
Curtis says it was important to him and to the band to redefine the notion of an "exclusive" retail partnership. "I appreciate the efforts of bands like AC/DC and Radiohead," says the manager, alluding to two of the bands that have self-released albums recently. "But I wanted our plan to be multi-dimensional to address old and modern ways of fans accessing music. It will allow all of our fans to have the same access."
"This is an ongoing experiment," said Curtis. "Every time we do something it's new for us, and were not trying to tackle the whole world at once. All we've been searching for forever is independence and control over our own stuff. The way of releasing records is changing every day. This is the best way we could do it ourselves in America. Right or wrong, we'll figure that out and make it better the next time."