Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Top Ten Pearl Jam Moments of 2009, Part 1

Surely, 2010 is going to be a great year to be a Pearl Jam fan, especially for Europeans and Louisianians.  Pearl Jam has already announced some tour dates and hinted at others.  They've murmured something about an EP with Backspacer outtakes.  We're expecting seven more remastered, remixed, and/or reissued albums, at least some of which HAVE to be available in 2010.

But before that drool starts staining your shirt, let's look at 2009 one more time, and see why that was a great year to be a Pearl Jam fan.

10. The Fixer Leaks
When you first heard this early clip of The Fixer recorded through the door of Chop Suey, your first thought was probably, "would that dude please shut up!  I'm trying to hear the band."  It was so bad that Red Mosquito crashed from desperate fans flocking to a 20 second clip from Major League Baseball.    No one was talking "Grammy" back then.  Nonetheless, this was the first fans heard of the song we would all love to hate.  Maybe because it diverges from the Pearl Jam we've known.  Maybe because we associate it with a corporate deal with mega-store Target.

Maybe everyone is just too embarrassed to admit how well worn that white (or orange) 45 really is.

9. The Pearl Jam Blogosphere Is (Re)Born
How many Pearl Jam blogs were there in 2008?  No, no, no ... I don't mean abandoned, never used pages with a headline featuring a McCready show from 6 months ago.  Zip.  2009 has seen the Pearl Jam Blogosphere/Twitterverse/YouTubeNation spring to life.  OK, get your RSS Reader open and ready.  Not only did we begin actively updating news in February, but TwoFeetThink sprung back to life with a redesign just days later.  On-line forums continue to thrive here and at Pearl Jam Boots, Red Black and Yellow, PJCollectors, (to name a few) and the Ten Club (which, by the way, you can now access via a two-dollar iPhone app).

You can also catch regular Pearl Jam news at Given to Cast and Grunge Report, but you can find Twitter feeds from @thesky_iscrape, @twofeetthick, @allthatssacred, @giventocast, @grungereport, @lettertothedead, @PJBugs, @PJVault, @pearljamonline, and oh yeah ... @pearljam themselves.  

8. YouTube Channels
YouTube isn't new, and it's not uncommon to find clips of Pearl Jam concerts there.  However, 2009 brought us some sweet gems.  Pearl Jam, of course, has their own channel where among other things, we've caught a few great recordings by Stone,

... and apparently feeling left out during the roar of press surrounding the reissue of Ten, so does Dave Abruzzesse.  He threw up some classic, never before seen live video.

Also, recently the Frogs dumped their collection of Eddie Vedder videos for your enjoyment.

And without YouTube, how would non-Philadelphians know how great Bugs sounds live?

7. The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien Debuts
Nothing brings TSIS's server problems to light like a highly anticipated show featuring never-before heard music by oh my God, oh my God, .... Pearl FUCKING Jam!  Yeah, we died ten minutes into the show, but when we were back up in the morning, it was clear that the debate on Got Some, which we were calling "Get Some" [Thanks a lot,!] had begun.

Loved it!  Hated it!  Nothing in between.  Eddie smokes too much.  Eddie's getting fat!  And what was with Conan totally lying to us about the cover of Backspacer?

6. Jamcasting Takes Off
The first Pearl Jam podcast, Given to Cast, debuted in 2006, but 2009 saw a plethora of downloadable content for the rabid fan.  Not only did GTC, which had fallen silent for some time, return to the airwaves, All That's Sacred continues a weekly themed show with episodes numbering in the 30s.

Grunge Report recently debuted a podcast, not devoted entirely to Pearl Jam, but often discussing the band.  This year also saw two great series of podcasts Ten Code, leading up to the release date for Ten's Reissue, and PearlJamTour.TV, a video cast leading up to the Australian/New Zealand Tour.  Pearl Jam fans no longer have to wait or root though piles of vinyl and CD-ROMs to pass the time between albums.  Make sure to load up your iPod.