Monday, December 27, 2010

Top Ten Pearl Jam Moments of 2010: Part 1

10. This All Encompassing Trip / From a Basement in Seattle

Even after twenty years, Pearl Jam continues to inspire artists. Along the vein 2010 saw the publication of two great books about the Pearl Jam experience. This All Encompassing Trip, written by blogger Jason Leung chronicles a superfan’s quest to follow Pearl Jam across a continent and across an ocean. Jason tells the true “rock and roll” story of his adventures in the iconic Touring Van.


From a Basement in Seattle: The Poster Art of Brad Klausen showcases 70 posters designed by Brad Klausen over the past six years and serves as a great compliment to the Ames Brothers’ poster book released in 2007.

Both books are available for purchase at the following sites:

9. Brett Eliason Returns to the Bootleg Mixing Board

In early November, Pearl Jam announced the impending release of Live on Ten Legs, their second compilation of live material showcasing material from shows between 2003 and 2010. A roar of excitement rose up from fans upon hearing that Brett Eliason, absent from the mixing board for the past seven years, would again be taking the helm.

Live on Ten Legs will be release on January 17, 2011. LP and CD versions can be purchased via the Ten Club, and a deluxe boxed set including mini-posters, photo prints, and a tour laminate is available via Universal Music.

8. Amongst The Waves

When Pearl Jam releases an album, you’re never quite sure whether you’ll get a video or not. Vs., Vitalogy, and No Code left us high and dry, and videos for hit singles have been few and far between since then, but in 2010 Pearl Jam used the release of their third Backspacer video, Amongst the Waves, to launch their environmental activism page. As with everything in the Internet age, fan reviews were all over the map, but any true fan would be lying if they said they weren’t excited about new Pearl Jam material.

Pearl Jam Oceans from Pearl Jam on Vimeo.

We also shouldn’t go without noting that Eddie also release a video for Better Days. It’s not the full band, and it’s not really anything more than a movie trailer, but it seems to be part of a larger effort by the men of Pearl Jam to make sure we bump into their music in more and more venues.

7. Better Days Leaks

Back in June, when Kelly Curtis asked Pete [Crosby?] to use the Monkeywrench Records messaging system to share a new Eddie Vedder solo track, titled Better Days, with Gary Westlake, he certainly wasn’t expecting that message to post publicly on the record label’s website. That having happened, he probably wasn’t surprised that it took rabid fans only minutes to notice the error, rip the song, and light the blogosphere on fire with their excitement. It only took fans another couple of hours to put together than Ed had dusted off a Pearl Jam outtake from the Riot Act recording sessions and updated it with his own Into-The-Wild-like style. Later that week, came the announcement that the song would be available as part of the soundtrack for the movie based on Elizabeth Gilbert’s book, Eat! Pray! Love! staring Julia Roberts.

6. Pearl Jam’s 20th Anniversary

I’d love to bump this into Part 2, but frankly, Pearl Jam kept the anniversary of their first show (October 22, 1990 at the Off Ramp Cafe) largely quiet and seems to have pushed most major celebrations into 2011 (Vs. and Vitalogy reissues, Live on Ten Legs, Cameron Crowe’s documentary). However, that doesn’t make the anniversary a non-event. Pearl Jam marked the even with their 8th appearance at Neil Young’s Bridge School Benefit. Their acoustic sets will probably not be burning up the charts, but fans were drooling over the live debut of Santa Cruz and Other Side as well as Neil Young joining Pearl Jam on stage for a cover from his new album Le Noise, Walk With Me.

Pearl Jam’s anniversary also brought us some fantastic updates in the history that brought us the band. Though not driven by the band themselves, the resulting resources are surely a boon for fans desperate to know more about the band that they love. The first nod to Pearl Jam’s history came this past summer when Universal dusted off a five-year-old documentary about Andrew Wood titled
Malfunkshun. Though our hopes for a tour have not yet come to fruition, fans in Seattle were treated to a showing at Hard Rock Cafe, and it looks like the rest of  us might get to own the DVD this spring.


TwoFeetThick dedicated the months of September and October to clearing out the archives with a history of the Mamma-Son demo and Stone’s “Gossman” demos, a review of Temple of the Dog's only live show, an archived Mike McCready interview, and Jessica Letkemann’s labor of love, Music for Rhinos: The Making of Pearl Jam. Not only did this fill some gaps in Pearl Jam history, but they compiled some long-lost resources into one place.

Look for Part 2 on Wednesday!

Missed 2009?
10-6 | 5-1

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