Wednesday, September 29, 2010

All That's Sacred, Episode #69

Episode #69 is now available.

A few weeks ago, a number of you listeners banded together and implored me to give No Code the live recreation treatment like we did with Ten on ATS #10. Well, ask and ye shall receive! I ran with the idea and put the call out for live No Code song suggestions across the PJ social networking grid and got a ton of great recommendations. I'm happy to present ATS #69 as the final product for this little collective exercise.

As you can imagine, it was really hard narrowing down some of these tunes and I'm sure to have several people take issue with a few of these ultimate selections. Note that I did employ a few prerequisites to make the deciding process a bit easier and a bit more streamlined. For one, I disqualified any performance that has already appeared on the podcast. I also weighted the more popular performances that were suggested multiple times by multiple people. Additionally, it was important to me to make sure that all eras and major tours were represented since the album's release in 1996. Lastly, it had to flow and transition and sound good so I gravitated towards better audio recordings (especially in the years preceding the official bootlegs).

Regardless of whether your suggestions made the cut or not, I really appreciate the participation. It's always cool when a seed is planted and something springs to life so quickly and organically. In the process, I discovered a couple of new bootlegs and versions of songs. There are more than a few tracks on the cutting room floor that will definitely be featured on future ATS episodes. I think the end result is pretty sweet and I hope you like it too.

We will have to do this again sometime for another album...

Then head to our forums to discuss it!

That's A Pretty Sweet Jacket!

If your twin passions are Pearl Jam and snowboarding, you might feel the need to drop $369 on this limited edition (500) jacket created as a collaboration between Sessions, Skullcandy, and Jeff Ament, available in dark grey and orange with a Backspacer lining.

Sessions Pearl Jam Jacket allows you to control your music from a custom five button keypad on your sleeve and blast it loud from it built in speakers.

Style: 103599 Waterproof Rating: 15k/8k,Feature Package: Ridge Series,Warmth Rating: 4, Fit: True Fit, Sizing: XS-XXL, Details: Shell Satin Lined, Fixed Hood, Mesh Lined Pit Zips, Snap Away Suspension Storm Skirt, Skullcandy Amp, Surround Sound Speakers, Skullcandy Keypad and iPod adapter, Critically Taped Seams, Interior RECCO

Monday, September 27, 2010

CANCELLED: Brad in Seattle

Pearl Jam has posted on their Facebook page that the Brad shows tonight and tomorrow have been cancelled.  Get well soon, Shawn!

Seattle Brad shows at the High Dive tonight and Tuesday have been cancelled due to Shawn being ill. If you have already purchased tickets for the shows please contact Brown Paper Tickets for refunds.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Guided Tour of Binaural: Parting Ways

by stip

Parting Ways

Pearl Jam chooses the songs that close their records very carefully. They are always ‘statement’ songs that sum up or illustrate in some important way the most important themes of the album, the final take away message that the band wants to leave the listener with. And so the song they chose matters. Love Boat Captain or I Am Mine could have closed Riot Act, but if they had we’d be listening to a different record with a different message. So what Parting Ways tells us what the band hoped we would walk away from Binaural with.

I’ve been arguing throughout this thread (and there has been pretty broad agreement on this—this is not something I can claim ownership for, I’m just the one saying it first) that Binaural is a record about the loss of agency, about feeling trapped and powerless, isolated and alone, without really understanding why. In fact, it’s the inability to understand why that makes it so maddening. You can’t emancipate yourself from your prison until you learn to see the bars of your cage (Daniel Quinn still would have been fresh in people’s minds, and this is one of the central messages from his books). This is before Eddie got involved in Nader, so there’s not that brief upsurge of optimism that would need to be crushed to get the defeatism of Riot Act. But this isn’t just a sense of political powerlessness that runs through the record. Although they usually manage to phrase this without the crassness of Love Boat Captain, the core emotion that runs through all of Pearl Jam’s records is love. Without love you don’t have solidarity, community, or the strength to endure. These other problems cataloged throughout the record all feel so big and so overpowering because the subjects of Binaural feel alone (thin air is the exception here, but it’s an exception that proves the rule). And so even though more of the songs on Binaural are about political or social themes than relationships, they end with love because this is where any attempt to pick up the pieces has to begin.

As befitting this record, Parting Ways is one of the more atmospheric love songs in the catalog. The guitars manage to feel fuzzy (warm) and distant (cold) at the same time. There is a gentle drifting melody that gets punctuated by harsher discordant moments, especially every time the parting ways lyric is mentioned. The strings manage to enhance the mood without sounding overwrought, which is hard to do since strings in a sad love song are such a rock music cliché. Eddie sounds distant and manages to walk the line between boredom and disengagement like a champion. He can’t over commit to the song given the subject matter (parting ways can’t be sung like black) but he still has to sound like he previously cared—that the connection between him and the person he’s singing about was once strong, and while there’s a wistful remembrance to the delivery (he can recall those feelings intellectually) he just doesn’t feel those things anymore. They’re drifting away, but remain just close enough so that he knows he should be troubled by it. It’s a very intellectual delivery in that sense—knowing what emotion should be there but not quite feeling it.

The lyrics match the delivery perfectly. There’s this superficial sense that everything is fine, but things are fine only because the subjects refuse to confront what’s wrong. It’s probably because they don’t know how to fix it (there’s a fear they’ll soon be parting ways. Neither side wants this) and because it’s easier to smile and pretend everything is fine, but the costs are real, and the images reflect that (behind the chin of stone is heart of soft, malleable clay, the curtains in the eyes are closed so neither person has to confront the fire that’s hidden there, the needs and desires that go unmet).

Parting Ways, in that sense, is a song about the costs of lying. We cannot be there for someone else unless we’re open and honest, and if we cannot be there for others we cannot be there ourselves. The subjects of the song are not just drifting away from each other. They’re drifting away from themselves, floating and lost in the void of Binaural.

In a world defined by alienation, it is easier to die the slow death then fight to get it back again. Parting Ways, and Binaural, want to remind us that gradual decay is not an escape. It’s not a life. It’s just a muted death. And so Binaural, more than any other record in the bands catalog, is a cautionary tale. Its answers are negative. Its anthems are warnings. And that’s what makes it unique.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

All That's Sacred, Episode #68

Episode #68 is now available.

I took an informal poll last week on Facebook and Twitter asking, "The next ATS should be more 2010 highlights or all stuff from Pearl Jam's many Bridge School appearances?" Resoundingly, people responded and said they wanted a Bridge School Benefit episode. Well, ask and ye shall receive: ATS #68 is chock full of great acoustic moments from Bridge School shows past -- and it couldn't be more opportune timing considering that tickets for this year's show just went on sale this past weekend. So sit back, relax, grab a beer, and enjoy reliving these memories as you plan your pilgrimage to Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, CA. It's a special event and a destination every Pearl Jam fan should make at least once.

Then head to our forums to discuss it!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Meet Your Blogger:

 Sometimes I sit down with my Pearl Jam RSS feed and ask myself, who the heck are these people and why are they so obsessed with Pearl Jam?  To answer that questions, TheSkyIScrape brings you a new biweekly (by "biweekly" I mean whenever I'm able to pull these things together) series called “Meet Your Blogger!”  I hope to showcase the great Pearl Jam bloggers, writers, and webmasters that being content to you and me.  For the first installment of the series, I take you Fremont, California. -B

ON-LINE PERSONA: KathyTFT, CrookedArm23

WEBSITE: is “a useful, quirky, detail-oriented site with completely original content: a unique, interactive resource of Pearl Jam information past present and future, with both perspective and a healthy sense of humor. In other words, cool original stuff you can’t find anywhere else.”  You can find great concert setlists, concert reviews, and high-quality, original, fan-written content.

REAL NAME: Kathy Davis

LOCATION: Fremont, California USA (San Francisco Bay Area)

DAY JOB: I own Fremont Rubber Stamp Co., Inc. (, the family rubber stamp, office signage business

FAVORITE ALBUM: Yield “... if forced to choose.”

Live/Slow: Release
Live/Punk: Spin The Black
Live/Rock: Go.

“... and everything else they play live.”  

Studio: No Way, Help Help, All or None  
“I CAN'T PICK! And they change often.”

FAVORITE BAND MEMBER: Stone Gossard “Riffs and songwriting. We wouldn't be talking if it weren't for him. 'Nuff said.”

HOW MANY SHOWS HAVE YOU ATTENDED? 155 so far 11-1-92 Bridge School, first show.

I'm a life-long fan of rock music, since I was 4 years old starting with The Beatles.   Back in 1992, I had a friend who was a big PJ fan. I had no clue who Pearl Jam were (was in to U2, REM, and XTC at the time, amongst others), and this close friend was a huge Love Bone fan who went to see all the local Mookie Blaylock shows, shot tons of amazing photos, and kept talking about them - "you have to see them, you HAVE to see them". He didn't have MTV, and wanted me to tape Unplugged for him. I watched it, and it changed my life. I think I sat there numb and stupefied, and said "holy fuck" a lot, and then immediately went to all of my local record stores to scour the bins for anything and everything I could find. The music and passionate live performance literally froze me in my tracks.

To see a band play so intensely -even ACOUSTIC -, the passion, the play like they were going to blow apart at any moment and then right themselves with just as much cohesiveness was like nothing I had ever seen.  So for me, that's 'Why Pearl Jam.'. They are still doing that, 20 years later.

WHAT WAS YOUR GREATEST PEARL JAM EXPERIENCE? First time I travelled to see them was Vancouver/The Gorge/Portland Meadows, opening for Neil Young. September 1993. Was doing the Footsteps fanzine at the time, and Stone's sister was running the Ten Club - they liked my 'zine.  So that weekend, at the Portland Meadows, I had band tickets, passes, watched the show ON the stage sitting on Stone's hard cases, and watched them shoot the Time Magazine cover, standing feet away from them as they posed for the picture. What a way to start my career.

HOW EXTENSIVE IS YOUR PEARL JAM COLLECTION? I have a PJ Room, a fairly healthy chunk of every type of PJ Collectible. Not a completist, but have some great, unique stuff that I enjoy.  Lots of T-shirts, picks, posters, discs, video and audio boots, and about 20 file boxes of paper memorabilia. Magazine articles, books, handbills. Some one-of-a-kind stuff.  Nothing extraordinarily valuable financially, but priceless from a "dear to me" standpoint.

"You can come to terms and realize, you're the only one who can't forgive yourself" is a heavy hitter live.  

"If hope could grow from dirt like me, it can be done.”

“Release me."

Brad (is that cheating), The National, Nick Cave, Interpol, Muse, The Frames, Beck, PJ Harvey, The Beatles, many movie soundtracks, Genesis, Pink Floyd, Peter Gabriel, John Lennon, The Who, U2, REM...


Traveling. Singing. Writing. Going to lots of movies. Joss Whedon, JJ Abrams, Christopher Nolan. Twilight (yes, I'm an internal teenager). My kittens, my husband, my beasties...laughing as much as possible.

The Twilight Saga and all that entails...and I don't know that I'm guilty over it.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR ASPIRING BLOGGERS, TWEETERS, AND/OR WEBMASTERS? Follow your passions. Make it happen. What are you waiting for?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Truth About Irons

For those of you who enjoyed The Truth About Dave Abruzzese, there is now a second installment.  I probably shouldn't post YouTube videos that mock the band, but if they'd just go ahead and tell us about this super-secret live project that may or may not be coming out next month ... I'd have other news to fill up this space.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Guided Tour of Binaural: Soon Forget

by stip

Soon Forget

First of all, it should be noted that Eddie Vedder has this remarkable ability to turn a ukulele, which I always associated with Hawaiian luaus and beach parties, into one of the saddest, loneliest instruments I’ve ever heard. It’s a pretty amazing achievement.

I’m not totally sure why Soon Forget is on Binaural, and this is the only song I think I’d say unequivocally should not be on the record. I don’t really like God’s Dice or Evacuation or Thin Air, and there are songs I would have put on over those numbers, but those songs make sense on the record nevertheless. Soon Forget is sandwiched between two intense, moving numbers and I’m not sure the listener really needs a break. It’s not like this is a breather between two 8 minute songs, and as you’re trying to build to your climax I don’t see why stopping is a good thing. This is not quite as bad as following Present Tense with Mankind, but it’s up there, and in some ways kind of insulting to the audience (we don’t think you can sustain this intensity for this long so we’re going to give you a little intermission).

But lets look at the song itself. This is actually the meanest song on Binaural (moreso than Breakerfall, whose occasionally viciousness is defensive), and one of the meaner songs in their catalog. There is essentially no sympathy or empathy for the subject of the song. Instead the singer is basically taunting him, getting off on his own poor choices and personal failings. The anti-materialist ‘it’s love, not money, that makes you happy’ message is fine, but the love people win in the end. There’s no threat here. The guy dies alone, unloved, unmourned, and the singer and his friends spend their time singing and dancing instead. There is a cautionary tale here for sure, but you don’t have to have the dismissive sarcasm for it to work, and it is kind of off putting.

This is especially the case given the fact that it follows Sleight of Hand, where you have another person who has made equally poor choices (the one main exception seeming to be that the character in Soon Forget was better at it. At least he sacrificed his soul and got some money for it. The character in Sleight of Hand had nothing) but we’re expected (and do) feel this heavy sadness and sense of tragedy for what’s lost in Sleight of Hand. There are moments (and not surprisingly, the best moments) in Soon Forget where we have some sense of this in the two main verses (the two that begin with Sorry is the fool…) where Eddie feels some sympathy for this characters poor choices and the emptiness he’s trying to hide. But its surrounded by two of the most awkward lyrics in the entire catalog (counts his money every morning/the only thing that keeps him horny and he’s lying dead clutching benjamins) and this dismissive celebration of his death (you’re gone fucker, and no one is gonna miss you. How do you like your money now?). There’s nothing wrong with that as an artistic choice per se, but Pearl Jam does not do sarcasm all that well, and they are particularly bad at humor (there are occasional exceptions). Pearl Jam’s strengths come from its sympathy, its integrity, its solidarity, and its empathy. Occasionally its anger, but this isn’t anger. It’s smugness, and smugness requires a cynical detachment that the band doesn’t do well. Earnest and cynical don’t mix.

So in the end the problem I have with Soon Forget is that it dismisses all the complex and intertwined emotions the record had just spent 11 songs developing, and right before its emotional climax. Maybe we’re not prisoners of these forces, circumstances, relationships, and emotions we can neither see nor control. Maybe some people are just assholes and deserve their tragedy. There’s a sense in which we’re starting over with Parting Ways. Maybe that’s what they intended, but that’s bad sequencing if that’s the case. It basically gives your arc a second ending without the time necessary to really tell a new story. Maybe it wants to impart in the listener a certain callousness for Parting Ways, but that would lead to a fairly superficial reading of parting ways.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

All That's Sacred, Episode #67

Episode #67 is now available.

I've already listened to ATS #67 a handful of times and it's fast becoming one of my recent favorites. It's heavy on the music and listener input and has a bit of everything. The one constant is that it features nothing but highlights from the year that has been 2010 - with many songs appearing for the first time on the podcast. Despite being a relatively slow year for the band, there has been no shortage of memorable moments. And with Pearl Jam recently confirmed for this year's Bridge School Benefit Concert, it's a virtual guarantee that the trend will continue.

With the guys once again giving of themselves for such a worthy cause, I thought it was an opportune time to encourage you to support a few other causes: Advocacy For Patients With Chronic Illness and the Seattle Humane Society's Walk for the Animals. Both are deserving of your time and monetary donations if you have the means.

Continued thanks for spending a little time here each week. It wouldn't be possible to sustain this thing - or nearly as fun - without all of your participation.

Then head to our forums to discuss it!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

20% Off Pearl Jam Hoodies

Currently, there are TEN hoodies (listed below) for sale in the Ten Club's goods section.  For a limited time, you can get 20% with the code HOODIE and gear up for fall.

Current Ten Club Members!!!! Type "HOODIE" in the coupon field at checkout and receive 20% off all Hoodies currently in stock in the "Other Wearables" in the Goods section. Coupon is valid 9/14-9/28/2010.



-don't forget the 30% off POSTER coupon, valid for all posters in stock, expires at MIDNIGHT 9/17/10












Monday, September 13, 2010

Ronnie Wood's "Lucky Man" Free from Amazon

For a limited time, you can get Ronnie Wood's song, Lucky Man, featuring Eddie on backing vocals for free from Amazon.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Pearl Jam on Ping

iTunes 10 is pretty new.  I haven't had a ton of time to dig through Ping, but if I'm not mistaken, we may have a new source for Pearl Jam news.  There are a few sample posts that are nothing groundbreaking, but Pearl Jam fans would be wise to keep an eye on it.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Awesome Pearl Jam Goodies For Sale

Pearl Jam has donated a bevy of options to KJR 950AM for the Gasman's KJR Kares-A-Thon, benefiting the Central Area Youth Association, the Northwest Literacy Foundation, and the Seattle Children's Athletic Trainers Program.  Here are the items up for grabs.  Most have a "buy it now" option, so get 'em while you can!

Instant Pearl Jam Live Library

The box CD set of the 2009 Pearl Jam tour. 32 shows from Europe, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the US. The box includes the legendary 4 night run that closed down the Philadelphia Spectrum. All packaged up in a Converse retro box. A must have for the serious Pearl Jam fan.

Autographed Framed Pearl Jam Tour Poster for the August 2009 Chicago Show

Signed by the entire band and commemorates the opening show of the 2009 US Tour.

Blue Vinyl Copy of Pearl Jam's Single "The Fixer"

The first single from the Backspacer album on BLUE vinyl. A true rarity...less than 100 of these exist.

Autographed Pearl Jam/Howard Zinn Skateboard Deck

American activist Howard Zinn, who died in January at the age of 88, was a huge influence on Pearl Jam. Once again this year we offer a skateboard deck featuring Mr. Zinn and signed by the band. Stone Gossard liked this item so much he signed it twice.

Pearl Jam 2009 Seattle Fan Package

PJ rocked the Key Arena on September 21st and 22nd last year. This package includes a framed concert poster from both nights, CD copies of both shows, and a copy of the Pearl Jam tour poster book autographed by the band.

Vinyl Copy of Pearl Jam's Benaroya Hall Show

The band played a legendary acoustic show in October of 2003 at Benaroya Hall in downtown Seattle. Here's a vinyl copy of the show (copy 10 of 2000)

White Vinyl Copy of Pearl Jam's Backspacer LP

The newest PJ album features "The Fixer", "Got Some", and "Johnny Guitar". Here's a copy of the album on WHITE vinyl. WHITE vinyl? COOL!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Rockabye Baby: Pearl Jam

 Rockabye Baby Records has announced the coming release of Lullaby Renditions of Pearl Jam, due out October 26th.

It should be a nice addition to the collection of any Pearl Jam parents out there!  Pair it with a onesie from the Ten Club for a baby shower gift that'll get young fans off to a good start.

Are new baby’s cries turned up to ten? Need an alternative to the nightly riot act? When it’s you vs. them, these sweet lullaby renditions of Pearl Jam’s rock anthems are as comforting as a warm flannel blanket. Just breathe, Mom and Dad–it’s sleeptime in Seattle.



Even Flow

Better Man

Just Breathe


Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town



Last Kiss


The Fixer

Given to Fly

Yellow Ledbetter

Brad on Fallon, October 11

Check out Shawn Smith's Facebook page and set your DVRs.

Hootenanny rehearsals 9/1/10

All That's Sacred, Episode #66

Episode #66 is now available.

Get your kicks on ATS #66! One of my favorite segments on the podcast is "This Day in Pearl Jam History". When prepping for today's episode, I realized that today's date had been pretty busy in years past with the band playing three shows in 1992, 1998, and 2005. As I dug a little deeper, I realized I had never played anything from any of these shows before and I had a hard time picking just one moment to spotlight on the podcast. So I decided to just play something from each date and selected a two song snapshot from each one of these shows.

Enjoy the ride.

Then head to our forums to discuss it!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Guided Tour of Binaural: Sleight of Hand

by stip

Sleight of Hand

Although far from my favorite song on this record, Sleight of Hand might be the most important, the most archetypal, the one that cuts right to the heart of what this record is about. The song is cold, lonely, and would be hopeless if it wasn’t so tired. Sleight of Hand is what happens to the character in I’m Open if he forgot to make time to dream for himself, or the character in Small Town without her epiphany that it’s not too late to begin again. Sleight of Hand tells us the story of a man trapped in the same dull, repetitive, dark, monochromatic life devoid of color and light. Whatever hopes, dreams, plans, and ambitions got lost in the daily grind of living—the hours, days, years lost to the commute, the meaningless work, the routines necessary to fill the empty hours. He is alive, but feels absolutely nothing, so is he? You get the sense that this is a character who had spent some time running away from himself, trying to escape who he was and who he is, and he was ultimately too successful. In his struggle for peace, his fear of engagement, his fear of himself, he lost himself—all that’s left is a shell, devoid of substance, meaning. Sleight of Hand is American Beauty without its second chances.

There’s still a tiny spark left—the part of him that remembers who he was, what he wanted out of life, what he was capable of doing. But it is so small, so insignificant. The listener is left with the sense that he might actually have been better off without remembering it. He’d still be empty, but he wouldn’t be haunted in the same way

There is a really powerful ambiguity in the climax of the song. There’s no redemption here. He waves goodbye to the spark—the part of himself that survived in the void that became his life, but we don’t know if this is because he chooses to kill himself or if he just buries the thought because it’s too hard, too painful for him to live with the memory.

The title concept is intriguing too. A sleight of hand is the misdirection involved in magic, pick pocketing, or anything where the subject ‘s focus is elsewhere. While they’re looking at what they think matters, what they think is significant, the agent is acting on him without him realizing it. A victim of sleight of hand has lost their agency and they don’t even know it, or don’t recognize it until it is too late.

The music tells this story perfectly—in some ways even better than the lyrics. While this is a strong lyric (the second verse after the Mondays were made to fall lyric is particularly strong )it is not as solid from top to bottom as I recalled—some of the lines are awkward or confusing, especially in the chorus. We don’t notice or care in part because the sentiment is still clear, but the real star of Sleight of Hand is the soundscape. The delicate, mournful sound of the guitar, the lost, wistful fills, the crazed feedback of the chorus, the uncertainty in the drumming, the distant sadness in Eddie’s voice. Sleight of Hand works best at this elemental level.

The question that remains is whether or not we’re supposed to feel sorry for this person. It certainly seems like we’re supposed to, but Soon Forget undermines quite a bit of that sympathy. That’s an argument for tomorrow, though.

Pearl Jam's Best of the 90s: Corduroy!

The waiting drove me mad, but the votes are in, and the victor of the Red Mosquito Best of the 90s Tournament is the loud song named after loud pants:


The waiting drove me're finally here and I'm a mess

I take your entrance back...can't let you roam inside my head

I don't want to take what you can give...

I would rather starve than eat your bread...

I would rather run but I can't walk...

Guess I'll lie alone just like before...

I'll take the varmint's path...oh, and I must refuse your test

Push me and I will resist...this behavior's not unique

I don't want to hear from those who know...

They can buy, but can't put on my clothes...

I don't want to limp for them to walk...

Never would have known of me before...

I don't want to be held in your debt...

I'll pay it off in blood, let I be wed...

I'm already cut up and half dead...

I'll end up alone like I began...

Everything has chains...absolutely nothing's changed

30% Off Pearl Jam Posters

If you're a current Ten Club member, head on over to the Goods section and use the code "POSTER" to get 30% your poster purchase.


Monday, September 6, 2010

Death on Two Legs? What?

There's a bevy of talk over this item for sale on the British website What Records.  

Pearl Jam has no official announcement, but according to a spokesman for What Records, that announcement is coming.

I'm sending this E mail in an attempt to answer many of the questions I've been asked on the phone today and on Email.

On November 1st Pearl Jam release a Super Deluxe Box Set called Death on Two Legs. I have limited information on this as yet but I've put it on our site.

It is an Official release pressed for Island Records by Universal Music. It is being manufactured to order. A version will be available through the Pearl Jam web site but it is unclear at the moment whether it will be the same or slighly different.

I appreciate it is quite an expensive item so I've just added the option to pay a £10 deposit now and the rest will be charged when we ship the box set. The deposit is non refundable as we have had to call the quantity we want already and we may well sell out before release date. Shipping costs will be added when the deposit is left.

To order your copy, either paying in full or leaving a deposit please click the link below.

Thank you for your time, interest and support.



Is "The Vault" about to be reopened?  I don't know.  What Records has sold official Pearl Jam items unavailable in the US, so maybe they know something.  Better keep your Ten Club account up to date just in case.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

September 4: Mike McCready in Seattle

Mike is scheduled to appear with Star Anna and the Laughing Dogs at the Seattle Center.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Best of the Nineties, The Finals! Black vs. Corduroy

It's ballad vs. bitchin' rocker!  I'm sorry, but I just can't work Corduroy into a basketball pun.  Nonetheless, Red Mosquito's Best of the Nineties Tournament has reached the Final Four!




Who will reign supreme over the decade of grunge?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Guided Tour of Binaural: Rival

by stip


Rival is another example of the brilliant job so much of Binaural does in establishing atmosphere. From the first moments of the song with the growling dog there is a pervading, ominous sense that something has gone very wrong, that the world is not the way it should be. The music almost has a demonic carnival quality to it—celebratory if not for the sharp, discordant notes that drive the song (especially the bridge and outro). Eddie’s double tracked vocals (especially his higher/strained notes) add to the sense of insanity running through the song. The music also does an excellent job inverting a fairly standard Pearl Jam formula that we see in songs like Unthought Known—where we see piano noodling, the high notes bursting with intensity, and brief inspirational solos designed to carry us someplace new and help us transcend the forces that hold us back. This is what Pearl Jam does best, and so it’s particularly striking to see this demented fun house mirror reflection of that aspect of the band. This is probably the most menacing song in their catalog.

Lyrically I think this is the strongest of all the songs penned by someone other than Ed (and it is better than a few of Ed’s lyrics). Not every line here is a slam dunk—and the call back parts are noticeably weaker than the main lyric (and some, like the well hung part, make me cringe a little bit) but there are enough provocative moments here (in particular I like the imagery in ‘I’ve been harboring fleets in this reservoir’, the clever shot at moral self-righteousness and small town piety ‘how will the man who made chemicals difficult’ and the bridge lyrics ) Although this song is ostensibly about the Littleton, CO school shootings it’s no more about that then Whipping is about abortion. There’s nothing in the lyrics to make that apparent and you’d never guess it if not for the liner notes. Instead, like Whipping, we have a series of individual snapshots of a person’s mood—their rebellion against a diseased society, although in Whipping we have a call for action and an attempt at restoration. Despite the presence of lyrics like ‘we all’ve got scars they should have em to’ or ‘don’t mean to push but I’m being shoved’ there’s still a sense of angry optimism in that song, or failing that, at least solidarity. Rival is not a passive song (there are too many intimations of violence), and so in some respects it makes sense that it follows a number like Grievance, but there is no optimism here. There’s no hope. Instead it’s largely defined by the song’s nihilism, its loss of faith that any of the problems that affect us so deeply can actually be addressed. The singer has seen the sticks raised and brought down one time too many, and he is far more pessimistic about discovering within American culture and American character any serious desire to really try and address the things that matter. We’d much rather lie to each other than confront it (how’s our father supposed to be told?) This nation may be about to explode, but no one seems to care. We’re fiddling while America burns (hence the festive undertones to the music)with no real hope of us coming together to fix it. The plea at the end of Grievance has largely fallen on deaf ears. There’s no solidarity here. We’re all rivals to each other, and divided there is no way for us to move forward. Rival makes clear that Grievance, at least in terms of the album (not the overall arc of the band) is an outlier--a temporary resurgence of principles no longer dominant.

Skin Yard Hits Facebook

Matt Cameron's former band, Skin Yard, has opened a Facebook page for your amusement.

Video: Eddie Vedder on Larry King Live

To be fair, I don't have cable, so this is the first I've seen of the Larry King Live video.  If this is incomplete, and anyone finds a more complete video, let me know.  Otherwise, enjoy your four-minute clip!

Are You Hootenannying?

Well, someone is.  Anna Knowlden has uploaded some rehearsal pictures to the Pearl Jam Official Flickr Page.  If you're not attending the Hootenanny for a Healthy Gulf,  you can still support clean up efforts at

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

September 1: Eddie Vedder on Larry King Live


From the Ten Club

Eddie Vedder, Natalie Maines, Lorri Davis and Dennis Riordan on Larry King Live Wednesday, September 1st:

Eddie Vedder, Natalie Maines, Damien Echols' wife, Lorri Davis, and West Memphis 3 attorney, Dennis Riordan, will appear on Larry King Live on Wednesday, September 1st at 9:00 pm ET/6:00 pm PT (the program will also replay twice that same night midnight and 3:00 am ET).

The group was interviewed this past weekend while in Little Rock, Arkansas for the "Voices for Justice" rally in support of the West Memphis 3. Tune in to hear Larry King and the panel discuss the West Memphis 3 case and Damien Echols' upcoming September 30th Arkansas Supreme Court oral argument.

"Voices for Justice" Rally to air on SIRIUS XM on Saturday, September 4th:

"Voices For Justice," a historic concert and rally in support of the West Memphis 3, will air on SIRIUS XM’s The Spectrum (SIRIUS channel 18 and XM channel 45) this Saturday, September 4th at 7:00 pm ET. The program features acoustic performances by Eddie Vedder and Natalie Maines plus special guests Johnny Depp, Patti Smith, Bill Carter, Lisa Blount and the first-ever broadcast of Fistful of Mercy, a new band featuring Ben Harper, Dhani Harrison and Joseph Arthur.