Wednesday, June 29, 2011

One Week / One Sweet Bootleg Deal

The Ten Club is offering a big sale on bootlegs from their 2008, 2009, and 2010 tours.  If your collection is lacking, now is the time to catch up.
PJ Radio host The Rob's Top 20 shows from the last three years are featured below. PJ Radio will be highlighting these shows over the next week and celebrate, all bootleg CD products are on sale from now until midnight July 6th. Relive some or all of the shows from the 2008-2010 tours in high fidelity.

We have also brought back the 2008 Fully Loaded Box, ENTER COUPON CODE AT CHECKOUT TO RECEIVE 20% OFF = PJRADIO20

June 29: Eddie Vedder in Chicago

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Star Anna Presale

The Ten Club has started a presale for Star Anna and the Laughing Dogs' new album, Alone in This Together.  It's a steal at $10 with free shipping in the US.

June 28: Eddie Vedder in Chicago

Monday, June 27, 2011

Take Me Out To The Ballgame

Maybe you can't catch an Ed show on this tour, but you can catch a quick song by Ed this Thursday at Wrigley Field in Chicago singing for the 7th inning stretch with Jose Cardenal.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Floodgates Open on the Malfunkshun DVD

Details are starting to roll in about the new boxed set for Malfunkshun: The Andrew Wood Story, directed by Scott Barbour.  Right now, the price is at $35.29 on Amazon (USA).  The movie's website doesn't have the box up for purchase yet, but their merchandise section is coming soon.

There is also a new Malfunkshun single on the market, Mirror of Guilt.  It can be picked up for 75 cents at Wammybox Records.

Below at the details about the boxed set released by


The DVD was authored by Scot Barbour and its design maintains the aesthetic feel that Andrew Wood created himself. The menus are made up of unique graphics designed specifically and solely for the DVD, as well as sound bites to personalize the experience as Andrew often did with his own recordings, writings and artwork. Although the depth of its design will be most appreciated by those that know and love Andy, there are surprises for everyone to enjoy …


‘Malfunkshun – The Andrew Wood Story’ The long awaited Documentary of Andrew Wood, singer/songwriter for the legendary Seattle bands Malfunkshun and Mother Love Bone. The film was first viewed by family and friends in Seattle in 2000 in its initial 2.5 hour runtime. It was then cut down to a 1 hour 45 minute version that was screened in Film Festivals in 2005. Since then the film has undergone a tighter edit, updated and re-created graphic effects, and a new audio mix for official release.


Malfunkshun Live: Three songs from three different performances by Malfunkshun recorded live.
Mother Love Bone Live: A previously unreleased live performance of Stardog Champion performed by Mother Love Bone.
Mother Love Bone Behind the Scenes: Several extremely rare videos of Mother Love Bone behind the scenes. All of these videos were recorded only a few weeks and some even only days before Andy departed.


Several extremely rare videos of Andrew Wood behind the scenes. These are added content to some of what was used in the film. .
More … … …


The album is comprised of never before released, intimate tracks by Andrew Wood. The songs have been carefully selected from hundreds of recordings recovered during the making of the film, and have been painstakingly restored and re-mastered from their original cassettes and condition.

All songs were recorded by Andrew Wood himself and they span his entire career from the early days alone in Landrew’s Lovenest (his bedroom at home), to the house he shared with Chris Cornell when his career began to take off, and on to the apartment he shared with Xana in the end.

Intercut between the songs are recordings of Andrew speaking as Landrew the Lovechild. The choice to include Andy’s dialog between tracks stems from the spirit of how Andy often recorded and released his own original cassettes.

The song Cool Marmalade is the last song Andrew Wood ever wrote and recorded, only weeks before his death.

The final track on the album is a song written and performed by Chris Cornell and recorded by Andrew Wood. Although Chris and Andy would record each other performing often, this single track is the only existing recording from the two of these artists together in any means.
Melodies and Dreams Soundtrack
1. Landrew (Intro)
2. To Praise Its Name
3. Landrew (Back From Olympus)
4. My Star
5. Andy (About Stone)
6. Dream Come True
7. Straight Laced
8. Landrew (Reminiscing)
9. Forever On Stage
10. Sweet Sebastian
11. Landrew (Interview on KRAB)
12. Makes Me Feel Like Heaven
13. If I Was In Charge Of The World
14. Landrew (Flash Station ID)
15. Justa Blue Eyed
16. Landrew (About Movie)
17. Drop Your Bomb
18. Landrew (Floundersome Interview)
19. Question Of Will
20. This Time
21. Landrew (About Piano)
22. Until The Ocean (Instrumental)
23. Evening At The RH
24. Landrew (KCMU Interview)
25. Cool Marmalade
26. Landrew (KFA Station ID)
27. Paper Buy You Nothin
28. Landrew (Signing Off)
29. Lord I See
30. Chris Cornell (Living With Andy)
31. Island Of Summer - Chris Cornell

Originally released in 1995 by Stone Gossard and Regan Hagar on Loosegroove Records, the only official Malfunkshun album “Return to Olympus” has been out of print for many years. The album is being re-released as part of this boxed set, and includes the two Malfunkshun tracks from the Deep Six compilation as bonus material.
Return to Olympus Tracklist
1. Enter Landrew
2. My Only Fan
3. Mr Liberty (with morals)
4. Jezebel Woman
5. Shotgun Wedding
6. Wang Dang Sweet Poontang
7. Until The Ocean
8. I Wanna Be Yo' Daddy
9. Winter Bites
10. Make Sweet Love
11. Region
12. Luxury Bed (The Rocketship Chair)
13. Exit Landrew
14. With Yo' Heart (Not Yo' Hands) (Bonus Track)
15. Stars-N-You (Bonus Track)

KEXP Documentaries: Mother Love Bone and ... Pearl Jam!

KEXP in Seattle's documentary series entitled Grungeproduced in collaboration with Experience Music Project, continues to roll with shows about Mother Love Bone and Pearl Jam.

You can listen to the Mother Love Bone episode here.

Singer Andrew Wood was well-loved in the Seattle community in the late ’80s. He said he named his band after the two things he loved the most. Mother Love Bone was formed in 1988 by members of two earlier groups from the grunge era, Malfunkshun and Green River. Andrew Wood, from Malfunkshun, was undeniably charismatic as a frontman. With his talent and the tight playing of the rest of the group (including the dynamic drummer Greg Gilmore) Mother Love Bone had an explosive stage show. Wood was influenced by legendary showmen like Freddy Mercury, Paul Stanley and Marc Bolan. He seemed destined for stardom, but to everyone’s surprise, he passed away the night before the band’s big label debut album was to come out on March 19, 1990. Andrew Wood’s death from heroin overdose solidified the dark cloud that hung over the new Seattle grunge scene.

Two members of Mother Love Bone, Jeff Ament and Stone Gossard, would go on to form one of the most famous rock bands of all time, Pearl Jam. In this KEXP radio story you’ll hear a vintage clip of Andrew Wood himself. And thoughts from the band’s surviving members on what makes a band succeed or fail.

Or you can listen to the Pearl Jam episode here.

In 1990, Jeff Ament and Stone Gossard from Mother Love Bone, drummer Matt Cameron from Soundgarden and guitarist Mike McCready got together to make a demo. This cassette tape ended up in the hands of California surfer Eddie Vedder. Vedder recorded vocals and sent it back, and these recordings were the start of their most famous album, Ten. Decades later, Pearl Jam is the one band that’s continued to play together since the original grunge scene. Vedder’s vocals are influenced by great rock bands like The Who, but also the great singers of Motown.

Pearl Jam gets a lot of flack for being an underground band who became successful. But how could they have done it more admirably? They’ve done so many benefit concerts and made political stands. They’ve defended rights for women, animals and contributed to foundations for Chrohn’s disease. They stood up to Ticketmaster when they felt it was cheating their fans. They’ve protested systems that create war and hunger. Get an inside look at the skills that make this Seattle team one of the greatest rock bands of all time, on and off stage.

June 26: Eddie Vedder in Detroit

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Pearl Jam Sk8-Hi's by Vans

Vans has introduced two new pairs of kicks for those wishing to show off their allegiance to Pearl Jam as they're skating ... or just hanging out.  Price: $65 (that appears to be equivocal to other Vans shoes paying homage to musicians).

Here is what Vans had to say:

Pearl Jam is one of the great cornerstone bands of the ever-influential grunge movement. Since their first album, Ten, was released in 1991, they have proven to have the musical staying power only claimed by rock and roll legends. The Vans x Pearl Jam Sk8-Hi collaboration is being released with a lot of pride because these musicians are also avid skate and surf enthusiasts, and longtime Vans supporters.

June 25: Eddie Vedder in Philadelphia

Friday, June 24, 2011

Pearl Jam Members Appear On Album To Benefit Homeless Youth

Ed, Stone, and Mike are among a star studded list of musicians appearing on a benefit album to help homeless youth.
It's called Live From Nowhere Near You: Volume II, and all profits will go to the Oregon based charity Outside In.

No word on the nature of the boys' contributions, but here's the album description from the record company's website:

Kevin Moyer went into his attic studio alone with an idea and emerged with an emotionally vibrant compilation full of life and found sounds. By collaborating street musicians with friends and music professionals, he tells a story of life on the streets and the roads leading to and from there.

With thick layers of raw and polished instrumentation, the music hits like waves of emotion eddying between the warmth of a large wool blanket and the cold of a concrete pillow.

As the sounds of turntable beats wind through crowded streets and dark alleys, inspired guitars and haunting vocals dig into your chest and squeeze your heart.

Other notable names appearing on this record include Daniel Johnston, Modest Mouse, The Strokes, Elliot Smith, Bright Eyes, Spoon, Corin Tucker, Josh Homme, Shawn Smith, and many many more. In other words, this has the potential to be very, very good.

The album will be released on July 6. Pre-order it here.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Matt Cameron Speaks!

Mistress Carrie, DJ at WAAF in Boston, got a chance to interview Matt Cameron. The full 15 minute conversation can be heard on her blog.

Not a wealth of new information here, but a couple of interesting tidbits.

First, the new Soundgarden album was recorded in March, and the tracking is about 80% complete. He says there are plans to record more songs in August, and offers no real timetable for the album's release.

There have been rumors going around that Pearl Jam will play Boston's Fenway Park in early September. When asked about it Matt said it's a fun idea but the first time he heard about it.
He was also asked about every fanboy's wet dream: a Pearl Jam/Soundgarden/Temple Of The Dog tour. Matt says that would have been great when he was 25, but doesn't think he has the energy to pull it off these days.
One thing missing: She never asks about the new Pearl Jam album. C'mon Mistress, get with it.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Guided Tour of Vs.: Indifference

(A Guided Tour: Vs.)


I said earlier that it is significant that Leash ends with a full stop rather than a fadeout. A full stop implies the end of a thought. One idea is finished and we are ready to move on to the next one. A fade out implies either a lack of resolution or a permanent horizon—that whatever issues are raids and themes are addressed are likely to continue playing themselves out with no end in sight. Leash represents a celebratory moment, but it ends. This isn’t surprising. The revelations in Leash, Small Town, and Rearview Mirror, their attempts at resolving the anger and sense of being under siege that permeates the rest of the record are too great to be reconciled by the realization that we are in part the authors of our own fate, and that we can’t find peace alone. Knowing where to look, and how to look, does not guarantee that you’ll find any answers, and the world has no lack of obstacles to throw in your way.

Indifference is Vs.’ sleepless night, when the rage is spent, when the promise of redemption that seemed so real starts to fade in the late, lonely, quiet hours, when both the world and ourselves are still enough to ask whether or not anything we do matters, whether the struggle has meaning, and how much difference does it make? As always, the music sets the scene, and I’m not sure Pearl Jam has ever reproduced a quiet, meditative atmosphere this gripping. The gentle rain of cymbals against the keys transports the listener into the space where we cannot hide from ourselves, the veil is lifted and are forced to confront the reality of the world. The song spends its time taking in what it finds, a slow and careful study that is reluctant to draw any conclusions. Jeff’s bass slowly carries us across a world without illusions, with the guitar accents acting as flashes of light that reveal what we find without judging what we see. The song moves the listener while keeping them in one place—questing across the landscape o f the mind without leaving his room. Eddie’s vocals match the pace and mood. Where a song like Release rails against uncertainty, and All or None surrenders the need and privilege of asking questions, here Eddie probes. There are moments of rising urgency and careful retreat, but what really characterizes the performance here is how careful it is, almost like Eddie is unwilling to touch anything for fear of breaking the spell. Even as he gathers confidence he quickly pulls it back, as if he’s afraid to commit to anything. The world is too complex to claim any kind of certainty, and given what he’s gone through on the record, he’s seen too much to pretend that there is clarity. Indifference explores a graying world, but one simultaneously cold and warm, near and distant, barren and lush. What you end up seeing really depends on how you answer the song’s question.

It is to Indifference’s credit that it lets the listener try and answer it for themselves. It simply poses the question—and that, alongside a series of striking images, is what makes this one of Eddie’s most effective set of lyrics.

I will light the match this morning, so I won't be alone
Watch as she lies silent, for soon light will be gone
Oh I will stand arms outstretched, pretend I'm free to roam
Oh I will make my way, through, one more day in...hell

You can almost hear in the opening notes the sound of the match striking, the quick burst of light and then the shadowy illumination of a lone match keeping away the darkness. There is someone next to him, a source of comfort, but tenuous and uncertain—he needs to see her to know that she’s there, and worries how fragile human connections are, preserved by something as fleeting as match light, and likely as not to disappear when the light is gone. But he turns his thoughts away from her and contemplates the illusion of freedom, arms outstretched into a welcoming world with no limits and no boundaries—but when the light goes out, when he’s on his own, the promise is revealed for the lie that it is, and what seemed like a boundless horizon becomes a cage, a prison, a personal hell made all the more damning for the seductive illusion of freedom. The one more day in…hell lyric is perhaps a little too over the top, but the rest of the images are powerful and the music perfect so that it doesn’t matter.

I will hold the candle, till it burns up my arm
I'll keep takin' punches, until their will grows tired
Oh I will stare the sun down, until my eyes go blind
I won't change direction, and I won't change my mind
I'll swallow poison, until I grow immune
I will scream my lungs out till it fills this room

Here the singer sounds more assertive. He may be in hell, we may all be damned, the world may conspire against us, but that’s no reason to give up or give in. The rest of the song is a litany of stubborn defiance and refusal. To hold onto the light no matter the pain, to exhaust the world through force of will, to grasp the truth no matter the cost (the sun is a traditional metaphor for that), to demand that the world listens. Defiance feeds defiance and there is a sad beauty in the martyrdom. But he seems to pull back a bit when he again asks himself whether it is all worth it. Whereas Release reaches its climax in its chorus, Indifference calls everything that came before into question. Is the struggle worth it? Is the sacrifice worth it? Is he strong enough to pay the cost? And as always, does the struggle itself have meaning?

There’s no easy answer here (you could easily argue that the next 7 albums go back and forth on the question), and the song is more powerful for not giving one. The listener needs to answer it for itself. Vs. documents both what is at stake and what lies in the way. The instinct to lash out against uncertainty is natural, and seductive, and easy, but it isn’t satisfying. It is a response, not a solution. But the album also points to a way forward. The fight does make a difference, or better, it can. There is a sort of narcissism and cowardice in refusing to act without certainty of success or reward. Life is struggle, and struggle involves risk. What matters is how you look at the mixed, gray world in front of you. Are you able to find the warmth, light, and life amidst the cold, dark, desolation? Vs. argues that there is more to life than injustice, that the struggle has meaning, but we cannot struggle alone. We can’t find or maintain the light by ourselves. The truth of this is gets revealed in the live experience as much as anywhere, when thousands cry out ‘I will scream my lungs out until it fills this room’ and you know that, at least as long as we can keep singing, it does make a difference.

Glorified G
Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town


June 22: Eddie Vedder in New York City

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Pearl Jam Twenty To Debut At Venice Film Festival

Cameron Crowe has announced that his film, Pearl Jam Twenty, is days away from the final mix. It all comes from his WhoSay page where he posted this picture:

We've also learned from that the documentary will make it's debut at the Venice Film Festival which runs August 31st through September 10th. The award ceremony for the Venice Film Festival is on September 4th. Let's hope Cameron brings home a prize!

June 21: Eddie Vedder in New York City

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Malfunkshun DVD News

The long awaited DVD project, Malfunkshun: The Andrew Wood Story, is about to see the light of day. This was posted today on the project's official Facebook page:

July 19, 2011 is the official RELEASE DATE for my film "Malfunkshun - The Andrew Wood Story". 10 years in the making and 6 years in the waiting.

It will be released on DVD in a Boxed Set along with "Melodies & Dreams" the Andrew Wood solo album, and Malfunkshun's "Return to Olympus".

A sincere THANK YOU to the family, friends and fans...

Pearl Jam Twenty Documentary: A First Look

Entertainment Weekly has what they call a first look at Cameron Crowe's documentary, Pearl Jam Twenty, in their June 24th issue.

The above picture is not included in the documentary but is instead described as a behind the scenes look. EW's Jason Adams has this to say about the film:

It’s been nearly 20 years since Crowe first put the members of Pearl Jam on the big screen as a fictional Seattle band in Singles. Now, in the documentary Pearl Jam Twenty (due this Fall), he’s taking a look at the band’s real-life accomplishments in their two decades together. Crowe (left, with frontman Eddie Vedder) tells EW, “People who’ve seen the movie tend to say one of two things: (a) When can I see the band play live again? or (b) Did we really look like that in the ’90s?

Not much in the way of news, but it sure has me excited to see this thing.

June 18: Eddie Vedder in Hartford

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Guided Tour of Vs.: Leash

Leash is a far more important track (that doesn’t necessarily make it a good track, mind you) on Vs. than we often give it credit for. Leash, moreso than Indifference, represents the culmination of the journey taken, the growth experienced on both Ten and Vs.. From the start Vs. is an album under siege, a sheep penned in and painfully throwing itself against the fence that confines it. Though it may not understand why it is trapped, who built the fence, what gave its captor the right to do it, or how to escape, it senses that its anger is just—somehow more righteous for the fact that its questions go unanswered. But the final quarter of the record, excepting the misplaced Rats, makes great strides both in trying to understand and escape. Rearview Mirror affirms that the subject has been a victim, and that he deserves better. Small Town confirms that they may have been victimizing themselves, that the harm we can do to ourselves through our own static lives, through fearing our dreams, is every bit as real, every bit as damning. But the judgment is softened with the sympathetic realization that we deserve more, even if we haven’t allowed ourselves to experience it. The key insight in Small Town, however, is the recognition that really living, true emancipation, is not something that can be done alone. Perhaps we can start the journey alone, as the subject does in RVM. But it can’t end that way.

That is the message of Leash, easily the most ecstatic, exuberant sounding song in the main catalog. I love how the song creeps up on the listener, starling them out of the reverie of Small Town (and in a lot of ways more artfully done that the quiet LOUD quiet LOUD approach of No Code). It’s not surprising that the first thing we hear from Eddie sounds like a startled yelp. There’s fear, but there is also catharsis, joy, and relief—like walking through a haunted house with good friends and knowing that everything you experience (the laughter and the fright) is both more intense and somehow more pure because you’re together. Little moments like this punctuate the song (like Eddie’s high pitched squeak and playful growl going into the second verse). Eddie sings like his heart is going to burst, but these are complicated screams that seem to exist in both past and present, with elements of the ragged survivor that becomes much more prominent in later songs. They release long held tension, but they celebrate the fact that he CAN scream, and that there is an audience listening that understands, that wants to scream too. The fact that it’s being done together is what matters. It’s not surprising that the Leash chorus/outro has some of the most prominent backing vocals in any Pearl Jam song.

Musically Leash sounds like a party, which makes sense that it’s largely what it is. Hearing the song live really reinforces this. Of all the early songs in the catalog this is one of the few whose meaning and feeling hasn’t changed over the last 20 years. The music is loud, crowded, grinds along, filled with playful moments (especially the transitions between verses (see the 54-60 second and 1:19-1:22 for instance) and notes that are chiming and happy for all their grit (listen to the music in the ‘drop the leash’ outro). There’s also an expansive recklessness to Leash, a looseness that isn’t present many other places on these early records. Ten and Vs. are tightly wound, coiled records. Leash feels free and sloppy, unguarded in a way that was really new for them at this point. The last lyric Eddie sings is ‘get out of my fucking face’ but he speaks it almost casually, like he knows he’s said it and more importantly , knows that others have heard, agreed, and above all else understood, so there’s no reason to scream anymore. Perhaps there isn’t even anything left to say, but that doesn’t mean we want the feeling to go away and Leash ends with the most triumphant solo this side of Alive to let us revel in this moment a little while longer. The song comes to a full stop, rather than a fade, which is significant, but we’ll get to that with Indifference.

Lyrically Leash is a mixed bag. There is an innocence to it that I find charming and appropriate for this song, but it’s easy to imagine why, especially on the surface, a lyric like ‘drop the leash, get out of my fucking face’ or ‘drop the leash, we are young’ can sound immature—especially since Ten, Vs, and Vitalogy normally handle the theme of alienation with much more subtlety and grace (compare ‘drop the leash, we are young’ to the magnificent ‘all that’s sacred comes from youth, dedications naive and true’). But the context matters (this is also why I think the lyrics for The Fixer work fine), and it would be a mistake to expect Leash to sound like Not For You. For all its energy Leash is not an angry or reflective song. It is immediate and celebratory, and even though Eddie is screaming these words, he’s not screaming them in anger. You certainly can’t call this self-parody. Eddie thinks the message is important, especially the ‘delight in our youth’ lyric. But the over the top ham fisted chorus, the black and white nature of the chorus, speaks to the purity of youth and the freedom that comes from certainty and simplicity. Leash wants us to hold onto that even as the world grows more complicated and we are forced to adapt. Even as life shackles us, even as we find ourselves bound and our movements limited, we need to hold onto what it felt like to be free, since this is what will help us navigate this much more complicated world. It is what will enable us to adapt how we live rather than change who we are, to forgive the world its imperfections without abandoning our principles, to live in the world rather than outside it, which may be the only way to resolve the adversarial alienation running through Vs.

That’s not to say there aren’t bad lyrics here. The second verse is unnecessarily vague ’Young lover I stand/It was their idea, I proved to be a man/Take my fucking hand/It was their idea, I proved to be a man’ could be about anything and is so seems to be about nothing. The liner notes seem to indicate that this is about getting someone pregnant, but that makes no sense in the context of the rest of the song. And as I said above ‘delight in our youth’ and ‘drop the leash we are young get out of my fucking face’ is perhaps excusable given the context, but that doesn’t make them well written. But Leash also features some of my favorite moments in the early catalog appearing in Leash. The bridge ‘Will myself to find a home, a home within myself, we will find a way, we will find our place’ is well done, and encapsulates both the themes of the song, the record, and the band itself. We author our own salvation (will myself to find a home, we will find a way), that what we’re really looking for is peace, some kind of stable ground where we can make a life for ourselves and discover who we are (a home within myself, we will find our place) but at the same time it’s a We that is doing this. If the only person occupying that space within yourself is yourself it’ll never be a home. It’ll be a prison. There is no peace without love. If there is one consistent message running throughout Pearl Jam’s music that’s it. The promise of Leash, the promise if of the music, is that if we search we will find it, and that we do not have to search alone. And while ‘drop the leash, we are young’ might be a bit cringeworthy, I am more than willing to forgive a song that gives us the magnificent ‘I am lost, I am no guide, but I’m by your side. I am right by your side.’ There are other songs that define the band: Alive, Rearview Mirror, Corduroy, Given to Fly, I Am Mine—but there are no other lyrics that better capture who they are, and why the music is so important.

Glorified G
Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town


Eddie on Letterman, June 20

This coming Monday, June 20th, Eddie will be strumming his uke as the musical guest on Letterman!  The show starts at 11:35pm ET.  Check your local listings.

June 15: Eddie Vedder in Providence

Monday, June 13, 2011

Mike McCready Works on "Horrible Bosses" Score

It looks like Mike is continuing to expand his scoring work for TV and movies.
The upcoming comedy “Horrible Bosses” has a pretty outrageous premise—three dudes decide to help each other kill their bosses. So appropriately, the soundtrack is going to be just as…eclectic.

Film Music Reporter reveals that composer Christopher Lennertz (”Marmaduke,” “Alvin & The Chipmunks,” “Supernatural”) has enlisted some pretty interesting talent to help score the film. Frequent Beastie Boys collaborator Money Mark (keyboards), Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready and session/touring musicians Dave Levita (Eminem, guitar), Chris Chaney (Jane’s Addiction, bass), Stefan Lessard (Dave Matthews Band, bass), Victor Indrizzo (Beck, drums) and DJ Cheapshot (Linkin Park, turntables) have all combined forces for the score of the film. Let’s hope it not as spazzy as that sounds. But seriously, we doubt they’re all together at once and it’s likely different combos are pairing up for various tunes. It’s a pretty interesting approach—certainly one that isn’t done very often—so we’ll be curious to see how it all turns.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Our First Look at PJ20 The Book

Italian fan site,, isn't saying where they got their hands on a marketing preview of Pearl Jam Twenty, but they are posting pictures of it on-line.

The back cover gives a broad description of the book and the marketing plan for PJ20.

Published in celebration of Pearl Jam’s twentieth anniversary and in conjunction with Cameron Crowe’s definitive documentary film and soundtrack of the same name, PEARL JAM TWENTY is an aesthetically stunning and definitive chronicle of their two decades as a band—by the band itself. 
In 1991, Pearl Jam’s debut album, Ten catapulted the little-known Seattle-based band into superstardom. Then, at the height of their popularity, the band shunned the spotlight, refusing to shoot videos or do interviews. Even as Pearl Jam’s studio albums continued to be critically acclaimed and commercially successful, selling over 60 million albums worldwide, the inner workings of the band—their day-to-day routines, influences, and motivations—remained unknown even to their diehard fans.

Twenty years later, this is their story. PEARL JAM TWENTY is a treasure trove of behind-the-scenes anecdotes, rare archival memorabilia, and the band’s personal photos, tour notes, and drawings. Told with wit and insight in the band members’ own words, and assembled by veteran music writer Jonathan Cohen with Mark Wilkerson—and including a foreword by Cameron Crowe along with original interviews with legends and contemporaries like Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, and Dave Grohl—this intimate work provides an in-depth look at a group of musicians who through defying convention established themselves as “the greatest American rock band ever” (USA Today Readers’ Poll 2005).

2011 will be a yearlong celebration of Pearl Jam's rich twenty-year history. The festivities kick off with the January release of a new live compilation album, Live on Ten Legs, followed by the srping rerelease of the band's sophomore and junior releases, Vs. and Vitalogy, in new, deluxe formats. Cameron Crowe's film Pearl Jam Twenty will premiere at the end of summer into early fall at select film ?? worldwide and the Pearl Jam Twenty book and soundtrack will be released simultaneously. The film will then have a staged rollout including theatrical release, TV broadcast, and DVD release for the holidays. Pearl Jam's twentieth anniversary year will ?? be filled with a wealth of other surprises from the band, live performances and more.

In the Studio via Smartphone and Twitter

Thanks to Mike, we know that Pearl Jam has been hammering out their new album.

Hi Brendan O'Brien!

Second from the left ... is that Matt?

But now that Eddie is, no doubt, preparing for his tour which kicks off next week, it looks like the guys (or Stone and Matt, at least) are stepping up the recording of their side projects.

@theeshawnsmith Workin with Stone and Regan in the studio. New rock glory!

"This is the best I could do. Regan already went home."

And we've been hearing blips out of Chris Cornell about the status of the new Soundgarden album. This week he told New Zealand Herald reporter, Scott Kara, that they're almost done.
@scottkara Just interviewed Chris Cornell. Nice chap. Still recording "sonic aggressive" new Soundgarden album but nearly ready he reckons.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Alone In This Together

Star Anna and the Laughing Dogs will be releasing their third studio album, Alone in this Together, on July 12th.  Listen for Mike McCready on the title track.  If you like what you hear, pick up the album, or if you're in Seattle, catch a performance at Easy Street.  No word yet on whether Mike will be performing at Easy Street.

A Guided Tour of Vs.: Elderly Woman


(A Guided Tour: Vs.)
Elderly Woman is the first mature song to appear in Pearl Jam’s catalog, at least if maturity reflects the ability to critically reflect from a great distance, and to soften the temptation for judgment with the wisdom that comes from experience. Prior to this Pearl Jam’s music was exceedingly immediate and frequently judgmental (which, when you feel like judging, is very satisfying). Eddie’s songs about other people were at least in some ways songs about himself, the working out of demons through characters. In Small Town we have something different.

The beginning of the song is startling, if only because there is, for the first time in the catalog, no prelude. There is no build. We jump right into the story. Perhaps life was the prelude. Perhaps a slow build requires time that a wasted life can no longer furnish. For a gentle acoustic song there is a strange subtle urgency to it. There is something about the music that sounds like it may burst without realizing it. This is a song about lifetimes, and that is a lot for one song to contain. The whole band deserves credit for the effect—the richness of the acoustic canvas, the subtle ways Mike colors it in—each fill reflecting a wasted opportunity or a dream revived only to fade away again-- crowding the song without drawing attention away from the story, the depth provide by jeff’s bass, the effectively understated drums from Dave, the texture provided by the keys, a novelty at this point in their career, but one they wisely avoid drawing attention to. There is a confidence to the music, as if it has already proven everything it could possibly need to prove, and so simply needs to do what the song requires without ego or aspiration.

But the real star of this piece is Eddie. Pearl Jam’s music is always written to act as a platform for his vocals, but this is one of the only times (at this point) where the band really gets out of the way to leave him in the spotlight all by himself. The evocative title sets the scene (and unlike Rats, doesn’t spoil the surprise). We have an older woman, beaten down by life, by roads not traveled, chances not taken, dreams deferred. This is a song about standing still while the rest of the world passed you by, and a chance at redemption. But rather than judge or self-identify, as he does everywhere else on the record , here he stands apart while offering sympathy and forgiveness—refusing to condemn someone for not being able to overcome what so many of us cannot. Part of the process of maturation is learning not to resent people for their inability to transcend who we are, and that happens here.

Like RVM, this is a song about vision—learning to see (or see again) what has long been hidden, and hopefully finding the courage to act on it. But RVM reflects only on its past, and even there it reflects only on its pain. It does not think about its future, as the song climaxes in the triumphal moment of release, of sight restored. It exults in the possibilities of a new future without taking the time to think about what they are. Elderly Woman is about a similar experience, reflecting on a life of static drift rather than pain, but again fixated on the moment of realization. The details are a little fuzzy, but that doesn’t matter since the song is about the experience, not the setting. In the 18 years I’ve been listening to this song I’ve imagined it as the woman spotting an old photograph of herself, confronting an old acquaintance, seeing echoes of who she was in someone younger, even hallucinations—looking into a polished countertop and seeing a youthful reflection or having herself literally confronted by the ghost of who she was—the same conceit I hate so much in Off He Goes. The power of the song comes in part from the fact that this choice doesn’t really matter. It’s a secondary detail that the listener can fill in whatever way is most moving to them.

Where RVM is an epiphany, a singular moment where everything becomes clear, Elderly Woman is hazy and uncertain. There is no thunderbolt, no eureka moment of inspiration and clarity. The song starts out trapped in gauzy recollections. The hesitantly phrased ‘I seem to recognize your face/haunting, familiar, yet I can’t seem to place it. Cannot find a candle of thought to light your name ‘--a wonderful lyric, with its intimations of light and heat, awareness and passion. It’s the experience of having a name on the tip of your tongue and being unable to access it—something that gets even more frustrating the longer it lasts, and as she quickly realizes, this has been lingering just below the surface for a lifetime. The song slides into a kind of wistful regret ‘lifetimes are catching up with me, all these changes taking place, I wish I’d see the place, but no one’s ever taken me.’ These hurts are too old to kindle immediate pain, but in some ways they’re all the sadder for it, for their passivity and sense of loss that encompasses a lifetime. That passivity is important—the feeling that this person has been a victim for her whole life, someone the world acted upon, instead of her acting upon it. She waited for someone to show her what’s there, rather than go seek it out herself, and no one ever came.

The gentle decay of the chorus ‘hearts and thoughts they fade…fade away’ punctuate this. Like the rest of the song its delivery is effectively understated, more melancholy than it is angry or bitter or even sad—emotions too immediate for the song and the subject. Elderly Woman is not a crime in progress, nor are we exploring its aftermath. Eddie is filtering ages through his voice, visiting long abandoned ruins, disturbing their forgotten slumber with unwanted intrusion. If we cannot reawaken it, better perhaps to let it lie.

The second verse speaks to an increasingly determined desire to recapture what was lost, if only it could be sustained. Recognizing a face can be done at a distance, or it can be filtered through a picture or a memory. Breath is something close, something intimate, something right in front of you. There is a gradual reawakening, as what was forgotten is slowly remembered ‘memories like fingerprints are slowly raising’. There’s a gasping moment of shame, as if she could only see what she’s become by holding herself up to the mirror of past aspirations, coupled with self-pity and self-awareness that she’s at least partly authored her present condition (although she still casts herself as a victim). ‘Me you wouldn’t recall, for I’m not my former. It’s hard when you’re stuck up on the shelf. I changed by not changing at all, small town predicts my fate, perhaps that’s what no one wants to see.’

There is a moment when we think she might escape the gravity of her past and start over. ‘I just want to scream ‘Hello!’ My god it’s been so long, never dreamed you’d return. But now here you are, and here I am.’ It is certainly the emotional climax of the song, both lyrically and in terms of the delivery. The question is does she recapture what she lost, or is this just temporary? I’m inclined to think she loses the moment. She holds herself back, like she always has. She just wants to scream. She doesn’t do it. But probably more than anything how you read the song turns on whether or not you think she is alone with her memories or literally confronted by someone from her past. I think she’s alone, and that’s the key. Memories aren’t enough. There needs to be someone on this journey with you. We can rarely overcome the inertia of our habits, our small town, our passivity, our fear (see Dissident) on our own. Engaging the world around you, engaging your dreams, requires someone there with you—someone to draw on for strength when you stumble and someone to share the feast of your triumphs. Instead the song closes with the fading out repetition of the chorus, as the hearts and thoughts fade away once again. What was awoken could not be sustained, because it was alone.

Glorified G
Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town