Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Top Ten Pearl Jam Moments of 2011, #4


Even at the end of the year, the Grammy nominated Ukulele Songs remains in steady rotation for many Pearl Jam fans.  Ed has been dropping ukulele music on us for a decade now, starting with Soon Forget on Binaural.  As tunes became more common, rumors of an album full of ukulele songs began to surface.  “Truth in advertising,” said Ed about the April release of Ukulele Songs.  In an effort to endear fans to the ukulele, Ed even released a handmade, limited-edition book with music, lyrics, pictures, and, of course, a sleeve for your CD.  

Ed also embarked on a 32-date tour, visiting some of the most beautiful venues on two continents. Glen Hansard, who duets with Ed on Sleepless Nights, opened for the US leg of the tour, often taking the stage to help with Sleepless Nights as well as Hard Sun, Society, and Long Nights. The two forged a partnership that resulted in Hansard virtually being the 7th member of Pearl Jam in East Troy.

Ukulele Songs would have been enough for any hardcore fan, but Ed also released a DVD/BluRay on the same day.  Water on the Road was a film directed by Chrisoph Green and Fugazi drummer, Brendan Canty, that artfully stitches together performances from Ed’s 2008 two-night stand in Washington DC with rare, heartfelt clips of Ed paddleboarding on the Potomac, vacationing in Hawaii, and practicing backstage.  Ed traditionally tours fewer cities and plays smaller venues and more intimate shows than when he’s with his Pearl Jam bandmates (no cameras or audio recording allowed), so many fans appreciate the opportunity to see live performances.