Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Four Things To Expect From Pearl Jam in 2014

Now that we've recapped 2013, it's time to wonder what to expect for 2014.  Well, we already know Pearl Jam's going to be hitting Europe and Australia, but what else will the band be up to next year?  Here are our guesses!


So, Pearl Jam gets lots of press for releasing "every" show as a bootleg, but we all know that's not totally true.  Some of the most begged for shows since 2011 remain out of reach.  Pearl Jam is going to make good with their fans by releasing this 10CD/6DVD boxed set with audio and video recordings of the 2011 Pearl Jam Destination Weekend, the 2012 Made In America Festival performance, and 2013's An Evening with Pearl Jam at Wrigley Field.  The set will include great features like: 1" X 2" poster recreations from all the shows, suitable for framing in your Pearl Jam dollhouse, a cassette of Mike McCready discussing what material to post on twitter while they're on the way to PJ20 in East Troy, recreations of polaroids that the band took of 85 random fans, and some guitar picks that the band hand left from their 2013 North American Tour.  Please note that due to technical problems, the following songs are not included as part of this box: In The Moonlight from Septmber 3, 2011, 99 Problems from September 2, 2012, and the seven songs played prior to the weather break at Wrigley Field.


We all remember being excited that Ed was collaborating with director Scott Cooper on the movie, Out of the Furnance.  We even got excited when some asshole edited the IMDB to list 35 various songs recorded by Ed for the movie.  Then came the crushing sadness when we found that only one song made the cut ... and it was a Pearl Jam song (Release) ... and it wasn't recorded by just Ed ... and the new version was more or less indistinguishable from the version on Ten.  Still, Ed makes good in 2014 by releasing the songs that Cooper called "so awesome that they should never see the light of day."  Look for Ed's third solo release, Out of Out of the Furnace: Songs Scott Cooper said were so awesome that he couldn't put them in his movie in September.



Pearl Jam will continue their new tradition of delivering Christmas Singles on time.  In 2014, you can look for a 7" containing the previously unreleased Lightning Bolt outtakes, Where's The Sponge? (performed by The Young Evils) and Billy Billy Micropenis (performed by Boom Gaspar on sitar and Michelle Obama on lyrics, recorded in the White House Organic Garden).

... and lastly, every album Mike McCready inevitably tells us that they have 300 songs or pieces of songs that they were not able to fit on the album, and they'll probably put out an EP in about a year.  2014 is the year that Mike speaks truth as Pearl Jam release, Lightning Bolt: Lightning Strikes Twice in November, and then embarks on a 35 city tour of The People's Republic of China.  

Here's the tracklist!
  1. Mercury
  2. In the Time of Man
  3. Of The Earth
  4. Shelter
  5. Alford Pleas
  6. Tracking Change
  7. Foliage
  8. Apollo
  9. Undertow
  10. We're Outta Here
  11. Sans Finis

And, if any of this happens in 2014, you'll know, because we'll bring it to you here at The Sky I Scrape and the Red Mosquito Forum!  Have a great New Year!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Top Ten Pearl Jam Moments of 2013, #1

First! A recap:

... and finally, the #1 Pearl Jam Moment of 2013 ...


Was there any doubt?  Sure, it's tough to call an album which we heard in pieces over the course of three months a "moment," but there was no bigger story this year than Pearl Jam first album in over four years.  Few fans would dare say it wasn't worth the wait.

Lightning Bolt is an album worthy of very group of adjectives you'd like to throw at it.  It is a group of songs that deliver one collective punch of emotion, and yet each song taken by itself demonstrates different, distinct way in which Pearl Jam has evolved.

It would be impossible to tell what the highlights are since the debate has only been raging for two months and will probably continue dozens of years more.  The band did make their own stand with two singles so far, Mike's tribute to the Dead Kennedys, Mind Your Manners, and his tribute to Pink Floyd, Sirens.  You can check the videos in last week's post, but if you've had enough of them, you can also check out the Mind Your Manners Alt. Take video.

What other gems are on the album?

An uptempo, rocking opener written by Eddie, but with a bass line by Jeff that steals the day.  There is a lot of things on this album to argue about, but Getaway is not one of them.  Even from the early, poorly ripped, ESPN leak, it has been nearly universally loved.  (Live debut: 10/30 in Charlotte)

Enter the arguments.  My Father's Son is one of more contentious songs on the album.  Fans are split into a Love It Camp and a Hate It Camp.  There's really no in-between.  Jeff wrote the music, and Mike picks up a six-string bass to help carry the line, but it's Ed's lyrics that generally spark the emotions.  On the surface it seems like an angry, autobiographical sequel to Alive, but as with all things Pearl Jam, that's not so clear. Ed is clearly sarcastic, but is he railing against family, the world, or has he stepped into another person's persona entirely? (Live debut: 10/12 in Buffalo)

Lightning Bolt is an epic drama that we usually expect to be written by Mike and buried late in the album a la Force of Nature or Inside Job, but here Ed penned the song that captures the spirit of the album.  It's a metaphor within a metaphor, on the surface it seems that the imagery describes a lover or is it a daughter?  Or is the woman in the song a metaphor for the inspiration the drove the creative processes the gave birth to the album? One thing that is not debated is that this song sounds even better live.  Expect to hear it for years to come.  (Live debut: 7/19 in Chicago)

Another fan favorite, Infallible is a political/environmental song.  It's clear at this point in the album that Ed is lyrically rocking back and forth between his personal emotions and his political agenda.  Maybe this album signifies a blending of the emotional, early Pearl Jam, and the political band of the 2000s.  Musically, this album is best described by Stip:
I guess there are probably some analogues to this song in the catalog (maybe think Tremor Christ meets You Are) but Infallible probably feels the newest of everything we’ve heard. Synth heavy, pounding, groovy, ominous, brooding, and playful--Infallible keeps the listener on its toes. It’s one of the trickier songs to grasp, always just a tiny bit out of reach.
(Live debut: 10/11 in Pittsburgh)

The song that opened the tour!  And then went on to open two-thirds of the shows on this tour.  Jeff's dark, spooky use of a bowed guitar building into Stone's bongos under Ed's echoing howls created one of the more unexpected favorites on the album.  Live the song seems written to be played as a dark stage comes to life and it hands off to nearly anything in the Pearl Jam catalog with ease.  (Live debut: 10/11 in Pittsburgh)

Swallowed Whole is often cited as an homage to R.E.M., though the band does not specifically state that the way they referenced the inspiration behind Mind Your Manners and Sirens.  This is another song that splits the fan base into bitterly rivaled camps.  As I'm among the naysayers, I'll let Stip speak to this one:
The song is driven by a jangly acoustic guitar, but all three guitar players have interesting parts to play, and it is a surprisingly rich and robust song. Eddie starts out playing it relatively low key for a fast song, and the contrast between his performance and the music is interesting, until about a minute fifteen into the song, when everything suddenly explodes into a major key celebration of life and feeling like you belong--ostensibly to nature, but it’s hardly necessary to confine the song to that. It’s the feeling of belonging that matters.
(Live debut: 10/12 in Buffalo)

Written by Stone, most likely while watching True Blood on HBO, Let The Records Play is a fun, bluesy rock song that very clearly comes out of the experimentation Stone undertook when writing his solo album, Moonlander.  Let The Records Play and Witch Doctor would pair quite nicely on one of my grandma's old 78s.  Live, it's been paired a few times with the punky scream of Spin The Black Circle, less for musical similarity than for a continuity in the lyrics, but there is a much more fatalistic tone to Let The Records Play that leaves us simply enjoying what we've got. (Live debut: 10/11 in Pittsburgh)

Here, at the behest of Brendan O'Brien, we get the full band treatment of an Eddie Vedder solo tune.  Sleeping By Myself is not only the lightest, most chipper thing on the album, it's the lightest, most chipper thing Pearl Jam has ever recorded.  Is this one of the bands the pioneered the 90s grunge sound?  Hearing this song on its own (and a lot of us did skip right to it to find out what it was like), you'd question why it's on the album, but when reached as part of the album, you don't know why you thought it should be left out.  The music belies the raw emotion characterized by the lyrics, and yet somehow delivers that emotion better than when Ed plays it alone with a ukulele.  (Live debut: 11/21 in San Diego)

'Yeeea-heeaa-heeaeaaa-lomoo Hohwooon... the raaaaaaiiiiiise.'  Some say Jeff is the MVP of Lightning Bolt, and some say Ed.  I say that for no other reason than the decision to fight for Yellow Moon, a song he didn't even write, Mike is our MVP.  He has stated in an interview that this song was destined for the cutting room floor, but he fought to include it.  Though it's clearly the hardest song to learn to sing along with, there is no way that Lightning Bolt is Lightning Bolt without it.  Jeff's music compliments the drama of Ed's lyrics perfectly.  Could the album have ended here?  Maybe.  (Live debut: 10/11 in Pittsburgh)

Our first listen was in Chicago, and although the YouTube video left much to be desired, a later leak of the isolate from Ed's mike and guitar tweaked our heart.  Brendan O'Brien brought piano into this Ed-penned closer, a choice that will no doubt be grumbled about on the forums at least as much as the fade out.  A read of Ed's lyrics will surely bring a tear to many eyes, but the song doesn't carry that same emotion.  Somehow, this song never hits you the way it should, but it lays the album to rest without shame. (Live debut: 7/19 in Chicago)

In the end, it was a tough call.  Lightning Bolt was clearly the biggest news story of the year.  Was it number one because it was everything we hoped it would be?  Was it number one because we were so starved for new album after the longest Pearl-Jam-album-gap in history?  It's tough to say.

But what's to come next year?  We'll have some guesses for you tomorrow.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Top Ten Pearl Jam Moments of 2013, #2


If you've followed our concept of a Pearl Jam Drought, you know that citizens of West Virginia, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Delaware, and Alaska have waited in excess of 8,450 days to see Pearl Jam.  By that measure, the 1,536 days (count by Travis Hay) they've made Seattle wait for a show doesn't seem so bad.  Still, that's quite along enough to make a hometown crowd feel a little slighted, especially in a year when Pearl Jam played Wrigley Field and not Safeco.

Maybe that's part of the reason Pearl Jam not only played at Key Arena in Seattle this tour, but also three other cities (Portland, Spokane, and Vancouver) that are a mere stone's throw from Puget Sound.  Although everyone will always claim a favorite show, ... a best crowd, .... a greatest setlist, it is safe to say that the whole tour built up to these shows and every fan and band member was in fine form every night.

What were some of the rarities and highlights? How about a Top Ten List within your Top Ten List?
10. Soon Forget (Vancouver)
9. Van Halen's Eruption (Spokane/Seattle)
8. Rats (Portland)
7. Homer Simpson's Mr. Plow (Calgary)
6. Velvet Underground's After Hours (Portland/Spokane/Vancouver/Seattle)
5. Brain of J (Spokane)
4. Chloe Dancer/Crown of Thorns/Breath/State of Love and Trust (Seattle)
3. Let Me Sleep (Seattle)
2. Kick Out the Jams (with Mark Arm, Steve Turner, and Kim Thayil in Seattle)
1. Neil Young's Rockin' In The Free World (with Peter Buck, Scott McCaughey, and Sleater-Kinney in Portland)

You can always count on Pearl Jam to throw in a lot of fun when they're close to home.  

... and before we leave you hanging over the weekend for #1, what's a blog post without some video evidence?






Thursday, December 26, 2013

Top Ten Pearl Jam Moments of 2013, #3


Mind Your Manners may go down as the first Pearl Jam song that did not leak in any appreciable form until it's official release date, but we were barely over the buzz of hearing that song for the first time when something else slipped through the cracks.

In July, the Pearl Jam Red Mosquito poster, KurtLeon, bought the community stumbled  two demos, Cold Confession and Let It Ride, that had reportedly been recorded during the sessions that led up to Pearl Jam's self-titled album.  PearlJamOnline.it lists both tracks in a session out of Studio X back in December of 2004.  That is the same session that gave us Of The Earth (which we're hoping to see on Lightning Bolt), as well as World Wide SuicideMarker [in the Sand], Crapshoot Rapture (renamed Comatose) and two other songs, Armor and 2X4, which may have been renamed or may still be in limbo.

Here's is some of what our reviewer, Stip, had to say:

Eddie is the star here [in Cold Confession], and it’s nice to have a showcase song for him. He is perfect here, barely held together—like spiderweb cracks on a pane of frosted glass. It feels real without the affectations that (for some people) mar a song like The End. The music helps understate him.

[In Let It Ride] we have a muscular, unadorned riff that gives the song a kind of purposeful purposelessness. It’s not going anywhere in particular, but it's marching to nowhere with some shit kicking determination. It plays off oddly, and (to my ears) not always successfully, with Eddie’s vocals, which seem to be moving with far less deliberation than the music
Will these songs ever be dusted off and released?  If the speed with which Pearl Jam put a stop to trading, it's definitely possible, but then again just because trading isn't allowed doesn't mean there is any intent to release (witness Ed's solo shows).

Still, we have a 2013 Christmas Single on the horizon.  Hope is not yet dead!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Temple of the Dog Reissue on Vinyl

Thanks to Frank Sykes for tweeting his Christmas presents, because we completely dropped the ball on this huge 2013 story.  It seems in October, while we were cavorting around trying to catch Pearl Jam live in the South, Music On Vinyl reissued Temple of the Dog, the pre-Pearl Jam collaboration between members of Soundgarden and Mookie Blaylock.  For those of you hoping for a purple vinyl, we are sorry, but the 5000 numbered copies have sold out and the reissues is only available in black.  Amazon's got the lead for you.

It's available as a 2 (180 gram) LP pack with an etching on the 4th side.
Temple Of The Dog was essentially a side project of Soundgarden's Chris Cornell & Matt Cameron, Mother Love Bone's Stone Gossard & Jeff Ament and Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam. Without pressure from a record label, the collaboration resulted in a beautiful album dedicated to the memory of Mother Love Bone singer Andrew Wood. 
Official vinyl releases of Temple Of The Dog have been in short supply. To celebrate its official reissue we're giving it a 2LP treatment for best audio, with an etch on the D-side. First pressing is a limited run on purple vinyl. Get it while they last!
If you want to have a look at the etching, you can catch it on this YouTube video.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Top Ten Pearl Jam Moments of 2013, #4


Being born in Evanston, Illinois outside of Chicago, Eddie Vedder is a lifetime Cubs fan, and has always dreamed of playing at Wrigley Field.  Even though Ed was able to take the stage with his hero, Bruce, in 2012, his dream really came true this July when Pearl Jam became the tenth musical artist in history to play the stadium and the fastest to sell out the venue.

Wrigley Field was one of the most anticipated Pearl Jam shows ever, and despite its problems (a two hour rain delay and hours-long lines for merchandise) Pearl Jam brought fans one amazing show.  They debuted two songs from their new album, Lightning Bolt, the title track and Future Days (with Brendan O'Brien on the piano).  Mind Your Manners and All The Way were played live for only their second time (the latter with Ernie Banks on stage), and Bugs got its third appearance.

The full setlist was front loaded with lower tempo rarities, but when the band took the stage after the rain delay, they pulled out several harder rocking hits.

Release, Nothingman, Present Tense, Hold On, Low Light, Come Back, Elderly Woman // RAIN DELAY // All The Way (Eddie Vedder), All Night, Do the Evolution, Setting Forth (Eddie Vedder), Corduroy, Faithfull, Mind Your Manners, Lightning Bolt, State of Love and Trust, Wishlist, Even Flow, Leatherman, Eruption (Van Halen), Bugs, Why Go, Unthought Known, Rearviewmirror // ENCORE BREAK // Future Days, Mother (Pink Floyd), Chloe Dancer/ Crown of Thorns (Mother Love Bone), Porch, Wasted Reprise, Life Wasted, Black, Rockin' in the Free World (Neil Young)

Pearl Jam was so excited for the show that they created dozens of Chicago-centric merchandise items including four concert posters by four different artists (Ames Bros., Emek, Munk One, and Kevin Shuss), rally towels, trading cards, and even a t-shirt with the setlist on the back (a bold but iffy experiment being that changes during the show caused the actual setlist to vary significantly from what was printed on the shirt).

In the end, it's pretty hard to find someone who will complain (OK, one guy).  Now the only complaint is the lack of an official bootleg from the show.  Bootlegs from the other 2013 shows have already started to become available.  Is this one getting special treatment?  I guess we'll look for this right after we get the bootlegs from Pearl Jam's 2011 Destination Weekend.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Top Ten Pearl Jam Moments of 2013, #5


After four years and a Backspacer hangover, Pearl Jam knew that they would need to do something special to introduce their 10th album, and Lightning Bolt had one of the most ambitious album builds in Pearl Jam history.  We would need to write a book to cover it all, so here is the TL/DR version.

1.  The Countdown(s): We learned that the only thing better than one countdown is three countdowns.  The first countdown, beginning on July 1st and ending a week later, featured a tour announcement and intro music that  was awesome and therefore wouldn’t be on the album. Also, the album was going to be called Lightning Bolt, which left  many  fans under...

The cover art looked pretty cool, though, and apparently was designed to let us know that the rapture was imminent.

Confess with your mouth.

Unfortunately we had no tracklist or single. But we did get a countdown to...

2.  The first single (Mind Your Manners): Pearl Jam reminds us that Eddie can actually sing a fast, aggressive song without shrieking, and that inside every Ole is a bad ass rewrite just waiting for its moment.   This was followed by yet another countdown, this one to the album launch.  Now it’s time to kill three months.  For a while nothing happened, but we did get...

3. The first video:  Thanks to the Mind Your Manners video  we know exactly how cool the band looks silhouetted surrounded by cartoon lightning bolts.  But what other songs are on the album?

4. The artwork/tracklist reveal:  With no tracklist we had several weeks to speculate and leak our own.  Was there really going to be a song called Billy Billy Micropenis?  Where’s My Sponge (I believed that one)?  And when will we finally get to hear a decent version of Betterman (live)?  Which ukulele song is going to make it?  Which 6 year old songs from two albums ago are going to make an appearance.   At the end of August, Pearl Jam answers all these questions (no, no, someday, Sleeping By Myself, none) with an exciting week of piecemeal album artwork (which was excellent) reveals and figuring out which song title was going to be Of the Earth.  Anyone who says they didn’t enjoy this process is full of shit.

5. The Brendan O’Brien interviews:  Pearl Jam refused to talk about the new record but we did get several interview from  everyone’s favorite producer/personal messiah/6th member of the band (sorry, Boom) where we learned that Sirens is the best song Pearl Jam ever did, that Yellow Moon and Pendulum were not songs he particularly wanted on the record, and that we do need to credit him with the studio version of Sleeping By Myself.  Was he right about Sirens?

6. The second single (Sirens):     First listen:  What the fuck, it’s a power ballad?
     Fifth listen:  I kind of like this
   Tenth Listen: Fuck yes, it’s a power ballad!

Sirens quickly becomes the most divisive song in Pearl Jam’s catalog this side of  The Fixer, except people other than me actually seem to love it.   

7. The second video (Sirens): Please don’t make a power ballad video. Please don’t make a power ballad video. Please don’t make a power ballad video.   Hey wait, this is actually better than the studio version.  Danny Clinch delivers a low lit tasteful video featuring soulful performances and the appearance of Stone’s guitar.   What else do we get?

8.  The Vignettes:  Still no interviews, but we did get a few cool insights into the creative process.

9. The listening parties:  Fans are outraged about the lack of a leak.  However, there were several pre launch listening parties, and their reviews taught us a lot about the album--in particular that the  tour promo music WOULD be on the album, that My Father’s Son was sung by Stone,  that Yellow Moon was a Mark Lanegan/REM song, and that Sleeping By Myself was terrible.  Some of these predictions were more accurate than others.
But most of all, the listening party birthed what would become the single most important bit of music produced by the Lighting Bolt sessions:

10. The ESPN leak: Whether or not this was intentionally leaked (probably not) we did get to hear Getaway, Swallowed Whole, Lightning Bolt, and Let the Records Play at least a few weeks before the album came out.  This meant we got to get our anger about the Lightning Bolt fade out of our system before  the album hit, which was a smart tactical move on the part of Pearl Jam management.

11.  The EPK: Another album, another Danny Clinch EPK. He’s good at what he does. We learn that some songs were inspired by surfing.

12.  The Interviews: Pearl Jam wasn’t doing any interviews leading up to Lightning Bolt, which lead many to suspect that only Brendan O’Brien cared about the album. Instead they had several hours worth of in depth interviews carried out by friends/fans of the band (Portlandia co-creator and former member of Sleater-Kinney, Carrie Brownstein, former New Orleans Saints safety, Steve Gleason, World Champion Surfer, Mark Richards, and film director, Judd Apatow.  Questions were insightful, interesting, different, but the absence the ashes of Mother Love Bone seems disrespectful to some.

We all got pissed off with the first Countdown.  We all got nervous when we didn’t see the band doing much press. Was the album even finished?  Where was the tracklist? But in the end,  there’s not much more Pearl Jam could have done to get people excited for Lightning Bolt. It was about as comprehensive and well done a build up as we’ve ever gotten.  It will be difficult to top.  We will be inclined to be more forgiving if it doesn’t take four fucking years.

Happy Birthday, Eddie Vedder!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Top Ten Pearl Jam Moments of 2013, #6


When Stone announced that he would be releasing Moonlander in June, he didn't call it an album.  He called it a project.  Moonlander is a great showcase of all the musical influences that have been kicking around in Stone's brain.  Is it a rock album?  Is it folk rock?  Is it rock folk?  Is it funk-inspired, country-breathed, neuvo-folk, blues rock?  It's a great album that showcases Stone's skills and vocals more impressively than Bayleaf or any Pearl Jam song featuring him on vocals.

Moonlander is more than great music though.  Moonlander was an experiment in art and inspiration, and it's release would serve as a template for Pearl Jam's release of Lightning Bolt.

Each Moonlander track was paired with a piece of artwork created by Stone's daughter, and each day for over two months, the Ten Club treated us to one song and one new piece of artwork.  The songs came via SoundCloud, and although you couldn't download them, they could (and still can) be played ad nauseaum for free.

Then things got super weird.  Each piece of artwork was turned into one plush doll which was awarded to a different fan each week for tweeting messages about the album.  Then on release day, fans could purchase  signed prints of the artwork with their digital download.  Moonlander was, without a doubt, the test case for keeping fans screaming for an album for months both before and after its release.


I'm not sure any of us would have known to ask for 40 minutes of non-stop drumming by Matt Cameron , Zach Hill (Death Grips/Hella) and Janet Weiss (Sleater-Kinney/Wild Flag), but I'm glad someone knew we wanted it.

In August, Jackpot Records dropped a surprise drum collaboration by the three friends on vinyl called Drumgasm.  The album has one track per side, both 20 minutes long, and both chock full of free form, jazz-rock drumming.  The whole album was recorded with no plan in a rented studio over a weekend, the way rock is supposed to be!  If you can't commit to the vinyl release, go grab the MP3 at Amazon.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

I Got 99 Problems, but the Holiday Single Ain't One

OK, it's kinda one, because we don't actually have the songs yet or the record or even a decent picture, BUT! ... the contents of Pearl Jam's 2013 Holiday Single have leaked.  This year's single will include the 2012 performance of 99 Problems with Jay-Z at the Made In America Festival and a cover of the Rolling Stones' Shattered by Ed and Jeanne Tripplehorn at a benefit for Epidermolysis Bullosa earlier this year.  Ten Club members should keep an eye on their "My Subscriptions" section for the download.

SIDE A: 99 Problems - Written by Jay-Z, Performed by Pearl Jam with Jay-Z (9/2/2012 Philadelphia, Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Made In America Festival)

SIDE B: Shattered - Written by Rolling Stones, Performed by Eddie Vedder with Jeanne Tripplehorn (9/15/2013 Private Location, Malibu, CA, EBMRF Benefit with Ed Vedder)

Top Ten Pearl Jam Moments of 2013, #7


It appears as though Pearl Jam has set an yearly schedule for their "Vault Releases," the release of rare shows not previously available as an official bootleg.  This year's offering was the 1998 show at Constitution Hall in Washington, DC.

With this show came some other, very exciting news.  Pearl Jam not only released this show as a CD and digital bootleg but also as a very limited, Ten Club members only, three LP set.  Every indication from fans is that no matter the format, this show was well chosen.

The tracklist is jammed full of rarities and great songs from what many would call Pearl Jam's peak.  Here's the tracklist: Long Road, Act of Love, Hail Hail, Dissident, Given to Fly, Corduroy, Wishlist, Not For You, All Those Yesterdays, Daughter, Whipping, Immortality, Push Me, Pull Me, Faithfull, Present Tense, Rearviewmirror, Black, Do The Evolution, I Got ID, Betterman, Alive, and Soldier of Love (the Yellow Ledbetter encore was left off due to problems with the tape).

Even if you didn't opt for the vinyl, you can still get crystal clear sound because all bootlegs from 2012 on are available not only in MP3 and FLAC formats, but in HD FLAC as well.

And lastly in bootleg news, Apple fans this year rejoiced that Pearl Jam has made a huge piece of their bootleg collection available via iTunes.  You can  currently get vault releases, Europe 2000, North America 2003, and the South American Lollapalooza shows from 2013.  To tempt you to make a purchase, the Ten Club has even started uploading a new song each week with facts about the song.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Top Ten Pearl Jam Moments of 2013, #8


Every year since 2009 has be "The Year Grunge Returned," so reissues of quintessential 90's albums have been common.  This year was no different.

In April fans were treated to a Deluxe reissue of Mad Season's Above.  The package included three discs. The first of which contains the original album, an acoustic interlude by Mike McCready, three tracks (Locomotive, Black Book of Fear, and Slip Away) that were recorded for the band's never-released second album with vocals added by Mark Lanegan, and a remix of the Lennon cover, I Don't Wanna Be a Soldier, from the 1995 tribute album, Working Class Hero.  A second disc contains the band's performance at Moore Theater in Seattle on April 29, 1995 (featuring an appearance by Mark Lanegan).  The last disc is a DVD of Live at The Moore, remixed and remastered and newly edited by director Duncan Sharp, a full concert of the band's performance from New Years Eve 1995 at RKCNDY in Seattle, and both performances from Self-Pollution Radio (one newly edited).

For Record Store Day, which followed quickly after, Monkeywrench Records released limited 10" singles of River of Deceit/I Don't Know Anything (live) in red or blue vinyl and a double vinyl release of Above (with the Lanegan songs and I Don't Wanna Be A Soldier).  There have also been some white vinyl singles of Locomotive and Black Book of Fear floating around independent record stores.

All in all, there was a full-court press of media and merchandise to keep both Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains fans drooling.

Brad continued the reissue schedule that began last year with Welcome to Discovery Park.  This year in September, they reissued both their debut album, Shame, and their sophomore effort, Interiors.  The two albums make a great example of how albums turn out differently when a band rushes out an album and when they take time to think, compose, and produce.  Both albums are great in their own right.

Both were available remastered digitally, on CD, and on vinyl (the Interiors bonus material, Séance and Heaven Help, included as a 7" single with the purchase of the record).  When the band originally signed up with the Razor and Tie label, they announced that their whole catalog would be reissued.  Could that mean that next year we'll be featuring Brad Vs. Satchel and Best Friends?, the latter of which is only three years old?  Well, we'll see.


This year also saw a reissue of Soundgarden's first album, Screaming Life/Fopp on CD and translucent blue vinyl, and if you have been following Mike McCready since middle school, you probably picked up a reissued single by his first band Shadow (sold out on vinyl).