Wednesday, July 31, 2013

It's Official! Big Day Out!

Pearl Jam announced today that they will be joining Arcade Fire, Blur, and Snoop Lion for Australia's Big Day Out, a seven-date traveling festival.
Big Day Out is proud to present Seattle’s PEARL JAM who will be playing at each Big Day Out including different sets at each Sydney show. Officially closing the Blue Stage, you don’t want to miss out on Pearl Jam’s debut Big Day Out shows. This will be your only chance to see Pearl Jam in Australia and New Zealand this summer.
Here are your dates for the Australia Summer!

Friday 17 January ~ Auckland
Sunday 19 January ~ Gold Coast
Friday 24 January ~ Melbourne
Sunday 26 January ~ Sydney Day One
Monday 27 January ~ Sydney Day Two
Friday 31 January ~ Adelaide
Sunday 2 February ~ Perth

For ticketing information, see the Ten Club announcement here.

Brendan O'Brien Talks Lightning Bolt

Brendan O'Brien talked to Rolling Stone this week about Pearl Jam's upcoming album, Lightning Bolt, and even dropped a few track titles (at least one of which, we've been guessing for a while).

It's a long interview that spans O'Brien's career with Pearl Jam, so I won't steal all your steam in reading it, but here's a great excerpt about the new album.
How does the sound of this record compare to the previous one? 
I'm terrible at stuff like that. The way I've always kind of recorded records and made records is that we shut up and the songs dictate how it's going to sound. We don't really think about it that much. There's not a lot of pretense about it. So I don't know that they sound that much . . . we kind of recorded in the same fashion.

But I guess there are a few longer, more devoted songs. On Backspacer I really love that all the songs were fairly short. I love that about it. They were all "get in, get out fast." This record has a few songs that have a bit more of a . . . they kind of . . . what's the word I'm looking for here? They're longer. [Laughs] I don't know if the word "depth" is right, but some of the songs kind of take you down a road for a while.

There's a song called "Siren" that I think is one of the best songs on the record. That clocks in around five minutes, which is long pop song. It really works out. A song called "Infallible" – at least that's what I believe it's called – is also a little more developed that way.

I'll leave it to the guys in the band to describe what the songs are about and that kind of stuff. But as far as sonically, the way it sounds different, I don't know. You'll have to tell me.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Mike with Peter Frampton

Did you know Mike made an appearance with Peter Frampton, Duff McKagan, David Hidalgo, and Kenny Wayne Shepherd at the Tulalip Amphitheater near Seattle this past Sunday?  Here's a great clip of them playing The Beatles' While My Guitar Gently Weeps.

Pearl Jam Announce Worcester II

In what may be the first of at least three announcements this week, Pearl Jam has added a second Worcester (Boston) show on October 16th.  
Due to overwhelming demand, Pearl Jam has announced a second date at the DCU Center in Worcester, MA on Wednesday, October 16. Tickets for the newly added date are will go on sale to the general public beginning Saturday, August 10 at 10:00 am and are available at, by calling (800) 745 – 3000, or at the DCU Center Box Office.
Only those Ten Club members who entered the drawing for the 10/15 show and lost will be eligible for Ten Club tickets for this show.  Check the "My Account" section at for details.
A Ten Club ticket drawing will be held for members who entered the drawing for the Oct 15th Worcester show, but were not selected for tickets. Members that fall into this category must be active as of yesterday July 29th, for a chance to purchase pre-sale tickets to this show.For your convenience you have 1 full week from today to enter before names are drawn. This drawing entry period opens today, July 30th and closes Tuesday August 6th at 10am PT. Names will not be drawn until Tuesday August 6th .
Hopefully, you'll soon hear about a second Seattle show and a headlining gig for Big Day Out next summer in Australia, but neither of those are confirmed.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Mike Talks Mind Your Manners

This week, Mike was revealed as the composer of Mind Your Manners.  Hear what he has to say about the song in this quick YouTube clip.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

Photo: Ed at a Twins Game in April 2012
This weekend, Ed stopped by the clubhouse of "his favorite American League team," the Twins to play a few Pearl Jam tunes to psych up the team.
"Some people in Seattle don't want to hear this, but he says we're his favorite American League team," Justin Morneau said, smiling as much over that over his double and home run that helped the Twins to Saturday's 4-0 win over the Mariners.
If you're itching for more Ed/baseball connections, check out's interview with Reds pitcher, Bronson Arroyo, about his love for Pearl Jam.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Drumgasm! Trailer

Check out the trailer for Matt Cameron's upcoming album, named for the band, Drumgasm!  If you like Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Sleater Kinney, or White Flag, there's no reason not to head over to Jackpot Records and pre-order you album now.

 No tracklisting yet, but had this to say.
The album has two tracks, both titled "Drumgasm" and both about 20 minutes long.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

New Pearl Jam App

Their old app having fallen into an abyss of no updates, Pearl Jam has announced today that they have a new iPhone/iPad App.

We've yet to get in there and play with it, so Pearl Jam's description will have to do for now.  It's free (unless you want a lighter), so get in there and poke around.
Featuring a timeline history of the band going back almost twenty years that includes videos, photos, news, charity, tour info and much more.

Albums include song lists, lyrics, song info, and performance listing.

Get your Pearl Jam Tour tickets directly from the app before their all sold out!

Exclusive Pearl Jam merch available in the Shop with hundreds of items in easy to search categories.

Connect with Pearl Jam updates by quickly jumping between their official Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube postings.

Finally, a Bonus Pack for you, the fan. Includes a digital version of the official Pearl Jam lighter, a Pearl Jam concert candle, and mobile backgrounds for your device.

Watch for more changes and updates during the tour!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Now Available: Evil Little Goats #6: Wrigley

You can now check out the latest episode of Evil Little Goats.
It’s been a busy couple of weeks in the land of Pearl Jam. First the announcement of a tour, then the release of a new song and an album release date. And last week the band played their only two shows of the summer. On this episode of Evil Little Goats Jeremy and I talk about all of this, plus we play two new Pearl Jam songs that aren’t “Mind Your Manners” and we get a firsthand account of the band’s rather eventful show at Wrigley Field from somebody who was actually there. Oh, and we use the terms “ear boners” and “eruption fingers” a few times for chuckles.

The Falla Sheep by Ron English

For those of you at Comic Con, I apologize for not giving you the head's up, but Pearl Jam snuck this one in on their Instagram.  Apparently, Jeff Ament has collaborated with artist, Ron English, to create a series of seven 3.5 inch, vinyl figures based on the poster from 2011's Vancouver show.  You can view six of the seven color variations on English's blog or his Facebook page.  Inside The Rock Poster Frame has more details on how we're gonna get these little gems.
Never one to shy away from expressing their political or social views on what is happening in the world, Pearl Jam is once again ready to make a statement. Ron English has collaborated with Pearl Jam to produce this awesome line up of blind box vinyl sheep in wolves clothing toys. Standing at 3.5 " tall, each piece will come sealed in a foil bag and blind boxed, meaning you will not know the color until you open the bag. Available in 7 color variations, they are due to release in September from the Pearl Jam fan club 10 Club and fine collectable toy stores through out the world.

Pearl Jam are known for producing collectable memorabilia for their fans, usually focusing on apparel. Though this isn't the first time they have dabbled in the toy world, this is the first time they have produced an Art Toy working alongside an artist to bring to life the bands vision. Confirmed these will be vinyl figures

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Cold Confession and Let It Ride: The TSIS Review

We don’t know if this is Eric Snowden risking his life in the pursuit of justice, or Dick Cheney leaking to the NY Times to build support for a war, but who gives a shit.  We were all lucky to wake up this morning (or go to bed last night) with two new songs, believed to be from the first S/T recording sessions (the fade outs should give that away, if nothing else).  That makes 5 new songs in a matter of weeks.  Given a 4 year drought (less Ole) that’s a lot of new music.

Unreleased songs/b-sides/demos have some advantages and disadvantages over official releases. For better or for worse they lack the context of an album to help situate them. Each song is absorbed based on its merits, but the surrounding presence of other songs usually adds extra dimensions to a song.  There is no interplay here.  Just the music itself.  We get a purer experience of the music, but not necessarily a richer one.  On the other hand, songs like this also allow the listener to create whatever context they want for the music.  Witness the way the Binaural unreleased tracks helped elevate Binaural into the near mythic ‘album that could have been.’   They become idealized songs that could have saved whatever recording session they were a part of.  And maybe they could have.  I certainly would have enjoyed Binaural more if Sad was on it. But Sad is encumbered only by my fantasies.  It gets to be a better song than it might have been if it was forced to exist as a part of people’s larger experience of the album it arrived in.  Likewise, a demo or rough mix needs to be filled out, but we do it in our minds, and we are always our favorite producers.

So by way of that introduction, lets talk about Cold Confession and Let It Ride.

This is a wonderful song.  Elements of the raw vulnerability of 4/20/02 (but turned into something worthwhile), the themes and desolation of the Untitled spoken word piece (but without its self-indulgence), and perhaps the scope of All or None, but given the personality that it so desperately needed.    It’s a personal, intimate, song—tentative, but not lost.  Boom’s keys (and Jeff’s bass) give the song a warmth that contrasts nicely with the chilliness of the song.   It feels like a  winter wind.  This is what the weather was like away from whatever fire Strangest Tribe was recorded in front of.

Eddie is the star here, 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.   If this song was starker OR lusher it would have been too much.

I haven’t been able to sit down with lyrics yet, but what I can make it sounds good—clearly a song about trying to right yourself after a devastating loss.  Full of water metaphors, which, even if overused, Eddie tends to write effectively. But oddly enough, it doesn’t FEEL like a water song.  I don’t picture the ocean.   Nevertheless, it all builds quite nicely to the centerpiece lyric:  “And to himself/a memory clear/a cold confession that only/that only he could hear,” before launching into what passes for an appropriately understated bridge.

An advantage this song does have over some recent Eddie songs is that it is a song about loss, rather than the fear of loss. It’s an easier sell, since it is more natural to relate to the experience of having lost something, instead of having to imagine what someone else possesses. But to the song’s credit, it avoids catharsis, without wallowing in its loss (where thumbing my way and all or none lose me). Instead we get a much darker resolution. He is united with what he lost (either in reality or fantasy, but it doesn’t matter), and finds no comfort there.  Whatever came between them is still there.  There’s a wall now, and there is no way it won’t keep them apart.  And the song winds down on that realization—the illusion of the happy ending that isn’t fooling anyone.

This is a great song, and we’re lucky we have it.   I think it is easily better than most of S/T, although I understand not including it. S/T is an album full of grand gestures, spleen venting, and combat.  This is too understated for that record. Still, at least we have it now.

I am a bit less impressed with this one, but it may just reflect my own idiosyncratic tastes.  I know many will disagree, but this is a less polished/traditional version of Force of Nature (which is one of my favorite pearl jam songs)—both in terms of the lyrical content and the feel of the songs. This is a song describing the girl the FoN narrator is waiting for.

We have a muscular, unadorned riff that gives the song a kind of purposeful purposelessness. It’s not going anywhere in particular, but it 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 (although he sounds good—and I really like the moaning at the end).  I have no doubt that same contrast will be precisely what makes this song appealing to others.   Lots of nice work from Mike, but I’m not sure precisely what it is adding to the song.  The accusation gets thrown around a lot that Mike solos often have no rhyme or reason—no direction or purpose. I almost always disagree, but not hear.  I LIKE what I’m hearing, but it feels like the solo is moving off in its own independent direction, away from the song.   I think that’s my issue.  The sideways plodding riff, the slow moaning vocals, and the frantic soloing feel spliced together to me, the opposite of the organic feel that its fans seem to be praising.

Lyrically what I can make out seems pretty good (although the outro, once worked out, may not hold up to the verses)—these are better written songs than much of S/T, which is probably eddie’s weakest lyrical outing to date.  “Like a book with no ending read backwards to beginning” is a really nice line.  Overall the song seems to be describing an independent, disaffected woman declaring her independence.  Let it Ride feels like a Springsteen inspired phrase, but it needs to move more than it does.   I think that may be my single biggest concern with this song. For a song about movement and independence this plods a bit. Quite possibly by design—at this stage in their careers my default reaction is to assume everything they do is deliberate—but nevertheless the song suffers for the weaker melody.

But again, these are my tastes.  I love Backspacer.  And the people who don’t seem to be falling over themselves for this song.  It is certainly not as ‘easily digestible’ as many of the recent efforts, and that could very well be a strength of this song.  And I like the song, don’t get me wrong. But Cold Confession is the far superior effort.

Cold Confession and Let It Ride

Two demos, Cold Confession and Let It Ride, reportedly recorded during the sessions that led up to Pearl Jam's self-titled album have leaked to the Pearl Jam community. 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 Suicide, Marker [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.

Cold Confession is a softer ballad while Let It Ride is a faster paced rocker, though not as much as you might suspect from the name.  You can debate the songs or possibly find a copy of the demos on our Forum, where the debate has been raging on for 12 hours and 15 pages.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

After THREE HOUR Rain Delay, Pearl Jam Rocks Wrigley

After evacuating the field and waiting on a very, VERY long chain on storms for three hours, seven songs into their set, Pearl Jam stepped back onto the stage and Wrigley Field and busted out a collection of new songs, and other performances that are sure to be classic.






The full setlist is below, and if you were at the show, maybe you got it on a t-shirt!

Present Tense
Hold On
Low Light
Come Back
Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town
All The Way (Eddie Vedder)
All Night
Do the Evolution
Setting Forth (Eddie Vedder)
Mind Your Manners
Lightning Bolt (new song)
State of Love and Trust
Even Flow
Eruption (Van Halen)
Why Go
Unthought Known
Future Days (new song)
Mother (Pink Floyd)
Chloe Dancer/Crown of Thorns (Mother Love Bone)
Wasted Reprise
Life Wasted
Rockin’ in the Free World (Neil Young)

Happy Birthday, Stone Gossard!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

A Guided Tour of No Code: Off He Goes

[A Guided Tour of No Code]
On the surface Off He goes and Who You Are are treading similar ground. Who You Are is a song about accepting yourself for who you are and doesn’t move far beyond that point. Off He Goes, however, which offers us a window into a far more concrete internal debate (externalized through two characters), is not a song about accepting yourself. Instead it is a song about trying to make peace, which implies a current state of war. The song is trying to win a tenuous ceasefire. In that respect, Off He Goes may be closer to In My Tree than Who You Are. Both songs are trying to carve out the space to make self-development possible. And while both are, in certain ways, traveling songs, they are nevertheless grounded in particular places that the subject doesn’t want to remain in for much longer. And so both are uncertain songs, despite the surface confidence--although in My Tree is the more successful of the two in terms of internal resolution. 

Musically Off he Goes is beautiful--rich, deep, vibrant, full of weary dignity. But there is also something almost pristine about it. In an odd way the song moves beyond intimacy into something artificial. Off He Goes, more than any other song on No Code, feels like you are watching a character rather than experiencing what they are experiencing. Or, maybe better, the other songs invite you on stage, and Off He Goes asks you to remain in the audience. This is one of the only songs in the catalog without any rough edges or imperfections--there’s nothing here to make this real. Beautiful, but artificial. Crafted. It also (in conjunction with some heavy handed writing) gives the song a narcissistic at worst, self indulgent at best, feel that the rest of the record lacks (this may be because I treat this song as being about coming to grips with being famous, which isn’t very interesting at this point--Vitalogy exhausts this subject). 

It may make sense that the music puts up this subtle barrier (although I am sharing it, this is not really for you), since in many ways the lyrics create a space you are asked to observe, rather than participate. We watch our characters from a distance. We are told what to think. We are spectators, rather than actors.

So what are we watching? Off He Goes is a confrontation between the subject and a personification of elements of his personality that need to be more fully integrated into a stable self (wanderlust, passion, judgment, embattlement) Where this confrontation happens is unclear. I picture a living room, late at night, warm, firelit, a room surrounded by pictures, tangible memories. There is a rural, wood paneling feel to the place, presumably coming from the music. The subject is lost in memories, musings, bittersweet regrets. There is someone he cares deeply about who can’t stop running from (or fighting--probably both) the world around them. They are too afraid of stopping to slow down for very long, too busy denying the world to live in it. The imagery of the song is dominated once again (like who you are) by the language of travel and destination. And he has long been showing signs of fatigue and exhaustion. The wear and tear of living in opposition to the world, rather than embracing it. Still, there is a sense that the traveler wants to stop. He wants to come home. He wants to be at peace. The perfectly unkept hope. 

And for at least a little while there is a sense he may get there. He comes home. He is reunited with the singer. They are together, whole, and there is the hope that no matter how complex and difficult our context becomes (the surrounding buillshit) the core of that relationship is soft enough to surrender and strong enough to endure.

It is a short lived victory, however. It is an aspirational peace, glimpsed, even grasped, but only for a fleeting moment. The desire to run, the pull of the road, the fear of stopping, the need to confront, the longing for escape. It is all too strong. And so the song ends where it begins. There is a moment of completeness that justifies holding on to hope, but the battle isn’t over. Peace isn’t there. At least not yet.

And so Off He Goes ends on a down note and kicks off a dark 4 song run that marks the low point on No Code’s spiritual journey, a block of songs where we fail to rise above our imperfections the way we do in the records opening run. Unfortunately, these are also some of the weaker songs on the record (with one very notable exception), and when the record itself tries to come full circle the material that is left may not be strong enough to do it.

Off He Goes
Red Mosquito
Present Tense
I'm Open
Around the Bend

No Code 
Riot Act 
Pearl Jam 

The TSIS Wrigley News Page

[Photo by @nerdery]

Need to keep up with what's happening in Chicago?  Whether you're there and want to get to where the action is or sitting at home hating your Midwestern friends, you can get the latest updates, pictures and videos on our Wrigley Field page.  We'll keep posting relevant news throughout the weekend, and you'll be able to find it in our menu at the top of the page for a while to come.  Hey fans, enjoy!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

RNDM Donate Track to Sweet Relief III

This September, on the 20th anniversary of the original Sweet Relief compilation, the third installment will become available.  The album features a song by Joseph Arthur, If I Needed You, on which he's backed by Jeff Ament and Richard Stuverud (thus making it a RNDM track, right?).  Support the Sweet Relief Musicians Fund and buy the album here or check out the song, care of Rolling Stone, below.
Singer-songwriter Joseph Arthur gets stark accompaniment from Pearl Jam guitarist Jeff Ament in this exclusive clip for "If I Needed You," shot live in the studio in black-and-white. Lifted from the forthcoming charity compilation Sweet Relief III: Pennies From Heaven (out September 3rd), the track's harmonica-laden approach evokes elements of Bob Dylan's Nashville Skyline.

Pearl Jam Debuts Chicago-Centric Merch

If you're in Chicago, head on down to Wrigley right now to get some great merchandise.  Pearl Jam is going to be selling all sorts of new merchandise today, tomorrow and Friday in celebration of An Evening with Pearl Jam.  Most of the items, which include shirts, hats, stickers, wristbands, a rally towel, a pennant, posters, and trading cards, appear to be made specifically with the Cubs in mind.  Have a look below, you lucky bastards!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Podcast Recap

Alright, we got so super excited about all these countdowns and stuff that we forgot to post Guerrilla Candy's latest Evil Little Goats episodes.  In the meantime, a new episode of Given to Cast has come out, and there was another episode of the Faithfull Forum (aired on Pearl Jam Radio and hosted by  Now that you're over-exposed to Mind You Manners, take a break and check out Travis and Mario while you come down off the high.  All three episodes that you may have missed are embedded below Faithfull Forum is here.

Evil Little Goats 4: Loosey Goosey

Evil Little Goats 5: The Final Countdown

Given To Cast: 7-12-2013

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Mind Your Manners: The TSIS Review

4 years after Backspacer we have our first window into the sound and feel of Pearl Jam’s 10th album.    Mind Your Manners is fast and aggressive, but with a snarky punk feel rather than a reckless ferocity.  Pearl Jam can be hit or miss with these, but they drew from the right well (and thankfully stayed away from the shiny punk where they are at their weakest). You can hear its ancestors in Spin the Black Circle, Brian of J, and Comatose. The solo sounds like Ghost and Comatose got into a car crash.  The outro reproduces the call/response outro of Ole.  It all comes together nicely. This is a good song, and seems to put Backspacer behind them--or better, it takes Backspacer and drags it through the mud.

There is a heavy flatness to the start of the song, a bleakness thatthe sing songy verses push back against.  It’s a fast song, but it feels slowed down by the verses, like the vocal melody is digging its heels in against the music.   It would be interesting to see how this would have sounded if the vocals and the music were winding each other up.

The intro riff is different than anything we’ve heard from them before.  Very Motorheadish. Once the verses kick in the song feels very much like a hyrbrid of comatose and brain of J.   It’s good, but a bit familiar.  Definitely ground they’ve covered before, although they still execute well here.

The bridge, solo, and outro are all really great---the highlights of the song. Wonderful vocal melody in the bridge, some descending ominous guitars, some nice  accents underneath in the bridge (or a second chorus, since they repeat it again right before the outro). Nice Riot Act era solo underneath the outro (where Mike seems to try and work in every trick they didn’t let him use on backspacer), and they return to that interesting layered call and response bit they did at the end of Ole (easily the highlight of that song).   actually for a song clocking in under 3 minutes it goes to more places than you’d expect.   

Really if not for the fact that the verse and chorus sound a bit familiar the music this would be top notch all the way through.  As is it’s still good.

Eddie reins himself in. There is a nice scream at the very end of the song, and  there is more growl and low end than we’ve gotten in a while (he sounds good), and he moves away from the shrieking that turned people off on S/T and Backspacer. He sounds angry, but it’s a sarcastic anger, rather than fangs going for the jugular.   He sounds good and is working well with his voice, but  I wonder if they could have pushed further.

I guess that’s a question that will need to be answered in the context of the album.  There’s anger, and the song rails against the frustration of the last few years--the failed promises and unmet expectations.  And while there are moments of a primal scream scratching their way to the surface  they don’t break through.  The sarcasm undercuts the rage.  This could easily have gone the other way.  How MYM fits in with the rest of the songs as a whole will reveal whether or not they made the right choice.

Since we don’t have lyrics I can’t really comment on them, but it certainly seems to be about moral hypocrisy, and so the snarky punk vibe seems appropriate to it.  No lyrics really jumped out either way yet.   The bridge sounds like it has good lyrics, and I do like the “Good Heavens/That’s Right/How Do You Like Your/Living Hell” at the end.  Not necessarily a great lyric on its own, but it sounds really good with the broken chorus delivery.

Overall, I really like it. It’s a good song.  It has the rawness of S/T with some of the hooks of Backspacer.  I’m not sure this is going to be an all time classic, but it has me primed and excited for the next album. 

Lightning Bolt

Coming October 15th. Pre-order here and you get an instant download of Mind Your Manners (Ten Club members get exclusive digital content on the release date).
All offers receive:

  • Pre-order the "Lighting Bolt" and get instant digital access to "Mind Your Manners" in your account.
  • The full album will be available digitally in your account in the below formats on release date.
  • CD and Vinyl format will be shipped to arrive on release date.

Ten Club only offers receive:

  • Exclusive digital video content delivered on album release date.

Pearl Jam and Chicago Cubs Donate to the Arts

For those of you following where your $2 per ticket charitable donation goes to, last night the Chicago Cubs announced that Pearl Jam (The Vitalogy Foundation), Cubs President, Theo Epstein (Foundation To Be Named Later), and the Cubs Organization will be donating a total of $130,000 to two Chicago visual arts programs, Marwen and the South Chicago Arts Center as part of next week's An Evening with Pearl Jam at Wrigley Field.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

A Guided Tour of No Code: Smile

A lot of pearl jam’s music is about the balance between independence and interdependence--how much space do we need to make for other people in our lives, and how much do we need to surrender to them. When is love a shackle and when is it emancipatory? When we are forced to confront our own powerless in the larger world how much can we look to others to make up the difference? It is an important question, and pearl jam’s music has been asking it from the very beginning.

No Code spends a bit more time on the solitary inner journey than the shared outer one. Maybe this makes sense. Perhaps you need your own house in order before you can make space for guests. Having said that, Smile is one of the principle songs that comes back to this idea of self-worth being found with other people (Hail Hail and Around the Bend being the other two). And although it is a simple song, it is worth remembering that a simple presentation does not necessarily preclude complex ideas.

Just as there is a balance between head and heart in Hail Hail, Smile draws a balance between masculinity and femininity. The music is tough, muddy, crunchy, dusty, road weary (the harmonica was an inspired touch). It churns up the road it travels down. It swaggers. The piano gives it faint overtones of a grungy western bar

The vocals and the sentiment, on the other hand, are quite feminine. Eddie’s singing is gentle, and even the points where he screams the voice is still subdued, demure, almost like it’s not proper--a far cry from the ferocious abandon we’ll get on songs like Habit and Lukin. 

The lyrics are pretty simple. Intimate personal reminiscences and longing for what is gone for now, the kind of celebratory heartache that comes from requited love that you expect to return. Relief at being able to confidently proclaim out loud that you love someone and not have to keep it inside you.

A complete human being is not someone who lives solely within themselves. We are social animals. And Smile comes at this in two directions. One is the simple declaration that we need the people we love, and that we are diminished in their absence (which is why we long for them). The other is the more subtle masculine/feminine interplay between the music and the vocals/lyrical imagery (like the hearts and swirls). A complete person has masculine and feminine qualities, and the separation into two distinct ideals (a social construction) does us a disservice as a person (recall the ‘are you woman enough to be my man’ lyric in hail hail). We need to learn to be strong and submissive, to think and to feel, to be dependent and independent, to be hard and to nurture. Some of this we can find by binding ourselves to someone else who adds the missing pieces to our puzzle, but some of this (in the spirit of No Code) can also be understood internally--a matter of learning how to strike the right sort of balance within yourself. And although it doesn’t come at this in masculine/feminine terms, that balance (and the failure to achieve it) is at the heart of Off He Goes.

Off He Goes
Red Mosquito
Present Tense
I'm Open
Around the Bend

No Code 
Riot Act 
Pearl Jam 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Brad to Reissue Shame and Interiors October 1

Brad's twitter account teased that news is coming very soon regarding the October 1st reissues of Shame and Interiors.  That's one week prior to the rumored release date for the new Pearl Jam album.  Looks like you have even more music to take with you on the road following Stone.
Shame and Interiors reissues now due Oct 1st. Nice little extra on the Interiors vinyl too...more details soon

Monday, July 8, 2013

Pearl Jam Announces North American Fall Tour

I know, I know ... you wanted an announcement about the upcoming album, but our big suprise from Pearl Jam was a tour announcement.  Could the eerie tune playing over the video below be a teaser for the new album.  How could it not be?  A new, 3 day clock has begun ending at 3pm ET on this Thursday, July 11th. If we don't find out more then, the on-line fury will be tremendous!

Hooray for the South which scored a few dates this time around.  The full tour schedule is below.  It'll take us all the way through October and November with a few December dates to boot.  It even includes a return to Seattle!
Pearl Jam announced today that they will embark on a two-leg, twenty-four date North American tour this fall. Leg one kicks-off in Pittsburgh on October 11 and wraps in New Orleans with the band's previously announced headlining performance at Voodoo Music + Arts Experience during the weekend of November 1. The second leg of the tour commences in Dallas on November 15 and closes in the band’s hometown of Seattle on December 6.
For the full scoop on how to get tickets, go here.
  • Oct-11 / Pittsburgh, PA / Consol Energy Center
  • Oct-12 / Buffalo, NY / First Niagara Center
  • Oct-15 / Worcester, MA / DCU Center
  • Oct-18 / Brooklyn, NY / Barclays Center
  • Oct-19 / Brooklyn, NY / Barclays Center
  • Oct-21 / Philadelphia, PA / Wells Fargo Center
  • Oct-22 / Philadelphia, PA / Wells Fargo Center
  • Oct-25 / Hartford, CT / XL Center
  • Oct-27 / Baltimore, MD / 1st Mariner Arena
  • Oct-29 / Charlottesville, VA / John Paul Jones Arena
  • Oct-30 / Charlotte, NC / Time Warner Cable Arena
  • Nov-1-3 / New Orleans, LA / Voodoo Music + Arts Experience
  • Nov-15 / Dallas, TX / American Airlines Arena
  • Nov-16 / Oklahoma City, OK / Chesapeake Energy Arena
  • Nov-19 / Phoenix, AZ / Arena
  • Nov-21 / San Diego, CA / Viejas Arena
  • Nov-23 / Los Angeles, CA / Sports Arena
  • Nov-24 / Los Angeles, CA / Sports Arena
  • Nov-26 / Oakland, CA / Oracle Arena
  • Nov-29 / Portland, OR / Rose Garden Arena
  • Nov-30 / Spokane, WA / Spokane Arena
  • Dec-2 / Calgary, AB / Scotiabank Saddledome
  • Dec-4 / Vancouver, BC / Rogers Arena
  • Dec-6 / Seattle, WA / Key Arena

In Case We Die by Danny Bland

For those of you completists out there that must have every recording of Mike McCready, you won't want to miss the novel In Case We Die by former Cat Butt bassist, Danny Bland, and illustrated by Pearl Jam's favorite photographer, Lance Mercer.  Mike McCready is reading a chapter, If You Have Have Ghosts, for the audiobook, which you can receive free when you pre-order the book.  For that matter, the audiobook is read by a who's who list of Seattle musicians and artists (Mark Lanegan, Duff McKagan, Mark Arm, John Doe, Aimee Mann, and West Memphis 3 defendant, Damien Echols)

McCready donated his time for the reading and proceeds go to the Musicares organization.  Below is the description from the publisher.  Learn more or pre-order here.
"It wasn’t the pounding headache or the all too familiar taste of blood in my mouth that woke me that morning, but the stink of cat piss. They all have cats. Cats and bad tattoos and mops of dyed black hair that reek of cigarettes and watermelon Bubblicious." This debut novel by veteran Seattle musician Danny Bland follows a pair of outsiders who find themselves locked in the palpable, dizzy grunge-rock scene of early-'90s Seattle.

Vulnerable to the high relief of heroin addiction, Bland’s characters — Charlie Hyatt and Carrie Finch — are unapologetic protagonists whose epiphanies are as blinding as their weaknesses. Finch, 21, beautiful and dangerous, drowns out the voices in her head and the consequences of a misled life with electric guitars, booze and petulant misbehavior. Her single abiding faith takes the form of an unlikely savior — '60s psychedelic musician Roky Erikson.

At the ripe old age of 28, Hyatt attempts to make sense of the cards he has been dealt: a miserable job in a porn shop, a drug habit he cannot afford and the wildly unstable woman he had chosen to love.

Two damaged people can balance a seesaw for a long time, even finding the illusion of safety; but when one gets off unannounced, the other will fall. As Finch finds sobriety, her sanity and her relationship with Hyatt falter until an inevitable event brings the two back together a decade later.