Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Top Ten Pearl Jam Moments of 2014, #1

First, a recap ...

4. Giving

... and now, #1!


On October 17th, in a tiny little town on the Mississippi River called Moline, Pearl Jam opened a concert with Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town, and then proceeded to blow the mind of every Pearl Jam fan around the world.  For the third time ever, Pearl Jam played a full album in concert.  Previously playing Ten (Munich 1992) and Pearl Jam (Torino 2006), the band broke out No Code from start to finish.  Ed even dropped a new improv song called Moline.  An album AND a new song!

Fans immediately hunkered down to wait another decade for another album in concert, but then, three days later in Milwaukee, a little later in the concert this time, Pearl Jam pulled out Brain of J, and didn't stop until the end of All Those Yesterdays, playing Yield in full, in order, front-to-back.

As if, one album played in full in concert wouldn't have been enough to top our Top Ten list, fans were treated to two albums this year.  If you missed them, both shows are available on bootlegs from Pearl Jam.

Will this be repeated in 2015?  Where is Vs.?  Vitalogy?  Oh man, the anticipation is almost better than the show!

See you next year!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Top Ten Pearl Jam Moments of 2014, #2


In early 2005, word leaked from Studio X that Pearl Jam had some songs almost ready for their forthcoming (at the time, unnamed) eponymous album: 2X4, Of The Earth, Cold Confession, World Wide Suicide, Marker, Armor, Crapshoot Rapture, Let It Ride, and The Bigger The Wave.  Most of those songs, recorded the previous December, ended up on the album with edited titles, Of The Earth has popped up in concert,  and two more (Cold Confession & Let It Ride) leaked in demo form last year.

Just as we had given up hope on 2X4, an internet user, Anonymouse, leaked a huge collection of eleven demos from Pearl Jam.  Most of the songs from that December session and more from a March 2005 session were part of the package.

  • 2X4
  • The Only Cloud in the Sky
  • Life Wasted
  • Severed Hand
  • The Bigger the Wave
  • Open Door
  • Rearranged Furniture
  • Rearranged Priorities
  • 10 Billion Years
  • Lucky 13
  • Breeze in D
Some were early vocal rough cuts.  Some were instrumental.  All changed the idea of what kind of album Pearl Jam could have been.  It took only hours for the on-line community to start cutting the songs into the tracklist of the original album to recreate the feel, the flow, the magic of the original album.

With no major musical release from Pearl Jam in 2014, this signified the only real influx of new music, and it could be argued that it was even more exciting than the hard studied, studio-polished music that comes via the official pipeline.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Top Ten Pearl Jam Moments of 2014, #3


Every year since 2011 (aka PJ20), Pearl Jam has made a rare, unreleased show available via their bootleg program.  Even though there is often some grumbling about a missing song or two, the choice in shows has been more or less impeccable.  

Last year, Pearl Jam stepped up the game by making a limited run of vinyl copies available to Fan Club members, and this year they did that as well.

The show this year was one of two early, pre-tour shows that Pearl Jam played in the Pacific Northwest, prior to heading across the pond for their European Tour.  It was the live debut for eight of the songs off of Binaural and was a show that may not have been improved upon in the subsequent tour.

Long time fans and new agree that this bootleg was a great choice and worth your time and money to pick up from the Ten Club.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Top Ten Pearl Jam Moments of 2014, #4


Some ridiculous amount of 2014 YouTube traffic was dedicated to something called the ALS Bucket Challenge.  The rules, as best we can remember, were thus: Donate $100 to the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Association (that's ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig's Disease), then challenge three friends to do the same.  They can either donate, or dump a bucket of ice water over their heads.  Then they challenge three friends.

Each member of Pearl Jam participated in solidarity with their friend, Steve Gleason.  We presume that they all donated money AND took the ice water, so hooray for their dedication ... which, by the way spawned many other donations and buckets from fans.

Over all, Pearl Jam fans were part of a movement that raised over $115 million in donations for ALS research.

Then in September, Eddie Vedder and his wife, Jill, became founding board members of the Epidermolysis Bullosa Research Partnership, the largest non-profit organization dedicated solely to funding research to cure Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB),a group of devastating life-threatening genetic skin disorders impacting children that is characterized by skin blisters and erosions all over the body. 

This fundraising video featuring Eddie got a lot of press for the new organization.


Friday, December 26, 2014

Top Ten Pearl Jam Moments of 2014, #5


There were no major musical releases from Pearl Jam in 2014, but the band kept excitement high with several surprise items that popped up (and disappeared quickly).  Three singles and an EP by band members made their way into the Ten Club's warehouse (Free Ride by Brandi Carlile, Mike McCready, Stone Gossard and Barrett Martin; Knife Fight/Caught In A Mess by Stone Gossard and Mason Jennings, Music From Film EP by Mike McCready; and Hold Your Head Up/Holy Roller by Mother Love Bone), but each was gone in less than an hour.  If you wanted some rare vinyl this year, you had to be fast.  To date, only Music From Film is even commercially available in any other format as none were even released as a digital download.

What is a fan with a day job supposed to do?

Fear not, collectors!  This past spring, the Ten Club did some major house cleaning and created Mystery Boxes.  A steal for around $70, fans were promised two posters, two clothing items, a bootleg, and various other goodies.  What arrived were old newsletters, test pressings of Fan Club Singles, rare cassettes, backstage passes, and out-of-print vinyl/CDs.  Most sizes were available for more than an hour, and fans raked in some fantastic goodies.  Check out some sample shots from fans below.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Top Ten Pearl Jam Moments of 2014, #6


Definitely the latest moment in our countdown ... earlier this month, we found out that Lightning Bolt was nominated for a Grammy.  Although we all feel it was deserving of a Best Album grammy, this particular nomination was for Best Recording Package.

The package, featuring art by Don Pendleton, who we originally met when he provided artwork for Jeff Ament's solo album, While My Heart Beats, was part of our Top Ten Moments last year because of the original way Pearl Jam rolled out the artwork, revealing single pieces of art in a drawn out, dramatic way.

If the album wins, the Grammy would be shared with art directors Jeff Ament, Joe Spix & Eddie Vedder (who provides art direction under the pseudonym, Jerome Turner).

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Top Ten Pearl Jam Moments of 2014, #7


While Pearl Jam played Milton Keynes in July, aggressions between Israel and Palestine were heating up and the area was struggling to reach a cease fire.  Never one to shy away from a political viewpoint, Ed used his bully pulpit to weigh in.
“I swear to f---ing god, there are people out there who are looking for a reason to kill,” the famed American rocker said. “They’re looking for a reason to go across borders and take over land that doesn’t belong to them. They should get the f---out, and mind their own f---ing business.”

“We don’t want to give them our money. We don’t want to give them our taxes to drop bombs on children.”
Fans in Israel, who up until then had been very vocal in their wishes for a Pearl Jam concert struck out.  Eventually, his comments gained enough attention that Ed felt the need to address his fans further.
I don’t know how to reconcile the peaceful rainbow of flags we see each night at our concerts with the daily news of a dozen global conflicts and their horrific consequences. I don’t know how to process the feeling of guilt and complicity when I hear about the deaths of a civilian family from a U.S. drone strike. But I know that we can’t let the sadness turn into apathy. And I do know we are better off when we reach out to each other.

“I hope someday you’ll join us,…”
To further extend the olive branch, Ed eventually made his cover of John Lennon's Imagine available via iTunes will the proceeds benefitting Heartbeat.fman organization "that creates opportunities and spaces for young Israeli and Palenstinian musicians to work together, hear each other, and amplify their voices to influence the world around them."

Happy Birthday, Eddie Vedder

Monday, December 22, 2014

Top Ten Pearl Jam Moments of 2014, #8


Pearl Jam fans rejoiced and Soundgarden fans cried when, in November 2013, Matt Cameron announced that Pearl Jam's touring schedule would not allow him to play drums for Soundgarden, so he was taking the year off from that band to focus on Pearl Jam's world tour.

The impact of this announcement became even more dire when Soundgarden announced their intent to reissue Superunknown in a massive, super deluxe package.

Enter Matt.  Matt Chamberlain.  Known to Pearl Jam fans for his two months of drumming for the band, Matt was a great choice to step in for Cameron. 

Although Matt Cameron made several appearances with Soundgarden in 2014 and spent time working on the b-sides release, Echo of Miles, it was Chamberlain that carried the band through their tour.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Top Ten Pearl Jam Moments of 2014, #9


You can count on one hand the number of Pearl Jam originals that haven't been played live, and now that task has gotten a little bit easier.  On June 29th, Pearl Jam debut the much-begged-for fan favorite, Strangest Tribe in Oslo, Norway.

Possibly, even more strange is how many fans can be heard singing along to this 1999 Fan Club Single / Lost Dogs release.  What is in evidence is the dedication of Pearl Jam fans everywhere in the world.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Top Ten Pearl Jam Moments of 2014, #10

Each December, TheSkyIScrape looks back over the passing year to remember all the great Pearl Jam-related news stories and prepare for what is to come in the new year (check out previous years here).  And so we begin, our first of ten installments to close out 2014 ...


Whenever a Pearl Jam fan attends a show, it's tough to think of any other shows measuring up to the one you just attended, but in this case, we think the last Pearl Jam show was pretty amazing.  Besides two nights worth of great, sit-down classics by the band, Pearl Jam was joined on stage by Chris Cornell both nights for a Temple of the Dog reunion (a near yearly occurrence at this point) on Hunger Strike.  

This was made even better when Neil Young joined "The Band" on stage immediately following to cover Throw Your Hatred Down from Mirrorball.

Bridge School has never disappointed, but it was the great reunions that made this year special.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Seattle Symphony to Host Mad Season Reunion

Mike McCready will be performing one of his original works with the Seattle Symphony next month.  They Symphony will also be hosting a reunion of Mad Season with Chris Cornell stepping in for Layne Stayley.
Joining Ludovic Morlot, the Symphony, and members of Vocalpoint! Seattle on stage, McCready will perform during the piece. Ludovic commented during a recent score reading with McCready: “With this collaboration we are both coming out of our normal comfort zones. This is an incredible opportunity to learn from one another and give ourselves a chance to grow as artists.”

Mike McCready will also perform with supergroup Mad Season, including original drummer Barrett Martin. The star studded line up will also include iconic Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell and Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan. Ludovic Morlot will lead guest musicians and the Seattle Symphony in a debut performance of orchestral and solo arrangements of original Mad Season works.
Tickets ($50) are available at, by calling the Seattle Symphony Ticket Office at (206) 215-4747, or by visiting the Ticket Office in Benaroya Hall.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Christmas Goodies on the Way!

Make sure your address is up to date.  The Ten Club has announced that your Fan Club Single and Deep Magazine will be shipping early in the new year!

New Tour Dates from Soundgarden

Soundgarden have added two dates (February 24th and 26th) to their 2015 Australian Tour.  No official word on who the drummer will be, but being as Pearl Jam has no plans for 2015, Matt Cameron will most likely be behind the kit.

Soundgarden's tour dates are below.  Ticket information is available at

February 21/22 - Soundwave Festival in Melbourne
February 24 - Festival Hall in Melbourne
February 26 - Luna Park Bigtop in Sydney
February 28/March 1 - Soundwave Festival in Sydney
March 3 - Westfest Festival in Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, December 5, 2014

Vedder Self-Centered?

In a recent interview with The Independent, Billy Corgan, who has recently built a kind of resurgence for his music on top of insulting other 90's bands and tooting his own horn, voiced displeasure with how self-centered Eddie Vedder is.
Corgan, whose on-off (now very off) relationship with Courtney Love preceded Kurt Cobain’s, was there for all grunge’s grubby glory years, which Cobain’s 1994 suicide ended. Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder once told me he felt survivor’s guilt afterwards.

“That would be Eddie Vedder,” Corgan snorts. “Somehow he makes it about him even when it’s about somebody else! I had a much more personal perspective, because I’d been in contact with Courtney through a lot of the setting up of that period, and afterwards.
Most of us would argue that Ed is concerned with a lot of things that are not him. Let's offer up his recent work with EB suffers as a recent example.  If you agree with Corgan or not, maybe a donation will put the focus on someone who needs it more than Mr. Corgan or Mr. Vedder.

Lightning Bolt Nominated for a Grammy!

Lightning Bolt will be in competition with The Muddy Basin Ramblers' Formosa Medicine Show, the Pixies' Indie Cindy, FKA Twigs' LP1, and Passenger's Whispers for the category of Best Recording Package at this year's Grammy's airing February 8th.

OK, that headline was click bait, but nonetheless ... congratulations to art directors, Jeff Ament, Don Pendleton, Joe Spix & Jerome Turner (aka Ed)!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Hockey Talkter Records

Today, Mike McCready announced a new record label, Hockey Talkter, though which he'll
release digital & vinyl singles
and he promises you can
be first in line for limited edition vinyl releases
by following the Facebook page.

The first item available through the label is the single, One Wish, by Danny Newcomb (of Shadow) and The Sugarmakers.  More great things to come?  We hope!