Saturday, December 30, 2017

Top Ten Pearl Jam Moments of 2017, #1

The Hall of Fame Induction

Usually, a single show wouldn't stand out as the greatest moment of the year, but in 2017, this was it.  Pearl Jam played ONE show.  With Pearl Jam not planning on taking a stage until March, this also creates the longest gap between Pearl Jam shows since 2010-11.  Oh man, were we desperate for live music.

And Pearl Jam deli ... OK, they didn't REALLY deliver.  Pearl Jam played 4 songs.  One song for each year we've been waiting for a new album.  Yeah, I'm sure the Rock Hall dictates how long you can play, but still.  2017 marks the least number of live Pearl Jam songs played in their history.

Those of us in the U.S., we're settling in for a drought, but Europe ... 2018 is your year!

Friday, December 29, 2017

In Memoriam, Chris Cornell

Yesterday's selection for the Top Ten Pearl Jam Moments, was admittedly inflated a bit, but we were looking for a way to include a fitting good-bye to one of the band's greatest friends.  There is no shortage of Pearl Jam fans who also love Chris Cornell, and many were broken this year, when the singer unexpectedly ended his own life following a Soundgarden show in Detroit.

His family stated that he was struggling with an addiction to Ativan, a high-dosage of which may have lead to his death.  With no note left behind, it was surely not something the singer had planned.  We can only guess that he suffered greatly that night.

So, since, surely, no member of Pearl Jam was untouched by Cornell's death, we pause today, when we would usually be celebrating Pearl Jam, to pay tribute to a friend and think of his family and ours.  Drug addiction is sweeping our nation, and suicides are the leading cause of death in the United States.  If you suffer, reach out.  If you think someone is suffering, talk to them, don't hesitate.  We all need each other, today and into 2018.

Good-bye, Good Friend.  You are loved.  You are missed.

Suicide Prevention Lifeline: - 800-273-8255 in the U.S.

Red Mosquito Members say good-bye:
Chris Cornell, The Start of Everything
Cornell, A Feeling of Loss
"Part of Seattle Died:' Reflecting On Chris Cornell's Death
Chris Cornell: Not Everyone Escapes

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Top Ten Pearl Jam Moments of 2017, #2

All The Singles Things

Fans of the movie Singles were pretty amped up two years ago when the movie was reissued in 2015 with a Record Store Day release of Citizen Dick's Touch Me, I'm Dick single on vinyl, but the rumors of a full soundtrack reissue fell through.

This year, Cameron Crowe made up for the slight.  In April, we got a reissue of the Singles soundtrack on vinyl and a Super Deluxe edition on CD which included a second disc loaded with 18 new tracks, including one Singles Blues 1, a track written and performed by Mike McCready.  That album was paired with a Record Store Day release of Pearl Jam's State of Love and Trust / Breath 7".

Then, later this year, in November, the Poncier demos, five tracks recorded by Chris Cornell during the filming of the movie were released on collectible color-variant 12" vinyls and cassettes.  It made a sad but fitting tribute to our lost friend.

Each individual item may have made our list, but put together, they are pushed near the top of our 2017 list, as we pile them all together and love each piece of this collection.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Top Ten Pearl Jam Moments of 2017, #3

Let's Play Two

Back in July, fans started to notice an interesting item on Amazon, some sort of Live at Wrigley Field item.  Was it a boxed set?  A film?  A bootleg?

It turns out, it was everything.  Pearl Jam hit theaters in October with Danny Clinch's film, Let's Play Two featuring footage shot over the course of Pearl Jam's two-night stand at Wrigley Field in 2016.  Gorgeously cut between footage of performances, interviews with the band members (mostly Ed), and footage of the Cubs' 2016 World Series win, Let's Play Two was a must-see moment of the year.

And Pearl Jam made it easy.  Let's Play Two was released in theaters all over the world, played on FSN, streamed on Amazon, and was finally released as DVD or BluRay.  You can even relive the music with the soundtrack on CD or vinyl or with either of the two bootlegs from 2016, which were finally released once the movie's press junket had run its course.

There are some that say this movie was so great, that it should hit #1.  They're not wrong, but we have other ideas.  Come back and check out our Top Two choices starting on Wednesday, December 27th.

Top Ten Pearl Jam Moments of 2017, #4

Ed Tours Europe

... and a bit of the U.S.

In a year when Pearl Jam played less live music than ... well, ever, Eddie Vedder picked up the slack a little bit with 13 shows in Europe, 3 shows in the U.S., and a couple of other scattered appearances, private shows, and even a quick performance with some fans outside Wrigley.

Though he gained a lot of press for taking a knee at his show in Tennessee in support of NFL players who were being criticized by Trump, the real, true highlight of Ed's 2017 was the debut of a new song called Share the Light at the Ohana Festival in September.

Is this a new Pearl Jam song?  The start of Ed's third solo album?  Listen to the song below and make your own decision.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Top Ten Pearl Jam Moments of 2017, #5

The Avocado Remix

Sure, we discussed the reissues already, but none of the material reissued this year made quite the same splash as the remix of Pearl Jam's eponymous album, otherwise known as Avocado.  Avocado was Pearl Jam's first foray into recording without a contract, named because this album was truly them.

From the start, fans balked at what they called the brickwalling of the album, which came out at a time when many artists were pushing the volume to eleven and drowning out subtler sounds by pushing all tracks all the way up.

Everyone was very hopeful that the album would fix that, and when some fans noticed that Spotify was hosting a new mix that highlighted many of the under-appreciated, softer moments of the album, there was hope.  Once the album started arriving on doorstops, some claimed that the remix was not much better than the original, and definitely less impressive than what was now called the Spotify Mix.  All of this, was complicated by the fact that no one knew where the Spotify Mix came from, and no one could compare it to a lossless digital format, since the band doesn't make any of their reissues available as CDs or FLAC files.

So, what was the end result?  Fighting, arguing, and zero consensus.  This was easily, the most contested minutia on or board for the last three months.  If you love Pearl Jam (the album OR the band) you'll probably want to complete your collection with a vinyl remix, or at the very least, go hunt down some FLAC files of the Spotify Mix.  If Pearl Jam doesn't give you a digital format, Pearl Jam fans will.

Top Ten Pearl Jam Moments of 2017, #6

Again Today

After four years or waiting, Pearl Jam finally recorded a new song.  No, they didn't WRITE a song, (unless you count the, yet to be released, contribution to the Basmati Blues soundtrack, Obey the Law of the Heart, and we DON'T), but they did record a song.

Early this year, Pearl Jam recorded a cover of Brandi Carlile's Again Today for her album, Cover Stories, featuring covers by many artist and released to benefit War Child.  The song is great, and could have been lifted off of Backspacer (which was recorded around the same time), but frankly, we were hoping for something new from the minds of Pearl Jam to come out of the studio.

You can pick up the album at Carlile's site or on Amazon.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Top Ten Pearl Jam Moments of 2017, #7

Vault #7, Soldier Field 1995

After years of being unable to get the vinyl copies of this show put out by KPNT, and then more years of only being able to find bootlegged versions of that vinyl, Pearl Jam has decided to wipe out the bootleggers with an official version of this classic show on vinyl.

Pearl Jam took the original multi-track tapes from July 11, 1995 and mixed and mastered the show for vinyl. Unfortunately, Pearl Jam tells us that some songs are missing on the multi-track tapes, so we're getting digital versions of the "missing tracks" from the original broadcast.

As of the writing of this post, the packages are arriving on doorsteps, and we expect digital and CD versions to be available soon.  Keep checking the Ten Club for more information.

Top Ten Pearl Jam Moments of 2017, #8

Last year, we were underwhelmed by the reissuing of No Code and Yield.  A couple of things makes this year's announcement a little more newsworthy, so ...

The Remasters

Binaural and Riot Act, long since out-of-print and hard to find, have been remastered and reissued by the Ten Club.  Pearl Jam (Avocado), which fans have complained about for year, got a remix by Brendan O'Brien.  There is much, MUCH debate about whether the new mix is better, worse, or even different.  Fans have even ripped the songs from Spotify, which is said to be a different, superior mix.  We encourage you to pick up some albums at Ten Club or on Amazon to determine for yourself.

More?  How about reissues of all the vinyl singles from those albums, including two, never-before-released-on-vinyl singles, and a reissue of the original mix of Ten?

More? How about a limited edition of 500 boxed sets that include all 10 Pearl Jam studio albums?

Pearl Jam did manage to release a lot of great reissues this year.  However, in all that reissuing, there are no unreleased demos and songs.  Being that this is a bunch of cleaned up versions of stuff we already own, there are a lot more cool things that happened this year.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Top Ten Pearl Jam Moments of 2017, #9

The Glamour and the Squalor and Cavedweller

As is often the case, when Pearl Jam is silent, the individual bandmembers are more vocal.  That was the case again in 2017 when we had the release of two solo efforts in September.

First was the score for The Glamour and the Squalor composed by Mike McCready.  Though not compiled in the same fashion that an album would be, this is the closest we've ever gotten to a Mike McCready solo album.  Then, later in the year, Matt Cameron announced his first foray into solo work with Cavedweller.  

A listen to either album will make you wish Mike and Matt wrote more for Pearl Jam.  You might even forgive Matt for The Fixer.

Pick up The Glamour and the Squalor at Amazon and Cavedweller at Amazon or through the Ten Club.

Top Ten Pearl Jam Moments of 2017, #10

It's that time again.  Time to dive back into the Pearl Jam news of the year and figure out what were the most exciting, tragic, and/or newsworthy Pearl Jam moments of the year.  When we started compiling our list, we were pretty pessimistic.  What are we going to write about a band that played exactly FOUR live songs this year and has released exactly ZERO original studio songs in four years.  Is Pearl Jam even a band anymore?

Well, yes, and as it turns out, there were some pretty amazing things that happened in 2017.  Hopefully, rehashing them will get you ready for 2018's European Tour, and (we hope) that new album that is coming out soon.

Of Potato Heads and Polaroids and Pearl Jam Anthology

This year saw us expanding our Pearl Jam library a bit.  First, in May we got Mike McCready's collection of Polaroids in Of Potato Heads and Polaroids, a compendium of photographs snapped my Mike McCready over his years in Pearl Jam.  Scantly narrated and beautifully curated, the book includes photos of friends, family, bandmates, and yes, Mr. Potato Head.

The book is a lot of fun and still available via the Ten Club or Amazon.

Also in May, Pearl Jam announced the release of Pearl Jam Anthology, a transcription of all 130 Pearl Jam album tracks by Hal Leonard Publishing.  Reception of this book and the announcement was, well ... mixed.

The book is unquestionably an enjoyable collection of music you can use to learn and master Pearl Jam's catalogs, but fans were quick to point out that it's missing many classic songs that were never part of Pearl Jam's studio albums (Man of the Hour, Let Me Sleep, Footsteps, and Hold On to name a few), making the subtitle "The Complete Scores" a bit of a misnomer.

Then came some more technical problems.  Fans have complained that the writing is too small or that McCready's solos are not transcribed.  There are even multiple lyrical mistakes.  Add in the six month production delay, and many fans found the hefty $75 price tag on this book to be too high.

It's a great volume for the collector or the musician, but we'll simply link to the Ten Club and Amazon so you can make your own decision.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Ed To Play Two Shows in Brazil

It looks like Eddie Vedder will be extending his stay in South America after Pearl Jam's Lollapalooza shows with two shows of his own.  The Ten Club has announced two Vedder solo shows on March 28th and 29th in São Paulo with Glen Hansard.

For full information on ticket sales including pre-sales for Ten Club members and Citibank members, head to Pearl Jam's website.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

New Pearl Jam Bootleg Boxes

The Ten Club announced that the 2015 and 2016 bootleg series are now available in collectible boxed sets.

The 2015 boxed set includes nine shows (no Global Citizens Festival in New York) and will set you back $125 (+ $10.99 domestic S&H).

The 2016 boxed set includes 24 shows (no Nashville show at Third Man Records) and will cost $325 (+ $10.99 domestic S&H).

Both boxes are expected to start shipping in January 2018.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Pearl Jam Flash Sale

To help you get ready for Christmas, the Ten Club is having a sale.  They've also introduced a couple of nice, new items.
New items include a Pearl Jam/Seattle flag ($40 + $7.99 domestic S+H) that supports ArtsCorps and two Let's Play Two slipmats ($10 + $6.99 domestic S+H).

You can also score a whole mess of apparel and posters at sale prices.  Pearl Jam is calling it a "Flash" sale, but doesn't specify how long it will last.  However, orders for Christmas must be placed by December 8th.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Europe 2018!

Ending the worst kept secret in Pearl Jam history, the Ten Club has announced that Pearl Jam will be touring Europe this coming summer.  Fourteen dates in June and July are listed below.  Fan Club members have received an e-mail giving them four days to enter a drawing for their tickets of choice.  General public ticket sales information is available here.

June 12: Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Ziggo Dome
June 15: Landgraaf, The Netherlands, Pinkpop Festival
June 18: London, England, O2 Arena
June 19: London, England, O2 Arena
June 22: Milan, Italy, I-Days Festival at Area Expo
June 24: Padova, Italy, Stadio Euganeo
June 26: Rome, Italy, Stadio Olimpico
July 1: Prague, Czech Republic, O2 Arena
July 3: Kraków, Poland, Tauron Arena Kraków
July 5: Berlin, Germany, Waldbühne
July 7: Werchter, Belgium, Rock Werchter Festival
July 10: Barcelona, Spain, Palau St. Jordi
July 12: Madrid, Spain, Mad Cool Festival
July 14: Lisbon, Portugal, NOS Alive Festival

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Let's Play Eight (Bit Baseball)

Pearl Jam rolled out an on-line 8-bit home run derby game last night.  Pick a member of the band and start swinging.  The fan with the most distance at 3pm ET on January 15th wins a baseball signed by the band and a custom Pearl Jam baseball bat.  The current leader has 10,118 feet as a result of 21 homeruns, but I'm working my way up from #2,966.  Look out!

Happy Birthday, Matt Cameron!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Bootlegs For Black Friday!

Pearl Jam announced that now through 12 am PT on Monday, November 27.  Almost all of their bootlegs are on sale.  Digital bootlegs are 50% off.  CD boolegs are 25% off.  Bootlegs from the Wrigley 2016 shows and any boxed sets are full price.

No code.  [sic]  Just go enjoy.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

One Classy Night in Seattle

This weekend, Will Ferrell announced that he will be appearing on February 12th at the Moore Theatre with Mike McCready, Brandi Carlile, and Red Hot Chili Peppers' Chad Smith for an evening of stories, comedy and music.  Proceeds benefit Cancer for College.
One Classy Night in Seattle: Will Ferrell and friends gather for an evening of musical chit-chat, live rock-n-roll and very little cowbell. Will Ferrell and his musical pals Brandi Carlile, Mike McCready of Pearl Jam and personal doppelganger Chad Smith of Red Hot Chili Peppers will gather on stage at the historic Moore Theatre in Seattle on Monday, February 12, 2018 at the Moore Theater in Seattle for a very special musical experience benefitting Cancer For College. The audience will be invited to sit in as the group will have a lively discussion about the songs, music and performers that have shaped their careers. Expect the group to share personal anecdotes and first-hand experiences from throughout each of their incredible careers. The evening will be capped by a very special live performance from the super group as they jam through some of their favorite songs from rock-n-roll history.
Sorry for the late reporting, but there are a few tickets left if you hurry!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Obey the Law of the Heart

PearlJamOnline.It has caught that Pearl Jam is releasing a new song on the Basmati Blues Soundtrack called Obey the Law of the Heart.  It's penned by Stone Gossard, performed by Pearl Jam and Indian artist, Sain Zahoor, with actress, Priya Darshini.

This would be the first Pearl Jam studio work since their cover of Brandi Carlile's Again Today earlier this year, and the first original Pearl Jam song since 2013's album, Lightning Bolt.

Are we hearing it in the trailer below?  Maybe?

Thursday, November 2, 2017

All Things Fade Away by Levee Walkers

The Levee Walkers, Mike McCready's project with Duff McKagan, Barrett Martin, and a rotating cast of vocalists, has released another new song, All Things Fade Away, featuring rising Seattle artist, Ayron Jones. 

You can read more about the song and the band at Rolling Stone's website.  
"All Things Fade Away," backed with another new song "Madness," is the band's third single, following a pair of 2016 releases featuring Coleman and Sophia. Martin produced the latest release, with Seattle icon Jack Endino mixing. The two new tracks will be available for purchase Friday, both digitally and on a seven-inch.
Watch Hockeytalkter Records for the release.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Pearl Jam Announces Fourth South American Show (Rio)

Well, this spring is shaping up into a real tour.  Pearl Jam has just announced that they will be performing in Rio de Janeiro's Maracanã Stadium on March 21st, 2018.  They'll even be shedding their popular "An Evening with Pearl Jam" format an including openers, Royal Blood.

Ticket information, including Ten Club pre-sale info, is here.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Eddie Performs at Letterman Award Ceremony

Last night in DC, David Letterman was honored with The Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.  Eddie was on hand to perform Keep Me In Your Heart by Letterman favorite, Warren Zevon.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Poncier Coming to Record Store Day (Black Friday)

The Black Friday Record Store Day list was announced today.  Nothing by Pearl Jam, but one of the most Pearl Jammy non-Pearl Jam items in "existence" is coming.  Record stores will have the Poncier demos on vinyl and cassette.  What is Poncier?  It's the demo tape sold by Matt Dillion's character Cliff Poncier, but in reality, record by Chris Cornell, in a cut scene from the movie Singles.

Here is the blurb from this year's Super Deluxe release of the Singles Soundtrack:
One of the best bits of Singles lore I've heard is the story of the Poncier tape that Jeff Ament designed – which is coming out in full on this new edition of the soundtrack – and how all these actual songs were birthed out of it. 
It's kind of amazing. The idea was that Matt Dillon's character, Cliff Poncier, in the course of the movie, he loses his band, and he loses his girlfriend, and he gains soul. So, there's a period where he's on a street corner busking, having lost his band, but beginning his solo career. And there would be, in reality, these guys standing on the corner outside the clubs in Seattle hawking their solo cassettes. So we wanted Cliff Poncier to have his own solo cassette. And Jeff Ament, in classic style, designed this cassette cover and wrote out these fictitious song names for the cassette.

And Chris Cornell was another guy who was close to us when we were making the record, and still is a good friend. I really loved Soundgarden; they were my favorite band. I originally thought Chris could play the lead, but then I think that turned into too big of a commitment for everybody and so he became the guy he is in the movie, but in the course of making the movie he was close to all of us. He was always around.

Anyway, Jeff Ament had designed this solo cassette which we thought was hilarious because it had all of these cool song titles like "Flutter Girl," and "Spoonman," and just like a really true-type "I've lost my band, and now I'm a soulful guy – these are my songs now" feeling. So we loved that Jeff had played out the fictitious life of Cliff Poncier. And one night, I stayed home, and Nancy, we were then married, she went out to a club, and she came back home, and she said, "Man, I met this guy, and he was selling solo cassettes, and so I got one for you." And she hands me the Cliff Poncier cassette. And I was like, "That's funny, haha." And then she said, "You should listen to it." So I put on the cassette. And holy shit, this is Chris Cornell, as Cliff Poncier, recording all of these songs, with lyrics, and total creative vision, and he has recorded the entire fake, solo cassette. And it's fantastic. And "Seasons" comes on. And you just can't help but go, "Wow." This is a guy who we've only known in Soundgarden. And of course he's incredibly creative, but who's heard him like this? And we got to use "Seasons" on the soundtrack, and Chris did some of the score. And some of the unreleased score is on the new version of the album.

It's kind of an example of how the community was close, still is close, and musically generous, and everybody is such huge music fans, that this would be the greatest joke to share with a buddy you can imagine. And obviously the music really holds up. He went and recorded "Spoonman" with Soundgarden and it was a big hit. It's a statement about how when you're not worried about somebody judging you or looking over your shoulder sometimes you do great stuff. And that's the story of the fictitious Poncier cassette that became largely real.
The records and tapes will be available in three colors, randomly distributed to record stores.  There will be 4,000 copies on vinyl and 1,500 copies on cassette.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Joe Buck Interviews Eddie Vedder

The Ten Club published a video of sports commentator, Joe Buck, talking to Eddie Vedder about playing Wrigley, the Cubs, and the making of Let's Play Two.  Check it out on YouTube.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Pearl Jam / Don Pendleton Halloween 2017

Pearl Jam has released their annual Halloween shirt, a Don Pendleton design, today.   It's available at the Ten Club for $29.99 (plus $6.99 domestic S&H).  You can also tack on a matching sticker for $5.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Let's Play Two: Fan Review II

We'll continue our reviews by Red Mosquito Forum members today with a post from Australia. Thank you to our moderator, Sarge, for this great review.

Nights out like this are a rarity for me these days, especially during the week. It's not that I'm unsociable. After long working days and dealing with the kids, I often don't have the energy left. Yet I persevered. I meandered down to the theatre precinct, to meet with some mates. We grabbed some Gami Chicken for dinner. I had no idea what the fuck this was, but found it to be a mixture of tasty and insanely spicy food. After destroying my taste buds permanently, we headed up to the theatre.

We found some good seats, and relaxed before the previews started. This was the point that something began stirring in my belly. A minor rumbling warning, deep down in my gut; a little reminder of why I don't usually eat spicy food. The film started, and it didn't waste any time jumping into the baseball side of things. The Cubs and Wrigley Field.

Being Australian, Baseball isn't a widely followed sport here. Actually, we know fuck all about it apart from what The Simpsons has told us (it's boring if you're sober?). But I found this quite interesting. We're told of the long history of a teaming struggling for success, i.e. the classic underdog story. We're also told of the supposed curse of the Goat. Eddie quips "I don't believe in goats" - haha, funny fucker.

Intertwined into this story are mentions of Eddie growing up in Chicago. When he was a kid and would buy hotdogs from a bar know as Murphy’s Bleachers. We meet meet the owner Beth. who has a close friendship with Ed. Beth and her husband Jim Murphy bought the bar in 1980, but Jim sadly passed away in the late 90's. There's early 90’s footage of Ed walking around the outside of Wrigley Field. I seem to remember seeing some of this footage in PJ20. But most of it's new - barring a scene featuring an excited Ed finding a pile of dumped turf. He mentions he wants to take it home and have his own piece of Wrigley in the garden. Ha, the rich fucker can probably afford to buy the entire Wrigley Field now.

During this journey, someone seemed to have plugged a hose into my belly button. They were pumping air, or something into my gut. The deep rumbling increased. The ache worsened. And my discomfort was getting out of control. Am I going to explode?

There's a lot of sentiment in the story. I mean absolute fuck-loads of it. Snippets and short stories about some of the famous people tied to history of Wrigley Field. Such as Harry Caray. We see footage of him singing Take Me Out to the Ball Game. This intertwines with footage of Ed doing a (likely) drunken rambling of the same song. It's a horribly beautiful duet. In a light hearted moment, we meet the old fellas who wait outside around the field. They stand in hope of catching home run balls. These guys appear to be bonkers. Once of them states “My specialty is to wait for the ball to stop rolling, then I grab it!.” Yeah, quite bonkers.

This film did it's best to try and make us blubber. We're shown Steve Gleason doing a small speech and introducing Inside Job. We're also introduced to a fellow named John who queued up for 2 4 days so he could be at the front of the show. His father had died shortly before the concert, and he talked about how he sang Release prior/after. (I wasn't clear on this, he either sang with his dad while he was dying, or he sang it after with his family). So Ed calls him out during the concert, and mentions that John had been going through a hard time recently. They played Release for him. We watch John's mixture of emotions, through teary eyes. No, wait. Fuck off I'M NOT CRYING YOU ASSHOLES!

Meanwhile, some farts were working their way out of my swollen gullet. Thanks to the loud cinema, nobody hear. But the stench. Fucking hell. The stench.

The story winds its way to where the tension rises in the final few Cubs games. Where it looks like they may not quite reach the pinnacle. But then, obviously due to Ed singing I Believe in Miracles, SPOILER ALERT - they mother fucking win the World Series. Jubilation and celebration ensue. Then we're shown the brand new fancy ass locker rooms and facilities Wrigley Field now have. It seems to double as a bar/nightclub. Are there strippers on those bar tops during the games?

It's a great, emotional and uplifting story. Interspersed into this story are live songs played at Wrigley Field over 2 nights in August 2016. I have to say, the cinematography and sound are the best I've seen from a PJ DVD. Fuck me, they sound great. We've heard/seen a lot of these songs up-teem fucking times. But seeing them on this scale of production was interesting. And something else to behold during these songs, is that the band appeared to be having fun.

Unfortunately, I wasn't having as much fun. Gami was proceeding with a full frontal assault on my digestive system. The ensuing farts were not providing near enough any relief. And, at one moment I felt a large fart bubble thump into my lower bowel. Is that the big one? After a horrid noise, there was a stench of death. Oh shit. That felt a little hot.. and wet... Ugh. Bodysnatcher flashed in my mind. What would he do now? FUCK YOU GAMI CHICKEN!

For those that are curious, the use of the baseball story VS songs is actually well balanced. We're provided with between about 2-5 minutes of baseball/Ed story for each segment. Then between each of these, we're shown a pair of full length live songs. During each song, there's very little baseball footage, but live band/crowd footage.

Some points to note, Crazy Mary was pretty good. Lightning bolt sounded different in the mix, in comparison to the other songs. Not worse, but quite different. It was somewhat heavier in production. I wondered if this meant the mixing done by someone else. Or was there more a purposeful emphasis placed on this one? We're given a performance of Last Exit that has more energy that previous performances. Proving that these guys are not dead yet. Overall, the song selection was reasonably good. It drew mostly from the early to mid eras of PJ discography. With notable omissions from the entirety of Backspacer, Binaural, and No code.

At a mid point in the film, we're treated to the rooftop rehearsal on Murphy’s Bleachers. This was a highlight. Rarely heard Thumbing My Way was a treat. We're shown little jams, and tid-bits of songs, while a crowd is gathering in the street below. The band seems relaxed, happy, and content. There's banter. More of this please. Seriously.

There were only a couple of moments where I caught myself dozing off. During Go, and Inside Job - (hey, it's a fucking long song). Apart from that, I was thoroughly immersed. Danny Clinch successfully bathes us in the atmosphere. Not only in the Cubs journey, and the history of Wrigly Field. But also in the pleasing visuals and audio of the live performances.

Also, a special fuck you goes to B. He mentioned something about snippets of new songs during/after the credits. I stuck through only to be assaulted by a live performance of Mind Your Manners. Don't get me wrong, it's not a bad performance. But why place it here after the credits? It's an abrupt note to end on. Why not show another acoustic rooftop jam song? Something laid back. That would have worked for me, but not this. This was a shite ending. When I watch the DVD, I'm never watching beyond the credits.

Above all, it's a great flick. We filtered out of the theatre, and I immediately made a beeline for the toilets. Bodysnatcher, you would have been proud. I didn't shit my pants (as suspected earlier) but I fucking destroyed that bowl.

Film - 9.5/10
Gami chicken 2/10
My Gut 0/10

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Let's Play Two: Fan Review

One of our strongest assets at TSIS is our community.  Our Red Mosquito Forum can discuss Pearl Jam minutia until most people have been reduced to tears.  Drawing from that strength, we hope to feature a few fan reviews.  Today's review by Tuolumne is our first.

Saw the movie this weekend and am glad I saw this on a big screen, Clinch really captured the feeling of being in the pit in front of the band. You can hear the crowd sing right along and it accomplishes the feeling of being at a show moreso than their other video releases. I also think we're very fortunate artists like Clinch or Cameron Crowe find this band worthwhile enough to want to put their own spin on them or give their take on their feelings about the band. It's territory most artists never get to - where others are giving their interpretation of what they do. And I certainly can't think of any other doc that does this baseball spin Clinch gives it. Overall, it makes sense - tying together hope and devotion and improbable outcomes and fan communities. In that sense it works, although it's always a stretch tying in concerts to baseball.

Clinch managed to give it a really good authentic shot and this film certainly has a great reason to exist. And man, you can tell Clinch poured his heart into this. There's these little details, like when Ed does one of his mic stand leans and looks at the crowd upside down - and Clinch actually shows a shot of the crowd upside down to mimic what Ed's seeing. There's tons of little clips he splices that show how much heart he put into this project. That little detail sort of clinched (pun intended) that this dude was really going for something, and some of his sinouttes gave me the chills, and some of them didn't.

Does it capture the concerts themselves? These are the greatest shows I've ever been to, and not even a full bootleg or Youtube video truly does justice what a moving experience these shows were. But I sure as hell got a really cool keepsake of that weekend, and it reminds me of something I do not ever want to forget.

For shows that were just chalk full of one highlight after another: The intro to Sad and the performance of it, Masters of War, Let Me Sleep, Throw Your Arms Around Me, Footsteps, Immortality, I Got Shit, and on and on, the one thing I was really disappointed Clinch didn't include was the fuckin WAVE we did on the first night as Ed and Jeff were about to start into Bee Girl. That was about as much of a **baseball** moment you could ever hope for during a concert, and Clinch didn't include it? It would have totally made sense!

All said, believe it or not us TenClubber types aren't the only consumers of this band, and there's alot about this film which I think is appealing to outsiders of the band, especially given the setlist selection. Lucky for me, I'm a baseball fan and was an especially obsessive one as a child, so I kinda get it even though I'm not a Cubs fan.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Rolling Stone's Pearl Jam: The Ultimate Guide to Their Music & Legend

This week, Rolling Stone's collectible Pearl Jam guide hit store shelves.  It's been available on eBay and other back channels for a week or so, but now most [U.S.] fans can pick one up at their local grocery store or newsstand for about $14.

The guide collects Rolling Stone's articles about the band from 1991 to 2013, specifically:


It also includes stories behind each album and drummer as well as a guide of Pearl Jam's best shows.


All in all, it's a great piece of Pearl Jam history and worth a trip to your local newsstand to grab a physical copy.