“Better Man” – Pearl Jam – “Vitalogy” (1994)

Feb 26
Posted by admin Filed in Pacific Northwest, Pearl Jam

The ping pong balls flew around in the Play On Daily Lottery/Shuffle Machine and out popped this PJ classic. In our household, this song will always be known as the Suzie Song. She was so persistent about having the DJ play this at our wedding. Great song, kind of weird wedding dance floor music, but hey, at least she wasn’t saying that it needed to be played because of who her friend just got married to.


Two fer Tuesday

Feb 18
Posted by admin Filed in Pacific Northwest, Pearl Jam, Uncategorized

Here’s what I did last night while I was supposed to be posting new music – I laid down on the couch after a delicious dinner of fish tacos and Miller High Life, buried myself under four blankets, and “no way… the best movie ever”… “pop quiz Jack.” Just a few minutes to digest, watch Ted, I mean Jack, save the hostages and then I will… or won’t work on the blog.

So here’s some new music that I’ve been thinking about and wanted to post last night. I can’t wait for the Imagine/Little Dragons tour.

“Klapp Klapp” – Little Dragon – “Nabuma Rubberband (2014)

I woke up just in time to see Keanu and Sandy sliding across the tarmac on an over sized cookie sheet. I wonder what I missed in between.


So I’m going to start gettin’ all invasive and prying into the inner sanctity of peoples’ iLibraries and other deep crevices where they stash their musical treasures and dirty little secrets. I’m truly, disturbingly interested in what people listen to and like or hate in their music. I don’t give a frick what Billboard tells me people listen to. I’ve seen all of the concert pics of my friends on FB. I want to know the real stuff. Kind of like how Spin used to interview famous people about the music that shaped their lives, what comes through their earbuds at the gym, what is in their library that alphabetically follows Radiohead. But on a personal level , I don’t really care what Anna Faris or Aaron Paul (because I don’t know them personally the way that I might know you) listen to. I want to know what the real people listen to – the people who I am friends with, related to, or maybe not friends with (just acquaintances or friends of friends). I often have the urge to ask random people standing at the bus stop or walking down the street what they are listening to. I’m scared though. One of three things is going to happen: I’m going to get hit with “piss off homeless guy,” end up wearing pepper spray, or some 50 year old businessman is going to say “duh, what else, Katy Perry.”

So, if you read all of that, and I know you and how to get a hold of you, just a word of caution that I might be hitting you up with a little personalized music questionnaire. The questions will be so well thought out that I’m guessing some of my friends may reply with 1,000 word essays for answers. Like this one: “do you think that the early innovators that helped spawn the Industrial Age would have had second thoughts if they could have foreseen Motörhead?” (We need to make sure that Lemmy doesn’t put any flux capacitors in his Amazon shopping cart.) But, I won’t want my respondents to feel like it’s a five hour chore to answers my deeply profound questions so I’ll throw in a few softballs too, such as: “What chess piece do you think best symbolizes the Bieber?” Avoiding eye contact won’t get it done, if you see me coming with my notebook, you’re done.

Just kidding Lemmy… you know… just little jokes, brother… no need to fly on up here and kick my ass.

“Given to Fly” – Pearl Jam – “Yield” (1998)


“Slip Away” by Mad Season – Above Deluxe (2013)

May 10

Here’s your PJ, kinda, sorta. Mad Season: Layne Staley of Alice In Chains on vocals (RIP), John Baker Saunders of The Walkabouts on bass (RIP), Barret Martin of Screaming Trees on Drums, and Mike McCready of PJ on guitar. That was the original line up of a sort of Pacific Northwest Supergroup. They have a new album out with re-releases of some original line up material, as well as some new stuff with Mark Lanegan of Screaming Trees, Queens of the Stone Age and one half of The Gutter Twins, on vocals. Slip Away is one of the new ones that McCready said he wrote after Layne died but has taken on new meaning in it’s current form with Lanegan at the wheel.

“Light Years” – Pearl Jam – “Binaural” (2000)

Dec 26
Posted by admin Filed in Pacific Northwest, Pearl Jam, Rock Bands

Why did it take me 15 months to get around to watching Pearl Jam Twenty? Not sure, but it was a great way to spend the morning after Christmas and sure brought back a lot of memories of what this town sounded and looked like at the very end of the 80’s and the early 90’s. I had also forgotten how frenetic and spring loaded those guys, especially “old what’s his name Mr. lead singer,” were back in the seed years of a sub-genre.

It’s the sum of the parts that makes PJ a great rock and roll band but I’ve always kind of thought of Mike McCready as the unsung hero of the band. I really enjoyed the parts of the doc where he showed prominently. His live segments when he’s really jammin’ just have that rich, oily depth that I always get when I hear Stevie Ray Vaughan or Jimi. I’ve kind of gotten away from my days when my musical tastes used to orbit around electric guitar-centric rock and roll. As I’ve gone to favoring a lot of folk and Americana stuff I kind of forget sometimes that I need that wailing, crunching guitar to keep everything balanced. I saw a band last week opening for Alt-J that I didn’t dig at all. They had no cohesion to their sound and I think that their lack of any guitar is what kind of made me realize how much I miss a guy lurking in the shadows on one side of the stage just ready to steal big parts of a show with soloing or just grinding out nasty riffs. I think that my night cap tonight might included popping It Might Get Loudinto the old VCR.

And wherever you’ve gone
And where ever we might go
It don’t seem fair
Today just disappeared
Your lights reflected now
Reflected from a far
We were but stones
Your light made us stars


“Yellow Ledbetter” – Pearl Jam (1992)

Aug 15
Posted by admin Filed in Pacific Northwest, Pearl Jam

PJ has reportedly written and amassed about 25 songs that will be parsed and assembled for a new album, hopefully towards the end of this year or early 2012. The band will play a show at the Alpine Valley Music Theatre in East Troy, Wisconsin over the Labor Day weekend and then shake off some more rust with a bunch of shows in Canada in September. The band is 20 years strong now and has manage to maintain the cohesiveness and continuity that evades all but a few of the headliner rock bands. I’ll bide my time and listen to all of the excellent live product that the band offers up, and listen to PJ mainstays such as “Yellow Ledbetter” while I wait.


Another Post for A Friend

Jan 7
Posted by admin Filed in Pacific Northwest, Pearl Jam

And now, back to my list of friends who gave me playlists on Facebook. Next on my list of unsuspecting contestants is my friend and co-worker Karen. Karen is that friend that a lot of us have who you run into here and there during your work day, you have a little chat about something, and you always walk away glad that you had a few minutes to catch up. You walk away happy not only because you have an update on what is up with each others pooches (we’re dog people, in case you didn’t know), you walk away content because you had a real conversation with someone. What I mean by this is that a lot of people are so focused on getting out what they want to say or are so sure that they know what you are going to say that they don’t bother taking the passive role in a conversation and actually listening. You’ll never get this with Karen. If an interested, empathetic listener with plenty of her own story to tell is what you are looking for, I know where to find her.

EDIT: Okay, I suspect that my nice friend Karen is tipping a glass of wine or two this evening judging by her FB status tonight. She’s warning her friends of the ever present danger of being eaten by dragons. Apparently, 93% of people won’t heed Karen’s warning because they’ve already been chowed by a dragon. I’m convinced that Karen won’t be a victim of dragon on human violence because if anyone is capable of calming down a four legged (dragons have four legs, right?) marauding, fire starting humanivore, it’s Karen.


Now, how about a look at Karen’s five randomly shuffled songs off of her music player.

1. No Way – Pearl Jam
2. Dos Cosas Ciertas – Ozmlati
3. Everybody Knows – Cheap Trick
4. Tell Me Something Good – Rufus and Chaka Khan
5. Ring of Fire – Johnny Cash

This is a nice, slightly left of center list of rock and rollers. There’s absolutely no way that I can’t not go with “No Way” (I was trying to avoid the dreaded double negative but ended up turning it into a quadruple negative) knowing what Karen has heaps of love for all things Eddie, Mike, Stone, Jeff, and Matt. This is a very underrated PJ song. I love the way that layers are added. It’s got the slow build, strong bass line, nice muffled guitar work from Stone, and Eddie doing his thing. This is what makes PJ so great. Songs like this are way down the favorites list for a lot of PJ fans and yet it’s so damn good that you wouldn’t think it possible that they could possibly have 20-30 songs that are as good or better.

“No Way” – Pearl Jam – “Yield” (1998)

All the static in my attic-a.
Shoots down my side nerve.
To the ocean of my platitudes, longitudes, latitudes.
It’s so absurd.
I just need someone to be there for… Yeah.
I just want someone to be there for…
Someone to be there for…