Pearl Jam has a new song they debuted on The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien, another second song they previously debuted at a secret filming session at The Showbox, and rumor has it that the album is coming out and they’ll be a two nights at Key Arena toward the end of September.
Wow! You’d think their fans would be happy! Well, I am! Actually, probably most of their fans are. Although, you wouldn’t believe how much one performance of one song can be dissected by their loyal fans, not the music critics! Then there’s the other, mysterious song and all the circumstances around it. . .
First, the Tonight Show videos. I’ll give you the links to their website, as, due to technical restrictions, I can’t post any video to my free Word Press blog other than YouTube videos (and, oh yes, NBC pulled the illegally posted ones on YouTube, something else fans griped about).
*6/14 Update: I found I can add NBC videos via Vodpod and added the video below as well!
Vodpod videos no longer available.
“Pearl Jam: Got Some Performance on The Tonight Show”, posted with vodpod
Oops! Looks like they pulled the bonus song video of Rocking in the Free World from the Tonight Show site (played after the actual show finished recording). Something new for fans to complain about.
I’ll say it again, having just watched Got Some a couple more times (and just discovering NBC’s full screen version more or less works on my antiquated computer) – Wow! I love the song, the band sounds great, and is playing great together (a lot of dueling guitar riffs, too). Lyrics? I’m starting to make them out. A valid complaint, but this is rock and roll. This leads to interesting mis-heard lyrics like “four or five virgins and a pelican” . . .
Here are the lyrics for Got Some from the message board, with a few changes in parenthesis to as near as I could make out (which for all I know, may be as accurate as “four or five virgins and a pelican):
Edit (lyrics without repetitions):
Every night with the lights out
where you gone
Every time you can try
but can’t [say no]
I got some if you need it
Get it now, get it on, before its gone
Let’s everybody carry on
Turn it up, [turn] it off, before its gone
Let’s everybody carry on
This situation, which side are you on?
Are you on the rise, are you falling down?
Let me know…..c’mon let’s go yeah
I got some if you need it
This situation, what side are you on?
Are you dropping bombs, are you getting out?
Have you heard of diplomatic resolve? Yeah
Precipitation, which side are you on?
Are you drying up, are you a big drop?
Are you a part of [a pool] detrimental?
Oooh, It’s political, which I think is great, but it’s another thing for the fans to argue about. Yes, I think he is calling President Obama (and, I think, the Congressional Democrats) out on backing down and I think specifically, for still fighting in Iraq (and, in my opinion, Afghanistan, though I don’t want to project that on what Ed’s saying if I’m not sure).
Now, the amazing thing on the criticism on these lyrics on the message board, mostly from the right, but sometimes from the left, are the people who have this “you’re either for me or against me” Bush era nonsense mentality, and think because Eddie is criticizing Obama for backing down on certain issues that means he’s totally turned against him. Apparently, they believe if you vote for someone for President, you’re then supposed to blindly follow them; instead of being an educated and engaged citizen in a participatory democracy.
I happen to think President Obama has done a lot of good already, and is turning around a lot of the bad, Bush era, policies. I also think he’s the best we could get, even of the Democrats, at least, the best we could get who’s electable. That being said, there are a number of areas where I have concerns, where Obama is carrying on with the same bad policies of the Bush and, in some cases, Clinton administrations (using some of their same economic advisors who helped bring us the current mess – see the Nation’s Reagan Didn’t Do It – and mind you, The Nation is a liberal magazine, who like me, would love to blame things on Reagan).
In addition to the war in Iraq still going on and the expanding of the war in Afghanistan, Obama is backing down from accountability for the torture done under the Bush administration, hesitating on closing Guantanamo, keeping the military commissions, and worse, Alternet reports torture is still going on under the Obama administration under the guise of “forced extraction teams.”
So, yes, Obama and the Democrats need to get some. It’s kind of obvious what the some is, once you make out the lyrics; but to sanitize it I’ll say – guts, courage. . .
OK, enough politics. There were plenty of other things for the message board and blogs to complain about and dissect, not that I really want to go into them all here. I think one of my favorites, and the one that makes me go “Huh?” is that Eddie looks old. Actually he doesn’t look old at all. He looks like a guy in his mid-forties who’s in pretty good shape. OK, he’s old if you still expect him to look like he did when the band started out 18 years ago. None of us look like we did 18 years ago. Well, then again. . .more on Stone later. My grey is creeping in though, so much for me. . .
Here’s Black from the Pinkpop festival in ‘92?
Stone’s hair was another thing that got a lot of comments. He’s growing it out and got a little headbanger action from it. One guy said he looked like a 20 year old playing with a bunch of 40 year old guys. We’ll see if he grows it out to where it was in ‘92!
Here’s Stone with some serious hair action going at the Green River reunion (sorry I missed that one) from Pearl Jam’s official Flickr site (photo by Anna Knowlden):
Now, on that second song they debuted at their secret Showbox gig. Surprisingly, the most controversial issue about their recording of the song The Fixer was not that it was recorded for Target, who has big-box store rights to the initial release of the Backspacer album (see the Rolling Stone article). The issue that drew the most angst, and sadly, too many hard feelings on all sides of the issue, was that the band (or the band’s management) insisted websites including music blogs take down illegally made copies of The Fixer, which is their first single from the new album, and is due out in July.
There’s a real generation gap here. . . First, full disclosure, I wouldn’t have stumbled upon this whole melodrama if I wasn’t actually looking for sneak listen to the track myself. Hoping to catch it before it disappeared. OK, so I’m no saint. Here’s the generation gap though – I figured that, of course, the band’s going to take these down quickly. Some of their younger fans were quite irate that they asked them to do it.
I think the situation has finally run it’s course, but it’s sad, because passion for music fueled the hard feelings on all sides (and you’d hope it’d bring them together). I had already discovered I Am Fuel, You Are Friends, a music blog named after a Pearl Jam lyric long before all this happened. It’s well written and a great place for new music.
It all started when Heather Browne, the author of the blog, posted a “stealth audio clip” of The Fixer. Then Pearl Jam’s lawyers contacted her to have her take it down (and this is the third time this has happened with a Pearl Jam song, something that made her mad; and those of us of a previous generation go, huh? She was told posting unauthorized recordings was wrong on two previous occasions and still kept doing it?). So she announced she was breaking up with the band. Several of her fans said they were breaking up with her, but more agreed with with her against Pearl Jam on this “censorship.” Then Pearl Jam’s fan club, Ten Club, calls her, apologizing for the way they handled it, asking how to make amends, but not before (oops), referring to her writing as a “shitty blog”, then stating how important fans and sites like hers are to the band.
Some one needs a refresher course in customer service. Sadly, his response, no doubt was partly fueled by his love of Pearl Jam’s music (and probably only reading the one, uncharacteristic, ranting entry against the band). Heather did acknowledge at that point Pearl Jam did have the right to release their music as they see fit, and it isn’t censorship. So it was over, except for 110 more comments to that post. . .
You know, I stopped watching soap operas years ago, because they drive me crazy!
Meanwhile, back to something I whine about re the band (hey, I told you I was no saint. . .). Rumor has it that Pearl Jam may actually be playing Seattle!!! Yes, there are rumors they’re going to be playing Key Arena toward the end of September, right as the album is coming out.
Of course, you’d think living in Seattle, they’d play here all the time (and some of their side bands do, though not Ed solo). No, the Gorge (Amplitheatre, halfway across the state), is not Seattle, at least for those of us without a car.
Not that I don’t wish I had a car so I could go see them when they play the Gorge (oops, there goes my carbon neutral sainthood, aided by poverty). It is a beautiful setting, and it’d be awesome to see Pearl Jam there.
Their opener from their first of two nights at the Gorge in 2006:
Maybe it’s time for some bio-fueled concert buses to the Gorge from Seattle and Spokane?
Closing of the same show (which is available in it’s entirety on their “Life at the Gorge” box set). Got to love Mike’s closing on Yellow Ledbetter and the Hendrix set!
These shows at the Gorge are epic. I’d like to see one some day. Still, hoping for Key Arena. Yeah, it’s kind of sterile; but I can get there and back by bus. . .
I’m hoping the rumors are right. Wow! Pearl Jam might actually play Seattle!
Mike’s other band!
Told you it’s been awhile. . .