Monday, August 14, 2006

The Foundation: Volume 1

I felt that it would be appropriate to begin at the beginning. I know what you are thinking, but let me explain. For my first two posts, I decided that it would make the most sense to start with the two events that really planted the seed that has blossomed into a full fledged love for music. Make sense now? I thought so.

The first, actually second chronologically speaking, event that really threw me head first into music happened when I was a sophomore in high school. I'd like to say what year that was, but it will just make me feel so old, so you'll just have to use your imagination. I really remember this as if it happened a couple days ago. I was in a friend's car getting onto the highway...287 north, to be exact. He put in a tape and said, "You guys gotta hear this. You'll love it." I asked what it was and he said, "Pearl Jam...but I bet you guys have never heard these songs." He was right. He played Footsteps and Crazy Mary. The former being, at the time, a hard to find B-Side and the latter was a cover of a Victoria Williams song recorded for the first Sweet Relief album. That was all it took. After that night, I went on a mission to find these songs. I found them, but it didn't stop there. Pearl Jam, at the time, had a lot of rare songs that took some searching to discover. I just kept buying new bootlegs and singles(mind you, this was before the internet really took off and mp3s weren't something we could even conceive of). I couldn't get enough of them. I had an insatiable appetite for all things Pearl Jam. Come to think of it, very little has changed. Pearl Jam has been my favorite band for quite some time now and over the years they've introduced me to many bands that I may never have explored, such as The Ramones, Ben Harper, Mother Love Bone, My Morning Jacket, The Finn Brothers, Idlewild, and even The Who to a certain extent.

Now, I've got a lot of Pearl Jam material to choose from, so why did I pick this particular show (that isn't even an excellent sounding recording)? Perhaps it's because I was just discussing it the other night. Or maybe it's because these songs are of the exact nature I talked about above...rarities. Most of these songs were only played this one night, some a couple nights earlier...never to be heard again. However, a couple of these songs did end up on the album Riot Act. They are also exceptions as far as Pearl Jam songs go...highly personal. Most Pearl Jam songs are either in the third person or slightly abstract which leaves the song to personal interpretation. Not these. These are probably the most personal songs you will hear Eddie Vedder sing. And maybe, just maybe I decided to post this particular performance because Eddie invents a new, albeit small, genre..."speed thrash ukelele." "A genre so small, I think this is the only song," he said, referring to "Can't Keep" (track 3). This performance was taken from the All Tomorrow's Parties concert held at Royce Hall, UCLA in Los Angeles on March 15, 2002. Like I said, the sounds quality is not soundboard, by any means, but it gets the job done. I wish I had the taper's name, but I do not. If you are listening to this and it's your recording, by all means take credit it for it. Without any further ado...

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