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PJ20TIFF
September 26, 2011 7:58 PM   Subscribe

Perhaps you've managed to see PJ20 during its limited stand in select theaters. Perhaps you'll watch it when it airs on PBS late next month. Either way, you might be interested in seeing the press conference with all five members of the band plus Cameron Crowe [20m32s], the director of the documentary, which took place after the premiere of the film at Toronto International Film Festival. The press conference is also available in downloadable audio format.

Visit the PJ20 website main page for a free download of the new track "Olé".
posted by hippybear (56 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
Since this is a Metafilter thread about a band, I want to get in as early as possible to preempt all the "This band sucks" comments with a "I absoloutely fucking love Pearl Jam comment."

I had planned to go see PJ20 when it screened in my local theatre but work being what it was prevented me from doing so. Thanks for alerting me to Ole though! Always love finding new PJ songs. Listening to it now and liking it!
posted by Effigy2000 at 8:04 PM on September 26, 2011


Effigy2000: I was "meh" about Olé when I saw them perform it on Jimmy Fallon, but downloaded it anyway. Then I found that page I linked to for the song which has an unofficial stab at transcribing the lyrics, and I was all, OLÉ!!!

Yeah, it's a great movie. I saw it this weekend in Portland. Can't wait for it to get wide viewing on PBS; can't wait for the DVD release a couple of days later. It's a great history of a great band, well told with a lot of surprising (that it exists) vintage footage.

Bring on the haters, so I know who I'm talking about when I say "fuck you, haters".
posted by hippybear at 8:08 PM on September 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


Please forgive me, but I keep mixing up Pearl Jam's "Jeremy" with The Buoys' "Timothy".
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:21 PM on September 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


Do you suffer same name confusing when your child has you in his classroom for volunteering on the odd occasion? Or at work, do you get John and George and Paul and Ringo all mixed up?

Because it seems like being that confused about male surnames would make life hell, and you should really talk to a doctor.
posted by hippybear at 8:26 PM on September 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


I will say this--they have pretty much done what they wanted, the music industry be damned.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:29 PM on September 26, 2011


Do you suffer same name confusing when your child has you in his classroom for volunteering on the odd occasion? Or at work, do you get John and George and Paul and Ringo all mixed up?

Because it seems like being that confused about male surnames would make life hell, and you should really talk to a doctor.


I get that you love them, but maybe sitting in the thread aggressively going after anyone who brings a bit of snark about the band might not be the best way to do things. Give the Pearl Jam fans on Metafilter a chance to turn this into an interesting thread.
posted by awfurby at 8:41 PM on September 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Bring on the haters, so I know who I'm talking about when I say 'fuck you, haters'".

Jesus, get the fuck over yourself. Metafilter isn't your favorite spot at the playground.
posted by bardic at 8:47 PM on September 26, 2011 [6 favorites]


I wanted SO BADLY to see it in the theater but just couldnt. I am so stoked to see it. I did buy the sound track which is amazing. I have a TON of early/unreleased/rare stuff but that second disk had some great stuff (that "acoustic #1" god they need to re record that)

Funny story was listening to the momma-son version of footsteps on the soundtrack and thought to myself, "damn thats a clean version...oh yea they have THE ORIGINAL TAPE"
/inside baseball
posted by ShawnString at 8:49 PM on September 26, 2011


Hey, three syllable, ends-in-Y, with-an-M-in-the-middle names ARE confusing. I also confuse Pearl Jam's "Even Flow" with Boz Scaggs' "Dinah Flo". Not really trying for snark, absolutely NOT a hater, just a casual fan of Pearl Jam AND a lot of other music.
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:54 PM on September 26, 2011


Oh, hippybear. Your aggressive fanboyism makes every thread you touch so fantastic.

I'm not sure I'd call myself a fan of Pearl Jam. I haven't owned one of their albums since Ten; but fuck, how amazing to stay together and active for so long, and on your own terms.
posted by Roman Graves at 9:00 PM on September 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


Until very recently, I was kinda "meh" about pearl Jam in general, but decided eventually that since I really didn't know their catalog beyond what used to show up on the radio and they seemed to be regarded pretty well I should spend some time listening to them.

So now this is what I think. It's perfectly possible that Pearl Jam just isn't what some particular person wants to sit around and listen to, but that's fine. However, if you dismiss them, then you're flat out wrong. Their all-around ability, authenticity, and influence are at the level of any of the all time greats that, if you care about music itself and its performance and history, can't be ignored.

I didn't know about this documentary and I can't wait to see it.
posted by cmoj at 9:01 PM on September 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


since I really didn't know their catalog beyond what used to show up on the radio and they seemed to be regarded pretty well I should spend some time listening to them.

Where did you start?
posted by Roman Graves at 9:02 PM on September 26, 2011


MeFite Tube has some pretty awesome photos of Pearl Jam (and many other contemporary bands) back in the day.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:09 PM on September 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think I saw Pearl Jam live at Harpo's in Victoria (or was it Alice in Chains?) and I must have seen them live a few times way back then. I guess for people of my generation they were iconic.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:11 PM on September 26, 2011


Bring on the haters, so I know who I'm talking about when I say "fuck you, haters".

This is inextricable at this point but please, no more of this. Thank you.
posted by jessamyn at 9:15 PM on September 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


I really like Pearl Jam, and am very much looking forward to seeing this when it airs on PBS. Thanks for the "Olé" link.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 9:29 PM on September 26, 2011


Where did you start?

I haven't been able to digest every album yet, but I started at the beginning. Ten Has to be one of the best debut albums of all time and still my favorite of theirs. How do you start off with a whole album of perfect songs? How do you already know how to pace an album so well?

When a band has a very long discography, I usually end up cheating on my chronological order scheme, though, and I skipped to Pearl Jam because I figured, you know, self-titled album? 15 years and 8 albums in? It might suck, but no. It doesn't suffer from late-Zeppelin wankery, post-Beatles staleness, or late-Stone Temple Pilots (sorry, for lack of a better word) pussification. Again, I don't know how one can do that.

Also, the stuff from Ten is really fun to play drums to on Rock Band. You really get that heroin feel.
posted by cmoj at 9:31 PM on September 26, 2011


Buy the soundtrack! It is great!
posted by bjgeiger at 9:31 PM on September 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


I haven't been able to digest every album yet, but I started at the beginning.

My two favourites would have to be Vs. and No Code
posted by KokuRyu at 9:47 PM on September 26, 2011


Related: WHOAHEER... HEEEAARGHH
posted by item at 9:57 PM on September 26, 2011


Thanks for the link. I was a huge Pearl Jam fan - I was 16 in 1991 so a pretty good age to be very influenced by the music that came out then. We didn't have the internet music wasn't quite as ubiquitous or throwaway as it seems to be now. I grew up in Victoria and we got good reception of 107.7 The End, an alternative radio station in Seattle.

Maybe it was my age, or the combination of my age and the Seattle scene, but it really resonated with me. I remember very clearly when I first heard Smeels Like Teen Spirit on the radio. It was nothing like I'd heard before. It ignited something in me. I absorbed the music from that era - Soundgarden, Mudhoney, Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, Smashing Pumpkins, etc.

I can't listen to Pearl Jam and judge it objectively. I haven't listened to Ten or Vitalogy or No Code or Vs in a while, but when I hear songs from those albums all I remember, very clearly, is where I was and what I was doing when those albums came out.

I hope kids these days have the same relationship with music.
posted by jimmythefish at 10:00 PM on September 26, 2011


I loved me some Ten, and the work they did with Temple of the Dog. They were a hoot in Singles, which is one of my favorite movies.

But their second and third albums were terrible - and if I am ever king, all copies of "Last Kiss" will be burned. I caught them in concert on.... the Vs. tour in 93 or 94 and even scored some backstage passes. They were dicks, man. Maybe they were having a bad hair day or some shit, but what total dicks they were. And the show sucked, too. Not their best day.

So, my feelings on them are complicated. Especially with the Ticketmaster thing, and well, they seem like they knew what they wanted to do and then did it.

I haven't followed them since, but I do have a fair measure of respect for them. Can't believe it's been 20 years, though.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 10:04 PM on September 26, 2011


Pearl Jam is proof positive that a band can try to do everything in its power to walk a respectable path and assholes will still lob hate at them. Awful video for "Jeremy" excepted, they did nearly everything sincerely and respectably.

And Im not even a huge fan. Of course, I like the hit records everyone else did and of course I loved them in 92, but Im a lapsed minor fan at most.
Still I have a great admiration for what they have built and the way that they turned down mega-mega-stardom to go off-path and build their own sustainable little universe apart from the usual rock n' roll nonsense. And it seems to suit them. I've read that they still pack them in live and the majority of the fans are capital "F" fans. They know every word to every song. Even the obscure more recent tracks.

Pearl Jam are good people and I really want to see this documentary.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 10:04 PM on September 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


I still think Ten was the album that most resonated with me, heck I was 18 and had just graduated high school. I've found myself sometimes wanting to like some of their albums more then I actually did. All that being said this is a band I respect and admire greatly and I'm looking forward to this.
posted by bitdamaged at 10:08 PM on September 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah bitdamaged, the fools that say things like "No Code/Yield/Binaural is really their finest work" always seemed to be cynically cred-fishing to me. Even back in those records' day.

That silly Protestant thing whereby the more enjoyable a thing (Ten in this case) is, the less "serious" and "important" it must be.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 10:11 PM on September 26, 2011


Surprised nobody's linked this yet - this mexican dude doing a damn good impersonation of Vedder.

Yeah - I have to say I kinda lost them after the first few albums, but kudos for sticking around. My friend and I were talking about who we thought the most talented "grunge" band was (not necessarily most soulful or whatever) and we said Soundgarden. But, I think Pearl Jam stuck more to who/what they were than Soundgarden ever did (Sorry boys!) And none of them are dead! (RIP Layne and Kurt)

I'm definitely interested in checking this out.
posted by symbioid at 10:12 PM on September 26, 2011


I think I saw Pearl Jam live at Harpo's in Victoria (or was it Alice in Chains?) and I must have seen them live a few times way back then. I guess for people of my generation they were iconic.

If this comment were any more distant (or distancing) it would be an icy moon orbiting a dead planet circling a long-dead star. I guess.
posted by joe lisboa at 10:16 PM on September 26, 2011 [4 favorites]


And Eddie singing "A woman has... every right to choose choose chooose chooooooooose for herself!" on SNL while wearing the coathanger shirt, definitely one of those classic moments...
posted by symbioid at 10:16 PM on September 26, 2011


For the record, I was on Team Nirvana before I hit Junior year in high school and realized that rooting for bands versus other bands was largely - if not entirely - missing the point. Glad these guys have done (and kept doing) their thing.
posted by joe lisboa at 10:18 PM on September 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


>I think I saw Pearl Jam live at Harpo's in Victoria (or was it Alice in Chains?) and I must have seen them live a few times way back then. I guess for people of my generation they were iconic.

If this comment were any more distant (or distancing) it would be an icy moon orbiting a dead planet circling a long-dead star. I guess.


Ah sorry if my comment came across as being pretentious (or whatever you're getting at). My point is, for a large number of people in the early 90s, especially in the Pacific Northwest, Pearl Jam and other bands like that were very meaningful.

I guess you will probably follow-up and say this comment is meaningless and unnecessary, and a waste of your time. Oh well.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:38 PM on September 26, 2011


Not at all! I read your comment as an attempt to distance yourself from the very people you (rightfully) claim found the Seattle (sic) bands to be a source of said meaning. Sorry for the proto-snark.

Here I am now, stupid and contagious. Yeah.
posted by joe lisboa at 10:43 PM on September 26, 2011


My point is, for a large number of people in the early 90s, especially in the Pacific Northwest, Pearl Jam and other bands like that were very meaningful.

Indeed. I liked how Eddie Vedder would walk around Seattle wearing that Nixon mask [no I am not lying] when he was getting a bit too much attention. I saw their free show in Magnuson Park in 1992, the one where Seaweed and Cypress Hill and Robert Anton Wilson [no I am not lying] opened up for them. The show was free but you had to get tickets and they were sort of hard to get. I lived sort of nearby and I was actually wandering around in the park the day before and some guy drove by in a van and asked if we were going to the show. We said no, we hadn't gotten tickets but we heard it was going to be awesome. He was apparently some guy with the band and he handed us four [eight?] tickets and said "Here, have fun."

We did. I am somewhere in this photo.
posted by jessamyn at 11:05 PM on September 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


This thread is giving me what I believe he kids are calling the "douche chills".
posted by Roachbeard at 11:07 PM on September 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


My Pacific Northwest (actually I live in Vancouver--that's Pacific Southwest for us) band is the He-Kids.
posted by Roachbeard at 11:10 PM on September 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


PJ20 also sheds a lot of light on the whole Seattle scene of the day, the various bands that were around and what went on before anybody got famous. The rockumentary geek in me enjoyed seeing those threads come together.

I bought Ten the day it came out, and my sister's kids and I wore that thing out (along with some other stuff) thus earning me the Cool Uncle moniker. Then I wandered off and ignored PJ. In 1999 a friend handed me a stack of CDs. Ploughing through the 1990s PJ catalog in a short period of time was a truly bewildering experience. It's still evolving for me, I hear new things and grasp a little more each listen. Maybe I'm lucky, I didn't go through the "what happened to these guys, they suck" reaction some people had after Ten, but I sure see their point and might have felt the same way.
posted by wallabear at 11:13 PM on September 26, 2011


Who is the hilariously befuddled twiddly interviewer at the beginning of the trailer? Is he a figure in the music world, or just a random local interviewer? Pardon my ignorance if this is the most obvious thing imaginable - this isn't my universe, but he was adorable, and I have aspirations to understand.
posted by bicyclefish at 11:14 PM on September 26, 2011


We did. I am somewhere in this photo.

Heh. I'm somewhere in this video with a bloody nose because some Alpha Tau Delta whatsit kicked me in the nose. It was also a free show.
posted by sleepy pete at 11:15 PM on September 26, 2011


He is David Lynch. The bit is only at all interesting if you know that. and even then it's still sort of weird.
posted by jessamyn at 11:15 PM on September 26, 2011


"Bring on the haters, so I know who I'm talking about when I say 'fuck you, haters'".

Good enough band. I just never much cared for Mr. Vedder's voice, which got all the more annoying when, for about five years through the mid-90s, TWO OUT OF EVERY THREE FUCKING BANDS HAD SINGERS THAT SOUNDED ALMOST EXACTLY LIKE HIM. An old DJ friend, a woman, used to liken it to what her younger brother sounded like when he was constipated and he was trying to force one out. She also referred to all the Seattle Bands as Chest Rock.

That said, this one is about as good as it ever gets.
posted by philip-random at 11:15 PM on September 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


I was a Pearl Jam fan when I was 14. I'm still a Nirvana fan.
posted by Brocktoon at 11:18 PM on September 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'll always have a soft spot for these guys. Even though I think they went off the rails pretty much right after Vitalogy (which, in retrospect, was a pretty dud record in a lot of ways), there hasn't been an album they've released where I haven't dug at least three or four tracks, and, well, they laid the track themselves, really, so they can hop off it whenever they want. It's just a shame they don't sound like themselves any more, and are now basically a soft rock/power ballad outfit (like Something For Kate) who have lost their furiosity and are now merely technical experts.
posted by tumid dahlia at 2:20 AM on September 27, 2011


It's hard really. No-one can really maintain that youthful rage. And if that informs a large part of your early work then what do you do?
posted by awfurby at 3:31 AM on September 27, 2011


now basically a soft rock/power ballad outfit

The Fixer, lead single from their latest album.
posted by hippybear at 4:02 AM on September 27, 2011


I saw PJ 20 at the cinema. I was a huge fan of them when I was in high school, but kind of lost interest when they released No Code. But when I saw that Cameron Crowe was directing a documentary about them, I had to go. I wasn't disappointed. Wished it had a little more on their drummers though. I always had a soft spot for Dave Abbruzzese. He just looked so happy when he was playing.
posted by Kris10_b at 4:29 AM on September 27, 2011


I selfishly want Ed to do more solo material. I could see them slowing down soon as a group and would not be upset.
posted by Cerulean at 5:02 AM on September 27, 2011


Always really enjoyed Pearl Jam, saw them at Slane in 93 with Neil Young et al. Kinda sucked unfortunately, Vedder was as best as I could make out shitfaced drunk. Terrible pity. Still love 'm tho :)
posted by Iteki at 5:10 AM on September 27, 2011


I saw Nirvana when they came to Kalamazoo on their last tour, maybe when I was sixteen. It was good, but I'd trade that show in a second for any Pearl Jam show. I've never been, buy I've got a ton of their live albums. As much as I like their music, I like their covers even more ( they could easily be the world's best Who cover band). If anyone out there is in any kind of position to sway the band, please convince them to come back to Japan.

Of course, once Ten came out, being a high school student named Jeremy got to be annoying pretty quickly. One class, every goddamn time I raised my hand, at least one schmuck would start in on the chorus.
posted by Ghidorah at 5:32 AM on September 27, 2011


I never got into the stuff that came after Ten (except the song You Are...what a tune), but I'm surprised I didn't wear out that cassette. Nothing rocked high school harder than the solo at the end of the radio edit of Alive.
posted by adamdschneider at 5:53 AM on September 27, 2011


Is Cameron Crowe semi-retired or something? In the last ten years he's made only 3 films and a documentary.
posted by smackfu at 5:58 AM on September 27, 2011


I haven't listened to any PJ since Ten and went with a friend last week to see them in Calgary. Their live show is pretty incredible. Mudhoney opened, and that was pretty awesome as well.
posted by jeffmik at 6:26 AM on September 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


I saw it on demand over the weekend and it's a great movie. I really need to see them on their next tour.
posted by longklaw at 6:30 AM on September 27, 2011


Pearl Jam's Ten album remains my most listened-to album of all time. I mean, even if you DON'T include the year it came out, when I listened to it at least once a day, all the way through, every day. I was 13 when it came out, and just starting to discover music on my own... So they really are probably the first band that I ever really LOVED. I wore out my first Ten cassette AND Temple of the Dog... bought both on CD after that, so I could listen without worry. I can't remember ever being as excited about an album release as I was about Vs, and I wasn't disappointed at all. Vitalogy left me a bit disappointed - while I loved a lot of the songs on it, it was a bit more experimental and getting away from the raw awesome that was Ten. No Code was released right before I moved away for university, so it's another one of those albums that I hold dear in my heart (having new Pearl Jam helped distract me a bit from my sadness of being away from home for the first time). I wasn't a huge fan of Yield, but I *loved* Binaural. The one and only time I ever saw them live was on the Binaural tour, and it was AWESOME. Hard to believe that was almost 11 years ago. I think the last Pearl Jam album I ever bought was the Toronto live album from that tour (that was back in the day when they were selling live albums from every date on the tour). I don't really remember Riot Act at all, and I've sorta drifted away from music in the last 5 years or so, so I missed their last two albums (and Eddie's solo stuff, aside from what's been on the radio). I have to admit that I wasn't really a fan of the Neil Young-ish direction that they were taking on a lot of their songs, but damn you gotta respect them for sticking around and sticking to their guns for all these years.

I got the fan club newsletter email the day after the movie aired, dammit, otherwise I *totally* would've gone to see it... But now I'm just going to pick up the blu ray when it comes out. SUPER stoked to see it, as the 13 year old me would have said.

And now I have to grab my (ripped to mp3) copies of all their albums and pop them on my phone to listen to at work for the next couple days. It's probably been 10 years or more since I listened to Vs (although Ten gets a yearly renewal, where I'll listen to it for a week or two straight).
posted by antifuse at 6:32 AM on September 27, 2011


More casual appreciator than "fan", I suppose; Eddie Vedder's voice and presence was the trigger, I think. Still is -- I was blown away by his cover of The Who's "Reign O'er Me", and sometime shortly after Ten came out I remember seeing them teaming up with Neil Young on some awards show to do a cover of "Rockin' In The Free World," and it was Eddie I watched. I also definitely respect their quiet determination to do their music on their own terms, to take stands against the corporate entities mucking up things, without getting grandstand-y about it (Hell, U2 had to go a little nuts and piss people off in order to figure out how to do that, and I'm sure some people will insist that they still actually haven't yet).

And the raw rage in "Jeremy" still blows me away.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:26 AM on September 27, 2011


They were showing Pearl Jam 20 when I was at the Siskel Center last week to see The Apartment last week. And it was really obvious that it was mostly a crowd who hadn't been to the Siskel Center before. It was sold out super early and I'm glad to hear it's going to be on PBS.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:00 AM on September 27, 2011


(That sounded nastier than I meant, as someone who has been to the Siskel Center before AND would be interested in the documentary; it's just that the Siskel Center is somewhat weirdly located -- doors downstairs leading to theater upstairs -- and there were lots of confused looks at the doorway, not that the Pearl Jam crowd didn't look like the art house movie crowd, though, I guess, they really didn't)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:01 AM on September 27, 2011


Is Cameron Crowe semi-retired or something? In the last ten years he's made only 3 films and a documentary.

Well, that's not entirely true... His Wikipedia page lists three movies, two documentaries, and a music video all since 2001. (We Bought A Zoo is completed and will open in December).

That looks about right for the level of output across his career. Since 1984, he's written or directed (or both) 12 movies, fiction and documentaries combined.
posted by hippybear at 3:15 PM on September 27, 2011


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