second coming of pearl jam

pearl jam 2006

pearl jam on itunes

so all the pearl jam i’ve been listening to lately is leading to a kind of renaissance for the group as far as i’m concerned.

my fandom was huge in high school, basically through the release of no code. i was involved with some tape trading over the internet and regularly participated on an early mailing list dedicated to the band (which i had to telnet to tallahassee freenet in order to receive). i was a member of the ten club for a couple years and soaked up as much information about the band as i could get my hands on, keeping track of such minutia as who the current drummer was. i even managed to go to a concert once.

but as time went on, life found ways of distracting me. i kept up with the band less and less. no code didn’t capture my attention for very long and didn’t get much play. and while i’ve come to consider yield to be their best album (well-written, expertly executed and compellingly packaged), at the time of its release, i was well into diversifying my musical interests and there was much competition for my considerations.

after that, it was sheer momentum. i picked up a couple of the official bootlegs but barely listened to them. binaural and riot act barely made a blip on my radar, each receiving only cursory listens.

in retrospect, that’s most unfortunate. how i could have gone all these years without fully appreciating ‘god’s dice,’ i’m sure is a musical tragedy on my part. but if there’s one thing the tunequest is teaching me, it’s that this personal "second age of pearl jam" (defined as everything since 2000) is awesome.

my renewed interest inspired me to pick up the band’s latest, their eponymous albumpearl jam. i added it to my iTunes library last night, and "surprisingly," my ipod *randomly* chose to play it this afternoon, which i think settles the notion that it has its own favorites. (quick aside: my previous ipod committed suicide rather than play one more song by jet and all these years later, i don’t begrudge it one bit.)

anyway, this thing rocks! no gimmicks. no fluff. just straight-ahead sound. ‘world wide suicide’ earned a 5-star rating by the end of the first minute. and once more, here’s yet another record that i can’t wait to hear again. after the tunequest has finished.

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