Tuesday, November 3, 2009
you've bled yourself, the wounds are gone
it's rare when there is nothing wrong
survived and you're amongst the fittest
love ain't love until you give it up
riding high amongst the waves
i can feel like i have a soul that has been saved
i can see the light coming through the clouds in rays
gotta say it now, better loud than too late.
pearl jam, amongst the waves
what better way to get back to blogging than to write about the pearl jam show i saw in philadelphia last week? it's been three days now, and what i saw is still setting in. for all of the nights as a pearl jam fan that i've sat in front of my computer watching setlists and kicking myself in the head for not being there... well, finally, i was.
many of my most memorable life experiences have had something to do with this band - from my first concert in 1996 to flying across the country by myself to sitting in a bar with people i wouldn't know if it weren't for our shared love of pearl jam. and now high up on that life experience list will be standing outside the spectrum on a cold saturday afternoon in philadelphia with my ear pressed against the wall listening to PJ soundcheck pilate and out of my mind.
it was sometime during the middle of corduroy when i looked around and watched all the people who were clapping that i realized that this experience was worth every single penny i spent and headache i had in getting to philadelphia. no words that i write can describe the feeling i had inside the spectrum on saturday - it's like there was an electricity in the air and i wish i could somehow figure out how to have that feeling with my forever. it was a mixture of sadness, happiness, hope, and love. (just like every good pearl jam song). as i was telling someone today, before going to this concert i had absolutely no emotional connection to the wachovia spectrum - (in fact, i really only knew of it from all the time i spent on its website checking to see if tickets to this show had been released) - but by the time pearl jam played rockin in the free world and streamers and balloons were released from the rafters, i was crying. even days later, i have no desire to read other people's reviews of this show - i don't want anything to cloud my memories; i want them to stay mine forever.
so here are some of my other personal highlights from the show:
pilate - "this will fall into the category of stuff we hardly ever play or have never played and probably never will again. at least in this building." for me, what makes this song is the third verse - "stunned by my own reflection/looking back sees me too clearly/and i swore i'd never go there again." and i swear that at the end of the song, ed said something like, "given the encouragement, we'll play a lot of f*cked up stuff tonight." ha! that's for sure...
out of my mind - speaking of weird and random songs. it started with eddie telling a story about some mystery person who would give a large donation to something if only pearl jam would play this song, which isn't really a song at all, but an improv from a concert in 1994. 1994 also happens to be the year that i really started getting into PJ to the exclusion of everything else. i remember buying a copy of the not for you single that had this as a b-side, and listening to it over and over.
bugs - my seat for this show was on stone's side, about 5 rows up. i've never sat on the side of the stage like that, and it was pretty cool to be able to see the guitar techs, sound guys, band, etc.. were up to when they came offstage. i was also able to see every time someone took out what i assume is a stand for lyrics, and i knew that probably meant that something kind of rare was about to happen. so i saw that come out, and then i saw ed putting on an accordian and i kind of felt like i was dreaming. so cool.
amongst the waves - this was one song that i was hoping they'd save for tonight. after some initial reluctance, it has easily become my favorite track on backspacer. you know when ed sings "i can see the light/coming through the clouds in rays"? something about the combination of his voice and the music makes me want to close my eyes and live in that moment forever.
i'm open - can i count the number of times i have fallen asleep while listening to no code, and particularly this song? (and i mean that in a good way). actually, no, i don't think i can. no code remains my favorite pearl jam album precisely because of songs like this - songs that make me want to cry and smile and laugh and yell all at the same time. even after all these years, to me eddie's voice is a major force in my life; from the first time i heard him when i was 12 years old sitting in front of my television in bangor, maine, to now when i am almost 30 years old, it has not lost its power to make me feel at home.
rockin in the free world - "let's do this." it was during this song that the balloons and streamers were released from the rafters. the house lights came on, and there are simply no words to convey how awesome it was to be in the crowd, and to feel like i was sharing something really special and private with not only the band but all the people in the audience. for all the bad things one can say about the spectrum (it was confusing to find your way around, going to the bathroom during the break after the opening band literally took me half an hour because it was so crowded i couldn't even move), looking around at the crowd during the show literally made me cry from happiness. and i will not soon forget the expressions of joy that i could see and feel on the band's faces even from my seat.
there were so many moments from this night that will stay with me forever, and when i close my eyes i can still see them and can feel like i am there. what i saw is still settling in my mind, and i'm not sure that it will entirely sink in for awhile. from eddie coming out with boxing gloves, to jeff singing sweet lew while eddie dribbled a basketball, to the band dressing as devo and playing whip it, to mike playing the star spangled banner as a send-off to the spectrum, i am left with some awesome memories that make me want to nothing but dance around my house with a great big smile on my face.
*edit: i totally can't believe i forgot lowlight and smile! sheesh! i have only been waiting since 98 to hear lowlight live. idiot, megan. please forgive me for my oversight pearl jam. now please play hard to imagine the next time i see you.
Friday, October 9, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009
for you to walk on
pearl jam, unthought known
(the picture is a mural on the outside of easy street records in seattle)
i know i've been MIA for awhile - there have been a bunch of things i've wanted to write about, namely the flaming lips concert, and the band at bumbershoot whose guitarist was wearing a green river shirt.
but.. forget all of that. i am so excited about the new pearl jam album! it comes out sunday, but i got mine yesterday from the tenclub. i listened to it once last night, and all day today at work i was thinking, "man, i want to go home and listen to that CD again." it is an understatement to say that it is good. i honestly wasn't expecting to like it, much less to be blown away by it, since i haven't really been crazy nuts about a pearl jam record in about 10 years. (that is not to say that i haven't been completely won over every time i have seen them live. i have. that's why they've continued to be my favorite band. no musicians can come close to making me feel the way this band makes me feel. anyway).
maybe some of this is the newness of the record, but i haven't felt this excited about music in quite awhile. backspacer (i didn't like that name at first, but it has grown on me) has fast songs, it has slow songs and it has those gigantic pearl jam songs that make me want to cry and smile at the same time. all in 36 minutes. i'll write more about this record after i've had a while to digest it. there's a lot more here than what is on the surface, that's for sure.
and i'm going to see them 3 times next week! monday and tuesday in seattle and saturday in portland (well, near portland). i can't wait!
Sunday, August 23, 2009
1. a friend told me about this thing called pandora radio, and i have been having way too much fun with it this week. you can make your personalized radio stations based on bands that you like. for instance, i have a pearl jam station, a minus the bear station, an REM station, a frames station, and an afghan whigs station. the whole thing is based on something called "the music genome project" which groups music that is similar, and so stations play artists that are relatively alike. my minus the bear station plays tons of band of horses and postal service (you can also tell it which songs you like, so that it plays those bands more often); and my REM station plays u2, wilco and radiohead. in short, i enjoy it and it's cool to have a visual aid that shows me how many of the bands i like sound like each other. it's a good way to pass the time until the new pearl jam album is released. :)
2. on tuesday, i went to see the cave singers at easy street where they did an in-store performance for the release of their new record. their songs are good for listening to on a cold, rainy night, and i am finding the singer's voice quite comforting. looking at their tour schedule, they are playing at bumbershoot and then again at neumos in october. i think i might have to be there.
3. i don't know why i didn't see this sooner, but i literally dropped everything i was doing when i read that the swell season did a set for npr's
tiny desk series and that video was online. i recommend that you do the same and watch it immediately. although, having said that, i must also say that i am a little underwhelmed by the "new" (many of which they played in concert last year) songs (save low rising and feeling the pull. i've listened to that one about 5 times). however, it is great to see them together again, and i am loving that glen is still playing his beat-up guitar. and i have missed hearing him say "brilliant." plus, they play an absolutely stunning version of when your mind's made up. i mean, wow. and, it's awesome to see their little sidelong glances and grins. i love watching musicians who are obviously loving playing their music. it makes me happy.
however, i will also say: dear swell season, please play in seattle. preferably at the moore theatre. love, megan
Sunday, July 26, 2009
the capitol hill block party 7/25/09
one of my favorite parts of living in seattle is all the summer festivals. even though they can be hot, sweaty and crowded, they are also, in my opinion, made of love. maybe i'm weird (and i'm quite certain that i am), but i enjoy wandering around aimlessly and getting lost in a crowd. i also really really enjoy discovering bands that are completely new to me but nonetheless re-ignite my excitement about live music (see: sleater kinney, minus the bear, blitzen trapper, kings of leon...) more on that later.
on saturday, i rarely had stretches longer than 15 minutes without music to listen to (not that it was always *good,* of course, but it was there). i also loved that, because i am over 21, i had the option of spending the hottest part of the day inside neumos, standing in front of a big fan and drinking free water (nothing beats free water).
my favorite band by far - and the one band i was really excited about seeing this year - was the thermals. they put on a great live show and never fail to put a smile on my face. hutch, the singer, doesn't talk much, which is actually kind of refreshing and their 3-minute long songs make for a really fast-paced show. they are also obviously fans of the early 90s - they played awesome covers of sappy by nirvana and basketcase by green day (full disclosure: both of which i was singing along with!) they ended with now we can see, and the song began with the drummer joining hutch and kathy for the hand-clapping part and then waving to the crowd before racing back to the drum set to play the rest of the song. the rain that had been threatening to fall also started during this song, and seeing live music while rain falls and breaks the heat wave is now crossed off my list of life goals. people all around me were like children, opening their mouthes and trying to catch some of the rain. it was great!
so now back to the band that i unexpectedly fell in love with - pela, who are from new york city. go figure that all the bands i enjoyed were ones that the stranger didn't like (unless it's a good thing to say that the "lead singer is a balloon... filled not with helium or pee but with serious emotions." uh, ok). i was kind of surprised to find that they have only been a band for a few years, because, honestly, the way that they played and fed off the crowd made it seem to me that they had been around forever. and while i was watching them, i decided that the kind of music i really love is rock n' roll that makes me smile and want to clap my hands - music that sounds like it was made to play in an outdoor ampitheatre on a hot summer night. kind of like - dare i say it? - pearl jam. if that is uncool, so be it. and, yes, i am comparing pela to my favorite band. the stranger would probably agree - after all, their description of pela's singer could easily be applied to eddie vedder.
upon further exploration, it seems that pela is a favorite at KEXP. (and where was i last summer when they played at one of the free shows at the mural ampitheatre? argh). there are no less than 3 in-studio performances to listen to, each one better than the last. i especially like the acoustic performance from this past may, which suggests to me that they may be coming out with a new album soon(!!) their tour page doesn't list any upcoming shows, but they seemed to like playing in seattle (the lead singer kept smiling at the crowd and said this is such a rock n' roll town! i love it!) and i hope they'll be back soon. i will definately be there.
be yourself, every one else is already taken - from the bathroom in neumos.
Monday, July 13, 2009
i need the water to wash my soul (pearl jam, santa cruz)
or, 2 girls, a gps navigator (aka the british man), a rental car, and eddie vedder.
words cannot express how much i loved hawaii.
this was my first ever mai tai on my first ever day in hawaii! i didn't really like it, but it made me feel good.
on my first full day in hawaii,we decided to drive to the north shore. there was a particular beach that kristine wanted to go to, but the parking lot was really full, so we just decided to keep going and ended up driving around the whole island! along the way, we stopped at random beaches, some of which turned out to be beautiful and out-of-the-way little spots. i couldn't get enough of walking in the sand and feeling the waves crash on my feet.
at one of the beaches, we even "saw" sea turtles. or, rather, saw people who had apparently seen said turtles. and, i couldn't get over all the people surfing! i've only seen surfers in magazines or on television, so it was pretty cool to see all the little dots in the distance and know what they were. even though i have never had any interest before, i think it would be kind of cool to go to the north shore during the big surfing competitions in the fall. wow! honestly, i could sit on the beach for hours listening to the water and be perfectly happy.
unfortunately, i don't have any pictures of the hawaii theatre since i left my camera at home the night of the eddie vedder show, but believe me when i say that it was *beautiful.* what was not beautiful, however, was getting lost after the show and having a tour of downtown honolulu at night. that was sort of scary, actually.
the next day, we went on a hike to the manoa waterfalls. i have never been covered in so much mud! but it was great. and i counted at least 3 people wearing eddie vedder shirts!
after our hike, we drove to kailua beach, where i entertained myself by watching a man bury himself in the sand, taking pictures of my feet, and marveling over the bluish-green color of the ocean. once again, i could have sat there all day. heck, i could still be sitting there and enjoying myself, i'm sure.
we finished the day by watching the sun set in waikiki.
the next morning, we got up early and climbed diamond head. i have never walked up so many stairs at once. but i'm glad i did - it was worth it, finally, at the top. my guide book said that, on a clear day, you can see the outlines of some of the other hawaiian islands in the distance. maybe it was just my imagination, but it almost seemed like i could. it almost seemed like you could see forever.
we also went to hanauma bay, which now ranks up there as one of the most gorgeous places i have ever been. it is now my goal to learn to swim so i can go back there and snorkel. we spent the whole afternoon there, lying in the sun and walking on the beach.
i wanna go back!!
rest of my pictures are here
Friday, July 10, 2009
i freely admit that i have no objectivity when it comes to music that i like (see: pearl jam, the frames, minus the bear, et al). after every single pearl jam concert i have seen, i've told someone that it was the best show ever. so, maybe you should take it with a grain of salt when i say that seeing eddie vedder in honolulu was one of the best musical experiences i've had.
... or maybe not.
as soon as the into the wild intro music started, i was on my feet with everyone else, clapping so hard that i thought my hands might fall off (seriously. they were red by the time the show was over). out came ed, sitting down on his stool to play cat stevens' trouble. before he started, eddie said something like, "we will start out in a sad place and end up in an uplifting place."
i am really liking the brain damage intro. to sometimes. i didn't think this was the best version of the latter song on this tour - the audience took a while to warm up to the sing along. in fact, eddie joked that one side of the crowd was "noticeably better" than the other side - but there is just something comfortingly familiar and right about hearing the opening notes to it. as in nashville, he added are you here, god? to the end.
i think it was after this song that eddie stopped and told a story about how, as a teenager, he would be so excited when he got tickets to the last show of a tour only to discover, as a member of a band himself, that it is usually the "second-to-last show that is the best." but, he said, he had worked "very hard" on tonight's setlist in order to counteract that.
before gone, eddie said that he was going to play a song he didn't play often live, and he might make mistakes. if he did, i didn't notice. i think that he also said that it could have fit perfectly on into the wild. (like most pearl jam songs).
one of the things i love most about these shows (besides eddie's guitar playing, voice, stage banter, etc, etc..) is the cover songs. and i think that millworker is officially my favorite. i just love the way he sings this song. it seems almost like the lyrics are perfectly suited for his voice, and i can only guess at the amount of time he must spend deciding which covers to play. this show alone had 11, by my count (wow!). including i can't help falling in love, and hide your love away, one of my favorite songs to sing along with. i'm only sorry that i missed hearing him play bobby jean by one night. i was really surprised to read the setlist and realize he played so many cover songs, but i think that eddie has a way of making those songs seem like his own. when he started her majesty by the beatles, people cheered and clapped, and ed stopped and said something like, "whatever you think this is, i can guarantee you it's not."
Thursday, July 9, 2009
from the latter's website:
We are happy to announce.....Thursday, July 9th, 2009
The Swell Season, the Oscar-winning duo of Frames frontman Glen Hansard and Czech ingénue Marketa Irglova, are putting the finishing touches on ‘Strict Joy,’ (Sept 29/Anti- Records), the follow-up to their beloved, surprise hit 2007 film and gold-certified soundtrack ‘Once.’ The twelve new, original songs on ‘Strict Joy’ were recorded last year and document a time of great change.
‘Strict Joy,’ which borrows its name from a work by Irish poet James Stephens, was co-produced by Hansard and Peter Katis (The National, Interpol), and recorded mostly at Katis’ Tarquin Studios in Bridgeport, CT. In addition to Hansard and Irglova, the album features Frames members Colm Mac Iomaire (violin), Joe Doyle (bass), Rob Bochnik (guitar), Graham Hopkins (percussion) plus guitarist Javier Mas (Leonard Cohen), pianist Thomas Bartlett (Doveman), percussionist Chad Taylor (Chicago Underground Duo), horn players Steven Bernstein and Clark Gayton from Levon Helm’s band, and others.
‘STRICT JOY’ TRACK LISTING
1. Low Rising
2. Feeling the Pull
3. In These Arms
4. The Rain
5. Fantasy Man
6. Paper Cup
7. High Horses
8. The Verb
9. I Have Loved You Wrong
10. Love That Conquers
11. Two Tongues
12. Back Broke
i know 5 of those songs! and i love them! i'm so excited!!
i think that i used more exclamation points in this post than i have in my whole life!!!
.. pictures and writing about hawaii/eddie vedder coming soon. i will just say now that i wish with everything that it was last week at this time. what a magical state. what a magical man. i could literally spend hours staring at the ocean and walking in the sand.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
i got up early on friday morning for my 3 + hour drive to memphis. the entire way there, i was practically bouncing out of my seat with the combination of nervousness and excitement that i always get when i am going to see a concert i've been looking forward to for ages. i admit to playing a little bit of "what will be on the setlist?" just because there is so much musical history in memphis. here were some of my secret fantasies: sittin on the dock of the bay (how amazing would THAT have been??), i can't help falling in love with you, suspicious minds, any song by johnny cash. and at every solo show i've seen, i confess that i've harbored a secret wish that ed and liam would do stuff and nonsense. (and i overheard a woman saying the same thing to her friend in line for the show. so i'm not the only one). oh well, one of those isn't bad, is it?
i got into memphis friday afternoon, checked into my hotel, and then walked downtown. after a great dinner and a while spent walking around beale street and listening to random bands play, i went to check out the orpheum theatre. i probably spent at least 20 minutes staring at it, waiting for the "eddie vedder, june 20th" sign to light up at just the right moment so i could take a picture. i love this stuff. once again, look how small it is! if someone had told me five or ten years ago that one day i would be seeing eddie vedder at venues this small - three times, no less! - i would have thought they were lying. incredible. i hope this feeling of wonder never ends.
so, on to the show. ed came out with his usual direction to "make yourselves at home, i plan to," and then started walking the cow. next up, sometimes, with the same treatment as in nashville. but, god, this time i am close enough that i can actually see ed as he's playing and watch him get so into the music that he's stomping his foot and leaning forward on his stool. i know that i said it in my nashville review, but it bears repeating - i am so in love with what he does with this song. no code is, depending on the day, my favorite pearl jam album, and hearing a song that i've listened to hundreds of times brought to a new life is just breathtaking. breathtaking! sometimes there are no other words. this is the first song i ever heard pearl jam perform live (september, 1996 in augusta maine) and it's kind of like coming back around to where i began, albeit in a better way than i ever imagined.
my notes were scribbled after getting back to my hotel room so they don't follow the setlist, but the next song i have written down is last kiss. when i first recognized this, my thought was, "uh oh. why is he wasting good setlist space?" but this only proves that first impressions can be misleading. because, once again, the audience interaction is what made this song tonight. i think that it must be amazing as a singer to have people singing along with you - to know that you have inspired and touched people enough to want to imitate your voice, your inflections, every little "oh" you put in your songs. and as an audience member to be a part of this communal experience literally makes my heart want to burst.
next came a run of songs from into the wild, complete with what was, to me, an awesome version of guaranteed. before the song, eddie told a story (that i've heard before - i love that, at this point, i've been to enough shows that i can anticipate what's coming but that at the same time, it's always a bit suprising. does that make sense?) about his daughter and the line don't come closer or i'll have to go. when she first heard the song she asked her father what that lyric meant and, not quite knowing what to say (and i can completely relate to the feeling of not always knowing how to respond to an astute five-year old's questions), he told her that it was referring to a bear. but.. oh crap.. he told the story so much better than i did. oh well. something else that cracked me up, that i forgot to mention in my nashville review - when people were screaming out requests and "i love you eddie," ed said, "if someone next to you is acting like an idiot, you have my permission to hit them." and then later on in the evening he was telling a story about being a security guard and people started laughing and he said something like, "what? why is that funny? don't you see how i handled those people earlier in the show?" damn.. it doesn't seem funny when i write it. but trust me, at the time it was hilarious.
and then... i think that ed said he was going to try a song that he's only played live once before. a couple of different options ran through my head, until i recognized i can't help falling in love with you. i was in las vegas in 2000 when the full band played this song, and i have to say that i thought tonight's version was better. ed's voice sounds amazing. so full and rich and expressive. this is one time when i wish there was a recording available, because i'd love to hear this again and figure out if it is just my memory that is playing tricks on me, or if these shows really were as incredible as i remember. either way, i suppose it doesn't really matter.
during the encore, liam finn came out and played the drums on santa cruz - a song from the last PJ fanclub single - and i need to find a version of this song ASAP because i realize now what i've been missing out on by not having a record player. liam's singing partner EJ (who has a brilliant voice in her own right) sang john doe's the golden state with ed. i highly recommend that you check out her myspace page.
as luck would have it, i am going to see ed's show in honolulu again next week. i have been planning to visit a friend who is living in hawaii for the summer and the first week of july was the only week when there was available vacation time at work. i knew that ed would be playing there then, but, since i didn't get tickets before they sold out, i thought i would be okay with not seeing him. i don't know how i got that crazy idea... because every day for the past week (starting the second i got home from memphis), i have been checking the hawaii theatre's box office for tickets and all of a sudden on thursday night, i was able to find two orchestra seats. it's like a drug.
Monday, June 22, 2009
best. vacation. ever was the text message i sent my mom on sunday morning. i had such a great time seeing eddie vedder in memphis and nashville that i don't think words can come close to describing it. but i'll try.
sometime during last thursday night's show in nashville, ed said something about how making into the wild and knowing sean penn has opened up a whole new world of experiences to him. before he knew it, he said, he was paddling down the colorado river and singing alongside amazing musicians. and i thought, well, wow, that's kind of how i feel about pearl jam. because of them, i have had so many great life experiences - and i have a scrapbook full of ticket stubs, pictures, and notes scrawled on hotel stationary after shows to remind me of them - that i never would have had otherwise. why else would i have flown across the country by myself for the first time in 2000? or why would i be sitting on beale street in memphis on a friday night, drinking a beer and watching a band play sittin' on the dock of the bay? this is the stuff that life is about. ed thanked sean penn, and i in turn will thank ed.
my seat for this show was in the balcony, literally the second to last row. as liam finn played, i started to get nervous because people around me were talking loudly, getting up and doing other generally annoying things. but once eddie took the stage, i forgot about everyone else. seriously. i read a reviewer describe one of these shows as feeling like you are sitting in ed's living room. i don't think that anyone who hasn't experienced one of these shows will believe me, but it was that and ten times more. rarely have i felt that purely happy, that completely in the moment as i did on thursday night.
the opening song was far behind, probably my favorite song on into the wild. i'm almost embarrassed to comment on ed's guitar playing, because i have pretty much no technical knowledge of music - but i will anyway. it has gotten so much better, and he seems more comfortable on stage than he has in the past - certainly the last time i saw him in vancouver. and his voice! my god, his voice. the sound in the ryman was incredible, crystal clear even up in the no man's land of the last row, and he absolutely owned that place.
next up, sometimes. (i won't go through song-by-song, i promise; these are just the highlights i scribbled down after the show). another one of my favorites, and the way he is doing it on this tour brings the song to a whole other level. this is one of those songs that just builds and builds in intensity, and it seems unreal to me that the noise on the stage is coming from only one man. when he finished the song, he led the crowd in a singalong of the ending - have i mentioned how many goosebumps i get when he does that? - and i'm pretty sure that after sometimes i reach to myself/dear god he said are you there god? cue the goosebumps again.
speaking of songs getting reworked (for the better, in my opinion) for these solo shows, wishlist is a prime example. a few weeks ago when i went for a haircut, my hairdresser and i were chatting about eddie vedder (she knew i was going to these shows) and she asked me if he ever played wishlist, because "that's my favorite song." i had to think for a second, and then i said that no, i didn't think he would play that. well, i guess i was wrong. it's almost completely different here though, with a lot more of the foot stomping from ed and clapping from the audience. plus, did i mention his voice yet? my god, it's gorgeous. whatever magic was in the air around me that night, i want to bottle it and have it with me forever.
fast forward in the show: the next thing i wrote down was porch. main set closer. best version of that song i have ever heard. maybe i was exaggerating or maybe i wasn't. again, i wish i could relive the night, just to experience the electricity i felt in the room. as a pearl jam fan - as a music fan - there are not many things better than experiencing a crowd who is feeling the same thing you are. by the time eddie was screaming the end of the song (you know, the part that goes hold you, feel you, ever again), everyone in my section of the balcony was standing up. how could you not? i think that there are few better cathartic experiences in life than singing along with the last minute or so of that song. my god.
and then, the last song of the encore. i have never been in the right place to hear arc live, and even from reading people's descriptions of it, i had no idea how powerful hearing it live would be. seeing ed hunched over in the darkness, and hearing him layer his voice on top of itself made me cry.
onward to memphis!
*during the day on thursday, i paid 12.50 to go inside the ryman on a "self-guided tour," because i figured that would be my only opportunity to take pictures inside. the theatre was incredible! like i said, it was unbelievably small and had incredible acoustics. if you go on the tour, you're allowed to walk around the seats, sit down, and go all the way up front. it's now one of my life goals to go back there. see? when else, if not for pearl jam and ed, would i have gone to nashville and seen a show at one of the most beautiful places i've ever been to? i love it.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
one of my favorite videos on youtube. i heart glen hansard.
this makes me SO HAPPY: from the swell season myspace page.
Hi everyone, So, the first bit of the long awaited tour dates is here. Please find the details below for the upcoming Irish concerts of the Swell Season. These gigs will be seated theatre shows with the full band of Glen, Mar, Rob, Graham, Colm and Joe. The new album will see a late September worldwide release (no date confirmed yet) and the band will return to tour the U.S. around September/October and Europe around November/December this year. As soon as we have the dates and venues we'll post it.
it's not the frames, but it's close enough. i'm already excited to see glen hansard again. new albums/possible tours from pearl jam, minus the bear, AND the swell season this fall?
Monday, June 1, 2009
this post brought to you by: megan has entirely too much time on her hands while she waits for her laundry to dry.
for all that i love to complain about work (doesn't everyone??), i do really enjoy it most of the time. in the middle of a particularly hectic afternoon (kids screaming at each other, fighting over blocks, running inside, etc...), a father who likes pearl jam and knows that i do too says, "so, megan, did you catch the secret show they played at the showbox last weekend?" immediately (and showing what an obsessed nerd i am) i started to panic and thought, oh my god, PJ finally played in seattle again and i missed it. but then i realized that he must have meant the video they were shooting at the showbox. (unless i happened to overlook some news). but i was a teensy bit jealous there for a minute.
my nashville ticket came in the mail today!! *happy dance* i told a co-worker today that i would be on vacation june 17-19, and she asked where. i told her, and she knows me all too well, and said, "are you going to a concert? is it pearl jam or the frames?" hehe. i LOVE that people ask me that (and i kind of wish that it was the frames, but oh well... ed vedder will have to do ;D
this weekend (as i do many weekends during the summer), i went downtown and had lunch at pike place market where, unbeknown st to me, they were having their annual street fair. they had a "busker's stage," showcasing some of the market's street performers. first up, were these guys who usually stand outside starbucks and sing songs like my girl and down on the boardwalk. they're really good.
next, were a group that i see a lot at festivals and at the market, and stop to listen to every time. they're called the tallboys, and the singer said that they have a twice-monthly square dance at the tractor tavern. that sounds fun! anyway, they are a string band and, as the fiddle player said, play "all the rock-n-roll hits from the 1800's." ha! and the guitarist dances a jig while she plays - which cannot be easy. i heart them.
Saturday, May 30, 2009
i think that this video might be the embodiment of why i love eddie vedder.
it's funny because this has always been one of my least favorite songs on my least favorite pearl jam album. i never even gave it a second chance until recently when i took the time to listen to the lyrics.. it just so perfectly captures that feeling of restlessness and hope that i have most of the time.
on another note, i was cleaning my living room the other day and found a pearl jam show under my couch cushion. it was nashville 2003 - i took that as a sign that i should go ahead with my plan to go there. heh. less than 3 weeks! i just realized that the day i'm leaving is also our first field trip at work. so hopefully i will be tired enough to sleep all night on the plane.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
goodness/kim virant/and others at the tractor 5/23
i had so much fun seeing these guys on saturday night at the tractor tavern in ballard. kim virant is awesome - i highly recommend the song love ain't for the weak, i'm a little obsessed with it at the moment. goodness is also incredible - i'm sure i've written about them before. i adore the lead singer, carrie akre, and devour almost anything she puts out - be it goodness, hammerbox (her pre-goodness band, which i have started listening to a little... 'tis good, in my humble opinion), the rockfords, or, especially, her solo albums. an aside that really has nothing to do with anything is that when i moved to tacoma in june, 2001, the very first show i saw in seattle was kim virant and carrie akre at local 49, which was the vera project's all ages venue at the time.
plus, during most of the show, i was standing behind rick friel. if you've seen my posts about shadow, you probably know how much i like him. my inner teenager was excited by this. (i have no idea what that means, but it's late so i'm just going with it).
here's someone's video of superwise from the show. i think whoever made this must have been standing right next to me. you can see rick friel playing the air guitar. heh.
folklife and, sunny weather
i went to folklife today, which is a free festival at seattle center that basically kicks off the summer. to me, anyway. my favorite thing about living in seattle is probably all the summer festivals. and, it was sunny and warm today! bonus! here are some pictures:
perhaps my favorite part of folklife is the rhythm tent, where people go to basically sit in a big circle and play drums. there's just something about being part of that that is great. i spent about an hour there when they were doing west african drumming.
i also love the street performers; i don't particularly like the artists that play on the stages (just not my musical cup of tea), so i prefer to wander around and let whatever happens happen. really, at what other festival can you listen to a man playing the didgeridoo, walk ten feet and see a band playing the steel drums, and be passed by a guy carrying a washboard? heaven, i tell you.
not only have i been on an into the wild soundtrack kick lately, but i have decided to see him not once, but twice next month. i had already planned on seeing him in memphis with my fanclub tickets. but as i was contemplating booking plane tickets and making hotel reservations, i had a crazy idea that i could make the whole thing into a mini roadtrip and also go to nashville. so off i went to ticketmaster with this hare-brained idea in my head, and lo and behold, a ticket for the 6/18 show in nashville came up! of course i had to buy it. so, that's that story. plane tickets to nashville are actually quite a bit cheaper than tickets to memphis. who would think that? i'm even more excited for this trip now than i was before. less than a month!!
Saturday, May 9, 2009
some things that ARE making me happy...
minus the bear is recording a new album! this makes me smile. i can't wait to see them again. hurry and play a show, please.
goodness (plus kim virant, et. al) will be playing at the tractor on may 23rd. yay!
and last but certainly not least, rob pattinson. or, specifically, the movie how to be. i've seen the movie two times now, and i think i can unequivocally state that he is the best part of it (i know.. it's shocking that i think that!) it's a quirky, funny film about a guy who's not really good at anything he does, but wishes desperately that he was. boy, do i relate to that.
Monday, May 4, 2009
Sunday, May 3, 2009
shadow, loaded, flight to mars
showbox, seattle. may 2
every year i've lived in washington, i've gone to the CCFA benefit show mike mccready, et. al put on at the showbox. and every year i've had a great time, but i gotta say that this year was probably the best. seriously, i have always believed that pearl jam is greater than the sum of its parts, but in the absence of them, i sure as hell am enjoying all their side projects (i swear that PJ's guitar tech - who was working on the show - had a shirt on that said "ev tour crew." i can't wait until june!!)
just like he did in august and december, mike came out first to do a couple acoustic songs. then chris and rick came on stage and they did their jimi hendrix stuff (which is great - LOUD, but *great*). as a pearl jam fan, you might never know that there's this whole other side to mike, one that he probably doesn't often get the chance to express in the confines of PJ (not that that's a bad thing, it just is what it is). also, i love when he sings. the other thing i love is when he points to people in the audience when he plays. makes it seem more intimate, somehow. towards the end of shadow's set, mike said that they were going to bring out a special guest... stone gossard! cool. 2/5 of pearl jam makes me a happy girl.
honestly, i don't remember what stone sang ;) it was good, though. then he left. (wow, this is an insightful review, huh?)
i wasn't really expecting to like duff mckagen's band, loaded. but i was pleasantly surprised. quite pleasantly. i really really thought they were great.
they ended with a cover of i wanna be your dog that absolutely floored me. in fact, flight to mars also did that song later, and i must say that i preferred loaded's version.
flight to mars came on around 11:30.
as we were driving home, i told my friend kristine that it seems like it's not often we get to see old-fashioned rock-n-roll like that. during the encore, they brought out this guy named jeremy who had the highest bid on an online auction (to benefit CCFA) and got the chance to play guitar on stage with flight to mars.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
as a member of the tenclub, pearl jam's fanclub, there are not many better emails you can get than ones that begin "congratulations! you have been successful at securing tickets. here's what you need to know to get your tickets..." yes, i'm going to go to memphis in june to see ed vedder. yes, i'm aware that i'm my own special brand of insanity. it's awesome. i'm already giddy with the thought of standing in line waiting to get the envelope with my name on it.
here's a video i found online of ed playing you're true at a PJ show in 2006and then singing happy birthday to matt cameron. it made me chuckle:
sigh. i heart him bigtime. i'm not even going to try to play "what will he sing?" because i just don't care. it could literally be *anything* and i'd be thrilled. he can sing pop goes the weasel and i will applaud (as well as laugh.. can you imagine that on the ukelele? haha). seeing his solo show last year was one of the best shows i've ever seen (i say that about every show! i can't help it!)
as my mother told me tonight, i'm always happier when i have a concert (or 2!) to look forward to. yes, i certainly am. even when said concert will end up costing me hundreds of dollars. let's not think about that, shall we?
Sunday, April 12, 2009
last night, i had an awesome time seeing the thermals . their songs make me smile and want to jump up and down (although last night i watched them from the upper bar at neumos - the first time i've stood up there - and was kind of glad that i wasn't down in the crush of bodies pushing on each other. does that make me an old lady?) this is how they describe themselves on their website: "since the summer of fear and hate (2002), we, the thermals, have been cranking out 3 minute, no-fi sonic gems with a neo-grunge attitude." they go on to describe their new album as "post-power pop." i really have no idea what that means, but it makes me laugh.
and they put on a really fun live show. i don't think i've enjoyed myself so much in a long time - plus, their short song lengths (2-3 minutes) lend themselves to my attention span. here's them playing st. rosa and the swallows (from their last album, the body, the blood, the machine) at south by southwest last month:
Sunday, March 15, 2009
at first, i wasn't too excited about the reissue. i thought it was just a scheme to make money (and i'm sure that's part of it), but then i thought about it and realized that the songs that meant so much to me once upon a time are going to be remixed by brenden o brien, who produced three of my favorite pearl jam albums. plus, new artwork, bonus tracks, and other stuff (if - ahem - you pay 140 dollars for the "deluxe edition").
on top of all that, there's this little bit that jeff says in an interview:
ed and I dug through boxes and boxes of memorabilia and journals that we kept during the tours and the making of that first record and we created a journal with a lot of those artifacts and it was super fun. i think it was the first time that either one of us had dug through that stuff for 17 years and it filled in some memory loss that we had from that time. i think it has turned into a really cool package, a real fans package.
:) and megan smiles.
what i can't believe is that it's been 17 years - more or less - since ten came out. 17 years - almost - since i first saw them play jeremy on the 1992 mtv video music awards. this band has been such a huge part of my life. so maybe you can understand when i say that this video kind of makes me teary (and if admitting that makes me seem weird, then so be it):
what does pearl jam mean to me? happiness, freedom, excitement, friendship, comfort, home, release.
now they need to celebrate the reissue of their first album with a show in seattle! i can dream...
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
i listened to black love all yesterday afternoon, i listened to it on the bus to work, i listened to it during lunch, i listened to it on the bus home, and i'm listening to it right now. that voice - my god, that voice. that is almost always the first thing i notice about a band. my cd case is full of bands with singers whose voices are like home to me - eddie vedder, micheal stipe, glen hansard, etc... and now i will add greg dulli to that list. because i can tell already that that's what it will be.
even though black love came out in the middle of the 90s, it does not seem dated to me. in fact, i'm not even sure how to describe what it does sound like - and that's probably why i like it so much. i can definately imagine my angst-filled 16 year old self listening to it alone in her bedroom. but this is also the kind of music that gets under my skin now , and i think there's something to be said about that. i also think there's something to be said for the lyrics greg dulli writes. i'm sure i'll have more to say about that after i listen to the album another 20 times, but for now i'll just say that i've had these lyrics running through my head all day:
go to town, burn it down, turn around
and get your stroll on baby
i'll get the car
you get the match and gasoline
the twilight singers - bonnie brae (i am so in love with this song)
Monday, February 16, 2009
i go to a fair amount of concerts and i really like most of them, but every once in a while you see a group that makes you remember what you love about music. seeing mark and greg - the stripped-down gutter twins, or whatever you want to call them - was a show that will stand out in my memory for a long time. it's one where you wake up the next morning and are genuinely sad that it is over. there's a lot to be said for feeling like you are in the presence of talented, seasoned, heartfelt musicians who are taking you along with them for the ride.
one of the highlights for me (there were a lot.. they played from 10:45 to about 12:30) was sworn and broken, a screaming trees song that i used to spend hours listening to over and over again. another one was during the encore when they played all i have to do is dream by the everly brothers. THAT got a lot of smiles from the stage, and i don't think there are many things better than seeing mark lanegan and greg dulli smile.. seriously, it lights up the entire place.
at one point, greg said that this was the 106th time they have been on stage together (which got a big smile from both he and mark) and the last time they would play together for a while (which earned a collective groan from the audience). but that's okay, because they have opened a wealth of music to me that will take quite a while to digest. i have an overwhelming urge to go to easy street records and dive into the afghan whigs and the lanegan solo albums that i don't have.
shawn smith opened the show, and he has an incredible voice in his own right. he played a couple of brad songs, including buttercup - which made my heart do flip flops. what a beautiful song:
Sunday, January 25, 2009
plus, the author reminds me of the lead character in high fidelity. he strikes me as the kind of guy who would make lists of music to correspond with certain periods of his life.
2. ocean by john butler.
i probably watched this video 4 times in a row. i am completely fascinated by his guitar playing. from the 6:00 point to the end - especially when the audience starts clapping along- is just GORGEOUS. the john butler trio is from australia; i first saw them live at bumbershoot five years ago, fell in love with them, and bought their live CD. i have seen them a few times since then, and cannot wait until the next time they come to seattle.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
The country’s best inauguration party Tuesday night turned out to be in the other Washington: At Seattle’s tiny Tractor Tavern club, the Knitters (the rootsy side band led by X’s John Doe and Exene Cervenka) played a Americana-soaked barnstormer of a show — complete with a guest appearance by Eddie Vedder. Doe invited Vedder onstage to duet with Cervenka on a gleefully frenzied version of X’s 1983 tune “The New World,” with its sardonic lyrics about another election: “It was better before they voted for what’s his name.”
Vedder, who had managed to blend in to the crowd (which also included his Pearl Jam bandmates Jeff Ament and Mike McCready) with his hair tucked into a big black knit cap, was in a mood to celebrate: He pounded out the beat on Doe’s back with his fists, slow-danced with Cervenka, and played air guitar while the Knitters’ Dave Alvin (formerly of the Blasters) finished the song with a lengthy solo that incorporated both Chuck Berry licks and what sounded like part of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” “Thank you, man in the black hat,” Doe said.
oh to see ed play air guitar. haha.
Monday, January 19, 2009
so, anyway, the point is that the little act of listening to that CD got me excited about pearl jam again. maybe they'll tour the west coast this summer? ooh.. but maybe they'll play in europe! and maybe i can somehow manage to go to ireland! and maybe the frames will be playing at the same time! and maybe glen and ed will sing together! and... tonight, i took a look around pearl jam's website, which i haven't done in a long time (i made the mistake of logging in to my tenclub account and adding up the purchases i've made since 03. i stopped when it was over 1200 dollars. and that's only since 2003. there's a whole other 11 years of purchasing power to add in to that. and oh yeah it's also not counting plane tickets and hotel rooms. ok, i'm depressing myself), and i noticed that they have a new video section up. one of my favorites is shadow:
on the pearl jam message board i read, there's a thread about favorite moments at pearl jam concerts. since i don't like posting there, i'll do it here because that got me to thinking..
1. the line for tenclub tickets. then getting the envelope with my name on it and wondering where my seats will be...
2. ed doing a set before the opening band. sadly, i have only seen that once but it still qualifies as a favorite moment.
3. the moment when the houselights go off and PJ comes on stage. what will the opening song be? will it be release or corduroy or something else? PJ's opening song can set the mood for the whole show like no other band i have ever seen.
4. going to the bathroom during evenflow. i used to never ever leave during a concert but once i had seen this song 15 times, i decided to break my rule. and it's actually kind of fun - at least in boston last june, there were probably about 50 other people who sprinted out of the front sections during this song. so i'm not the only one. plus, i when i left and came back, matt was still doing his drum solo.
5. i've said it before, but i'll say it again, there is something amazing about looking around a big ampitheatre (or, ahem, a small club) and seeing pretty much everyone doing the same thing at the same time: clapping during corduroy or hail hail, counting down at the beginning of animal, singing hallelujah during do the evolution, singing the first verse of betterman.
6. will there be a save it for later tag on betterman? what will the daughter tag be?
7. baba o riley. or rockin in the free world. either is good. but now i have to stop myself from listing every other song that i love.
8. the signs (mostly). even when i don't get them ("play leash." for the love of god, why that song??) i used to have a tape of the madison square garden concert on 9.11.98, and every time i heard breath, the cheer of the crowd made me feel like i was there. (if you don't know the story of that, basically it was a song that the band hadn't played in a long time but some fans organized to bring signs for it to multiple concerts and then PJ finally played it on that night. i listened to the bootleg so much that i remember that after the first verse ed said something like, "is that okay?" i always loved that)
i'm sure i'll think of more things to add to this list. man, i love pearl jam. i rarely get this excited about anything. tour already!
Sunday, January 18, 2009
since i don't have much to say (except that woo-hoo i'm going to see mark lanegan and greg dulli feb. 15 at the showbox!), here are a FEW pictures from christmas:
my parent's dog, annamae
my mom cooking lobster for christmas eve dinner
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
but anyway, back to something about airplanes . i first heard this record when i was in college and going out of my way to find obscure little bands from seattle to listen to. my favorite song on the album is bend to squares, about which sean nelson writes in the liner notes to the reissue, "this song, with its desire, its demand for gravitas, contains the germ of everything Death Cab would become capable of, and everything people would come to love and probably hate about them." um, okay, i won't pretend that i'm smart enough to follow that, but it sounds about right. plus don't they look cute in this video? and that is really all that matters.
Saturday, January 10, 2009
i always feel like i'm late to the party. the first album by the cave singers has been out for over a year and i have now only just heard it. they were one of the bands playing with minus the bear at the showbox last night, and i liked them so much that i bought invitation songs today.
here's dancing on our graves, live from the BBC:
there's just something about this group that i find really charming. one of the band members, derek fudesco, used to be in pretty girls make graves and the murder city devils (hey, i've heard of them:) one of my favorite parts of finding a new band is playing six degrees of separation. i just wish the day were longer so that i could listen to everything..
this is what their biography says:
Here is the mystery of Seattle’s Cave Singers: They never listened to much folk music, they never intended to play folk music, and more importantly, their guitarist never picked up the instrument until recently. Yet, this strange trio is writing and performing some of the most hypnotizing folk music we have today.
here are their upcoming tour dates:
Jan 23 2009 8:00P
Troubadour West Hollywood, California
Jan 24 2009 8:00P
The Partisan Merced, California
Jan 25 2009 6:30P
Cafe Du Nord San Francisco, California
Jan 25 2009 8:00P
Cafe Du Nord San Francisco, California
Jan 27 2009 8:00P
Doug Fir Portland, Oregon
Jan 28 2009 8:00P
Neumos Seattle, Washington
May 8 2009 8:00P
ATP Festival Minehead
i think i might go see them at neumos, even though it will break my not staying out too late on weeknights rule.
Saturday, January 3, 2009
Robert Pattinson Part 2 from Radio Planet on Vimeo.