I know what you may be thinking right this very second.
Pearl Jam? Freaking Pearl Jam?? Eddie Vedder?
Come the fuck on, dude!
To which I fearlessly say: yes, indeed friends.
If you are currently part of the sneering intelligentsia, I humbly ask you to look down at that Sonic Youth tee you’re currently wearing and really think about the last time you listened to one of their records front-to-back.
Go ahead…I’ll wait.
If you came up with an answer to the above question, then shame on you! You’re lying your ass off. You haven’t listened to any Sonic Youth records front-to-back since 1995. And even when you did, you didn’t really understand them.
You grabbed a Goo tee, dyed your hair blue and prayed that no one at the party would ask you which instrument Kim Gordon actually plays.
I get it. Your secret is safe. I’m not telling.
All you have to do in return is simple. You can do this. It’s time.
Big, deep breath…just admit to the location of your super secret copies of Ten, Vs, and probably Yield. Ok, if not Yield, definitely Vitology. I know you have them somewhere. I’m like a drug sniffing dog with a nose for justice and Jeff Ament.
Fear not, I’m going to sacrifice myself. I give zero fucks about how “uncool” Pearl Jam apparently are. I’ll love them forever.
That said, if you are still clinging to some sort of foolish narrative where Pearl Jam were gutless sellouts while Nirvana defended their punk ethos to the bitter end, I speak to you directly and with great love when I say: LET THAT SHIT GO! Pearl Jam have done nothing to you. Eddie Vedder is actually a pretty nice guy, as are the rest of those fellas.
This is entirely a YOU thing that you might want to take a serious look at. We are all far too old for any of that shit to still matter.
Now for the other segment of you who are actually die hard PJ-heads, I also understand your potential plight here as well.
Now that Pearl Jam have essentially become the second coming of the Grateful Dead, the fandom has morphed into an eerily similar conglomerate.
You guys are intense, too.
I mean, I love the band. I have all the records and can speak somewhat intelligently about who played drums on what and all that – but you guys are crazy pants and take things a wee bit too far too.
BTW, Dave Abbruzzese is a killer drummer. You guys don’t have to still be so angry at the man. I mean, I still think they sounded best with Dave Krusen on the skins, but that’s just me.
In true “Best of the Rest” fashion, I took to heart the challenge of making a 10-song playlist of lesser known, non-hit songs. This is a bit dicey, as while Pearl Jam has a handful of bonafide smash HITS in the truest sense, many other songs have also become classics without ever having made the radio or MTV rotation. I tried to stay away from most of those too, but it’s a rough road to hoe.
Picking ten songs is no small feat where Pearl Jam is concerned. I resisted the urge to get too cute with my choices and just went with ten songs that I just really like and hope you will, too.
I’m sorry I made fun of your Sonic Youth shirt, I think it looks great on you.
This feature is dedicated to Chad Gerry, for reasons that will be obvious to him.
Best of the Rest: Pearl Jam Spotify Playlist