Greetings gremmies. Yesterday I received an email not unlike others this past year asking a familiar question, “Where have you gone?” The short answer is, “Nowhere; I’m still here.” Which is to say I haven’t skipped town, nor been incarcerated and therefore unable to internets. The longer answer is more textured and about as interesting. To sum it up in a few words, life has outstripped my free time. Between work, and marriage, I’ve relegated the dot net to stand on its own with nary an update and I don’t see that changing.

The other side of the equation is that Pearl Jam has been less prolific and more in control of their wares. Where once they released a b-side with each single (thank you Leatherman) and performed a laundry list of covers live, now they retain b-sides for albums like Lost Dogs or “the next record” (half of Lightning Bolt) and statistically have narrowed the scope of their live covers. A change like this was inevitable. As the band ages, everything slows down. Frankly, I’m elated they’re still producing worthwhile music. Most bands from the 90’s era have either disbanded (e.g. Soundgarden) or are still making music albeit at an empirically diminished quality (e.g. Soundgarden). However, music notwithstanding, the average age in the band is 49, and though it’s clear they’ll continue writing and performing in the short term, it would be silly to assume they’ll keep pace with previous decades. Mind the signs: extended time between records, shorter touring schedules, moar side projects, etc. Good for them. Pearl Jam has been nothing if not consistent and generous to us fans since 1990. Outside of music, as their lives grow and roots extend, priorities change. For those of us who have been fans since we were teenagers, it’s as if we’re growing old together. There’s something comforting to that; like having an older brother you look up to, and finding out later in life you’re the same.

Perhaps this is all blindingly obvious. How this change trickles down to the dot net is simple: less for us to do.  Less music to track down, fewer files to rip and convert, less hacking into Ten Club. So, we’re around, just not like we used to be. And with that I’m off, I’m making my wife blueberry pancakes this morning; have you ever seen a hungry giant woman prone to mood swings? Oh that’s right, you have.

       

      4 Responses to Priorities and Pearl Jam

      1. dave says:

        That was great

      2. igotworms says:

        Huge Pearl Jam fan here, but I’d like to call into question your point about Soundgarden … King Animal was far superior to PJ’s last two efforts. In my humble opinion.

      3. Isaac says:

        King Animal is about twenty times better than anything PJ has put out in the past 10 years

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