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All Encompassing Trip (“AET”) is a roundtable chat hosted by the Rob (Rob Bleetstein) and Tim Bierman (head of the Ten Club) which focuses on the Pearl Jam topic du jour. The show airs on Sirius Radio’s “Pearl Jam Station” for one hour and new episodes have a habit of airing weekly; or at least that’s how it started. Eventually, AET began to see new episodes less frequently. But why? Well, your pals goof and gremmie are here to explain. Here’s the top 5 reasons there’s no AET this week.
We’re not naming names because it could be libelous; what we know is through second hand accounts. While we trust our sources, sometimes a guy has one too many apple-tinis and embellishes the facts, you know? The dirt goes like this: the Skateboard bet Glasses McGee he could get the Chicago Kid to write a song about Ex-Lax. Glasses McGee thought it was impossible; he was so confident in fact that he wagered AET, Glasses McGee’s pet project. The Skateboard leapt at the opportunity because he thought AET was ridiculous, calling the show a weekly fan wank-a-thon; he’d be glad to see it die on the vine. This wager was one in a long string of gambles for the Skateboard. Remember the Whale Song? A bet between Mr. Shakes and the Skateboard on who could go bald quicker. The show in the Phillipines? Wager between the Skateboard and Bruisey on who could eat more fish tacos in 5 minutes.
The Skateboard eventually won the AET bet with the help of Matt Cameron. See, Cameron wrote music for a song that ended up becoming Evacuation. The title is a dead giveaway. Evacuation refers to the loosening of one’s bowels as a result of Ex-Lax. What goof and I wonder is how the Skateboard convinced the Chicago Kid to write about such a crass topic.
2. Because the Ten Club requires employees to follow the Mayan calendar.
According to the Mayan long-count calendar, December 21st, 2012 marks the end of the world. Towards the bottom of the second page of the job application for the Ten Club, right below the “What do you think of Riot Act?” question, it asks “Would you be willing to worship the Mayan religion and their gods? No travel required.” Those who check the “No” box are immediately thrown into the “don’t call us, we’ll call you” pile. But the question stands out as an oddity.
Remember that video where Ed claimed he was part Indian (feather, not dot)? He has since debunked it himself, but back then had himself so completely fooled that he even started to believe in their religion. He claimed he was part Cherokee, but after reading up on their gods found them pretty boring. It was like the scene from South Park with Joseph Smith and the Mormons. He switched to the Mayans after talking with Mel Gibson (Ed LOVED “Apocalypto“). As Ed wrestled power away from Stone and became leader of the band, he weaved his Mayan beliefs into the fabric of the Ten Club, going so far as to require everyone who works there to worship their brand of god-babble.
What’s this got to do with AET? Well if you believed the world was going to end in a few months, wouldn’t you have better things to do?
Did you know that goof and gremmie both have crushes on Star Anna? If not, then you’re either blind or can’t read. If you can’t read, well then that’s your fault isn’t it? Maybe pick up a phonics textbook? If you are blind however, we’re doubly sorry because you can’t feast your eyes on this. Don’t get me started on the deaf. We’d like to be able to say “we knew her when” but the truth is we didn’t. Like most gremmies, goof and I got our first taste of Star Anna at PJ20 where she played this song and made the phrase “tough act to follow” gospel. Even employees of the Ten Club were floored by Star Anna (we literally saw Rob Bleetstein topside in the dirt with foam oozing out of his mouth).
Since then, they have been working – I say “they” but what I really mean is Ten Club Labs LLC, Pearl Jam’s Research & Development arm – they have been working to distill Star Anna down to liquid form to sell to members of the Ten Club as a moxie serum. You know the pitch: one dose will turn you into a sultry, bluesy sex-maven capable of setting even the coldest hearts aflame. Turns out those tacky Eddie Vedder zippo lighters aren’t selling as well as they’d hoped. And Stone’s European castle mortgage isn’t going to payitself.
4. Tim and the Rob need a break from the trolls.
On the January 6th, 2011 episode of AET Tim Bierman had this to say in response to a call-in question (see also: complaint) about the new tiered membership structure: “I would rather be nice to the nice people, than to the assholes on there (the forum)”.
In 2008 he posted and was reportedly banned by the moderator Kat in response to fans unhappy with the artwork for the recent crop of posters: “We get it. Some people don’t like some of the posters. Do we have to come on here with such negativity? If you don’t like it, don’t get it. I’m REALLY sick of assholes who think they’re critics…”
Now, Goof and I met Tim Bierman at PJ20. He seemed like a nice guy. He came over to say hello to us and our pal Dirty Mike on what Mike calls the tardo deck (Dirty Mike rocks crutches on account of spina bifida). Everyone has bad days. I’m sure if someone decided to yank two pull-quotes from your past it would be as easy to make you look like a hero as it would a villain. Tim’s got an important job from a fan’s perspective. He’s the prime minister of one small, intense world. It also makes him a lightning rod. Get zapped enough times, you’d need a break too.
There’s nothing to talk about that can’t be put into a 3 sentence update on pearljam.com. Go to the archives on gremmie radio and listen to an episode of AET. Do you hear that? It’s boredom. There’s not much to talk about after a few episodes and guest DJ’s. When JR and I hosted the show in December 2010 it quickly became clear that like most radio shows, AET is filled with the fluff of long talkers. You know the type. The gremmie that calls in to tell their life story, goes off on a couple of tangents, and can’t find his way home. My wife does this sometimes, stating (to her own amusement) “long story longer” and then spiraling into details not pertinent to the story. PJ Radio isn’t the only girl at the dance though, most radio shows have similar models.
AET was cool at inception because it created a line of communication between a legion of fans and the fanclub. But there’s only so many things to talk about. It’s like a blind date that goes on longer than it should. Sure you’re both polite at first and there are requisite topics to discuss, but after a little while you’re both checking your phones wondering what’s taking your entrees so long to come out. Sooner or later you text your friend the “get out of jail password”, the friend calls the restaurant pretending to be an emergency and you’re out like trout, before the trout even hits the table.
thanks to B for the idea