Spin the Black Circle

Music journalist Travis Hay drops some knowledge and insight about local and national music news, offers reviews and offers a place for conversation on all things music.
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Posts Tagged ‘Pearl Jam’

Tres Mtns. record gets release date, band to tour

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

Tres Mts. — the band consisting of Pearl Jam’s Jeff Ament, Richard Stuverud from the Fastbacks and dUg Pinnick of King’s X — will release its debut album titled “Three Mountains” on March 8.

A few days after its release the band will embark on a brief tour that includes a March 16 date at Showbox at the Market. Ament’s Pearl Jam bandmate Mike McCready will be touring with the band. Tickets for the show go on presale Thursday (Feb. 3) at 10 a.m. over at ticketmaster.com.

The band announced its plans to release a record and tour last week and opted to give away a song for free download  instead of giving details of said album or tour. Since it’s release the song, “My Baby,” has been downloaded 10,000 times. In case you haven’t given the song a listen you can download it here.

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Pearl Jam throwing a festival in 2011?

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

Pearl Jam in Spain, 2009. Photo by Karen Loria

Looks like the first small details of how Pearl Jam plans to celebrate its 20th anniversary next year (outside of releasing a live album)  are beginning to slowly be revealed.

According to the band’s longtime manager Kelly Curtis the band is planning a festival to be held “somewhere in the middle of the country” during the summer of 2011.

Curtis mentioned the news of a Pearl Jam festival on Pearl Jam’s Sirius/XM Radio program. Unfortunately he did say the festival is being planned for a location that is not Seattle. However, knowing Pearl Jam and its love for its hometown there will be some celebrations happening locally. Hopefully that means something similar to this pipe dream of a festival proposed by a member of the Ten Club message boards.

While no details of the festival are known, one thing is for sure: 2011 will be a big year for Pearl Jam.


Stream Pearl Jam’s famous 1994 Atlanta concert

Wednesday, January 6th, 2010

Do you remember the first time you heard Pearl Jam’s 1994 concert from Atlanta’s Fox Theatre?

I do. I was sitting in my bedroom in my old hood of Shoreline with my ears attentively peeled to KNDD during a Monkeywrench Radio. If you’re not familiar with Monkeywrench Radio, it was an event when Pearl Jam would take over the airwaves of radio stations nationwide and broadcast various b-sides, live cuts and in-studio performances. This was before the Internet hit the mainstream (yes kids, there was such a time) so it was a pretty big deal for a band to do something like that back in the day. Anyway, I’m pretty sure the band played all of the Fox Theatre show during one of those broadcasts. Or at least I think they did. Correct me if I’m wrong Ten Clubbers.

Now you can listen to one of the more storied early Pearl Jam concerts anytime you like over at Wolfgang’s Vault where it is streaming for free. Hopefully the site will add more vintage PJ sets to its amazing catalog.


Why didn’t this happen in Seattle?: Pearl Jam performs in LA with Chris Cornell, Jerry Cantrell

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

In case you missed the news, Pearl Jam performed in LA last night and a few special guests dropped by for unexpected cameos.

The first was Chris Cornell who sang "Hunger Strike" with the band. The other guest was Jerry Cantrell who took over guitar duties from Mike McCready for "Alive." I understand Cornell and Cantrell are busy guys with their own tours and bands to deal with and it was likely pure coincidence that Pearl Jam happened to be in LA the same day as Chris and Jerry, but man why didn’t this happen in Seattle? Oh, and they also performed "Lukin" with a string quartet.

Videos of "Hunger Strike" and "Lukin" along with a snippet of "Alive" below. I can’t wait to get this bootleg.


Eddie Vedder gives 7-year-old boy & his father a night they’ll never forget

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

If you were at Pearl Jam’s concert Monday night you’ll recall Eddie Vedder pausing before “Off He Goes” to give a 7-year-old boy a guitar pick. That boy’s name is Matthew and he was attending his first ever concert with his father Jeff, who sent his story to me. This is their story, as written by Jeff Tuesday morning.   It is a story that doesn’t just convey the power of Pearl Jam, but the power of music in general. Be warned, it’s a tearjerker so have some Kleenex ready.

Tonight was an absolutely life changing night. Today I took my seven (almost eight) year old son to his first concert, of any type. I debated on it, but I really believed that he was ready to have this experience, to have it and hold it, and appreciate it for the rest of his life. He was ready. We got Backspacer in the mail Friday, and spent the weekend getting familiarized with it. He already is very in touch with the rest of the catalog, definitely has his favorites. But he is a new fan and, he really, really digs the newer stuff, mostly from the last twoalbums.

We got down to the arena about 5:30, we were going to check out Easy Street, and the pre party at TS McHugh’s, but I couldn’t resist, so we went to the 10c ticket window. And we got good news. Row seven. Dead center.Unbelievable. The greatest part of these seats was the fact that there was a wide aisle (maybe five feet wide?) directly to our left, we were on the aisle. And there were about three rows of people in front of us, so my son was able to just rock out, and see everything totally unobstructed. This could not have worked out better, it was meant to be.

Not one security guard said one thing about it. People were coming up left and right, high fiving him, jokingly asking if he wanted to trade seats with them. We both decided we wouldn’t have sold our seats for a million dollars. And that was before the first note was played.

We sit, and revel in these gifts from the heavens for awhile. What he said next really cracked me up. He said, “Dad, I’m just so excited. I feel like I can’t hold my feet still! And I have this feeling inside my stomach!” I was able to look at him and say that I felt the exact same way. I always do before a show. Now some people will say it was a waste of a five digit 10c numbered seat to bring a child, but this is a kid who somehow knows he is going to experience something special.

Ben Harper’s set was great, nice warmup. We play with the earplugs for the first couple songs, get them just right. Opener is Long Road, not something he’s really familiar with. I always dig it, though I’ve had it as an opener at least a couple times previously. Corduroy, and he is jacked. I made a point to familiarize him with the staples I guessed he would hear, and this was one. He’s totally smiling, and trying to figure out how to move somewhat rhythmically. Very entertaining. For the first time in my life, after 21 shows, I’m more entertained at the show by someone other than the five guys on stage!

Gonna See My Friend, again he is into it. One he said repeatedly he wanted to hear before the show. Singing along, I’m loving it. Got Some is another winner, same thing. Around this time, I notice Ed distinctly pointing at him, and connecting somehow. It seemed like he tried to throw him a guitar pick, but it went astray. It’s a thing I think it takes a parent to relate to. But there was just a lot of joy in that room, and my boy was immersed in goodness. Hail Hail / Amongst The Waves / Daughter. After daughter, he says “That’s it? What’s up with that?” There was no tag. That made me laugh too.

Evenflow and he gives me that look that any parent knows, like on their birthday when they open a gift that they really wanted, but really had no expectation of it actually showing up. Johnny guitar /Unthought Known / WWS. He was probably the only one there that didn’t notice the gaffes in WWS. He dug the avocado album, especially the upbeat stuff, so he’s happy. He got that look I see a lot of Tenclubbers get when they hear a song they almost somehow forgot about,but wanted to hear, and forgot they wanted to hear it!

Small Town. He is belting out the “I just want to scream hello,” and that was a special moment. I pull him close, and kinda just love on him like parents have to do at times. What happens next I still am having a hard time believing actually happened. My whole body just gets covered in goosebumps and I get the chills. Eddie goes down to one knee and says to the people in the first row, “Hey, could you do me a favor? I see there is a little boy up here in about the sixth or seventh row, could you hand this back to him?”

I can’t believe this is happening. He walks up the aisle, and it gets passed back. Ed asks, “What is he, about six or seven?” Seven, I yell back at him. Matthew is holding this guitar pick like it is a piece of gold. I hold him up, face to face with Ed, and my son tells him thank you. “What is this, about your fourteenth show?” Ed asks, jokingly. Whatever else happens tonight, this day is just unbelievable. There are no words to describe.

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Pearl Jam’s set list for 09.22.09 at KeyArena

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

Here’s the set list for Pearl Jam’s second night at KeyArena (they played the song that is this blog’s namesake. Awesome!) Review forthcoming:

Sometimes
Why Go
All Night
The Fixer
Dissident
Johnny Guitar
Faithful
Lukin
Not For You
No Way
Unthought Know
Unemployable
Comatose
Insignifigance
Present Tense
Got Some
Go

FIRST ENCORE
Just Breathe with the Octava String Quartet
The End with the Octava String Quartet
Black
In My Tree
Spin The Black Circle

SECOND ENCORE
Supersonic (with custom lyrics about the Seattle Supersonics)
Do The Evolution
The Real Me with the Syncopated Taint Horn Quartet
Porch
Yellow Ledbetter/Star Spangled Banner


REVIEW: Pearl Jam at KeyArena 09.21.09

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

Pearl Jam opened its U.S. tour at KeyArena Monday. The band continues its tour at the Key tonight. Below is review of Monday’s concert. Check back Wednesday for a review of tonight’s show.

KeyArena hosted one of the biggest record release shows Seattle has seen Monday night.

Hot off the release of Backspacer, its ninth studio album and best record in more than a decade, Pearl Jam threatened to tear the roof off the building and the band nearly did with its 27-song set filled with fan favorites and new songs destine to be classics in the Pearl Jam canon.

“Tonight’s kind of a special night for us,” Eddie Vedder told the capacity crowd Monday night. “We’re trying to get this rocket ship off the ground here.” By the end of the night the rock ‘n’ roll rocket ship that is Mike, Eddie, Stone, Jeff, Matt and Boom had reached the stratosphere.

Choosing “Long Road” to start things off was fitting considering the show served as the start to the U.S. tour kickoff for the venerable local icons. The lyric “We all take the long road” seemed to metaphorically signify both the beginning of the tour and sum up Pearl Jam’s career arc during the group’s near two-decade run as a band.

Once “Corduroy” was delivered as the follow-up song things were officially kicked into high gear. When Vedder sang “EVERYthing has changed. Absolutely nothing’s changed,” the words couldn’t have been truer. With a new set of tunes under their belt Pearl Jam felt like a relevant, fresh band ready to take on the world that just happened to be packing a catalog of hits everyone in the crowd could sing along to.

As for the rest of the band, Mike McCready was his usual bouncy, guitar-soloing self, running all over the stage, jumping at all the right times to punctuate his moments of guitar genius. Jeff Ament stood steady as one half of the best rhythm sections making music today. Stone Gossard is still the most underrated rhythm guitarist in rock and you can’t say enough about Matt Cameron’s ability behind the kit. The group’s unofficial sixth member, Boom Gaspar, chimed in when needed too with brilliant organ work. You could tell the new album had breathed new life into the Pearl Jam machine.

Speaking of Backspacer, the set was peppered with cuts from the album released one day prior to the show and the new songs were some of highlights of the show. “Gonna See My Friend” followed by “Got Some” opened the door for “Hail Hail” while “Amongst the Waves” fit perfectly prior to “Daughter” in the set. In all, eight of Backspacer’s 11 tracks were performed with many being played live for the first time.

Of course it wouldn’t be a Pearl Jam show without some mention of politics and Vedder took to the microphone to deliver a few messages, the first of which came with a bit of a comedic twist.

“I wasn’t going to bring anything up politically since we’ve got these new songs and all,” Vedder said before pausing to briefly acknowledge the national healthcare debate and taking a moment to say the band agrees with President Obama. However, it wasn’t necessarily a healthcare mandate the band favored.

“We too think Kanye West is a jackass.”

The other political message actually didn’t come from Vedder directly; rather it came from Krist Novaselic. Vedder told the crowd Krist called him recently and asked him to urge the crowd to not vote for Susan Hutchinson. It’s good to hear members of the old grunge guard are still in touch with one another.

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Everything you need to know about Pearl Jam’s Backspacer but were afraid to ask

Monday, September 14th, 2009

It’s no secret that I am a big Pearl Jam fan.

I operate a blog called Spin The Black Circle (which as you know, is not a Pearl Jam fansite), own a cat named Mookie and there are countless pictures of me all over the Internet in a blue and yellow Pearl Jam hat (which is my favorite accessory to wear). Given that information it should come as no surprise that I am excited beyond words about Backspacer, the band’s ninth studio record and its first independent release on its own Monkeywrench label.

Clocking in at 37 or so minutes, the record appears to be quick and dirty PJ and from what I’ve read the critics seem to like the album. The band is releasing the record in a myriad of formats ranging from vinyl to digital to ringtones to a special edition CD/video game combination. There’s even a special edition Backspacer t-shirt. All of this makes Backspacer one of the more intriguing releases of the year.

The album drops Sept. 20 one day prior to Pearl Jam’s kickoff of its U.S. tour at KeyArena. Here’s everything you need to know about Backspacer including info on a local release party and the record’s various formats.

First, here are the details on Backspacer itself:

The record will include what’s being called an “Ultimate Access Pass” which includes access to nearly five hours of additional audio content and allows access to preview 11 live bootleg recordings from past concerts. Backspacer owners will get to choose two of those bootleg concerts to download. The pass also allows access to future news and other updates from the band. The live shows being offered for download are: Halifax (22/09/05), Philadelphia (03/10/05), Santiago (21/11/05), Chicago (17/05/06), Grand Rapids (19/05/06), Camden (28/05/06), E Rutherford (06/03/06), San Francisco (16/07/06), New York (25/06/06), Hartford (27/06/08) and Mansfield (28/06/08)

Now the details on the record release party at Easy Street Records in West Seattle:

The store (located at 4559 California Ave SW # 200) is hosting a Backspacer Bash that starts Saturday at 9:30 p.m. and ends at 12:30 a.m. Sunday. At the bash you can listen to rare and live Pearl Jam as well as get a listen to Backspacer before buying it at midnight.

Also, if you bring in two non-perishable food items you will receive a free 2008 Pearl Jam tote bag while supplies last. Bring in five or more non-perishable food items and receive the tote bag and get entered to win some very cool PJ prizes including Pearl Jam Vs. Ames Bros. books, Live at Benaroya Hall vinyl, Eddie Vedder Live at Kenyon Hall poster and more. All the food items will be donated to the West Seattle Food Bank.

If you don’t want to stay up until midnight, here are some other ways you can get the record:

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Pearl Jam coming to KeyArena Sept. 21 and 22

Thursday, July 9th, 2009


If you are friends with Ear Candy on Facebook then you already knew this was happening, but the official announcement of Pearl Jam playing KeyArena in September was made today. The dates are Sept. 21 and 22 and tickets go on sale July 17. No word on costs yet. Opening for Pearl Jam is Ben Harper and Relentless7, a band that sounded really good at Sasquatch! and did an okay job closing the festival but I am guessing they are going to sound pretty crummy in the confines of KeyArena.Other PJ news of note is that “Backspacer,” the new album, will be released Sept. 20 and the first single “Got Some” is hitting radio July 20. Here’s the press release:

PEARL JAM ANNOUNCES NORTH AMERICAN TOUR DATES IN SUPPORT OF THEIR NEW STUDIO ALBUM, BACKSPACER

Backspacer in Stores September 20, 2009

Ben Harper and Relentless7 to Open All Dates Except Spectrum Shows

SEATTLE — Pearl Jam announced today that they will play a series of select North American tour dates in support of their ninth studio album, Backspacer. Scheduled for release in the U.S. on Sunday, September 20, 2009, the album will be released in the U.S. through Target, the exclusive mass retail partner, Pearl Jam’s own Ten Club and independent retailers, as well as online through digital, and gaming platforms yet to be announced. Internationally, the album will be available beginning on September 21, 2009 via Universal/Island Records. The first single, “The Fixer,” will be released at radio on July 20, 2009.

Pearl Jam’s North American dates kick-off in the band’s hometown of Seattle with two shows at Key Arena (September 21st and 22nd) and close with two concerts at Philadelphia’s historic Spectrum (October 28th and 30th).

Ben Harper and Relentless7 will open all dates except for the Spectrum shows.

Public tickets for Pearl Jam’s Spectrum shows will go on-sale Friday, July 17th at 10 a.m. EST through ComcastTIX at www.ComcastTIX.com, by calling 1-800-298-4200, in person at the Wachovia Complex box office or select Acme Markets and at www.LiveNation.com. The remaining announced North American dates will go on-sale Saturday, July 18th. Specific ticket on-sale times and locations will be announced in local markets. (Note: Potential additional dates and corresponding on-sale information may be announced at a later date.)

A special ticket pre-sale for current members (as of July 7, 2009) of Pearl Jam’s Ten Club begins Monday, July 13th. Visit www.pearljam.com for full details.

Pearl Jam plans to tour Australia and New Zealand in November 2009. Full details on that leg of the tour will be announced in the coming weeks.

Pearl Jam’s North America Concert Dates are as Follows:

DATE CITY VENUE

Sep-21 Seattle, WA Key Arena

Sep-22 Seattle, WA Key Arena

Sep-30 Los Angeles, CA Gibson Amphitheatre

Oct-1 Los Angeles, CA  Gibson Amphitheatre

Oct-6 Los Angeles, CA  Gibson Amphitheatre

Oct-7 Los Angeles, CA  Gibson Amphitheatre

Oct-9 San Diego, CA Viejas Arena

Oct-28 Philadelphia, PA The Spectrum

Oct-30 Philadelphia, PA The Spectrum

Pearl Jam’s North American tour dates are in addition to the band’s previously announced headlining performances at the Virgin Festival in Calgary, Alberta (Aug 8), Rotterdam’s Sportspaleis Ahoy (Aug 13), Berlin’s Wuhlheide (Aug 15), Manchester Evening News Arena (Aug 17), London’s 02 Arena (Aug 18), Toronto’s Molson Amphitheatre (Aug 21), Chicago’s United Center (Aug 23 & 24), San Francisco’s Outside Lands Festival (Aug 28) and Austin City Limits Festival (Oct 4). Full list of dates available at www.pearljam.com.


VIDEO: Pearl Jam debuts “Fixer” on The Tonight Show With Conan O’Brien

Monday, June 1st, 2009

There’s been lots of exciting news coming out of the Pearl Jam camp lately. There’s the Pearl Jam Rock Band video game project set for release next year. There’s the news of a partnership with Target and other outlets for distribution of the band’s upcoming album “Backspacer,” which is set for release this fall. And of course there’s band premiering a song from that record live on the first episode of “The Tonight Show With Conan O’Brien.”


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Music journalist Travis Hay drops some knowledge and insight about local and national music news, offers reviews and offers a place for conversation on all things music.