New Thing #301: Lightning Bolt

PJ_On_FallonI haven't paid much attention to Pearl Jam in recent years. I remember Eddie Vedder did some solo stuff for some movies (I think the one with that guy who cut off his hand under that rock).

But the last time I had anything to do with Pearl Jam was when I bought Yield when I was in college back in 1998.

I liked that album - and believe it or not, that's the only Pearl Jam album I've ever bought.

But I think I'm buying this new one.

Now, don't get all riled up - of course I'm familiar with Pearl Jam's great early albums. I've listened to Ten with friends (and I'm pretty sure my wife owns it), and I think I've heard most of Vitalogy and Vs. And, you know, they're a band that gets a lot of radio play. So I knew them for my whole teenage-and-up life. I just didn't buy the albums...mostly because that was a time in my life where I didn't buy a lot of albums.

But I got Yield when I was at an age where I started to buy a lot of albums. I remember loving Wishlist the most.

And I knew a new Pearl Jam album was coming out recently...but I was reminded to check it out when FOX used some Pearl Jam music as a bump in from commercial during Game 1 of the World Series. It just brought this wave of nostalgia because I hadn't heard their music in so long.

Then I saw that Jimmy Fallon had 'Pearl Jam Week' on his show, and I watched the performances of Lightning Bolt (the title track from the album) and Sirens from his show. I liked them both.

I tend to think of Pearl Jam as dark. (That's what Jeremy played over and over on MTV will do to you, I guess.) These songs, though, seem light. Or lighter, at least.

And, man, they are a cool band. Aren't they? Here are two links to the songs I saw them do on Fallon - that is just one cool band.

I haven't listened to the album, though I will probably download it. One person who has, though (and one person who I think I gathered from Facebook has already seen them do a couple of live shows promoting the album), is my cousin Joann. I know few people more (or equally) passionate about a band than Joann is about Pearl Jam. (For reference: there's Justin and Bruce Springsteen, me and Billy Joel, my cousin Eddie and Huey Lewis and the News, to name a few.) So I asked for her thoughts. Her response was so well-written I just threw it here as a screen shot. Take it for what it's worth. (My caveat: I once thought Mark Sanchez was going to be a great quarterback. Sometimes love can be blind.)


Oh yeah - Forgot to mention - most of my cousins call me 'Johnny'.