Big Hard Sun

1 Jul


“When I was around 15 or 16… I felt all alone… I was all alone—except for music.”

-Eddie Vedder

Life is an amalgam of beauty, wanderlust and longing. Dreamers are not allowed a whole lot of hope. But when we stumble upon the genius and a glorious life that goes by the name Eddie Vedder, the hope is found and dreams reignited. He has had a long journey from the early Seattle Grunge Scene where Pearl Jam found their voice in Riot Act to the pensive lonesome wandering fire of Into the Wild and now the mellow hopeful Ukulele Songs. In the truly “I am mine” spirit, Eddie Vedder celebrated 20 years of music in his hometown of Chicago this week with nothing short of atleast 4 kinds of string instruments including acoustic and electric guitars, cellos and the tiny but the mightiest of all, the ‘Ukulele’.

King Jeremy the wicked, Ruled his world

If there is one shining bright musical achievement in Rock history that can never be forgotten, it has to be the emergence of the Seattle Sound, the music that led to the first fight we had with our parents for playing angry music loud. The stripped down torn jean fad, growling melodies of Nirvana, Soundgarden, Mother Love Bone and the record breaking, culture killing ‘Ten’ album of Pearl Jam. Coming of Age, with his troubled past and rich baritone voice, Edward Louis Severson III went where all roads lead : to California, and had his first long gig in Bad Radio. Moving on to better music under the tutelage of Mother Love Bone he served as the front man to Temple of the Dog, which I consider some really original music starting the flame that would soon become Pearl Jam.

But this is not a Wikipedia biography on Seattle Grunge. It is about Pearl Jam making the brilliant music we all know : the unforgettable Jeremy in Ten, hard rocking sophomore Vs, grammy winning Spin the Black Circle in Vitalogy, loss of the original band and coming to terms with the success thrown on their shoulders in No Code, the wishful Yield (I love the album artwork), experimental and innovative Binaural, followed by the definitive, opinionated and angry Riot Act, self titled Pearl Jam. Phew! That was not only a long sentence, but a long road from self discovery, to evolution for our existential and constant questioning hero from 1991 to 2006.

Lets get into perspective here, I was like 7 when Pearl Jam rocked the world. I heard them for real, like pre-ordered the album when they released Backspacer in 2009, mostly curious about how he would sound being back in the Pearl Jam scene, after being unparallel as a soloist in the Golden Globe winning Into the Wild soundtrack. And it seemed as good as new, the video featurette ‘Backspacer Short’ included in the album is worth a watch if you ever plan on changing your religion lol.

Keep setting forth in the universe
The year 2007 changed my life. Unlike a Jack Keroac sort of awakening, I spent my 18th birthyear wandering in the Himalayas much like Alexander Supertramp is in Alaska in Into the Wild. The difference being I didn’t destroy my Ipod but touched the source of Ganga (Gangotri) after walking for 3 days, listening to Eddie Vedder’s voice like this prophet guiding me along the way. Its crazy how his voice has reached places he may never have, and been a part of people’s life he doesn’t know just like Supertramp in the movie. Every song is an honest thought, questioning the world, society, the infectious happiness of an adventurer, the fear of the wanderer who belongs nowhere, the life circle of losing yourself and finding yourself. Summed up in the words of the solo effort (vocals, music, instruments, recording direction, production, etc.) of Eddie
“I wont be the last, I wont be the first.
Find a way to the where the sky meets the earth…”
-End of the Road
The album will remain as music’s greatest achievement for centuries to come.
Last month, he supplemented the effort with the Ukulele songs. Much of last four years have seen a revival in the use of the mini string instrument. All songs are cover songs of love, longing and wishful thinking featuring Longing to Belong, Dream a Little Dream, Can’t Keep, Broken Heart sung in a deep baritone supported by soft strings of the Ukulele.
Disclaimer: Don’t listen to this album if you have any kind of emotional crisis. You will cry.

I won’t wait for answers, you can’t keep me here

Yes, I saw him LIVE Yesterday!! Yes, I was in the mosh-pit right in front of the stage singing Hard Sun loudly and dancing to the cover of Rocking in a Free World.. Setlist included Pearl Jam Favorites I am Mine, Porch, Unthought Known, Better Man, Elderly Woman Behind Counter etc. Opening act was the Academy Award Winning Irish artist Glen Hansard (we hoped Ben Harper would join too as he is in town for the weekend, but weekdays can be bad for concerts). A brilliant rendition of the Oscar winning Falling Slowly gave everyone shivers. Opening performance, humble beginnings story telling, quacks at the old run down Chicago Theater later we learnt that 5 joints would cost only 10 dollars in the 1980s in Chicago, lol. Starting the set with Tolumne, followed by Rise, Garunteed, Society(duet with Hansard) and then moving from Ukulele favorites, to Pearl Jam, to the powerful Arc and Springsteen covers later Vedder returned to an encore with the greatest song ever written “Hard Sun”. Not wanting to leave, feeling blissful on returning home after wandering for years he ended the brilliant night with Dream a little Dream of me.

If you like Eddie Vedder, thanks for reading. If you don’t know Eddie Vedder, well thanks for reading. But wherever you are and whatever you are caught in right now; when you are done running for your life I hope you find peace in the words of Guarunteed like Vedder seems to find: ‘I knew all the rules but the rules did not know me’

Have fun with my bad video skills :

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Anushree feels the world needs to shut up when they go to a concert and listen. She wishes she had a sound remote for human beings, they seem to talk way too much about nothing important all the time.. Anushree is spending all her money and needs to get paid for this blog. Any money, concert tickets, Avengers Comics are encouraged to be donated to her.
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5 Responses to “Big Hard Sun”

  1. Ayishwariya B July 1, 2011 at 6:03 am #

    reminds me of the good old days.thank you for introducing me to MUSIC it has been a part of my life eversince

  2. Ayishwariya B July 1, 2011 at 6:04 am #

    reminds me of the good old days.thank you for introducing me to MUSIC it has been a part of my life ever since

    • anushreejazzz July 1, 2011 at 10:32 pm #

      You are my only friend Ash! everyone else I have introduced to good music do not think the way you do lol.

      Can’t wait to hang in your room and listen to loud music while you are drafting ❤

  3. Lester July 10, 2011 at 3:08 pm #

    That’s some bad quality… but good info. Keep it comin’… Who said you get tired of Music after some time?… not me… No!

  4. anushreejazzz July 14, 2011 at 12:44 am #

    Yeah, hard to record when people around you are drunk, but glad to share some good music.. Thanks for the comment Lester 🙂

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