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November 13, 2020 - Buckle Up

Hi Brad and Brad, I will forever think of Will Ferrell as Gene Frenkle playing the wood block when I listen to Buckle Up.  Maybe someday, we'll get a follow up where Pearl Jam is recording with Bruce Dickenson and they invite a special musician to play the wood block (Gene) in the studio.  I can see it already.  Bruce has a fever and the only prescription is MORE WOOD BLOCK! I've taken to the Porch message boards to try to gain some perspective on the lyric to Buckle Up.  One thing surfaced in my brain, especially when thinking about the "a boy on her lap, a murderer groomed" line.  So here goes my conspiracy theory.  What if Buckle Up is meant to be a prequel to the Mamason trilogy?  I may be way off base here, but what if this is the hospital scene after the mother gets away from the biological father and her son witnessing her recovery in a hospital, but is too young to remember this later in life? I'm very sure this is not where Stone was going with this song,
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October 26, 2020: Three Days and Not Much Longer

  Hi Jessi and Kate, I second your comments on how difficult it is to only listen to Last Exit and not find yourself wanting to hear the rest of Vitalogy.  It's strange, because I don't really find myself doing that with any of their other records.  Vitalogy continues to grow on me in my elder years.  I think what it is with Vitalogy and some other albums I love are filler tracks.  A couple of the Beastie Boys records (Paul's Boutique and Ill Communication) have become recent favorites for the same reason.  The filler tracks seem to really glue together the track listing, which I think Vitalogy may benefit from considering you would probably lose your hearing a lot faster having Dave A. destroy his drum kit for 11-12 tracks straight.  As I am writing this email, I am "Spinning the Black Circle" on a new record player table my wife got me for my birthday. ​ I'm not sure of the exact timeline of when the lyrics to Last Exit were written, but it is really coincid

October 17, 2010: RIP Mozart for Guitar

Hi Brad and Brad, I first want to mention that I can't remember the last time I laughed as hard as I did while listening to you two and Clint Wells go on about spoonfuls of flour and uncooked spaghetti.  I almost had to pull my car over as I was driving home during that part of the episode!   Since Eddie Van Halen passed away on October 6th, I've been listening to a lot of Van Halen.  I didn't really get into them until 10-15 years ago, but I consider them to be one of my favorite bands of all-time.  Eddie was truly an innovator on shredding guitar solos and may be my favorite lead guitarist ever.  I saw Mike's comment on Pearl Jam's Twitter feed referencing how he began playing guitar shortly after their first record came out.  He goes so far to say "it sounded like Eddie was from another planet" and "Eddie was like Mozart for guitar.  Changed everything and he played with Soul." I know the guys have covered Van Halen here-and-there and I looked

September 22, 2020: No Way

Hi Branden, I just listened to your episode with Ryan Bauer on going over "No Way." When I was looking to sign up for a track off of Yield, "No Way" was actually my first choice.  I was pretty surprised to see it wasn't available when I gave my top 3.  To be honest, I'm really glad Ryan came on for this episode.  He seems to have had a great appreciation for this song since it came out in 1998.  What really caught my attention was comparing the message of the song to be in-line with the war with Ticketmaster.  The band, and namely Stone, took on "the man" and unfortunately weren't able to make a difference.  I'm not sure if this was accurate, but I believe that period of Pearl Jam was highly contentious and I am sure taking on Ticketmaster added onto the stress.  It's as if Stone wrote this song to say, I'm going to just focus on what I love most and that's making music.  The line "Let's call in an angel," does ha

September 8, 2020: Vitalogy Take 2

Hi Brad and Brad, I'd like to get this out of the way first.  My favorite Robert Redford movie is "The Sting," with "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" as a close second.  I mean c'mon, 90's Redford?  I'll take 70's Redford anyday *swoon.*  Someone posted a pretty cool poll on The Porch last month, titled " Favorite Opening Four Songs ." If I had voted on this poll without seeing the listing of the first four tracks on each record, I would have gone with Yield.  However, seeing each tracklisting side-by-side, I had a change of heart.  When I placed my vote, I went with Vitalogy.  "Not for You" is hands down in my top 5 of their catalog and I have always considered it to be a musical masterpiece.  I enjoyed "Last Exit" and "Spin," but I can say this about several of their songs...after catching onto your podcast it has given me a bigger appreciation for certain songs like "Last Exit." What put Vit

August 27, 2020: A Long 6 Weeks

 Hi Jessi and Kate, I don't know what I am going to do until the week of October 22nd.  What I am confident of is that I will definitely be feeling all of the withdrawals.  When you were listing off the songs you covered in Season 2, I had forgotten almost half of the list were discussed.  I hope all goes well with your upcoming move, Jessi and that record store day(s) help out your store in a big way.  Kate, I hope things continue to stay where they are in NY with COVID over the next couple of months.  It looks like the state of New York has kept cases down drastically compared to the Spring, I can only hope they continue through the fall. You guys both named off 3 songs you would consider covering in Season 3, and it got me wanting to throw my suggestions into the ring as well.  I could come out and say "Don't Gimmie No Lip" so I can hope to get some hot takes from Kate, which were similar to those of Jessi on "Parachutes." Where would that song rank on th

August 16, 2020: Live Songs from Riot Act

Hi Brad and Brad, Both you two and the girls on The Porch have recently touched on Riot Act's popularity amongst the other studio albums in the catalog.  One point you guys brought up was the fact there aren't many songs on Riot Act you would want to see live.  That got me thinking, if there is any correlation between my favorite studio albums and which tracks I have enjoyed seeing live or would want to see live.  I recently reordered my favorite albums, except for Gigaton because it's too early for me to place it.  I'm certain it will end up in the top half of my list, but I'm going to give it the rest of the year to see if the track list continues to grow on me or starts to fade.  I listed out each tracklist from each album and marked off which tracks I want to see live.  There isn't a direct correlation between my two favorites (Yield and No Code), however the amount of tracks I would consider to be a "piss break" increases by a lot once I get to Ri

August 2, 2020: Parachutes: This Dinky Thing (Read on the Porch, Episode 64)

Hi Jessi and Kate, I have to say that Episode 63 was one of the more entertaining discussions you two have had on a Pearl Jam song.  It certainly brought out a side of Jessi I hadn't seen yet, and I'm curious to know what song does the same thing to Kate, if at all.  Jessi, I am curious as to the other three songs you mentioned that you have no affinity for.  You definitely came out swinging the first 10-15 minutes of going over Parachutes, so much that after listening to you and Kate on Apple Podcasts, I had to go back and watch on YouTube.  The second time around, I ended up taking notes on some blunt, but thought-provoking comments made by each of you.  Here are some of my favorites: Jessi compared Parachutes to a "very bad Beatles song." Jessi: "There are these big massive songs on Avocado and then you get to this dinky thing." Jessi's analogy of Parachutes to when " you go to the fair and you ride on nothing but roller coasters and then you ge

July 23, 2020: Sometimes I Burn Like a Dot on the Sun (Read on the Porch, Episode 63)

Hi Jessi and Kate, I started to really get into Pearl Jam just after they released Riot Act.  However, it was one of the last of their records I listened to as I was collecting their catalog.  I'm not sure why some of the community will go as far to say they dislike Riot Act, but I think for many it's not so much hated as it is overlooked.  Maybe it's because the tracks that seldom get discussed like Cropduster, Get Right, Ghost and Help Help, seem to not hold up as strongly as the "lesser tracks" on many of their other records.  Don't get me wrong, I enjoy pretty much every track on Riot Act, but I rarely find myself putting any of those songs on a playlist.  I actually got the Live at the Garden DVD before I bought Riot Act.  At that time I didn't know many of the tracks other than Save You and I Am Mine.  You Are really stood out when I first watched Live at the Garden, and it still continues to.  It was my favorite performance out of the setlist from t

July 12, 2020: Ultimate Track List (Read on SPT Episode 145)

Hi Brad and Brad, and Jate and Kessi, Tremendous idea by Michael Glendon.  This was a really fun thought experiment and I enjoyed hearing your 12-track lists.  I know this wasn't meant to be a contest between you four on who had the "best" track list, but if I were to pick a favorite of mine it would be Kate's.  As I've gotten older I have come to enjoy more eclectic music and I love the fact she starts with Dance and ends with Hard to Imagine.  I never would have thought to book end a tracklist with those, but they both work so well.  Kate Jessi Brad L. Brad B. Dance of the Clairvoyants Wasted Reprise Last Exit Last Exit You Are Life Wasted Hail, Hail Hail, Hail In My Tree Save You Blood Tremor Christ Wishlist Sad In My Tree Alive Tremor Christ Tremor Christ Do the Evolution Black Hail, Hail In My Tree Present Tense Rearviewmirror O

June 29, 2020: Won't Hold Us Down (Read on the Porch, Episode 61)

Hi Jessi and Kate, I just finished spinning Gigaton for the first time in weeks.  This was largely motivated by your discussion on River Cross.  One thing I love about Pearl Jam's albums are their closers.  More often than not, they are a slow burn with a lot of deep meaning.  River Cross is the deepest closer since Indifference, in my opinion.  We need to make sure to keep wearing down Brad Blazek so that someday he'll actually give the song a chance. I don't have a lot to say about River Cross, because I felt you guys did this track justice.  The only thing I want to point out is how incredibly jarring and ironic this lyric is to me.  I honestly didn't realize it until listening to your episode on the track.  It encompasses everything happening right now. Folded over, forced in a choke hold Outnumbered and held down All of this talk of rapture Look around at the promise NOW,... Here and now For any of those who are feeling hopeless right now, keep saying to yourse

June 27, 2020: My Favorite Trinity of Tracks (Read on SPT Episode 143)

Hi Brad and Brad, I've said this many times, but Vs. is still the only record where I can honestly say there is no skippable track for me.  It's not my favorite record, but it's still their most solid from start-to-finish.  Sometimes when I have a 15-20 minute drive from one place to the next, I'll put on W.M.A. and listen through Rearviewmirror.  The only other sequence of three songs that is rivaling this trilogy of tracks for me is on Gigaton strangely enough, and I have two different options from that record (Who Ever Said through Dance, Superblood through Quick Escape). What I love about this sequence is that after the first five tracks, which sound very alternative rock for that era (including BradB's favorite track Dissident), you get a very new sound in W.M.A. that you would not have expected from the band at this time.  I literally could play W.M.A. on repeat the entire day and never get sick of it.  Then you transition into what I consider to be the hardes

June 22, 2020: Insignificance

Hi Jessi and Kate, I'm about 8 months late on writing about Insignificance, but I felt compelled to do so because I have been on a serious Binaural binge over the past couple of weeks.  I remember you guys covering this song, but didn't realize it was all the way back on Halloween of last year !  This was arguably one of your best episodes, because you two really dissected this track from the music and the lyrics as thoroughly as any song you've covered.  I've liked Insignificance, but never considered it a track that I could get close to.  Then again, I could say that about a lot of Binaural until now.  Ironically, there are a lot of political and humanistic situations all berating us at once, which I've found Binaural to put into music very bluntly.  There are so many angles I could take on giving my take on Insignificance.  One thing I disagree with you both on, is that I think this is one of the more eclectic songs on the record.  The music is probably the most

June 20, 2020: Binaural

Hi Brad and Brad, First, I want to wish both of you in advance a Happy Father's Day.  I hope you both and your families are doing okay with everything going on around us right now.  I wanted to write to you guys about Binaural.  It's somewhat interesting how I found myself diving further into this record.  It started with Jessi and Kate covering "Sad" on the Porch podcast, then finding myself getting hooked on " Grievance " more for how the song is hitting me during the Black Lives Matter movement.  Binaural has always been an overlooked record for me.  What I appreciate so much about this record is the production by Tchad Blake.  What I appreciate so much about this band is how from Vitalogy to Binaural, you can pretty much single out each record very distinctly as each has a different emphasis in the making of the record.  Before I go into my opinions on the track list, would it be possible to have Brad B pronounce this word for me? Ethereal ( əˈTHirēəl)

June 17, 2020: Black Lives Matter

Hi Branden, I just listened to your Intermission episode from Season 4 .  A lot of what you said is what I needed to hear right now.  Racial discrimination has been an issue that has bothered me for as long as I realized it existed.  One thing you mentioned was the fact that the individuals who don't want to believe in White Privilege (I refuse to put that in quotes anymore, because it insinuates it's not real) want to see those fighting wear themselves out.  This week has been difficult, because I have felt burnt out.  I hadn't engaged with the people who are in denial of White Privilege until Monday of this week.  The main reason why I want to do the episode on Grievance is how I feel the lyric, especially the chorus, strikes a nerve with the peaceful protesting of Colin Kaepernick.  I have a subscription to The Athletic and read a story titled, " Roger Goodell and players have spoken. Now, an action plan for what comes next." Normally, I don't

June 4, 2020: Grievance (Read on The Porch, Episode 58)

Hi Jessi and Kate, I am admittedly behind on your episodes, but I did take the chance to listen to your episode on the song "Sad." To premise this, I have found it difficult to stay connected with the things I have enjoyed the most since the pandemic started and now after the death of George Floyd.  I've found that music and especially Pearl Jam has always been therapeutic when I have faced times of distress, but it was more personal than global.  The infamous image of what occurred in Minneapolis is burned into my memory.  A lot of outcry we are seeing was ignited on Memorial Day, but there have been countless other times in this country's history we have gone through the viscous circle of pushing back against the equality of our society and then things calming down and seemingly going back to a status quo.  Racism and inequality has struck a nerve with me most of my life and it's long overdue for so many of us to look in the mirror.  Strangely enough, &