Saturday, December 30, 2006

I'm the first mammal to wear pants, yeah

#10 - Live On Two Legs (Pearl Jam) 1998

I wrestled with this one for a long time...Admittedly not an "original" Pearl Jam fan, my first encounter with Mookie Blalock was a "Ten" t-shirt worn frequently by a girl in high school that I wanted to date (but never did). Fast forward to the spring semester of my sophmore year in college where a new roommate carried a dusty collection of "old" Pearl Jam albums, including this gem. Always a fan of the grunge, Ten hit me like news of a long-lost brother: How could I have missed this in my high school years? How sheltered was I? Spending weeks listening and sifting through his collection, I was mezmerized by Vedder's "highly distinctive timbre" and the raw, live energy that was captured on this album. How I wish I could have seen Pearl Jam live during their heyday! Several of the songs on "Two Legs" sound best captured here live, but none more than Do The Evolution, which loses it's true angst when it is distorted and disfigured on Yield. It's as brilliant a song (and as scary) as Off He Goes is beautiful, and ironically I put Vedder up there with Sting as some of the most vivid story tellers in music. Pearl Jam was (is?) a true existential band, always emotional, in the moment, never leaving anything on the table. That's exactly how I enjoy this album...
Top Tracks: Hail Hail, Red Mosquito, Off He Goes, Betterman

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