January, on the Western hemisphere, typically winter, ice cold, but also fresh and clear, a new breath, a new beginning. Time to evaluate, make amends, set the record straight, kill bad habits, strive for new and better ones, set a new pace, fire up the engine, and go.
Such a typical topic for a number of Pearl Jam songs, in different shapes and forms packed with anger, love, hope and dreams. Always about facing and acknowledging the past and with that moving forward for stronger ideals, goals and dreams. Not just for oneself but for all of us together, whether on a private scale, or as far as the big global agendas.
Here's some of the PJ songs, which totally does that for me:
Being in a crowd of a PJ show, no matter what size and where on Planet Earth; when Eddie sings 'Release' and continues with 'me', we all know it's not about him, it's about all of us. So simple, strong and powerful. And once released, free and ready to conquer the World.
'Drop the leash, get out of my f..... face'... Says it all. Ed can do it, I can do it, you can do it, we can do it. Drop the Leash.
Rearview Mirror (Vs)
The best up-tempo 4.44 minutes ever recorded, with such rage, will, power and intensity. Not exactly turning the other cheek, but the ultimate 'Don't you f... with me, ever again' attitude. A volcano of clarity, pain, energy, self belief and determination.
Present Tense (No Code)
For every fresh start, for every new beginning, nothing is more important than to be in the 'now'. Not the past, not the future, but the present tense, right here, right now. This fabulous, truly spiritual tune, totally dominated by Ed's voice and words, and Mike's guitar lines, is one of the many hidden treasures in this bands great catalog.
Can't Keep (Riot Act)
This fine little intense and melancholic tune, featured on Riot Act, as well as Ukulele songs, has a kind of spiritual feel, almost as portraying micro-organisms in an Ecosystem identifying organic movements and patterns. In my perspective familiar to Sometimes, the opening song of No Code, and the entire feel on that record. As well as organic Eco-systems, individuals are free spirits. 'I will live forever, you can't keep me here'.
Life Wasted (Pearl Jam)
For the eponymous 'Avocado' record, I did an interview with Edved which content, subjects and atmosphere feels as fresh, important and present as ever, here close to 13 years further down the road. Life, death, love, understanding, pain and passion. There will always be a before and after, but the Roskilde accident didn't kill Pearl Jam and especially not their vibe and spirit. How ever deep the tragedy, new relations, friendships, based on mutual trust, understanding and love had blossomed and has continued to do so ever since. The power, will and unity to believe and continue, no matter how brutal the demons and challenges, is expressed here in Stone's fine, edgy tune. The pure power and will to live. 'I've tasted a life wasted, and I'm never going back again'.
Do the Evolution (Yield)
The words to this live-favorite, talks of the unavoidable concept of evolution and how much shit 'The white man' has created on earth. Understanding history and the underlying dynamics - biologically as well as man made - we can change the pattern and the future. It's evolution baby.
Future Days (Lightning Bolt)
At the time of writing, the last album song released from Seattle's finest. Pearl Jam has never been about glossy romanticism or fluffy optimism, lacking insight and realism, but has faced and confronted internal as external lies and demons. This is fully expressed in words, music, actions, attitude and behavior since day one. So when Eddie trusts and believes in future days, you truly trust and believe him.
To new beginnings! To future days.