Tuesday, November 05, 2013

With the ever after

"The most important thing is to be able to see who you are at the current time, in the present tense. Because there's just no guarantees. I'm just trying to be as strong as I can for my kids, for my family. I can't see looking into the future. I just want to be alive."
- Eddie Vedder [Interview with Billboard, 10-19-2013]

It's no secret to people who know me that I'm a huge fan of Pearl Jam. Their CD "Ten" was one of the first CDs I ever bought. I've got rare acoustic sets and live concerts and have listened to their music in good times and bad, late work nights and road trips. To a degree, I can look back at a lot of pivotal moments in my life and remember listening to a specific song of theirs during that time. (Hey Stapleton, you remember us talking about the soundtrack to Into the Wild when it first hit?)

One of the things I really dig about them is their lyrics. Write a song with a great guitar riff and I'll happily listen to it and enjoy it, but if the lyrics suck, it's only going to go so far with me. It's why I like bands like The Avett Brothers, The Gaslight Anthem, The Cure, Nine Inch Nails, and The Black Keys. 

Pearl Jam's recent release, "Lightning Bolt" is one hell of a CD. From the opening of "Infallible", I was hooked and when I heard "Sirens" for the first time, I was completely blown away. 

Oh, I could take your hand, and feel your breath.
For feel that someday will be over.
I pull you close, so much to lose.

Knowing that nothing lasts forever,
I didn’t care, before you were here.
I danced in laughter, with the ever after.
But all things change. Let this remain.

Hear the sirens covering distance in the night.
The sound, echoing closer, will they come for me, next time?"

I'm not ashamed to say the song made me glassy-eyed the first time I heard it. And again, for the next several times. I love the impact great music can have. (thanks Doug... you've shown me that time and time again). 

Of all the bands or musicians I've listened to, I think Eddie Vedder is the one I most closely resonate with and can relate to. He's the kind of person I'd really like to pull up a chair, grab a cold beer and shoot the shit with for a while. His outlook on life seems to align with mine pretty closely even though I've never set foot on a surfboard, know and love my father very much, and never played in front of thousands of people (though there's a blog post on here somewhere about me singing live for an audience of several hundred or so as my mother played guitar, but that's another story entirely).

I read his recent interview in Billboard magazine. It was a decent interview talking about the new release and the themes and underlying ideas behind shaping the CD. But the end of the interview... those last words in it by Vedder himself... yeah. I suppose the most important thing is to see yourself in the current time. He's right. There ARE no guarantees.

None except, I guess, as the saying goes with life, that no one here makes it out alive. Guess we should all do the best we can to be strong for ourselves and feel alive while we're still here.


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