Long Road – A Guided Tour of Pearl Jam’s Dublin Gig

No alternate text! It's late, and I'm tired, and I've already written 2,000 words about this damn gig. More if you count the other post I did, and then the review I sent off for that Metro competition. Which I shall have to enquire about reprinting here, since they're hardly going to publish it, and it'd make for an entertaining counterpoint: the visceral experience of the gig itself, compared to the more reflective experience of listening to the booted leg. But yes: no alternate text tonight. Sorry chums! Byeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

The backstory is this: two nights ago, while loafing near a PC in a fog of sleep-deprived insouciance, I embarrassingly paid ten American dollars for the official “booted leg” of Pearl Jam’s recent Dublin show. As I detailed previously, I attended the show filled with a mixture of excitement and thinly-veiled disgust (joined mid-“Comatose” in the melting pot of my mood centre by “apathy, bordering on violent boredom”, but certainly came away from the gig with a favourable impression of the unflinchingly earnest old sods.

So the question became this question: how would the recorded document hold up to the surprisingly inoffensive memory?

Um. Not well.

So here for your bloodshot, probing eyes is a painstakingly detailed account of my reactions to this “booted leg”.

(Endure this unbearably verbose mess…)


Deborah Crooks: It’s All Up To You

This image was lovingly pinched from what I presume to be Crooks' own Flickr account, so I don't think I'm stepping on anyone's photo copyrights here. Extravagant purpley-flora border was added by the author. Me. I added it.I have returned to my reviewing ways over on ZME Music with this unhurriedly written piece about Deborah Crooks’ vaguely new EP It’s All Up To You. I say “unhurried” – in actual fact the record was released in March, a good four months ago, and Crooks herself e-mailed me the .rar of the EP very nearly a month ago. I’m a right lazy git, me. Bits of the review look like this:

As opposed to some of Crooks’ more obvious peers – the likes of Sheryl Crowe, and perhaps a tired Alanis Morissette – what Stradlin’s record shares with It’s All Up To You is an easy, summer road-trip, I’ve-listened-to-a-lot-of-Rolling-Stones-and-I’m-not-afraid-to-show-it kind of vibe.

This is especially obvious on EP opener “Let’s Move”, which is about as intrinsically Stones-ian as making dubious romantic advances on an attractively under-aged youth. But, unlike one of Ron Wood’s Saturday evenings, this is a thoroughly pleasant experience: the guitars have just enough chunkiness to give the song some drive, but are warm enough to complement the song’s gently enthusiastic tone.

I slightly regret not writing the review a little sooner – it sounded agreeably summery during the spate of unfashionable sunshine we resolutely endured over the last month or so, but now, set against a backdrop of gloom and wet and awfulness, it’s like I’m being taunted by a rough gang of Californian empeethrees.

Things I Learned At Pearl Jam

The Backspacer Backdrop, Backlit.

Two weeks and some days ago, my companions and I ventured to the O2 in Dublin to see Pearl Jam “do” a concert. In the months leading up to this, I had lost most, if not all, of my interest in the band, in precisely the way you don’t want to do after spending €75 on a ticket, plus €20 on the annual fan club membership required to secure that €75 ticket. Because this is what being an unenthusiastic Pearl Jam fan costs. Money-grubbing cads, the lot of them.

The good news, imaginary reader, is that the gig was a splendid thing, and confirmed that they are still a band of wonder in the live arena. And! Educational, too. In that, I learned some things while I was at the gig, both about the band, and about myself. And despite these obviously – and quite rightly – being of no interest to anyone ever, I will now list these things.

(Devour these words ravenously…)

Oh Hell, I’ve Been Doing This Long Enough To Link To It

Every weekend for the last month or so, I’ve been doing a round-up on ZME of all the news we didn’t see fit to print during the preceding 5 days. It is very silly. I will link to it now.

We Do The News.

The basic thrust of the woeful thing is this: each round-up features a guest commentator, giving his or her thoughts on what is usually the most inconsequential nonsense I can find occurring within the music world. The commentators range from the usual music types all the way to fringe religious lunatics. And famous dead person, Billy Mays!

Go read.

An Irishman in London

This past Wednesday morning – and I do mean “morning”, since I left the house at 5.30am – I set off for England, for two days of sun, sightseeing, sweating, swearing and interviewing a lovely and talented indie songstress. Here, I document my travels, in the form of small updates I wrote as drafts on my mobile telephone while walking the streets of London. Lor’ luv a duck, what a world we live in, etc.

One might think that it strange that of all my time in London, the most substantial conversation I had was with an American lady, but then, one is probably unaware of London residents’ seeming lack of awareness of a single person in their surrounding area, making walking through – say – a Tube station akin to a game of Frogger, except without the frog, or the water, or the lilypads, and instead of wheely-traffic, it’s foot traffic, and really, this metaphor is too tortured for its own good anyway.

Anyway, good fun was had by all.


(Read the rest of this deeply uninteresting account…)