Sunday, July 17, 2011

Song Of The Week: 7/17/11

Song: "Improv (That Far)"

Artist: Pearl Jam

Album: "Portland, Oregon; November 2, 2000"

Year: 2000

Since the very beginning of Pearl Jam being a band, their concerts have often included some impromptu jam sessions. Some of these appear to be off the cuff jams where, clearly, the band is making the song up as they go. Others, like "That Far", seem as though the band had been working on song before they introduced it to the audience. "That Far" is not the official title of this particular improv, but it has been given this name through various Pearl Jam fansites across the web. The song itself appears to be about coming home after a long time away, possibly from being on tour. The vocalist is happy to be back home and to see the person that he has missed welcoming him with open arms. "That Far" was recorded live on November 2, 2000 in Portland, OR. This show would be part of the Official Bootleg releases that Pearl Jam embarked on in 2000. This was an unprecedented move by any rock band at the time. Pearl Jam would release 72 bootlegs from their entire 2000 tour, a move that led the band to set a record for having the most albums on the Billboard charts at one time. For years, fans of Pearl jam would spend forty to fifty dollars on bootlegs to try to recapture what was and still is the strength of the band, their live performances. In an effort to lessen the cost for the fans, as well as give them a product that was far superior quality than most of the bootlegs that were out there, the band began releasing the bootlegs themselves. As for future tours, the band tweeked their bootlegs a little bit, selling them through their official website digitally. This made more sense for the band financially rather than releasing 70 plus cd's to record stores. I believe you can still buy hard copy cd's of shows through For twenty years, Pearl Jam has always been a band that looks out for it's fans, whether that's fighting Ticketmaster to lower ticket costs, playing two and a half to three hour concerts or releasing affordable, high quality bootleg recordings. As of 2011, Pearl Jam is working on new material for another studio album along with looking forward to their 20th anniversary festival, PJ20, which is a two day event in Alpine Valley, WI. Director Cameron Crowe is also finishing up a documentary of the band which should be out in the fall. Pearl Jam will also be hitting the road in Canada as well as Central and South America, shows which should provide even more rare covers songs and improvs for the impassioned Pearl Jam fan!!

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