Sunday, June 1, 2014

Song Of The Week: 6/1/14

Song: "Setting Forth"

Artist: Eddie Vedder

Album: "Water On The Road" DVD

Year: 2011

"Setting Forth" is a song that appears to be about embarking on a new journey in life. This song originally appeared on the 2011 soundtrack to the movie "Into The Wild". "Setting Forth" is basically the main character deciding to stop living his normal life and to travel the country, basically living off the land. No particular goal, just to soak everything around him in on his journey. It's kind of a liberating song. Eddie Vedder, of course, is most famous as being the lead singer of Seattle's Pearl Jam. About 1984, Eddie began recording demo tapes and really focusing on music. He joined many San Diego scene bands in the mid 80's such as Surf And Destroy, The Butts and Indian Style, which features Brad Wilk of Rage Against The Machine fame on drums. In 1988, Vedder hooked up with Bad Radio as their lead singer. This band featured a funk rock style, much in the same vein as the Red Hot Chili Peppers. 1990 was a whirlwind year for Vedder. He befriended Jack Irons, drummer of the Chili Peppers at the time. Irons of course gave Eddie a demo tape from Stone Gossard, formerly of Mother Love Bone. Eddie recorded vocals over the tracks which would eventually become "Alive", "Footsteps" and "Once" and the rest is musical history! In 1991, before Pearl Jam released their mega hit album "Ten", Vedder collaborated with Temple Of The Dog, which featured Gossard, Jeff Ament, Mike McCready and Chris Cornell and Matt Cameron of Soundgarden. He provided vocals to the grunge mega hit "Hunger Strike". In the early 90's, Pearl Jam was riding high at the top of the musical mountain. The "grunge" explosion out of the Pacific Northwest, which also featured Nirvana, Alice In Chains and Soundgarden was all the rage. With early albums "Ten", "VS" and "Vitalogy", Pearl Jam's popularity was growing out of control, much to the dismay of a band that wanted people to focus on their musical content, not their fashion statement. As the 90's ended and the 2000's began, the grunge movement began losing some steam. But while PJ's counterparts were breaking up or doing other things, Vedder and the boys remained to carry the grunge torch. In fact, they became tighter and tighter as the mid to late 2000's came. Pearl Jam members began to do solo/side projects as the years have gone by. Eddie began to perform solo tours going back to 1999. Vedder was featured on several soundtracks, both as a solo artist and as a member of Pearl Jam. Some of those soundtracks are 1995's "Dead Man Walking" featuring the song "Dead Man", 2001's "I Am Sam" featuring a cover of the Beatles' "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away", 2003's "Big Fish" featuring "Man Of The Hour", 2007's "Body Of War" featuring "No More", 2010's "Reign Over Me" featuring a cover of The Who's "Love, Reign O'er Me" and 2010's "Eat Pray Love" featuring "Better Days". In 2007, director Sean Penn asked Vedder to do the entire soundtrack for his movie "Into The Wild". This turned out to be Eddie's first solo effort basically, featuring the songs "Hard Sun", "Society", "Guaranteed" and "Rise". In 2011, Vedder released "Ukulele Songs". As the title says, all of these songs were recorded with just Ed on vocals and ukulele as the instrumentation. This album featured songs such as "Longing To Belong" and "Without You". The same day that "Ukulele Songs" was released, a live DVD was also released called "Water On The Road". This DVD featured live footage of concerts Eddie performed in Washington D.C. in 2008. This DVD features the version of "Setting Forth" that I chose as my song of the week as well. Throughout his career, whether it be with Pearl Jam or solo, Vedder has shared the stage with a virtual who's who in the music world. The impressive list of musicians Eddie has collaborated with includes The Who, The Ramones, Neil Young, REM, Neil Finn, Bad Religion, Cat Power, Mike Watt, Dave Grohl, The Fastbacks, X, The Strokes, Tom Petty, The Doors, The Stooges, Pete Townsend, Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, U2, Bruce Springsteen, Robert Plant, Roger Waters, Flea, Ben Harper, Jack Johnson, Jay Z, Kings Of Leon, Perry Farrell, Beck, Jerry Cantrell, Chris Cornell, Queens Of The Stone Age, Mike Ness, Ace Frehley, Elvis Costello and Glen Hansard. Currently, Eddie has just completed a solo tour of South America and there are upcoming Pearl Jam tours of Europe and the United States to close out the rest of 2014. While there doesn't appear to be any news of a new solo album in the works, Vedder and Pearl Jam released their tenth studio album, "Lightning Bolt" in 2013.

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