Pearl Jam – Sirens

Pearl Jam

Pearl Jam’s 2013 album, Lightning Bolt, exemplifies some of the classic Pearl Jam sound, while also showing a bit of the veteran band’s age. The hit song, Sirens, seems more subdued than the younger Pearl Jam, but also more mature, maybe less reckless.

Eddie Vedder’s distinct vocals stand out in Sirens, ranging from his low, smooth tones, to shaky falsetto, packed with emotion. The lyrics are profound, the rhythms and harmonies tight and the song includes a classic McCready solo. Check out the music video for Sirens¬†below and share your comments:

Hear the sirens
Hear the sirens

Hear the sirens
Hear the circus so profound
I hear the sirens
More and more in this here town

Let me catch my breath to breathe
And reach across the bed
Just to know we’re safe
I am a grateful man

The slightest bit of light
And I can see you clear
Oh, have to take your hand
And feel your breath for fear this 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 with 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?

For every choice mistake I’ve made it’s not my plan
To send you in the arms of another man
And if you choose to stay I’ll wait, I’ll understand

Oh, it’s a fragile thing
This life we lead
If I think too much I can get overwhelmed by the grace
By which we live our lives with death over our shoulders

Want you to know that should I go
I always loved you, held you high above, true
I study your face, and the fear goes away

It’s a fragile thing, this life we lead.
If I think too much I can get overwhelmed by the grace
By which we live our lives with death over our shoulder

Want you to know that should I go,
I always loved you, held you high above, true.

I study your face,
And the fear goes away
The fear goes away
The fear goes away

Built to Spill at First Ave

Built to Spill

The crowd was sparse when we arrived during one of the opening acts at First Ave last night. Thus we were surprised when we stepped out for a coffee and came back to a packed Main Room just prior to Built to Spill’s performance. The cult following showed up and it was evident through the cheers of recognition from the crowd as a riff or drum beat would begin a song.

The band’s 20 plus year history is obvious when you watch them perform together. They are a tight-knit group and it seems as if every note was intentionally chosen as they synchronize and harmonize with one another.

Doug Martsch’s quivery, yet clear tone reminds me a bit of Ben Gibbard or Wayne Coyne or even Neil Young at times, but the similarity to bands like Death Cab or The Flaming Lips mostly ends there. With three electric guitars, a bass and drums and over a century of combined experience as musicians, the band is perfectly set up for the epic eight or nine minute songs (some even longer) which are common on their records. As my friend Kyle put it, they’re just fun to listen to. The evidence for Martsch’s direction and the band members’ ¬†commitment to creating the music together is clear when you watch them perform live.

Doug Martsch held down most of the lead parts and Jim Roth and Brett Netson would typically complement him with some crunchy rhythm guitar or ambient whiny guitar sounds. At other points, it was fun to watch all four guitarists punch the rhythm together, playing complementary parts.

Cortez the Killer is a great example of one of the band’s long, impressive jams. Here’s a live performance:

Read more about the band on their website.