Eddie Vedder Goes “Into The Wild” With Solo Album

Eddie Vedder Goes “Into The Wild” With Solo Album

Jon Krakauer’s tome, the modern day Walden titled “Into the Wild” must have piqued the interest of the creatively impotent producers in Hollywood ‘cuz they made a mooovey based on it. Though I instantly thought they would ruin it, I was quickly rebuked when they chose Mr. Ed Vedder to produce the soundtrack to the movie as a solo artist (sans Pearl Jam!) Can he do it? Totally. Can he do it well? Totally. Can he maintain the integrity of the vastly popular novel while infusing his own antisocial views without making it too political, to which he is prone, and also allowing it to be used as a soundtrack and not the arena rock he is so proficient at penning? Heck Yes! Yay. Ladies and gentlemen, as i listen to it right now, I am even more certain that we have a rare gem. Although many of the tracks are punk rock short, this is one of the best albums to come out in quite a long time. Is there nothing Ed Vedder can NOT do? Oh yeah, choose a haircut and stick with it. I still will never forgive the Mohawk. WTF was that? Ok – Into The Wild by Ed Vedder:

If you go to iTunes right now and preview the track “Hard Sun” you will be happy. Go ahead, buy it. When you listen to it en toto, you will be escorted back to a time when our music was pure, hooky and from the heart. Hard Sun is outstanding. I cannot think of a better single. Nor can I think of a Betterman, can’t find a betterm….I’m sorry about that. That was silly. I will stop the silliness. OK, go.

Eddie sure learned how to play a mean and folky geetar. I am so proud. Still proud that he survived the famous stage dive from the rafters in the “Alive” video. Hey, if you’re one of the people that caught his flannel shrouded body I give you my “Yeehaw”. You are partly to thank for this awesome album.

Here’s the cool and TRUE part about this album. It shows that Eddie Vedder has grown. Yes, in many good ways he has grown into the consummate musician and songwriter. It also shows that he has outgrown Pearl Jam. It is time for him to call it a day (or 10,000) and end the band. PJ has been spouting mediocrity for many years now. Their live shows are still as intense a ever. This, however, is mainly because of Ed. Eddie has branched out here and put out his best material in 7 years. Go solo, Eddie. Pearl Jam will understand. You are the next Neil Young, Bob Dylan, and Jeff Buckley all wrapped into one super package.

That said, don’t miss the track “Society”. This is so sweet it melts in your ear (I just followed that image, it led me to that weird ear thing) “Far Behind” is not a Candlebox cover, it is another of the album’s hidey-ho highlights. I couldn’t recommend an album more. Eddie has shown us that he is a master and ready to step out on his own to take a new path in his career. Into the wild, perhaps, but into an even higher echelon on musical greatness. More than the stagnating Pearl Jam. Do not miss this album. Missy Elliot, but not this album. Oh, and Mitch Albom.

– NE

Damian Marley Takes Us All To JAMROCK. It’s Nice Here! Look, A Walrus…

Welcome to Jamrock is arguably DM’s most successful single to date. In a considerable line of Marley successors, have we found the one? Has Damian grown into his father’s legacy and begun producing music that will delight fans of daddy? The answer is, I Dunno. However, when you consider the enormous task of equaling the great Bob Marley (even if he is your father) coming close is pretty darn good. That’s what Damian does on Welcome to Jamrock.

Marley infuses modern sampling and even shades of hip-hop to build his sound which does, many times, sound identical to his father. It is not a modern dancehall reggae album. This is Roots. Rock. Reggae. Pure and simple. Here’s some skinny on the man-

Damian “Junior Gong” Marley was born on July 21, 1978. Damian was two years old when his father died, and is the only child born to Marley and Cindy Breakspeare, Miss World 1976. Damian’s nickname is Junior Gong which is derived from his father’s nickname of Tuff Gong. Damian has been performing since the age of 13. He shares with most of the Marley family a full-time career in music. Unlike his brothers and sisters, however, his musical specialty is “toasting“, a Jamaican style of rapping.

::Thanks to Wikipedia for some of that info::

In a time of American Idol types longing for 15 minutes of manufactured fame, it’s good to see something pure and fist-pumping out there on the shelves. If you’d like to spice up your musical palette, I suggest grabbing Welcome To JAMROCK. Even for the single alone, it will be well worth it.

– NE

Damian Marley

Oh Oxycontin, You Make Me Feel So Itchy

I wonder many times about the ill effects of each and every illicit drug sold on street corners and internet sites.  Then I wonder the same about the ones that are prescribed to us.  I have a story I would like to share and I hope that it will inspire some of you to comment and share some similar experiences.  I won’t even lie, this story is about me, not some “friend” or nameless individual.

In 2001 I was riding home with my (then) girlfriend from a nice dinner in a waterfront town.  We obediently stopped at a bright red traffic light.  Then we saw bright lights behind us.  Those lights belonged to a drunk driver in an SUV who was, apparently, not so obedient towards the red light.

He collided full speed into us (who were at a dead stop – no pun)  the little Mistubishi was a mass of junk metal.  My mouth wasn’t working.  I was taken to the ER and they fixed my jaw which had been badly busted in the accident.  They referred me to an Oral Surgeon.

I went to the OS and he was super-de-duper-nice.  He examined me, prescribed physical therapy and gave me Endocet, a generic form of the celebrity Percocet.  The drugs eased my pain and I began to look forward to taking them each night.  Each morning.  At lunch.  Then when I was bored.  Needless to say, my “pain relief” got a bit out of hand.  I told the doctor what was happening and he said that, although they were addictive, if you wanted to stop, you’d feel like crap for a dy or so, then be back to tip-top shape in no time.  I was pleased.  He handed me another script.

And so it went until 2005.  This was the year that I became a strong believer in angels.  I was, again, passenger in a car headed down to South Jersey so we could help a friend move.  I was reading a magazine, then looked up to see a van with its hazards on STOPPED in the left lane of the NJ Turnpike.  What happened next I don’t know.  All I know is that I awoke in a furry haze of giddy numbness to a throng on onlookers asking “Is he dead?”  Soon I realized they meant me.  I was wrapped in metal and covered in blood.  A super Paramedic with a very concerned look on his face was stabilizing my head and trying to keep me from dying.  I haven’t told my family this, but I was resuscitated at the scene because I had no heartbeat.  I was dead for a bit.  Wild.

I came to and began a long rehabilitation process which involved consistent pain management.  the pain management clinic gave me more Percocet – the strongest one available.  I had to take it to stop the pain and be functional, after my teeth were all reconstructed – they were shattered in the accident.

Now comes the critical mass of where medicine can force and addiction on a patient and cause more harm than good.  I couldn’t go a day without my pills and if I ever ran out, Hell engulfed my body and ripped me to shreds from withdrawal.  Some catch-22, huh?  If I take the pills, I’ll feel fine but be a junkie.  If I don’t I’ll be a throbbing mess of pain and healing bones, herniated discs, etc.  I wouldn’t be able to live any semblance of a normal life.  Addiction was part of my treatment.

And such is the way of modern Pain Management.  I don’t question their integrity, but their tools are far too limited.  Percocet works great, but do you think we could take out the “strung-out-on-heroin” part?  I am a fan of technology and know that Lexus just released a car for idiots who can’t park for themselves.  It will parallel park for you.  If we can do that, can we work on a drug that won’t turn me from victim to junkie?

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Nigerian Gangs Killing Innocent Civilians, Civil Unrest As Guns Proliferate

Nigerians love target practice.  Especially when the target resembles a cop, soldier, or Rosemary Douglas.  A bullet shattered her upper arm as she napped with her 2-year-old daughter.  Why?  Well, the usual suspects are hard to ignore.  Oil, Oil, and Oil.  Yeah, The Niger Delta is rich with oil and hence, rich with corruption.  2 million gallons of crude are pumped from the murky delta each day.  That’s lot’s of fumes for your SUV.  Don’t feel guilty.  Feel good that your Hummer and Escalade are the primary reasons that this horrific situation exists today in Africa.  Just drive to soccer practice and gossip on your cell phone.  Ahhh, consumerism.

Hey, survival of the fittest, right?  Well, it may be time to examine whose standards we use to determine who or what is “fit”.  No, not enough time, Dancing With The Stars is coming on.

Says Ms. Douglas,  “I don’t know why this happened to me,” grimacing in pain as she gave a bewildered account of the gunplay that had engulfed her neighborhood and much of this oil-drenched city. “I mind my own business.”  Seems pretty fit to me…

I will not belabor this, but please look into this atrocity and other being committed in this oft neglected part of the world.  It is very important to stay vigilant and be aware of how your consumerism may affect others, their shattered arms, and their children.

-NE