Tuesday’s Theme Music

Pearl Jam broke into the morning’s mental music stream (M3S, patent pending) with “Even Flow” (1992), a song about a homeless man. It’s one of the songs that was on my commuting play tape when I was stationed at Onizuka and living in the SF-SJ Bay Area.

The lyrics that started my stream aren’t at the beginning, but the first refrain.

Even flow, thoughts arrive like butterflies
Oh, he don’t know, so he chases them away
Someday yet, he’ll begin his life again
Life again, life again…

Kneelin’, looking through the paper though he doesn’t know to read, ooh yeah
Oh, prayin’, now to something that has never showed him anything
Oh, feelin’, understands the weather of the winters on its way
Oh, ceilings, few and far between all the legal halls of shame, yeah

h/t AZLyrics.com

I enjoy this live version. They’re pretty faithful to the song but the band’s energy is on full display.

Pearl Floof

Pearl Floof (floofinition) – American floof band noted for its flunge style of music and dress, formed in the Floofattle area in 1990.

In use: “Pearl Floof originally called themselves Floof Jam, but when a promoter accidentally called them Pearl Floof (confusing them with the human band, Pearl Jam), the band decided to keep the error as the band’s name.”

Monday’s Theme Music

Yesterday while walking, I encountered a small family. The little girls each held either Mommy or Daddy’s hand. Mommy and Daddy were in the middle, talking, and the girls would lean forward around their parents’ legs, and speak and laugh.

Although it amused me, the image brought Pearl Jam’s “Black” (1991) out of the memory vaults and into the active stream as I passed the family.

I take a walk outside
I’m surrounded by
Some kids at play
I can feel their laughter
So why do I sear
Oh, and twisted thoughts that spin
Round my head
I’m spinning
Oh, I’m spinning
How quick the sun can, drop away

h/t to songmeanings.com

Why those words, then? Don’t know.

I considered “Black” a beautiful and powerful song from the first time hearing. The lyrics remain an enigma as the song begins with a softness and simplicity that steadily builds, growing louder, angrier, and tenser. Eddie Vedder uses his unique delivery and vocal range to convey complexity and turmoil to give us more to ponder. It seems like he’s wondering and is as bewildered as we are.

Monday’s Theme Music

Always enjoyed this song, “Yellow Ledbetter” by Pearl Jam (1992). I often played it in my car during my ’90s Bay Area commutes, cranking it up and singing along even though I had no idea what Eddie Vedder was singing. I’d just make up my own lyrics for the most part because I enjoyed his range’s slide from sounding wistful, drifting toward anger, and almost sighing with resignation. Later, the net provided me with the lyrics but I keep singing free form whenever I hear this song, just going with the flow, you know.

The guitar playing on it, though, is what moved me most about this song. Never played the air guitar to it during my commutes because I imagined what looks I’d get from my fellow drivers.

Today’s Theme Music

Today’s music constitutes sober reminders of how we affect others, and how deeply others can be hurting, and not fully display it.

“Jeremy,” by Eddie Vedder and Jeff Ament of Pearl Jam, was about a high school sophomore, Jeremy, who committed suicide by putting a gun in his mouth and pulling the trigger in front of his class one day. They based the song on the short newspaper article telling about it.

The video progresses from slower, more abstract ideas about the news, the world, and Jeremy, until Jeremy is shown as the only person in motion as he shouts at others. Meanwhile, Pearl Jam’s music is rising in volume and intensity, until the climax.

Not a fun fact, and a disheartening reminder. But sometimes, reminders are required.

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