image by tallmariah
A few months ago, I decided to try and document my connection to every Pearl Jam song recorded. I got seven songs into the project and lost focus when I hit Porch. Seeing that it is one of my favorite PJ songs, I really wanted to do it justice. I spent countless hours brainstorming various videos or projects that would really reflect the powerful effect the song has had on my life. Blank. I couldn’t think of anything. The result was the death of my project.
So today, when the song came on in the car as we were driving to the store, I made a vow to just sit at my computer, play the song as loud as necessary and finally squeeze some juice from it.
The song plays in a gait that cannot be described. It is moving for sure-galloping, storming, bulldozing- maybe there isn’t a word for it. I see cylinders and pistons. I see a train with legs. It has the power of a machine but is made of flesh. The bass and drums sculpt a body of organic steel.
You can feel the song flex its muscles when it changes tempo and slows down to a jam. It was meant to be played live and for ten minutes at least. I have seen Pearl Jam deconstruct this song in a variety different ways. Stone Gossard and Mike McCready on any give night can give life to a plethora of different beasts. Their guitars like expert warriors battle and dance across the sonic stage.
I cannot count the times, I have slammed by body against the darkness, against the wall, against my own pain, against other bodies, against the shear power of hope, against anything that stood in its way. I cannot count the times, I have slammed by body against pure ugliness of the world and screamed my lungs outs. Starting slowly at the end of the guitar solo and picking up speed. Chanting with Vedder like a possessed Shaman. Waiting for release and ascension. Never again, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah…..This is how I pray. This song is a piece of my religion.
As always I love to show where the song started...
and what it has become: