Tuesday, October 26, 2010

all that's sacred #73

They say that the one constant in life is change. If that’s true, then we best be aware and active to affect the change we want to see in our lives and in the world around us. With the US elections around the corner, we take time out on ATS #73 to recognize Pearl Jam’s activism over the years with some incredible, politically-relevant cover tunes. Irrespective of your own personal political beliefs, I think we can all agree that it’s imperative to remain educated and engaged and not succumb to apathy and inertia. I think that fostering that type of involvement is the ultimate goal of the band and it’s also what we’re striving for on today’s podcast.

Thanks for listening.

Cheers! Donny

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

all that's sacred #72

The 20th anniversary of Pearl Jam's first show is this Friday on October 22, 2010. Many fans will be making the pilgrimage to Shoreline Amphiteatre this weekend to celebrate with the band and friends at the Bridge School Benefit Concert. To mark the occasion, there are a number of fan-run endeavors to entertain and educate. The Wishlist Foundation will be in and around Mountain View, CA all weekend with a series of pre-party fundraisers. Pearl Jam Radio is planning a sonic marathon Friday featuring complete shows from that date in years past along with exclusive interviews with Stone Gossard and Rick Friel. Two Feet Thick maybe tops them all with the production of a decade-in-the-making epic mini-book detailing the origins of the band.

And here on ATS? Well, we're keeping it low key and celebrating with a few libations and meandering commentary as we continue our theme from last week playing one song from each year in the band's storied career. I hope you find ATS #72 to be a fun and informative addition as you commemorate this landmark in Pearl Jam history.

Cheers! Donny

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

all that's sacred #71

We are just weeks away from the 20th anniversary of Pearl Jam's first-ever gig on October 22, 1990 at the Off Ramp in Seattle. To commemorate in some small way, we are playing one track from each year in the band's history - covering the 90's today and finishing up the naughts next week. It's been enlightening to take a step back from our usual themes and take a broader look at the band's massive live catalog. Picking out a snapshot from each year was an impossible task so I just went with a few listener recommendations, a couple of new finds, and some personal favorites. Despite everything we've already featured on the podcast, I think there will still be a few here that will be new to many of you.

Thanks for the continued support week after week - not just in terms of listenership, but even on a more personal level. I feel like I've gained hundreds of new friends over the life of this podcast. It's a very cool thing and so much appreciated.

I hope you enjoy #70.

Cheers! Donny

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

all that's sacred #70

You would think that you'd have heard just about every song in the Pearl Jam catalog over the last year and a half on ATS, having played some 577 tracks over 69 episodes. Well, you'd be mostly right. There are, however, a few that have eluded our weekly playlist for whatever reason and I thought it was high time we feature some of them on the podcast. ATS #70 digs deep and shines a light a few of these tunes that have been overlooked for far too long.

Cheers! Donny

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

all that's sacred #69

A few weeks ago, a number of you listeners banded together and implored me to give No Code the live recreation treatment like we did with Ten on ATS #10. Well, ask and ye shall receive! I ran with the idea and put the call out for live No Code song suggestions across the PJ social networking grid and got a ton of great recommendations. I'm happy to present ATS #69 as the final product for this little collective exercise.

As you can imagine, it was really hard narrowing down some of these tunes and I'm sure to have several people take issue with a few of these ultimate selections. Note that I did employ a few prerequisites to make the deciding process a bit easier and a bit more streamlined. For one, I disqualified any performance that has already appeared on the podcast. I also weighted the more popular performances that were suggested multiple times by multiple people. Additionally, it was important to me to make sure that all eras and major tours were represented since the album's release in 1996. Lastly, it had to flow and transition and sound good so I gravitated towards better audio recordings (especially in the years preceding the official bootlegs).

Regardless of whether your suggestions made the cut or not, I really appreciate the participation. It's always cool when a seed is planted and something springs to life so quickly and organically. In the process, I discovered a couple of new bootlegs and versions of songs. There are more than a few tracks on the cutting room floor that will definitely be featured on future ATS episodes. I think the end result is pretty sweet and I hope you like it too.

We will have to do this again sometime for another album...

Cheers! Donny

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

all that's sacred #68

I took an informal poll last week on Facebook and Twitter asking, "The next ATS should be more 2010 highlights or all stuff from Pearl Jam's many Bridge School appearances?" Resoundingly, people responded and said they wanted a Bridge School Benefit episode. Well, ask and ye shall receive: ATS #68 is chock full of great acoustic moments from Bridge School shows past -- and it couldn't be more opportune timing considering that tickets for this year's show just went on sale this past weekend. So sit back, relax, grab a beer, and enjoy reliving these memories as you plan your pilgrimage to Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, CA. It's a special event and a destination every Pearl Jam fan should make at least once.

Cheers! Donny

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

all that's sacred #67

I've already listened to ATS #67 a handful of times and it's fast becoming one of my recent favorites. It's heavy on the music and listener input and has a bit of everything. The one constant is that it features nothing but highlights from the year that has been 2010 - with many songs appearing for the first time on the podcast. Despite being a relatively slow year for the band, there has been no shortage of memorable moments. And with Pearl Jam recently confirmed for this year's Bridge School Benefit Concert, it's a virtual guarantee that the trend will continue.

With the guys once again giving of themselves for such a worthy cause, I thought it was an opportune time to encourage you to support a few other causes: Advocacy For Patients With Chronic Illness and the Seattle Humane Society's Walk for the Animals. Both are deserving of your time and monetary donations if you have the means.

Continued thanks for spending a little time here each week. It wouldn't be possible to sustain this thing - or nearly as fun - without all of your participation.

Hope you enjoy #67 as much as I do.

Cheers! Donny

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

all that's sacred #66

Get your kicks on ATS #66! One of my favorite segments on the podcast is "This Day in Pearl Jam History". When prepping for today's episode, I realized that today's date had been pretty busy in years past with the band playing three shows in 1992, 1998, and 2005. As I dug a little deeper, I realized I had never played anything from any of these shows before and I had a hard time picking just one moment to spotlight on the podcast. So I decided to just play something from each date and selected a two song snapshot from each one of these shows.

Enjoy the ride.

Cheers! Donny

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

all that's sacred #65

There is an old adage that good things come in threes and that’s proven out on today’s podcast. ATS #65 takes a look at three trilogies over three tours spanning the band’s 20 year history. It’s pretty interesting to hear these songs uninterrupted and how they fit together thematically or in telling a larger story. With so much musical ground to cover, I also felt it appropriate to let the songs do most of the talking and went a little lighter than usual on the commentary.

Looking forward to the Hootenanny and the holiday weekend and beyond. As I deliberate making the trip to this year’s Bridge School Benefit, I took a little extra time recently to update the ATS Zazzle site with new gear featuring the new ATS logo designed by listener Igor Gruda. I think the new merch looks great and I already got my order placed! Check it out if interested. All proceeds to be donated to charity.

Thanks for listening and hope you enjoy #65.

Cheers! Donny

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

all that's sacred #64

It’s been pretty busy with the new job so I recruited some help hosting this week’s episode from an old friend of the band. If you’re a newbie, it might require a bit of an explanation but I hope you all will ultimately be more amused than annoyed. :)

ATS #64 is comprised almost entirely of miscellaneous email and vmail listener requests. I really appreciate all the continued correspondence and support. I wish I could stay more engaged in responding to everyone in a timely manner. Please know that I receive and read and hear everything and that it’s all absolutely vital to the success of the podcast. Many, many thanks.

If you’re down south this weekend, I’d be sure to be in Little Rock for a special night with EV and friends benefitting the WM3. If you’re in my neighborhood next week, hope to see y’all at the Hootenanny for a Healthy Gulf on 9/2. And according to Stone in Billboard, this year’s Bridge School Benefit is going to double as the band’s 20th anniversary celebration. Hail hail the lucky ones, indeed. Be sure to check with the folks at the Wishlist Foundation for deets on any pre-party fundraisers for all these gigs.

Hope you all are well and hope you dig the great musical moments on ATS #64.

Cheers! Donny

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

all that's sacred #63

It’s another slow PJ news week… I think the only things worth noting are actually happening today. First, the tickets for the 8/28 Voices For Justice show benefiting the WM3 in Little Rock, AR and featuring Eddie Vedder are going on sale today at 9AM CDT. Later tonight in LA, Mike McCready will be sitting in with Star Anna during her show at Spaceland. And don’t forget, Mike and Star and friends will be playing the Hootenanny for a Healthy Gulf on 9/2 at Seattle’s Moore Theater.

New albums are here! Brad’s new record dropped last week. Check out my review of the LP and their recent in-store performance at Easy Street Records’ Queen Anne location. They’ll be back onstage opening a few midwest dates for Band Of Horses later in October. Also, the mighty Jack Irons has a new solo album landing on 8/24 and should be available through Ten Club.

Today on ATS #63 we are exploring another theme that was suggested a long, long time ago – a song’s maiden voyage. It’s a cool moment when a new song sets sail for the first time in front of a live audience. The song selection is a nice, varied sampling and spans the band’s entire history. We even manage to play a few songs that have never even been featured on the podcast. It’s hard to believe after all these episodes, but there are still a handful of songs that have never been played on ATS.

In other ATS news, I think we are going to try and go back to a weekly show. I talk about it more on the podcast but the bottom line is I miss doing it weekly. Plus, I got a new job recently and that should make it easier to schedule since I’m no longer on the hunt for new employment. So we’re going to give it a go. I also want to give a huge shout-out to listener Igor Gruda for designing a badass new ATS logo for the Facebook and Twitter sites. Thank you, Igor!

Thanks for listening and I hope you enjoy this week’s show.

Cheers! Donny

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

all that's sacred #62

As promised, ATS #62 returns for a bonus off-week episode featuring nothing but Pearl Jam tunes! I dug deep into the mailbag of unexplored listener suggestions and decided to highlight alternate versions of songs throughout the years. We’ve spotlighted some of these reinterpretations before but this is the first time we’ve dedicated an entire podcast to them. There is some great stuff here and it’s fun to listen and compare to the official releases.

As always, thanks for listening and thanks for all the great participation. I really appreciate everyone tuning in and all the continued correspondence and encouragement. It was fun to return to our ATS roots and bust out a themed show for the first time in a while. I hope you dig it!

Cheers! Donny

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

all that's sacred #61

Despite the guys taking some time off, there is still a lot happening with upcoming Soundgarden, Brad, Deranged Diction, and Hootenanny gigs. I figured this down time afforded us the perfect opportunity to reconnect with original Pearl Jam drummer Dave Krusen and continue the conversation started on ATS #59. Dave himself has been keeping busy and will be playing his first gig in 9 years tonight with Unified Theory at the King King Hollywood. If you are lucky enough to be local for any of these shows, I would strongly encourage you to check them out.

As a result of all this side project activity, ATS #61 is a bit light on the PJ tunes as we dive into some music that is a step or two removed from the band. Rest assured though, we will be back next week with a bonus off-week traditional themed ATS podcast featuring nothing but Pearl Jam.

Thanks for always tuning in and hope you enjoy #61.

Cheers! Donny

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

all that's sacred #60

The tour is over and it’s anyone’s guess how the guys will round out 2010. There are a few side project things rumored but nothing confirmed at this point save for Matt playing with Soundgarden at Lollapalooza on 8/8 and Jeff re-forming Deranged Diction for Missoula's Total Fest on 8/21. Speaking of live gigs, southern CA folks should be sure to check out original PJ drummer Dave Krusen’s first gig in 9 years with his band Unified Theory on 8/4 at the King King Hollywood.

A friendly reminder that Brad and Jack Irons have new albums dropping in August! Brad’s “Best Friends?” on 8/10 and Jack Irons’ “No Heads Are Better Than One” on 8/24 – both available through Ten Club.

As for today’s podcast, it’s going to be hard to top #59 which was undoubtedly the most popular episode to date. As such, I’m also kind of battling a cold today and so I kept the rebound with #60 pretty loose. I get a little help rounding out the show from two fellow fans Skyping in to share a story that speaks to the power of music and the connectivity of our fan community.

Thanks for tuning in and I hope you dig #60.

Cheers! Donny

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

all that's sacred #59

The first episode on the new biweekly schedule and it's a special one. Original Pearl Jam drummer Dave Krusen was gracious enough to spend some time with me recently recalling his influences, the early days of the band, and his premature departure. Dave was very thoughtful and candid and a great interview. As a longtime fan, it was enlightening to hear from this little-known band member who was there at the very beginning.

Enjoy #59.

Cheers! Donny

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

all that's sacred #58

One show into the Euro tour and we are off to a promising start - already getting a new song, Of The Earth! Longtime listener, Andy in the UK, shot me a Facebook note about an ATS encounter from the Dublin gig:

”So I walk up to take my spot on the floor and the guy next to me looks at my ATS t-shirt and says 'great podcast'. We start chatting and he says are you Andy from London! Ha, fucking famous lol He recognised my voice from the podcast, not only that, it was Warren or Wazza's request you dedicated to my son Luke, when he broke his collar bone back in March (iron man/Luke the uke from the Reading festival). What are the chances of that! Small world huh....”

Stories like that totally make my day! :)

#58 entertains with some great listener requests and a few more tunes to prepare for the upcoming dates on this leg of the tour. I also spend some time discussing a few changes coming to the podcast. It’s a little chatty but I’m speaking from the heart and cuff and I hope y’all are onboard as we move onward and upward. Further, I appreciate everyone tuning in and participating over the last 58 weeks and look forward to this next chapter in the ATS story.

So until next time, Cheers! Donny

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

all that's sacred #57

It’s getting to be that time again… Pearl Jam kicks off 11 dates across the pond on June 22nd in Dublin, Ireland and wraps up on July 10th in Oeiras, Portugal. To commemorate and prepare the lucky ones, we are featuring a few listener-suggested tracks from past European shows on ATS #57. Lots of great memories and I can’t wait to see what’s in store this go around. If the domestic tour was any indicator, it’s guaranteed to have me wishing I was there. This band continues to defy the odds – remaining relevant and getting better with age. Have fun on tour.

Just a quick note regarding emails… I appreciate anyone and everyone who reaches out to the podcast. I’ve been pretty busy and distracted lately and, as a result, have fallen way behind on responding to your letters. I just want y’all to know that I get and read all the emails and will respond as soon as I can. Just didn’t want anyone thinking I was ignoring them.

Anyway, thanks for the participation and continued support of the podcast. It’s fun doing this every week. Enjoy #57.

Cheers! Donny

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

all that's sacred #56

We finally got a taste of summer here in the Pacific Northwest and so it only seemed appropriate to mark the occasion on #56 with a few relaxing tunes. So imagine yourself someplace sunny and enjoy.

Next week we'll return to get folks pumped for the Euro tour. Thanks as always for tuning in.

Cheers! Donny

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

all that's sacred #55

The down time before the Euro shows allows me a moment to tend to some unfinished business. ATS #55 runs the gamut with a few listener requests, a belated Memorial Day dedication, and a bit of a rant from yours truly. Time was at a premium this week and, as a result, we're a little disjointed and coming in at under an hour for the first time in weeks. I hope it still makes for a fun listen and I promise to bring some sunshine next week.

Hope everyone is well and, as always, appreciate you taking the time to tune in.

Cheers! Donny

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

all that's sacred #54

Whether you were one of the fortunate ones or not, I imagine just about every fan is experiencing some sort of post tour blues. The short domestic swing through the midwest and northeast barely whet our collective appetite and anticipation for the Euro dates could not be higher after the way the boys closed the tour at Madison Square Garden in New York City. I’ve said it before but it bears repeating: Pearl Jam is a like a fine wine – just gets better with age. The sincerity of each nightly performance and the craft of the set list construction rivals anything they’ve done before and eclipses every other mainstream musical act. If you saw them in May, consider yourself lucky. If you’re seeing them in June/July, consider yourself warned.

Cheers! Donny

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

all that's sacred #53

This tour might be short, but the guys are definitely making the most of each show. Nightly, I'll check the set lists from the west coast and find my mouth agape as I read. Usually by the encore my jaw will just completely give way and shatter on the ground! My envy of the lucky ones in attendance grows exponentially and has me glowing a healthy shade of green. Unbelievable.

Seems only appropriate to end the run with a two night stand on the biggest stage and in the biggest city in the country: Madison Square Garden in New York City. To help prepare for this occasion, #53 takes a look back at a few memorable moments from past NYC/MSG gigs. As good as some of these are, I can only imagine what people are in store for this time around given the momentum of the big wave the boys are riding into these last two shows.

Enjoy the podcast and enjoy the shows if you're lucky enough to be there.

Cheers! Donny

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

all that's sacred #52

Here it is, folks... I've been planning and hyping #52 for weeks now as it marks the one year anniversary of this here podcast. It's the realization of a longtime goal and I really want to celebrate the occasion. From the image art to the 1 hour and 48 minutes of audio, this is a dedication to all my fellow Pearl Jam freaks. It's the listener initiative and input that really makes this episode special.

It's pretty amazing how this band and their music connects us and unites us - all walks of life from all over the globe. I've always had some understanding of this intuitively, but I've gained a new appreciation for just how true this is through this little experiment of mine. Thanks for being a constant source of encouragement, ideas, and correspondence. I really appreciate everyone taking the time to listen and contribute over this past year. My highest aspiration for the podcast is that it enhances the fan experience in some small way. I think we are off to a promising start...

Alright, enough mushy talk... Let's do this up right with the most epic ATS ever!

Cheers! Donny

* Full size image art found here.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

all that's sacred #51

I figured it was going to be hard topping last week’s podcast, so I decided #51 should be fast and loose and dig deep into the mailbag. Some great stories and song suggestions explored as well as a few choice moments from tours past to get you ready for the shows next week. We also continue to push the envelope into new interactive territory with the first ever Skype interview.

There is a lot on the immediate horizon to excite the Pearl Jam fan and I appreciate anyone and everyone spending some time each week with this here unofficial podcast. I am beyond stoked to realize that we are about to celebrate the one year anniversary of this experiment and I hope to build some anticipation.

Cheers! Donny

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

all that's sacred #50

I think you're gonna want to hear this...

Cheers! Donny

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

all that's sacred #49

Remember the other week when I said it pays to live in Seattle for all the side project gigs? Well, that was never truer than the last week or so. April 10th was the Team McCready global fundraiser with a surprise set from Mike at the Seattle event. Four days later was the marathon Brad gig at the Showbox featuring a huge number of special guests – including a reunited Mother Love Bone. The week ended and culminated back at the Showbox on Friday night with the first Soundgarden show in 13 years! I was lucky enough to be at all 3 events and continue recounting my observations and experiences on #49.

The fun continues this week with Monday night’s surprise visit from Ed and Mike at the Conan O’Brien tour stop and Friday’s 8th Annual Flight To Mars benefit show. I missed the Team Coco appearance but am stoked to end the week reconnecting with friends for a night of facemelting by our favorite axeman.

As for music this week, I thought it was only appropriate to give Matt Cameron a little love before ending things with a fantastic Flight To Mars primer. Having featured all the other guys exclusively on the podcast, it’s long overdue to spotlight Matt and couldn’t be denied after Friday night. The guy is a stud and I’m blown away at how effortlessly he navigates differing musical territory.

One production note: I inadvertently recorded all my commentary at a lower bit rate and didn’t realize it until I was exporting to mp3. Given the length of my rambling chatter this week, there was no way I was rerecording at that point. It’s still very listenable but I just didn’t want you to think I had a sinus cold or had recently developed a noticeable lisp.

Thanks for listening and thanks for sending me all your pictures for the fan collage to be featured as the image art for #52 – the one year anniversary of All That’s Sacred! Keep ‘em coming!

Cheers! Donny

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

all that's sacred #48

The momentum toward the May Pearl Jam shows began in earnest over the weekend with the Wishlist Foundation/Team McCready global fundraiser. On Saturday, fans converged on cities across the world to reconnect with each other and do some fundraising for Advocacy for Patients with Chronic Illness. In addition to being a ton of fun, it was a resounding success with thousands of dollars raised for the cause. I was at the Seattle gig where we were treated to a surprise set by the man who inspired the event himself – Mike McCready! I recap everything on #48 and share some tunes from Jodie Watts and To The Glorious Lonely who are friends of Mike and were also on the bill that night.

The momentum continues tonight with the Brad show which also promises to feature Satchel, Pigeonhed, Malfunkshun, Stone’s Hank Khoir, and a reunited Mother Love Bone. It’s guaranteed to be a night to remember. Since it’ll be a big evening for Mr. Gossard, we are showing Stone a little love to round out today’s podcast.

Flight To Mars returns next week to kick things into hyper drive with its 8th Annual Benefit Concert. Pearl Jam should be a well-oiled machine come May 1st at the NOLA Jazz Fest.

Hope you dig #48.

Cheers! Donny