Introducing Pearl Jam

Email yang dikirim ke temen untuk minta penjelasan: why Pearl Jam? He actually lose something to appreciate PJ, and demand an explanatio...



Email yang dikirim ke temen untuk minta penjelasan: why Pearl Jam? He actually lose something to appreciate PJ, and demand an explanation from me...And here it is, to share with all of you why should we love Pearl Jam.

Kalo soal musik-nya Pearl Jam sih emang relatif lebih susah memahamin-nya. Biar cepet kita musti "ngalamin" sendiri, dalam artian nge-jam atau maenin musiknya Pearl Jam. Di situ keliatan banget kalo "eksekusi" yang mereka ambil sangat ngga pop sekali (quoted from Arip, music practician - got ID guitar-vocal-ist). Beda sama Nirvana, STP dan sebagainya, yang cukup pake feel, beat-nya udah ketebak, kalo Pearl Jam beda. Soul-nya terutama (according to Ridha, music practician - got ID gutarist). Jadi emang relatif susah diterima sih di kuping. Musti terbiasa dulu, dan seperti yang gw bilang lebih mudah kalo via praktek langsung. Tapi begitu kita bisa "tune" sama musik-nya Pearl Jam, itu adalah hal yang adiktif. Itu mangkanya Pearl Jam ngga ngeluarin big hit. Semua lagunya adalah favorit. Dalam 4 konser misalnya, Pearl Jam bisa membawakan total 62 lagu dengan hanya 2-3 lagu yang sama di tiap-tiap setlist-nya.

"I'm making music for music's sake, and I have an audience I'm proud of" [Ed Vedder]

Kalo soal lirik, Pearl Jam (terutama Ed Vedder) sangat bisa mewakili "suara-suara" orang "bawah". Maksutnya yang secara global-komunal seperti ngga diterima (let say...loser maybe), juga tema-temanya yang berani, konfrontatif, dan juga dalem (eksistensial). Mungkin bagi banyak orang, Pearl Jam seperti mewakilin jiwa mereka berekpresi, layaknya nerd rock dengan dewanya Radiohead. Mereka kan juga orang-orang yang "terbuang" dari lingkungan kosmopolitan. Bedanya, kalo Pearl Jam lebih ke arah "struggle and rage", ngga cuman "curhat" sama keadaan. Ada resistensi, baik di lirik atau musiknya. With all respect to Radiohead.

"If you can energize people who listen to you to look into issues and understand their freedoms, that's a really positive thing. And as artists, I think you have a responsibility." [Ed Vedder]
Dan dari sekian katalog lagu, semuanya mempunyai tema yang sangat beragam (ngga ada prototipikal cinta" misalnya, atau "rebel" dan "politik"). Semua ada. Dari yang lagu ditinggal mati, filsafat eksistensial, lingkungan, selebritas, politik, friendship dan lain-lain. Dalam hal kualitas, Ed Vedder mungkin bisa disejajarin sama Jim Morisson, John Lennon atau songwriter paten lain. Tetapi somehow, lirik-liriknya Vedder bisa sangat deket karena multi-intepretasi juga.

"We're very reluctant to disclose song meanings. If a person lends their own interpretation of a song, it becomes their song, too. Music for some people is very personal; they need it." [Ed Vedder]
Hal ketiga yang mungkin paling kena adalah attitude mereka. Pearl Jam adalah band untuk fans. Pearl Jam ngga butuh popularitas yang didongkrak. In fact, penjualan album mereka selalu nge-drop dari album pertama, Ten, yang fenomenal.

"How many records you sell doesn't change how you look at the music. Getting a gold record was cool for about two-and-a-half minutes" [Ed Vedder]
Pearl Jam ngga bikin video klip atau ekstensi promosi album. Pearl Jam ingin dihargai karena musik, bukan karena imej mereka. Pearl Jam besar di tur-tur mereka. Hal yang sangat "noble" di tengah pertarungan industri. Pearl Jam juga pernah mengeluarkan "antitrust" terhadap raksasa industri tiket, ticketmaster, untuk memperjuangkan harga tiket yang terjangkau fans mereka. Meski buntutnya mereka di-ban ngga bole ngadain tur selama dua taun.

Pearl Jam is better than any other band almost in history to have had that kind of enormous success, they dealt with it really eloquently. I think that set a great example to other musicians that, you know what, you can actually control the media spotlight. I think they stayed vital. The records they made didn't necessarily appeal to the same number of fans who were into Ten, but they appealed to a lot of people. They sold millions of records without having to make videos and without having to do an overhyped press campaign for each record. - Chris Cornell
Pearl Jam juga ngebolehin fans-nya buat nge-trade official bootlegs yang dikeluarin oleh label indie mereka (Tenclub). Di tiap konser sepanjang tur taun 2000 dan 2002 (jadi ada dua ratusan official bootlegs dari konser yang b'beda), Pearl Jam ngerilis official bootlegs berisi 2 CD konser uncensored (dialog-nya masih utuh), dengan harga murah (seharga satu CD), cuma sekitar 10-an kopi. Nantinya fans diperbolehkan buat ngopi dan trade antar fans. Mereka ngga ngitung profit dari gituan. Tapi untuk album, mereka terikat agreement sama label, jadi dilarang trading. Anthony Kiedis, vokalis RHCP bilang kalo Pearl Jam actually band indie yang besar karena konsep manajemen mereka.

They're essentially an indie band that can sell out stadiums. - Kiedis

I'm a huge fan of the Pearl Jam organization, of what you might call the culture around the group. They exist entirely unto themselves. They don't depend on the media, don't depend on the radio. They'll be around for as long as they wish to be. There's only 3 other bands on the planet that have the talent and the mystique to change the world with music. Radiohead, REM, and Pearl Jam. - Bono
Gaya hidup personel Pearl Jam juga sangat low-profile. "Infotainment" mengenai kehidupan di luar panggung mereka tidak di-eksploitasi. Fans Pearl Jam, biasanya terbagi suka atas dasar tiga hal itu: musik-lirik-attitude. Pearl Jam udah jadi "cult", dan kita bisa browsing ratusan situs dengan perspektif berbeda-beda tentang Pearl Jam. Semuanya dibuat oleh fans dan semuanya positif.

"My mind is in these songs, but the fact that so many people can relate to these songs is kind of depressing. Actually, now I understand those religious channels more. Everybody needs something" [Ed Vedder]
Anyway jangan sampe terpengaruh sama tulisan ini...kalo emang ngga suka ya udah. Just like Ed said, sebagai summary.

"If you trust me at all, if you want to listen to me at all..but you certainly don't have to...speaking from experience, I can tell you that things change. You can believe me, you don't have to. They probably won't change unless you make them. The best way to change something that's around you, something you don't like, is to change yourself. And I don't think you want other people changing you, I think the only person that can change you is yourself. So if you ain't happy, if you're reading magazines about generation x-ers and thinking 'yeah, I'm one of them', well fuck that. Don't let anyone tell you who you are. No, no. No one can tell me who I am. I can tell you who I am, but that would be a long story. I could tell you who I am and it wouldn't fit in a Rolling Stone. If wouldn't fit in a video...it's my life, it's your life. You're the only one who knows who you are. I hope you know who you are, figure it out. Cause you are somebody. And I'm probably stating the obvious, but I just thought I'd do it anyway. So if you feel like you've got a piece of duct tape on your mouth, if you feel like you can't speak, take it off, speak up, speak your mind, shout it out,let em hear, shout it out."
[Ed Vedder - Live during Porch 9/29/96]
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