I had a quiet evening at home last night contemplating a new project, munching on CSA tomatoes and sweet corn accompanied by a glass of lovely New Zealand sauvignon blanc, and listening to random Itunes songs. A song from the Into the Wild soundtrack came on and I found myself not moving, almost not breathing, for its duration. I'd forgotten how much I love Eddie Vedder, and how his voice has been moving me to tears ever since a nondescript 10th-grade night except that I heard Black for the first time, back when Pearl Jam was just making the scene and everyone was obsessed with (the kind of over-rated, in my opinion) Jeremy.
There's something about his voice that can still get to me: the same deep resonance that brought such comfort to my sixteen-year-old self. And I love that he made such beautiful music with Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan (whose Longing I listened to incessantly in 1996, and whose contributions to Peter Gabriel's Last Temptation of Christ helped make it such a lush, glorious album). And I love that Anacortes' very own Jacob Navarro (of Spoonshine fame) plays the mandolin on Vedder's Better Days. And I still love Smile -- there's just something about his plaintive, "I miss you already, I miss you always..." And Off He Goes, from that same album. And I still love State of Love & Trust, even if not with quite the same passion as in 1993.
I don't know. I find it strangely comforting that Eddie Vedder grew up, grew out of that early '90s flannel shirt angsty thing, outlived Kurt Cobain and Andrew Wood and Layne Staley and is still around, recording eccentric ukelele albums with an Anacortes boy and writing gorgeous music that's been making some already pretty amazing movies that much more beautiful.