If it seems as though Nirvana’s groundbreaking Nevermind album is sucking up all the oxygen in the universe this month with its various 20th anniversary celebrations, it’s worth remembering that plenty of so-called grunge bands emerged from Seattle in the early 90s, irrevocably changing the scene.
Yet only one has remained more or less intact since then: Pearl Jam.
And they too have something to ‘crow about’ (sorry couldn’t resist) this month in the form of Oscar-winning director and music aficionado Cameron Crowe’s documentary, Pearl Jam Twenty, receiving its world premiere next week at the Toronto International Film Festival.
(We’ll check it out at a press screening this weekend and report back next week. Meantime, check out the trailer below).
Fans of the band – and judging from the gigs I’ve been to, they are numerous and fiercely loyal – should block off September 20, for on that night, Pearl Jam Twenty screens for punters in Cineplex theatres across Canada for one night only. A list of participating cinemas and ticket details are available here.
Meantime, here is the official bumpf about the movie; scroll down for details on the accompanying soundtrack and book:
Told in big themes and bold colours with blistering sound, Pearl Jam Twenty chronicles the years leading up to the band’s formation, the chaos that ensued soon-after being catapulted into superstardom, their step back from the spotlight with the instinct of self-preservation, and the creation of a trusted circle that would surround them - giving way to a work culture that would sustain them. The film celebrates the freedom that allows the band to make music without losing themselves, their fans, or the music lovers they’d always been.
“We put so much into the film - moments, pieces of footage shot by band members, audio snippets, visual bursts, new and old interviews - many different formats, all meant to show the emotional scrapbook of what it felt like to be a member of the band on this twenty-year journey,” said Cameron Crowe. “The richness of the footage made our path very clear - just tell the story of the band and let the music guide us. It was a joy to make this film, and we’re thrilled to share it with the fans.”
The captivating documentary gives fans and audiences an intimate first glimpse into Pearl Jam’s journey culled from more than 1,200 hours of rarely and never-before-seen footage, over 24 hours of recent interviews with the band, as well as live footage of their spellbinding concert performances.
To coincide with the theatrical release, the Pearl Jam Twenty soundtrack – comprised of a selected track listing by Cameron Crowe - also drops September 20.
But wait… there’s more! In addition, as part of their year-long celebration, Pearl Jam is also the Pearl Jam Twenty book on September 13 via Simon & Schuster and chronicling the band’s past two decades.
Compiled and written by veteran music writer Jonathan Cohen with Mark Wilkerson, the book includes a foreword by Cameron Crowe (and material from all his own band interviews) as well as original interviews with Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, and Dave Grohl.
The book is also available for pre-order now at www.PJ20.com.