June 2, 2009

there’s a war outside still raging / …it ain’t ours anymore to win

I spoke with a representative from the Pearl Jam Ten Club management today on the phone for about thirty minutes, responding back to a voicemail he left on my cell phone yesterday shortly after my amended post went up, saying they were “saddened” by the developments and asking if I would please call them back. Yesterday was a long day, and life being what it is, I had real-job responsibilities to finish up and a sunburned little kindergartener to pick up from summer camp, so I didn’t get a chance to call them back until lunch hour today. A lot of spiraling has happened since then, all over the internet.

Ultimately I will concede that Pearl Jam has the right to control the way that their material is heard by and unveiled to the fans, and my opinion about how they should make business decisions (which they are simply that — business decisions) is not as important to the rest of the world as it is to me. Fair enough. They have a plan, and crappy-quality fan recordings are not part of that plan anymore.

Yesterday I amended the original post to remove reference to censorship, as I learned more about what unfolded. The deleted written posts around the internet stemmed from a violation of the non-disclosure agreement regarding the deal and commercial with Target for exclusive big-box distribution of their new album, a model that they have worked on for years and are excited about. Pearl Jam wanted it to be unveiled “properly.” Rather than adapt and unveil this news on Friday when rumors of the shoot started leaking, management made the decision to quell discussion until they could release the information on Monday in the manner they had intended. Again, fair enough. Their decision.

We discussed the band’s change in policy, from the years of supported cassette trading among fans to a bigger, brighter, shinier internet that disseminates information to millions with a click, and how this affects the way that their new music is experienced. The term he used was “opening the presents before Christmastime.” My opinions on the effects of hearing live, pre-release fan recordings differs from that of the band and the management.

As this blog has grown, I have found myself with a leg in both worlds of the fandom where this all began and the industry side, and I’m not always quite sure where my personal enthusiasm stops and responsibility to whatever platform I have must begin. After some initial unfortunate very harsh words in the phone call (apparently Fuel/Friends is, and I quote, “a shitty blog”), the representative of the band reiterated that the support of fans and sites like mine are “very important” to the band and to the Ten Club, and asked if there was anything they could do to amend the breakup.

Ultimately what I take away from the conversation (other than reluctantly tear-streaked cheeks) is that I can see the perspective of a man and a business that is trying to make it work for them as well. We simply have two very different vantage points: that of the fans who will always want more and more in our excitement, and that of the band trying to manage a career purposefully and deliberately, on their terms. Ultimately, they win and don’t owe me anything. It’s their band, their decisions.

I guess sometimes we think that earnest fandom means we can do whatever we want as bloggers, and enthusiasm will smooth over a multitude of transgressions. And it’s not always so in an increasingly legalized internet world. I must have been hasty to publicize –or frankly even have– personal feelings about all this when, to them, I think it’s just business.

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122 Comments »

  • I’m glad that you at least were heard but am saddened by their criticism. It’s funny because I really didn’t see where any excitement was lost by the post of the song. It might have been better if they just lied and told Target they did what they could to stop the release but instead really didn’t. Maybe I am off base here. Who cares at this point. Had the song been worthy of high praise maybe I would feel differently.

    I am Fuel, You are Friends….just maybe it should be You are fuel, I am friend, at least for today.

    Kelli Douglas — June 2, 2009 @ 1:53 pm

  • As a long time fan of Pearl Jam, I too have been troubled by them lately. My main gripe has been ticket prices, especially Eddie Vedder’s solo tour prices. When you are asking over 70 dollars for a ticket to your show, you are no longer all about your fans. And Pearl Jam used to be all about their fans, but the ticket prices and their recent actions make me really question that. I can’t say I’m breaking up with them just yet, but I’m starting to look around for someone new.

    Kevin G. — June 2, 2009 @ 2:01 pm

  • I can really empathize with your situation (having had a similar experience with REM a few years ago). It is hard when the wrinkles, biases, ulterior motivations, and business principles of your favorite band are exposed — when all you want to do is soar to the chorus of Given to Fly. It seems as though Pearl Jam has come crashing to earth — most likely in a Target parking lot. I hope they turn this around soon because they are starting to feel stale and desperate.

    DF — June 2, 2009 @ 2:18 pm

  • So obvious that you were talking to Tim Bierman. He’s the only one who would call a blog “shitty”.

    You won’t say it so someone else will.

    I think your responsibility is to keep your personal enthusiasm intact, because your personal enthusiasm is what made Nick fucking Hornby dig your blog.

    Your personal enthusiasm is something that bands can’t buy, they can’t duplicate, they can’t compete with, no matter what experts they hire or how much money they throw at the problem.

    Your personal enthusiasm is priceless. Don’t let the 10 Club take it away, don’t let mindless fascist Pearl Jam fans take it away, don’t let anyone take it away. The fact that you are being attacked is because you are doing something, and the ones who are attacking you are probably doing so because they sit on their asses and don’t do anything, but resent the hell out of anyone who does something – because it shows them that the only person they have to blame is themselves.

    You have something to offer. It is you. Keep it going.

    stupid pj post patrol — June 2, 2009 @ 2:44 pm

  • Your blog is a shitty blog and so are you!

    Rob — June 2, 2009 @ 2:48 pm

  • That new song sucks anyway. Sounds like most of their stuff recently.

    Mark — June 2, 2009 @ 2:53 pm

  • i say us as fans have the right to stop paying attention. i was thinking about this the other day. and we might dedicate too much time to all this “jazz”. and for what. mostly we get shit on. or screwed over for parlor tricks. multiple releases with different bonus tracks, buy the cd but no bonus track cause you got it on itunes. going out to see the band and not always really feel thoroughly entertained… just heard something relatively familiar.. sounded nice.. no one really moved around and i’m back to being bored. lets just say fuck’em start our own bands… our own publications, our own design and law firm… and piss on everything and nuke’em from orbit, its the only way to be sure.

    i’m not happy with music this week, enjoying music.. but pissed at the creators… and the beholders.

    ps. i’m sorry they were jerks, thats bullshit.. even if it is a job. everyone seems to think they need to be a hard ass to get a point across.

    also, i love your shitty blog. thanks for being awesome

    Chris — June 2, 2009 @ 2:54 pm

  • I like you much, much more than I’ve ever liked Pearl Jam.

    Down with Pearl Jam
    Down with Live nation
    Down with Ticketmaster
    Down with Target

    And a big middle finger to Rob

    Dongoose — June 2, 2009 @ 2:55 pm

  • i don’t think anyone wins when PJ management misbehaves and i’m not surprised this 10C representative behaved worse than a petulant child.

    sadly, it’s just another blow to my faith in the whole operation. maybe a change in expectations and perception is best for us fans.

    grace6697 — June 2, 2009 @ 3:22 pm

  • I feel like a idiot now. I ponied up the $40 for the new release of Ten (with the Unplugged DVD) today at lunch, and then come home to find that they’ve been less than cool with you. Keep up the good work on your excellent blog. I would have missed out on what now are some of my favorite bands without this blog.

    J — June 2, 2009 @ 3:23 pm

  • Thanks for the follow up post Heather; although hopefully everyone can now move on. As you say, “Ultimately I will concede that Pearl Jam has the right to control the way that their copyrighted material is heard by and unveiled to the fans”… because despite all our rhetoric about the issue, that’s what it all ultimately boils down to.
    It’s not our material.
    We music bloggers have always walked a tenuous line, and surely we’re aware of that each and every time we post someone else’s material without prior tacit permission. As much as we would like to argue against that, deep down we know that we’re walking on a slippery slope. Even if we have a great relationship with the band, and even if we’ve posted material in the past and it’s been cool… realistically speaking, we shouldn’t post material without checking, each and every time that it’s cool to do so. I’m not saying that we do. Hell, I don’t. But I feel that, if we’re honest with ourselves, we should all know that we don’t really have a leg to stand on if the band aren’t too happy about it.

    Burgo — June 2, 2009 @ 3:40 pm

  • We’ve got the means to make amends!

    Long time reader, first time commenter here. And I really think you should make amends with PJ, Heather. It just feels like something is wrong in the universe when you announce that you no longer want to be a Pearl Jam fan. I’m no Ten Club suit, but I too was saddened by this news.

    PJ’s faceless lawyers may be jerks, but don’t take it out on the band themselves. Jeff, Mike, Stone, Matt, and Ed. Five stoner kids from the 80′s who love to make music and play that music for the people. These five guys don’t have any evil vendetta out against you…they’ve done you no wrong…most likely they don’t even know anything about this recent internetz “scandal” because they’re busy in some jam room working out the chord progressions for a new song.

    Don’t forget all the things that you hold, and feel very deeply about, inside your heart that this band has put in there themselves.

    I am fuel, you are friends, we got the means to make amends.

    Anyway, I hope everything works out wonderfully for you and for the band and maybe someday you’ll bump into Eddie at a bar and you’ll both have a good laugh about all this over a beer or two. Peace and love.

    Chuck Bass — June 2, 2009 @ 3:45 pm

  • Best Blog on the internet….hands down…What a shitty thing for him to say.

    All love here in Portland.

    Todd

    Todd — June 2, 2009 @ 3:59 pm

  • PS You’d think they were curing cancer, not putting out music.

    Todd — June 2, 2009 @ 4:06 pm

  • It’s shitty times like these that make me appreciate your blog for what it is. It’s easy to get sucked into the cutthroat industry side of it but please, don’t ever lose the passionate fan part of you. Well, lose it for Pearl Jam, but don’t lose it in general. You’re doing this for the right reasons. Love love love.

    Angora Holly Polo — June 2, 2009 @ 4:18 pm

  • Your blog is awesome. Some shitty little middle management representative should not have said that. My sense is you should get an apology for that as well. I agree with Dongoose and must say “a big middle finger to Rob” as well.

    JC — June 2, 2009 @ 4:29 pm

  • There are alot of blogs anyone of us can read. The fact that I choose to read your blog is because of your passion and energy for music. The only thing “shitty” is how the situation was handled on Pearl Jam’s end. If the guys in Pearl Jam are not aware of this they can only blame themselves.

    spookycat — June 2, 2009 @ 4:41 pm

  • Heather,

    I am saddened to hear Pearl Jam taking big business’ side over the fans. I too am having difficulties with them right now but on a much smaller scale.

    My problem lies within fan club seating. My membership expires in three days. I’ll be seeing Eddie in 18 days in Memphis. Call me a crybaby, call me whatever, but if my seats are not in the first 1/3 of the concert hall I will not be renewing my membership. If I’m seated anywhere else I refuse to believe there are that many Ten Club fans who have lower numbers than I, and are at the same show as me, especially at such a small venue.

    Stand up for what you think is right, and if they become corporate sellouts as it’s suspected, we’ll walk hand in hand away from the mess because we know better.

    Bryce — June 2, 2009 @ 4:42 pm

  • Heather,

    This is what happens when the management thinks they are more important than the band. The tail starts to wag the dog. I don’t know anybody in Pearl Jam but if one of them came out in support of this heavy handed behaviour, I would be surprised. It seems these knobs in the 10 Club are a bit caught up in their own self importance.

    You have a wonderfully unique blog that has influenced my music choices. There are many bands who owe you enormous gratitude for recommending their music.

    Hope your youngster’s sunburn is OK. Aloe Vera is a great comfort for red noses. A few freckles can be cute!

    Tawriffic — June 2, 2009 @ 5:24 pm

  • first, it is exactly your enthusiasm that drew me to your blog. you remind me very much of my early days & i admire that. as far as i’m concerned, your blog fulfills what i see as the ideal for this kind of thing.

    two, you’ve hooked me up w/some great music. thank you.

    three, this is an odd period we’re going through…bands are losing their traditional incomes(record sales)& material is so easily available. i think things will be worked out over the next decade or so but any kind of ethics, in relation to blogs & the internet, are up in the air for the time being. manners, on the other hand, are a whole other ball game. you shouldn’t have had to put up w/the rudeness. no one’s life was at stake here.

    i will say that i have to side w/the band here despite my obvious sympathies for your position. it IS there music & their property. their wishes, in regards to it, should be granted. i imagine the band would be appalled that you were treated so shoddily. there’s no call for it. period.

    four, just keep doing what you’re doing. i would encourage you to not let this rude bootlick affect your enthusiasm for the band or their music, past & forthcoming.

    you do a great job here & i truly hope that this episode is the worst you’ll ever have to deal w/from over on that side of the equation.
    thanks. dj

    dan — June 2, 2009 @ 5:39 pm

  • Heather:

    I remember finding your blog way back when from a post of yours in the ten club forum. It has been great to watch your blog grow.

    To anyone that defends the band, I call bullshit. Eddie and the guys know exactly what is happening. Remember, this bootleg friendly band is led by a guy who doesn’t want any of his acoustic shows taped.

    It’s always disappointing when our heroes let us down.

    But, this is their business. We may not like how they conduct it, but ultimately it is still theirs. The only way it can change is if we make them change. Clearly, they believe, and probably rightfully so, that a proper roll-out backed by a lot of $$ in marketing is worth more to them then having their songs find their way into the public domain before they want them to be there.

    I wish the result were different. I wish the Ten Club had a little class and treated you with the respect you deserve. THAT is a fight worth having.

    I encourage you to keep doing what you are doing, because you do it better than 99% of the music bloggers out their. You have style, you can write, and you are passionate about music. That’s what brings all of us here on a regular basis. Thanks!

    szg — June 2, 2009 @ 6:13 pm

  • GO HEATHER!!!

    You’re pure at heart.

    Wait a little while before scratching your LPs ok?

    Breath.

    And maybe a scream too.

    emepitri — June 2, 2009 @ 6:14 pm

  • Loss is hard, but it seems that they don’t deserve you. Maybe you did…but they no longer do. Sounds like a relationship. But both parties have to try. Love your blog.

    bobgoatcheese — June 2, 2009 @ 6:36 pm

  • Keep the faith. There’s a number of stress points here and while they may seem heavy and even at odds with the ways of the current world, don’t let the bastards get you down. What was once punk rock is now sadly co-opted, as much of the blog world itself has become (at least some of the more “popular” sites). Being in the biz myself and a fan and a blogger I am empathetic to all the issues you bring up. Ultimately we need to respect that music does belong to a creator and you need to be able to walk the lines with respect to all the stakeholders. I do that every minute of my day in my job. And it’s tough. And fuck, you know, while we may disagree on this, PJ hasn’t been of much relevance to me personally since I saw Eddie swinging from the rafters at the Troc here like 20 years ago. Keep on rocking, HB – Your pal Bruce

    Bruce — June 2, 2009 @ 6:41 pm

  • Tim Bierman = Asshole

    Brian — June 2, 2009 @ 6:48 pm

  • I like you Heather, I like your tenacity and we need you blogging out there, keeping it real. If we didn’t have you, who knows what other wool they’d be trying to pull over our eyes with.

    I have a feeling PJ will not only be losing you and me as fans, but a whole lot more for their recent actions.

    Jeannie — June 2, 2009 @ 7:12 pm

  • Thanks for sharing! I completely understand the tug-of-war between sharing your excitement over a band you love and appreciate, and respecting the band’s schedules and decisions, no matter how you’d prefer to tweak/expedite things, if only your input as a devoted fan mattered!

    -Talia

    Talia — June 2, 2009 @ 7:18 pm

  • Wow.

    I’ve been in love with Pearl Jam since I was 14 years old, and I hate to hear that they aren’t exactly the band I always assumed, or at the very least hoped they were. I understand music is business, but the model has changed and bands need to understand blogging is a huge way to increase interested in a band. I have fallen in love with multiple bands thanks to you steering me to the right songs. (Joe Pug is playing as I type this) Not only does Pearl Jam come across as Assholes (At least their management), they also are failing to capitalize on the possibility of bringing in new fans. They may picks up some casual fans at target, but I know so many of us that read your blog and others live and breathe music. We require it everyday, and find ourselves latching on to that which we love for years to come. I much rather target that fan, than the guy picking up some housewares in aisle ten.

    I know I shouldn’t let personality get in the way of art, but I find it often does. When bands react like this I find myself less inclinded to listen to their music. I’ve almost been to 10 pearl jam shows, and moves like this make me wonder if I have many more left in me. Attacking a true fan by calling their art shitty is inexcusable.

    maidaman — June 2, 2009 @ 7:38 pm

  • From where I stand, I see both sides of the story, but in the end, being a fan doesn’t give anyone ownership of other people’s content. I work in a field that deals with a lot of marketing. I know “marketing” can be a dirty word but there are some good people out there that work hard planning campaigns for bands, films and everything else that people are eager to see.
    Having been part of plans that have leaked onto the internet by overzealous fans, I can say it really sucks to see weeks, month and even years of planning go down the tubes bc someone has a website and decides they want to say “look what I’ve got!” before anyone else.
    As for Pearl Jam and all the shit they are going to take for this – it sucks for them right now but they didn’t set out with the intent to screw their fans over. They had a plan and they want to follow through with it. It’s that simple.
    As for the high ticket prices, let me use a famous phrase, “It’s the economy stupid”
    I’ve worked in the touring business. What do you think happens when gas shoots up and you have to travel your gear and personnel across the country via bus, van or plane? Have you stayed in a hotel lately? I own a small t-shirt business and my partner and I are getting hammered with shipping.
    We hear people complain about our prices slowly rising but we haven’t gotten an increased profit in 6 years, we just keep paying more to ship a tee shirt that weighs more than 13 ounces.
    This debate and all the debates associated with it have been raging for years. The internet is the most amazing/awful thing to happen to music.
    It rocks/sucks.
    That’s the bottom line.

    David Iskra — June 2, 2009 @ 7:42 pm

  • What I admire most in all of this is your passion about the music of Pearl Jam. Anyone who reads your blog knows your post was was written because you are a true fan. Despite all the misunderstandings, emotion & expectations, at the end of the day, you do have the music that you connected with in the beginning. For me, music will always provide an endless supply of joy and satisfaction…and no management or corporation can take that away. Thanks & keep using your superpowers for good.

    Ike — June 2, 2009 @ 7:43 pm

  • “when, to them, I think it’s just business.”

    Yeah, but it was never supposed to become that.

    Heather, you write a wonderful blog! I found it about 3 years ago through a Pearl Jam post but I followed it because your taste in music is impeccable and your writing style is, well, kind of magical sometimes :) You’ve written some of the best reviews I’ve read anywhere and turned me on to a ton of great music.

    And, hey, this isn’t the Pit – nobody can see my number or put a little x next to my name in the 10c database so here goes… Fuck you, Tim Bierman!!! You’re a relic. An ignorant artifact in over your head in a world you can’t begin to understand. God, I hope you’re gone soon. This band is lucky they have fans who will stick with them despite your bad attitude.

    doodlebug — June 2, 2009 @ 7:51 pm

  • I’m a, dare I say, fan of both your blog and PJ. Both IAM,YAF and PJ wear your hearts on your sleeves, but I somehow believe your heart is the more human at this time. I respect most of what the band has stood for over the years, but it seems that they are not as close to reality of their audience as they once were. I also think that bloggers like you, especially like you, vocalize how we feel about current music and how it is being delivered to us. I hope the band itself has the guts to reconnect with you directly, and not through corporate hacks. By extension, they would be reconnecting to many of us who have felt marginalized by the music machine.

    Dhaveed — June 2, 2009 @ 7:53 pm

  • Thanks for all you do as a blogger. I appreciate your fan-ness in your writing and it appeals to me much more than any “critic” in the musical or blogging realm. I’ve enjoyed following your blog for a couple years now and am amazed at your amazing amounts of fortitude with all the crap that exists out there with an art form that is almost all controlled by big business. It’s tough to be a fan of anything that is so marginalized by money. Wherever your musical tastes take this blog, I shall follow.

    Stephen — June 2, 2009 @ 8:09 pm

  • So I (kinda) know you as a person and am quite sure you would not do anything to harm a band you liked, much less loved. The fact that you stick with Pearl Jam even as you spend as much time as you do delving into music that only sees the light of day through your reviews and comments only speaks to the connection with PJ you pay tribute to with the blog (especially its name). Remember that the band, and the band’s management are unfortunately and often different creatures. Jim Morrison freaked when he found his (his-ish) song selling cars. How great will it be if Eddie acts on the fact that one of their biggest devotees has been manhandled by management. I’m sorry that you’ve gone through this so many times.

    Miles — June 2, 2009 @ 8:30 pm

  • Hang in their Heather! Thanks very much for your candor in this situation. You’re right, there are two sides and even the suit at 10c admitted that the band needs blogs like yours and fans like us for the band to have existed as long as it has. Your PJ posts are what lead me to your blog and rekindled my love of PJ.
    But in every relationship sometimes you have to give a little more than you get in hopes that down the road the roles are reversed. I’m not sure we’ll ever get back what we’ve been giving up lately. After reading your troubles with the band, seeing $70 tickets for acoustic shows and other things related to their business side, I can’t help but wonder who needs who more? For each of us the answer is different. For my part if PJ is looking for my wallet, they’ll find it empty. If instead they went looking for my love and loyalty, they’d find me overflowing.
    Thanks again!

    cj — June 2, 2009 @ 8:31 pm

  • End of the day, it’s all about the music that we all love collectively and together. Thanks for sharing some of the favorites in your world with all of us.

    Shine on!

    Matt Wardlaw — June 2, 2009 @ 8:43 pm

  • eggshells eggshells. it’s where the hopeful go to die.

    heather,
    it’s m from gremmie.net. i just finished reading your post. my heart, threaded with empathy, goes out to you. lord knows i too know how it feels to bleed for this band.

    m — June 2, 2009 @ 9:31 pm

  • Heather, two thoughts to share. One, no band is worth tears unless the tears are inspired by the art they produce. They are just flawed human beings like the rest of us, no matter how often we may imagine them as some sort of supermen/women. Two, your “shitty blog” is a joy to me and many others. The reality that we may not agree on every aspect of creator’s rights does nothing to diminish my enjoyment of your writing and, yes, your fannish enthusiasm. Rock on.

    Jason — June 2, 2009 @ 10:16 pm

  • This post is saddening. It is just a business to the middlemen, I guess. But I thought it was about art and solidarity with an audience for the band. The way I think about this blog is that it is fundamentally one person connecting at a deep level to songs and musicians and then spreading that feeling through words to all corners of the universe. And it appears to have grown organically, on the basis of your enthusiasm and good writing, not as a business idea. So it saddens me to read into your post the disappointment stemming from the collision of everything that is not-commerce (love, belief, solidarity with bands and fans) with commerce (music as commodity, profits over feelings). As someone else said, don’t let the bastards grind you down. And I hope that your enthusiasm and love for music, including that of Pearl Jam, remains apart and protected from stupid comments and big business plans.

    lbc — June 2, 2009 @ 10:56 pm

  • Heather – Still digesting this whole thing as a PJ fan myself, but one thing I am certain of, is that for the past 3 years or so I’ve read (or at least checked) this blog almost every day and have gotten more smiles, music and enjoyment because of it. Pearl Jam brought me to it initially and your amazing talents and tenacity has kept me here. So at the very very least please note that Pearl Jam has brought you one giant fan who will be back to your blog tomorrow and the days after that.

    KingCol — June 2, 2009 @ 11:36 pm

  • [...] duygularını zedeleyen süreçle ilgili kendi ağzından bilgi almak daha doğru olur. O yüzden Heather Browne’un yazısını buradan okuyabilirsiniz. Alttaki yorumların da diğer blog takipçilerinin hisleri, düşünceleri [...]

    ZEYNOX » Orda Fırtınalar Kopuyor; Burda Sular Sakin — June 3, 2009 @ 12:36 am

  • Wait now Heather,

    You must remember it is THEIR business, the rep. you spoke with, they are in the business of protecting the band and controling the Disperse of information – Not Eddie’s, not Mike’s, not Stone’s etc.

    The person you spoke with (who was it?) was out of line and probably desperate, in this stressful time with the new album deal, leaks and roumors. HE has a job to do. The band – have music to write and play. They will be conflicted as well. We all have to find a way to live together.

    Einat.

    Einat — June 3, 2009 @ 12:39 am

  • So sorry to see all this…
    I read most of the comments, and I agree with some of them from the heart.
    What I would like to say the most is… don’t let anybody discourage you or kill your passion.
    And please don’t break up with PJ alltogether!

    zeynep — June 3, 2009 @ 12:41 am

  • fuel friends was the first music blog i really got into and it REMAINS –in my view–the best music blog on the net. Heather, continue doing what you are doing. Your fans are legion.

    Robin — June 3, 2009 @ 2:41 am

  • Sorry to hear about your tough day. Here a good song to listen to Loudon Wainwright’s
    “Something for Nothing” of course it’s a protected MP3 file.

    Daniel — June 3, 2009 @ 4:14 am

  • as usual, i’m late to the party, but fwiw, it feels good to vent sometimes…

    in recent months, i became captivated by your blog (i guess i “re”-discovered it after sxsw this year), but your posting of ALL the PJ fan club singles in mp3 form is what drew me to the site in the first place. awesome, i thought. here they are, all in one place! just as i was finally getting around to (sort of) digitizing my collection…couldn’t believe they hadn’t sent you a cease and desist on that one, as i came across them well over a year after you posted them…but even at the time, i also thought, well, being in the fan club isn’t so special anymore, is it? so, uh, thanks for that??

    i guess the captivation came from reading about bands i was equally passionate about (avett brothers and murder by death, to name just a couple) but then i realized at least half of the stuff you get so excited about i find VERY average at best, and boring/awful at worst (elvis perkins, gaslight anthem, and sorry, but there will never be a good scene in denver). but that’s the way music is, isn’t it? very subjective…to each his/her own. and that’s why there are blogs, right?

    but then there’s the whole industry angle…as someone commented the other day, who are you really? who’s asking you to blog about zee avi, for example? dunno, just seems like some of “your picks” come from the heavily hyped sector of the biz, of which i’m a part in the luddite world of radioland…wait, what’s that, right? ha

    i must say, as irrelevant to the 21st century as my medium is (this being the medium i’ve loved ever since i taped the new single “burning down the house” off my boombox and bought R.E.M.’s eponymous collection on tape after hearing “The One I Love” for the first time through a booming FM signal), i get a pretty big kick out of all these “entitlement” and mountains vs. molehill arguments from people who most likely wouldn’t have the balls to say word one to anyone on either side face to face about any of this stuff. Or at least who would phrase things very differently (although with no doubt equally bad grammar). Not accusing as much as commiserating…

    So, from one very passionate music lover to another, go outside and play with your kid. blogging (and esp. commenting) is for people who really should be expending their energies in much more constructive/concrete/real world ways (i.e., not stealing and/or bitching all the time). ok, in all honesty, i’ll admit i’m just jealous i can’t find as many hours in the day to have a full-time job, raise a family, go on cool roadtrips/see lots of live music and BLOG ALL ABOUT IT like you do. i have a hard enough time living my half-assed life as it is, let alone how i’d like it to be (esp. once i do have kids)! so blog on, reggae woman! don’t let the bastards grind you down for sure, but don’t think that any of this really means anything either.

    you can turn someone on to a cool band/artist that might “change their life” ala Garden State (a goal to which i’d like to think my life has been devoted, just with a different medium than yours), but when it’s coming from Natalie Portman (who in this scenario represents you and me and all those who see themselves as “tastemakers,” i suppose) in an awful movie like Garden State, if it does change that person’s life, that person still has a pretty shitty life. call me crazy – all of this can (and will) go away when verizon or sprint or at&t or whoever decides that internet won’t be free no mo’. call me cynical…are you allowed to google “chinese democracy” in china yet? just wondering…

    and btw, i thought “Get Some” kicked ass, despite a typically bad TV mix (ed’s vocals were pretty much buried). and ironically enough, it’s all over hulu (wait, Rupert Murdoch owns that, kids!)…might’ve been a good “plan” to have some kind of single (even if it’s “only” digital) ready for fans to purchase after the broadcast, fellas…whoops. well, at least they blew THAT opportunity for quick cash. but i’m resolved to not see ed solo this tour (just saw him last august!) and will only see pj again if they come to my town (which may very well happen, who knows?), but i’m done driving even 2 hours for them anymore, esp. after the ten re-issue had so few worthwhile extras at such at outrageous cost (and believe me, i really want to see ed’s “notebook” and hear that mamasan cassette!), ed’s ticket prices are so high, and i’m surprised no one has mentioned how blasphemous it was that they allowed the ridiculous cold case show on cbs to (mis)use SEVERAL PJ songs in 2 episodes while repeatedly mentioning that the Ten re-issue was for sale…the Target thing is actually brilliant in comparison to that tv show “sell-out”…pass the Heinz baked beans, would ya Roger!?! Ah, venting done…feeling better already! Thanks!

    1/2 full — June 3, 2009 @ 4:17 am

  • ” blogging (and esp. commenting) is for people who really should be expending their energies in much more constructive/concrete/real world ways (i.e., not stealing and/or bitching all the time). ok, in all honesty, i’ll admit i’m just jealous i can’t find as many hours in the day to have a full-time job, raise a family, go on cool roadtrips/see lots of live music and BLOG ALL ABOUT IT like you do. i have a hard enough time living my half-assed life as it is, let alone how i’d like it to be (esp. once i do have kids)! so blog on, reggae woman! don’t let the bastards grind you down for sure, but don’t think that any of this really means anything either. ”

    That’s really nice. It’s hilarious that you would open with such nice things to say about this blog, and that you would leave such a mammoth comment, and then go on to insult this blog and people who comment on blogs… It might be nice to vent sometimes as you say, but you’ve obviously forgotten that although this is the internet, you’ve just said a serious of potentially very hurtful things to a REAL person, who is just writing about music because they love it and want to spread the word about good music that’s out there. If you want to vent like this, just do it at the pub or something.

    Heather, you know, keep up the good work. I’ve found so many bands through this blog so don’t let people tell you it’s not worth all the effort. It’s obvious from most of the these comments how much your writing is appreciated, and by so many people.

    Caz — June 3, 2009 @ 4:53 am

  • Pj have done a few things as of last that is unpearl jam like in my opinion anyway. This Target deal is in the same vein as that Cold Case bullshit for mine.. I’m saddened that PJ have stooped to the level of a partnership with target.. A sad day for rock ‘n’ roll in my opinion as atleast if everyone else done deals with wlamart etc I always thought PJ were never going to do anything like that but they have.. It won’t stop me from going to their shows or buying the new album but it has put a bad taste in my mouth..

    As for the issue at hand I’m on Heather’s side.. Whoever it was at 10c went wayyyy too far with this and this also puts a bad taste in my mouth. I always laughed at Metallica for being so up tight about napster but this is no different.

    I love PJ but I’m certainly soured now with my fav band and it does take a lot of their credability away that they worked so hard to gain.

    Tim — June 3, 2009 @ 5:22 am

  • Very well said grace6697. This is disheartening to me on so many levels. I think I am most upset with the fact that THEY reached out to YOU and then called your blog, shitty. That doesn’t sit well with me at all. I don’t care who it was…the bottom line is they represent Pearl Jam and for them to react like that? It’s childish at best. Good job 10Club. Way to stand up.

    Will — June 3, 2009 @ 5:48 am

  • Heather,

    So sorry to hear about your issue with PJ. Its sad to realize when your favorite band is just like all the other corporate bands. Unfortunately its a business, its just hard to accept it.

    I am a huge PJ fan (who has purchased countless live dvds and cds) and the whole reason that I found your blog was because of live tracks that you posted a few years ago. Since then, I curse your name every once in a while because I spend so money on albums from bands that you promote on your blog. Just keep doing what you’re doing, we we all appreciate it.

    Lucas — June 3, 2009 @ 6:06 am

  • Olá Heather. Greetings from PORTUGAL. I’ve first got in contact with your blog trough Pearl Jam, and i was trully amazed by the enormous passion you have for the band. Just like me. That impressed me so much, that i saved your url in the favorites so that i can check it every week. But not only the PJ stuff made me “loyal” to your blog. Just love your writing, so passionate. It shows the profund love you have for the art of music and how music can be the most beautiful thing in the world. So, please don´t give up on doing one thing you love, that is blogging, just beacuse some stupid guy called “shitty” to your wonderful blog.

    Keep bloggin in the free world.

    Beijos.

    Corduroy — June 3, 2009 @ 6:18 am

  • Heather,

    Don’t cut the cord quite yet.

    I don’t agree at all with how PJ’s REPS handled the situation at the beginning. It seems like based on your most recent post and conversation with them that they came to understand the gravity of how derogatory one of their employees was to you and made an attempt to correct the situation. It’s interesting that a lot of people on PJ’s discussion board seem to not be separating the Band (whose music they love) from the Fan Club management (who’s responsibility it is to oversee marketing plans and interact with fans)

    As a parent I’m sure you see that everyone has a bad day and that tomorrow is a new day, and on both sides of the relationship. My point is that I hope you can still enjoy the music you’ve known and loved for so long (and the new stuff too), especially given that we’re less than four months away from a new album. It would be a shame not to recognize that the next lyric after “I am fuel, you are friends” is “We’ve got the means to make amends.” The next couple are pretty good too. You remember them, don’t you?

    Best wishes.

    Murphy — June 3, 2009 @ 6:23 am

  • Being a music blogger sucks sometimes and here is why. Heather is donating her time for the cause of “love”. Pure, simple, love of music. She never asked anyone for a salary, and never received one. Having done this myself I’m sure that, if Heather were “in it for the money” she’d be much better off working a dead end minimum wage job somewhere.

    On the other side of the coin, Heather and others provide a very valuable service to bands. The value of that service most likely decreases as the popularity of the band increases. For indie bands, a good writeup or two can send bands to your shows. For big bands – well, whatever.

    From my perspective what Heather has done for PJ is to frame them and their music within the, for want of a better term, indie-rock perspective. Folks like me who wouldn’t normally think twice about going back to listen to PJ have done so. Why? Because Heather’s musical tastes often, not always but often, align with mine. Isn’t that why you’re here reading in the first place? Heather and other music bloggers are my discovery mechanism for new music and the bands DO benefit. How? I’ve probably been to four of five shows and bought 20 or 30 records based on Heather’s recommendations over the years. From there, I’ve recommended some of the same bands to friends of mine and over and over and this is how the thing works.

    So now we get to PJ and the big old controversy. I totally agree with her statement that begins “Ultimately I will concede that Pearl Jam has the right to control the way that their copyrighted material is heard by and unveiled to the fans”.

    I also think that these bands “worry” over what happens on the Internet is vastly overblown. Look, the next time you go to a concert that draws 300-500 people look around and try to figure out how many of those folks frequent the message boards and blogs on any regular basis. My guess – 5-10% at most. So yes, I also agree that the release of a shitty recording won’t affect the band at all. The vast majority of fans are going to hear it first the way the band intended. Some small subset who make the effort to go find it will have a different experience but, and here’s the key, it’s the experience they expect. They will NOT be put off by the quality of the recording.

    All that said it is perfectly within the bands rights to ask for a takedown. What they should do though, what they need to do, is treat folks like Heather with respect when asking. “Hey, could you please . . .” goes a long way. Her intention wasn’t to destroy the experience of listening to the new tune in the way the band intended. Her intention, and the intention of most music bloggers, is to write about what they love which in turn makes it easier to be a fan in the first place. Treating someone who is volunteering their services with disrespect is a sure fire way to lose those services and then lose fans.

    K Cortez — June 3, 2009 @ 6:49 am

  • In the meantime I checked and

    theblogthatusedtobecalledfuelfriendsblog.com

    is available!

    K Cortez — June 3, 2009 @ 6:51 am

  • Amazing that your blog was called shitty. That’s unacceptable. Pearl Jam should be ashamed for having someone like this working for them.

    Then again is sounds like it’s the same person who called fans assholes on the Message Pit.

    Blind Eye — June 3, 2009 @ 7:03 am

  • Heather – I don’t know what to say other than what has already been said: you rock, this blog rocks, and what you do here rocks.

    I was reminded of something the other night while watching Bill Maher and his closing diatribe: Reagan said “greed is good.” It’s not, and apparently it can get to anyone…including Pearl Jam. They have fought great fights in the past against corporate angst, but it appears that their ‘relationship’ with Target has tainted their once clear view of what is right in the world of fan based music.

    Keep doing what you do. We’ll keep reading and we promise to keep being inspired by the music and the postings.

    Oren — June 3, 2009 @ 7:06 am

  • Some people need to get a grip on reality over all this. Its not nice being called names but you put yourself out there on the Internet with an opinion, unfortunately not everyone will agree with you. Fact of life. People who say they will no longer be fans of the band are over reacting just a little bit….

    The band want to make money and get their music out there, end of.

    Simon Clements — June 3, 2009 @ 7:31 am

  • Heather,
    Please keep your head up and keep doing what you’re doing! I need your blog. I love your blog.
    I respect PJ’s copyright to their music and it troubles me that they’ve aligned themselves with corporate America, but I still love Pearl Jam. I have since I first heard them. I’ve invested a small fortune in their music and countless hours of my life listening to their music. Deep down I know you feel the same. Because they’ve gone corporate, it’s unlikely that you’ll ever get the respect from them that you deserve…but I urge you to keep doing what you’re doing for all of us who don’t have corporate ties.

    Does anyone else find it interesting that they’ve become what they’ve always railed against. Remember when AT&T censored Eddie’s comments about George Bush at Lollapalooza a few years ago and the band was so ticked that a corporation would “censor” their words to protect their image. And that same show I remember a little diddy about how we should boycott BP Amoco for polluting Lake Michigan. It seems they’ve forgotten their roots and thrown their hats (and souls) in with the big boys.

    My wish in all of this is that PJ keeps rockin’, Heather keeps bloggin’, and the band ultimately apologizes to you for the way you’ve been treated. I’m very disappointed with their antics, but can’t help but hope that they’ll see the light and end this corporate escapade.

    Dave — June 3, 2009 @ 9:19 am

  • simon, i’ve got to disagree.

    it’s not even about the entitlement question and the music sharing at this point.

    it’s about yet another instance of bad behavior on the part of PJ/10C management while much of the fanbase perpetuates it with their misguided loyalty.

    grace6697 — June 3, 2009 @ 9:23 am

  • I have to say I agree with you. I sympathize with the band for wanting to release their music their way, on their terms, and I disagree with the idea of “album leaks” and absoutely agree with the comparison to opening presents before Christmas (I won’t even listen to band-approved full album streams before the release date). However, the days of keeping everything under wraps are long gone and for them to feel threatened by a low-quality fan recording is ridiculous.

    You did nothing wrong and they should be ashamed of themselves to talk to you so shamefully. Furthermore, I heard the song on Conan the other night and it was nothing special. Didn’t sound like a single to me, it’s certainly not gonna drive me to a Target anytime soon (classy move, by the way, Pearl Jam. Whatever happened to the old days when you stood up to corporate giants?)

    Pearl Jam as a band should be grateful that someone with a semi-prominent voice on the internet actually still gives a shit about them. (I don’t, by the way)

    Oddjob — June 3, 2009 @ 9:26 am

  • First, I love your site and was sad when you said you’d break-up from the band. You always post great stuff. I understand your point of view and theirs. You should continue to love the music and celebrate it, as you have always done. But you’ve got to respect the business. The business is just part of the game. Do what you’ve always done… celebrate the music.

    Recommendation for PJ management: Have Eddie come back to LA for solo show (invite me!), dedicate a “Throw Your Arms Around Me” to Heather and give her an exclusive interview.

    Alex — June 3, 2009 @ 9:45 am

  • Heather, I am a big fan of your “shitty” blog, and could only identify the members of Pearl Jam if they were all dressed to work at Target. Yours was the first blog I read with any regularity, and one of the few that really emphasizes the JOY of discovery. I don’t always share your taste in music, but I respect your opinions. Don’t let these bozos and their crappy words get you down.

    mudville — June 3, 2009 @ 10:14 am

  • I’m a huge PJ fan and was directed to your site from other sites stating you had a copy of this new song. I read your story about having it removed and can say I’m not surprised it’s gone. While I wish I could sit in with PJ and listen to them record, there is a certain excitement not being able to “see behind the curtain” on what they are doing. It’s like Star Wars…everyone wanted to see bootleg copies long before it was in the theatre. Nothing sucks worse than hearing a poorly mixed and incomplete version of someones vision. It would have been nice to hear the song to see what direction they are going on this album, but I prefer to wait for the finished product and listen to PJ as they intended.

    Jim — June 3, 2009 @ 10:18 am

  • i agree with the ten club; they need to protect their work. their methods may suddenly seem caustic, but it’s their property and that they see fit that it’s properly protected is merely being responsible. let’s not focus on the wrong part of the story – that they were mean about it. what heather posted was not appropriate, but it’s easy to see why her judgement led her to the conclusion we’re bearing witness to right now. the new album smell is in the air. rumors of song titles and album names. touring. b-sides. it’s an exciting time to be a pearl jam fan. but first and foremost, pearl jam’s organization is out to protect their interests for the benefit of the fans. if they’ve invested hours and hours of work into making sure something is done right (for the fans mind you), then it should be respected – if at least because of how well they’ve treated us so far.

    i posted threads linking this blog to encourage discussion on both the offical pearl jam message pit and theskyiscrape message pit. both were deleted. that the ten club gone so far as to track down and eliminate all traces of this topic on other sites is too overbearing, but the root arguement is fair.

    m — June 3, 2009 @ 10:29 am

  • I’ve been a huge pearl jam fan forever. This blog has recently become the place that I go to for breaking pearl jam news and everything else related to the bad — basically all the buz on the internet. This blog embodied it and it helped me re-invent my love of the band by sharing it with so many other people who loved them.

    However, seeing this shit that the band and their management is pulling (yes I hold the band responsible) is just plain stupid. We are your fans, this is how we consume music now, it gives us something to do some new way to experience all that you create. By fighting it you only look like greedy assholes. Look at Trent Reznor if you need someone to model yourselves after. He gets it; music has changed. Clearly, peal jam has not.

    It is sad that today one of my all time favorite bands became a bunch of grumpy old men looking to line their pockets one more time with my paycheck. I guess it is just time to move on. So go piss off pearl jam.

    Eric — June 3, 2009 @ 11:00 am

  • K Cortez,

    “Being a music blogger sucks sometimes and here is why. Heather is donating her time for the cause of “love”.”

    she is also making money (if it’s not much, that’s kind of her fault, isn’t it? she’s obviously got plenty of support/readership/folks helping her behind the scenes to make it all look good) from, in part, posting free downloadable mp3s (most in VERY good quality). that’s why it’s a website and not just on blogspot or something, right? i’m thinking $$ was a bit of a factor (and should have been) in how much time/effort she puts into this…

    and Caz,

    “a REAL person, who is just writing about music because they love it and want to spread the word about good music that’s out there. If you want to vent like this, just do it at the pub or something.”

    is that censorship? relegating me to a pub? hahaha a LOT of comments i’ve seen on music blogs get much more personal than i did, and usually devolve into some kind of argument over how “gay” something (or someone) is…i got kind of into stereogum for a while, but got pretty bored with the trivial and petty nature of its discourse. and doesn’t interscope or something own it now anyway? i appreciate this blog’s readers & writers for being more high-brow than that :)

    and again, see above free, downloadable mp3 comment. there are a variety of ways (some legal, some illegal) to “spread the word.” and if telling her to spend more time with her family and for commentors (myself included) to do something with their lives is hurtful, then i apologize. i agree, my rantings are way too long and thought-out for the 10-word-soundbites-at-a-time twitterverse we currently live in. judging by what seems to generate the most “buzz” these days, i’m convinced a lot of the blogosphere doesn’t even listen to full songs anymore…insert awkward laughter here..

    has anyone heard of imeem? pretty much any song you could ever want is on there (except beatles) in pretty decent streaming audio. i believe it’s a UK site that has some support from the record industry (most bands have “official pages”). how bout pandora? i’ve never tried it (scared of that scientific formula thing), but have friends who swear by it – i believe it links you to some kind of purchase page if you hear something you like. and this is the radio guy talkin’…! i have a dream, that one day, on the radio in your car, you’ll be able to punch a button if a song you like comes on, and buy it right then and there for your own collection!

    i’m just sayin’, write about music all you want (i realize linking to band’s official or myspace pages would be superLAME), but when the blogospere enables “fans” to DOWNLOAD things that belong to BANDS, and album sales continue to fall and concert attendance continues to fall (some ampitheatre shows in my area have tried practically GIVING away tickets this summer, and why do you think all these festivals have cropped up that have essentially the same lineups) don’tcha think the clampdown is gonna come at some point? yes, bloggers provide a “service” in adding to the hype around certain bands. but what good has that done, Grizzly Bear, for example? they got BUMPED from Letterman the other night! ouch!

    i’m super spoiled cuz i get into most stuff i attend free cuz of my job (that’s mainly why i’ve stayed in luddite radioland), so i don’t pretend to relate to the “average fan” who would have to pay for everything (cds & tickets esp.). if i ever do join the real world, i would certainly go to way less shows…ticket prices are just stupid. i’m assuming hb long ago got to that point of enjoying the “perks” that come with a high profile blog. one of those perks being you get to hear a very bad quality recording of a new PJ song before virtually anyone else. there will be plenty of blogosphere vitriol to go around when the new PJ album leaks, er i mean streets- they probably just didn’t want it starting even earlier. yes, esp. a band like PJ (more than a little political, more than a lot “irrelevant” by US Weekly & blogosphere standards) shouldn’t even care, but their fanclub/management is obviously anal, whaddya gonna do? hard to argue with the unemployed folks in attendance (if that’s true) making some dough though, isn’t it?

    and the comments about Target…i don’t think people understand. they could go all digital, but then you miss the artwork aspect (that PJ obviously loves) and what about the kid who doesn’t have internet or even a computer? in most areas of the country, the “local record store” went out of business long ago (thanks in part to the blogosphere, no?) or has been nauseatingly corpratized (FYE is about the only one left) and, if a community is LUCKY enough to have a Target vs. WalMart option (for most folks it’s just Walmart), it’d be wiser (for a band or a consumer) to choose Target, cuz of the apparently slightly better way they treat their employees and at least they have a decent, heavily discounted new music section. yes, it’s kind of evil that they pretty much run their music dept at a loss to get you in the store to buy all your monthly household needs…but obviously most of you have never been in a Target (warning, it can be addictive!) – why do you think you can find Cat Power now in Target? A few years ago, the hallowed “indie labels” joined together to get their stuff in Target stores cuz they saw all the above trends. Record labels don’t really matter anymore- it’s all about distribution and your booking agency (for younger bands). Green Day is not in WalMart at all btw with their new cd cuz they didn’t want to make a clean version (they sold like 200k the first four days in spite of this, we’ll see how PJ fares in Sept.) and obviously PJ wasn’t going to go with WalMart, so why not “team” with Target and get a TON of essentially free (no wait, PJ’s probably actually making a pretty penny off this, more power to them!) publicity while you’re at it, esp. if Target is dumb/cool enough to let them also cut deals with the Coalition of Independent Music Stores or whatever. i’m glad PJ finally figured out you don’t need a record label for promotion (that J records thing was so dumb). look at what Prince did – 3 nights on the Tonight Show (i didn’t know til then he even had a new album coming out), and that week it went into Target (Minneapolis, represent!) stores exclusively, 3 cds for $12! Got him LOTS of attention he would have never gotten with a label cuz labels have too many options and too little tech savvy to promote artists properly anymore. Prince even got back on the charts, for a bit. And PJ’s done Prince one better cuz it sounds like it’s only a “big box” exclusive, so you’ll still be able to get it at the CIMS stores (probably with bonus material). They are essentially making $$ from Target in order to cover their losses caused by not being in WalMart, Best Buy, etc. Pretty basic economics, no?

    so, in closing, being a music blogger sucks sometimes, we apparently agree!

    1/2 full — June 3, 2009 @ 11:19 am

  • Keep up the great work, Heather. This is my favorite music blog because of the genuine enthusiasm you have in every post. It’s as infectious as the songs you’re promoting.

    It’s only icing on the cake that you chose to title this particular post with “No Surrender” lyrics. I love Bruce so much.

    SpringsteenFan — June 3, 2009 @ 12:05 pm

  • Remember this photo:

    http://music.msn.com/pearl-jam/photo-gallery/in-focus/?photoidx=30

    (looks for Target logo.)

    I’ve been a fan for way too long and it was always about the music. The fact is the quality has been burning out, but the loyalty for this band by its most hardcore fans has in part lasted because of what they stood for. From 10 club, to monkeywrench radio, to the bootlegs…there was the sense that the music was for you…or more specifically, not for you (c).

    I’m

    Jerome — June 3, 2009 @ 12:46 pm

  • 1/2 full says . . .

    she is also making money (if it’s not much, that’s kind of her fault, isn’t it? she’s obviously got plenty of support/readership/folks helping her behind the scenes to make it all look good) from, in part, posting free downloadable mp3s (most in VERY good quality). that’s why it’s a website and not just on blogspot or something, right? i’m thinking $$ was a bit of a factor (and should have been) in how much time/effort she puts into this…

    Sweet – you don’t get it dude. Heather does make money and, like I said, she probably makes way less than minimum wage.

    You hear that Heather? IT’S YOUR OWN FAULT. Now get out there and make some money girl by, um, uh. Whatever – make it work! There’s tons of money floating around the music biz right?

    I can’t parse the rest of it.

    K Cortez — June 3, 2009 @ 1:13 pm

  • You have a very mature perspective and I hope you never lose your love of the music. It is ALL a gift to receive and to share. Thanks for your love of the gift!
    God bless you.

    –castleqwayr

    CastleQwayR — June 3, 2009 @ 1:43 pm

  • Heather

    I love your “shitty” blog and look forward to reading it every evening.

    Forget Pearl Jam, the Damnwells and Gaslight Anthem will more than fill the hole in your heart.

    stuff — June 3, 2009 @ 2:40 pm

  • This is the kind of stuff that happens when you like Pearl Jam. God will hate you.

    Eddie — June 3, 2009 @ 2:40 pm

  • It’s hard to picture Fugazi doing a Target commercial, ain’t it?

    I think that many of you are missing the big picture here: Target (contractually) is calling the shots, I think.
    I’d love to get my hands on a copy of that baby.

    Trent Reznor wrote a song about this, I seem to recall…

    Dennis — June 3, 2009 @ 3:13 pm

  • Fuel sometimes catches fire……..and that’s why this blog is powerful and deserves the respect of the bands whose lifestyles and lives are fed with and by the passions of their fans.

    Ultimately,don’t be browbeaten Heather.You write with wonderful fire and energy.People adore this blog because it comes from the heart and sings.Surely musicians can understand that – isn’t that why they picked up a guitar in the first place?

    I don’t really know or get Pearl Jam’s music, but if anyone in the band has a heartbeat left worthy of human breath they need to recognise your devotion and not scorn it.

    Russell — June 3, 2009 @ 3:19 pm

  • the representative of the band reiterated that the support of fans and sites like mine are very important to the band and to the Ten Club, and asked if there was anything they could do to amend the breakup.

    i am curious what your reply to that “is there anything we can do to amend the breakup” thing was.

    c — June 3, 2009 @ 5:40 pm

  • [...] fans, were none too pleased. Heather Browne over at I am Fuel, You Are Friends has a very personal, more complete story than I do, but suffice it to say, Pearl Jam’s reps worked tirelessly to remove any and all [...]

    Pearl Jam Place A Target Sign on Their Next Album « ¡Viva La Mainstream! — June 3, 2009 @ 7:43 pm

  • Heather-

    Pearl Jam is my favorite band, this is BY FAR my favorite blog. I’m sorry the two things got so muddled when you both really are fighting for the same things – good publicity for good music! Keep your chin up. You are still fuel to a lot of people who regularly come to this “shitty blog” and that means you have a lot of friends on your side in this one. Frankly I’m a tad surprised by the verocity of the situation – the 10C people can be a little too zealous which just doesn’t seem to jive with everything else the band seems to be about.

    I hope you are settling into a calm state about this and you can reconcile your differences.

    -Matt

    Matt Walters — June 3, 2009 @ 7:45 pm

  • Fuck ‘em. Keep doing what you do. The fact that you were called by a suit says it all.

    Rob — June 3, 2009 @ 8:49 pm

  • sorry if a band rep was an asshole to you, but most all of this drama seems pretty silly. there are assholes in the world. nice people can be assholes sometimes too.

    you state on your site that if a band/label rep has a problem with you posting an mp3, then they should contact you and you’ll take it down. it’s completely within their right to do their best to control how/when/where their music is distributed.

    as for all of this drama and the “sell-out”/target nonsense… you either like/love an artist’s music or you don’t. getting caught up in the image/marketing/selling aspect just becomes a never-ending circle of hypocrisies, real or perceived.

    “all you know about me is what i’ve sold you”

    chad — June 3, 2009 @ 9:21 pm

  • Awesome toots…

    That’s what they(PJ) get for being the good guys… they can’t win….

    and I can delete your blog from my faves….

    done….

    skidman — June 3, 2009 @ 10:13 pm

  • To Start…I like this blog. It is how I found out about Ray LaMontagne, The Format and Damien Rice. I found out about this blog being a PJ fan.

    Let’s look at this from PJ’s perspective

    PJ – Okay, so here is our game plan. We’ll play a super secret, super small show w/ Cameron Crowe so we can make a commercial and despite doing everything we possibly can to make sure it doesn’t get recorded…someone will get out with a super shitty recording of the song. (That is a reference to the recording…not the blog:->) Then it will get passed around and despite the inferior sound quality and the simple fact that no one even knows the fucking name of the song…this some say “cool” some say “shitty” blog will post the song. And get this…they will even take the liberty of giving the song a name….something retarded like “Something’s Going On.”

    You’ve got to understand that PJ can’t win.

    On the other side of the argument…everyone that clicked on the song to hear it is already a huge PJ fan and is going to buy the album the Tuesday it comes out anyway…so does it even matter.

    I think this blog should post recordings….but have to understand when an artist asks them to remove them. Now, it is clear that PJ (in this business) needs a better PR person. This asshole Tim sent me a message telling me to remove a You-Tube video of an acoustic cover of “Undone” Like in the movie “Office Space,” they need a “people person!”

    Chris Lebresco — June 3, 2009 @ 11:38 pm

  • I’m a huge PJ fan and probably always will be…
    I just discovered your blog (Sadly because of this whole Target debacle), anyway it’s very cool blog (weather I agree with everyone or not) very well written. As for the PJ rep that used those terms, he’s an idiot and should think before he speaks.
    Now while I had the opportunity to write this after hearing more about the whole Target deal ( something I wish more PJ fans would have done). I believe it’s was good decision for the band (not necessarily the best but a good one), they were still able to keep their integrity intact by working out a deal that will allow for other partners (including Indy shops) to still carry the album (this alone says a lot of the band and Target for that matter) not to mention whatever environmental and/or charitable cause is worked into the deal . Could they have gone the Radiohead route, yeah sure they could, but even Radiohead said they wouldn’t do it again so maybe it’s not perfect system either. Which brings me to the whole thing is an experiment and bands and fans have to come together to get this shit figured out. We shouldn’t just expect stuff for free because none of us work for free so why should any other band (including PJ).
    Anyway that my say..
    Keep on rocking in the free world 

    Mrmojorisinca — June 4, 2009 @ 5:34 am

  • Heather,

    It is testament to you that I got into your blog because of your enthusiasm for Pearl Jam, and whilst your approach has moved more to new music and new bands, I have stayed an avid reader and never found your blog anything but the best blog on the internet. Your enthusiasm for all things music – be it my taste, or not – is immediate and refreshing.

    The fact that you are moving away from the band will not stop me reading your blog, that would be stupid – and some of the previous comments on your post are childish at best – music is an individual taste even ordinarily, let alone when this sort of thing happens that forces a sourness and distance from a band that you would never have predicated all those years ago.

    It is a shame that they have treated you in this fashion and it has become more obvious to me (as a long term PJ fan) that since PJ went self-sufficient in their approach to content and releases, the business attitude to things has become more prevalent. I have found myself wondering if the great fan-based approach that attracted me to the band (and the bounty of bootlegs etc that I scoured the 2nd hand record shops and latterly the internet to find, like an obsession) is being whittled away by a more ‘product’ based mentality. Pearl Jam built their strong fanbase on the bootleg culture and to take the actions they did against you, verbally or otherwise, shows a distinct shift in attitude – not for the better.

    I think the unfortunate downside of this approach is we will only get ‘official product’ from now on, and whilst that is usually of superior sound quality, it is not always the gig/song you wanted to hear (they never released the Wembley 2007 gig for example) I fear it will become mechanical like with other bands of a certain stature – they release the product, we buy it, end of.

    This incident has no reflection on your talent, and whilst I guess I will see no further PJ stuff here, I and many others will be going nowhere. Thank you for all the effort so far, and thank you for the effort in keeping this shining star of a blog going.

    Ps. I never understand why Ed Kowalczyk needs to take his shirt off at every gig either!

    Ianjong — June 4, 2009 @ 5:42 am

  • Pearl Jam have forgotten their roots. A long time ago, they would have just drank their Natty Light & laughed at the attention this is all getting.

    Fanch — June 4, 2009 @ 5:56 am

  • Pearl Jam has been making some pretty questionable moves lately. Primarily, their ticket prices are getting up there in the “I can no longer afford to go” range. $75 for a fan club ticket is bullshit (they raised the price of the fan club too without much added value honestly). This coming from the band that once went to Congress to complain about Ticketmaster gouging ticket prices. I’m a reasonable, realistic person and don’t really expect them to play giant arenas and only charge $20, but anything over $50 is just lining their pockets. They’re all rich, and will never have to worry about money again, so why go hypocrite on us with “the green disease.”

    I haven’t tuned out of their music, but I probably won’t be able to go to any more shows of theirs, and I certainly can stop bragging about their integrity.

    Your blog is great. Pretty much the only one I read and check often. The guy that called it “shitty” is just a prick that needs a solid kick to the crotch. Oh, and he should lose his job for not having remotely any human skills.

    Cory — June 4, 2009 @ 8:15 am

  • Hey Heather -

    Sorry to hear about this rift between you and Pearl Jam mgmt. Your blog is definitely not shitty and I doubt the band feels that way, just some prick schmuck that works for them. And even he might be an otherwise cool guy who had sand in his thong, you never can tell. Sounds like you are taking this all pretty personally, and sort of hard, and although I am certainly not one to tell you how to feel, try to put what’s happened in perspective and remember how much joy/perspective/therapy the band his given you and all of us through their music and all the way cool stuff they have done for their fans. Stuff NO OTHER BAND even comes close to doing. I know you know this. (and NIN and Radiohead fans can just shut it, releasing an album for free doesn’t scratch the surface compared to what PJ has done)

    I’m sort of confused as to why you do seem so bent, after all, you plainly state that you’ll remove mp3′s if contacted by band management. I know they probably went a little overboard or could have handled it better, but it *is* their song and obviously have their reasons for not wanting it out there. Anyhow, try to reconsider the “breakup” as you put it… even those you love the most do or say stupid things sometimes. Like a poster above mentioned, I too am curious as to what your reply was to their question of “is there anything we can do…”

    Your blog is great, please keep PJ a part of it!

    PS: If I might transgress and address all of the people above who are crying re: the Target commercial/distribution “WAAAAH they sold out!” “Waaah they need to stay true to their roots!” Get the FUCK over yourself. They are doing what they want and have changed as people and a band. Change… a shocking concept to you, I’m sure. Do you want them to rant against Ticketmaster/corporations forever? I think PJ is making art/social commentary on some bigger issues than that lately. If Backspacer proves to be one of the most poignant and/or critically acclaimed album of their career, is anyone going to give a FUCK if they released it at freaking Target??? Stop being so freaking narrow minded.

    DUFF — June 4, 2009 @ 8:59 am

  • White people are absolutely nuts. Pearl Jam needs more black fans that won’t get so worked up.

    Ace Frehley's Beer — June 4, 2009 @ 9:02 am

  • amen to chad’s comment! “you either like/love an artist’s music or you don’t. getting caught up in the image/marketing/selling aspect just becomes a never-ending circle of hypocrisies, real or perceived.”

    and a thousand hallelujahs to Ace Frehley’s Beer’s best comment ever “White people are absolutely nuts. Pearl Jam needs more black fans that won’t get so worked up.”

    just one last thing that maybe can be a little more easily “parsed” by K. Cortez…

    bloggers are like rock stars…
    ya got yr fans
    ya got yr haters
    ya got those who know of you and are indifferent
    ya got those who don’t even know you exist
    ya do it for tha love
    ya don’t make any money doing it

    obviously f/f is not in it for the money, and clearly she puts a lotta time, effort, and love into this wonderful thing and should continue to do so (as long as it doesn’t take away from her family time, of course). if you had “parsed” a little more, you would’ve seen that you essentially made my point, K Cortez. There are exponentially more great bands now than there ever have been, but there are also exponentially WAY more terrible bands too, and exponentially LESS ways for the best bands to make even a decent living at creating the music we all espouse to love so much. not sure what the blogosphere’s role in all that is, but i think i now know what that Wilco song “The Late Greats” is about…

    The best band will never get signed
    K-Settes starring Butcher’s Blind
    Are so good, you won’t ever know
    They never even played a show
    You can’t hear ‘em on the radio

    although led zeppelin did used to play shows with ticket prices of like $5, so maybe everyone just needs to scale down their expectations and future eddie vedders can keep working at gas stations while they front rock bands. oh wait, that’s not a job anymore. i hear walmart’s hiring…

    might i suggest wearing the “shitty blog” comment as a badge of honor and making that the new name for the site? as much as it pains me to admit, Leash is easily one of the top 5 worst PJ songs ever, in that i remember even as a teen cringing the 1st time I heard it, the lyrics could’ve been written by a 12-year-old and even the band seems embarrassed by the song since they never play it live. Although it may in fact be the quintessential PJ song for its rockin’ idealism. My ability to see both sides of an issue has finally driven me insane, I’m afraid. I want the day of my life back that I’ve wasted on all this hullabaloo!

    ok, i’m done! i’m off to the pub to do the rest of my lifetime’s commenting! Cheers!

    1/2 full — June 4, 2009 @ 10:06 am

  • Eddie Vedder sings like Stevie Nicks with a sex change. Love your blog by your ongoing affection for this group of “Dad rockers” is mystery. They were the “Kings New clothes of grunge” and ten is tedious. Absolutely the right group to fall out with. Stick with elvis Perkins I say!

    red on black — June 4, 2009 @ 12:09 pm

  • As a long time reader (first time poster) I just wanted to say I love your shitty blog, Heather. You’ve brought much joy into my life and the lives of my friends. Thank you!

    Matt — June 4, 2009 @ 12:36 pm

  • Don’t forget that Pearl Jam are multi millionares. Who they hire is a reflection on them. They could easily get rid of that jerk if they wanted to. A commercial for Target is just tacky and the nazi attitude from their stupid fans towards anyone who mentions that speaks volumes about them. I say do not promote them or give them another dime. Give your time energy and money to other artists that appreciate it and deserve it.

    Great Blog — June 4, 2009 @ 4:00 pm

  • Hey Heather, I was really pained this morning when I read your first post after getting the “order” to remove the post from your blog. I’m glad to hear that you at least got a call from them.

    I love your blog, it’s one of only a few I make time for and I really enjoy your writing.

    Sometimes I think a band with the sheer mass of PJ, in regards to their business operations, can’t possibly keep all aspects of the business under their thumb. I hope this is overzealous employees trying too hard to protect the band rather than something the band members decided collectively to install as a “best practice”. I doubt they have the time to try and make sure all of their employees, representatives, and reps. employees are true “fans”. This time it bit them in the ass and I hope they learn from it – if there is one thing they seem to do it’s evolve. Let’s hope this starts a little grass roots revival at the 10C.

    T-Shirt Front: FuelFriendsBlog.com (logo)
    T-Shirt Back: “Shitty Blog”

    Run with it…no charge ;)

    Vital_73 — June 4, 2009 @ 4:18 pm

  • Having now read every comment made here I am saddened by the attitude of you all. The band is only a very small part of the overall business. How can you all blame the guys personally for something that a suit did. Yes he was wrong and Heather you deserve his grovelling but you should have known better than to put out their music before it is even released. I understand your excitement but that does make you guilt free. You simply should have checked with them first. And to all of you who are burning your collection, remember that Pearl Jam is a business aswell as a band. The charity work and the awareness they raise is amazing. Unrivalled by most bands and artists. Im a 10C member and proud to be part of it even if it does go wrong now and then

    Phillip Walch — June 4, 2009 @ 4:28 pm

  • Its funny to hear this bitchiness whether it is over the blog or Pearl Jam. Look I live all the way down in New Zealand and am stoked to hear some new material. You guys in the US can get a little spoilt. I went saw PJ the last time they were here in 1998!!!!! Yes 11 long years ago, when I was 16.

    I had the fortune to be in Dublin when they played there in 2006, and the great misfortune to miss out on tickets being sold in less than 3 minutes.

    I see many Pearl Jam fans with long lists of shows they have been to. Me, just one (well two if you add Seven Worlds Collide). Just one when I was 16 and no where near the fan I am now. So stop being precious.

    Before everyone jumps on a bandwagon (name pun) we don’t know the full story. They obviously want to get their music out to as many people as possible. Hence using Target. Big woop. It is clear they have basically done everything possible to escape fame over the years. Maybe now they are more comfortable with their fame and want to share more music with the wider world.

    At the end of the day it is music, yes important, but not the be all and end all. They are together still and making, what seems to be a cracking new album.

    And hey it could be a lot worse…. They could be Chris Cornell.

    jumpingonabandwagon — June 5, 2009 @ 2:20 am

  • Heather, thanks for taking one for the team. I’ve been a long time reader of your blog but I am not much for posting. This is my first comment. And I am a huge fan on Pearl Jam. In fact I have a ticket to go Vedder play in Memphis the day before Father’s day.

    Your post and others like them have dampened by enthusiasm a bit. I understand the opening presents before Christmas analogy. However, in my family we always got to open one early, and usually, I snuck into my parents room before Christmas and sniffed out 1/2 my presents anyway.

    I am still like when it comes to music as an adult.

    Also, thanks for the attention you give to Lucero and the North Mississippi Allstars, et al… Great Memphis bands. And, my wife when to high school with the Cody, Luther, and Christ from NMAS. Great guys.

    Great blog, please keep it up!

    Scott in Memphis — June 5, 2009 @ 6:49 am

  • Pearl Jam making their debut at a Target near you? Are you kidding? I’m all for someone making money but this is so counterintuitive to the Fugazi-esque industry disdain that I always thought PJ stood for. I need to see some BIG TIME charity work going on here with album proceeds or I am moving them to the sellout column. What good is money if they’ve traded their integrity for it? Furthermore, taking the song down is one thing but censoring what people are writing about is an entirely different subject. I remember being given a handful of First Amendment stickers at the second Lollapalooza where I saw PJ live for the first time. I will not give PJ one other dime of my money. I am thankful a light has been shone on this, Heather. I’m just sorry you’ve had to bear the disappointment.

    “Is something wrong, she said, well of course there is…”

    jrich — June 5, 2009 @ 7:50 am

  • Cripe, people! Go read this article. The whole article. Particularly the last 3 paragraphs.

    http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/news/exclusive-pearl-jam-confirms-target-tie-1003978374.story

    They’re not “doing a commercial for Target.” What I understood, and I might be wrong here, is of all the stuff they filmed at that session (many things), one of the things was a commercial, presumably for their new album, which, happens to be available (exclusively for big box retail) at Target. I’d have to pick my jaw up off the floor if when this thing comes out I see Jeff jump off a platform and land on a closeup of the camera and say “TARGET! For all your shopping needs!” Or something ridiculous like that. But that’s not gonna happen.

    Look, I know it might be tough for all you who are crying “sellouts!” to wrap your head around the fact that it’s not 1993 anymore, and that just because they made a deal for distributing their new album with Target (something they obviously want to and are happy to do, and it’s just that, a distribution agreement, they haven’t become corporate whores for them), it doesn’t mean they can’t still be principled and oh by the way, make great, relevant and impactful music. Basically what this all boils down to is they are finally getting to choose HOW and WHO they do business with… and *GASP!* one of those groups just happens to be a BIG, BAD department store! The horror! The shame!

    You’d think they where having a tour sponsored by BIG COAL or some Republican political action committee. Eddie’s not running around anymore with his army helmet on. I’m guessing he’ll have a laugh and take a pull from a bottle of red, hearing about all your up-in-arms “shock” and “disappointment”. Come off the ledge people…

    Oh and Heather, your blog still rocks.

    DUFF — June 5, 2009 @ 9:06 am

  • They are going to lose fans over this, and the Target ad. Even some of their cult like followers will see their blatant self serving hypocrisy here. Just look at some of this mans pictures, he looks disturbed. Vedder is a mentally ill?, self righteous, Narcissist whose contempt for everyone is only thinly disguised. A Narcissist is all about image presentation, but every once in a while you see their true colors.

    Seattle — June 5, 2009 @ 10:28 am

  • keep it up heather. i love your blog, check in religiously. it’s one of the few places on the internet i can say that about. in my opinion your reaction to and handling of this situation is 100% right on and is a tribute to your integrity.

    scott — June 5, 2009 @ 12:20 pm

  • The reps seriously called I Am Fuel, You Are Friends a “shitty blog”?!? That’s quite the ice-breaker, just the way to start out a “Now, now, now, you misunderstood us,” sort of conversation. Heather, as the happy writer of Cowtown & Coolage, a truly shitty little blog, I must say yours is nothing to scoff at. I hope you and all your friends at ‘I am Fuel…’ continue to deliver the quality music and commentary that I have already seen and heard in my brief time as a reader.

    Tyler — June 5, 2009 @ 4:36 pm

  • BTW the “1/2 full” person is totally full of self-important shit. get a life, dude.

    spookycat — June 5, 2009 @ 4:44 pm

  • Hey, Pearl Jam 10 Club. Way to shoot yourself in the foot.

    Playing in a band is work. It is a business. We get that and understand that. But without your fans there is no business.

    I get the feeling that you never read any of the Pearl Jam posts on here when you asked to have the music taken off. If you had, you would have known she was a fan and not just another blogger trying get 1st crack on an exclusive track.

    And way to be professional about it. I too think it’s cool to belittle people. Nice job by calling it a shitty blog.

    Why don’t you go after the blogs that are really hurting your band. The ones that give your shitty albums away for free.

    Oh, and congrats on the Target deal. Can’t wait to see the cool bulls eye logo on your tour shirts.

    Chris — June 5, 2009 @ 7:46 pm

  • Hi,

    As I was reading your blog and the responses, I somewhat have mixed reactions. I admit, I for one would Love to hear any new PJ, leaked tune or official. But, as the MINORITY here pointed, it was NOT MEANT to be heard that way. And why are we so quick to judge the band? Why do we expect SO MUCH from them? Ok, granted they say “shitty blog”, but didn’t they say they want to make amends and emphasized the importance of fans? It’s in your blog. But people, want to focus on the negative side. On YOUR side. The “shitty blog” side… It’s quite dramatic.

    And to all the commenters here, eager to get behind your back and ready to spit on PJ, if you think PJ doesn’t deserve you, well, i think you don’t deserve them either.

    Just my two cents…

    Just Need to — June 6, 2009 @ 12:38 am

  • What would Lester Bangs do? “They need us more than we need them.” Rockon sister.

    Daviso — June 6, 2009 @ 6:14 am

  • Vedder has been treating his fans like garbage for years. At a show a couple years ago in Saskatchewan Canada, he drags this little 11 year old kid onstage, dances her around the stage until she starts getting really upset and Mike comes to ask if she’s ok. He then jokes ‘your coming with us on tour’ and ‘Melissa has school’. My friend was in shock. Here this was a fat little kid who went to the show with her brother. Tons of teenage guys who would’ve loved to come onstage and he picks this liitle kid just so he can mess with her. There is his infamous Pa USA ‘Im into hard core stuff and I like shi**ing on little girls heads’ comment he later blamed on concern for Sleater Kinney. He’s a mean jerk who has problems with women and Heather learned this the hard way.

    Jason Andrews — June 6, 2009 @ 12:11 pm

  • I’d like to take this opportunity to announce

    http://www.heathersshittyblog.com/

    NOTE: No Heathers were used in the making of this blog.

    K Cortez — June 6, 2009 @ 5:45 pm

  • You have a really good blog. I’ve read it regularly for almost 3 years now. But you need to stop the drama when it comes to this 10C situation. Their reaction to you posting illegally bootlegged material was justified and you simply over-reacted to it.

    I can’t believe someone that I admired over the years for her love of music would so quickly turn on one of her favorite artists. And for what? Because you were one of many popular places to get a low quality mp3 from.

    Even this most recent post about the phone call comes across so much different than what we typically read on your site. You sound very self-absorbed and petty; like a child whining.

    Please return to talking about music with passion and enthusiasm. Blogging about artists we love like Elliott Smith and Jeff Buckley and introducing us to cool new artists every week. If you don’t want to talk about Pearl Jam anymore so be it. I’ll definitely miss those moments, but I’m not going to threaten to stop reading your blog because of it.

    Purex37 — June 6, 2009 @ 11:37 pm

  • I have been a daily visitor to your wonderful blog and will in the future, but thank god i dont have to read/listen to the garbage being written in response to the pearl jam “drama” playing out here..get a life, all of you guys, really.

    It is their material…their choices…suck it up and go buy yourself a “cheap” ticket to Creed

    you buy a record and create a blog and all of the sudden you can dictate what is moral, right, wrong and in the best interest of everyone?

    scary future with this “information age”

    Mr.Fields — June 8, 2009 @ 1:44 pm

  • btw, purex37

    You absolutely hit it on the head…

    Mr.Fields — June 8, 2009 @ 1:47 pm

  • Heather was not insulted by a suit, she was insulted by an employee and friend of one of the band members. What does it say about you, when you like someone that has no respect for others? There is never any appropriate time for rudeness unless you have the intention of hurting someone or showing off your poor communciation skills. She is not being “very self-absorbed and petty; like a child whining” for having a normal reaction to an insult.
    She should say “screw them” because life is to short to waste time with people like that. As for Eddie’s treatment of others, this punk needs to be put on a leash. His dehumaizing tirades against people like Paul Allen and others are those of a petulant child that needs a proper spanking. But the bottom line is anything goes in the pursuit of money and fame. As long as they are still rich then people will allow these asswipes to piss on people forever.

    Davis — June 8, 2009 @ 4:19 pm

  • I find it odd if not irritating to hear you say you’re “breaking up” with PJ over this. I’m sorry, but you’re speaking out of both sides of your mouth when you suggest you feel the band is still relevant and potent yet you have decided not to … whatever it is you’ve publicly decided not to do – or not to do for them any longer.

    I’m not going to be a PJ apologist in thinking that all they do and say is golden. I do, however, find it objectionable that 15 yrs + (as you noted) of strict and un-yielding (pun intended) service to their fans is met with such anger and resentment.

    I could suggest you re-read your own posts and the obvious impact this band has had on your own life – but surely I don’t need to remind you of your own sentiments. So, I’m left to suggest this: Separate the band from business decisions.

    If forging out on your own as an independent artist after being a major label success was easy … everyone would do it. Kelly Curtis said it best when she stated the band would see how it goes this round and if there is something that sucks then the band won’t do it going forward. It’s clear that the cease and desist letters have people’s panties all a-ruffle. Don’t like it? Let them know. Organize. Your blog is pretty popular so get a campaign together – mobilize a coalition of the upset. You can work with TwoFeetThick and TheSky and the guys from gremmie, etc and let PJ’s management know that some fans don’t like these decisions. Although, it does perplex me how angry folks are about the band squashing new content before it’s released. If I’m an artist I probably would want you to hear my album as a whole as I intended it to be released – enjoy the art as it was designed. Not chopped up and beaten and muffled from a cell phone-ish recording. But I digress …

    My point here is that the complaints and selfish anger over this wreaks of a SPOILED set of fans who have become increasingly accustomed to more and more access and special treatment from the band. Either you enjoy their music or you don’t. Either you appreciate where they’ve taken rock-n-roll or you don’t. You simply can’t enjoy and appreciate them while simultaneously deciding to “break up” with them because you don’t like a new business strategy.

    What I see is an effort by INDEPENDENT artists attempting to find new ways of disseminating their art. I can’t stress enough how management’s strategy is OBVIOUSLY a work in progress. Name ONE TIME the band didn’t listen to it’s fans and do all they could to correct a problem. You’d be hard pressed to find a legitimate complaint. It’s baffling and saddening to me to see so many “loyal” fans not allowing for some understanding to a band that has given them so much over such a long period of time.

    Pete — June 10, 2009 @ 12:33 am

  • As I’m reading the comments … and those who are saying PJ are going to lose fans over this … what (?) and good riddance. Wow.

    Pete — June 10, 2009 @ 12:54 am

  • Heather,
    I’m sorry to hear about your disillusionment. I’ve been a fan of your blog for some time, and love that you share(d?) my love for all things PJ. They were the first band to capture me emotionally, and they have built up a lot of equity for that over the years. I think it’s unfortunate that they have changed so much, but I think what what it really all boils down to is this:

    If they can’t make money doing what they do, they can’t do it anymore. I want them to keep making money, and they can keep finding new and exciting ways to take my money for as long as they want. They got me through high school. I couldn’t have done it without their music and I owe them. As for the leaked song and the quashing of fan support, I think it’s important to keep in mind that those fans that leaked the song and the experience were betraying their non-disclosure agreement. Basically, they promised the band they love that they would keep the experience secret and turned around and broke their contract with the band. It’s dishonest, regardless of how badly I want to hear the song.

    PJ have certainly made some missteps recently, but their music still moves me. I will be first in line to buy their new album, even if I have to go to Target to get it.

    Keep fighting the good fight. Love the (absolutely non-shitty) blog.

    Aaron — June 10, 2009 @ 8:24 am

  • [...] spending many years fighting for the common man. Nick Hornby favorite & Pearl Jam acolyte, I Am Fuel You Are Friends Blogger, Heather Browne, got into a bit of a dust-up last week with PJ Management. It may be time [...]

    Music News – Jay Z (D.O.A.), Lemonheads, Pearl Jam « The De Mello Theory — June 10, 2009 @ 10:46 pm

  • I believe Mr. Fields offered the most sensible response yet. I have nothing against you, Heather, and I do not doubt that your blog has brought happiness to many thousands of people, some of whom are famous.

    However, your increased influence on the world, or significance in it, resulting from your blog gives you no right to distribute copyrighted material. The fact that you were publicly upset because TC slapped you on the wrist for at least a third offense tells me that perhaps your blog has gone to your head a bit.

    On the other hand, the TC person (Tim) sounds like an idiot. I would never want to speak with that person again. He sounds like a bit of a hypocrite, as he does not allow name-calling within the TC forums.

    On another note, I found it ironic that some of your blogsters insulted PJ’s new song. I guess that was to be expected. One insult often leads to another. Aren’t we all hypocrites? ;-)

    Sam Austin — June 12, 2009 @ 3:09 pm

  • You all need to get off your high horses, the bottom line is that illegal recordings of a song were leaked by people who had no right to release them. The band or their people have every right to make people pull those recordings from wherever they may posted. The only thing that is unfortunate is that the blog got called shitty, that shouldn’t have happened, but for a bunch of fans that are seemingly so against bootlegging and piracy you all seem pretty quick to come to the defense of someone that was doing just that.

    Andy — June 19, 2009 @ 6:17 pm

  • I was never a huge fan of Pearl Jam even though they were a big part of my music scene when I was growing up, but I could always respect them on some level because of I thought Vedder was a great musician and lyricist. I’ve also always been of the opinion that fans are what make the music world go around, specifically the fans like Heather who go out of their way to recommend bands they love to other people. So this is just the final push I need to never bother giving Pearl Jam another thought.

    Josh — June 21, 2009 @ 3:27 pm

  • There are possibly far too many comments for you to read them all at this point, but I’m a latecomer to this sad situation and I wanted to lend another comforting voice to your cause. I’ve loved this “shitty” blog for years and have found many great artists to pass on to my own listeners at linesthroughlines through it. Obviously Pearl Jam wasn’t one of them, and I personally never really cared about them that much. They’ve always seemed like douches, even if that perception wasn’t always accurate. Regardless, I’ve got mad love for the line you straddle here, between dedicated superfan of one band and super-seeker of newer potential musical soulmates.

    I hurts me to acknowledge the reality that our medium has been marginalized by nearly all musical powers that be except the ones that really need it. To bands/management who are already established, our fawning and affection is viewed as an annoyance, if not a threat somehow. It’s business, of course, but bad business. I can’t help but wonder how these people sleep at night, and if the answer isn’t “on pillows filled with cash”.

    And it’s sadder still that reps from your favorite band would do the same thing we expect from every other soul-sucking censor out there. To someone as nice and honest as you are. Chin up, Heather.

    Drew — July 7, 2009 @ 5:36 am

  • Well, i know this is quite late… but i guess, now that we know the whole picture, when both sides are accounted for, you may want to return being a PJ fan…

    I know some words may be harsh, and I won’t say you’re right with what you done, nor i agree with the name calling of “shitty blog” (though I believe it is given too much emphasis by the comments here).

    I would love to read a comment or review from you from the upcoming album, Backspacer…

    It’s always sad to lose love with a band… but to lose it due to some other person, other than the music, or one of the band members itself, is sadder.

    Don't mind me — September 11, 2009 @ 7:15 am

  • Great post. Pearl Jam is a fantastic band – I suppose with great power comes great responsibility. Although, everyone is free to do what they should want.

    Walt Ribeiro — December 13, 2010 @ 1:46 pm

  • [...] Pearl Jam’s lawyers will soon be sharking people. Though goof and I don’t expect this to happen again, we suggest you not fight City [...]

    Unreleased Mookie Blaylock Demos and Ed solo tracks — July 20, 2011 @ 9:21 am

  • [...] Pearl Jam’s lawyers will soon be sharking people. Though goof and I don’t expect this to happen again, we suggest you not fight City [...]

    Unreleased Mookie Blaylock Demos and Ed solo tracks | Hard To Imagine .net | (un)Official Pearl Jam Fan Site — December 14, 2011 @ 12:59 pm

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Bio Pic Name: Heather Browne
Location: Colorado, originally by way of California
Giving context to the torrent since 2005.

"I love the relationship that anyone has with music: because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. It's the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part..."
—Nick Hornby, Songbook
"Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel."
—Hunter S. Thompson

Mp3s are for sampling purposes, kinda like when they give you the cheese cube at Costco, knowing that you'll often go home with having bought the whole 7 lb. spiced Brie log. They are left up for a limited time. If you LIKE the music, go and support these artists, buy their schwag, go to their concerts, purchase their CDs/records and tell all your friends. Rock on.

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