I’m Still Here
I want to get this one out of the way as soon as humanly possible, as the first toe-dip into the ocean of unreleased Pearl Jam songs, and because it’s almost unbearable to listen to. According to the great PJ resource The Sky I Scrape (see blogroll), the song was leaked at the same time as the Lost Dogs compilation, and although it was rumored to have been a hidden track on import versions of same, it never was. The title is also a guess. But one thing’s for sure, the “song” is five-minutes of hand-wringingly earnest, bad poetry that was rightly kept from any official release. It recalls No Code’s “I’m Open” in form, Vedder delivering some low-key spoken word over swirling, New Age-y backing. Here, the music’s just one effects-laden electric guitar noodling repetitive patterns, while Ed delivers a confessional that may have been cathartic to write and record, but is wince-inducing for the listener. It’s probably bad form to criticize an artist for art they never even intended for public consumption; lord knows I’ve got enough junk in my own vaults to pass judgment on “I’m Still Here”. Instead, let me say a loud “Boooooo!” to the leaker(s) for bringing this one to light. I love me some completism, but some things just aren’t meant for our ears.