Old 'Dog,' New Tricks
Pearl Jam caps its Epic tenure this week with the double-disc rarities album "Lost Dogs" and the three-hour DVD "Live at the Garden," taped in July at New York's sold-out Madison Square Garden. The group is currently operating without a record deal and is exploring options for future projects.
Until then, "Dogs" should tide over the band's rabid fan base, as it collects 31 rare tracks, including 11 that have never been released in any form. Featured is perennial concert closer "Yellow Ledbetter," which hit seven Billboard charts in the mid-'90s despite never being worked to radio, as well as "Last Kiss," a 1950s cover released on a 1999 charity single that improbably became the band's biggest hit, peaking at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100.
"In the Moonlight," "All Night" and "Alone" are potent doses of Pearl Jam's harder-hitting side, while the Red Hot Chili Peppers-ish "Dirty Frank," the surf oddity "Gremmie out of Control" and the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar tribute "Sweet Lew" show glimpses of the band just messing around. Eddie Vedder aficionados will delight in "Hard To Imagine" and "Footsteps" -- two fine showcases for his chills-inducing voice.
As for "Live at the Garden," it finds the band running through 30 songs in a nearly three-hour show, highlighted by guest appearances from Ben Harper on "Daughter" and "Indifference" and a thunderous cover of the Who's "Baba O'Riley" with all the house lights turned on. A second disc of bonus features sports a montage of guest appearances from throughout the band's 2003 Riot Act tour plus a wealth of behind-the-scenes footage.