Pearl Jam Announce Vote-by-Mail Initiative, Reissue MTV Unplugged Live Album

Eddie Vedder recently joined Instagram to teach people how to vote by mail, but he isn’t stopping his political efforts there. This week, Pearl Jam have launched a vote-by-mail initiative called “Take-Three Pledge: Vote by Mail, Recruit Three Friends, and Don’t Wait” to encourage fans nationwide to take part in the upcoming 2020 presidential election.

The three-step pledge is quick and easy to do. After registering to vote (or indicating that they already are), fans are shown city- and state-specific information regarding their upcoming elections. From there, they’re encouraged to forward the pledge to three other people. Head to PearlJam.com/Vote or text “PJVotes” to 52886 to join in the effort.

For this initiative, Pearl Jam have partnered with People For the American Way, The League of Conservation Voters, and Make the Road Pennsylvania to promote voting by mail as a safe, accessible, and verified option to make your voice heard in this crucial election. “Voting freely and easily is our ultimate right as citizens of these United States,” said bassist Jeff Ament in a statement. “It’s a hard-fought gift from our foremothers and forefathers. Join us in our Take Three Pledge.”

“We believe America is at its best when every voice is heard,” added Eddie Vedder. “This is the most important election in our nation’s history. Our democracy is at risk. Your vote is your voice, and it’s time to use it. Join us by voting by mail — something our band has been doing for almost three decades, since we began touring in 1992. It’s safe, it’s easy, and it’s secure.”

There’s another big announcement that arrived today, too. After completing the Take-Three Pledge, fans can pre-order Pearl Jam’s 1992 MTV Unplugged Session. It’s being reissued on vinyl — it was first pressed in 2019 as a limited release for Record Store Day — in addition to being released on CD for the first time ever. The seven-song setlist saw Pearl Jam pulling cuts from their excellent debut album, Ten, barely three days after they completed their first North American tour. Those stripped-down renditions have since become legendary in their own right, and it’s pretty wild to think it hasn’t been floating around on a CD before now!

Earlier this year, Pearl Jam returned with their massive new record Gigaton. The coronavirus pandemic initially halted their plans to tour in support of it, but thankfully they’ve since rescheduled those dates for Summer 2021. Needless to say, it should be quite an emotionally worthwhile time seeing them live after spending months quarantined indoors. You can grab tickets to those upcoming Pearl Jam concerts here.

Pearl Jam MTV Unplugged

Spillage Village Announce New Album Spilligion, Share “Baptize”: Stream

Hip-hop supergroup Spillage Village have reunited after four years for the release of a new album called Spilligion. As a preview, the Atlanta artists have shared the first single, “Baptize”, featuring group members EarthGang and J.I.D.

Spilligion is the collective’s fourth album overall, following on the ursine trilogy Bears Like This (2014), Bears Like This Too (2015), and Bears Like This Too Much (2016). By the time the latter record was released, the Village had grown to include EarthGang, J.I.D., 6LACK, Mereba, JurdanBryant, Hollywood JB, and Benji. They were bearly barely getting started when, in late 2016, 6LACK broke out with the single “Prblms”, followed by EarthGang and J.I.D. signing to J. Cole’s Dreamville label the next year. The group was breaking apart because their dreams were coming true, and there’s no use crying over Spillage milk.

Now, though, the old friends have reassembled in a changed world. While Spilligion was begun before the coronavirus pandemic overran the United States, it was mostly recorded within the pressure of lockdown. As new single “Baptize” would seem to demonstrate, the group is also very aware of the summer’s protests against police brutality.

Produced by Johnny Venus, Christo, and Hollywood JB, “Baptize” finds EarthGang and J.I.D. in the role of outcast preachers — although their messages are more soul-stirring than overtly religious. EarthGang’s Johnny Venus leads things off with a staccato verse on state-sanctioned violence. “Police, they beat me, we storm the same streets/ We storm the same block, won’t stop ’til we free.”

J.I.D.’s spirituality is a bit more materialistic, though he does find time to mediate on all the “Blah, blah blah, sinnin’ and shit/ Adam and Eve dumb ass/ Apple eatin’ dumb ass.” Doctor Dot takes the closing verse, and he draws funny comparisons between himself and a biblical life, claiming he was “Made in his image, okay? I even work in mysterious ways,” and adding that he’s been “Burnin’ that bush like Moses.” The accompanying music video shows the rappers preaching to three different congregations, with some parishioners more sinfully dressed than others. Check out “Baptize” below.

Spilligion arrives September 25th and pre-orders are ongoing. The tracklist remains a mystery, but in June Spillage Village shared the lead single “End of Daze”.

Spilligion Artwork:

Spilligion August Dirty Spillage Village Announce New Album Spilligion, Share Baptize: Stream

The Flaming Lips Unveil New Album American Head: Stream

The Flaming Lips have released their new album American Head. Stream it below via Apple Music and Spotify.

The effort is the 21st (!) record from the Oklahoma psych-rock heroes, following their 2019 album King’s Mouth and their collaborative album with Deap Valley from earlier this year. As its title implies, American Head is the Lips’ embracing their identity as an American band. When they announced the album back in June, frontman Wayne Coyne published a short essay about how they always considered their homebase to be “Earth”, but that they wanted to see what would happen when they consciously channeled so-called traditional American rock ‘n’ roll.

All of the album’s many singles — “Dinosaurs On The Mountain”, “My Religion Is You”, “You n Me Sellin’ Weed”, “Mother Please Don’t Be Sad”, and “Will You Return / When You Come Down” — do feel a little more tethered to American roots music than some of their more recent material. But the record as a whole is unmistakably Flaming Lips, even the Kacey Musgraves collaborations “Flowers Of Neptune 6” and “God and the Policeman”.

In a recent feature for SPINCoyne talked about his wacky idea for how he imagined the record would sound:

“I did sort of fantasize about ‘What would have happened to Tom Petty and the fellas if they’d ran into my older brothers and their really drugged-out friends, and they all got strung out on heroin and didn’t end up becoming Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and instead made some really homesick music? The more I thought about that, I thought, ‘Man, that’d be a great record.’”

Elsewhere in the interview, Coyne revealed that the Lips and some “venue guys” in Oklahoma are brainstorming ways to bring their live show to life despite the ongoing pandemic. The group is known for Coyne performing in a giant clear bubble, and back in June, the Lips played The Late Show With Stephen Colbert while everyone — audience included — was safely inside their own see-through orbs. They could be onto something there.

American Head Artwork:

The Flaming Lips - American Head

American Head Tracklist:
01. Will You Return / When You Come Down
02. Watching the Lightbugs Glow
03. Flowers Of Neptune 6
04. Dinosaurs On The Mountain
05. At The Movies On Quaaludes
06. Mother I’ve Taken LSD
07. Brother Eye
08. You n Me Sellin’ Weed
09. Mother Please Don’t Be Sad
10. When We Die When We’re High
11. Assassins of Youth
12. God and the Policeman (Feat. Kacey Musgraves)
13. My Religion Is You