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Pearl Jam roundup: Live-album series, online radio station; Mike McCready scores Fringe episode

Seeing as how, in the words of our own Sean O'Neal, Newswire hasn't had a "Does Pearl Jam suck?"/"No, Pearl Jam does not suck, you Animal Collective-loving pussies!" debate in a while, here's some Pearl Jam news: According to Billboard, the stalwart Seattle band is relaunching its "bootleg" series of live albums this month. The first offerings—a recording of four Philadelphia shows that took place last October—are currently available for preorder, with more to come. Furthermore, a new online radio station featuring a steady stream of pearly jams went live today on the band's website. Pearl Jam is currently touring North America, with a European trek to follow in the summer; the group's original series of 72 (!) concert albums chronicled its 2000 world tour in greater detail than you ever thought possible (or even desirable).

But that's not all: As reported by Rolling Stone, Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready composed the score for tomorrow night's episode of Fringe, aptly titled "Northwest Passage." Fox had originally approached the band with the idea of using "Just Breathe," one of the singles off the group's 2009 album Backspacer, but McCready—who previously scored the surfing documentary Westsiders as well as bits of Almost Famous—decided to tackle the whole job himself. Says the grunge pioneer, "They told me they wanted some sort of Northwest, dark-type feelings. It's a very dark show, so I played a darker kind of guitar tone and even stuff that doesn't sound like guitar." Sounds dark. He also confesses, "I wasn't a huge fan of the show at first—but now I totally am." In related news, I didn't think my boss' jokes were very funny until that first paycheck cleared; now I find him to be quite the comedian.


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