Guest Post: Miranda from 101 Things Before You Die

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Today’s post is from Miranda who’s blog I love because she’s not only incredibly goal oriented, but we’ve got a lot of the same hobbies! She loves photography, Glee, and trying new things. I love reading her posts about the goals she’s accomplishing, and seeing what kind of fun pictures she has to share every Wednesday.

Looking out on the Grand Canyon. Jealous of her adventures yet?!

I think above everything else, Miranda and I share an incredible passion for music. I can always count on her to check out the bands I talk about and to suggest good stuff for me to listen to. Like me, Miranda has that ONE band that stands out above every other one out there, so it was only natural that this would be her guest post topic of choice. Enjoy!

When Melissa mentioned she was looking for guest posters I was excited not only because I’m a big fan of her blog, but because I’d be able to write a post about one of our shared obsessions: music.

There was a time in my life where I was ignorant of most things music related. While my peers were fully embracing the alternative music scene, I listened instead to Monster Ballads and Madonna (there was also a dark period in my youth that I don’t like to talk about where I listened to the entire Ace of Base album on a loop). That all changed during my senior year of high school when one of my best friends made me promise to listen to his favorite band, Pearl Jam. At this point in time, ‘grunge’ had started to leave the public consciousness and I had remained up until now unaffected except for a couple of flannel shirts in the back of my closet.

So I picked up a copy of ‘Ten’ and listened from beginning to end. When it was done, I started it over and then over again, until I knew every word by heart. I had heard several of the songs on the radio (even my Top 40 ways could not escape ‘Alive’), but hearing it in the context of the album changed my perception. I deconstructed the lyrics trying to understand the opaque references and to try to translate some of Eddie Vedder’s very distinct pronunciation (some might call it mumbling). I started buying the rest of their CDs. I joined the fan club. I read old issues of Rolling Stone and Spin to find out more. In a word, I was obsessed.

But soon I found, that wasn’t enough. Pearl Jam became my gateway drug to a world that I had been ignorant of my entire life.  I started listened to the radio station in my town most likely to play PJ songs. I subscribed to Rolling Stone and Spin magazines. And after a while it was not enough to just listen to Pearl Jam, I had to absorb their references as well. They covered songs by Neil Young, The Ramones, and The Who. I started listening to Neil Young, The Ramones, and The Who. PJ was featured in the Cameron Crowe film, Singles. I became obsessed with everything Crowe did. I started listening to other Seattle based bands like Soundgarden, Nirvana, Alice in Chains, and Screaming Trees. I bought early releases and bands that members of Pearl Jam were in before (Green River, Mother Love Bone, Temple of a Dog).

There’s a quote in Almost Famous where Anita tells William to ‘Look under your bed. It’ll set you free’. She had placed her favorite albums under the bed for him and that was his introduction to great, life-changing, music. That is what Pearl Jam was for me. I wonder where I would be without Pearl Jam. Would I still love Say Anything if I hadn’t been introduced to Cameron Crowe’s films through Singles? Would I still go to the Bridge School Benefit concert every year if I hadn’t acquired bootleg copies of early performances Pearl Jam did at the Neil Young event? Would I have continued flirting with the boy after he admitted that he loved Creed? I can say that honestly my life would not be the same had it not been for Pearl Jam. And for that I am utterly grateful.

Thanks again Melissa for letting me share the story of how Pearl Jam changed my life. What music, books, movies, or television shows have changed you? And are there any other Pearl Jam fans out there?
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