I clicked on this article a little begrudgingly, mostly because Pearl Jam was my favorite band for a long time too, and I honestly didn’t think there was much of a conversation to be had about them now. I haven’t bought or downloaded their last couple albums, even though I know there’s always one or two really good songs on there, I’m so bored or let down by the rest that I just stopped paying attention. When I read about you going to the Springfield Best Buy, I was immediately taken back to my mid-teens in central Missouri, Clinton specifically, and piling into one of my friend’s cars to drive to Walmart in Sedalia or Springfield or a record store in Kansas City to pick up new albums the day they came out. I didn’t consider them to be melodramatic or preachy at the time, two opinions I would half-heartedly verbalize now, because a lot of my life had been pretty dramatic up until that point. The scenario described in “Alive” with the interchangeable dad situation mirrors my own upbringing in a way, and hearing about kids dying, killing, or committing suicide didn’t seem too outlandish because we had one kid in my middle school who shot himself accidentally, and Jonesboro was well within my PJ listening days. It’s interesting to reflect on why I was drawn to them, who were arguably one of the darker (if not overserious) grunge bands, compared to Nirvana’s more concise and occasionally lighthearted anger or Soundgarden’s wailing metaphysical allegory. Of course, as a Pearl Jam listener, I thought I was the only one who understood what was going on. Thanks for the article.