Fightin’ the Good Fight

Pearl Jam has always been a political sort of band — recall the Ticketmaster boycott, Eddie Vedder’s public Bush bashing, and the group’s aversion to big business, including their own record labels. Unfortunately, their political maneuvers don’t always work out. It’s like the Midas touch in reverse: Everything they endorse turns to poop. Their refusal to follow label orders dropped them pretty far off the radar during the late ’90s and put them in a bad way with Epic Records. What’d they do? They swore off record labels, hoping to do it on their own, but then they ended up signing with J Records for their 2006 self titled release — J Records being owned by Sony BMG, the same group that owns Epic. Oops. In early May, they backed Oregon senatorial candidate, Steve Novick, a tiny (four-foot-nine), liberal Democrat running on a platform of health care reform, net neutrality, and anti-big business. Sounds like an ideal guy, right? He lost two weeks ago in the primaries. Eesh. Let’s just hope no one was listening when the group declared its support for Obama with a little ditty called “Rock Around Barack,” a reworking of the Billy Haley & the Comets classic. Not unless you’re a McCain fan, that is. What about that Ticketmaster thang? Well, the band plays the Cruzan Amphitheatre (601-7 Sansburys Way, West Palm Beach) tonight at 7:30 p.m., the very first show of its North American tour. Needless to say, you can secure your ticket starting at $42 plus any outrageous service charges at www.ticketmaster.com. Hey, even rock stars need to pick their battles.
Wed., June 11, 7:30 p.m., 2008
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John Linn