Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Caught On Tape: Pearl Jam - 'Do the Evolution'

Pearl Jam have always been known for going against the grain; for forging their own path in the music industry. The band boycotted Ticketmaster when the company held a monopoly over concert tickets and prices. When illegal concert recordings began to surface, the band took action by recording higher quality versions, called "Official Bootlegs," of every show - releasing more than 72 shows from their 2000 concert tour alone.

Pearl Jam have always done things the Pearl Jam way. So, it should come as no surprise that the band would push the envelope with their music videos as well.

In the decade between 1992's memorable 'Jeremy' and 2002's 'I am Mine' the band released only a single music video. That video was 'Do the Evolution' from the band's 1998 album Yield.

Ferociously apocalyptic, the video is a rollercoaster thru the harsh evolution of life on our planet. From the initial splitting of tiny cells to the barbaric and inescapably brutal nature of man, 'Do the Evolution' is nothing short of intense. The video speaks that for all of the intellectual and cultural advances that mankind has accomplished, our tendencies to revert back to violence are still ever present.

From racism, to warfare, to the environment, no other song/video seems to sum up the anger and concerns Pearl Jam have consistently addressed quite as well as this.

The visually powerful animation was directed by acclaimed comic-artists Todd McFarland (of Spawn) and Kevin Altieri (of Batman: the Animated Series). Much of the animation matches lyrically throughout the progression of the song.

Despite never being released as an official single, 'Do the Evolution' was Grammy-nominated for Best Hard Rock Performance and Best Music Video, Short Form.

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