The Authoritative Top 10 Pearl Jam Songs

OK ... authoritative as chosen by me. :-) When anyone asks me my favorite singer or band, there is no hesitation that it is Pearl Jam. Lollapalooza 1992 pretty much defined my musical interest in this band, and there has been no turning back.

I was challenged to come up with my Top 10 favorite songs by this band, led by Eddie Vedder. I would say their catalog consists on the order of 175+ songs, and I like a bunch of them. Narrowing the list down to 10 was horribly difficult. But I did it. I quickly narrowed down the list by grabbing my "5-star" rated songs off of iTunes. There were about 25 of those. Then I listened to those 25 to come up with my decision.

Without further ado, here is the list of all Pearl Jam lists, with video samples so you can get an idea of how great these songs are:


Down (Lost Dogs, 2003): An uplifting song off of their Lost Dogs album, I have no real main reason for liking this song other than I just like it. It almost has an R.E.M type feel to it. Talks about being lifting yourself up from the depths of some sort of despair. I would say this is the most "poppy" song on my list. At least it is not "Last Kiss", I guess (although, I like that song better than a lot of people). By the way, for the video below, I was at that concert in San Francisco :-)


Love Boat Captain (Riot Act, 2002): This song starts builds from slow to fast and ends slow. A great blend of melody and singing. It is actually a very emotional song, especially to Pearl Jam. It is dedicated to nine people that died during a concert Pearl Jam was giving in Denmark in 2000. "Lost nine friends we'll never know, two years ago today".


Rearviewmirror (Vs., 1993): A hard-hitting, fast-paced song with Vedder on the guitars. The beginning instruments just captures you. And then "I took a drive today/Time to emancipate". For some reason, I initially thought this song was about some sort of date rape, but them came to realize it was about becoming free of abuse of someone who was hated with a passion. Apparently, this is about Vedder hating is stepfather. The end of this song gets your air guitar going. :-) Oh, and for you Cold Case fans, this song was featured in a two episode series featuring Pearl Jam (right after their greatest hits album "Rearviewmirror" came out).


State of Love and Trust (The movie "Singles" soundtrack (1992) / Rearviewmirror, 2004): This was written for the 1992 movie "Singles". A song about love and faithfulness, this is just one of those songs that jams. It is fast and the ending guitar playing is awesome.


Yellow Ledbetter (Lost Dogs, 2003 / Rearviewmirror, 2004): Mainly a very popular concert ending song, the lighters get thrown up when this song is played. It has been admitted that Jimi Hendrix was "ripped off" for this song. Not a fast song. Lyrically powerful. I believe Vedder has mentioned this being about someone dying in war. I love the song-ending guitar. Another Cold Case featured song.


Black (Ten, 1991): Number 1 on many Pearl Jam fans' lists, Black is probably the song I would introduce to a new listener of Pearl Jam...especially one who is more inclined to softer ballads. One of their most emotional songs, I believe it is about a couple's breakup and the pain that goes with it (others say it is about a suicide or an abortion). The sticking lyric - "I know someday you'll have a beautiful life, I know you'll be a star in somebody else's sky, but why, why, why, can't it be, can't be mine?". And another Cold Case featured song.


Porch (Ten, 1991): The best song on their debut album Ten in my opinion. Just beating out Black. There really isn't a whole lot to the song, actually. A quick intro, an awesome beginning riff, verse, awesome instrumental, verse, awesome ending. Quick and hard hitting 3 minutes. A great concert song. This song got me loving Pearl Jam. Period. In a way, this song will always be my favorite. By the way, the crowd jump in the second video below from Pink Pop 92 is freaking amazing (about 2 minutes and 50 seconds in).


I Got S**t (Merkin Ball, 1995 / Rearviewmirror, 2004): The made for release title is "I Got ID". I like the original title better :-) Capturing me with its initial guitar sequence by Eddie Vedder and Neil Young (yes, that Neil Young), the lyrics start off depressing and emotional. And it stays that way. Great riffs. Neil Young adds a bunch to this song.


Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town (Vs., 1993): I think this is the longest title of any Pearl Jam song. It is a fairly popular song. Having an acoustic feel, this song really showcases Vedder's lyrical and singing ability. About a woman working in a small town who sees a long lost love interest. I love it!


Immortality (Vitalogy, 1994): This song actually snuck upon me as my favorite song. While popular, it is not as well known as songs like Jeremy, Alive, EvenFlow, Last Kiss, etc. In fact, I would call it is a nice gem. I am not quite sure I understand the entire song, although rumors are it is about Kurt Cobain of Nirvana and lyrics were added after his death. For those musical instrument inclined (not me), I think it is a simple enough song. But it is the perfect blend of great vocals, melodies and instrument play that make this tops on my list. And, in case you are interested, it is featured in Cold Case :-)

[Other songs in consideration for the top 10: Life Wasted (Pearl Jam), Comatose (Pearl Jam), Corduroy (Vitalogy), Given to Fly (Yield), Faithful (Yield), Dissident (Vs.), In Hiding (Yield), Unthought Known (Backspacer), Animal (Vs.), Evenflow (Ten), Sad (Lost Dogs), Alive (Ten), Thin Air (Binaural)]

Changing Themes After Three Years

After upgrading Wordpress to the latest version, I figured now was the best time as any to change my theme. The Mac-looking theme served me well for a while. Old Theme

But it was time for something fresh. There haven't been many updates to the old theme (Librio) since I first downloaded it. And Wordpress has been steadily moving along. The funny thing, though, is that I chose the current Wordpress default theme (Twenty Ten). It looks good. It is very customizable. And will be updated, as needed, along with future Wordpress updates.

We'll see how long this theme can stick. Right now, it seems to fill the niche just fine.

Offered A Position I Didn't Even Apply For - I Must Be Good!

I open my inbox and I see this message:

Wow! Really? I am honored. While I should probably jump at the chance to take a job offer, one that I didn't apply for mind you, I should probably think about this for a minute. Let's see....

1. It is from a hotmail account. Not really all that professional, Paulette.
2. The Subject is "Application ID2C586 1". Not really an attention grabbing or relevant subject line.
3. The To: is to "". Not my email address. That's weird that I got it. Was I BCC'd on my own job offer?
4. I am addressed as "Candidate". I would think if you were going to offer me a job paying me (hopefully) a boat load of money, you would at least know my name.
5. Keller Investment Services -- um, who are they?
6. Oh, they want me to be a "partner" to "invest" in "mutually beneficial opportunities". I see. In other words, they WANT MY MONEY! Hey, what kind of job is this?
7. My strong background and experience? So a technologist like myself is the right type of person to be an Advisor Assistant, huh?
7. Application Process? I thought I already had the job. What is this a big tease? And who is this "" person anyway?
8. Sarah Walter? I thought your name was Paulette Villafane? Very confusing. Or she is having an identity crisis.

So, after much consideration and thought, I think I might have to decline this job offer (or application for job offer or whatever it is). It was a close call Paulette/Sarah, but I just don't think we are compatible.

10 Songs That Have Made An Impact On My Life

I have thousands of songs in my music collection. And I have heard thousands above and beyond those in that collection.

For some reason, I got to thinking about which songs actually have made an impact on me on a personal level. They are not necessarily my favorite songs nor do I necessarily listen to them much anymore. But they are songs that actually had a noticeable impact on my life or emotions.

Here are 10 songs (well, technically 11 since one set has two songs associated with it), in no particular order of favoritism, that have made some sort of impact on me:

Just the Way You Are - Billy Joel: First song at my wedding. Nuff said, really.

Black - Pearl Jam: My favorite song off the album that made me a Pearl Jam lifer. And they still remain my favorite band ever. Just listen to the lyrics of Black sometime. Love lost.

Smells Like Teen Spirit - Nirvana: As cliche as this song has turned out to be, this song literally brought me to a whole new level of musical appreciation. That's really the bottom line. Defined my generation.

Cheeseburger in Paradise - Jimmy Buffett: First concert I ever saw with my then college girlfriend (and now my spouse). Walnut Creek Amphitheatre in Raleigh.

Cornflake Girl - Tori Amos: First concert I ever saw in a concert hall with the piano as the primary instrument. Tori Amos rocks the piano and it made me a Tori Amos fan forever.

Caribbean Queen - Billy Ocean: My first EVER concert. I was about 10 years old at the county fair in Ft. Lauderdale. It was at that point I new I loved music.

To The Bone - Sex Police / Fun & Games - The Connells: These two bands really help define my college experience. The Sex Police specifically helped to define one of the greatest times I have ever had in my life.

Brass Monkey - Beastie Boys: Might have been the first *cassette tape* I owned. Remember the tail of the airplane on the cover? My middle school years were heavily influenced by this song and album from many different perspectives.

Joining You - Alanis Morissette: Just listen to the lyrics and you will understand why I put it here. I really find the story in the lyrics kinda chilling (the story might actually be true if I remember correctly). And I love the riffs. I have never grown tired of this song. Alanis is one of the most underrated musicians of my time.

Ice, Ice Baby - Vanilla Ice: The first *CD* I ever owned. Got it as a joint gift with my first portable CD player. Also the song that made me realized that I might just sometimes be ridiculed for the choice of music that I may like (as I am with Kelly Clarkson now).

My Communications Infrastructure is led by Google Voice (with teammates the iPhone and Ooma)

In the last month I have completely revamped my communications infrastructure, hopefully for the better.

Here are the before and after pictures.



Yep. I am using Google Voice as a hub for phone communications. My Google Voice number will be a primary number for people to contact me. Depending on the person calling, Google Voice will forward to my iPhone, my home phone, my spouse's mobile phone or any combination of the three. (With Google Voice, you can actually get so granular that you can forward to different numbers based on the person calling, have a different greeting for any person, and a different voicemail message for any person or group of people). And I can add or remove phones from the forwarding mechanism at my leisure because my Google Voice number will shield anyone who calls from the black box that is now my web of communication facilities.

Sure people will still call my iPhone directly. And I expect some people to do that as it is my primary line for business discussions, etc. But for a majority of people, calling the Google Voice number will be all that is needed.

And, as what I am seeing as a huge money saver, I have left Vonage (where I was paying $20-25/mo) and came to Ooma. I paid $199+tax at Costco for free U.S. calls for life. Ooma has premium services that you can pay for, but at this point, since I have Google Voice, I don't see the need just yet. (Note: I had no real negative issues with Vonage. The service was actually very good for the time I had it. But, you can't blame someone for trying to save some money).

What if Ooma goes out of business? Well, that's the beauty of Google Voice. I can remove Ooma and add something else to the infrastructure and no one would be the wiser. People know the Google Voice number and don't really care how (and with what device) I answer the phone on the other side. I am actually considering adding a Skype phone number to my account to see if I can forward numbers to the Skype number for the times I am away from my home and online.

Here are my assumptions about using Google Voice as a communications hub:

  1. Google is not going out of business anytime soon. Thus, my Google Voice number can be my number for life.
  2. Google Voice will continue to be free (or ad supported), or some reasonable charge if it comes to that.
  3. Google Voice will keep my privacy just as well as the government does with respect to my phone calls ;-)

We'll see how this all plays out; but right now I feel excited with my new setup.

Google Voice is in beta right now, but you can sign up for an invitation and these invitations are going out daily.

Please Help Me Choose a Worthy Computer Desk Chair

I am in the market for a good computer desk chair. I mean one like Chris Pirillo has in his office -- the Grahl Synchron 8, which apparently is not sold publicly anymore. I could do without that crazy price, though. ;)

I am looking for full body support to help keep my back as pain free as possible. My sciatic nerve is really irritating me. I am willing to spend a pretty fair amount for a chair that will keep me comfortable and pain free.

Some others I am considering are:

The Kneelsit

The Mirra

The Aeron

Any recommendations?


Top 25 Played Songs In My iTunes Collection As of April 2009

It has been about a year since I posted a list of my favorite music at a given point in time. I always like these sorts of lists because it gives me a chance to reflect on my personality when it comes to music. I also like when I see other lists like this because it reminds me that I am missing a bunch of great songs in my music collection, even though I have well over 3000 songs. So I go and buy some.

Anyway, I was looking at my iTunes playlists today and found one called "Top 25 Most Played". I looked in there and was surprised what I saw. Now these are the most played since I moved my music to iTunes in May 2008. Here is the list:

  1. Last Name -- Carrie Underwood (Played 33 times)
  2. Walk Away -- Kelly Clarkson (31 times)
  3. Life Wasted -- Pearl Jam (29 times)
  4. SIgned, Sealed, Delivered -- Stevie Wonder (25 times)
  5. All Mixed Up -- 311 (25 times)
  6. Killer Queen -- Queen (24 times)
  7. Hello (American Idol Performance) -- David Cook (21 times)
  8. Seasons of Love -- Rent the Musical (20 times)
  9. Comfortably Numb [Live] -- Roger Waters with Van Morrison (19 times)
  10. Gloria -- Van Morrison (18 times)
  11. Because of You -- Kelly Clarkson (18 times)
  12. Killing Me Softly With His Song - Fugees (16 times)
  13. Since U Been Gone -- Kelly Clarkson (16 times)
  14. Drops of Jupiter -- Train (16 times)
  15. No Diggity -- Blackstreet & Dr. Dre (14 times)
  16. Higher Ground -- Stevie Wonder (14 times)
  17. Don't Know Why -- Norah Jones (13 times)
  18. Wanted Dead or Alive -- Bon Jovi (12 times)
  19. Jump Around -- House of Pain (12 times)
  20. Illusion, Coma, Pimp and Circumstance -- Prince (12 times)
  21. It's So Hard To Say Goodbye -- Boyz II Men (11 times)
  22. Don't Let Love Go -- En Vogue (11 times)
  23. Upside Down -- Jack Johnson (11 times)
  24. Behind These Hazel Eyes -- Kelly Clarkson (11 times)
  25. Verse Chorus Verse -- Nirvana (11 times)

(Moving up quickly: Independence Day -- Martina McBride, Kiss from a Rose -- Seal, Alone -- Heart, On the Other Side of the Truth -- Sex Police, Animal -- Pearl Jam)

So what does this list show? Well, that I have a pretty diverse musical taste. I like American Idol (yes, I admit that with no shame). Kelly Clarkson seems to be my favorite artist (although it really is Pearl Jam). And.....that I let my kids listen to the Curious George Soundtrack a little too much (WHAT THE HECK IS JACK JOHNSON DOING IN HERE :) )

My First International (Spanish) Comment Spam

Well, comment spam is coming at me in other languages now. Here is the latest gem that my blog spam filter caught:

Hola a todos, en mi primer post me gustaría compartir algo con vosotros, Ya sabéis que para buscar y descargar música en internet, tenemos muy pocas opciones, generalmente utilizamos el emule o el ares, pero yo personalmente encuentro bastante frustrante bajarme una canción y que no sea la que busco, porque pierdo bastante tiempo encontrando material de calidad.
Una amiga me recomendó utilizar Altavz como mi buscador de música, y la verdad es una gozada.
Además de poder escuchar la canción, descargarla o agregarla a tus listas preferidas puedes encontrar a otros usuarios y compartir tu música con ellos.
Hace mucho que no utilizo emule, sino este [url=][b]buscador de música[/b][/url].

Which, using Google Translator, loosely means: :-)

Hello everybody, my first post I'd like to share something with you, You know that
search and download music online, we have very few options, we generally use
emule or ares, but I personally find it quite frustrating to get a song and
I'm looking for is not because I lose time finding enough quality material.

A friend recommended I use as my browser Altavz music, and really enjoyed one.

Besides being able to hear the song, download it or add it to your favorite lists can
finding other users and share your music with them.

Long time do not use emule, but it [url =] [b] finder
music [/ b] [/ url].

Well, spammer, thank you for the "useful" information.

Publicly Announcing the Website To My Software and Consulting Company, Twin Roots


My company website is now publicly online.

Twin Roots, a software and technical consulting, contracting and development company has been active for about a year now. And while I have had an initial website up for the last month or so (basically so that I didn’t have to have the GoDaddy start page as the website), I have never really publicized it.

However, I have found what I consider a pretty good theme for my website and am happy enough with it publicly announce it here. I am using a *free* theme from Six Shooter Media (credits maintained on the web site, of course). I just liked the theme. It is simple yet different enough to where I think it can stand out quite nicely. I see an easy maintenance path for the site, being able to highlight current developments, work or products very easily.

I know a free theme is sometimes frowned upon for a business website. And it could be down the line that I have an original site created. But for my first go around, I feel this will do quite nicely.

I invite you to visit the site and comment on it, either through my email address provided there or right here on my personal blog.

Some items I am looking at adding in the near future are:

  • A company blog
  • Maybe a quick comment section to talk about items such as the site or its content

I am happy that I can get a presence for Twin Roots finally out there.

My Christmas and Holiday Song List for the 2008 Season

As I said last year, I like lists. Just to be in the holiday spirit, I thought I would share my Christmas and Holiday song list that I have compiled for this season. I think it is pretty good. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, or just general happiness to all!

  • Blue Christmas - Elvis Presley
  • Happy Xmas (War Is Over) -- John & Yoko
  • Sleigh Ride -- Amy Grant
  • Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! -- Frank Sinatra
  • My Grown-Up Christmas List -- Kelly Clarkson
  • I Wish Everyday Could Be Like Christmas -- Bon Jovi
  • Here Comes Santa Claus -- Elvis Presley
  • The Little Drummer Boy -- Bob Seger
  • Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) -- U2
  • Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas -- The Pretenders
  • Do You Hear What I Hear -- Carrie Underwood
  • Winter Wonderland -- Eurythmics
  • White Christmas -- The Drifters
  • The Christmas Song -- Hootie & The Blowfish
  • Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town -- Bruce Springsteen
  • Jingle Bell Rock -- Daryl Hall And John Oates
  • Wonderful Christmastime -- Paul McCartney
  • Run Rudolph Run -- Chuck Berry
  • Last Christmas -- Wham!
  • Santa Bring My Baby Back (To Me) -- Elvis Presley
  • Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree -- Brenda Lee
  • Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer -- Gene Autry
  • Seasons of Love -- From the Musical "Rent"
  • Auld Lang Syne -- Barenaked Ladies

Go Daddy Discount Domain Club

I got an email from Go Daddy asking me if I wanted to join its discount domain club. I read the email trying to think if it is worth it and my initial impression is --- no, at least not for me. Here is the email:

Dear Joel Marcey,

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  • Don't pay full price for another domain! Join the Discount Domain Club now for just $89.99/yr $71.99/yr with your special 20% OFF discount. But hurry, this exclusive offer expires December 24, 2008, so sign up now!

    Thanks as always for being a Go Daddy customer.

    Bob Parsons
    CEO and Founder

    So, for $71.99, I get an automatic discount on domain names and some cash parking and auction stuff that I have yet to use and am not sure if I will.

    So let's just say, for simplicity, that I am paying $71.99 for 31% off of .COM domain names. I am sorry, but I just don't buy that many domain names -- and I can always use coupon codes when I do buy a domain name.

    Don't get me wrong, Go Daddy is a fine domain name registrar that I exclusively use, but I think something like Amazon Prime for free 2-day shipping is a better deal.

    Change is, um, err, good?......

    Well, I have completed my migration from to I think it went well, but I will continue to have trepidation until things settle down a bit. I love this new theme. Good work, deniart. I think I will stick with it for a while (assuming it remains stable of course). Let me know what you think of it.

    Anyway, I have learned a lot during this process. And, I am going to create an updated post to the one that proved to be relatively popular that talked about installing LAMP and Wordpress on Slicehost. There are a few things to add to that step-by-step guide, and believe me, I know that first hand. :-)

    Movin' On Out


    I have finally re-established my relationship with Slicehost (oh, you didn't know I left. Well, it had nothing do with them; it was a personal decision on my part to leave temporarily). And now that I feel that this time I will be sticking with Slicehost more permanently, it is time to do some housekeeping.

    One item on the agenda is to move this blog from to Slicehost.

    There may be some intermittent downtime, but hopefully I can get this all up and running by the end of this week.

    As I understand it -- will remain, but be stale (with this as the last post). That is, of course, unless I delete the old blog. will be transferred to the new host where you will see all of my previous posts, including this one, and all new posts.

    We'll see how it goes!

    See you on the flip-side.

    Back From the Dead

    Well, back at least from a blogging perspective. It has been a long time since my last post. What to say about why that is – well, mainly I was taking care of some personal work and also finishing up a consulting gig.

    It has been a successful first “out of a corporation” year for me. I have made some money and made some great contacts.

    So where do I stand right now?

    I am in a state of flux. I am between consulting/contracting opportunities and I have not made much headway on any micro-ISV product (mainly because of the consulting work, but also for some other reasons).

    I have some decisions to make.

    Here are my current options:

    • Flesh out 1 or more of 5 possible product ideas, if for anything to get me back in the programming “spirit”
    • Do some side, primarily non-programming work that has been offered to me, more for the experience and satisfaction than any monetary reason.
    • Work on some technical articles or books that I have been floating around. as possibilities I have some possible leads for publications, but some other things have to fall into place, which I am working on.
    • Look for some more consulting work – I may have a possibility in January, but I am not sure I can 100% count on that.
    • Go back to school to earn my Masters in Computer Science or MBA or, at the very least, take some courses to get the brain juices flowing
    • Look for a full-time job

    Now, the options above are not necessarily exclusive, but I do need to prioritize and make a decision. And make a decision is exactly what I am going to do now…..

    ……well, after I watch my Buffalo Bills hopefully beat the Browns tonight!

    Go Bills!

    Buffalo Bills logo

    UPDATE: The Bills lose on another "wide right" field goal. Bills fans know those are the two most dreaded words a Bills fan can hear :-(

    Top 15 Listened to Songs of 2008 So Far

    I love music. I really love music. I have many thousands of songs from country to rock to R&B to rap. So it is real hard to pick all-time favorite songs. I gauge my favorite songs by the play count in Windows Media Player, where I play most of my music when I am working on my computer.

    Here are my top 15 listened to songs of 2008 thus far (I had some ties, so I went with 15 songs):

    1. Killer Queen - Queen (One of the greatest bands ever!)
    2. No Diggity - Blackstreet
    3. Life Wasted - Pearl Jam (My favorite band!)
    4. Behind These Hazel Eyes - Kelly Clarkson (yes, that Kelly Clarkson -- this is a great song and she can actually sing)
    5. Man in A Box - Alice In Chains
    6. White Rabbit - Jefferson Airplane
    7. Killing Me Softly - The Fugees
    8. Total Eclipse of the Heart - Bonnie Tyler (One of my favorite "slow" songs ever, period!)
    9. Hot Blooded - Foreigner
    10. Pretty Vegas - INXS (actually saw the new INXS in concert -- very good!)
    11. Sin Wagon - Dixie Chicks (By the way, the documentary Shut Up and Sing was great)
    12. To The Bone - Sex Police (My favorite band in college)
    13. Wish You Were Here - Pink Floyd
    14. Alone - Heart
    15. Verse Chorus Verse - Nirvana

    Will see if these stick throughout the rest of the year.

    Sometime I may be able to come up with my favorite songs ever. I have to imagine at least one of these would make the list.