Pearl Jam has been tapped to soundtrack this month's World Series, thanks to a partnership with Fox Sports that includes the entirety of the group's still-forthcoming tenth studio album, Lightning Bolt. Their punishment for this decidedly un-punk transgression, we imagine, will be to endure increasingly frequent baseball puns replacing the word "batter" with "Vedder."
Here, let's try one on for size: "Swiiiing, Vedder, Vadder, swiiing, Vedder."
Anyway. Billboard reports that the deal includes 46 of the Seattle group's songs—skipping over Riot Act, their 2002 downer of a politico manifesto—and will continue to feature the band's music on Fox Sports in November.
Maybe a Fox partnership seems like a betrayal from the staunchly anti-corporate act of the 1990s that once largely avoided touring in the U.S. for four years in protest of Ticketmaster. But let's be real: Pearl Jam's no longer making records like No Code or swearing off of music videos; if 2009's decent-enough Backspacer taught us anything, it's that the angsty, seething Pearl Jam you remember from high school has long since been replaced by a more comfortable, happier stadium rock outfit. As the band's manager told Billboard, "There was a period of time when we didn't license much music." But, in this instance, the band simply loves baseball:
The band played St. Louis during the 2010 leg of its Backspacer tour, where Vedder gave [Fox Sports announcer Joe] Buck an onstage shout-out and hung out with him for a couple of hours after the show.
"We literally just talked about baseball," Buck says. "It was the greatest thrill of my life. You'll hear certain guys say they're a Yankee fan or an NFL fan, and maybe they know some stuff but they're not die-hards. This guy's just a legit, die-hard baseball fan, and I've never had a more relaxed, normal conversation in that kind of atmosphere."
Your adolescent grunge heroes have become lame dads. Deal with it.