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Obscure Alternatives – Jerry Hannan – Society (live recording with a coyote)

Sometimes even an old staple from the Halls can still surprise.

Eddie Vedder released the soundtrack to the film Into The Wild in 2007 and it instantly became a classic winning an accolade of nominations and awards including a Golden Globe in 2008 for best song, Guaranteed. It’s difficult to pick a stand out track but one that constantly made it onto playlists (mainly due to the CD pause on Gauranteed) was track eight – Society.

So in this digital age where CD wallets get filed on shelves and soundtracks are compiled by drag and drop I suppose I can be excused for taking it for granted that this was an Eddie Vedder original. Only after mooching around cyberspace following the instantly legendary three hours and forty minutes Pearl Jam – Live at Leeds show on Tuesday did I happen to stumble across a man named Jerry. Here’s the confession – I know very little about Jerry Hannan but finding out that he’s responsible for penning one of my all time favourite songs, and that he goes out into the wild at six am to perform it solo to a coyote, does mean that I will now have to undertake some further research.

This is wonderful…

The Hawthorn Halls (the days edition)

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As metaphorical toes curl over the edge of winter’s precipice and the solstice gets its coat, I’m wondering again where the days have gone, how another year has simply dissolved to memory.

A few weeks ago the poet, John Siddique tweeted that Charles Bukowski’s 1969 book, the days run away like wild horses over the hills, was a hash tag favourite book. He’s right and the title is probably one of the best titles for a poetry collection, ever.

The twitter feed reminded me of the early nineties. U2’s album, Zooropa introduced me to Bukowski. The title of the book signals the end of the track, Dirty Day as the band chorus above the Eno and Lanois darkly intimidating Berlin inspired production. It sounded wonderful but at the same time unsettling. It was the boy chasing the setting sun, discovering only more land beyond the horizon instead of the sea. It was the setting sun, something lost.

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In the pre- internet age of twenty years ago, searching out Bukowski’s book wasn’t as straight forward as it might have been, particularly as I had just returned from the big city. Back home in the village of Marsden, locals were still trying gauge how they should react to the local lad, Simon Armitage, who had just had a couple of poetry books published.  If writing poetry was strange then buying poetry books outside of an A-level course was utter madness. Sadly, bookshops seemed to go along with this train of thought making the browsing and buying experience almost impossible.

Then I blinked and found myself hidden amongst forty years or more having a twitter conversation with a poet. Someone had let the horses out. John explained that he was on a mission to strip down his writing even further and Bukowski was acting as mentor (albeit from afar). This should be something to look forward to and if the days run as fast as they have done, the book will be with us in no time at all.

This edition’s play list is to celebrate my successful grasp of two tickets to see Pearl Jam next year at the fantastic Leeds Arena. The band have been hovering around the Halls for twenty years or more but this will be the first time I’ve had a chance to see them live so I’m going to indulge. I’m holding on to this horse with both hands.