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MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — Pearl Jam is celebrating its exact 20th birthday on Oct. 22 with the launch of an Sirius XM radio station devoted to the band’s enormous catalog of live, studio and unreleased material.
Pearl Jam Radio, which will be found at Sirius channel 17, XM channel 39 as well as at Sirius Internet Radio and XM Online, will kick off at 6 p.m. ET Friday with a broadcast of the band’s rarities-laden 10th anniversary show at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Arena on Oct. 22, 2000.
The new station will further honor the 20th anniversary with the first-ever official broadcast of portions of the band’s very first performance 20 years ago exactly at Seattle’s tiny Off Ramp Cafe, which took place very shortly after San Diego singer Eddie Vedder flew north to join the band then being formed by Stone Gossard, Jeff Ament and Mike McCready.
Pearl Jam’s debut album, Ten, was released less than a year later and went on to be certified 13-times Platinum and spawn hits including “Alive,” “Jeremy” and “Even Flow.” The band’s most recent album Backspacer — its ninth studio effort — debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 in 2009.
Following launch day, Pearl Jam’s satellite radio station will highlight the group’s two decades of concerts, unreleased songs, and music from the members’ many side, solo and pre-Pearl Jam bands. The channel will also feature The All-Encompassing Trip, a weekly fan round-table show hosted by the manager of the band’s fan club, Tim Bierman, and broadcaster/fan Rob Bleetstein.
The band, meanwhile, is headed to Mountain View, Calif. to further celebrate its 20th birthday with a pair of live sets at Neil Young‘s annual Bridge School Benefit on Oct. 23 and 24. The shows, which this year also feature performances by Young, Elton John and Leon Russell, and Elvis Costello among many others, supports Young’s Bridge School for kids with severe disabilities.
Playing the benefit “is really special,” Pearl Jam guitarist Gossard told Billboard in August. “So that’s our 20th anniversary, which is fitting. It’s perfect: not too blown up. It’s not about us, its about all those kids that are on stage with you and about Neil Young and his commitment, his influence.”
“I think we’ve stayed the course in a way that has maybe encouraged people and surprised people,” Gossard said of Pearl Jam’s 20-year milestone. “And I think there’s more that we can do.”
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