The Big Picture

Patrick Goldstein and James Rainey
on entertainment and media

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Cameron Crowe kicks out the Pearl Jams

August 28, 2009 |  5:21 pm

Backspacer-cover It was way, way back in 2005, believe it or not, when Cameron Crowe's "Elizabethtown" landed with a resounding dud at the box office. So nothing makes me happier than to see the always- ebullient Crowe behind a camera again, directing a new video for Pearl Jam's upcoming "Backspacer" album. The band has just released a video of "The Fixer," which is one of the most infectiously energetic songs we've heard from the band in ages. And I'm not just saying that because Eddie Vedder is a die-hard Chicago Cubs fan, who has retired the trophy for best Wrigley Field rendition of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" (not that the competition in that department is all that stiff).

At any rate, it's not always easy to capture the thrill of a band's live performance on video, but with Crowe at the helm, you feel like you're right in the middle of the mosh pit in this Pearl Jam video. No fuss, no muss, just plenty of rock 'n' roll and verve and vigor. My sources say Crowe has been spending most of his time lately working on a long-awaited film about Marvin Gaye, whose life story has more triumph and tragedy than anyone on the pop music planet. But until that project gets the green light, we have a little something new to wrap our ears around. Take a look for yourself: