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 The Five Horizons Foundation
Thank you from The Five Horizons Foundation to all of the awesome Pearl Jam fans for helping to raise over $5,000 on this tour at 5H pre parties. As a community, we done some great things already and can't wait to do it again on the next tour.

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4/4/12

Pearl Jam - Nothing As It Seems

 

Origin and recording

"Nothing as It Seems" was written by bassist Jeff Ament. Ament plays upright bass on the song giving it a very atmospheric feel. Guitarist Mike McCready used a Fender Pedal for the song which provided the song with its distorted sounds, which McCready described as sounding "like a plane going down."[1] The song was recorded using binaural recording techniques, and was produced by Tchad Blake. Ament on the song:

It was just a little ditty on a demo that I kind of played some hand drums on, and had this little song. Actually, I spent quite a bit of time with the lyrics, and I think Stone initially said, 'Let's try that one.' There were little sections of the song [where] I definitely heard Mike doing his thing, so I kinda said, 'Hey, man, you need to write a theme for these little sections.' It's pretty cool to see a little song that I wrote being played by everyone. I mean, I can almost kind of stand back and just watch this great band play a song...and take it to a completely different level. Mike and Ed [Vedder], they have that ability where they can really raise the level of anything that they play.[2]

Jeff Ament's original demo of "Nothing as It Seems" is a track on disc 2 of Pearl Jam's soundtrack to their forthcoming documentary "Pearl Jam Twenty" directed by Cameron Crowe.
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Lyrics

Ament revealed that he wrote "Nothing as It Seems" about his childhood growing up in a rural area of Northern Montana.[3] In one interview, he called it "a dark, heavy tale" and stated, "For me, it's a song about judgment and not always understanding what is going on with another person."[4] In another interview, he elaborated further:

It's a little bit reflecting on where I came from...I grew up in really rural area in Northern Montana, and ["Nothing As It Seems" is] looking back at [that]. I think until two or three years ago, I looked back at my childhood as being a fairly utopian situation where I had the freedom to ride my bike around town when I was five years old, and my parents didn't have to worry about anybody taking me and killing me or whatever. In the last couple of years...there have been some things that have kind of allowed some darker things to come to the surface of my childhood, seeing things that I had kind of selectively forgotten for my own mental health or whatever. I had just seen Affliction and I had just read Nine Below Zero by this guy,Kevin Canty, all very kind of rural things that unearthed a lot of stuff. ["Nothing As It Seems"] is just kind of what came out. I'm just now starting to actually really analyze what I was talking about...because I still don't really have a grip on that.[3]

Lyrics:

Don't feel like home,.. he's a little out...
And all these words elope,.. it's nothing like your poem...
Putting in,.. inputting in,.. don't feel like methadone...
Scratching voice.. all alone,.. it's nothing like your baritone
It's nothing as it seems,.. the little that he needs,. it's home
The little that he sees,.. is nothing. He concedes,.. it's home

One uninvited chromosome,.. a blanket like the ozone.
It's nothing as it seems, all that he needs,. it's home...
The little that he frees,.. is nothing, he believes...

Saving up a sunny day,.. something maybe two tone...
Anything to call his own,.. a chip off the cornerstone...
Who's kidding, rainy day,...one way ticket headstone...
Occupations overthrown,.. a whisper thru a megaphone...

It's nothing as it seems,... the little that he needs,... it's home
The little that he sees, ..is nothing. He concedes,. it's home...
And all that he frees,... a little bittersweet,.. it's home...
It's nothing as it seems,.. the little that you see,.. it's home...

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