I am not an audiophile. I’ve never been cool. So let’s keep this simple.
1. I am listening to the ten studio albums that Pearl Jam has released over the last 25 years.
I am ignoring all the iterations and live versions that are available. I am ignoring everybody’s solo careers, work with other bands, vanity projects, movie soundtracks. I know this is a band of creative musicians that constantly rework everything. I am reducing it to the manageable.
2. I am listening to the available digital versions.
I know. I know. Either buy the CDs like you did when you first heard it, or get a turntable and vinyl. At least find the original versions and not the remastered ones. Have some self-respect. Sorry. Again. Convenience wins. I promise to download the best version I can, and not stream.
3. I am listening with headphones.
They are good headphones. They are the best ones in the house. But I no longer posses the wall of speakers (and wires) that use to take up a corner in my apartments, which were the last thing packed on moving out, and the first thing unpacked moving in. Again, life is this. It’s personal. And so I will be the only one listening.
4. I am listening alone.
The right way to do this would be to get a group of friends together, rent a place for a week, bring in a big stereo, and do this together. I agree. But practicality means I will have to pine, and complain, and make due. Gen-X true.