Pearl Jam's Vedder Rallies For Ralph Nader

Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder got political on Saturday night in Seattle, performing a pair of songs at a rally for Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader during a fund-raising event at Key Arena.

Vedder, who is currently in between touring stints with Pearl Jam, took to the stage armed only with an acoustic guitar and a ukulele and strummed through "Soon Forget," a track from the band's new "Binaural" LP, and another song, "I'm A Patriot," according to "The Seattle Times."

Vedder dedicated "Soon Forget" to Microsoft co-founders Paul Allen and Bill Gates, and he described the song as being "about a man whose immense wealth can buy Corvettes and high-rise apartments, but can't buy back his soul."

Nader, an attorney and longtime consumer activist, is perhaps best known for his influential 1965 book, "Unsafe At Any Speed: The Designed-In Dangers of the American Automobile," which took aim at the safety practices of the American auto industry,

and General Motors in particular.

In the years since, Nader and his team of "Nader's Raiders" have promoted consumer justice and government and corporate accountability through his nonprofit watchdog organization, Public Citizen.

Vedder said he had already made a donation to the Nader campaign in the band's name and noted that he might appear at additional Green Party rallies prior to the election.

"It's not as easy as it looks," he told the newspaper, "but you just want the message to get out nationally, and you want the media to cover it more, so if that means showing up, you've got an obligation to show up."

If Vedder does decide to take in more Nader rallies, he'll likely have to do it soon, as Pearl Jam is scheduled to return to the road on October 4 with a gig in Montreal, Quebec, and continuing through a two-night stand in Seattle on November 5 and 6.

In other Pearl Jam-related news, the 25 authorized "Bootleg" double albums, featuring

live shows recorded during the band's recent European tour, are due in stores this week (see "Pearl Jam Sets Release Date For Live Discs")