Never Fade Away

Alice in Chains Have a New Singer—Why Not Nirvana?

To paraphrase Kurt Cobain paraphrasing Neil Young, “It’s better to do a necrophilic comeback album than to fade away”—or whatever (I’m paraphrasing!). Point is, if Alice in Chains can shake off an old dead lead singer, replace him with a sound-alike whose old band was called Awareness Void of Chaos (no lie), and sell out two nights at the Paramount—then why not Nirvana? The only question is: Who could fill Cobain’s shoes (his figurative shoes, not his posthumously licensed Converse All-Stars)? The Stranger has compiled a handy chart to help make the choice easier.

Dave Grohl • Knows all the songs.
• Nice smile.
• Works too hard.
• Cares too much.
• Middling. Never met a musical project he didn’t like (hello, Probot!), but decidedly tasteful about not robbing Cobain’s grave for his own glory. • Does the pope shit Latin? (He does!)
Courtney Love • Already comfortable singing songs written by Cobain. • Surviving members of Nirvana hate her guts.
• Twittering at a third-grade level.
• Gypsy curse.
• Poor. Too busy trying to be a better bag of cocaine and lips for her daughter. • Probably. He always made crappy decisions where Love was concerned.
Lil Wayne • Best Rapper Alive™.
• Picks up Alice in Chains’ black-lead-singer gauntlet.
• Enjoys sedatives.
• Might actually insist on playing guitar. • Unlikely. Unless his prison sentence allows work release—for ROCKING! • Likely. Nirvana were known to pump NWA in the van; Cobain may well have enjoyed Weezy’s syrupy freestylings.
Everett True • Knows Nirvana better than they know themselves.
• Invented Grunge™.
• The "Fifth Beatle."
• The Legend—not funny.
• British.
• Not good. As an Australian resident, would have to compete with Silverchair, who’ve wanted the job since before the body was cold. • Yes! Cobain was in fact so fond of the journalist that he famously got an Everett True tattoo on his arm.
Susan Boyle • Capable at covering popular rock and/or roll songs.
• Shares Cobain’s blue-collar roots.
• Penchant for piano balladry could make "Territorial Pissings" sound like "November Rain."
• Giant face.
• Solo success has already kind of broken her brain.
• Poor. With an album of covers already charting, why limit herself to one band’s repertoire? • No. Real musicians get record deals by drunkenly accosting Bruce Pavitt, not by going on Star Search.
Axl Rose • Um… not dead? That’s about it.
• Has experience reanimating a 17-years-dormant band.
• Has live snakes for hair, like Medusa.
• Unresolved issues with "immigrants and faggots."
• Buckethead.
• Bad. While not exactly exhausting himself touring for "Guns N’ Roses," would probably prefer to stay in his bunker working on 100-tracked guitar jerk-offs. • Does the pope believe in "the Holocaust"? (No.)
Frances Bean Cobain • Looks just like him! • Repulsively exploitative. • Middling. Could be a dynamite way to rebel against batshit crazy mom, but seems more like the "get into a good school, marry someone normal, and never speak to my mother again" kind of rebel. • It’s a little late for parental advice now, isn’t it?
Guitar Hero 5 Kurt Cobain Avatar • Looks just like him! • Once unlocked, as liable to sing Bon Jovi songs as Nirvana originals. • Very good! Unlike the fussy old Cobain, this little guy is completely controllable at the push of a button. Plus, he only costs $60 retail. • As controller of Cobain’s estate, Love has stated: "the goddammed Lunchbox was it for me i get crucified over Converse shoes i didnt approve and stood it, then spy a lunchbox and nowGHERO?NO!!" So, um, no?
Layne Staley • Still dead :(
Illustrations by Robert Ullman recommended

Alice in Chains perform Thurs Feb 4 at 7:30 pm, Fri Feb 5 at 8 pm, Paramount, $36.50–$46.50 (sold out), all ages.


Comments (31) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
I wonder why... Are you kidding me? Eric Grandy, you are retarded...
Posted by fag on February 3, 2010 at 1:26 PM · Report this
David Grohl and Chris N. played as "The Stinky Puffs" at the YoYo a GoGo music festival in Olympia not too long after Kurts death. I don't think they played any Nirvana songs, but they had Elementary school aged kid singing. Maybe the remaining 2 members of Nirvana are content where they are and simply don't to have to shit on the past to make a few bucks.
Posted by Scratched Glasses on February 3, 2010 at 2:11 PM · Report this
Couldn't agree more with Scratched Glasses. Anyway a Nirvana reunion sounds like a nostalgia tour for aging 30 & 40-somethings and it just wouldn't be the same. It would be depressing. Seriously, Kurt's songs were so personal that I can't imagine anybody else singing most of them.
Posted by Michaelaranda on February 3, 2010 at 3:22 PM · Report this
Josh Bomb 4
excellent work, you guys should invest in more charts like this.
Posted by Josh Bomb on February 3, 2010 at 3:51 PM · Report this
This chart reminds me of something that would run in the Seattle Weekly.
Posted by Chester Copperpot on February 3, 2010 at 4:06 PM · Report this
@1-3: Drat, you guys totally foiled my sincere campaign to get Nirvana to reunite with a new singer. Curses!

@5: Actually, the Weekly ran a reverent, po-faced story about how Alice in Chains feel "left out" of the Seattle music scene/"grunge" canon. I don't think there was a chart.
Posted by Eric Grandy on February 3, 2010 at 4:22 PM · Report this
It sucked, then was mildly funny, and then sucked at the end again. I don't know what that anologizes to - maybe The Veal World.
Posted by left coast on February 3, 2010 at 4:57 PM · Report this
This was fairly amusing but if you think that new guy sounds anything like Layne Staley your ears is broked, my friend.
Posted by Dave M on February 3, 2010 at 5:55 PM · Report this
@8, if there ever is a Nirvana II, do they have your permission to name their first post-Kurdt album "Your Ears Is Broked, My Friend"?
Posted by aiff on February 3, 2010 at 8:27 PM · Report this
Why can't Seattle quit trying to relive grung?

I guess part of the answer is that pop music has become so lame that even a second-hand glimpse of something real can fuel a timewarp hope.

You voted for this wasteland with your lame dollars and piracy. You deserve formula rap and Lady Gaga.
Posted by Obviously on February 4, 2010 at 8:23 AM · Report this
@2 The Stinky Puffs were an actual band fronted by a kid. They probably just functioned as his backup band, not as "Nirvana without Cobain but with a kid in his place and calling ourselves the Stinky Puffs".
Posted by Casual_Observer on February 4, 2010 at 12:15 PM · Report this
This is beautiful. I'm so stoked on this chart. My money's on Lil Wayne. -Sarah
Posted by Guest Author on February 4, 2010 at 12:39 PM · Report this
Fnarf 13
I'm rooting for Sarah Brightman or that little Austrian boy who used to always be on PBS, murdering the classics at Nazi rallies in Salzburg or wherever.

Have you seen the old Alice In Chains bassist on Celebrity Rehab? He's fantastic, the funniest thing on TV. His brain is flatlined, and all he can do is wander around aimlessly in his fly grungewear with a bag of AiC guitar picks trying to give them away.
Posted by Fnarf on February 4, 2010 at 1:43 PM · Report this
Evildc 14
they never replaced him because when kurt died they all promised each other that none of them would desicrate his memory by replacing him. nirvana was done they moved on.
Posted by Evildc on February 4, 2010 at 3:15 PM · Report this
@14: REALLY? That would make great subtext for a joke about how Alice in Chains replaced their lead singer.
Posted by Eric Grandy on February 4, 2010 at 3:47 PM · Report this
Hey, can I hire yr illustrator? That's the most flattering portrait of me I've seen in 20 years. Great article, by the way, Eric.
Posted by Jerry Thackray on February 4, 2010 at 4:10 PM · Report this
I liked Seattle Weekly's article.
Posted by Mr Moon on February 4, 2010 at 4:23 PM · Report this
J.T. Oldfield 18
How about the boys from Hansen?
Posted by J.T. Oldfield on February 4, 2010 at 5:01 PM · Report this
Oh look, another hipster disrespecting Layne while slagging on the Alice reincarnation. How original. You should hope Sean Kinney isn't a vindictive man, because, as a co-owner of the reborn Crocodile, it would be within his rights to permanently ban you from the club.
Posted by WhinerX49er on February 4, 2010 at 11:10 PM · Report this
How about Shaquille O'Neal?
Posted by mrmatz on February 5, 2010 at 1:42 PM · Report this
I rather enjoyed being banned from the Crocodile in my time
Posted by Jerry Thackray on February 6, 2010 at 2:47 PM · Report this
I think Courtney might have a problem with it...she owns his share of everything Nirvanna. I think it'd need her approval, which I don't think is likely.

Posted by scratchmaster joe on February 6, 2010 at 5:06 PM · Report this
The main creative force of Alice in Chains is still alive; the main creative force of Nirvana is not still alive. How could anyone possibly think that the two situations are even remotely linked. I am disappointed that anyone decided to actually spend time thinking about this.
Posted by CameraEye77 on February 8, 2010 at 12:47 PM · Report this
you ask this about nirvana, but what if blake died? who would chris and adam play with? or maybe we could get blake schwarzenbach to front nirvana?
Posted by not even vegan dan on February 8, 2010 at 4:16 PM · Report this
Because the new singer is not actually the lead vocalist, he's off to the side, hardly audible in the new songs, like a crutch for Jerry Can'ttell.
Posted by StrangerThanYou on February 8, 2010 at 5:22 PM · Report this
Posted by westseattle on February 9, 2010 at 12:44 PM · Report this
Well, alice in chains were never given a fair shot in seattle media... (if you can call this rag that) and its nice to see some things never change.
Posted by seattle on February 9, 2010 at 8:08 PM · Report this
nirvana reunion=marketing shtick= summarily destroys what was left of the uncontrived feeling that kurt raged and died for
Posted by jimmiespages on February 10, 2010 at 4:18 PM · Report this
nirvana reunion=marketing shtick= summarily destroys whatever was left of the uncontrived feeling the band brought that cobain raged and died for
Posted by jimmiespages on February 10, 2010 at 10:06 PM · Report this
Jesus fucking christ, people! Haven't you ever heard of satire?
Posted by nostalgia's a bitch, ain't it? on February 11, 2010 at 12:38 AM · Report this
pboss 31
Pretty funny....but I hope it never happens. So it likely will, given $$$ driven bizz.
Posted by pboss on February 12, 2010 at 6:46 AM · Report this

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