Everclear first tasted true fame and the fortune that came with record sales in the mid-1990s by convincing waves of disaffected teenagers it would be romantic to swim out past the breakers and watch the world die.
But in 1993, Art Alexakis wasn’t there yet.
“Nervous and Weird” finds band’s lead singer having kicked heroin and departed San Francisco for Portland, Oregon. He’s broke, married, and trying to support an infant daughter. He’s paranoid, scared, and lonely. He’s struggling to take control after a life spent rolling with the tide.
Alexakis prepares for the confrontation by looking inward, able to do so because he’s anchored by “his blind Electra in drag.” He’s okay without her, but only just. Now I sit alone when you’re not around / I’m breathing loud just to hear a friendly noise. New Art is bracingly honest, self-aware, and facing his flaws with the help of his future ex-wife.
He’s started down the right road after a quarter-life of false beginnings. I think it’s better here / than where we used to be sounds positive until you realize it doesn’t mean that life is good, only that it’s improving.
You can’t see the view from inside the break. But sometimes all you need is to know it exists.