Club Beat: Novoselic has a new vision: Eyes Adrift

Friday, January 25, 2002

Good news, grunge fans, Krist Novoselic is returning to the stage.

The former Nirvana bassist has assembled a new trio called Eyes Adrift, which makes its Seattle debut tonight at I-Spy (6 p.m./all-ages; $10).

Eyes Adrift is Novoselic’s first full-fledged band in several years. And on paper, the lineup looks impressive. Besides Novoselic, Eyes Adrift includes Meat Puppets main man Curt Kirkwood on vocals and guitar and the Long Beach Dub Allstars’ Bud Gaugh on drums.

In recent times, Novoselic has made headlines not for his music but for his offstage endeavors, such as his involvement with JAMPAC (Joint Artists and Music Promotions Political Action Committee), his appearances on the Spitfire spoken-word tours and, more notoriously, his legal squabbles with Kurt Cobain’s widow Courtney Love over the rights to Nirvana’s music.

Musically speaking, Novoselic has been anything but inactive since Nirvana’s demise in 1994.

In the months following Cobain’s suicide, Novoselic came roaring back in a rock band called Sweet 75, which he formed with local singer Yva Las Vegas. The band’s self-titled debut arrived in 1997, but quickly sank without a trace. Then in 1999, along with Sweet 75 bandmate Gina Mainwal and Soundgarden’s Kim Thayil, Novoselic resurfaced as a gas-masked bassist in the short-lived No WTO Combo, a punk troupe called to arms by singer/former Green Party presidential candidate Jello Biafra (Dead Kennedys) for a memorable WTO protest concert at The Showbox, and a subsequent live album titled “Live From the Battle in Seattle.”

That Eyes Adrift finds Novoselic paired with Kirkwood shouldn’t come as a surprise. Kirkwood’s Meat Puppets figured significantly into Nirvana’s past, both as an influence and as contributor. Nirvana fans will recall the band performing three Meat Puppets songs — “Lake of Fire,” “Oh, Me” and “Plateau” — during its classic MTV “Unplugged” performance, with Kirkwood and his younger brother Chris joining in on guitar and bass, respectively.

Like Nirvana, the Meat Puppets too were saddled with drug problems, theirs stemming from Cris Kirkwood’s addiction to heroin. The older Kirkwood eventually carried on without his brother, revamping the Meat Puppets for last year’s unremarkable comeback album “Golden Lies.”

Eyes Adrift’s sound and immediate future is anyone’s guess; you’ll just have to see for yourself.

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