Since his career as a legitimate rock star came to an end, Art Alexakis has taken up a second career as a paleontologist, with a particular focus on the post-grunge epoch. For the past three years, the Everclear frontman and longtime Portlander has excavated the remains of a few mid-’90s relics for Summerland, a traveling archaeological road show disguised as a concert tour. This year’s specimens include Minneapolis also-rans Soul Asylum, faux-Bowie glam-rockers Spacehog, pop-rock dudes Eve 6 and, of course, Alexakis himself. It’s like Walking With Dinosaurs, curated by an actual stegosaurus.
But the after-Nirvana period is a vast field of study. In the aftermath of grunge’s Big Bang—that is, the shotgun blast that killed Kurt Cobain—the alt-rock landscape was teeming with strange new fauna scurrying for resources, radio play and record contracts. Many have gone the way of the Buffalo Tom. But thanks to the work of Dr. Alexakis, several of the following species may one day rock the earth again.
Characteristics: Looked like grunge, grunted like grunge, but had the bone structure of a J. Crew model.
Notable species: Bush, Candlebox, Collective Soul, Silverchair, Garbage.
Less notable species: Sponge, Seven Mary Three, Our Lady Peace.
Characteristics: Distinguished by unnaturally colorful plumage, lip rings and shants; communicated primarily in whoa-oh-ohs and dick jokes.
Notable species: Green Day, Rancid, the Offspring, Bad Religion, Blink-182.
Less notable species: Wax, MxPx, CIV, 1,000 Mona Lisas, Mr. Mirainga.
Characteristics: Inhabited the speakers of suburban department stores, supermarkets and the freshman dorm rooms of weeping, recently deflowered virgins.
Notable species: The Wallflowers, Tonic, Semisonic, Eve 6, Live.
Less notable species: Fastball, Del Amitri, the Verve Pipe.
Characteristics: Known for moving in an odd, gangly shuffle called “skanking” and emitting shrill bleating sounds from their hornlike beaks. A cousin to Swingus revivalisticus.
Notable species: No Doubt, Sublime, Reel Big Fish, the Mighty Mighty Bosstones.
Less notable species: Goldfinger, Buck-O-Nine, Dance Hall Crashers.
Characteristics: Descendents of the family Reznorae, except with thicker skulls, a hunched gait, more piercings and dumber guitars.
Notable species: Filter, Stabbing Westward, Orgy.
Less notable species: God Lives Underwater, Gravity Kills.
Characteristics: Subsisted entirely on hair gel and the undergarments of suburban divorcees.
Notable species: Sugar Ray, Smash Mouth, Hoobastank, Lit.
Less notable species: See above.
SEE IT: Summerland 2014, featuring Everclear, Soul Asylum, Eve 6 and Spacehog, is at Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside St., on Tuesday, July 22. 8 pm. $32 advance, $35 day of show. All ages.