16 June 2020

16 June 2020 - Luscious Jackson - Naked Eye

I know - I've written about Luscious Jackson before, and I will write about them again.  But it's different this time.

I wrote about the harmonies between Jill Cuniff and Gabby Glaser before, and today  I won't be doing that.  Reason:  these harmonies don't include Glaser, but rather, keyboardist Vivian Trimble - that's right.  There are THREE solid vocalists in Luscious Jackson - or rather, there were.  More on that in a minute. - and they all harmonize well together.

Between their first and second albums - Natural Ingredients and Fever In, Fever Out - Cuniff and Trimble did a side project, called Kostars.  A single album came out of it -  and even though Glaser and drummer Kate Schellenbach were both part of the recording of that album, it was quite clearly not a Luscious Jackson record.

This song was more classic LJ - a significant hip-hop feel, while retaining a rock feel.  It ended up being the band's only Top 40 hit - peaking at #36 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1997 - and remains a cool song to this day.  The video itself is somewhat cool looking - with all four band members never appearing together but also seemingly playing the same stoic role.

They had a lot more fun and were a lot less stoic playing live, as you can see in this clip from Late Night With Conan O'Brien from 1997.

Vivian Trimble eventually left the band, and they broke up completely in 2010 after an album as a trio (see a future post for details on that) but they reformed in the early 2010's, still as a trio, to make new music and tour.  Here's a stripped down version of the some, featuring Cuniff and Glaser, who does NOT step in on Trimble's vocals.

It's the mark of a great song - when it works so brilliantly both with a full band, loudly, and stripped down, quietly.   And THIS is a great song.

(edit: 18 June 2020):  I have discovered that the Luscious Jackson Twitter account recently posted a handwashing guide based on this song.   And yes, I did.


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