Luscious Jackson not so feverish about airplay

March 27, 1997|By J.D. Considine | J.D. Considine,SUN POP MUSIC CRITIC

In the movies, when an aspiring rock band finally gets its big break, there's always a big scene in which the band members hear their record on the radio and jump for joy. It's almost as if it's a rule.

Real life, however, works differently. Just ask Luscious Jackson keyboardist Vivian Trimble. Even though she and her bandmates have released two albums, toured steadily, been on MTV and put a single -- the relentlessly tuneful "Naked Eye" -- into the Top 40, Trimble has never had one of those movie moments.

"In fact, I was telling somebody just last week that I've never seen us on TV, never heard us on the radio," she says, over the phone from her New York apartment. "So I hear that we're getting played a lot, but I find it very hard to believe."

She laughs, then adds, "I was telling this to somebody, and then the next day I went into a pet store to buy something, and all of a sudden 'Naked Eye' came on. So there was my introduction."

How did it feel? "It was pretty interesting, I have to say," she says. "It came on the radio, and in fact there was a guy behind the counter who sort of cranked it and started dancing around, which I took as a good sign. It was kind of funny."

Trimble may have had a hard time believing that her band was on the verge of mainstream success, but she makes no bones about the fact that the material on its current album, "Fever In, Fever Out," placed extra emphasis on pop melodies and strong vocals.

"A very concerted attempt was made to try and get vocals sounding as good as possible," she says. "As you know, we worked with [producer] Daniel Lanois, who just knows everything about sounds, I think, and has all these incredible microphones. So when we went into [the project], that was on our wish list -- to really get a great vocal sound, and to concentrate on a more melodic approach in general, this time around."

Obviously, both have helped the group get airplay, but there was also a third factor: video. After all, MTV's heavy play of the eye-catching clip for "Naked Eye" was what made radio look twice at the single. Moreover, the video's stylish look and oblique story line -- a tribute to films like Goddard's "Alphaville" -- gave millions of potential fans a strong sense of what Luscious Jackson looks like.

"I guess they do kind of know what to expect before we get out there -- and are probably disappointed, because we're not completely glammed out and made up like we are in the video," says Trimble merrily. "We're usually very schleppy and bedraggled as we roll out of our bus bunks. Very unglamorous, actually."


When: Tonight, doors open at 7: 30 p.m.

Where: The New 9: 30 Club, 815 V St. N.W., Washington

Tickets: Sold out

Call: 202-393-0930 for information

Sundial: To hear excerpts from Luscious Jackson's new release, "Fever In, Fever Out," call Sundial at (410) 783-1800 and enter the code 6156. For other local Sundial numbers, see the directory on Page 2A.

Pub Date: 3/27/97

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