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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

12. "Space Diva" by Luscious Jackson

I get in trouble for saying this sometimes, but the nineties were really just the worst decade ever for rock and roll (and yes, I know that that is really saying something). Not the worst decade for music by any stretch, just easily the years when the chance of something nominally "rock" being decent at all were the slimmest. All the pop music variants of interest were at least two or three degrees away from rock as we'd known it, drawing on other forms for their primary creative fuel (electronic music, country and traditional music, krautrock, chamber and sunshine pop, sitars and robot voices). Even the great rock songs of the era screamed out about the abysmal state of things: "Who sucked out the feeling?"... "Pretension and fame is a CAREER!" and so forth. So that's why people like me listened to bands like Luscious Jackson. The alternatives were dire, smelling like sex and candy as they did.

This isn't the greatest such artifact The Machine could have selected for me... it might've been a little more entertaining to do a Cibo Matto song or something. But this was fun.

Another neat thing about Luscious Jackson is that they are the answer to the trivia question "What all-female band featured a former Beastie Boy?"

Rex Broome ~ Everything, except...
Eden Hain ~ Subliminal viola on playout



This one held up a lot better than I had thought it would. Wonky mixing issues, but no worse than I would still have well into the project. In the end I like having the vocals out a little too far in front better than the buried mumbles I started to get when I got worried about the singing drowning out the music, but more on that as it develops.

Given that I was working only with the onboard factory-supplied GarageBand loops, the groove hangs together pretty well, and my cut-and-paste keyboardisms are actually refreshing now that I've gotten sick of all the MIDI sounds I eventually discovered. The best part, though, is that I succeeded in something I really doubted I could pull off... building the song up as a slow burn from a tight, semi-funky acoustic figure to a beat-nuts, Chemical Brothers-y finale. I find myself if not elated then at least well-pleased.

Incidentally, I totally don't remember Eden contributing any viola at this early stage. I must've just recorded her practicing in the room and added it in as flavoring... I frankly don't even hear it.


For better or worse, these really start to pile up fast with this track.

-The truncated "...doin' it" was a spontaneous lift from a remix of The Butthole Surfers' "Pepper".

The various other things that "she got" came from all over the place. In approximate order the are:
-"Flesh cartoons" from the Robyn Hitchcock song of the same name.
-"Flesh-colored Christs that glow in the dark" from Dylan's "It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)"
-"Toejam football" and other possessions borrowed from ol' Flattop of The Beatles' "Come Together"
-There follows a bunch of stuff cribbed from "The Pigworker" by The Soft Boys (Hitchcock again). The combination of "Come Together" and "Pigworker" would again appear inna heavy dub stylee on, of course, this Kenny Rogers cover.
-"Down in the park" inexplicably comes from the song by Gary Numan, who gets namechecked immediately thereafter.

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