October 5, 2006

The return of Luscious Jackson

Luscious Jackson was a fantastically chill all-female band in the ’90s that blended “alternative” rock with smooth hip hop and a love for different genres. Founding members Jill Cunniff and Kate Schellenbach met when Kate was drumming for the Beastie Boys and Jill went to interview her for a zine (have I told my theory how zines were the original blogs?). Things clicked, a mutual appreciation grew, and Luscious Jackson was born. They named their nascent band after a basketball player from the Philly 76ers (like all the best bands do).

Their eclectic 1996 album Fever In, Fever Out (produced by Daniel Lanois) is a personal favorite of mine, and I saw them at the Catalyst Club in Santa Cruz on that tour. I remember it being a great show. Electric Honey (1999) was a bit more upbeat, but every bit as wonderful and varied. Therefore, I was sad when they broke up in 2000 but thanks to this article, I now know that there is a reunion in the works. Hooray!

Instead of underground NYC clubs and late-night jam sessions, the ladies of Luscious Jackson are hip mamas now, PTA members and carpool drivers. However, they have not denied their desire to rock, and like many fine parents they are driven to create some kid music that doesn’t suck. Hence, an album of kid-oriented music is their next release.

“It’s like Luscious Jackson with a kids’ angle,” Cunniff says. “It’s not goofy kids’ music — it’s dance-y and has Luscious Jackson beats, but the [lyrical] content is pretty silly. It’s been so much fun and so easy to do: That’s when you know things are going in the right direction.” The album is currently title-less (although Jill votes for “It’s All Goo”) and label-less, but the ladies are hoping for a 2007 release.

Jill is releasing a solo album in February on The Militia Group label, entitled City Beach. There are some sound samples on her MySpace and it is a very enjoyable return to sultry/hip form from this cool chanteuse.

Here are some Luscious Jackson songs for you to enjoy if you haven’t heard these gals in the past. Again, I recommend you pick up Fever In, Fever Out. And I would posit that Luscious Jackson has made kids’ music before — I know many 3-year-olds that would argue “Naked Eye” as their theme song: “Wearing nothing is divine, naked is a state of mind. I take things off to clear my head, to say those things I haven’t said . . .”

Naked Eye” – Luscious Jackson
(from Fever In, Fever Out)

Under Your Skin” – Luscious Jackson
(from Fever In, Fever Out)

Fantastic Fabulous” (featuring Debbie Harry) – Luscious Jackson
(from Electric Honey)

11 Comments »

  • Fantastic timewarp, my friend.

    Anonymous — October 5, 2006 @ 1:26 pm

  • cool post. check out the appleseed cast, also signed to militia group

    chris — October 5, 2006 @ 3:50 pm

  • yee-freakin’-ha, girl. I will listen to any Luscious, any day of any year! I am so psyched. My whole family is. Husband, kids and all.

    deb in sf — October 5, 2006 @ 7:22 pm

  • Nice post… I rediscovered Luscious Jackson a few months ago. I’m intrigued by the idea of a reunion.

    Ken Smith — October 5, 2006 @ 7:57 pm

  • Didn’t we see Lucious Jackson with Seven Year Bitch opening? I recall that the super fem band had a topless drummer. That must be hard to drum topless. Ah, high school. Glad to hear Lucious Jackson, as well, has perhaps grown up along with us and I look forward to their next album. : )

    Kristy — October 5, 2006 @ 9:31 pm

  • The last time I remember hearing Luscious Jackson was at the Lilith Fair, either the summer before or the summer after my first year of college. It rained like crazy, and Emmylou Harris played a short but amazing set right before them. My friends and I jumped up and down to Naked Eyes in yellow ponchos in the rain, and people looked at us like we were crazy.

    Maggie — October 5, 2006 @ 9:47 pm

  • Hey!Cool blog.:-) Ciao.

    mojopin74 — October 6, 2006 @ 3:08 am

  • the girl on the far right looks like a man….
    ever think about sending your readers a mp3 mix cd of your favorite tuneages?

    SINEDDIE — October 6, 2006 @ 3:23 pm

  • Great post – thanks for the news…
    Lucious Jackson was one of the great Sixers of all time and Luscious were awesome in their time too.

    Bruce — October 6, 2006 @ 8:54 pm

  • great post. thanks for the news, it was refreshing to hear an old name and to find out what they’re up to now!

    Anonymous — October 18, 2006 @ 3:55 pm

  • Love Luscious Jackson! Just revamped a long dead website with a fresh new address http://lusciousjackson.net

    Anonymous — November 8, 2006 @ 1:27 pm

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Bio Pic Name: Heather Browne
Location: Colorado, originally by way of California
Giving context to the torrent since 2005.

"I love the relationship that anyone has with music: because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. It's the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part..."
—Nick Hornby, Songbook
"Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel."
—Hunter S. Thompson

Mp3s are for sampling purposes, kinda like when they give you the cheese cube at Costco, knowing that you'll often go home with having bought the whole 7 lb. spiced Brie log. They are left up for a limited time. If you LIKE the music, go and support these artists, buy their schwag, go to their concerts, purchase their CDs/records and tell all your friends. Rock on.

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