Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased tracks, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Each and every Friday we offer songs by local artists. Today’s selection, featured on the Morning Show with John Richards, is “Are You Ready” by Luscious Jackson, their first single from a forthcoming new album.
As a power forward for the Philadelphia 76ers in the mid 1960s, the Olympic gold medal winning Lucious Brown “Luke” Jackson probably never expected to live on through a 90’s electro-hip-hop, pop group from New York. But thanks to Luscious Jackson, Lucious Jackson will always be remembered. The former have reunited, like some of their counterparts of that era, and on the verge of releasing their first first new album in thirteen years.
As the first to sign to the Beastie Boys’ label, Grand Royal, in 1992, and having opened up for Cypress Hill, and Tribe Called Quest the trio have been a fixture, and no stranger to the early 90s hip hop scene. Luscious Jackson has opened for the best of them and gotten tour advice from Kim Gordon herself. Their ties to the Beastie Boys stretches back to the Beastie’s breakout hardcore punk days, when Kate Shellenbach served as drummer to their outfit. In 1991, she joined forces with her friends, Gabby Glaser and Jill Cunniff to make up Luscious Jackson. Their 1994 debut, Natural Ingredients, propelled them into the spotlight and landed them on high profile shows like Saturday Night Live and MTV’s 120 Minutes, and on big ticket tours like Lollapalooza. 1996’s Fever In Fever Out went gold, especially thanks to the Top 40 crossover hit “Naked Eye.” After one more album, 1999’s Electric Honey, the band dissolved as life seemed to have gotten in the way. But It all comes back around, and now in 2012 they join the rank and file of other 90’s groups making reunion announcements, but unlike some of the others rehashing old material, from Luscious Jackson there’s something new coming.
The trio is going about their forthcoming release unconventionally by using PledgeMusic, a site that solicits donations from fans rather than signing on to a typical label, and in return, the fans get CDs, exclusive artwork, and other perks. “Are You Ready?” is a taste of what’s to come, with layered production, and youthful revival of the genre that makes you fight the urge to do the running man. Luscious Jackson is working on the rest of the upcoming album, and we can’t wait to hear what’s about to come next.
Touring seems to be up in the air at this point, since the album is still in the works, but keep checking into their webpage for updates and news. Get into the groove with their classic “Naked Eye,” from Fever In Fever Out: