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The women of Luscious Jackson hope that this time around, the time is right for their amalgamation of pop sounds. 

Luscious Ladies

Luscious Jackson with Ben Lee
Saturday, Oct. 16
9 p.m.
Mulligan's, 8006 W. Broad St.
$15 in advance, $17.50 at the door
All ages
Tickets: Mulligan's 346-8686
or Ticketmaster 262-8100 The members of Luscious Jackson grew up faster than most kids, and so did their music. Always ahead of their time, guitarist Gabby Glaser, bassist Jill Cunniff and drummer Kate Schellenbach can blame it on their early start. The women of Luscious Jackson started hanging out in New York clubs when they were 13. What began as a social scene became an education. Punk, hip-hop, rap, reggae and ska sounds played in their heads during classes the next day. "There were a lot of clubs and a lot of bands coming through [New York in the late '70s]," says Schellenbach from her Manhattan apartment. "Clubs and radio were a lot less segregated then. There were a lot of different styles being played together." Schellenbach played drums for the Beastie Boys for a couple of years until they went strictly rap. In 1991, the three friends got together and formed a cover band and named it after '60s basketball star Luscious Jackson. In that same year, they were the first band signed to the Beastie Boys' Grand Royal label. Their music — "an amalgamation of sounds in the pop format"— as Schellenbach describes it, is a reflection of the varied sounds that made up their unique musical education. They blend hip-hop rhythms with funky beats over a punk foundation. The sound is then urbanized by a mix of grooves, samples, loops and layers supplied by DJ Alex Young and his turntables. Their first full-length album "Natural Ingredients" was released in 1994 and yielded the popular single "City Song." The darker, 1996 follow-up, "Fever In Fever Out," went gold and the single "Naked Eye" reached the Top 40. The group's exposure was widened a bit more with an appearance in an ultra-hip Gap commercial. Yet despite their critical acclaim and powerful live show, Luscious Jackson has yet to break through. "I feel like our timing's always been a little off," Schellenbaach says. "When we released our first couple of [albums] radio was really heavy into grunge and then Beck came along and opened up the alternative rock format with more rhythmic bass tracks with hip-hop beats. Now our timing is really weird too, because alternative is back into heavy rock mode again like Korn and Kid Rock, so it's not necessarily friendly again." Luscious Jackson toured with the Lilith Fair this summer and even though their music is not quite like most other bands on the roster, they enjoy being associated with some of the most respected women in rock. "I think for us [being an all-girl band] is kind of besides the point," Shellenbach says. "Every time we go in to make a record we're not thinking in that context. Our music is a reflection of [our experiences] so of course being a woman is going to come out in some respects." The band's latest release, "Electric Honey" delivers their signature patchwork of grooves in a slightly more celebratory, pop package. It also features guest vocals by Emmylou Harris, New York Liberty basketball player Kym Hampton and Debbie Harry. "We wanted to make something that was more upbeat than the last album. Whether or not it takes off is sort of out of our hands at this point, but you can't get caught up in that kind of stuff," Shellenbach says. "We're really proud of this record, we're really proud of our live show, we've worked really hard at it and we've gotten better and better every year." Timing also prevented the band from getting the full attention of the producers they wanted to work with on "Electric Honey," but this time Luscious Jackson used it to their advantage. "We sent out demos and had producers choose which song they wanted to work on," says Schellenbach of the band's hip-hop approach to producing the album. "That was a great way to work for us, each producer was able to give full attention and a lot of energy to the songs they were working on." With the intricate electronic soundscapes and attention paid to polishing the songs in the studio, how does Luscious Jackson manage to pull off their sound live? "It can be difficult," Schellenbach admits. "We tour with up to six people and jump around from instrument to instrument, so between the six of us we feel like we cover a lot of ground. Some things vary from the album a little bit, but if anything, songs become more rockin' when they're performed live. For us it proves that it's a good song if you can strip away all the studio magic and still have a good song that holds its own on an acoustic
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