Luscious Jackson
Luscious Jackson

Great bands, cheap (concert) tickets, free stuff
By Brian Conant

If it were up to Jill Cunniff the first time would have been enough.

When her band Luscious Jackson toured the country last summer it would have been the only tour necessary to promote their wonderful 1999 record "Electric Honey" (on Capitol Records), and Cunniff would be spending her time with her hubby or practicing opera, or singing and knitting - her two new hobbies.

Smash Mouth
Smash Mouth

But the first tour was not enough and now her band is smack dab in the middle of the Yahoo! Out Loud Tour, opening for Smash Mouth - a road stint Luscious Jackson added to their schedule in order to give their tragically undersold "Honey" one last go.

What it all comes down to is sheer luck, Cunniff explains. If the album had produced a radio hit, the tour might not have been necessary. The problem, she says, is "getting radio play is like winning the lottery - you are really lucky if you get on," says the lead singer, whose band has been lucky in the past with their Top 40 hit "Naked Eye."

When "Electric Honey's" first single "Lady Fingers" was made ready for radio play American DJs "were just not playing women," she adds.

"When Yahoo! offered us the spot we took it because we wanted to let people know this album is still on the shelves - you can still buy it."

JILL CONIFF,
lead singer, Luscious Jackson

Not getting any airtime didn't stop Luscious Jackson, who refused to be victims. Instead, they took on the Yahoo! Tour, knowing the trip would enable them to get the word out one last time about their new record.

"We really felt like we should do all that we could because we were really proud of this record and we worked really hard on it," she says. "When Yahoo! offered us the spot we took it because we wanted to let people know this album is still on the shelves - you can still buy it."

While the ability to peddle their wears is motivation enough, Cunniff is also enthusiastic about teaming up with an Internet-based company as she feels strongly that online music resources are changing the way people will access their music.

"I hope it will change the way music is listened to. Right now we are hearing less than five percent of the music that is out there. We are hearing such a miniscule amount as a mass populace. Most people have no idea how or where they can find music that they would really like because of the limitations of the current ways people do find out about music," she explains.

Yahoo! Out Loud Tour Dates:

2/26/00
Albany, New York
Alumni Rec Center

2/28/00
Amherst, Massachusetts
Mullens Center

2/29/00
Boston, Massachusetts
The Orpheum

3/01/00
New York City, New York
Roseland

3/03/00
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Electric Factory

3/04/00
Washington, D.C.
Nation

3/06/00
Raleigh, North Carolina
The Ritz

3/08/00
Atlanta, Georgia
The Tabernacle

3/10/00
Pompano Beach, Florida
Pompano Beach Amphitheater

Yet while Luscious Jackson will be using the tour as a second chance, the Orange County based ska/rock/retro outfit, The Hippos, who are also with the Yahoo! Tour, are simply hungry for their first crack at the large crowds anticipated at the show.

"From day one for us it has always been about getting the music out there and playing great shows," explains The Hippos' very tall front man Ariel Rechtshaid. His band, which seems to be perpetually on the road, made the rounds this summer on the warped tour and this fall with The Bloodhound Gang. For them touring is a rigorous process because all six members of the band, not to mention a manager and a merch guy, all pile into a van as they meet their required dates around the country.

"You are in a van for a very long time, and you are away from home, and any kind of stability. But it kind of balances out because of the shows. It is such a thrill to play for people who are enjoying your music and singing along. It makes it all worth it. As much enjoyment as I get out of writing and recording a song, it is more full filling to see people playing along," he explains.

The Hippos
The Hippos

For The Hippos any success the Yahoo! tour can garner them will go beyond their wildest expectations. The goal for their 1999 recording "Heads Are Gonna Roll" was to simply hit the road and muscle though 25,000 copies. The band is already well in excess of these sales, and their label Interscope Records is considering increased promotion of the album.

Interscope recently included a Hippos song on the "Snow Day: Motion Picture Soundtrack" with Smash Mouth, and will be sending The Hippos to Australia in the spring.

"From day one for us it has always been about getting the music out there and playing great shows."

ARIEL RECHTSHAID,
front man for The Hippos

"It's a really exciting time for us because things keep growing and we are playing bigger tours and bigger venues, and its like a dream come true to play these three to five thousand seat rooms. We never thought it would happen."

Yet while things keep getting bigger for the Hippos and will hopefully grow for Luscious Jackson, great strides are being made by Yahoo! to keep ticket prices to a mere $10.

In addition, Yahoo! will have an onsite and online sponsor, Pavilion, in tow --offering concertgoers access to Internet job searches, online contests, giveaways and music.

Related information:
Luscious Jackson
The Hippos
Smash Mouth
Interscope Records
Yahoo! Out Loud Tour


02/26/2000