We have a thing in our house called the Andre Norton Effect. The Andre Norton Effect states that you can read and enjoy an Andre Norton novel as an adult only if you read and enjoyed the same novel as a kid. Nostalgia always forgives. The Andre Norton Effect explains a range of mysterious activities; for example, why I still like Billy Idol’s “White Wedding,” a song that by any objective standard is a speed bump in the forward path of musical progress.

So if in this series I have trampled upon someone’s favorite band from their youth, I’d like to apologize. If, for example – and I’m speaking at random here and not from intimate knowledge of anyone I know but rather I am proposing a fictional composite – you loved folk music as an idealistic college student a certain number of years ago and you worked hard after school serving espresso coffee to beatniks at the Sugar Shack and you spent your meager paycheck on, say, an album by We Five, then you perhaps took offense at certain observations I made about the lads. And if I had had your experience, I might never have said what I said. But I lack your experience, which is why I basically said that they suck. Sor-ree.

Out already
Two disqualifications this evening:

V6
This Japanese boy band debuted in 1995 singing covers of popular “eurobeat” songs. (Eurobeat means disco updated for the new millenium.) Each V6 member is assigned a color for life, and apparently they are in V6 for life – the oldest boy is now 43. I’m disqualifying them because the whole concept is terrifyingly stupid.

Temperance 7
The Temperance Seven
The New Temperance Seven
The Temperance Eight
This is all the same group, formed in Britain in 1957. They split in the ’60s; when they reformed in the ’80s they called themselves The New Temperance Seven and then expanded to The Temperance Eight. They played jazz and engaged in low comedy.

The Temperance Industrial Complex interest me only because I read that they had a hit in 1961 with “You, You’re Driving Me Crazy.” The producer was George Martin and that was his first trip to the number-one spot. It’s kind of New Orleans-y. Their singer, Whispering Paul McDowell, has listened to too much Rudy Vallee. “Whispering” is a great nickname…but not for a singer.

OK. Let’s go 6!

Apollonia 6
Prince had a trio of female singers named Vanity 6 who became Apollonia 6 when Vanity was replaced by Apollonia. I never dated anyone named Apollonia or Vanity. I never even went to a party where they had Apollonias and Vanitys. Apollonia 6 released one album, Sex Shooter (1984), featuring the title cut, “Sex Shooter” (“I’m a sex shooter/shootin’ love in your direction/I’m a sex shooter/come and play with my affections”). Their songs are Prince’s leftovers. Watch their videos with the sound off.

The 6ths
This is a side project of indie-god Stephin Merritt, who writes emo kinds of songs and then gets other indie-gods to sing them. Merritt released albums in 1995 (Wasp’s Nest) and 2000 (Hyacinths & Thistles). I’m not sure whom to compare The 6ths to, except maybe the Paisley Underground bands I mentioned the other day when I listened to The Three O’Clock. Wasp’s Nest has grown on me over the years.

Six By Seven
Allmusic.com describes them as “drone pop.” I don’t usually understand Allmusic’s descriptions, but this one I totally get. The five Brits in Six By Seven are the musical equivalent of an airliner waiting for its turn to take off. You never leave the runway but the engines stay revved. They occasionally do better on songs such as “Candlelight” (The Things We Make, 1998), but even there it never completely takes flight.

Sixpence None the Richer
Normally, I avoid Christian rock like the 10 plagues. So it’s only because of this project that I found myself voluntarily listening to Sixpence None the Richer. Sixpence broke into the mainstream with “Kiss Me” (1999), which was featured on Dawson’s Creek, which I guess was some kind of Young Adult cultural launching pad. It’s OK. The chiming guitars sound like LA in 1983 or like someone has thrown a blanket over R.E.M.

Sixpence gained more attention with covers of two British bands: “There She Goes” by The La’s and “Don’t Dream It’s Over” by Crowded House. These pleasant interpretations don’t stray far from the originals. Sixpence None the Richer is sort of like Coldplay; just turn down the intensity and turn up the God. If I ever do a project on bands with money in their names (Cash Money Millionaires, 50 Cent, Pennywise, The Dimes, Nickelback, Ke$ha, Buck Owens) I’ll give them a second listen.

7 Seconds
They started playing their brand of unlistenable punk in the first wave of California punk bands in the late 1970s and here they are in 2013 still playing their brand of unlistenable punk. Founder Kevin Seconds is still with the band. Major points to Kevin for doing what he loves to do for 34 years, even if what he loves to do is unlistenable.

7 Seconds of Love
Another comedy act, like Four Bitchin’ Babes, but with rock rather than folk. Quizno’s uses their music in their commercials. I know I’m falling down on the job here, but their music is not on Rhapsody and I didn’t feel like trolling YouTube. I’ll wait until a Quizno ad turns up in a show I’m watching.

L7
More LA punk, this time from a gang of women who have no problem with throwing a used tampon from the stage. Their album that found the greatest acceptance was Bricks Are Heavy (1992), which spawned the alt-rock Top 10 hit “Pretend We’re Dead.” Bricks Are Heavy came along right after Nirvana and was produced by Nirvana producer Butch Vig. Yes, L7 benefited from the grunge groundswell, but they’re just as good as Alice in Chains or Temple of the Dog. “Everglade” and “Shitlist” were ’90s anthems. “Pretend We’re Dead” is not only infectious, it even has fun with words (“What’s up with what’s going down?”).

Unfortunately, the singers, Suzi Gardner and Donita Sparks, sound like they’re shagged out following a prolonged sqauwk. Actually, they sound like a very tired Joan Jett. If only Jett or Pat Benatar had sung this set….As it is, the album is locked in its era and not aging well, but “Pretend We’re Dead” will always sound good and “Everglade” is still a great driving song.

Crazy 8’s
I came close to disqualifying them, as they were never with a major label and are almost unknown outside of the Pacific Northwest. But their music is available on Rhapsody, and Special D and I saw them in Seattle in 1988 when they sang “Let’s get naked!” and we could see how hopeful they were that people actually would get naked. (They were disappointed for probably the one millionth time.) So I’m leaving them in.

If you like The English Beat, General Public, and The Specials, try Crazy 8’s, especially “Scratch & Claw.” Their best songs are collected on Still Crazy After All These Beers (2000). Whether you get naked or dress in business casual is your business.

8Ball
The only thing I can say about this Southern rapper is that his birth name is Premro Smith, and why did he think he needed a new name when he was already Premro? Try being born as Steve and see what that’s like! I can only dream of a name like Premro.

Nine Inch Nails

10cc
They started out in life as Hotlegs, a group of guys from Manchester with an impressive history involving The Yardbirds, The Hollies, Herman’s Hermits, Jeff Beck, and Wayne Fontana & The Mindbenders. They scored a hit in 1970 with “Neanderthal Man,” which is one fun song, and became 10cc after signing with Jonathan King and being renamed by him.

(Apparently, when Jonathan King went into action, his partner could expect approximately 10ccs at the finish. Loyal Reader Bill Seabrook claims this name came to King in a dream. What an odd coincidence – I have the same kind of dream!)

10cc wrote literate lyrics for pop music that makes me ill. “Donna” is a 1972 doo-wop satire that I can’t stand. “Rubber Bullets” was another hit in 1973 and another swipe at the ’50s. It sounds way too much like ELO.

They were a smash in the UK, but they didn’t break into the US charts until 1975’s “I’m Not in Love,” which I heard every night at the restaurant where I worked as a dishwasher and back-up cook. I can’t hear it today without smelling something I’ve left too long on the grill. I’m going to stop here, even though they still have two more super explosive smash hit explosions that I would prefer to forget: “The Things We Do for Love” (1977) and “Dreadlock Holiday” (1978).

10 Years
10 Years is a ’90s alternative band that made the mistake of not forming until 2002. “Wasteland” (Autumn Effect) would’ve sounded spectacular in 1995 instead of derivative in 2005. “Beautiful” (Division) was another hit for them, this one in 2008. I would’ve enjoyed it more in 1998 before I heard a hundred other similar songs. If you’re into slow-moving, immensely heavy guitars, you might dig these guys, or you might want to stick with Tool.

Ten Years After
My feeling about Ten Years After is that they never had the material to match Alvin Lee’s guitar skills. Eric Clapton has had this problem for about 40 years. “I’d Love to Change the World” (1971) is a trippy souvenir of its time with a dynamite guitar line. “Good Morning, Little Schoolgirl” (1969) would be difficult to play today, now that we’ve learned that grown men should not be initiating sexual relationships with females who are still using Hello Kitty notebooks. “Love Like a Man” (1969) is a blues-rock hybrid that would’ve fit right in on a Led Zep or even a Steppenwolf album. In fact,  “Oo You” on McCartney (1970) sounds a lot like it, only it’s better.

Ten Years After is best known for “I’m Going Home.” It was one of the highlights of Woodstock, though at 11 minutes there’s a lot of filler to wade through. The fireworks don’t start until the 8-minute mark. The album version, which is half that length, still rocks today. At times it sounds as if Lee is trying to update Bill Haley’s “Rock Around the Clock”!

Stonedhenge is the perfect name for an album released in 1969.

Tomorrow night: 12 through 80!

Comments
  1. thecorncobb says:

    corncobb rocks & it will pop, but it never raps!
    It is not the rapper 8Ball, but rather the rockers 8-Ball!
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/8-Ball_(band)

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