Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Counting/Count: 12345678910

Human Sexual Response: 12345678910 

Did I ever see Human Sexual Response live? Did I interview them at WPRB? I have no memory of doing so, but there’s also a good chance that I did one or both of those things, because they performed at City Gardens in Trenton during my time at WPRB. 

I do remember playing their music on the radio pretty often, initially “Jackie Onassis” from their debut, Fig. 14 (where they rhymed “Onassis” with “sunglasses”), but there were a bunch of other good songs on that record. And their second disc, “In a Roman Mood” might have been better, with the highlight being “Land of the Glass Pinecones” a true earworm if ever there was one. (Note—the Allmusic biography of the band refers to this album as “a comparatively dour affair, loaded down with art rock pretensions and lifeless arrangements,” but the same site’s review of the album itself says that it is an “extraordinary album.” Who to believe? Me.) 

If you’ve never heard the band, try to track them down. Think a mix of Talking Heads, B-52s, and fellow Boston-area band Mission of Burma (but not really like any of them), often with sexually related lyrics, befitting a band named after the famous Masters and Johnson book. One of the good non-“Glass Pinecones” songs on the album is “12345678910” which, I think, is another sex-related song, but I’ve read the lyrics a bunch of times and can’t really be sure what it is about exactly. So, I’ll just let you decide. (Too bad that the song wasn’t on Midnight Oil’s album, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1). 

Despite generally good reviews and reportedly great live performances (which makes me think that I would have remembered seeing them), the band broke up after the second album. One member left music and went to work for Sun Microsystems. Most of the other members joined different bands, sometimes together, sometimes not, and one of the band members, Dini Lamot, became a drag performer. They have reunited for the occasional show, most recently in 2017. Here’s a video of our featured song from that show, and it looks like fun.