Monday, October 10, 2016

ABCs of My Vinyl Collection (Letter C, Part 27)

I had planned to present this one as my annual "Happy Mitch Easter!" post on Easter Sunday, but I didn't get it ripped in time. Anyway, it's a nice way to crank up the turntable after a more than two-week hiatus. This album combines two great loves, my hero Mr. Easter and indie-pop label the Subway Organization. Cowboy and Spin Girl were the boy-girl duo of Donna Esposito and Frank Bednash. A few of you out there may remember Esposito from her days with New York power-pop outfit the Cyclones, whose 1981 song "You're So Cool" was an underground hit along the Northeast Corridor. If you were wise enough to pick up Kevinpat's 'Hoboken to Athens' mix earlier this year, go listen to this song right now. I'll wait.

I understand Easter's relationship with Cowboy and Spin Girl because he played bass with the Cyclones for a while, but how a band based in the NYC area ended up releasing an album with the very British Bristol label is a head scratcher. This is especially true when you hear the music. Subway is known for the jangle and fuzz of Shop Assistants, the Chesterf!elds, Bubblegum Splash, the Flatmates, the Rosehips, Razorcuts and the like (all of which will feature in this series). The songs written and sung by Esposito have a little C86 to them, but Bednash's songs are straight-up power pop. As much as I adore Subway, I can't help but think this album would have been a perfect fit on a label like Bomp! If anyone out there knows if the band had a Subway connection beyond just sending them a tape, let me know. Side one was self produced in New York. Side two was produced by Easter at his legendary Drive-In Studio in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Cowboy and Spin Girl may not have lasted long, but Esposito and Bednash continued to record quality power-pop records, first as Toothpaste 2000 and more recently as Mas Rapido. For your listening pleasure, here is the Easter-produced side of the 1988 album 'Cowboy and Spin Girl' in its entirety.

"Turn Me On"
"Set the World on Fire"
"Say Goodbye"


George said...

quality songs. And with the added bonus (says Donald Trump) of a website with pictures of several young scantily clad women.

Brian said...

Hi George. Glad you liked the band. I think Trump would call Cowboy and Spin Girl "a total disaster" and then grab Donna Esposito's crotch.

The Swede said...

I'm particularly impressed by 'Set the World on Fire' and 'She'. I don't know these guys, but remember singling out The Cyclones for special praise on playing Kevinpat's legendary compilation.

Brian said...

Set the World on Fire is the highlight of the album, Swede. Good ear.

JC said...

all new to me. superbly written post. Would never have guessed this had anything to do with Subway. Your knowledge is unsurpassed!!!

Brian said...

JC, Cowboy and Spin Girl stick out like a sore thumb, but I have such a soft spot for all things Subway. Thanks for the kind words.