Sunday, August 16, 2009

Crash Street Kids - Little Girls

Certainly the regional power-pop era of the early 80's must stand as one of the most nelgected of modern music for rediscovery and reissue. Countless best-forgotten demos from teenage garage bands of the 60's and cassette-only crude efforts of the most inept punk groups receive deluxe 220-gram LP reissues with gushing liner notes and a write-up from the most posh mags and blogs, while the best albums and EP's of the power pop scene, some of which were genuine hits in their native region, go neglected and known only to those lucky enough to stumble across a copy of the original release. Of course, it is understood that the dominant power pop of this era was released on 7", and many if not most of the best stuff has long been reissued on mixtapes and comps like the Teenline series and others. But when albums from groups like D.C.'s The Strand, The Late Show of Indianapolis, and today's featured band, Minnesota's Crash Street Kids, go without ever having been issued on CD or re-released in any format, then something is clearly wrong here.

Crash Street Kids are the perfect example of local heros who should have broken nationally, but never got the exposure outside of their hometown that they deserved. Endless gigging throughout the Minneapolis area and various midwest locations built them a strong reputation and a devoted fanbase in the early 80's, resulting in one release, the fantastic Little Girls LP for the Fat City label in 1982. Like all the best power pop, the songs mainly deal with dating, sex and masturbation. While the fantastic songwriting, playing and production of this album may have never received the attention it was due outside of Minnesota, the influence of Crash Street Kids can clearly and without doubt be heard in the later recordings of fellow Minneapolis legends The Replacements. One listen to this album will convince you Paul Westerberg took his vocal cues from Melvin James, who we can assume Westerberg must have seen and maybe even supported live with the Replacements at some point in their early days together.

As previously stated, this album has gone strangely unissued in any format for the 27 years and counting since it's initial LP release. Copies sell on eBay for decent money, although the typical going rate of $40 certainly seems reasonable for an out-of-print seminal release such as this. I've ripped 2 of my favorite tracks for your use below, and more tracks from the album can be streamed at an unofficial fan page here.

Now, SOMEBODY dig up the master tapes, some live tracks, and the "Mystery Girl" video(!), and give this legendary album a proper repressing!

1) Into You:

2) Mystery Girl:

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