Sunday, January 25, 2009

V/A - Diamonds and Porcupines (1989, Beat All the Tamborines)

I had seen this post-C86 artifact making the rounds on Ebay for a couple years now, and finally got a deal on it that was too good to refuse. The vinyl-only Diamonds and Porcupines 16-track comp places the emphasis on Brit and European bands, with Calvin Johnson representing not one, but two of the only three Yankee participants (Beat Happening and The Go Team to be precise). Heck, I didn't even know the Go Team existed before the '90s until I picked this up, but I digress. A vintage, and otherwise unavailable Bats (N.Z.) cut, "Downfall" was the real draw for me here - that and a demo incarnation of the Pale Saints "She Rides the Waves." The Wedding Present's adaptation of Tom Jones "It's Not Unusual" cut for a German radio live session is fun, but not essential. Jangle merchants Crocket and Jones, Viola Crayfish, and St. Christopher left a reasonably good impression on me, especially the first of this trifecta. Ausralia's Cannanes round things out with "Felicia," a winsome, Velvets-y number that shall encourage me to investigate their back catalog in the very near future. Returning to Beat Happening, Calvin leads off the classic "Cast a Shadow" with a couple minutes of unproductive audience dialogue, but fortunately without sullying the song. This record was supposed to come with an insert adorned with band photos and pertinent info, but my copy of Diamonds is sadly lacking it.

01. Wedding Present - It's Not Unusual (live)
02. Montgomerys - Train Train
03. Go Team - Sand
04. The Bats - Downfall
05. St. Christopher - If Even the Sky Seems Blue
06. Mc Tells - Funck
07. Earwigs Under Fire - Banquo's Ghost
08. Sachinko - Mr. Right
09. Crocket and Jones - Red Balloon
10. Fenton Wells - Playtime
11. Pale Saints - She Rides the Waves (demo)
12. Easter Island - The Life and Times of Mr. Price
13. Dog Faced Hermans - John Henry
14. Beat Happening - Cast a Shadow (live)
15. Viola Crayfish - Love is More Than Weather
16. Cannanes - Felicia



damon said...

Courtesy of the Sneakyflute Empire Vinyl Archives (needs a little photoshop love...):

spavid said...

Thanks Damon!

damon said...

Let me know if you ever want to do a Go Team post. I think I have all of the 7 inches.

Anonymous said...

Hi spavid,
thanks for this article.
I can send you a copy of the inlay, if you want to(pdf, what you like).

Yours, lars

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Dougal said...

Regarding pre-90s Go Team, you might be interested in this:

zuiop said...

My favourite track is by "Earwigs under fire" Any other by them available? Can't find anything in the www.

JK said...

Thanks, Zuiop.I can still make that track sound reasonable acoustically. The lyrics are getting harder to remember however...

JK said...

If you want more of the band you can contact Andrew at
I was a brief interlude on Andy & Hamish's musical journey. They're good blokes and will see you right. They have continued to make some fine Kiwi music and have a decent back-load of sounds they've created available on various formats. Check out FEAST OF STEVENS and SERATONIN. Peace n love. JK Hill.

spavid said...

The link has been updated.

ALG said...

Any chance of a re-up?