Thursday, March 13, 2008

Did I ever tell you all how much I love Big Dipper? The Boston quartet were one of the finest indie rock bands of the late 80s, more tuneful, more talented, and simply more spirited than most of their contemporaries (many of whom I also love). But the story truly begins with the seminal (the reproductive connotation is appropriate here, considering the number of bands they spawned) “nerd-punk” band The Embarrassment, whose immortal classic is the Art Carney name-dropping “Celebrity Art Party.”

The Embarrassment - "Celebrity Art Party"

That band’s guitar player, Bill Goffrier, went on to become a founding member of Big Dipper, and one of their most raucous songs, “Ron Klaus Wrecked His House,” about a party gone wrong, is a tribute to Goffrier’s former band’s bassist, Ronnie Klaus. Meanwhile, The Embarrassment’s drummer Brent Giessman later became the drummer for The Del Fuegos. I don’t have any Del Fuegos for you, but check out this great Juliana Hatfield song, which contains the following brilliant lines:

She’s the one who would’ve taken me to my first all ages show
It was the Violent Femmes and The Del Fuegos
Before they had a record out, before they went gold, and started to grow [go?]

The Juliana Hatfield Three - "My Sister"

The nostalgia brings a tear to my eye, for many reasons…

Anyway, back to Big Dipper. Their two major albums, 1987’s Heavens and 1988’s Craps (think gambling) have been out of print for years, but next week Merge Records will be releasing a new 3-CD anthology called Supercluster, containing the majority of their recorded output. If you’re the sort of person who cares about such things, this is a momentous occasion, equatable to the 1924 publication of Melville’s Billy Budd. Without further ado, my favorite Big Dipper song:

Big Dipper - "The Insane Girl"

Happy Spring Break, everyone! Make sure to catch up on your blog reading/posting!


Blogger aaron said...

i can think of a more talented and tuneful late-80s massachusetts indie band, but they are admittedly much less spirited. i like "celeb art party" a lot.

9:40 PM  
Blogger Annie said...

i love you guys because these posts make you sound like 50 year old recovering addicts/record store curmudgeons. but instead you are college kids about to go on SPRINGBREAK08. enjoy your youth this week!

4:53 AM  
Blogger Geoff said...

I've been 50 since I was 13. But I'll aim for 16 this week.

12:15 PM  

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