Monday, January 6, 2014

Yip!*: The Return Of Big Dipper!

I was browsing in one of the few remaining record stores recently and was delighted and also totally surprised to find a new record from Big Dipper.  Big Dipper was a band from the Boston area in the 1980s who played a weird style of power pop.  I really liked the band's music.  The last Big Dipper album came out in 1990, so I was quite flabbergasted to find a new record from them 23 years later.  And, literally, it was a record, and not a cd, which made the experience even more surreal (of course, the store I found the record in sells new 8-tracks--yes, new 8-tracks, as in someone released an album in 2013 on 8-track as a format--so perhaps I shouldn't have been that confused by new vinyl from Big Dipper).  At first, I thought the record might have been a past album which I had missed.  When I was in Boston in 2000, I kept finding odd Big Dipper records that I never knew existed, but ever since Merge put out an anthology in 2008, I was pretty sure I had all the released Dipper.  Plus, the record looked too new; however, it was in the used section.  In any case, I scratched my head and bought it.  When I got home, I played the record, loved it, and looked up some information on it.  Apparently, the band had reunited and started recording new material.  They're even on Twitter now.  The new album, Crashes On The Platinum Planet, is really good and basically picks up where they left off many years ago.  You can hear a bit of it on the video above for "Robert Pollard", who apparently also is a fan of the band.  The only bummer is that the cd/mp3 version has a different track listing, so I had to download a couple tracks to complete the new Big Dipper experience (vinyl completists can find those same two songs on a 7"); I don't quite understand why record labels do dumb stuff like that as I'm pretty sure all twelve songs could have fit on the vinyl album (presumably, the fetishizing of rare vinyl by collectors and the subsequent inflated prices for vinyl these days explains it). However, the joy of getting even more new Big Dipper music soon soothed any irritation. On a final note, Big Dipper is also the band that the Pornographic Flabbergasted Emus are supposed to sound like (at least according to The So), but don't look for a reunion from them.  Still, if Big Dipper can pop back up, then perhaps even less likely things can happen!

*Yips are good things.

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