Über Big Dipper
Rising out of the ashes of college rock luminaries Volcano Suns and the Embarrassment, Boston's Big Dipper blazed a short trail for indie rock during their short life span (1985-1990). The band -- singer/guitarist Bill Goffrier, guitarist Gary Waleik, bassist Steve Michener and drummer Jeff Oliphant -- had a shiny approach to jangle pop that sounded like the Smiths on Prozac. A year after being signed to venerable indie label Homestead in 1987, they released Heavens, an album of happy-go-lucky guitar pop that would later inform bands such as the Shins and the Decemberists. In 1989, Craps, for the most part, failed to match the debut's smiley disposition and sing-along lyrics. For Slam, their final album -- and premiere on Epic -- the band slipped even further and subsequently was dropped by its label.