My Top 1000 Songs #308: Ron Klaus Wrecked His House

[I've been writing up my Top 1000 songs on a daily basis--you can see them all in descending order by hitting the All My Favorite Songs tag.]

Having touted one of my favorite rave-up songs a few days back, Volcano Suns' "Tree Stomp," I'm making a minor pivot to Big Dipper--another great Boston indie band, formed by the Volcano Suns' original guitarist & bassist. Like the Suns, Big Dipper were a college radio act distinctive for their rhythm-section-driven post-punk power, albeit with a little more jangle in some of their tracks, not to mention a healthy dose of playfulness.

And that playfulness is on full display in the vividly-titled "Ron Klaus Wrecked His House," off their second full-length LP, 1988's Craps. The lyrics tell the colorful true story of said Mr. Klaus, bassist for art-punk indie band The Embarrassment (whose guitarist went on to help co-found Big Dipper; yes, it's a convoluted web of musicians!). Apparently Klaus, upon being told he was being evicted so his apartment could be demolished, threw the party of the century so he and a phalanx of Wichita, KS friends could destroy it themselves. The landlord, alas, was not amused. 

"Who threw the doors out of the windows, and the windows out the doors? Brought the outside into the inside, and the ceiling to the floors." Man, I wish I could've been there (on Indiana Street)!

Beyond the entertaining tale, the music is electrifying. Over a thumping bass hook, the guitarists trade licks--it reminds me a lot of the similarly constructed Buzzcocks classic "Why Can't I Touch It"--culminating in the infectious harmonies of the chorus. The track runs on a bit long for a commercial pop tune (the band later realized that an edited version could've gotten them some mainstream airplay), though they throw in some clever musical tricks along the way to keep it varied. It's a rousing party anthem that makes you want to crank it up and sing along. Hell, the words are right there in the title!

Live in 2011:

The Embarrassment reunion show, featuring their own ukulele version: