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|Origin||Minneapolis, United States|
|Genres||Indie rock, post-punk|
|Years active||1994–2000, 2002, 2003, 2015, 2016|
|Labels||Skene, No Alternative, Threatening Letters, Frenchkiss records, The Self-Starter Foundation|
|Associated acts||The Hold Steady|
|Past members||Tommy Roach|
Lifter Puller, or LFTR PLLR, was an American indie rock band from the Twin Cities and the Boston area between 1994 and 2000. Their music is considered innovative, with its angular riffs and a synth-infused sound that predated the '80s revival fads of the early 2000s. Arguably, however, the band is most known for frontman Craig Finn's elaborate lyrics, which often relied upon an established universe of drug-addled coeds, cash-strapped nightclub proprietors, murdered ravers and other nostalgic excursions in Minneapolis and Boston.
The band released three LPs and an EP before breaking up in the summer of 2000. In 2002, the compilation Soft Rock was released, featuring nearly every song in the Lifter Puller catalogue, excluding their final album, Fiestas and Fiascos, and the songs "Prescription Sunglasses", "Emperor", "Slips Backwards," and "Bitchy Christmas," as well as the original version of "Nassau Colisseum," the b-side to the "Slips Backwards" single.
After several years out of print, all of the original Lifter Puller records were re-issued digitally with bonus tracks in December 2009. These reissues were accompanied by a limited-edition book entitled Lifter Puller vs. The End of.
Singer/guitarist Craig Finn and bassist Tad Kubler are now members of The Hold Steady, which continues to explore some of the lyrical themes established by Lifter Puller while eschewing the art punk sound of the prior band in favor of a sound more akin to classic-rock revivalism.
In 2003, the band reunited for three sold out shows for the opening of the Triple Rock Social Club in their hometown of Minneapolis.
Lifter Puller has been honored with a star on the outside mural of the Minneapolis nightclub First Avenue, recognizing performers that have played sold-out shows or have otherwise demonstrated a major contribution to the culture at the iconic venue. Receiving a star "might be the most prestigious public honor an artist can receive in Minneapolis," according to journalist Steve Marsh. Kubler and Finn's subsequent group The Hold Steady also has a star.
The band reunited on July 4, 2015 in Minneapolis at the Triple Rock Social Club at Dillinger Four's annual "D4th of July" event for an eight-song set. On September 2, 2016 they reunited again to support Atmosphere at Red Rocks Amphitheater in Morrison, Colorado. On December 3rd, 2016, Lifter Puller opened for The Hold Steady at The Brooklyn Bowl on the final of a four-night series of shows commemorating the tenth anniversary of the album Boys and Girls In America.
Final band line-up:
- Craig Finn — lead vocals, guitar
- Steve Barone — guitar, keyboards
- Dan Monick — drums
- Tad Kubler — bass guitar (1998–2000)
- Tommy Roach — bass guitar (1994–1998)
- Dave Gerlach— drums (1994–1996)
- "Prescription Sunglasses" — 1995
- "Slips Backwards" — 1995
- "The Mezzanine Gypoff" — 1996
- "Bay City Rolling" — 2001
- "4-Dix" — 2001
- The Entertainment and Arts — 1998
- Soft Rock — 2002
- Lifter Puller Vs. the End of — 2009
- Michaelangelo Matos (2002-10-01). "Nice Nice Guys Finish Last - Page 1 - Music - New York". Village Voice. Retrieved 2012-09-18.
- "Pre-Hold Steady Band Lifter Puller Remembered With Reissue Series, Book | News". Pitchfork. 2009-11-11. Retrieved 2012-09-18.
- "The Stars". First Avenue & 7th Street Entry. Retrieved 2020-05-10.
- Bream, Jon (2019-05-03). "10 things you'll learn about First Avenue in new Minnesota History Center show". Star Tribune. Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota. Retrieved 2020-05-10.
- Marsh, Steve (2019-05-13). "First Avenue's Star Wall". Mpls.St.Paul Magazine. Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota. Retrieved 2020-05-10.