Maybe now we’ll find out what happened to Nightclub Dwight!
Photo by Patrick Costello
Before they moved to New York and formed the Hold Steady, Craig Finn and TadKubler made up half of Lifter Puller, a Minneapolis band who broke up before many had a chance to hear them. If you’ve never heard Lifter Puller, try to imagine a version of the Hold Steady that marries Finn’s splenetic, broken rants to jagged, terse 90s indie rather than blustery, meat-and-potatoes bar-rock– where Archers of Loaf figure way more heavily than Thin Lizzy. Kubler served as bassist for Lifter Puller, so his flashy guitar heroics were entirely absent, but Finn’s dense, vivid lyrical style remains virtually unchanged.
Lifter Puller formed in 1994 and called it quits in 2000, only finding an internet-based cult following after their breakup. Other than a few one-off reunion shows in 2003, the band has remained entirely inactive since the breakup.
But with an upcoming series of reissues, as well as a book, Lifter Puller are going to be introduced to a whole new audience.
On December 1, the Orchard will digitally release the band’s entire catalog, making it the first time this music has been available digitally. 1997’s Half Dead and Dynamite, 1998’s The Entertainment and Arts EP, and 2000’s Fiestas & Fiascos will all be available with bonus live tracks, while the band’s 1997 self-titled debut will be released it is original form.
The Orchard will also release a singles/odds-and-ends set called Slip Backwards. We’ve got tracklists for everything below, as well as a live version of “To Live and Die in LBI” recorded in 1998 at the Minneapolis club 7th Street Entry, one of the bonus tracks on the Half Dead and Dynamite reissue.
December will also see the publication of Lifter Puller Vs. the End Of, a Lifter Puller-themed book that Finn put together alongside Girls Guide to Rocking author Jessica Hopper (full disclosure: Hopper is a friend of mine). The book will include pictures, lyrics, interviews, and testimonials.