Lifter Puller, Rock and Roll!

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This is a thread about Lifter Puller.

Lifter Puller.

Thankyou Matos for pushing this band. I feel like I am in 1996 again with everything good and troo about the post-alterna indieslack explosion and most of the smarm stripped out, mainly by virtue of a terribly earnest solid bassline.

Sterling Clover (s_clover), Monday, 24 March 2003 17:39 (eighteen years ago) link

mainly by virtue of a terribly earnest solid bassline

Hey, I feel the same way about Simon Gallup, cool. :-)

Ned Raggett (Ned), Monday, 24 March 2003 17:41 (eighteen years ago) link

When will Archers of Loaf get their much-needed resurgence? Will it take the split of the truly awful Crooked Fingers to create it?

Yanc3y (ystrickler), Monday, 24 March 2003 17:50 (eighteen years ago) link

talk to mike daily about lifter puller

steve k (http://go.to/stevek) (stevek10), Monday, 24 March 2003 17:51 (eighteen years ago) link

Lifter Puller! I got really into them finally, in 2002. Sort of odd story. I was flipping thru the Time Out NY and there was a short article about them and their reunion show at Brownies and the coinciding release of their B-Sides collection. Anyhow, there was a photo and I thought the lead singer was really quite adorable... So I went to their website, downloaded Space Humping $19.99, loved it - went to the show - loved it - bought all the albums - loved them.

Also, I saw Craig Finn at Spa for the Har Mar Superstar show and he was loving it.

phil-two (phil-two), Monday, 24 March 2003 18:01 (eighteen years ago) link

I don't think Crooked Fingers can split, as it's pretty much Eric Bachmann plus whomever's in the neighbourhood...

mookieproof (mookieproof), Monday, 24 March 2003 18:20 (eighteen years ago) link

Craig and Tad Kubler have a new band called the Hold Steady, who have been gigging around NYC. They're like Lifter Puller Plus -- a lot less nimble, more bar band, pretty gruff, and Craig's lyrics are even seedier.

http://www.theholdsteady.com/

mosurock (mosurock), Monday, 24 March 2003 20:11 (eighteen years ago) link

I like CF fine, but yeah, AoL are the shiznit. I'm not the only one who heard a lot of Archers in LP, obv--one reason I love the Pullah so much.

My description of the Hold Steady show I caught last week is at indierock is shithot right now!. They roxor the big one, without doubt, can't wait to see/hear more.

M Matos (M Matos), Monday, 24 March 2003 20:17 (eighteen years ago) link

Best band of the last ten years or so, as I'm always saying to whoever is unfortunate enough to be around when I get going on the subject

J0hn Darn1elle (J0hn Darn1elle), Monday, 24 March 2003 20:29 (eighteen years ago) link

that silence you just heard was the sound of me not arguing

M Matos (M Matos), Monday, 24 March 2003 20:30 (eighteen years ago) link

I was stupid happy when I saw the link on the website to "mp3" and crushed under the bootheel of misery when the page was empty but for a "[coming soon]" bait-and-switch. I WANT MY CR@16 F!nnX0r NOW!

Nate Patrin (Nate Patrin), Monday, 24 March 2003 20:39 (eighteen years ago) link

They were one of the first shows I was taken to by friends when I lived for a summer in Mpls while still in school at [whiteass rural college]. There was an anniversary show for the (now tits-up) Foxfire Cafe with dozens of bands playing 20/30min sets all day. I'd heard Lifter Puller on sunny day reception of Radio K, all I remember was this torrent of language (I think "eyepatch guy" stuck out, as it always does). And then there's this Peter Sellers clone whipping himself with his forearms and nearly gnawing the mic. And the rest of them were clearly the coolest guys alive. TL4evah no j/k.

That said, I don't listen to any of it much cos their production was always so anemic. I mean, this band was a ROAR, and it's just not there on record.

g--ff c-nn-n (gcannon), Monday, 24 March 2003 20:51 (eighteen years ago) link

Such an incredible band! Fiestas & Fiascos is an experience like none other in my collection. It's odd then that no one seems to ever describe their music, just talk about how much they love it or, y'know, blah blah archers of loaf blah blah nightlife... I'm really not any better, I guess. Nobody ever even mentions how seemlessly they involved sax solos into their songs. Incredible!!

Adam A. (Keiko), Monday, 24 March 2003 21:23 (eighteen years ago) link

We're gonna need another 6 or 7 threads if we're gonna match the Cat Power madness.

I like how the release of Soft Rock acts like a Director's Cut of Fiestas & Fiascos. Also, F&F comes close to that ROAR misterhungry refers to (though I haven't seen the self-flaggelation up close & personal).

I never really thought of AoL in connection w/ LFTR PLLR, but that's why you folks make the big bucks. For what it's worth, I still can't really hear the Neil Diamond thing in Crooked Fingers, either.

David R. (popshots75`), Monday, 24 March 2003 22:07 (eighteen years ago) link

I first heard Lifter Puller last year at Michaelangelo's suggestion, and I still haven't really gotten into it THAT hard, mainly cuz I see it as 2nd Gen Archers... Yeah, lyrically LP's much better, but I don't care about lyrix anyway...

Yanc3y (ystrickler), Monday, 24 March 2003 22:09 (eighteen years ago) link

I need to hear these guys. And if I like 'em, it'll definitely qualify as music I got into through ILM.

Crooked Fingers are okeydoke, if rather repetitive, and I'd probably take the first two Crooked Fingers albums over White Trash Heroes. It's a shame that live album was so turgid. Otherwise it would have made a nice sampler.

Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Monday, 24 March 2003 22:12 (eighteen years ago) link

Um, I like Lifter Puller, too, as this would indicate:

http://www.villagevoice.com/specials/pazznjop/02/critic.php?criticid=132

I don't remember liking Archers of Loaf much way back when, but maybe I was wrong about them. First people Lifter Puller reminded me of were Girls Against Boys (who I now think they're way better than), then the Fall. Then Kogan and Xgau independently mentioned the first couple Springsteen albums. And other people said Pavement, which never made any sense to me, but then again I've never understood people who think Pavement sounded like the Fall, either. Anyway. My favorite surrogate Lifter Pullers right now are Holy Ghost, from Brooklyn, who have two albums out that everybody else has ignored.

chuck, Tuesday, 25 March 2003 01:29 (eighteen years ago) link

My friend Jef, who used to DJ at the Lava Lounge, was so big a fan of Lifter Puller that he tattooed "LFTR" and "PLLR" on the mid-digits of his hands. He also named our DJ night "Nightclub Dwight" in honor of a song from one of the guys' solo projects. Jef flew to NYC to see their reunion show last year.

Now he DJs in SF and uses the same name. So those of you there, go there and rock on with a cock on.

donut bitch (donut), Tuesday, 25 March 2003 02:04 (eighteen years ago) link

The one inescapable influence / reference point re: LP for me is Soul Coughing - the lyrical similarities (at least, between F&F & SC songs like "Screenwriter Blues" & "Collapse" - that noir-y, pulpy grittiness, which sounds tres cliche when I name it like that) is RIGHT THERE, but even the cut-&-pastyness of the music for both. God help ye if you want to see me talk about it in more detail, but for the sake of thorougness, here you go.

The blatant Pavement / Fall connection, to me, boils down to "Two States". Anything else is uncivilized.

David R. (popshots75`), Tuesday, 25 March 2003 02:08 (eighteen years ago) link

The Hold Steady album has been recorded and awaits mixing per my v. mysterious sources

J0hn Darn1elle (J0hn Darn1elle), Tuesday, 25 March 2003 03:46 (eighteen years ago) link

you could also note the might-as-well-been-sampled "Hip Priest" drum beat on Pavement's "Our Singer". I always thought they sounded most like the Swell Maps in the early days, except rather American.

Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Tuesday, 25 March 2003 03:49 (eighteen years ago) link

I heard it was only a six-song EP, J0hn, but maybe I'm mistaken

M Matos (M Matos), Tuesday, 25 March 2003 03:54 (eighteen years ago) link

No six songs sounds right, but said source who is Craig sez they're really long songs so I got the impression it was an album

J0hn Darn1elle (J0hn Darn1elle), Tuesday, 25 March 2003 03:56 (eighteen years ago) link

yeah, Craig is my source, too; asked him after the show last week at Pianos if they were recording. I'm going to be interviewing them Wednesday, which should be fun.

M Matos (M Matos), Tuesday, 25 March 2003 03:57 (eighteen years ago) link

so you get to see the Hold Steady? you dirty dog, I am stuck here out in Hold Steady-less Iowa and am addicted to the cheap rent

J0hn Darn1elle (J0hn Darn1elle), Tuesday, 25 March 2003 03:59 (eighteen years ago) link

My friend Jef, who used to DJ at the Lava Lounge, was so big a fan of Lifter Puller that he tattooed "LFTR" and "PLLR" on the mid-digits of his hands.

Oh! I met that guy at the NYC show! Well, really it was more like "holy shit... your fingers... Uh, cool."

phil-two (phil-two), Tuesday, 25 March 2003 04:41 (eighteen years ago) link

Craig told me they did six songs, and that's hardly an album, but hey.

Somebody I know asked him what to get tattooed on his own set of knuckles and he said "DIET COKE".

mosurock (mosurock), Tuesday, 25 March 2003 05:06 (eighteen years ago) link

(my description of the show is linked upthread, J0hn)

M Matos (M Matos), Tuesday, 25 March 2003 07:29 (eighteen years ago) link

I had a few mp3s of Craig in some side project of his. Basically him marble-mouthing lyrics over Aphex-Twin'y beats. I'm not sure if i liked it or not. I think it was called Sophomore Slump or something like that.

phil-two (phil-two), Tuesday, 25 March 2003 09:44 (eighteen years ago) link

Lifter Puller=one of the most startlingly awesome shows I've ever seen. As good as Melt-Banana. One of my early Pitchfork-is-SO-WRONG moments came when I read this review.

adam (adam), Tuesday, 25 March 2003 15:54 (eighteen years ago) link

(haha to the Holy Ghost, Chuck -- A couple friends and I were having lunch at Island Burger in Midtown a couple of years ago, and these two dudes right next to us were obviously eavesdropping on our music-related conversation. Suddenly the two dudes start pitching us about their band and how great they are and on and on and on. They gave me their demo, which sounded exactly like late-era (read: bad) Pavement. That band, of course, was the Holy Ghost. I've seen their name around since, but based on that personal encounter, I've decided to ignore them.)

Yanc3y (ystrickler), Tuesday, 25 March 2003 17:06 (eighteen years ago) link

Also, I'm surprised that no one else is jumping on the LP = AoL comparison. It sounds so obvious to me it's ridiculous. And I can also hear Asbury Park and the Wild, the Innocent... with the whole meandering, wordy narrative style butt-ressed by punchy boogie rock. But still, AoL seems the obvious jump-off point to me.

Yanc3y (ystrickler), Tuesday, 25 March 2003 17:08 (eighteen years ago) link

LFTR PLLR lyrical fanatics (myself included) will note the delicious irony in the fact Pitchfork awarded F+F a *3.2* on their rating scale. (In my not-at-all-humble opinion, it's the finest album ever made.)

Oh -- hi. I'm Stephanie and I run the Hold Steady website (per Craig, of course). Not that it'll be any help to the faithful few among you in desperate need of a fix, but the ETA for a couple mp3s off the six-song recording is probably mid-April? Possibly sooner.

I digress; just wanted to kick in my two cents and add another bit of glowing appreciation for the glory that is/was LP.

stephanie m., Tuesday, 25 March 2003 17:09 (eighteen years ago) link

I compared them to the Archers a lot early on, Y@nc3y, in pieces for the Chicago Reader and Seattle Weekly; just didn't want to repeat myself too much, and also because the comparison obscures what's good about LP--their rhythmic sense is friskier, their hooks less guitar-oriented, they have new wave keyboards and AoL don't. Pitchfork's F+F review is a laughingstock.

M Matos (M Matos), Tuesday, 25 March 2003 21:15 (eighteen years ago) link

Great band, great guys. All of them very, very funny. Here's an old City Pages profile I did of them.

www.citypages.com/databank/20/988/article8166.asp

One of the few times that hanging out with musicians was actually as interesting as listening to their records. I like their recordings fine, but their live show really makes me wish that adjs like explosive, blistering, fierce weren't rockcrit cliches.

Keith Harris (kharris1128), Wednesday, 26 March 2003 19:06 (eighteen years ago) link

So the new Lifter Puller is not, in fact, the Hold Steady, but Ten Grand, a new Southern Records signing. I got their new album in the mail the other day, and it has that same upbeat tension that drove most Lifter Puller songs (plus one of their vocalists has that David Thomas-esque gauzy warble). I haven't listened closely enough to discern whether the lyrics are fable-ish, but I suspect that they're not. Still, a great record. Seek it out!

Yanc3y (ystrickler), Tuesday, 1 April 2003 15:06 (eighteen years ago) link

but you haven't even heard the Hold Steady yet!

M Matos (M Matos), Tuesday, 1 April 2003 15:13 (eighteen years ago) link

Yeah, yeah I know. Just saying that this Ten Grand record a) is good and b) bears more than a passing resemblance to LP (tho with a tinge of early 90s D.C. emo)

Yanc3y (ystrickler), Tuesday, 1 April 2003 15:15 (eighteen years ago) link

Ten Grand are that old screamo band the Vida Blue. They are pretty good but they sound nothing like Lifter Puller and don't even deserve to fit into the same category. No fable-ish lyrics there either. Come on man.

mosurock (mosurock), Tuesday, 1 April 2003 15:16 (eighteen years ago) link

Have you heard the new record, mosurock? The similarity is pretty strong, and this is much more straight rock (with a hint of boogie) than screamo (which only comes through in the occassional backing vocal...).

Yanc3y (ystrickler), Tuesday, 1 April 2003 15:22 (eighteen years ago) link

yeah, I had to review it for Careless Talk. I still don't follow you.

mosurock (mosurock), Tuesday, 1 April 2003 16:11 (eighteen years ago) link

Different ears, I guess. Maybe I hear it more cuz I'm not a huge LP fan?

Yanc3y (ystrickler), Tuesday, 1 April 2003 16:14 (eighteen years ago) link

two months pass...
Holy mother of fuck. Just got back from LP reunion show #1 (two more to come) and it was flat out the best rock show I'll see all year. Here's why:

1. Opening band was the Monarques, led by Nathan Grumdahl, ex of Selby Tigers; strong, confident, well written songs, sort of...don't wanna say "arty" but something tells me Ned would love them--they have some kind of British thing going on that's hard for me to put my finger on at the moment. Sorta majestic w/o the preening feel that adjective usually conjures. Songs felt really composed--as in parts that felt distinct from each other but worked as a whole.
2. Ladies and gentlemen, the Mountain Goats. J0hn got up and played relatively few obvious crowdpleasers and a lot of semi-obscurities (including his cover of Steely Dan's "F.M.," which Nate Patrin recognized). He's amazing live, which a lot of you know already, and was super pumped to be opening for LP, and said so frequently.
3. On the last two songs ("See America Right" and "The Best Death Metal Band in Denton") J0hn was accompanied by the multitalented Tad Kubler--LP bassist, lead guitarist for the Hold Steady--on drums.
4. Got to meet J0hn for the first time. He even said it was OK that I called him a terrorist on national television. What a nice guy.
5. Not a second after being announced by a couple of college radio DJs or club employees (not sure which), LP fucking tore into "To Live and Die in LBI," Craig and Tad and Steve jumping like fucking crazy and the crowd going nuts. They KILLED from top to bottom, the crowd screamed the lyrics back at them; Craig in particular was extremely energized, even more so than usual (having seen the Hold Steady several times now it's not like he's exactly been lazing off in the stage movement department), and um holy fuck
6. he had a big mosh pit going, which included at the periphery me, Nate P and J0hn D. So I got to fucking slam dance w/a Mountain Goat. ILx heaven, kids.
7. The new venue that the Triple Rock Social Club opened up (the LP shows are its inaugural events) is beautiful--nice stage, terrific PA, excellent sightlines, comfortable, attractive wood and metal walls, holds about 600. I dare say it's the nicest rock venue in Minneapolis--a town that could use a really nice rock venue.

I'm beat. More tomorrow. And again, WOW.

M Matos (M Matos), Saturday, 7 June 2003 07:01 (eighteen years ago) link

three weeks pass...
I can't believe I'm just listening to Lifter Puller now, a band that totally missed my radar when they were playing. I have to admit this is almost entirely because of reading Matos & J0hn write about them. It's the reverence with which these and other people say the name "Lifter Puller." I haven't been this excited or happy about a band in a long time, and I just regret not seeing them live. The vocals hung me up for a long time (I remember downloading the two songs at epitonic.com a few years ago and and being half-annoyed) but now I can't imagine what was bothering me. I'm chalking it up to the obvious fact that this is the time & place in which Lifter Puller is to change my life. Thanks, people.

scott m (mcd), Saturday, 28 June 2003 00:36 (seventeen years ago) link

I only listened to the first few songs off the 2CD thing and I'm assuming these guys get better or something as the comp goes on. Found it kinda repetitive and the talker did little for me. Kinda reminded me of MX-80 in that the boring vocalist made it hard for me to really get into the neat-sounding music. But again, I only listened to a couple tracks.

Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Saturday, 28 June 2003 00:40 (seventeen years ago) link

It seeps in, man. I have dreams about it. It's weird. F & F is their best.

Oh and a couple other things: The Hold Steady are at Pianos in nyc on July 10th.

IMHO the Archers comparison is unfair as Archers were a fairly standard, if decent, '90s indie rock band, whereas LP has more substance, more springsteen, great lyrics, more Dinosaur Jr. references, are more danceable, and have a conviction and charisma that Archers lacked. And I love Vee Vee, I really do.

scott m (mcd), Saturday, 28 June 2003 00:49 (seventeen years ago) link

out of curiousity do ALL Lifter Puller songs basically have the dude talking over the verse and then singing slightly over the chorus? Is it basically "Ice Of Boston" to death or is it more diverse than the opening of the 2CD would imply?

Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Saturday, 28 June 2003 00:50 (seventeen years ago) link

Yes, D-plan is good comparison, actually. And yes, it is pretty same-y. But the one-trick rewards on many listens.

scott m (mcd), Saturday, 28 June 2003 00:53 (seventeen years ago) link

as someone who prefers Change to "Ice Of Boston" anyday: yuck.

Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Saturday, 28 June 2003 00:57 (seventeen years ago) link

Yes! Change is far better, and Lifter Puller isn't Ice of Boston, sorry if I made it sound that way!

And then there's the Joe Strummer quote, "It's Lifter Puller's world, we just live in it."

scott m (mcd), Saturday, 28 June 2003 01:02 (seventeen years ago) link

haha Anthony in "maturity" shockah

M Matos (M Matos), Saturday, 28 June 2003 01:07 (seventeen years ago) link

do they have any songs that aren't about romanticized 'rock lifestyle' crap?

Josh (Josh), Saturday, 28 June 2003 02:01 (seventeen years ago) link

[rolls eyes]

M Matos (M Matos), Saturday, 28 June 2003 02:02 (seventeen years ago) link

that's one of the most simple-minded readings of them I've ever heard, sorry

M Matos (M Matos), Saturday, 28 June 2003 02:05 (seventeen years ago) link

This band seems like everything I hate in rock music. (although I haven't heard them).

< /matos>

Mr. Diamond (diamond), Saturday, 28 June 2003 02:16 (seventeen years ago) link

not sure where the came from or what it's supposed to mean, but whatever.

the idea that lp "romanticize" anything is completely fucking laughable unless you have a kneejerk response to anything involving "rock lifestyle" lyrics. it's pretty obvious that craig finn is singing in character, about several characters; he's telling stories inna hard-boiled-novelist stylee about (in lp songs) a seedy underbelly underworld w/recurring characters/situations/settings. lots of very deliberate grotesquerie, and the hyperreality appeals (to me, to j0hn, to others) for its detail, its hyperactivity, its playfulness, its style. also, the band fucking rocks.

M Matos (M Matos), Saturday, 28 June 2003 02:25 (seventeen years ago) link

i.e. reveling in/revolted by "rock lifestyle" both at once, a predicament lots of music-lifers see plenty of themselves in one way or another. you don't have to, obv. but Josh's inference really smacks of bullshit along the lines of "I don't like Jay-Z because all he does is rap about bling-bling"

M Matos (M Matos), Saturday, 28 June 2003 02:28 (seventeen years ago) link

that should've read "not sure where the < /me> came from"

M Matos (M Matos), Saturday, 28 June 2003 02:30 (seventeen years ago) link

Matos, my comment was meant to be just a gently teasing reference to you dismissing the Shaggs on another thread - a wonderful group that's brought some joy to my life - then claiming "but I've never heard them and in no hurry to". I mean, yeah, ok - just a tossed off comment on a silly message board, but also a pretty pointed commentary on the limits of yr own aesthetic. a sort of disdain for obscure stuff, despite the fact that it could possibly hold interesting musical gist.

Don't get me wrong - you can hate the Shaggs all you want! I'm not trying to claim them as some sort of underground badge. I love pop music too, and hell one can probably find that Shaggs cd on Rounder at any damn Tower Records store anyway. But that's just it isn't it? Why would you not have at least a natural curiousity about this group that a lot of people seem to be interested in? After all, you're a professional critic aren't you? I like your writing bunches, your one of the best I've read in terms of evocative descriptions and really being able to convey what makes a piece of music work. (and this is one of my favorite styles of music writing when - thank god - someone can actually DO IT). but in your tastes you also strike me as a bit of an unadventurous listener, someone who really isn't interested in much beyond what's happening now. This is probably due to your career/job position I know, but it's sort of disappointing, is all.

ok, ok, on-topic: everything I've read about Lifter Puller leads me to believe they are like everything I can't stand about rock music. This kind of simpering emo boy blathering on with his "narratives", right? Over vaguely prog/math inflected guitar-oriented backing? Please fucking shoot me now. But like I say, I've never heard them.

But hey, I love the fact that you're here! ANd I can communicate with you just like this! Unlike when I was growing up in the 80's reading say Rolling Stone or Spin and finding similar irritants in some of the writing.

Mr. Diamond (diamond), Saturday, 28 June 2003 02:49 (seventeen years ago) link

** THE BROKERDEALER **
I too am a huge, huge fan of LFTR PLLR. Most definitely one of my favorite bands ever. Phil-Two: the project you referenced was The Brokerdealer (they had a song called Sophomore Slump). A few years ago (after the LP breakup, pre-Hold Steady), Craig Finn and his friend, who I believe was a Twin Cities DJ named Mr. Projectile, collaborated by mail on a series of two 3" CD e.p.s (there were going to be three, but they never came out with the third one -- and they were only available in the Twin Cities). They had seven or eight mp3s on the website (which is down now, I fear...), and they were all incredible. Craig's lyrics were amazing, and they had these real weird melodies snaking around in them. If I wasn't so terrfied of Soulseek right now, I'd be on there sharing them (which I don't think Craig would mind, since they were free from the get-go). Maybe I could get some CDRs to people if there's any interest.... ... .. . e-mail me.

Ben Boyer, Saturday, 28 June 2003 02:56 (seventeen years ago) link

you've obviously read about them, either, because they don't sound a fucking thing like your description!

M Matos (M Matos), Saturday, 28 June 2003 03:02 (seventeen years ago) link

...obviously never read...

M Matos (M Matos), Saturday, 28 June 2003 03:02 (seventeen years ago) link

wow, Matos in reasoned point-by-point reply shocker!

OK, how about this: Archers of Loaf is quite frankly the worst horseshit I've ever heard in my life.

Mr. Diamond (diamond), Saturday, 28 June 2003 03:06 (seventeen years ago) link

if anything, they're pretty much anti-emo! there's nothing mathy or prog about their music--it's pretty much straight-ahead rock and roll, albeit coming from a post-punk/indie perspective--and he doesn't simper, he roars. and his narratives don't have quotes around them: his songs consist of characters with names (the Eye Patch Guy, Juanita, Nightclub Dwight) interacting (w/dialogue, so they do have quotes in them haha), doing shit, etc. he's probably closer, lyrically, to early Springsteen than to anyone else: that carnivalesque merry-go-round drunk-on-words feel.

M Matos (M Matos), Saturday, 28 June 2003 03:07 (seventeen years ago) link

that was x-post, obv

M Matos (M Matos), Saturday, 28 June 2003 03:07 (seventeen years ago) link

as far as the Shaggs go, what can I say? no one I've read has ever made me want to actually hear their records. instead there's a lot of "oh they're so bad that they're actually great!" wink-wink-nudge-nudge stuff, classic boilerplate hipster one-upmanship. yawn. and I'm sorry you don't like the Archers, they rocked pretty fucking well and wrote terrific songs on top of it.

M Matos (M Matos), Saturday, 28 June 2003 03:14 (seventeen years ago) link

And if all else fails, remember: the right people hate them.

Nate Patrin (Nate Patrin), Saturday, 28 June 2003 03:15 (seventeen years ago) link

Mr. Diamond, go listen to this band. Seriously.

Sonny A. (Keiko), Saturday, 28 June 2003 03:15 (seventeen years ago) link

And Matos, The Shaggs are actually pretty good!

Sonny A. (Keiko), Saturday, 28 June 2003 03:16 (seventeen years ago) link

speaking of hipster badges (might as well be honest about it), as far as my "disdain for obscure stuff," what the fuck would you call five years of rigorously championing, in print, a band that almost nobody outside of Minneapolis fucking knew about until the past year or so?

M Matos (M Matos), Saturday, 28 June 2003 03:16 (seventeen years ago) link

maybe they are, Sonny A, but I've yet to read the piece that makes me believe it. (your post is the closest yet!)

M Matos (M Matos), Saturday, 28 June 2003 03:17 (seventeen years ago) link

yeah, diamond, it's as straight rock that you can get these days without being a revivalist band. i think you'd dig it.

but i'll still take archers' "assassination on xmas eve" over any LP trax.

Yanc3y (ystrickler), Saturday, 28 June 2003 03:17 (seventeen years ago) link

Ok, fair enough; of course I need to actually sit down and listen to LP before rendering an opinion - and yr post immediately after my last one kind of makes me want to now! So I will get to downloading. It's not like me to post to a thread where I don't at least know what the fuck I'm talking about, but I saw your "rolls eyes" reply to Josh's post, and my bored ass couldn't resist at least engaging you a bit about that.

And, I feel you on the whole Shaggs deal; I hate that when stuff I feel has a real kernel of musical interest gets reappropriated or misrepresented or whatever. I just really think that - yes, as untutored, amateurish, and goofy as they were - there was a really singular accident in that Shaggs stuff. Where the three girls all kind of became of one mind and forged this crazy alternate rhythmic base for their odd little songs. I mean, it really does work! It's fun, and it makes you sort of enthusiastic about the ability of people to express themselves and enjoy themselves and so on (yeah, cliches, etc). These are all perceptions gleaned from the music; I know nothing of the personal history of this family, supposedly to be addressed in this film...

Mr. Diamond (diamond), Saturday, 28 June 2003 03:25 (seventeen years ago) link

Diamond OTM re The Shaggs.. I couldn't care less how impressed people are by their not playing their instruments well, but when someone said "It's the rawest, most enthusiastic music I've ever heard" it really piqued my interest.


"Nassau Coliseum" is the most emo Lifter Puller song and it's my favorite. Am I wrong?

Sonny A. (Keiko), Saturday, 28 June 2003 03:29 (seventeen years ago) link

I'm with you on the fave LB track, Sonny, and I ain't a big fan.

Fucking A. If Sam Cooke's "If It's Alright" and Rod Stewart's "Found a Reason to Believe" aren't the two greatest songs in the world I don't know what they could be. (and yes I realize Sam and Rod are the same person, only different hues)(and yes I realize this is LP thread. whatev)

Yanc3y (ystrickler), Saturday, 28 June 2003 03:31 (seventeen years ago) link

massive xpost here:

I love "Assassination on Xmas Eve" though I'll take "Harnessed in Slums" myself

Yanc3y's comment got me thinking: one thing about Lifter Puller that I realize smacks of fanboyism, progthink, and other kinds of brainwash, but is nevertheless true, is that in order to understand them completely you have to hear a lot of them. There's individual tracks that stand up great on their own ("Space Humping $19.99" and "Nassau Coliseum"* and "To Live and Die in LBI" are my top three) but it's the overall effect of the songs--the way they reuse and slightly alter the same lines ("She said my name's Juanita but you can call me L.L. Cool J") not to mention the recurring characters/situations/places--that kills me.

Also it should be noted that I wasn't offended by yr crack, Diamond, just puzzled; your post cleared it up (I sort of suspected it but wasn't sure). I think the film is based on Susan Orlean's New Yorker piece, which is pretty good--definitely the best thing I've read on the band, though

*As soon as I typed this I realized I was sort of wrong earlier. "Nassau Coliseum" is a six-minute song in which Craig Finn does sort of whine over vaguely mathy guitars at a dragging tempo. Thing is, it's one of the funniest breakup songs** ever written: "Didn't think that you'd dis me/Did you sleep with that hippie?" Tone is all: he's more bemused than pissed off and so loghorreic that you get caught up in his narcoleptic singsong flow. If Mr. Diamond were to download this one song, probably their best, for your intro, it would totally confirm his suspicions about them, but it's still a great, great song.

**except it's not actually a breakup song; Craig Finn wrote it after/about a riot at a Grateful Dead show

M Matos (M Matos), Saturday, 28 June 2003 03:35 (seventeen years ago) link

in short, they're an immersion band, both in subject--immersing yourself in that squalid rock/rave/club/squat/party lifestyle--and in effect--you have to hear a fair amount of it to see all of what they're doing, even if, to me, their sheer rock power is pretty immediate

M Matos (M Matos), Saturday, 28 June 2003 03:37 (seventeen years ago) link

Craig Finn wrote it after/about a riot at a Grateful Dead show

Thank you!! I always thought this was like the most mysterious song ever written. I was picturing Kent State or something. Is there an internet go-to place for finding information like this? A fan site, maybe?

Sonny A. (Keiko), Saturday, 28 June 2003 03:42 (seventeen years ago) link

and not just hearing more as in # of songs heard, but as in # of times heard. again I know how fucking fanboy that sounds and yeah yeah everything sounds better the more you hear it, but what's amazing to me about LP is how much nuance they squeeze into what sounds like just basic blocky pound pound pound roar roar roar g-b-d-shout stuff. and craig's lyrics can just sound like a lot of repetitive shouting at first but they get way more detailed w/repeat plays. in other words they're a hip-hop group!

I found out about that from my friend Kate Silver, Sonny, who posts on ILx sometimes. I think she got it from Craig himself, but don't quote me

M Matos (M Matos), Saturday, 28 June 2003 03:43 (seventeen years ago) link

i wanna qualify something -- i said i ain't a big fan mainly cuz i didn't want mr. d to consider me a LB fanboy, which i ain't. however, LB have slowly won me over. i've still never listen to F&F. it's been in my to-listen-to pile for a month or two now. i'm gonna listen asap tho.

Yanc3y (ystrickler), Saturday, 28 June 2003 03:47 (seventeen years ago) link

haha - see Matos - this is why I really like you! now you've made me rabid to actually hear this song... (searching for it now, and will bear in mind yr caveats)

Mr. Diamond (diamond), Saturday, 28 June 2003 03:49 (seventeen years ago) link

i think it's my fave LB song cuz I LOVE LOVE LOVE songs that mention specific geographic places, which 75% of the song is. (this is also why sweet virginia might be my fave stones song (also: when mick sings about kentucky derby day in dead flowers))

Yanc3y (ystrickler), Saturday, 28 June 2003 03:52 (seventeen years ago) link

oh yeah Yance - I know you and I are definitely on the same page re: the Stones! And no prob re: yr fanboy comment - I am one myself about tons of bands! all good critics just need to keep it on the down low is all.

Mr. Diamond (diamond), Saturday, 28 June 2003 03:58 (seventeen years ago) link

i know mick & keef are the way to yr heart, lovah. (mine too!)

Yanc3y (ystrickler), Saturday, 28 June 2003 03:59 (seventeen years ago) link

(ok, one for Yanc3y - "In South Carolina / there are many tall pines")

Mr. Diamond (diamond), Saturday, 28 June 2003 04:11 (seventeen years ago) link

Nate Patrin: Thanks for the Pitchfork link... I had never seen that. That is one of the more amusingly (and, of course, infuriatingly) off-the-mark record reviews I have ever read in my life. Regardless of one's opinion on the band in question, the piece is so amazingly smug and presumptuous without being accurate! Now, forgive my impulsive immaturity, but I have to throw this next sentence in for when the critic is googling himself somewhere down the road:
** Taylor M. Clark: re: your Lifter Puller review for Pitchfork a couple of years ago -- I have a suggestion for you: Stop reviewing records. You're embarrassing yourself. **

Ben Boyer, Saturday, 28 June 2003 15:20 (seventeen years ago) link

why should I care about these characters and these stories? you've said something about details this hyperreality that, but I take it that what these stories are ABOUT, besides the way that they're told (and I know that distinction is a problem), is very important to the band's overall effect.

'romanticizing': trying to make the gutter seem appealing _because of_ its idealized baseness. (hard-boiled style is regularly in the service of a romanticized view of its subject matter, isn't it?)

you say they're an immersion band - immersing yourself in that squalid lifestyle. now, it seems to me common sense that you wouldn't WANT to do that UNLESS it had been romanticized some, as per above. (imagine I give you a pile of trash, and I tell you to roll around in it. you say no - of course. but then I tell you a story about how really fucking awesome it is to be caught up in just how awful it is to roll around in trash, and then you jump right in.)

there's something to do here with one strain of rock music's image of itself, I think. what I don't understand is why people who are presumably aware of it would be so happy to buy in and pretend as if old rock myths and cliches are true after all.

I know this is all contentious but I don't think it's at all knee-jerk.

I think gff said above that their records sound anemic. from the one I've heard I couldn't agree more.

Josh (Josh), Saturday, 28 June 2003 16:35 (seventeen years ago) link

Josh, it's not about immersing yourself in the actual lifestyle, it's about immersing yourself in the characters who are immersed in that lifestyle. I don't think Matos meant he was actually taking more drugs because of LP. Bad things as well as good happen to the characters for living the way they do, and we as listeners go through that with them. It's not any less fictive than a book, a film or a television series. People like LP for the same reasons they like The Sopranos. Also, I think you're misunderstanding the ways the stories are told/fit together: it's not about any giant "rock myth"; it acts more like a hip-hopera (haha or something). Besides, the characters are ravers, not rockers.

Sonny A. (Keiko), Saturday, 28 June 2003 17:09 (seventeen years ago) link

matos - if you will listen to 'philosophy of the world' and 'my pal foot foot' I will listen to whatever two lifter puller songs I need to (and haven't yet just becuz I had my fill of 90s indie rock at the time ie. I just ate some banana pudding and I still love banana pudding but I don't need to eat anymore banana pudding right now).

James Blount (James Blount), Saturday, 28 June 2003 23:39 (seventeen years ago) link

also, what specific "old rock myths and cliches" that apparently are not "true after all" are you talking about? the whole getting fucked up on drugs and doing stupid shit aspect of their lyrics, which is a pretty large aspect of them? if that's it, and I'm guessing it is, where does the myth come in? because people do that all the time--there's nothing mythical about it. cliched, sure, I'll give you that--but surely the point isn't the cliche but what you do with it. you're not responding to what they do with it, you're responding to the subject matter. are we supposed to put the kibosh on writing songs about it because it offends your sensibilities? are we supposed to pretend that people don't find rebellion attractive, and that those peoples' actions aren't sometimes fascinating, especially when written about by someone as good with words as Finn--and put into action by a band as skillful as LP? how is any of this NOT knee-jerk?

I think gff said above that their records sound anemic. from the one I've heard I couldn't agree more.

he’s referring specifically to them vs. their live shows, but either way, Magnetic Fields to thread!

M Matos (M Matos), Saturday, 28 June 2003 23:44 (seventeen years ago) link

why should I care about these characters and these stories?

no one said you had to; I was explaining the group’s m.o.

you say they're an immersion band - immersing yourself in that squalid lifestyle

no, immersing yourself in their stories of that lifestyle. Probably should’ve made that a little plainer

Sonny A is otm about the characters being ravers, not rockers

M Matos (M Matos), Saturday, 28 June 2003 23:47 (seventeen years ago) link

James, no one is trying to make you (or anyone else) do anything. my argument w/Josh isn't about trying to convince him to like music he doesn't have to like, it's about the terms of his argument being so completely off the money in re: this band

M Matos (M Matos), Saturday, 28 June 2003 23:49 (seventeen years ago) link

matos calmati! I'm not trying to be 'forced' into anything or to 'force' anyone into anything. I'm asking for suggestions for what couple of lifter puller tracks I need to seek out (and offering a couple of shaggs trax in return) ie. "I know you just ate some banana pudding but you really gotta try this banana pudding".

James Blount (James Blount), Saturday, 28 June 2003 23:52 (seventeen years ago) link

'crosspost' with the last handful of new posts but I haven't changed anything below.

I certainly didn't mean the actual lifestyle. I was talking about just what you go on to say: 'we as listeners go through that with them'.

I question whether it IS like people liking the sopranos - typically it seems as if there's a much greater degree of identification with the world made by music. or at least, it happens more often. maybe that's not happening here - I can't tell from the way people praise the band.

if it's just some kind of narrative/dramatic deal (say like cathartic crime drama) - well, the reason I'm making these posts is that I just don't like the tone of the band's fans. crazy superfandom is fine, but there's something about 'criminally ignored', that kind of thing, that riles me. so I want to hear more about what it is I suspect could be a critical blind spot - a plenty good reason that people could just not want to hear lifter puller, despite whatever rhythmic etc etc or dramatic yadda yadda. (put the short way: 'storytelling', big deal - what if you don't care about what the stories are about?)

I certainly sympathize with not being able to write about what you love most - but I find it interesting how little lifter puller fans seem to talk about what the songs are about. (I also recognize how the style of the lyrics might make this hard.) but then what does john talk about in his lptj review? a drug song. hmm.

I'm talking about what's evoked, in the background, called upon, leaned on, gestured at, whatever. 'seedy underbelly' set to music.

Josh (Josh), Saturday, 28 June 2003 23:56 (seventeen years ago) link

sorry, JB--try "Nassau Coliseum," "To Live and Die in LBI" and "Space Humping $19.99"

M Matos (M Matos), Saturday, 28 June 2003 23:58 (seventeen years ago) link

the magnetic fields aren't supposed to 'rock'. you're not even making sense there, matos.

Josh (Josh), Sunday, 29 June 2003 00:00 (seventeen years ago) link

oh c'mon - "grand canyon" roxx like mini-zep

James Blount (James Blount), Sunday, 29 June 2003 00:02 (seventeen years ago) link

"anemic" /= "rock" in anyone's dictionary, Josh

M Matos (M Matos), Sunday, 29 June 2003 00:09 (seventeen years ago) link

or, um, thesaurus

M Matos (M Matos), Sunday, 29 June 2003 00:09 (seventeen years ago) link

5{writing songs about cliched crap is fine - but it seems to me a pretty good reason to not care about a band. especially some particular cliched crap. maybe my above post makes more sense of this thread. I can imagine a similar complaint against say an alt. country band, for their own fetished, weary topics. or a commercial rapper. the important thing is that this is a BARRIER, a legitimate one.

I realize that I am eerily like ned here insofar as I get tired of him hating on superfans elsewhere.

Josh (Josh), Sunday, 29 June 2003 00:09 (seventeen years ago) link

I question whether it IS like people liking the sopranos - typically it seems as if there's a much greater degree of identification with the world made by music. or at least, it happens more often. maybe that's not happening here - I can't tell from the way people praise the band.

fair enough. I think the sopranos comparison is pretty good but quite inexact, because as much as I extol Finn's narrative sense he's also not writing straight-line stories a lot of the time--re: the reoccurring lines/phrases thing I mention above, he'll often revisit certain settings and situations and tweak them a little. you can basically play the songs in any order and they'll make sense as a microcosm rather than a straight-up narrative. it's more like an altman movie.

part of what impresses me about them most is that they deal with what in most hands IS very tired subject matter and inject it with a lot more vividness than you'd necessarily expect to hear. and because there's so many fucking words--finn-as-rapper isn't much of an exaggeration on that level--it becomes almost an all-or-nothing situation when you're writing about them; the temptation is to just quote and quote and quote, or else not quote at all and try and get at what they're doing yourself.

the reason I'm making these posts is that I just don't like the tone of the band's fans. crazy superfandom is fine, but there's something about 'criminally ignored', that kind of thing, that riles me.

what, you knee-jerk?

I certainly sympathize with not being able to write about what you love most - but I find it interesting how little lifter puller fans seem to talk about what the songs are about. (I also recognize how the style of the lyrics might make this hard.) but then what does john talk about in his lptj review? a drug song. hmm.

so are you asking for some kind of exegesis of something specific here? if so, happy to provide, just want to be sure

M Matos (M Matos), Sunday, 29 June 2003 00:11 (seventeen years ago) link

better example than altman would actually be pulp fiction, which will doubtless turn off lots of hipper-than-thous who got over that flick ages ago, like I care

M Matos (M Matos), Sunday, 29 June 2003 00:13 (seventeen years ago) link

pulp fiction is the first thing i thought of far above re 'romanticized', when you mentioned hard-boiled style. i.e. that movie seemed to idealize its violent subject matter, drug use etc. a whole bunch (I don't know why I say that despite say mia's overdose scene among others, but perhaps this makes sense so far?).

'knee jerk' is dismissive and unresponsive and that's why I don't care for the way you've been using it. the fact that my response is reactive, not very considered, doesn't immediately invalidate it. (I certainly didn't START with the tendency to have this kind of reaction, I think - it's developed over time, which is some kind of sign that I'm not just knee-jerking.)

I don't know what I want. I don't understand the sensibility I felt in the songs and I don't get why so many people who are in other ways not apparently very tied up in the rock-via-the-gutter mythos (I don't totally understand what I mean by that, either, but I keep hoping sterl will come along and recognize what I mean - and actually a review I remember but can't find of vollmann's 'the royal family' came to mind - the author made some kind of criticism like, vollmann is in love with the idea of degradation-as-salvation, redemption-in-misery whores-and-death kind of shit that has been old since rimbaud's time - and no I'm not saying the same thing about LP, it just came to mind) can go for it wholesale.

Josh (Josh), Sunday, 29 June 2003 00:32 (seventeen years ago) link

I realize that I am eerily like ned here insofar as I get tired of him hating on superfans elsewhere.

Zing. But as far as I'm concerned you could hate away about my MBV love and while I'll grouse a touch at most I won't do anything more (Calum's attempt to bait me there constantly was in retrospect hilarious), so I suppose it's all down to how one feels at the time. In this case I haven't heard anything by Lifter Puller yet so I'll just read the thread contemplatively.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Sunday, 29 June 2003 01:15 (seventeen years ago) link

I find it interesting that you can’t define what you’re talking about but accuse other people of going for it wholesale, Josh.

M Matos (M Matos), Sunday, 29 June 2003 01:17 (seventeen years ago) link

definition isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Josh (Josh), Sunday, 29 June 2003 01:20 (seventeen years ago) link

spoken like a true academic

M Matos (M Matos), Sunday, 29 June 2003 01:21 (seventeen years ago) link

don't be such a dick.

Josh (Josh), Sunday, 29 June 2003 01:22 (seventeen years ago) link

you're the one accusing people of buying into a lifestyle mythos by listening to someone sing songs in which made-up characters do made-up things, you're the one accusing people of not having any self-reflexivity by enjoying things that make you squeamish, and you're the one saying things like "I just don't like it" and coming out out with spitting dismissals of bands you don't give much indication of having actually paid any attention to and then crying about being called out on your own knee-jerk tendencies. and you did all of it without any prompting. so don't YOU call ANYONE a dick

M Matos (M Matos), Sunday, 29 June 2003 01:28 (seventeen years ago) link

yes, I just don't know what I was doing airing my reactions to lifter puller on a thread that starts 'this is a thread about lifter puller'. I know I've said provocative things but you're supposed to be able to handle that kind of thing. I've even tried to tone things down and indicate that I don't really understand what's going on. presumably YOU are supposed to be able to help with that. but you throw in snotty non-sequiturs and snide insults meant to do - what exactly? they just seem evasive to me. oho, the magnetic fields are anemic. the point was that that was irrelevant! so what, I like a band that makes anemic records! I was talking about a band that supposedly makes decidely non-anemic music. and the academic crack was just stupid. it's perfectly ordinary to have trouble or be unable to define something but still have some idea what you mean. but you're just evasive there, too. why are you always at your rudest when people dislike music you think you're right about?

Josh (Josh), Sunday, 29 June 2003 01:47 (seventeen years ago) link

now here's what I was going to post before that little blowup occurred (xpost obv, I'll get to Josh's latest in a second)

I think I understand exactly what you mean by that mythos, Josh--you mean "why do smart people want to front like they're the morons in Please Kill Me?" what you seem to be saying is that therefore a story that contains those ignorant, non-self-reflexive elements (in the characters, usually) is somehow ITSELF ignorant and non-self-reflexive. How many species of bullshit is that? Answer: lots and lots.

right now I'm reading Frank Owen's Clubland, the story of how NYC clubs in the mid-'90s were full of drugs and this yelping club kid named Michael Alig killed a drug dealer associate of his and lots of gangsters were involved and almost everyone who didn’t overdose or get whacked first went to jail. There are almost no likable people in this book. Yet it’s a really gripping read, because the characters are interesting and Owen makes the activities vivid. Does that mean I condone them? well, some of the drug parts--I like taking drugs sometimes--and the dancing in the clubs, yeah. but for the most part, no. but it’s a terrific book. Does it mean I have to buy into some lifestyle mythos in order to enjoy it? Of course not.

Now I’ll fess up--and I’ve written about this before elsewhere--that LP grip me particularly hard because I recognize a lot of the milieu they write about--I’m from Minneapolis, worked at the nightclub First Avenue for 2 1/2 years, went to raves and basement parties for a long time. LP do romanticize nightlife, absolutely; they blow up its details to such extremes, while keeping things recognizable (“She says she’s waiting on the steady type/Then she disappears with the Eyepatch Guy,” sure, we’ve been there) and within the realm of possibility (there are a LOT of shady types running nightclubs, as Clubland attests), that they create a kind of hyperreal version of it. Degradation happens in the songs but it’s not all that happens, unless you happen to be the Moral Majority. And if you want to say I unthinkingly get off on degradation-in-itself, well, I'll happily call you an asshole right back.

M Matos (M Matos), Sunday, 29 June 2003 01:50 (seventeen years ago) link

(don't think I actually need to get to Josh's post, answered most of his salient points above)

M Matos (M Matos), Sunday, 29 June 2003 01:55 (seventeen years ago) link

“She says she’s waiting on the steady type/Then she disappears with the Eyepatch Guy,” sure, we’ve been there

Momus stole your girlfriend?

Ned Raggett (Ned), Sunday, 29 June 2003 01:57 (seventeen years ago) link

let's not talk about it [[chokes up]]

M Matos (M Matos), Sunday, 29 June 2003 02:00 (seventeen years ago) link

Josh just don't listen to the lyrics -- I don't.

Sterling Clover (s_clover), Sunday, 29 June 2003 02:00 (seventeen years ago) link

There there, Matos, have a meal I just prepared while smoking. I ashed in it just for you.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Sunday, 29 June 2003 02:00 (seventeen years ago) link

Sterling, isn't that my line?

Ned Raggett (Ned), Sunday, 29 June 2003 02:01 (seventeen years ago) link

I didn't at first, either. they just started jumping out at me and it went on from there

M Matos (M Matos), Sunday, 29 June 2003 02:02 (seventeen years ago) link

I didn't like the music, either, sterl. I wouldn't be left with much.

Josh (Josh), Sunday, 29 June 2003 02:06 (seventeen years ago) link

see i tried to explain the appeal of the music above and i'll try again when i get round to listening more.

Sterling Clover (s_clover), Sunday, 29 June 2003 02:08 (seventeen years ago) link

(big big xpost)

As far as I know, Craig is from a well off family, and met [gtr player] in college (Boston?) and they decided to start a punk band, so they came back to Mpls (I don't remember which of them was from here). I don't think it's possible to even BE IN a band and not have heavy heavy contact with the nighlife, even if you didn't want it.

Anyway, I think his day job is now in finance somewhere. So he stands in the same relation to the 'k-hole' (ie the gutter-rock-drug-sex-loser halfworld) as, I would think, Brian Wilson did to the 'beach,' ie always looking in no matter how in he gets.

And I think the connection btw those two is important; LP do a kind of loser-pastoral. It's a stretched connection bcz LP is so much more WORDY than the Beach Boys, lyrical content counts for much more of what LP were than what the BBs were, but it's the same artistic strategy: find a little corner and make the world out of it. (a good enough reason not to like Wilson either, really.)

And unlike Wilson the k-hole IS ridiculous (the beach is pretty ridiculous too, but less intentionally so), far too detailed and amplified to be read too seriously. I don't know how much of an 'indie-beaudelaire' act they were trying to do, they were always way too FUNNY. (one thing I don't like abt LP is how reliant their schtick is on schtick: their riffs often didn't stand up to the weight of the spiel)

(I don't think they ever made enough money to afford not being anemic on record. I guess that's still their 'fault,' I'm sure there are other cheap engineers out there who know how to mic a bass cabinet, but hey their uh historical record is imperfect.)

g--ff c-nn-n (gcannon), Sunday, 29 June 2003 02:14 (seventeen years ago) link

what you seem to be saying is that therefore a story that contains those ignorant, non-self-reflexive elements (in the characters, usually) is somehow ITSELF ignorant and non-self-reflexive

I'm not saying that. but suppose it's something like what you describe in that book. the way you put it, it's sort of like, 'this really held my interest and was enjoyable'. I can understand reasons like that given that you talked about the vivid writing, etc. (bad people make for good characters, sure.) but people seem to talk about lifter puller a lot giving reasons like that, sort of music criticy, materials-of-songwriting and canons-of-rock kinds of things, while acting and sounding like they are far more committed to... something, I don't know what, thus my talk about myth, sensibility, etc. above - way more into something, more moved by it, whatever, than people tend to get by 'mere' good or innovative songcraft, etc. (I know it's not you, but: a guy with lftr pllr tatooed on his knuckles?)

Josh (Josh), Sunday, 29 June 2003 02:19 (seventeen years ago) link

I do not understand how anyone can listen to "To Live and Die in LBI" and think it's "anemic." do not understand.

M Matos (M Matos), Sunday, 29 June 2003 02:20 (seventeen years ago) link

I'm not quite clear from the way gff puts it but I like what he says: are you saying he chose to pastoralize the thing he lost once he had moved on? that is a good answer from the artistic side to the question, 'why THIS subject matter?'. it mirrors matos' admission that his love for the band has a lot to do with his own nightlife. but as a question for listeners, 'why THIS subject matter?' can't be answered the same way. 'it resonates with my similar personal experiences' is a good reason for people with those kinds of experiences to be utterly, totally in love with a band. as a way of making sense of talk like 'why is this totally super amazing band so overlooked and ignored', it doesn't get you as far. but it DOES give fans material to draw upon to convey to others why it's this particular thing that does this for them. (and I'm thinking here that it DOES matter what the ethos is, or whatever, even if there's a personal connection - that is, it's not just that these records get their power from being 'pastoral' about a thing, but some particular things. otherwise why not listen to brian wilson records.)

Josh (Josh), Sunday, 29 June 2003 02:28 (seventeen years ago) link

sorry, you're probably not saying that, since obv he was still in there, not moved on, if they were in a local band while doing it. so... making a little world right around where they were standing?

Josh (Josh), Sunday, 29 June 2003 02:33 (seventeen years ago) link

you would think micing a bass cabinet would be old hat for people recording rock music but apparently not.

Josh (Josh), Sunday, 29 June 2003 02:36 (seventeen years ago) link

xpost heaven/hell:

I'm not sure what you're talking about re: "music criticy, materials-of-songwriting and canons-of-rock kinds of things"--I've probably written about them more and more prominently than anyone else, and I don't seem to recall doing any of that, though maybe I'm too close to it to know better--but as far as "[getting] way more into something, more moved by it, whatever, than people tend to get by 'mere' good or innovative songcraft, etc." goes, (a) there's nothing "mere" about them in terms of craft etc. and (b) as my personal examples above help illustrate, LP get to something pretty deep in the heart of why people go clubbing et al; there is a romantic aspect to nightlife and there are, believe it or not, intelligent people who are drawn to that.

I don't think he's pastoralizing something he's moved on from (especially if the stuff he's doing w/the Hold Steady, which is even grimier subject-wise, is any indication), I think he found it fascinating and wanted to explore it. CF told me once that he was trying to create a Pynchon-esque world w/his characters, and the whole seamier-than-you-first-suspect underworld is a tribute in particular to The Crying of Lot 49. I try not to mention any of this generally because I artists' intentions generally mean bubkes, plus having never read Pynchon myself I couldn't necessarily draw any parallels anyway. but it resonates w/people for lots of different reasons, not just my personal ones above, and while obviously having a nightlife background helps me get to it faster I was a fan even before I deduced that was what was going on lyrically.

I must ask, though, Josh, why the incredulousness for the guy w/their name tattooed on his knuckles? you just sound like you're totally afraid of anything that excites people when you say stuff like that, and I really hope that's not the case. I mean, why wouldn't someone do that? and what does it matter whether he did or not?

(also, I gotta ask: when would you prefer I be at my rudest? when people wear plaid after labor day? how can any of this surprise you, really? all this time after you first read me on this board and elsewhere, you have to know that I'm really fucking argumentative?)

M Matos (M Matos), Sunday, 29 June 2003 02:42 (seventeen years ago) link

i for one am a believer in the immersion technique when it comes to Lifter Puller. I got the soft rock set and i skipped around in it just playing the beginnings of songs and i wasn't impressed at all. the music seemed samey and his voice was giving me an annoying detachable penis/take the skinheads bowling vibe that turned me off. BUT, i found that even after skipping around that i tried again later cuz there was something about one of the songs that i kept thinking about for no good reason.It had gotten under my skin. this led me to play 3 or 4 in a row and slowly but surely my initial feelings were almost gone for good. I kept playing the first half of the first cd over again and i got kinda hooked. i think at first it was like i was reading the first sentence of different stories in a short-story collection and when i actually started to read the stories the better they became and the more i realized how damned entertaining they were. and do i recognize the people in the stories and is there a certain element of nostalgia for my own misspent youth in the typical lifter puller song? yeah, definitely. do i think an american male rock critic of a certain age could fall for them in a second? hell yeah! but are they even better than that? yeah, i think they are.

scott seward, Sunday, 29 June 2003 02:49 (seventeen years ago) link

(simply being argumentative wasn't what I was referring to, but no this certainly isn't the first time I've noticed.)

no, I'm not afraid. but do a thought experiment: a LP fan with the tattoo, and a bedhead fan with a bedhead tattoo. (the results? I don't know. but they seem different.)

I can't really speak to the lot 49 bit either, from the other end (though at first hunch I would say, before getting LP, that maybe they got some of the cast-of-characters sort of stuff, but that that's not what's key abt pynchon). yo what up sterl though.

going now, will think about the other part later.

Josh (Josh), Sunday, 29 June 2003 02:52 (seventeen years ago) link

From what I can tell it seems like the (lyrical) squabble comes down to whether they're acute observers of a scene or time-killing metacritics of said scene. Yes, no? In that case, would conclusions have been any different had they been talking about something else instead?

Ned Raggett (Ned), Sunday, 29 June 2003 02:53 (seventeen years ago) link

I remain unconvinced of the alleged defects of their recorded output, btw--what exactly is wrong with it?

M Matos (M Matos), Sunday, 29 June 2003 02:54 (seventeen years ago) link

I don't understand what time-killing metacritics of a scene means.

ok now going.

Josh (Josh), Sunday, 29 June 2003 02:55 (seventeen years ago) link

In brief, Josh (for when you return) -- you seem annoyed with them that they are in (to one extent or another) a rock scene that they are also standing back from and commenting on, but you don't find it fascinating or worth the attention. So if they talked about something else, would you care? Or would you care if they talked about it a different way?

Ned Raggett (Ned), Sunday, 29 June 2003 02:57 (seventeen years ago) link

mmmm, maybe because Bedhead suck?

M Matos (M Matos), Sunday, 29 June 2003 02:57 (seventeen years ago) link

that lifter puller dude has a helluva way with words. which goes a long way with me cuz so much stuff is pedestrian in that regard. when someone does it well, they are worth celebrating. he writes about front porches like a sumbitch.

scott seward, Sunday, 29 June 2003 02:57 (seventeen years ago) link

or maybe, less flippantly, that Bedhead attract fans that don't actually give that much of a shit about them, and Lifter Puller do? and that class is also an issue--LP make hard rock for punk-scene kids (and others, but that was a pretty big source of their popularity in Mpls) and Bedhead's following is more middle-class?

M Matos (M Matos), Sunday, 29 June 2003 03:01 (seventeen years ago) link

nobody would ever get a bedhead tattoo.

scott seward, Sunday, 29 June 2003 03:02 (seventeen years ago) link

unless they already had a death cab for cutie and joan of arc tattoo.

scott seward, Sunday, 29 June 2003 03:03 (seventeen years ago) link

I am having a difficult time understanding why we are doing this thought experiment

M Matos (M Matos), Sunday, 29 June 2003 03:03 (seventeen years ago) link

I'll admit that I'm a little appalled by those who choose to ignore the lyrics. Those songs are not only centered around the lyrics...I just think there's a real void in rock music right now when it comes to clever/literate lyricism. I'm not going to throw fuel in the fire here, just pipe in. I also really like the quote below from Finn in a survey piece I put together about the band before their Mpls reunion gigs.

"The thing about the lyrics is that they were written for people who were the same types of fans as me. I would obsess over records when I was young. Analyzing every lyric, piece of artwork, etc. When I was really young I thought every record was a concept album, it was just up to me to figure out the concept. So I tried to create lyrics that related to other songs of ours, and that tell a linear story to make it a fun puzzle thing for listeners, something that has rewards for people who listen closely or a ton of times, etc. I think that led to us gaining some particularly obsessive fans."

I also think seeing the band live can completely change a person's perspective on the group. Yet, we're talking about lyricism here, aren't we?

Kate Silver (Kate Silver), Sunday, 29 June 2003 03:04 (seventeen years ago) link

i like his lyrics better than springsteens cuz i never felt like bruce ever lived in his songs. this is just me talking. plenty of people do feel that he did, of course.

scott seward, Sunday, 29 June 2003 03:06 (seventeen years ago) link

or at least i always felt like bruce was a teller of legends and not a relayer of truth.

scott seward, Sunday, 29 June 2003 03:08 (seventeen years ago) link

(don't worry Josh it's not the first time I noticed you couldn't take a joke either)

M Matos (M Matos), Sunday, 29 June 2003 03:16 (seventeen years ago) link

(L)(F)(T)(R) (P)(L)(L)(R)
()(B)(D)() ()(H)(D)()

OK, it's time for me to leave this conversation.

Kate Silver (Kate Silver), Sunday, 29 June 2003 03:22 (seventeen years ago) link

Those were knuckles, btw.

Kate Silver (Kate Silver), Sunday, 29 June 2003 03:23 (seventeen years ago) link

(but I bet it's not the first time you noticed that I can't tell one, either!)

yes, Kate, we knew

M Matos (M Matos), Sunday, 29 June 2003 03:23 (seventeen years ago) link

(god I can't believe I just expended all that energy on this. apologies to everyone)

M Matos (M Matos), Sunday, 29 June 2003 03:42 (seventeen years ago) link

it's ok - it's good to see ya riled up! matos as jonah jameson!

James Blount (James Blount), Sunday, 29 June 2003 05:42 (seventeen years ago) link

kate -- the lyrics were smart FEELING, but I never found the time to devote the fanboy careful attention they were sculpted to demand. but if they weren't sculpted for that they'd probably have FELT less smart and stuttery and interesting.

Sterling Clover (s_clover), Sunday, 29 June 2003 06:01 (seventeen years ago) link

Wow, I go away for two days and look what I missed! In relation to my newfound lp love: it took me awhile, and it also took one song that stuck, like seward's experience, made me listen and after that the other songs grabbed me by the neck. And Josh, I think the lp thing is difficult to describe because it's so good. I recognize here I'm doing more of the not-describing. As far as the lyrical topic goes, I think I'd enjoy Craig Finn's lyrics and vocals if he were singing about mowing the lawn or something if the lyrics were this creative, memorable, multi-hued and -layered.

scott m (mcd), Monday, 30 June 2003 01:09 (seventeen years ago) link

I'm going to keep basically mum about this from here on out but I just have to say that a lot of my non-sequitur throwing-around had to do w/my frustration due to (a) a lot of Josh's questions having already been dealt with upthread before he even got involved and (b) the fact that anyone who could have taken my Magnetic Fields crack as anything but the joke it was intended is in serious need of lightening the fuck up. (including me for not just telling him it was one and letting it escalate, I suppose, but JEEE-ZUS. did I need to decorate it the typographical equiv. of Groucho glasses to make it plainer?)

M Matos (M Matos), Monday, 30 June 2003 01:32 (seventeen years ago) link

my questions were not dealt with earlier in the thread. I gave you crap not so much because I was offended, though I was, but because I didn't think you deserved to get away with brushing me off. that's just lazy thinking, not "argumentative". if you'll notice, you initially said it was total bullshit to say that LP romanticize anything, and that I totally didn't understand the band. yet later you ended up saying yes, LP do romanticize nightlife and clublife. what changed? would we have gotten that far if I had not reacted to your attempts to end discussion prematutely?

Josh (Josh), Monday, 30 June 2003 02:38 (seventeen years ago) link

um, but where did you get? it's like saying 'we wouldn't have gotten lost here if I hadn't told you to keep driving

James Blount (James Blount), Monday, 30 June 2003 02:43 (seventeen years ago) link

I said it was total bullshit to say that ALL THEY DID was romanticize something. you came on and were like, well, they remind me of all that Please Kill Me-type behavior I find abhorrent, where's the art in that? and I said there were a lot more dimensions in it than you're giving it credit for. that, to me, on your part, was lazy thinking, which is why I got so fucking annoyed. as far as "getting further," most of what I said to you about the style of storytelling, recurring characters, etc., was reiterations of stuff I'd written upthread before you jumped in. so "we" didn't get "that far" at all.

M Matos (M Matos), Monday, 30 June 2003 02:55 (seventeen years ago) link

also, by putting people immediately on the defensive ("people buy into this mythical bullshit wholesale" is a pretty offensive statement insofar as it presumes the stuff involve being untrue, the people who like it being undiscerning, and by proxy everybody involved except the accuser being stupid) isn't the best way to make sure the level of debate stays at an even keel. whether that was your intention or not, that was the effect.

M Matos (M Matos), Monday, 30 June 2003 03:07 (seventeen years ago) link

also 'here's a gross overgeneralization provided with no argument or context whatsoever now prove it wrong' isn't that interesting a debate method

James Blount (James Blount), Monday, 30 June 2003 04:18 (seventeen years ago) link

it apparently is, if it can take matos from totally denying it to admitting it. and I don't think it's true that he said my first post was total bullshit because that's not ALL LP do. he didn't say - he was just dismissive. but he's gone on to concede something like what I said at first, with an important caveat: that yes sure LP romanticize the nightlife (including the not so positive aspects), but they do it IN A REALLY INTERESTING WAY.

matos keeps posting as if he's answered me somehow, but I'm not happy. reason: I don't CARE about the 'interesting way' stuff, the mechanics of songwriting. there are lots of good songwriters out there. my original question and later questions had the thrust of: why this subject matter? why the extremely intense identification with, or affinity for, this subject matter? this is what I think I've gotten out of matos, so far:

1) rebellion is attractive
2) personal experience of the lifestyle
3) LP get to something pretty deep in the heart of why people go clubbing et al; there is a romantic aspect to nightlife and there are, believe it or not, intelligent people who are drawn to that
4) CF found this world/life interesting and wanted to explore it

what do LP get to about why people choose the nightlife (and I assume we mean here not just to go out and have a little fun kind of nightlife, but a lifestyle where this IS life)? the reason I put it in terms of a 'myth' before was that that thing, at the heart of why people live this life, seems like one sort of story told about, if you will, the essence of 'rock'. about what really makes it important, or authentic, or significant, or good.

Josh (Josh), Monday, 30 June 2003 05:07 (seventeen years ago) link

did he steal your girlfriend in summer camp or something? cuz 'I'll get you matos, just you wait' isn't that interesting for outside parties (maybe not even interesting for matos. clearly interesting for you though.)

James Blount (James Blount), Monday, 30 June 2003 05:15 (seventeen years ago) link

I'm sorry you're not happy, but I'm finished jumping through the same hoops over and over for you. Good night.

M Matos (M Matos), Monday, 30 June 2003 05:16 (seventeen years ago) link

responding to your argument /= confirming your argument

James Blount (James Blount), Monday, 30 June 2003 05:17 (seventeen years ago) link

Josh, do you ever get tired of chasing your tail? Don't you ever get dizzy? Shouldn't you being working on your dissertationso the Librarian can toss it into the basement with the rest? JUST SHUT THE FUCK UP, PLEASE!

general zod, Monday, 30 June 2003 05:41 (seventeen years ago) link

general zod tells you to shut up = you must be doing something right.

Sterling Clover (s_clover), Monday, 30 June 2003 07:00 (seventeen years ago) link

"JUST SHUT THE FUCK UP, PLEASE!" = a fucking contemptible piece of anonymous cowardly shithead thread-fascism

(the fact that zod is possibly a poster i like when s/he's NOT being anonymous doesn't alter this judgment in the slightest)

this is an interesting thread even if the main discussors were annoyed and unhappy during it: in fact, possibly BECAUSE the main discussors — both highly intelligent writers — were annoyed and unhappy about it (two very raw spots rubbing against one another: why?)

mark s (mark s), Monday, 30 June 2003 09:49 (seventeen years ago) link

it is interesting and its a pity the args might end here.

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Monday, 30 June 2003 10:21 (seventeen years ago) link

OK, sorry I was jetlagged and missed this. I have great news for the world. Lifter Puller is about language. Period. The subject matter that Finn uses is barely matters, though the use of recurring characters does as that, too, is about language. The notion that there are good or bad subjects for writing about is too ridiculous to address though Josh has asserted that that's not what he's saying at all: though in that case it's hard to imagine he's listened hard enough, as Finn approaches his subject from so many different angles and through so many different narrative lenses that ascribing a single opinion to Finn w/r/t his themes/characters is rough work at best. The reason this whole thing chafes people, as noted upthread, is that those of us who are convinced that Craig Finn is the best lyricist to come along in twenty or so years, maybe more, are as evangelical as you'd expect people who were convinced of such a proposition to be. We say things like "if you don't hear what's good about Craig Finn's writing, then either you haven't listened hard enough or you don't know a whole lot about writing." That's what this thread is about, eventually.

J0hn Darn1elle (J0hn Darn1elle), Monday, 30 June 2003 11:53 (seventeen years ago) link

the subject matter does matter, j0hn! Do you think CF could have done what he did using, i dunno, wall street as the location? (ha probably MORE drugs there but fewer eyepatch guys I guess.) (there has to be some famous corporate raider tho who had an eyepatch, am I misremembering someone?)

Maybe Josh's problem is that it's a little obvious? I was going to post a lecturing post abt how EVERY band lives in this world and is comprised of these kinds of people, that would have gone something like this: Waiting tables, tending bar, doing a little freelance, going to parties, living at NIGHT, making your money in tips, getting a tattoo, driving a shitty car, being in a couple bands or art projects that will go nowhere, doing drugs and knowing people who do WAY more than you, wasting your money, watching people you went to school with (whatever level you managed to finish) commuting in their new Jetta, trying to make your ideas matter in the world, to make them pay off, to make the utter childish mess of your life pay off --> this is the place that all pop music comes from, unless you're Kelly Clarkson. So it's not like LP are somehow special or wierd for having anything TO DO with the life; you could even fault every other performer for saying LESS abt it. Yeah LP do a 'pastoral' or 'grotesque' way of looking at it, but it's the place that all of your other music comes from.

...But that isn't news to anyone I guess. So maybe that's Josh's problem with them? Every band ever is in this world and all the other ones want to talk abt something ELSE? CF's great use of metonymy notwithstanding? I mean, "woke up with my hand stuck in the tapedeck" is probably one of my favorite lines from any song: hilarious, unexpected, clear, detailed. To bring up another of my old poetry profs: "there is no such thing as a synonym" (she was qting someone else who I should know the name of) TAPEDECK, it's so perfect, so much better than 'stereo' (or, since the line dodges away at the last second from snicker-snicker sex talk, 'up her ass' or something). What kind of manky shithole was he partying in? The part stands in for the whole. But if you (the general 'you' here really) just think that waking up with your hand stuck in a tapedeck at 23 or 27 or 35 is ONLY a stupid thing to do, I guess yeah the uh charms of LP may mean jack to you.

g--ff c-nn-n (gcannon), Monday, 30 June 2003 12:59 (seventeen years ago) link

the subject matter does matter, j0hn! Do you think CF could have done what he did using, i dunno, wall street as the location?

Yeah, I do think so, actually! While I respond partly because I recognize a lot of CF's characters, it's pretty much an article of faith for me that subject matter is cosmetic: the substance lies elsewhere.

J0hn Darn1elle (J0hn Darn1elle), Monday, 30 June 2003 13:13 (seventeen years ago) link

so do I, but why didn't he, then? if the location of meaning isn't in what the songs are about but in HOW they are about that thing (what I guess you mean by 'elsewhere')... I don't know how to finish that thought. But it's kind of like that line abt Elvis' (or anyone's) great voice 'oh he could have just sung the phone book' to which the honest reply is 'haha yeah RIGHT.'

g--ff c-nn-n (gcannon), Monday, 30 June 2003 13:28 (seventeen years ago) link

I think it's about the insight into the lives of these characters like watching a movie. The lyrics are so vivid and the characterizations pretty complete. I hardly ever have to relate to the lives of people in a movie beyond grandiose themes like love, the pursuit of happiness, sex, death, natural disaster, coming of age, etc. I can still be moved by it because of the way it's developed into a riveting story. And I think CF coulda done a record on Wall St. (the darker side, at least) that would be just as exciting if it was written with the same detail and wit. Waking up with a hand in a tapedeck IS a stupid thing to do, it's absurd and incredibly sad (and moreso due to that word 'tapedeck' for sure) Another instance from Nassau Coliseum:

the girl selling t-shirts was kind of a freaker,
first she gets handcuffed
they started to beat her, i was so angry, you had just left me
they had her pinned down, it was so easy, gotta admit it
i can't forget it, i don't regret it
that i got some kicks in

Can't get beyond the selfishness, and it's just so plainly sad and even universal. The heft of the cruel world is underwhelming and unmoving next to selfish thoughts and personal pain.

scott m (mcd), Monday, 30 June 2003 14:48 (seventeen years ago) link

Christ that song is just so disturbing

J0hn Darn1elle (J0hn Darn1elle), Monday, 30 June 2003 14:56 (seventeen years ago) link

I have great news for the world. Lifter Puller is about language.

About language? I dunno. Certainly they use language in a fascinating, complicated, almost singular way, but I wouldn't say they're about it. At least not in the formalist/gestural way the word "about" implies to me.

I think there's really dense, rich thematic stuff going on in LP's ouvre -- stuff about the way subcultures work, about a certain kind of millenial American sadness... Anyone wanna start a thread on thematic strands that run through Craig Finn's work?

Ess, Monday, 30 June 2003 15:58 (seventeen years ago) link

OK, so Slug is credited with vocals on "Math is Murder," but can anyone hear him on that track? Is he just in the background or something? He certainly doesn't rap or contribute lyrics or anything. But how great would a full-on Lifter Puller/Atmosphere collabo be? I say that because both Finn and Slug both have such great eyes for detail and narrative (Atmosphere's "Hair" from God Loves Ugly is case in point), and also because both are so rhytmically inventive and immediate. Either one, at their best ("Secret Santa Cruz" for Lifter Puller and "The Bass and the Movement" for Atmosphere [as far as I'm concerned]) would not sound out of place at all on a dancefloor. And then there's the regional thing, but I don't care about that when it isn't Baltimore. Lots of people have referred to the hip-hop element of what Finn does/how he uses his voice, but I think it's a shame that he hasn't really pulled the trigger on that and gone further with it.

Tom Breihan (Tom Breihan), Monday, 30 June 2003 17:53 (seventeen years ago) link

Fucking great Hold Steady lyric:

"He said, 'My name is Corey - I'm really into hardcore - People call me HARD .... COREY!"

I had to go sit down after hearing that because I was laughing so hard.

Tom Breihan (Tom Breihan), Monday, 30 June 2003 17:56 (seventeen years ago) link

two weeks pass...
lifter puller are the best band i've never heard the mountain goats who i love love them i choose to never hear them so that i never knew what i missed after all these years

nick georgiou, Thursday, 17 July 2003 18:32 (seventeen years ago) link

Yeah, you pretty much fucked up.

scott m (mcd), Thursday, 17 July 2003 18:39 (seventeen years ago) link

one month passes...
Just wanted to add, in case one is unaware

http://www.thebrokerdealer.net/

is the still functional website for Craig Finn electronica side-project mentioned above. The site has 4 mp3s available... are they others out there??

There is some other band called broker/dealer out there too now.

if anyone is willing to share a copy of a LP live show, please let me know.. thanks.

Matt Sab, Tuesday, 26 August 2003 13:21 (seventeen years ago) link

Did anyone go to that Hold Steady show at Southpaw on Fri? Review??? I can't believe I missed it, what a line up.

scott m (mcd), Tuesday, 26 August 2003 15:59 (seventeen years ago) link

I listened to that Fiestas Fiascos thing twice and still couldn't see what all the fuss was about ... it was OK, but ...

brian nemtusak (sanlazaro), Wednesday, 27 August 2003 03:13 (seventeen years ago) link

she lifts those lips like a leech up to the Sex On the Beach

J0hn Darn1elle (J0hn Darn1elle), Wednesday, 27 August 2003 03:17 (seventeen years ago) link

listen to it 100 times, duh!!

Sonny A. (Keiko), Wednesday, 27 August 2003 03:18 (seventeen years ago) link

one year passes...
I like these guys now.

miccio (miccio), Wednesday, 6 July 2005 22:29 (fifteen years ago) link

i told you so. didn't i tell you? huh, didn't i? it was only a matter of time...

scott seward (scott seward), Wednesday, 6 July 2005 22:47 (fifteen years ago) link

I like Hold Steady, but I still think Half Dead and Dynamite is the best record Finn ever made.

M@tt He1geson (Matt Helgeson), Wednesday, 6 July 2005 22:48 (fifteen years ago) link

I only kept half of Separation Sunday though. HALF, dammit. And I think I like Lifter Puller more than Hold Steady, though I've just been listening to Soft-Rock and Almost Killed Me with a bunch of other albums on windows media player shuffle recently when I decided that yes, Craig Finn, is a good thing. I haven't heard Fiestas + Fiascos yet, it might SUCK.

miccio (miccio), Wednesday, 6 July 2005 22:50 (fifteen years ago) link

Nasseau Collesium is an epic jam for the ages!

M@tt He1geson (Matt Helgeson), Wednesday, 6 July 2005 22:51 (fifteen years ago) link

Track 15 on disc 1 of Soft-Rock sounds like a GVSB parody, and that's what inspired me to revive this thread.

miccio (miccio), Wednesday, 6 July 2005 22:51 (fifteen years ago) link

i like the soft rock stuff better than fiestas. but fiestas is choice. i too like lifter puller more than hold steady, but i like hold steady fine. i think i might even like the first hold steady more than the new one. i think i'm in the minority there. and most people like fiestas best, so i'm probably in the minority there too. that first disc of the soft rock thing is just one amazing blast after another. i never get sick of it.

scott seward (scott seward), Wednesday, 6 July 2005 22:55 (fifteen years ago) link

what song? it messes me up cuz everyone has the Soft Rock and I have everything seperately....

M@tt He1geson (Matt Helgeson), Wednesday, 6 July 2005 22:56 (fifteen years ago) link

I think I might like Almost Killed Me more than Separation Sunday too.

miccio (miccio), Wednesday, 6 July 2005 22:57 (fifteen years ago) link

The GVSB parody is called (checking allmusic...) "The Gin And The Sour Defeat."

miccio (miccio), Wednesday, 6 July 2005 22:58 (fifteen years ago) link

Get Fiestas, Miccio!

C0L1N B... (C0L1N B...), Wednesday, 6 July 2005 23:14 (fifteen years ago) link

yes, get Fiestas

Matos-Webster Dictionary (M Matos), Wednesday, 6 July 2005 23:22 (fifteen years ago) link

haha I remember my argument w/Josh on here as being far less civilized than it actually was. points to us, I guess.

Matos-Webster Dictionary (M Matos), Wednesday, 6 July 2005 23:29 (fifteen years ago) link

holy shit I just flipped through the thread and I'm listening to that band The Holy Ghost that Chuck refers to right now! I also burnt that from the station along with the Finnstuff and was thinking about the similarity. The HG are a too ballady but the connection is just.

miccio (miccio), Wednesday, 6 July 2005 23:32 (fifteen years ago) link

Also, Lifter Puller was a great great great live band. and get Fiestas.

M@tt He1geson (Matt Helgeson), Wednesday, 6 July 2005 23:32 (fifteen years ago) link

the first of the three reunion shows in summer '03 = the best rock show I have ever attended

Matos-Webster Dictionary (M Matos), Wednesday, 6 July 2005 23:34 (fifteen years ago) link

i don't feel like i've had the time that seperation sunday deserves. it's so dense. i really want to live in it for a while, but something else always comes up.

scott seward (scott seward), Wednesday, 6 July 2005 23:40 (fifteen years ago) link

I liked SS a lot at first but yeah, immersion was key as usual. Though Almost Killed Me didn't require it to the same degree that F+F or SS did, oddly enough. Maybe it's that whole narrative thing. (A Grand Don't Come for Free to thread.)

Matos-Webster Dictionary (M Matos), Wednesday, 6 July 2005 23:41 (fifteen years ago) link

I just couldn't get into the narrative much. The Catholic/druggie thing just didn't grab me.

miccio (miccio), Wednesday, 6 July 2005 23:43 (fifteen years ago) link

plus when I sunk too deep into the story the classic rock lifts just felt really gratuitous and distracting.

miccio (miccio), Wednesday, 6 July 2005 23:43 (fifteen years ago) link

I like SS a lot, but I got tired of it pretty quickly and I can't imagine getting bored with AKM or FF despite having listened to them a lot more.

C0L1N B... (C0L1N B...), Wednesday, 6 July 2005 23:47 (fifteen years ago) link

I dunno if it's the narrative. I feel like the F+F story is consistently engaging and a lot more dense--I'm always noticing new things. I got sick of SS the more I pieced the story together.

C0L1N B... (C0L1N B...), Wednesday, 6 July 2005 23:49 (fifteen years ago) link

that's fair, AM; I felt that way at first but it stopped being an issue for me, I guess. the Catholic stuff goes completely over my head most of the time, though. (obviously the Minneapolis stuff doesn't. I wish I could act like that doesn't affect my view of it/them, but it totally does.)

Matos-Webster Dictionary (M Matos), Wednesday, 6 July 2005 23:50 (fifteen years ago) link

Haha, I find the Minneapolis stuff really exciting and I haven't stepped foot outside of the Mpls airport. City-specific stuff always almost gets me.

C0L1N B... (C0L1N B...), Wednesday, 6 July 2005 23:57 (fifteen years ago) link

hence my Streets-luv! never left the U.S. much less been to London

Matos-Webster Dictionary (M Matos), Thursday, 7 July 2005 00:11 (fifteen years ago) link

the acoustic hold steady set was a-mazing...

phil-two (phil-two), Thursday, 7 July 2005 04:38 (fifteen years ago) link

four months pass...
Fiesta + Fiascos is terrific.

'Twan (miccio), Tuesday, 6 December 2005 21:35 (fifteen years ago) link

The funny thing is it might be making me appreciate Separation Sunday even less - need to throw it on again sometime soon.

'Twan (miccio), Tuesday, 6 December 2005 21:36 (fifteen years ago) link

LFTR PLLR is better than Hold Steady, no question in my mind. But both are great.

M@tt He1geson (Matt Helgeson), Tuesday, 6 December 2005 21:45 (fifteen years ago) link

They're the 2 most under-appreciated bands of all time. but the Hold Steady have stepped up to a whole new universe of wasomeness beyond LFTR PLLR. Why aren't they the most popular band on the planet?

Amity Wong (noodle vague), Tuesday, 6 December 2005 21:56 (fifteen years ago) link

I too have visited the Minneapolis airport!

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Tuesday, 6 December 2005 22:31 (fifteen years ago) link

it's a decent airport. nothin' fancy. my friend manages the chili's on the G gate!

M@tt He1geson (Matt Helgeson), Tuesday, 6 December 2005 22:42 (fifteen years ago) link

does kogan like lifter puller?

tom west (thomp), Tuesday, 6 December 2005 23:06 (fifteen years ago) link

Kogan wrote about Fiestas and voted for it in Pazz & Jop.

I KNEW you'd like that album, 'Twan, and I'm glad you do.

Matos-Webster Dictionary (M Matos), Tuesday, 6 December 2005 23:09 (fifteen years ago) link

Matos,

You don't live here anymore so maybe you've got "perspective", but I just playing the B.S. old skool Mpls fanboy syndrome "oh you should have seen them back when" crap when I think LFTR is better than Hold Steady? cuz I really do.

M@tt He1geson (Matt Helgeson), Tuesday, 6 December 2005 23:11 (fifteen years ago) link

whatever lftr pllr record matos played me during emp was absolutely great, but strangely i havent felt the urge to actually get one of the records. i have given up completely on the hold steady.

dabnis coleman's ghost (dubplatestyle), Tuesday, 6 December 2005 23:17 (fifteen years ago) link

I don't feel comfortable making that assessment yet, but I do prefer LP overall.

the LP record I played Jess was Fiestas + Fiascos, preceded by "To Live and Die in LBI" and "Nassau Coliseum"

Matos-Webster Dictionary (M Matos), Tuesday, 6 December 2005 23:18 (fifteen years ago) link

i think what i liked better about lifter puller was the more straight-up indie rock sound (one of the basslines reminded me of mogwai!) which seemed to suit finn's delivery better. whereas with the classic rock stuff i am back to "why do you hate rhythm?" etc etc.

dabnis coleman's ghost (dubplatestyle), Tuesday, 6 December 2005 23:19 (fifteen years ago) link

I might might might just prefer Half Dead & Dynamite to Fiestas + Fiascos, & "Secret Santa Cruz" is still my favourite Finn track. has anyone here heard "Bitchy Christmas"? is it FESTIVE?

etc, Tuesday, 6 December 2005 23:27 (fifteen years ago) link

i think what i liked better about lifter puller was the more straight-up indie rock sound (one of the basslines reminded me of mogwai!) which seemed to suit finn's delivery better

that's kinda it for me too! plus big influence of archers of loaf, who i love a lot too.

that said, i like finn's jive ass B.S. enough to dig hold steady. and i like thin lizzy.

etc OTM, yeah I like Half Dead the best....

M@tt He1geson (Matt Helgeson), Tuesday, 6 December 2005 23:27 (fifteen years ago) link

I don't hear any rhythm-hate in THS at all!

Matos-Webster Dictionary (M Matos), Tuesday, 6 December 2005 23:31 (fifteen years ago) link

THS's tempos are slower though - more arena, which is obviously the idea - I dig the Hold Steady plenty, but Lifter Puller had that "oh shit I have had a vision" energy

Banana Nutrament (ghostface), Wednesday, 7 December 2005 00:49 (fifteen years ago) link

Last summer on LBI I was at a pub with my wife and kid eating lunch and wearing my Lifter Puller t-shirt. When our waiter saw it, he just about freaked saying he was best friends with Steve's (LP's guitar player) brother. He asked me if I was from Minneapolis and how did I know about Lifter Puller (I am from New Jersey). I told him they were awesome. He said Steve worked at M&M Clam Bar down the street growing up. And he also said that the Hold Steady would rule the world. Then he said Steve made a mistake in not going to NYC with C Finn. The End.

mcd (mcd), Wednesday, 7 December 2005 03:29 (fifteen years ago) link

I wouldn't say "rhythm-hate" but I don't really get why they're referencing classic-rock in tales of skaterpunks. It's not NOW 'arena', but THEN 'arena.' The GVSB post-punk sound definitely gels better with his voice and themes, I love when its all rushing by so fast I miss lines and the a groove kicks in almost outta nowhere.

Plus I am SO not a Catholic.

'Twan (miccio), Wednesday, 7 December 2005 06:05 (fifteen years ago) link

"The Cattle and the Creeping Things" > schaffel

disco violence (disco violence), Wednesday, 7 December 2005 06:37 (fifteen years ago) link

I have never been to Minneapolis nor have I been to Catholicism (or any religion, actually), but I'm pretty obsessive about SS right now. To the point of thinking of getting that LFTR PLLR double that Xgau A minussed last year. I only pay attention to lyrics when they make me, and this one does. I want to work out more about the stories (or is it just one story) that threads in and out. It'll take me a while, especially since I can never hear anything when the bus roars through the tunnel on my way to work. But I like the Bruce thing the band has going as well.

thousands of tiny luminous spheres (plebian), Wednesday, 7 December 2005 08:30 (fifteen years ago) link

lotsa Catholic imagery on the LP records, too, just not as overt. they also referenced indie punk in tales of ravers--your point?

Matos-Webster Dictionary (M Matos), Wednesday, 7 December 2005 08:52 (fifteen years ago) link

"Why is this comedy about war?"

Matos-Webster Dictionary (M Matos), Wednesday, 7 December 2005 08:59 (fifteen years ago) link

I'm not a hobbit but I still liked Lord of the Rings.

mcd (mcd), Wednesday, 7 December 2005 15:15 (fifteen years ago) link

classic rock = acknowledging their own seperateness from the cast of characters, viz. darnielle on 'certain songs': "there is a certain poignancy in trying to work out who is addressing who" (okay not exactly a quote but eh.)

tom west (thomp), Wednesday, 7 December 2005 23:01 (fifteen years ago) link

Just a data point in case anyone was getting the impression that the pleasure in this music was necessarily related to local knowledge of one sort or another.

thousands of tiny luminous spheres (plebian), Thursday, 8 December 2005 08:38 (fifteen years ago) link

I think what I love most about the Hold Steady, that I don't necessarily love about Lifter Puller, is that his storytelling has become, for lack of a better word, more "believable." That is -- the neo-Chandler noir bits of the LFTR PLLR mythology weren't all that believable to me, though they were enjoyable. The Separation Sunday story, though, feels completely "real" and it doesn't feel like Finn's putting on an act or exaggerating for effect. Real life is epic enough.

Then again, I'm a Minneapolitan who moved to New York, so etc. etc...

A|ex P@reene (Pareene), Thursday, 8 December 2005 21:06 (fifteen years ago) link

The Osseo reference in Hoodrat Friend is awesome though! I'm officially offering Finn $25 cash if he can work in Coon Rapids or Norwood Young America into the next one!

M@tt He1geson (Matt Helgeson), Thursday, 8 December 2005 21:27 (fifteen years ago) link

someone should make a Craig Finn Map of the Twin Cities

Matos-Webster Dictionary (M Matos), Thursday, 8 December 2005 21:30 (fifteen years ago) link

I'm a big fan of the sneaky "Stillwater" ref. in Hoodrat Friend, but then again I'm just a sucker for every geographical reference he makes (the railroad bridge! I used to drink beneath it too!)

If I see him around, I'll ask him why he hasn't yet taken advantage of the many possibilities "Eden Prairie" provides.

A|ex P@reene (Pareene), Thursday, 8 December 2005 21:32 (fifteen years ago) link

Penetration Park = Loring Park, right?

A|ex P@reene (Pareene), Thursday, 8 December 2005 21:33 (fifteen years ago) link

because Eden Prairie sucks! (haha, I have no idea whether Eden Prairie sucks)

Matos-Webster Dictionary (M Matos), Thursday, 8 December 2005 21:35 (fifteen years ago) link

I, too, will put down $25 for a mention of H4stings or Triangle Park.

xpost: pretty sure it sucks.

giboyeux (skowly), Thursday, 8 December 2005 21:37 (fifteen years ago) link

haha craig finn map:

(Uptown? always assumed) Rainbow Foods
Nankin (RIP)
Penetration (Loring) Park
the corner of 15th and Franklin
Payne Avenue
Yukon Club

M@tt He1geson (Matt Helgeson), Thursday, 8 December 2005 21:42 (fifteen years ago) link

Some of my favorites:

Railroad Bridge - the one between 26th and 27th streets? teen ne'er-do-wells park their bikes in the trees and drink on the shore or on the bridge.

Edina -- in "Hornets! Hornets!"
we were livin up at nicollet and 66th. with 3 skaters and some hoodrat chick. drove the wrong way down 169. almost died up by edina high.

The City Center ref in Hoodrat Friend always cracks me up.

And, of course, Lake Street is for Lovers.

There ought to be one of those google map hacks with little flags on all the places.

A|ex P@reene (Pareene), Thursday, 8 December 2005 21:58 (fifteen years ago) link

Oh! And (the carpet at) the Thunderbird!

A|ex P@reene (Pareene), Thursday, 8 December 2005 21:59 (fifteen years ago) link

Last summer, I visited Mpls and stayed at the hotel above City Center, and was craving Taco Bell, so I went in and everything was shuttered. All I could think about was that line in "Hoodrat."

Matos-Webster Dictionary (M Matos), Thursday, 8 December 2005 22:01 (fifteen years ago) link

You were so close to Block E! You could've gone to the Hard Rock Cafe!

(shudder)

A|ex P@reene (Pareene), Thursday, 8 December 2005 22:04 (fifteen years ago) link

I was listening to the Hold Steady when that Thunderbird lyric came on and my mom was like, "The Thunderbird!"

giboyeux (skowly), Thursday, 8 December 2005 22:09 (fifteen years ago) link

(...that post almost made sense. Almost.)

giboyeux (skowly), Thursday, 8 December 2005 22:11 (fifteen years ago) link

three years pass...

I think I have all this stuff (the odds and ends collection is all on Soft Rock, it looks like). But still - nice. Also I guess Soft Rock is outta print or something.

http://pitchfork.com/news/37089-pre-hold-steady-band-lifter-puller-remembered-with-reissue-series-book/

dmr, Thursday, 12 November 2009 19:15 (eleven years ago) link

digital reissue = laaaaaame

call all destroyer, Thursday, 12 November 2009 19:16 (eleven years ago) link

tru. I'd buy Half Dead and Dynamite on vinyl. that one's my favorite.

dmr, Thursday, 12 November 2009 19:17 (eleven years ago) link

btw it's kinda lame to me that because tad is in hold steady that the original (and best) lifter puller bassist, tommy roach is sort of written out of the band's history....he was an amazing bassist and quit i think to pursue grad school (i had him as a TA at the u of m once)..but anyway he plays in half dead, which remains their best work, and from what i have been told was very instrumental in writing lifter puller songs when he was in the band and sort of helping to define their sound.

On this date in 2008, Soulja Boy said something (M@tt He1ges0n), Thursday, 12 November 2009 19:22 (eleven years ago) link

eight years pass...

don't call her lazy cause she's crazy about the daytime tv
channel 3, look at me, i'm a real whale watcher

princess of hell (BradNelson), Tuesday, 24 July 2018 15:02 (two years ago) link

I think it's Wheel watcher

https://i.imgur.com/IDw9f9s.jpg

how's life, Tuesday, 24 July 2018 15:21 (two years ago) link

lmao that makes way more sense, i'm submitting the correction to every lyrics website

princess of hell (BradNelson), Tuesday, 24 July 2018 15:22 (two years ago) link

every lyric in "touch my stuff" is gold

princess of hell (BradNelson), Tuesday, 24 July 2018 15:23 (two years ago) link

even though i think fiestas is their masterpiece my fav lifter puller song is "sangre de stephanie," it kinda feels like every thematic touchstone finn explored in both lifter puller and the hold steady ("she crossed herself and it turned me on") appears there

princess of hell (BradNelson), Friday, 27 July 2018 16:28 (two years ago) link

I feel really lucky have seen them dozens of times in small clubs in Minneapolis in those days.

This just surfaced, sound is dodgy but this is def the era, Lifter Puller playing the Dillinger Four Midwestern Songs of the America's release show on a boat

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XFByA1t6KG4&feature=youtu.be

The Desus & Mero Chain (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Friday, 3 August 2018 14:32 (two years ago) link

oh shit!

princess of hell (BradNelson), Friday, 3 August 2018 14:37 (two years ago) link

I want Night Club Dwight dead in his grave
I want the Nice, Nice up in blazes

cajunsunday, Friday, 3 August 2018 14:49 (two years ago) link

I have so much of that album stuck in my head.

cajunsunday, Friday, 3 August 2018 14:49 (two years ago) link

it ain't just a money thing it's a question of community, the liberty the ecstasty the love the drugs the unity and the busts they looked just like the hey kool aid commercial, they're breaking down the walls and they're tipping over tables and it tastes great

princess of hell (BradNelson), Friday, 3 August 2018 14:53 (two years ago) link

for a little bit Paddy (St. Paddy) of Dillinger Four is standing in front of the camera.

the whole Lifter Puller/D4/Atmosphere mutual appreciation society was really cool back then

The Desus & Mero Chain (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Friday, 3 August 2018 15:43 (two years ago) link

one month passes...

another great find! 00 full set from the weisman art museum at the university of mn campus

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJxAyApDYrs&feature=youtu.be

The Desus & Mero Chain (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Monday, 10 September 2018 16:52 (two years ago) link

Ooh, nice finds. The Jenny Jones one lead me to

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xoWgl5XeBws

which in turn led me to this Aussie band's cover of same

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPEzGabTpK4

which reminded me of how I came across Lifter-Puller via J0hn D's piece on "Mission Viejo":

http://lastplanetojakarta.com/articles/lift.html

etc, Wednesday, 12 September 2018 02:26 (two years ago) link


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