BEST BAND TO BREAK UP IN THE PAST 12 MONTHS (2001)
The party that was Lifter Puller rocked on for six years, attracting one of the most devoted and diverse assortments of guests since the Replacements. It seemed as though Lifter Puller was bound for indie stardom, but in the end they decided to pack it up before the cops broke it up--leaving Minneapolis with some of the most memorable shows of the late Nineties. The group started out as four guys from Boston College with a couple of guitars and the vague notion of creating a band, and soon became one of the most distinctive products of the local scene--led by frontman Craig Finn's acetone-gargling voice and shaggy-dog lyrics. A mere two LPs later, the art-punk gurus amicably dissolved to pursue more lofty endeavors like marriage, family, and freedom from having to crash on pool tables. The breakup came unexpectedly, only months after the release of their most acclaimed record, Fiestas & Fiascos (Frenchkiss/Self-Starter). The band's July 29 farewell show at the Weisman, though riddled with technical problems, saw their fans packed into a sweaty, heartbroken heap in front of the stage. Despite the desperate pleas following their set, Lifter Puller, as usual, played no encore.