Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Lifter Puller "Soft Rock"

I used to hang out with some pretty fucked up people. I guess sometimes I still do. But, they used to be far more fucked up people. Lots of drugs, really bad drugs, and deviant (sometimes just plain wrong) sexcapades. I was once in a band with this guy who told me about the time he tried to have sex with his dog (apparently, it didn't work out; the dog got mad and bit him. Ah, the toils of young love). He was really into GG Allin, and it was kind of disturbing, but back then I didn't really think much of it.

He lived in the basement of his alcoholic sister's house (who claimed to have slept with every one of the Dead Boys except Cheetah, cause "he was the ugly one"), where on one occasion, during a particularly heavy bout of drinking, he took me to this freezer in the basement and told me he wanted to "show me" something. After chipping away at the ice for ten minutes, a plastic garbage bag began to emerge. He ripped it open and I was horrified to see a dead dog grinning at me. "Is that the dog you uhhh... you know." I inquired. "No, this was another dog that died and my sister wanted to give it a 'proper burial', but couldn't afford it. So, she put it in the freezer until she had the money. That was 2 years ago." Uh huh... There really wasn't much to do on Long Island except be fucked up. He left town eventually, and the last time I saw him, he booked a show for my (then) band, and he had just gotten married. He asked if I wanted to see his new gun.

"Soft Rock" is a compilation of pretty much everything Lifter Puller released (with the exception of the "Fiestas & Fiascoes" LP). Over the course of the 40 tracks presented here, Craig Finn (now in the Hold Steady) tells a possibly fictional tale of the criss-crossing lives of numerous fucked up individuals. Whereas the Hold Steady goes for a raucous, anthemic bar-rock assault, this is a far more low-key outing, relying less on catchy choruses and recycled Springsteen riffs than atmospheric synths and solid post-punk indie rock (all recorded back in the 90's, before the whole modern post-punk indie rock revival). The lyrics are pure gold; I've always secretly really wanted to put "Nassau Coliseum" on a mix-tape for someone (IE. a couple of ex-girlfriends), but I just never had the guts.

This is not in chronological order; the best stuff on here is the first set of B-sides/rarities (tracks 1-6) and their second album, "Half Dead & Dynamite" (tracks 7-17). Their first album (self titled, tracks 28-40) is a far less inspired indie rock jaunt, obviously building up to something, but not quite there yet. "The Entertainment and Arts" EP (tracks 22-27) is also great, and contains a much cooler version of "Star Wars Hips" off the first LP.

I had to split this into 3 parts because Mediafire doesn't let you upload anything bigger than 100MB. Download them all and 7zip or whatever should reconstitute it all as one, like adding water to a batch of sea monkeys, and ending up with one big vat of dead sea monkeys.

Download Part 1

Download Part 2

Download Part 3

No comments: