Lifter Puller Folklore

Lifter Puller Folklore

Lifter Puller folklore consists of a number of stories about the nightlife in a fictional American seaside town as chronicled by the lyrics of the Minnesota indie rock band Lifter Puller. These lyrics are primarily concerned with the activities and interactions of a few principal characters, primarily Craig (the narrator), Nightclub Dwight, Katrina, Juanita, and The Eye-Patch Guy. The songs typically rife with dubious sexual encounters and the use and sale of drugs. The Nice Nice, a nightclub won by Nightclub Dwight in a game of dice, serves as the setting for many of the songs. At the end of Fiestas and Fiascos, Lifter Puller's final album, Juanita is hired by Eye-Patch Guy to burn down the Nice Nice. The fire is referenced in the song "Star Wars Hips" on the first Lifter Puller LP.



The lead female protagonist and all-around party girl in Lifter Puller mythology. A friend of Nightclub Dwight's, she is not involved in the fire. She is, however, a witness to debauchery at the Nice Nice and other events in the Lifter Puller story.


Also known as "The Queen of the Clubs", "Special K" or just "K", one of the three female protagonists; acquaintance of Jenny. It can be inferred from her nickname that she recreationally uses Ketamine.


Also known as "LL Cool J", the third female protagonist. Uses heroin. It's implied that she has performed sexual favors in order to score. She is hired by Eye-Patch Guy to burn down the Nice Nice.

Eye-Patch Guy

Loan shark, drug dealer, heroin addict, loaned Dwight money. After Dwight fails to repay a loan, Eye-Patch Guy orders Dwight killed and the Nice Nice burned down.

Nightclub Dwight

Proprietor of the Nice Nice, smokes crack cocaine, also sells ecstasy; he has a way with words. He is a small-time diamond smuggler and drug dealer, but thinks he is a big-time player.


The majority of stories are told from his perspective. The Narrator apparently ratted out Juanita to the police for starting the nightclub fires.

Lesser Characters

The Crab Dudes

A gang of street thugs who deal drugs and often steal purses. They hang out on Jefferson Ave, NE Minneapolis and fight off other gangs from their territory. (Mentioned in "Let's Get Incredible" and "Math is $$$")


Sells drugs when he needs extra money. (Mentioned in "Viceburgh")


The Nice Nice

Nightclub Dwight's club.
Located at 15th & Franklin. Dwight may have been given the money for this club by Eye-Patch Guy, either directly through a loan or as a gambling payout. The main activities in the Nice Nice are drinking, drugs, and dancing.

Fifteenth and Franklin

A reoccurring location, a vacant lot where the burned-down Nice Nice was located. Jenny is mentioned to buy drugs at an apartment near this address Nice, Nice).

Man Park

A pseudonym for Loring Park, located on the outskirts of downtown Minneapolis. Allegedly a place to have anonymous gay sex. Also known as Penetration Park.

The City Center

A shopping mall located in the middle of downtown Minneapolis, a common gathering place for thugs, druggies and dealers.

The Nankin

A Chinese restaurant located in City Center, an indoor mall in downtown Minneapolis. It is now a Brazilian restaurant.


Following the lives of Jenny and Katrina from the perspective of a Narrator. The underground club scene is exposed in a seaside town somewhere on the east coast, possibly New Jersey. Jenny may be a friend of The Narrator from her college days. We meet Katrina at a beach party where the Narrator shows interest in her, which Katrina ignores while "looking for the steady type". We are given a glimpse of her lifestyle and are introduced to the Eye-Patch Guy. After some heavy drinking, Mr. Narrator is associated with some serious criminals, mostly dealers and addicts, most interestingly, Nightclub Dwight, whom he is eventually asked to kill.

The plot is similar to Thomas Pynchon's novel "The Crying of Lot 49".


Heavy drug abuse.

Use of the phrase "Dripping wet with..."

Use of the phrase "Liquid orange sun tan"

Use of the phrase "Hey My name's ____ but people call me ____" and its variations. (Which Craig continues to use in The Hold Steady especially on Almost Killed Me)

References to stains on white tights, brought out by black lights in night clubs. This could be a parallel to the use of names versus nicknames as mentioned above.


Sharks versus Jets- the two gangs in West Side Story


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