The Muffs - C or D, S/D?

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They've got a new album out today, so I got curious about the opinions of ILXors. A misunderstood band in my mind -- Everyone always assumed Kim Shattuck was trying to be Johnny Rotten, or Joan Jett, when she was really trying to be 1965-vintage Ray Davies. Always admired her for unapologetically giving "Everywhere I Go" to a soft-drink company and still not becoming famous as a result. A minor Classic to me.

phil d., Tuesday, 10 August 2004 10:38 (sixteen years ago) link

OTM. The Muffs were always more rooted in the pop tradition, but the loud guitars threw people off. I'm anxious to hear the new one.

Johnny Fever (johnny fever), Tuesday, 10 August 2004 12:35 (sixteen years ago) link

S: Everything
D: Nothing

Borderline classic.

Johnny Fever (johnny fever), Tuesday, 10 August 2004 12:36 (sixteen years ago) link

S: the self-titled first album. a great updated girl-group album, full up with hooks and fuzz. songs galore.

D: everything else. they've struggled ever since.

fact checking cuz (fcc), Tuesday, 10 August 2004 13:20 (sixteen years ago) link

I liked Blonde & Blonder. I wonder if I still have it?

Huck, Tuesday, 10 August 2004 13:43 (sixteen years ago) link

How did The Muffs manage to appear on so many comps and soundtracks while avoiding any real notoriety?

Talent Explosion (Talent Explosion), Tuesday, 10 August 2004 14:51 (sixteen years ago) link

I just listened to the new album a bit (we've got it here at the station) and it feels a bit draggy and unremarkable. I like some of their older stuff.

CeCe Peniston (Anthony Miccio), Tuesday, 10 August 2004 15:06 (sixteen years ago) link

two years pass...
yah the muffs! happy birthday to me!

Surmounter, Friday, 20 April 2007 19:30 (fourteen years ago) link

five years pass...

The Muffs 'Hamburger' is an amazing compilation. Great loud when your getting up and going in the shower.

OutdoorFish, Tuesday, 19 March 2013 19:03 (eight years ago) link

One of their songs was in an episode of what's new scooby doo. Only thing I know aboutv them.

how's life, Tuesday, 19 March 2013 19:17 (eight years ago) link

The Roller Ghoster!

how's life, Tuesday, 19 March 2013 19:26 (eight years ago) link

Check out that album.

OutdoorFish, Tuesday, 19 March 2013 19:29 (eight years ago) link

one year passes...

Saw them at Record Surplus on Saturday night. They were great! New album is worth checking out.

Elvis Telecom, Tuesday, 19 August 2014 10:07 (six years ago) link

Ronnie: "Kim will now answer all your Pixies questions and sign copies of Doolittle"
Kim: "Oh my god I saw Charles practicing yoga in his underwear! Ugh!"

Elvis Telecom, Tuesday, 19 August 2014 10:16 (six years ago) link

one year passes...

Blonder And Blonder reissue on the way + more shows

Elvis Telecom, Thursday, 28 April 2016 18:47 (five years ago) link

When I like 'em, I really, really like 'em, but on the reissues, more bonus than prev. released grab me---fortunately, there are lots and lots of bonus tracks----from Rolling Reissues '16 and '15:

The Muffs xpost Bigger and Blonder: Shattuck's rough, dry, take-it-or-leave it vocal comes off flat here, more often monotonous than signifying tuff cookie pre-emption, though yeah yeah,she don't want you to think she's vulnerable and girly and trusting, just because she's venting; we get it already. Also, bringing it down to a trio---this trio, that is--- keeps the backing from adding a little variety. Nevertheless, "Red-Eyed Troll," "Ethyl My Love" (a good demo added to the reissued debut reissue) and a few other finished tracks really work. But as with the reissued debut, the breathing room demos (9 here, incl just a couple versions of the original album's cuts) really make the whole thing worth having, or hearing, anyway. Things get just a bit more flexible---and some of the initial release's tracks should be rescued by somebody with a few more musical shrewds.
I'd start with the debut; here's what I said about it last year:
The Muffs’ s/t debut reissue w bonus tracks: "pop-punk," some call them, and I've seen comparisons to Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, but Kim Shattuck sometimes relies more on on vocal scrunchies than hooks---still, good some good chord changes and textures, with a few guest sounds, like theramin and organ: part of the variety of arrangements *eventually* shaking up the 16 tracks of the original album.
But the 10 bonus tracks, mostly four-track demos, provide a lot more breathing room for vocals and guitar, like maybe the studio sessions were more labored, sometimes (not so many direct comparisons; several of these songs didn't show up on the finished product). It might help that most of the demos have only a tambourine behind the slightly echoing, gnarly jangle (but one of the best, "Ethyl My Love," has what sound's like a full trap set). I'd say that, if you like the original album or the band as you knew them, or, even if you haven't heard them, but are into what turns out to be indeed pop-punk, with even a bit of power-pop---but more get-lost gusto than moony romance---then the demos make this worth checking out, for sure.

― dow, Tuesday, April 26, 2016 4:05 PM (2 days ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

dow, Thursday, 28 April 2016 21:24 (five years ago) link

nine months pass...

Happy Birthday To Me next up for the reissue treatment:

Elvis Telecom, Friday, 3 February 2017 09:04 (four years ago) link

two years pass...

Ah man. Very sadly, Kim Shattuck has passed on, per this post from her husband being shared on FB/elsewhere:

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 2 October 2019 22:47 (one year ago) link



Οὖτις, Wednesday, 2 October 2019 22:56 (one year ago) link

Motherfucker! Well, at least she got this done:

August 7, 2019


New album contains 18 brand new tracks on CD, Digital,
and a 2-LP set (with laser-etched fourth side).

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — It’s only fitting that the brand new Muffs album makes its way out into the world via Omnivore Recordings, since that label reissued the Muffs’ three acclaimed first titles (The Muffs, Blonder and Blonder, and Happy Birthday to Me).

No Holiday, due out October 18, 2019, contains 18 tracks on CD, Digital, and a 2-LP set (with laser-etched fourth side).

The Muffs’ first new release in five years, No Holiday is a celebration of everything the band has always stood for, and continues to stand for. Bassist Ronnie Barnett says, “I think this new album represents the depth of our band like none of our others. It could have easily been aptly called The Many Moods of the Muffs. All of our strengths: melody, big rock, sweetness, nastiness . . . All on display and readily apparent. The three of us, after all these years, are a family. The love between us is well represented here. We laid it all out there on this one.”

Kim Shattuck (songwriter, guitarist, and vocalist) adds, “I wrote the songs between 1991 and 2017. We decided to have a long album and use songs that had been in my arsenal but were weeded out for super concise albums. They were all great songs and we didn’t want them to go to waste. No way!”

Drummer Roy McDonald: “I think No Holiday is the most unique album we’ve ever made — 18 songs that run the spectrum from full-blown productions to intimate home recordings. This was a labor of love for us and I think that comes out in the record. We wanted to create something lasting and special. I, for one, couldn’t be happier with the results.”

Welcome back Muffs!

Track Listing:

1. That’s For Me
2. Down Down Down
3. No Holiday
4. Earth Below Me
5. A Lovely Day Boo Hoo
6. Late And Sorry
7. The Best
8. Pollyanna
9. Sick Of This Old World
10. To That Funny Place
11. You Talk And You Talk
12. Happier Just Being With You
13. Lucky Charm
14. On My Own
15. Too Awake
16. Insane
17. The Kids Have Gone Away
18. Sky

# # #

dow, Wednesday, 2 October 2019 23:17 (one year ago) link

totally fucking upset. rip Kim - you were my favorite rock star.

Elvis Telecom, Thursday, 3 October 2019 00:47 (one year ago) link

Totally amazing singer, performer and musician... one of their early b-sides that I played a LOT, probably 30x on my shows (that voice!):

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Thursday, 3 October 2019 01:03 (one year ago) link

this really sucks. The Muffs were great. I always thought she got short-shifted in the Pixies (as much as I like Paz). A beautiful and talented woman.

akm, Thursday, 3 October 2019 01:16 (one year ago) link

it was def strange that charles fired her for stage diving and crowdsurfing? was she too fun for the pixies?


billstevejim, Thursday, 3 October 2019 03:26 (one year ago) link

That's why??

Johnny Fever, Thursday, 3 October 2019 03:29 (one year ago) link

i could be remembering wrong

billstevejim, Thursday, 3 October 2019 03:29 (one year ago) link

Also, fuck! She would've been 50 when doing that. I'm 45 and mowing my lawn makes me achy.

Johnny Fever, Thursday, 3 October 2019 03:30 (one year ago) link

ALS is horribly swift, like 18 months from diagnosis to death in most cases.

an incoherent crustacean (MatthewK), Thursday, 3 October 2019 05:37 (one year ago) link

xxpost yes, that's definitely why. or at least that was her story, and Charles didn't dispute it when he had the chance.

yes, she's too fun for the Pixies. that was obvious way before she was in the band!

alpine static, Thursday, 3 October 2019 06:39 (one year ago) link

and yes, this sucks. she's one of my all-time favorites.

alpine static, Thursday, 3 October 2019 06:39 (one year ago) link

This one's hit me pretty hard this morning. I didn't even know she was ill and I was just listening to the Muffs a couple of days ago

Colonel Poo, Thursday, 3 October 2019 07:51 (one year ago) link

I’m so sad about this. I can’t even tell you how much I listened to their first album when I was in HS. I LOVED her.

Benson and the Jets (ENBB), Thursday, 3 October 2019 10:13 (one year ago) link

I only know her and the Muffs because What's New Scooby Doo used one of their songs to soundtrack a chase sequence in the episode Rollerghoster.

(not my video)

I've always kinda meant to check them out from that, just because of her unique voice.

Also, here is Kim joined by Nina and Louise from Veruca Salt, which is a blend I think I could listen to forever.

Brave beautiful badass Kim Shattuck letting us sing harmonies with her on Funny Face In 2017 @KarenKilgariff , you’ll like this too xoN #RIPKimShattuck #KimShattuck ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

— Veruca Salt (@verucasalt) October 3, 2019

☮ (peace, man), Thursday, 3 October 2019 10:25 (one year ago) link

Aw, that last one is sweet, thanks for sharing it. I got to chat with Kim a couple years ago at an in-store performance, she was so nice. Now I wonder if she was already aware of the diagnosis at the time. Really sad today, RIP.

A breezy pop-rock feel fairly typical of the mid-'80s (Dan Peterson), Thursday, 3 October 2019 15:06 (one year ago) link

love my two Muffs cassettes from my youth.

blue light or electric light (the table is the table), Thursday, 3 October 2019 15:14 (one year ago) link

she's so great in the movie "Hyped", highly recommended

I shouldn't have sold the 1st LP but I did

sleeve, Thursday, 3 October 2019 15:18 (one year ago) link

This quote from the press bit above for the new album definitely reads much more clearly now:

Kim Shattuck (songwriter, guitarist, and vocalist) adds, “I wrote the songs between 1991 and 2017. We decided to have a long album and use songs that had been in my arsenal but were weeded out for super concise albums. They were all great songs and we didn’t want them to go to waste. No way!”

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 3 October 2019 16:29 (one year ago) link

I shouldn't have sold the 1st LP but I did

Get the reissue - more tracks!

Elvis Telecom, Sunday, 6 October 2019 20:55 (one year ago) link

Yeah, like I said upthread, reissues def have good bonus tracks, Muffs unbound!

dow, Sunday, 6 October 2019 21:11 (one year ago) link

Roy McDonald on the new album.

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 9 October 2019 20:58 (one year ago) link

Wrote this:

timellison, Saturday, 12 October 2019 02:10 (one year ago) link

!!! at "Earth Below Me." It's her "Lazarus"

Elvis Telecom, Friday, 18 October 2019 05:53 (one year ago) link

Lyndsey Parker's story on the creation of the album. A heavy read, but Kim saw it through.

Ned Raggett, Friday, 18 October 2019 23:30 (one year ago) link

just came here to post that. really, really tough read ... made me cry.

i was a little stunned at the detail that Kim couldn't move or speak for the last 18 months of her life.

She ruled so hard.

alpine static, Sunday, 20 October 2019 21:52 (one year ago) link

one year passes...

In loving memory: Kim Shattuck of
(July 17, 1963 – October 2, 2019). Photo at left from Amoeba Music, May 24, 2016, the final time I saw them perform; and May 30, 2011 at the Rhino Pop-Up Store, West L.A.


dow, Sunday, 18 July 2021 20:16 (two weeks ago) link

sorry, that was tweeted by
Cary Baker/conqueroo

dow, Sunday, 18 July 2021 20:17 (two weeks ago) link

Aw man, I just rewatched that unplugged "Funny Face" performance upthread, and now I'm teary all over again. Miss her.

Three Rings for the Elven Bishop (Dan Peterson), Monday, 19 July 2021 13:56 (two weeks ago) link

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