Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Remaining Pixies Didn't 'Muff' This One

Now that the dust has settled, it's time to ask some tough questions: What are your thoughts on Kim Deal leaving Pixies? Should the band call it quits? Do you like "Bagboy," the new song? Are you excited about the prospect of a new album? Does the addition of the Muffs' Kim Shattuck sit well with you?

"Bagboy" didn't do much for me, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't welcome more new recordings. Without Deal, however, I'm not sure how it doesn't become a Frank Black album. Of course, by the time 'Trompe Le Monde' came along that was pretty much what we were getting anyway. If you had the pleasure of seeing Pixies during the multiple-year 'Doolittle' reunion tour, then you know just how important Deal's presence is on stage.

Deal can't really be replaced, but the addition of Shattuck is an intriguing one. She already has experience working with the band, and her songwriting could be quite an asset if she became a permanent member of the band. If you're familiar with the Muffs, then you know she has quite a punk-rock sensibility, and I put her scream up against anybody in the genre.

I was aware of Shattuck when she was a member of the Pandoras, but I became a real fan when the self-titled debut album of the Muffs came out in 1993. If you're aware of "the summer of George" episode of 'Seinfeld,' all I can say is that the summer of '93 was kind of like that for me. I had just graduated from college. My girlfriend (the future Mrs. Linear Tracking Lives!) moved to Japan, and I was to meet up with her there in the fall. In the meantime, I moved back home with my parents and worked at the local record store. Most days I got up at dawn and played golf until around 10:00. Then I would coast into the shop and work until dinner... made by my mother, of course. This was one last effort at delaying adulthood, and it was glorious. Anyway, I played the hell out of four new albums while working all day at the shop that summer. They were: Maria McKee's 'You've Got to Sin to Get Saved,' Matthew Sweet's 'Altered Beast,' Buzzcocks' 'Trade Test Transmissions' and, you guessed it, 'The Muffs.'

Cranking the debut album to the frowns of not-so-adventurous customers back in the cow pastures of Illinois is still a big smile 20 years later. So, although I don't think that first one is the band's best (my vote would be for 'Blonder and Blonder'), today I give you three fine moments from 'The Muffs.' Turn it up!

The Muffs - Lucky Guy (mp3)
The Muffs - From Your Girl (mp3)
The Muffs - Not Like Me (mp3)

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