Soldiering On III

Tom Smith

Previously on Frankly Green Bay, I was at the point in which the Muffs had returned to Green Bay in August of 2016 for their first show in Green Bay since 1997. This would turn out to be the last time the Muffs would play Green Bay and this unplanned swan song for them in Titletown would be a legitimately unforgettable show and the best Muffs show I ever had the privilege of attending.

Why do I consider this the greatest and most outstanding Muffs show I ever saw? I believe there were a number of contributing factors. One: This was my first time seeing them in 19 long years and there is much truth in the proverb “absence makes the heart grow fonder." Two: It had been so long since I had seen them last that they had three albums of material I never got to see live. Their most recent record at that time, “Whoop Dee Doo," which was released in 2014 and the first Muffs album since “Really Really Happy." Not surprising since “Whoop Dee Doo" was a total killer album and one of my favorites by them. The songs they did off that at the Lyric Room in 2016 made a great impact on me. Of course, I popped big time when they did a song from the beginning of their career like “Big Mouth" but I really was pleased that their new material not only fit in the set but made the set the strongest grouping of songs I ever saw them play. Three: The Muffs came out on the stage of the Lyric Room and preceded to play their mother fraking asses off. Getting to see Kim, Ronnie and Roy, with so many years of playing together underneath their collective belts, play such a tight set was a testament to their stunning musical abilities and cohesiveness turbocharged by passion galore was as they say “the cat's pajamas." I was blown away, speechless, jaw on the floor, almost bewildered by just what happened to my rock mind. Four: This may sound weird but that night there was magic in the air when the Muffs played, it was almost tangible — like you could reach out and grab it and stuff some in your front pocket for a rainy day. Whenever I looked around the Lyric Room that night I constantly, time after time, would see the faces of many rockers and friends that I had known for years and years, some 30-plus years, and they all had the same look on their face. That look was pure un-stomped rock 'n' roll happiness. No one during the Muffs set had a worry in the world. Perhaps our only concern was that eventually, the set would end. A ton of folks, had driven up from Milwaukee for this show, including Wisconsin music legend Daniel Kubinski (singer of Die Kruezen and member of many other kickass bands, most recently, The Crosses and Go Go Slow) and seeing the huge smile on his face watching the Muffs was beautiful. Yes, folks there was magic in the air.

The next time I would see the Muffs would be in Vancouver, British Columbia, in May of 2017. Vancouver hometown heroes The Smugglers were playing their first show in Vancouver in 13 years in honor of a book their singer, Grant Lawrence, had just published called “Dirty Windshields: The Best and Worst of the Smugglers Tour Diaries" (Yes, Green Bay is mentioned in this). When the Muffs got added to this bill (which also contained Chixdiggit) I said count me in. This show forced me to get my first passport ever. The Muffs, of course, rocked the Commodore Theater the hardest it had been rocked since Kiss played there in the '70s. Super great show by the Muffs (once again, as always) and I was already thinking about how we have to get the Muffs back to Green Bay. Sadly, bringing them back to Green Bay was never in the cards since that show in Vancouver turned out to be the last Muffs show ever and I can't tell you how much I feel honored to have seen the last show by one of the greatest rock 'n' roll bands ever!

So, finally, let's talk turkey about the Farwell album by the Muffs.

The Muffs

No Holiday

Omnivore Recordings

Timebomb Rating: 13 out of 13

“No Holiday" was produced by Kim Shattuck and she went through a lot of stuff that would have stopped the normal human being but since she is a force of nature, she made sure this album was completed before left us and what a gift she gave us. Many bands don't, won't, or are just not able, for many reasons, to go out on a shining bright moment that “No Holiday" is. Farwell album of the year, of course, and Yes, I have deemed “No Holiday" the album of the year. “No Holiday" was also the Exclusive Co. Green Bay's suggested stocking stuffer of the holiday shopping season. I have road tested this album many times at the Exclusive Co. and if you are a regular customer, I'm sure you have been exposed to it. “No Holiday" is chock full of songs that make me happy, get my toes tapping, even dancing around and make not only my day at work more enjoyable but more memorable. The fall/holiday season of 2019 will always be associated with “No Holiday" for me. Songs that I love are “Lucky Charm," “Down Down Down," “The Kids Have Gone Away," “Late and Sorry," “Earth Below Me," “That's For Me," “On My Own," “Pollyanna," “Sick of This Old World" and “Sky." The word bittersweet has never meant more to me thinking about an album than it has for “No Holiday." It is the first album ever that I purchased on vinyl, compact disc and on iTunes. Please add this album to your music collection. Now that I'm finished writing about “No Holiday," I feel a lot better and pretty sure this three-part story on this album and what the Muffs mean to me was very therapeutic.

Live long and always save a place for Kim Shattuck in your hearts.

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