• Courtesy the artist
  • Ronnie Barnett and Kim Shattuck, aka two-thirds of the Muffs, the year before the release of Happy Birthday, Baby Jesus: The Second Coming

Twenty years ago, between the release of their 1993 self-titled debut and 1995’s Blonder and Blonder, Los Angeles garage rockers the Muffs contributed the original tune “Nothing for Me” to a Sympathy for the Record Industry Christmas compilation called Happy Birthday, Baby Jesus: The Second Coming.

The first Happy Birthday, Baby Jesus collection is worth mentioning too—I especially like the New Bomb Turks’ cover of Darlene Love’s “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)”—but it’s the Muffs, not the Turks, who are coming to town next week. In fact they’re playing on New Year’s Eve at Reggie’s Rock Club with White Mystery, Evil Beaver, and Meat Wave, and my buddy Luca Cimarusti will tell you all about it. This summer the band released their first record in ten years, Whoop Dee Doo (Burger), and they haven’t aged a day. Let’s take a moment to give thanks that guitarist and front woman Kim Shattuck wasted only a few months of 2013 attempting to tolerate Black Francis in the Pixies.

“Nothing for Me” (which also appears on the 2000 Muffs compilation Hamburger) nods to Christmas with its overdubbed sleigh bells and sad-sack lyrics about a tree that’s conspicuously missing presents for one particular person, but other than that it doesn’t sound like a holiday song at all. Which is a mercy. Every time I walk into a CVS and hear “Holly Jolly Christmas,” I want to paint the walls with blood.