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"If you go to an all-guys' school, you're not going to write a song about grass growing," says singer Murphy Martin, 16, of Muff. One of their songs employs the band's name and a lewd sexual reference. He says it can be a challenge to be a rocker at North Park's Catholic St. Augustine High School.

"We have a dress code, so we have to find clever ways to express ourselves. One teacher asked why I had a big skull belt buckle.... Some teachers are lost in the 1920s. They are very strict. It's the older ones that are threatened. The younger ones just let you express yourself."

The school staff drew the line when Muff played on campus.

"When they would announce us, they would call us Murph or the Murphys."

For two years the band couldn't play the October orientation for seventh- and eighth-graders.

"Kevin [Maloney, Muff drummer] and I tried every year, but we were always told to try again next year. We wanted to play so bad. It was discouraging to see the other bands that did get to play. Nobody would sing. They were all instrumental. They finally let us play this year. After we played, one parent came up and told us their kid is really shy and he wasn't sure if he was going to go to our school or Uni [University of SD High School, also a Catholic prep school]. After he saw us, he wanted to go to Saints. I heard from teachers that we swayed people's minds."

Muff appears Friday at the Hot Monkey Love Café with Myron and the Conniptions, all ages, $6 admission; and Wednesday at Brick by Brick with Sunsets and Landscapes, $5 admission, 21 and up.

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