The Cake Discography Thread

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The Cake Discography Thread

Post by Mr007 on Mon Jan 17, 2011 12:31 am

[QUOTE=TheBig3;670305]

While I love Jack White and Tom Waits, neither the popular nor the critically acclaimed need defending on these boards. Conversely, bands that may be equal in artistic temperament but are unfairly bogged down with a reputation are generally in short supply of valid credit given to them. In this regard no song has misrepresented a band like Cake’s “The Distance” since Extreme released “More than words”, or The Looking Glass’s “Brandy.”

“The Distance” amongst other things was too clever, and fit with the times. Like lollapalooza’s singular rap-acts, The Distance seems to mildly acknowledge that this is a musical genre, but only with a tongue safely in the cheek. The video was trivializing; grown men running in giant animal suits which in all likely hood was marketed as a nice midpoint between Beck’s Loser and its nonsensical, non-sequiter thematic mash-up, and the Flaming Lips general animal attire. While the markings of the band were there; trumpets, three part harmonies backing a laconic staccato melody line, the random barks of the practice studio, the soul of the band was missing. And while Cake undoubtedly rode Fashion Nuggest’s success to indie stardom, it was clear from the outset they didn’t want that specter haunting them. They opened many shows with "The Distance" so that people who came only for that song could leave.

But I point out, in part what "The Distance" is because it defines what Cake is not. "Distance" was written by then Guitarist Greg Brown who left before the recording of the bands next album Prolonging the Magic (but close enough to get credits on some songs) to join the band Deathray.

A large bulk of the Cake catalogue has been written by front man John McCrea and stands in stark contrast to the sole hit from Fashion Nugget that drove them to become radio mainstays. McCrea’s style has been compared to that of Hank Williams and Willie Nelson for both its skeletal structure and its direct lyrics and accounts for the main character of the band’s sound. A staunch environmentalist, during a Fresh Air interview on NPR, he went as far as saying he felt many late-90’s bands were the aural equivalent of an SUV, and that in comparison, he’s always tried to be a small hybrid.

In this thread I fully intend to explore some of the hidden gems, the better craftsmanship, and the expanse of the Cake catalogue’s 5 disc set. (soon to be 6 it appears) While I’d enjoy an upsurge in new fans, as a pragmatist, I only hope you find a song or two that shows a band that’s much more than a clever hit, and some songs that have some personal interest for you.

Thanks for reading,
Big3[/QUOTE]

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