Album of the Week #31:
If you were ever under the impression I know what I’m talking about just because I write a music blog, you couldn’t have been more mistaken. I am always playing catch-up. Bands like Radiohead, Led Zeppelin, Cake, The Tragically Hip, The Decemberists, Matthew Good, Metallica, etc…the list could go on. I’ve heard songs from them, I hear amazing things about them, I obviously know they are all legendary in their own way, but I just haven’t properly given them a chance to win me over. I haven’t been completely (for lack of a better word) ‘into’ them.
But with music, you can’t force it. You can’t decide, like, OK I’m gonna listen to nothing but Led Zeppelin next week and by the end they are going to be my favorite band ever. It just doesn’t work like that. You need to stumble upon them in your own way, learn to appreciate them at your own speed, when the time is right. I can’t explain it really. (or, maybe i just did. depends on if you got my point or not i guess)
SO, recently I was able to stumble upon one of these bands my own way and appreciate them properly. This band is Cake. Inventing one of the most original and unique styles to come out of the 90’s, these guys take a refreshing perspective on alternative/independent rock (well, only refreshing if you aren’t a culturally up-to-date person and never need to play catchup like myself). They have been said to mix a vast number of genres to create this sound, and I agree completely. But for me personally, the jazz influence stands out above all others. The whole attitude of their music is very free-flowing, almost to the point where the tune is trailing the time signature ever so slightly on a rope. It’s up to speed, but just has the illusion of taking a little bit longer to get there somehow. This I know I can’t explain.
…well, I could try.
Listen to the original version of I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor, and now listen to Cake’s cover of it. It’s just, behind, somehow. And it works. So well. This is their whole sound. It’s free. It plays when it wants, regardless of time signature..and yet with full awareness of it. It’s like, jazz.
I don’t know. I think I failed at describing it again. Just take a listen, it’s cool.
Eyeball.fm link: Cake
Album Singles: The Distance, I Will Survive
Dav Suggests: Nugget, I Will Survive, Open Book
Other Songs (on other albums): No Phone (Pressure Cheif), Never There (Prolonging the Magic), Long Skirt/Long Jacket (Comfort Eagle)
Since 1991, Cake has released 5 studio albums, each with at least one fairly (or very) successful single. There is a messy history of who joined the band when and why the other guy was replaced, so I don’t feel like getting into detail. But it happened.
Their newest album is currently being made using ONLY solar energy.
Is that a first? I don’t know…Probably.
Is it awesome? I don’t know…Yes.
alex is having a creeped out day.