MM Vol 2 - 103 - Cake
"Triple J Hottest 100" Cd's were something to collect in the late 90's to the early Millennium years. Most people would agree they [the yearly Cd's] was a decent set of new music every year as voted by the radio listeners of Triple J. This poll holds a world record every year as the world's largest music poll. Pretty spectacular feat considering it is conducted from Australia and only by Australians. So hence, this is where i first heard of "Cake" .... All thanks to Triple J Hottest 100.
CAKE's founding singer-songwriter John McCrea spent most of the 1980s in Sacramento, playing both solo, and in various bands. In the late 1980s he moved to Los Angeles, because he thought this was the only way to succeed in music. For the most part, he played solo-acoustic music around town in coffee shops. This was the first time people outside of Sacramento heard songs like I Bombed Korea, Haze of Love, Jesus Wrote a Blank Check, Sheep go to Heaven, Pentagram, Ain't No Good, Frank Sinatra, It's Coming Down, Italian Leather Sofa, Guitar, Walk on By, Hem of your Garment, Alpha Beta Parking Lot, and Cool Blue Reason. Los Angeles didn't have any more opportunities than Sacramento did, it was just more expensive and required more driving. In the summer of 1991, John played his first show as CAKE (unofficially) before moving back to Sacramento.
Best-known for their ubiquitous hit "The Distance," Cake epitomized the postmodern, irony-drenched aesthetic of ‘90s geek-rock. Their sound freely mixed and matched pastiches of widely varying genres -- white-boy funk, hip-hop, country, new wave pop, jazz, college rock, and guitar rock -- with a particular delight in the clashes that resulted. Their songs were filled with lyrical non sequiturs, pop-culture references, and smirky satire, all delivered with bone-dry detachment by speak-singing frontman John McCrea. Cake's music most frequently earned comparisons to Soul Coughing and King Missile, but lacked the downtown New York artiness of those two predecessors; instead, Cake cultivated an image of average guys with no illusions or pretensions about their role as entertainers. At the same time, critics lambasted what they saw as a smugly superior attitude behind the band's habitual sarcasm. Perhaps there was something in Cake's doggedly spare, low-key presentation that amplified their ironic detachment even when they didn't intend it, but most reviewers pegged them as one-hit wonders after the success of "The Distance." Nonetheless, Cake managed a few more alternative-radio hits in the years that followed, while retaining largely the same approach.
The one song that had given them so much trouble Never There ended up being recorded almost as it had originally been arranged, many years earlier. Never There became CAKE's biggest hit to date, hitting the #1 spot on Billboard's Alternative Rock charts for three weeks. ~ [Steve Huey, All Music Guide]
For Frank Sinatra see Def 1000 #933
This song has a crowbarred rating of 71 out of 108
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