10.16.2007

New(ish) Noise :: Cake: B-Sides & Rarities

Blogging means never having to say you're sorry. Perhaps I'm mixing my metaphors, but my point is that I tell you, dear reader, without any trace of shame that I think Cake is pretty fucking awesome. I think it's unfortunate that the band's sometimes-wistful, sometimes-humorous, always-entertaining twang-pop never really and truly caught on with the American music-listening public — bunch of slack-eared retards that they are — despite two top-five Billboard singles ("Never There" and "The Distance") and two platinum records (not surprisingly 1996's Fashion Nugget and 1998's Prolonging the Magic, which spawned the band's hit singles). The most despicable part is that Cake's existence seems to be relegated, at least among my peer group, to the "Oh, ha ha, remember this band from when we were in middle school?" plane of existence — again, mostly by the slack-eared retards of the yada yada yada. If there have been any constants during Cake's popular — and, yes, I'm using the term loosely — years, one has been John McCrea's deadpan delivery and penchant for snappy wordplay and the other's been cover songs — sometimes sincere (see "Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps"), sometimes ironic (see "I Will Survive"), but, again, always entertaining.

Though it's disheartening that Cake's first proper release since 2004 is a covers and B-sides records, it does play well to the band's strengths — that is to say, tuneful, toneful and terribly terrific laconically voiced off-kilter country-fried-jazz-infused-funk-inflected-quasi-indie rock. You can order the cleverly titled B-Sides and Rarities on Cake's official website, where you can also hear clips of the tunes. Among the choice cuts: A cover of "War Pigs" that comes off surprisingly well; and a version of "Mahna Mahna," one of this indierocketeer's favorite songs of all-time. (Not surprisingly, Cake knocks that one out of the park.) There's also a swell version of Sinatra's "Strangers in the Night."

Cake — "Mahna Mahna"
Cake — "War Pigs"

1 comment:

neaevia said...

i dont mind them being off the radar, at least they're could continue being genuine abouttheir music style. plus, i dont want them to get so famous that i hates them. they're music is for the privileged few :)