July 4th has come and gone – back from vacation right smack dab into the club, with the young season’s 4th offering. Today’s record is a 1996 release from a California band that features “The Distance” a song that became a big hit for them.
Cake – Fashion Nugget
Listen to it here: http://grooveshark.com/#!/playlist/Cake+Fashion+Nugget/74651014
Read about the band here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cake_%28band%29
One year ago: Dr Octagon was cutting us up with Dr Octagonyecologist.
Fun Facts: The second single from Fashion Nugget, a cover of the Freddie Perren and Dino Fekaris song “I Will Survive”, hit number 38 on the US Modern Rock Tracks chart. Although the band described it as a serious take on the original, one they’d been playing live for years, original performer Gloria Gaynor considers it her least favorite version of the song due to its use of profanity
Original Date Assigned: 7/5/12
Preconceptions: I believe Cake is one of those sucky altbands I missed in the 90s, when I was avoiding commercial radio. Fortunately, 104.1 is still playing the same songs as they did from ‘93-‘98 in case I need to hear them.
After Listening: At least Sublime is still terrible.
Ace: Stickshifts and Safetybelts explains why I miss that rusty 1970 Impala, even though my Impreza always starts and gets 20 more mpg. The Distance, I Will Survive, Italian Leather Sofa, Sad Songs and Waltzes.
Wrecks: Friend is a Four Letter Word reeks of whiny butthurt. It’s the only clunker and it cost the album 0.2 points.
Best Lines: “Bowel-shaking earthquakes of doubt and remorse” “She’s mad and she’ll take her mattress with her.”
Overall: The genre-hopping Fashion Nugget has a rap song about the slowest stock car ever, not one but two very good country songs, the best slowfunk cover of a disco song ever, a sixtiesish tango, and they’re not even half done with the album. Let’s put aside the obvious fact that “Cake Nugget” would be the best item on any diner menu. Fashion Nugget has clever songs of heartache, cars, the man messing with the little guy, and unchecked shallow greed. It’s the most American album we’ve listened to yet, and perfect to hear the day after Independence Day.
Prelisten Guess: 4.0
Season 3 to date: +2.9
Cake – Fashion Nugget
I guess it can be considered a curiosity pick of mine as I haven’t listened to the album all the way through, but I know several of the songs. I decided to pick it because my friend Nick is a huge fan of the band, and I am a huge fan of the dessert.
Tomorrow is my last day of work in Connecticut. I’m friggin fantastic!
I know a lot more of the songs on here than I thought I would. Back in the years of Limewire and Kazaa, my buddies would download a bunch of stuff and throw it unto CDs for me to pop into my car. Typically I didn’t pay attention to who it was that was playing in my ear holes so occasionally during record club I have thought “Oh. So that’s who sings that”.
Their use of trumpet in their songs makes me think of some over stylized spaghetti Western directed by Tarantino, Verbinski, or Rodriguez.
I bet everyone figured I would put “I Will Survive” in my favorites because of my ridiculous love for covers, but I decided to pick only one of the covers on the album.
Frank Sinatra – What a wonderful song to start an album with!
The Distance – I love the bridge between the verse and chorus and the “ahhs” over that wee-woo-wee-woo-wee-woo-wee-woo part is awesome. (You know what’s sad? I have musical training.)
Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps – <3<3<3
Nugget – Well I absolutely love the chorus.
Sad Songs and Waltzes – Such a fantastic end to an album. It is as if they are as bittersweet about the tracks ending as I am.
Least favorite track/tracks:
Open Book – It was a clusterf**k of a song. Typically I don’t mind the occasional discord in harmonies, but the on that was in this song really bothered my brain.
Overall (1-5 stars): 4.75
Cake – Fashion Nugget- Mmmm, Cake. But not really. Im surprised this band isnt more highly regarded and more widely popular. Anywho 3.3
Pre-conceived Notions: Do I remember hearing “The Distance” about 300 times in a 3 month span on 104.1 when I was younger? Check. Do I remember listening to “Short Skirt /Long Jacket” on every episode of Chuck I watched? Check. Cake sounds something like the love child that Beck, Fastball, and Kill Bill would have produced. I’ll like more than dislike and mourn, yet again, the fact that I didn’t appreciate the 90s when they were here. Although at the time, I think I often confused their name with the other food based band Cracker, who had significantly fewer hits.
“Daria” makes me really wish I was watching Quinn and Trent and Jane, because, seriously will that name ever make anyone of our generation think of anything different? Excuse Me… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xf01tSJ41VQ In fact, I’ve just taken a 10 minute break to watch Mr. DeMartino’s finest moments
“Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps” oh man, now I wish I was watching the much-better-done original British version of “Coupling” that Steven Moffat wrote. Another version of this song was the theme. Like most of the rest of the album, I really love the instrumental and arrangement, and the vocals just don’t do anything for me.
“She’ll come back to me” I always like the sound of a steel guitar and the accompaniment of the trumpets is a bonus.
“Sad Songs and Waltzes” am I lying to my ears or does the horn solo sound to be a bit of an ode to “Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps”
After Listening: I just can’t seem to get behind the vocal of John McCrea, at least not in the large of a dose. The monotony of the tone just began to wear on my after a bit. That’s not to say that this isn’t enjoyable though. The lyrics are, on the original songs, cheeky but there’s definitely the sense that although these guys don’t take themselves seriously they take the music seriously. I love the addition of a trumpet on just about anything and here it adds to the atmosphere of every song it’s featured in, sometimes giving the Mariachi feel to a send up of country songs (Sad Songs and Waltzes) and sometimes giving a jazzier attitude. It’s easy to understand why “The Distance” was the big single off of this album as it sounds uniquely its own in every way. The driving guitar, the heralding trumpet, the lyrics about an underdog, even today when I hear that song, it sounds out of time, despite reminding me strongly of the 90s. Also, I felt like “Race Car Ya Yas” sounded like the first draft of “The Distance”
Overall: 3.8 I have to take away a little because there are two covers and in both cases I like the originals better, though these aren’t bad.
Favorites: The Distance/ It’s Coming Down/ Sad Songs & Waltzes
Least Favorite: Nugget