My birthday is tomorrow so I thought I’d celebrate with some Cake!
However, when I researched the band I realized that the name isn’t a reference to delicious baked goods and instead, the name comes from the kind of gunk that gets caked on your shoes like mud and . . . well, let’s just stick with mud.
The band was formed in 1991 and independently recorded and sold their first album, Motorcade of Generosity, out of the back of their van in 1994 to pay for touring costs. They started to garner some attention in San Francisco and were signed by Capricorn Records who re-released Motorcade in 1995. Their first big single was “Rock ‘n’ Roll Lifestyle” with a painfully 90s music video you can enjoy here:
In 1996, Cake really started to hit their stride and released their second album, Fashion Nugget, which contains what is often referred to as Cake’s signature song, “The Distance.” You probably recognize it from about half a dozen different commercials or your local gym.
Fashion Nugget also contains the band’s cover of Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” which she reportedly hates more than any other cover of her song because apparently she’s never been to karaoke and listened to drunk sorority girls butcher it with their friends.
The band’s last album of the 90s, Prolonging the Magic, was released in 1998 and only featured one magical single, “Never There.” I couldn’t find the actual music video for this song because YouTube is full of people who have created their own music videos for this song like anyone gives a shit and labeled all of them “Cake–Never There Official Music Video.”
But since this is a song about a guy trying to reach his girlfriend but she’s never there, it almost seems fitting that I couldn’t find the actual video and it’s “never there.”
Cake is still producing music and have released a total of six albums so far, the most recent of which came out in 2011 after they formed their own record label, Upbeat Records, which was apparently created because Cake didn’t want to release a compilation album of their greatest hits.
I feel like Cake is one of those bands that when I first heard them, I didn’t really get the appeal because the singer is not exactly singing as much as he is melodically talking over most of the music and they were by no means the only rock band to feature a trumpet.
But no matter how often I claimed ambivalence, I still find myself walking around humming “Short Skirt/Long Jacket” or “The Distance” so congratulations, Cake, you win this round.