Friday 21 January 2011 at 8:00pm
1555 Madison Ave, Memphis, 38104, United States
Tel: (901) 312-6058
Out of Northern California’s flat, dry central valley, CAKE formed in the early nineties as a somewhat antagonistic answer to grunge, which members saw as just another form of big, dumb American rock. The band intentionally made their sound as small as possible, thumbing their collective musical noses at the very idea that in the USA something so incredibly wide-load and excessive could be perceived "alternative." CAKE wondered, how could music that is the aural equivalent of Amazonian rainforest deforestation be in any way subversive? Weren't these really just the sounds of the strong overcoming the weak, Exxon overwhelming indigenous Columbians, or huge banks bribing our elected officials to rig our political system beyond all functionality? And weren't many of these supposedly groundbreaking bands just Rush or Ted Nugent in different clothing? And how could so much purported low self-esteem be broadcast so loudly, so proudly, from up on a stage no less, and with such strident rock pomp and ritual? Something just didn’t make sense. So CAKE wanted to be dinky. Dubbed "one hit wonder" in response to every single album they have ever released, within this larger cultural context, their small sound was mostly just mistaken for weakness and their embracing of non-rock sonic elements was mostly mistaken for humor. Get it? It’s not powerful, surging, straining Anglo-rock, so it must be a joke. Luckily there were a few people who understood CAKE, and for the St. Louis Dispatch CAKE’s music was "an utterly fresh sound, especially given today's preponderance of overblown "alternative" bands." And the San Francisco Bay Guardian even noticed that “CAKE doesn’t ask you to suck it’s angst.” Somehow a copy of CAKE's first demo made it all the way to France, where it was understood and well-received – “The drug dealers do not thank CAKE,” astutely observed French music magazine, Les Inrockuptibles, So true.