Song Of The Day 9/10/2014: Cake - "Rock 'n' Roll Lifestyle"



Let's Go Sacramento!: I first heard this song in Olympia. My friend Matt played it on his KAOS show and I happened to hear it on my drive home. I was just starting out at KAOS and was flying a little blind for awhile, trying to figure out what I could do without bringing dishonor to my family. This song stuck out as something that was on target with the general anti-consumerist mission of Olympia music. And of course with its low-pass filtered guitar, gimpy spoken word and mariachi trumpet, it made quite the impression.

When I next went to the KAOS studios for my shift I looked around for "Rock 'n' Roll Lifestyle" and found it in the Music Director's Picks box. (Matt was Music Director.) It was a 7-inch that came in a brown paper sleeve with crudely Kinko'd imagery. There was contact information on the back, a Sacramento post office. I scanned the sleeve for the personnel involved and shook my head in disbelief: Holy crap, Cake was John McCrea!

John had already gotten some notoriety in Sacramento as a solo artist; he'd been playing for a long time and was friends with a few people I knew. In fact, and I'm dearly hoping he's forgotten absolutely everything about this particular evening, I opened for him once with my friend Jon, who knew John and scored the gig. It was without question the worst show I've ever performed. I didn't perform out in public for at least four years after that. I'm sure John's set was fine. I didn't stick around to see it on account of my immediate need to strategically place my head in a pillowcase.

But I'm really happy to see Cake get all the success they continue to enjoy. They've carved out such a precise, unique sound that nobody can copy any aspect of it without getting exposed. There was a McDonald's commercial that tried to do so with its jingle a few years back. The McSardonic. Didn't fly. Things rarely fly out of a McDonald's.

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