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24 Oct 04

mmm, cake

boy, i’m running behind on my posting.

last tuesday, i cashed in on a birthday present courtesy of anne, and got to see cake for the 2nd time at massey hall (this time in the front row!) before i get started, it’s interesting to me that oftentimes when i mention that i like cake or that i’m going to see them, people often react with a “really??” i guess i’m not entirely sure where cake fits into the musical landscape – they’re certainly not indie, and their fanbase of mostly 30+ers was well suited to the sit-down venue – but they’re so good! i blame steve for getting me hooked on them, and i have no idea how many hours we listened to them in our old office.

it took some searching to figure out who the openers were to be – it wasn’t listed on the tickets, cake’s website or massey hall’s site – and now i know why. i eventually figured out that an all-female rap group called northern state were touring with cake, and i thought that was an odd mix at the time. because i knew nothing about them, i dug up their 0.8/10 review on pitchfork, which, incidentally, was deserved. they’re three girls who reminded me of an all-vanilla version of vanilla, jade and ivory, who performed the “graduation rap” in ghost world, with long island accents and zero talent. their band looked, for the most part, either terrified (i.e. the drummer who was so stiff he may as well have been an automaton with a large fro) or miserable to be there (i.e. the rest of the band, minus the bassist). their songs really did hit home though, with topics ranging from body image to virginity (ha!) to vegetarianism and other fascinating topics that really should be covered by more hiphop artists. oh, and one of them was wearing a beta band t-shirt (i’m positive she’s never heard the beta band in her life), and another was wearing a…northern state t-shirt. awesome. it really was telling that cake made no mention of them during their set (even the worst bands usually get a token “thanks” from the headliners), so after the show i confirmed that yes, northern state are also signed to sony, just like cake. i wonder whose idea THAT pairing was…

anyway, cake made it all okay. they put on a fantastic live show (even though they had no set list) and covered most of my favourites – comfort eagle, frank sinatra, sheep go to heaven, stickshifts and safety belts, love you madly, carbon monoxide, no phone, wheels, never there, etc. etc….and they finished off their encore with i will survive. another highlight was, without question, the audience participation in nugget – repeated choruses of “shut the fuck up” were a nice touch. john mccrea also glared at me and mocked my crossed armed pose during one song when i wasn’t participating enough for his liking – clearly the front row is the place to be. they played for an hour and a half and we went home happy at around 11. it certainly wasn’t my typical indie show, but it’s nice to mix things up sometimes.

oh, and for the record, i regret not yelling out “it’s my birthday – gimme some cake!”, as anne suggested, either during northern state or before cake hit the stage. alas.

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Pronunciation: 'ch&mp
Function: noun
Etymology: perhaps blend of chunk and lump
Date: 1883

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