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Cake: “Short Skirt/Long Jacket”

HT: Ron H.

It takes a very brave band–or one with absolutely no notion of how the Internet works–to use a common noun as its name. It likely is the latter, since Cake has been around since 1991, according to Wikipedia. That is long before all this nonsense started, of course.

There is a lot of Talking Heads here, which is is not a bad thing at all. It’s clear that guitarist Xan McCurdy pays homage to Lou Reed’s “Rock and Roll Animal” album. Specifically, he samples “Sweet Jane” — and trumpet player Vince DiFiore joins in — at about the 30 second mark. 

Here is Cake’s website and a funny video of people sampling “Short Skirt/Long Jacket” on a nice beach somewhere.

“Rock and Roll Animal,” by the way, is one of the greatest guitar albums ever. (Reed is pretty good, too.) I was researching who played lead on “Sweet Jane” and, in an unpleasant coincidence, found out that one of the two guitarists on the album — Dick Wagner — passed away this week. Steve Hunter was the other guitarist. I do not know who played the lead.

Note: My friend MC Antil has posted a very nice and informative appreciation of Wagner.

(Homepage image: Jay Adan)

Here’s What’s Here

The Daily Music Break explores every genre of music, from hip hop to opera. It's simple: Boundaries are dumb. It's all good. Here is more about the site and here is our index:

--A Tribe Called Quest to The Dick Hyman Trio (In other words, A to H)

--Indigo Girls to Queen Ida (I to Q)

--Radiohead to ZZ Top (R to Z)

Reading Music

The stories of the great bands and musicians are fascinating. Musicians as a group are brilliant, but often troubled. The combination of creativity and drama makes for great reading.

Here are some books to check out.

Duke Ellington brought class, sophistication and style to jazz which, until that point, was proudly unpolished and raucous. His story is profound. The author, Terry Teachout, also wrote "Pops," the acclaimed bio of Louis Armstrong. Click here or on the image.

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What else is there to say? Here is the story behind every song written by The Beatles. Click here or on the image.

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The Grateful Dead don't get enough credit for the profound nature of its lyrics. Many of the band's songs are driven by a deep and literate Americana ("I'm Uncle Sam/That's who I am/Been hidin' out/In a rock and roll band" and "Majordomo Billy Bojangles/Sit down and have a drink with me/What's this about Alabama/Keeps comin' back to me?").

David Dodd's exhaustive study tells the story, song by song. Click here or on the image.

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