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These Electric Lives Coming Out Of The Great White North

Cake #1


Housekeeping And Such Cover Photo : Ingrid Johansson From the series Band Foto on Aux.tv

Editorial

Financier : Derek Rogers Layout: Brad Collins

As I interviewed These Electric Lives the Title Design : Brad Collins other day, I realized how truly excited I was about this magazine. It has always been a Copy Editor: Alex Palombo dream of mine to do an indie music zine. Assistant Editor : Joanna Cook Ever since my Mom told me I couldn’t be on my high school’s paper, I’ve wanted Editor In Chief: Ryan Bryant to do my own zine. Finally, this semester I’ve gotten my damn chance. Cake. Oh Special Thanks : Russell Martin, Brian Keefe, yes, Cake. A lot of you are going to wonGary Peter and the rest of the TEL boys, and der what’s with the name. I told my friend anyone else who helped make this issue Emma to say the first thing that came into possible her head, and out popped out the title. Beautiful. Random. It’s been quite the jour- The opinions expressed within express ney to pull this first issue together. Luckily those of the individual writers or interview I have some pretty kick-ass friends who subjects and not necessarily those of the I’ve been dragging into hell with me for the publishers of the magazine as a whole. past two weeks. I’d like to say, Reader: you are amazing. No, you’re bloody brilliant. Thank you for picking up our little publication. It may not look like much right now, but there is so much in store. Our future issues will have many more interviews, articles, reviews, juice and sweet goodness. This first issue is just a taste of what magic we have to offer with Cake. If you like what you read, or want to know more about us, shoot us an email at cakezine@ gmail.com or join our email list on IC Link. We’d love to hear from you. We will be posting up flyers and sending an email to our IC Link members to tell you when our next issue will be coming out and when our official club meetings will begin. Thank you again. I love you all! -Ryan Bryant Cake Editor In Chief

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Must Download 1. 2. 3. 4. 5

“My Maudlin Career” – Camera Obscura

“I’ve Got Friends” – Manchester Orchestra

Music Video of the Week “Tommorow” – Ladytron

“Mind Wall (feat. Miho Haroti)” – Towa Tei “Summer’s Song” – Chase Coy

. “Come Back to Me” – Utada

Courtesy of Nettwerk

Artist to Watch Saying an artist produces quality pop music sounds like saying that a trash man makes good trash. But in the age of Britney Spears and Cake “favorite” Lady GaGa, British artist La Roux manages to do just that. She put out her first EP this past December, with the attention-getting “Quicksand” as the first single. The redhaired one, as her name implies, is most influenced by 1980s synth-pop, like Prince, Depeche Mode and the Eurythmics. And the influence shows; “Quicksand” sounds like a colorful spiral down into a lover’s arms, with an electronic instruments, a strong soprano wail and backbeat that is not only dance-friendly, but should be dancerequired. Her new single, “In For The Kill” boasts the same electo-pop appeal with an eye-catching video. In her 80’s car, she speeds away from the cops and hopes not to get caught. With her nostalgic-yetfresh look and sound, she makes you want to hop in your Delorean, dye your hair red, and turn the stereo up all the way to 11.

- Alex Palombo

WHERE TO BE Thursday Feb. 26th : Jimkaka @ Castaways 10:00 $7 Friday Feb. 27th : J-San & the Analouge Sons with Mu-Tron Warriors @ Castaways 9:30 $8 Sunday March 1st: Fred Eaglesmith @ Castaways – Doors open at 8pm. $18 Advance Tickets, $20 Day of Show Friday March 6th: Joan Baez @ The State Theater – 8pm Reserved Seating. Prices listed online. Tuesday March 10th: AC Newman @ Castaways – Doors open at 8pm. $13 Advance Tickets George Thorogood and the Destroyers with Tom Hambridge @ The State Theater 7:30pm Reserved Seating. Prices listed online.


These Electric Lives

By Ryan Bryant Photographs by Ingrid Johansson From the series Band Foto on Aux.tv Hailing from Toronto, These Electric Lives are an energetic fourpiece rock outfit ready to take the world by storm. With an EP, a remix album and a brand new single, Mark, Gary, Bryan and Adam are looking to start moving their music beyond the chilly Canadian borders. Cake: How would you describe your sound to someone that hasn’t listened to you before?

Gary: We’ve been asked that question a lot. Our most basic answer is melodic dance rock. It’s usually not an easy question to answer. I guess another way to answer it is what we’ve been told by other people. Our most recent show was last week. Two people that worked at the venue after our set were like “Oh we were just talking about what you sound like. We said a cross between The Killers and Coldplay.” I was like, “Is that a good thing?” He was like “Yeah it is”. Some people think Mark’s voice reminds them of Robert Smith of The Cure which I kind of hear sometimes. Bryan: Which is funny because [Mark] isn’t even into The Cure. Cake: Your new single “Called It Off” just came out. Is that going to be part of a full-length release? Gary: Yeah. We’ve been dying to get something new out …We’re working on a bunch of new songs and we have enough for a full-length. We’re not sure about our next release, wether it’s going to be an EP or full-length. Were just trying to get the songs done and not worry about the end result. Cake: How do you guys feel about your charting big in Rochester and are now on VIC? How did all that start? Bryan: We actually had a connection. I work at a studio near Toronto. Our old studio manager had a good relationship with the WBER folks. She just emailed the programming folks …They loved it. They actually started playing it, and I guess it got put into heavy rotation. I think that’s something really cool about that station and other stations like it that are willing to take a chance on something that’s off the radar and not on your top 10… I guess it was a similar thing with the Ithaca situation as well. I think it’s awesome. One thing that I love is that we saw “We Should Be Believing” on the fan voted year-end [chart] … We charted higher this year then we did last year, and that song’s been out for two years. It’s cool to know that it’s a fan voted thing. Cake: Yeah I know. You guys beat out The Killers. Go These Electric Lives! Gary: Yeah. It was cool seeing the chart. I looked to see what songs we were higher than. ... It was like “Oh wow look who we beat.” If only we beat them in record sales. That’s our next goal. [Laughs]

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Cake: What we’re some of you’re favorite band moments of 2008?


Bryan: We played an outdoor festival here in Toronto… It was a pretty gloomy day in terms of weather. It was threatening rain all day. It was an outdoor stage without any top or anything. As were playing through, it’s getting darker and darker. All of a sudden during the second to last song of our set, I guess it started pouring. It was awesome. We got to see people still enjoy the music even though they’re getting soaked.We were like, “Screw this, we’re going to just keep playing.” We ended up playing through the rest of our set. It was probably not the smartest thing in terms of getting electrocuted and damage to equipment. It was pretty fun playing in the pouring rain…it felt good to do something different and experience something like that. Gary: We got a lot of props from kids that stuck it out in the rain. They came up to us afterward and we got some street cred in that area… The experience was cool because it was a crazy unsafe rock and roll moment. It was cool there was [a girl that] stuck it out in the rain and had her camera going so we could have video evidence. I messaged her afterwards when she sent it [to us]. It was lucky that she filmed that so we have a souvenir of hopefully out most unsafe moment of the band. Cake: What are you guys planning for 2009? Bryan: Probably getting our recordings finished so we can get some stuff out to folks. Definitely playing as much as we can. Hopefully getting back to the states. I’m itching to get back down. I love Canadian fans, but …it’s cool to play to a new audience. You Americans are not afraid to get into things and not afraid to have a good time. I love Toronto and I love Canada, but sometimes, and maybe this is the way I see it, I think we’re pretty reserved and a little afraid to get into things... But man, the Boston peeps were just into it. They came up after we were done playing. There were a bunch of people just talking and saying how much they enjoyed it. It’s just a different vibe down there sometimes. Cake: If you had a famous band cover one of your songs which band would it be? Gary: I mean I could just list my favorite bands. I mean I’m a huge Radiohead fan. I don’t think bands like Sigur Rós would be interested in “We Should Be Believing”. Bryan: I would love to see Weezer cover a track. I think that’d be pretty crazy. I think Rivers could do some crazy shit on one of our tracks. Gary: Robert Smith, you know Mark is compared to him. The Cure is still touring. They could do a pretty cool version of “We Should Be Believing.” I don’t know Lady Gaga? [Laughs] Cake: What fact about you guys would most surprise your fans? Gary: I’m sorry to say not me, but the other three guys love Star Trek: The Next Generation. Once they start talking about it, it annoys the hell out of me. Bryan: Poor Gary. He’s totally outnumbered on the Star Trek: The Next Generation Thing. Cake: What advice do you have for bands that are trying to start their own thing? Bryan: I would have to say keep writing as much as you can. Keep practicing as much as you can. Don’t be afraid to book a show even if you’re just starting out. It’s important to get out there. I know with us, we booked our first show probably two or three weeks [after] we just started playing together. We were trying to write songs so that we could play a show. But, I think sometimes you need that pressure …to force you to do something that you want to do. It gives you an incentive to just take a go at it….If you enjoy playing and doing what you’re doing I think that’s really all that matters. You can’t go wrong playing something that you love playing. If you love playing a song, no matter how many times you play it then you’re on the right track.


REVIEWS It’s Not Me, It’s You - Lily Allen Lily Allen’s sophmore album, “It’s Not Me, It’s You”, paints an amazingly honest portrait of Allen’s personality and view on today’s culture. Her charming voice mixed with electropoprock, conveys honest-to-life truths about what it’s like to be a 23-year-old girl from London with her share of troubles. According to Allen, she wanted the music “to feel like it had some sort of integrity. I think I’ve grown up a bit as a person and I hope it reflects that.” And grown up she has. In her first track, “Everyone’s At It.”, Allen confronts society’s inability to function without medication. As with her infamous allure, she has you singing along before you realize what it is she’s actually saying: “You go to the doctor/ You need pills to sleep in/ Well if you can convince him/ Then I guess that’s not cheating.” Courtesy of EMI Records Ltd Allen has a delicious shout-out to bigotry, with the track “Fuck You.” The song formerly known as “Guess Who Batman?” lively tells haters off in the sweetest voice possible. She also shows her maturity on “He Wasn’t There,” a song about her father’s abandonment. The song has the most original sound heard from Allen, throwing back to a 30s-era blues ditty. It quickly became the most compelling song on the album because she traded her usually crass attacks on culture with a rare glimpse of herself. The album lulls with the two middle tracks, “Back To The Start” and “Never Gonna Happen”—It feels like we’ve already heard these anthems before on “Alright, Still…” Thankfully, she quickly bounces back with the semi-ballad “Who’d’ve Known.” Allen definitely proves she has a lot to say with “It’s Not Me, It’s You,” and has this reviewer already anticipating her next release. - Danielle Hendrickson

7/10

Hush - Asobi Seksu

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pon first listen, Asobi Seksu’s third studio album “Hush” might seem like a startling departure from their previous work. Instead of the noise-driven sounds of their 2006 album “Citrus,” “Hush” takes a much more subtle, inspired approach to the shoegazer genre. The band seems to be channeling the mellow sounds of dream pop artists Lush and Cocteau Twins, rather than the “wall-ofsound” approach of bands like My Bloody Valentine. Unlike their previous albums, “Hush” strays away from the standout singles, instead relying on the album as a whole to deliver a thematically consistent experience.

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Lead singer Yuki Chikudate weaves her ethereal vocals between James Hanna’s swirling guitar riffs throughout the entire album, creating an uplifting but ultimately subtle sound. Tracks like “Transparence” and “Familiar Light” highlight this more restrained approach and prove to be immensely satisfying listens. Fans of the band will also enjoy the consistence of Yuki’s bilingual lyrics and James’s sporadic vocal contributions. The individual tracks may not be as catchy and powerful as some of their previous works, but as a whole the album proves to be a rewarding and innovative experience.

Courtesy of Polyvinyl Records

- Derek Rogers

8/10


Incredibad - The Lonely Island

Hold Time - M. Ward

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hat would happen if you gave three class clowns recording equipment, Santana champagne, an excessively large yacht, access to Jack Black and E-40, and the opportunity to air their music videos on Saturday Night Live? You would have “Incredibad,” the first release from The Lonely Island. Probably best known for their viral video sensation “Jizz in my Pants (or the more classic “Dick in a Box” and “Lazy Sunday”), the group deftly breaks the wall between rap and humor. They even manage to spoof the genre they’re in, with their T-Pain collaboration “I’m On A Boat.” Singing about “nautical themed pashmina afghans” and “flippy-floppies” isn’t exactly gangsta, but it is true to the group’s smart-ass aesthetic. The highlight of “Incredibad” is “Santana DVX.” The track is the group’s spoof on the Beastie Boys hit “Brass Monkey,” and celebrates their group’s official drink. Unfortunately, the “Normal Guy” interlude is kind of pointless and not as funny as the rest of the CD. It just recaps what all the other songs joke about in a high-pitched voice. It’s not deep, it’s not meaningful. It’s essentially three goof-balls with funny jokes that happened to record a CD. And for that, I salute them.

lternative folk singer-songwriter M. Ward recently released his first solo album since his 2006 hit “Post-War.” His new album, “Hold Time,” provides a pleasant mix of Courtesy of Merge breathy folk-pop and dark melancholy orchestral pieces. This album reveals a coherent evolution of Ward’s musical style. While he continues to produce music in his distinctive, 1960s-inspired style, Ward takes it to a new level on “Hold Time” with the use of more electric guitars and orchestration. Fans will be thrilled at this new manifestation of his thoughtful lyrics and gentle music. The opening song, “For Beginners” is an acoustic and bouncy reminder of the song “Here Comes the Sun Again,” from his album “Transistor Radio.” It acts as an easy transition into the more electric “I Ain’t Never Had Nobody Like You,” which features guest vocals by actress Zooey Deschanel. The album’s title track, however, takes a dark turn. “Hold Time” spins a beautifully haunting, orchestral melody with faint vocals. The softness of the song brings balance to the album. One of the most exciting songs on the album is a Buddy Holly cover, “Rave On.” Ward strategically makes the song his own, with the inclusion of a pedal steel guitar, while still greatly respecting the original hit. Another album highlight is “Shangri-La,” a song that bounces like a train-ride touring the countryside. The album closes with “Outro,” an instrumental piece heavily influenced by 1960s surf music. It plays along with the intense tonal quality created in the title track and creates a sentiment that brings each one of the songs together in a way that feels like riding into the sunset. Overall, the album is a great success and a wonderful expression of M. Ward’s retro-inspired style.

Courtesy of Universal Republic Records

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- Alex Palombo

7/10

- Joanna Cook

9/10


Thank you to all who took a chance and picked up this issue. We are forever grateful. This is just a small taste of what is to come. We will be having regular meetings soon. Look for our posters or join the IC LINK e-mail list to find out how to become a part of Cake. Much love!

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Cake: A Music Zine, Issue 1  

Our very first issue!

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