With a mere glimpse at the crowd gathered at a Cake show, it would be pretty easy to write them off as some mookish frat-centric party band. While Cake definitely knows how to throw a kegger, there are countless more layers to Cake that are constantly revealing themselves. While singer John McCrea's trademark dry delivery of his beatnik musings is unwavering, Cake is constantly careening through various genres in search of pop bliss. Going from spitfire trumpet-ridden tropicalia-infused pop to lonesome country balladry, Cake has spent 20 years making fresh, interesting songs that stand out amongst walls of FM radio static. Their newest record (Showroom of Compassion, released in mid-January) pushes past some of their raucous guitar moments and into more piano-driven songs, and was recorded in a studio that uses no resources other than the sun – it may very well be the first Billboard #1 record to be made entirely with solar energy. GREGORY FRANKLIN

Sat., Feb. 12, 8 p.m., 2011

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