Best Of 2011, Guest Editors: Cake On Exercise

As 2011 comes to an end, we are taking a look back at some of our favorite posts of the year by our guest editors.

Though it’s been seven years since the last Cake studio LP, you can understand why it took the eclectic Sacramento, Calif., rockers so long to finish album number six. Like its predecessors, Showroom Of Compassion was self-produced, but for the new LP, the band members engineered it themselves in their solar-powered studio and released it on their self-run Upbeat label. And aside from gigging relentlessly, the group also organized the multi-genre Unlimited Sunshine Tours (which have featured bands as diverse as the Flaming Lips, De La Soul and Cheap Trick) and is currently in the planning stages for a 2011 UST. Cake—vocalist/pianist John McCrea, multi-instrumentalists Vincent DiFiore, Xan McCurdy and Gabriel Nelson and drummer Paulo Baldi—is taking to the road this week in support of Showroom Of Compassion, playing multiple nights in numerous cities. The band will also be guest editing all week. Read our new Q&A with DiFiore.

Xan McCurdy: Touring fucks with you. When the appropriate times call for you to be sharp and alert to perform or calm and relaxed for sleep, you’re never as alert as you want to be and you’re never as relaxed as you need to be. Forcing yourself to work up a sweat during the day for an hour or so will change that dramatically. I pretty much hate exercising, but forcing myself to do it helps ensure I can be mentally quick on my feet and therefore musically productive onstage. After a gig, instead of staring at the ceiling trying to sleep while the remnants of the evening’s drums reverberate in my skull, I can lay my head down and conk out like a Memory Foam commercial. And I don’t have to drink a fifth of vodka or smoke an eighth of weed to do it.

Video after the jump.