Best Of 2011, Guest Editors: Cake On Tom Zé

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.

John McCrea: Rarely do we find a songwriter who can write such puzzling and poetic lyrics, beautiful melodies, compellingly rhythmic riffs played on instruments often of his own invention. Tom Zé has even fashioned a twangy stringed instrument out of an old hollowed-out television set.

Video after the jump.