The Sea and Cake @ Arch St. Tavern – Hartford, CT

The last time I saw the Sea and Cake was in 1996 in Philadelphia at a seedy joint called Upstairs at Nick’s. The bill included two other all instrumental groups, the little known and short lived 5ive Style along with the pioneers of analog meets digital, post-rock experimentalists Tortoise. Although “Nick’s” has long been defunct, The Sea and Cake have been steadily marching on producing solid recording after recording, 10 in total since their debut in 94. Sam Prekop, Archer Prewitt, and John McEntire, the groups steady veterans, sliced through a solid set including a range of cuts spanning their almost 20 year career.

A random drunk guy at the bar who saw my gear turned to me and asked “Who are these guys?” I told him, The Sea and Cake from Chicago”, to which he replied “Man they’re really really good, and I don’t even like this kind of music. I’m more of a heavy metal guy.” Case in point, even drunk metalheads can appreciate the craft of genuinely talented multi-instrumentalists whose art comes in the form of jazz infused math rock and staccato sung lyrics. All in all a solid performance, especially for the discerning ear that can appreciate the intricate compositions that have come to define The Sea and Cake.