Lost & Found: Cibo Matto’s Food Songs
Cibo Matto used to sing a lot about food, in case you didn’t know. While they never became a worldwide sensation, they were an important part of the New York music scene back in the ’90s. And they started out singing about sugar, chicken and cake.
The above video also reminds us of ‘Squirt TV,’ a public-access show starring a 14-year-old kid named Jake Fogelnest. He interviewed entertainers — including bands, actors and comedians — in his bedroom. MTV picked up ‘Squirt TV,’ and Cibo Matto showed up there at some point to make their television debut with the song ‘Know Your Chicken.’
‘Birthday Cake’ was another fan favorite by the group. It was heavily featured in the popular video game ‘Jet Set Radio Future.’ If you’re ever feeling bored and enjoy being confused, check out the lyrics for ‘Birthday Cake.’ Most of the song is about a mother making a cake with really old milk and extra MSG for her son’s birthday. But the song contains a relatively long passage about the Vietnam war. Then it gets back to the cake. Maybe the cake is the war, or maybe the cake is America and the son is Vietnam, or — you know what? Never mind. The song is catchy enough that you don’t need to understand it to enjoy it.
Somewhere in there, Sean Lennon joined the band, and they put out a couple more albums before everyone went his and her separate ways. After a 10-year-long hiatus, the group got back together to write and record a new album, ‘Hotel Valentine,’ which was released on Valentine’s Day this year. Check out their performance of ’10th Floor Ghost Girl’ from the new album for WNYC.