Whatever happened to Fountains of Wayne? (c/d?)

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dom passantino loves them...

"radiation vibe" is an incredible song. the rest of the album is cool enough, but nothing can quite match that one. didn't he write "that thing you do" for the tom hanks film?

weasel diesel (K1l14n), Thursday, 24 April 2003 08:31 (seventeen years ago) link

yep, he (schlesinger) did.
[must play the debut-alb. again, always gets airplay in our house during the summer and it feels like summer already!]

willem (willem), Thursday, 24 April 2003 08:49 (seventeen years ago) link

"Sick Day" is my fave from the first record. Never got around to picking up the second but it's easy enough to find cheap second hand so maybe it's worth some searching out.

mms (mms), Thursday, 24 April 2003 09:17 (seventeen years ago) link


stevie (stevie), Thursday, 24 April 2003 10:12 (seventeen years ago) link

killian is OTM.

The design art for the new album is possibly my favourite album cover since "Beautiful Freak":


The actual "Fountains of Wayne" store is featured in an episode of The Sopranos, fact fans. It's where the black guy Tony gets fired from being a cop ends up working.

As for why they're great... quite simply, they just make such sublime, enjoyable, pure pop music, not pop as in the "made entirely from sugar" sense, but pop in just this form of "We can't do anything BUT make music" way. They're also the pussiest band ever, which you've got to love them for.

"Utopia Parkway" is better than the debut album, IMO, but "Leave The Biker" is the second finest thing they've ever done (behind their cover of "Today's Teardrops" by... Gene Pitney was it?)

Oh yeah, classic classic classic. CLASSIC.

"Will you stop pretending I've never been born/Now I look a little more like that guy from KoRn?"

Dom Passantino (Dom Passantino), Thursday, 24 April 2003 12:46 (seventeen years ago) link

hmmm, I enjoy the debut better because it's like "We can't do anything BUT make music - AND it comes out naturally", whereas Utopia Parkway is more like "We can't do anything BUT make music - but we had to try a little harder this time". strictly IMO, of course.

and that cover-design is indeed superb.

willem (willem), Thursday, 24 April 2003 13:15 (seventeen years ago) link

one month passes...

Because the new album is out now! And it's great! Nowhere near as good as Utopia Parkway, but really, what is?

Stacy's Mom is adorable. Download it now. Or buy the album, if anyone still does that.

edward o (edwardo), Sunday, 15 June 2003 09:49 (seventeen years ago) link

FOW have put out two excellent Xmas singles, too.

Chris Clark (Chris Clark), Sunday, 15 June 2003 13:30 (seventeen years ago) link

eleven months pass...
Radiation Vibe is so so great.

Gregory Henry (Gregory Henry), Sunday, 6 June 2004 02:55 (sixteen years ago) link

five years pass...

RIP original Fountains Of Wayne

Elvis Telecom, Thursday, 25 June 2009 19:40 (eleven years ago) link

...But their name lives on!

Jesus X, the Arthropod Barrista (res), Thursday, 25 June 2009 19:55 (eleven years ago) link

two years pass...

Hearing good things about the new one. Anyone heard it?

Gukbe, Wednesday, 20 July 2011 18:09 (eight years ago) link

Had no idea they had a new one coming, tbh. I liked Traffic and Weather alright I guess, but it also felt like the first time the band was kind of spinning their wheels.

jon /via/ chi 2.0, Wednesday, 20 July 2011 18:11 (eight years ago) link

Listened to two thirds of it. It's much more sedate: none of the huge choruses; none of the big guitars.

Trudi Styler, the Creator (ithappens), Wednesday, 20 July 2011 19:22 (eight years ago) link

It seems to follow the same pattern as the last few for me - the first listen seems very underwhelming, but by the second or third listen everything is clicking into place. Another winner, at least for me.

Sean Carruthers, Wednesday, 20 July 2011 19:24 (eight years ago) link

I'm thinking I should reassess Traffic and Weather, since I probably only listened to it once.

Gukbe, Wednesday, 20 July 2011 20:13 (eight years ago) link

Traffic and Weather is where I jumped ship (and I purchased and sat through that b-sides collection they released)

If Assholes Could Fly This Place Would Be An Airport, Wednesday, 20 July 2011 21:46 (eight years ago) link

Traffic and weather was exactly the same for me - underwhelming. If nothing starts clicking after three listens then you can probably safely continue to ignore it but it took about that long to reveal itself to me. Same with the new one.

Sean Carruthers, Thursday, 21 July 2011 00:13 (eight years ago) link

yeah I only gave Traffic and Weather a couple of listens. Liked 'someone to love' as a lead single but nothing really struck me too much. Might reassess. Where can one hear the new one?

owenf, Thursday, 21 July 2011 00:23 (eight years ago) link

Traffic and Weather was a bit of a letdown after the stellar Welcome Interstate Managers. I have high hopes for this one.

kornrulez6969, Thursday, 21 July 2011 04:56 (eight years ago) link

This one is better than Traffic and Weather, which seemed very by numbers, and where the lack of empathy for the subjects was very offputting - but had one killer song in I-95. They seem to have done a Teenage Fanclub - reached the point in their career where they can't be bothered to write rockers anymore. This one's almost entirely mid-tempo and understated, and the guitars never crunch: the dominant texture is acoustic guitar overlaid with muted electric. It's got a lot more in common with Crowded House than Cheap Trick. There's another meta-song where Collingwood explains that he's writing the song for someone, but it's not as good as Valley Winter Song. There are several songs that make reference to consumer goods and the year they were made. I'm not sure yet whether to feel disappointed

Trudi Styler, the Creator (ithappens), Thursday, 21 July 2011 08:42 (eight years ago) link

I think I probably liked Traffic and Weather a lot more than most other people but admittedly Welcome Interstate Managers was a higher mark that Traffic would have struggled to reach no matter what. If anything bugged me about Traffic, it's probably that it seemed to be trying too hard to go for yuk yuks (title track, "Strapped for Cash") and some of the good stuff didn't seem to stand so high because of it ("Michael and Heather at the Baggage Claim", "Hotel Majestic"). That's not so big a problem here.

The lack of blazing guitars here doesn't bug me so much - that's not really what drew me to them in the first place, though I never complained when they went there. "Someone's Gonna Break Your Heart" and "A Dip in the Ocean" from the new one are probably the ones with the loudest guitars and yeah, they're definitely not overpowering. It's okay by me.

Sean Carruthers, Thursday, 21 July 2011 14:30 (eight years ago) link

I strongly support buzzy FoW over ballady FoW so I'm concerned about this, but will loyally buy it.

Guayaquil (eephus!), Thursday, 21 July 2011 14:43 (eight years ago) link

I always thought FoW would be so good at pop writing especially for the Kelly Clarkson and Pink pop rock types. Although maybe their revelry in the mundane isn't aspirational enough for that kind of thing.

owenf, Thursday, 21 July 2011 15:40 (eight years ago) link

Heh, yeah, was saying elsewhere that I think their songs would lend themselves better to covers by country artists.

Sean Carruthers, Thursday, 21 July 2011 15:42 (eight years ago) link

On first listen, I'm impressed with "Someone's Gonna Break Your Heart", "A Dip in the Ocean", "A Road Song" (though kind of paint by numbers), "Workingman's Hands" (not quite "Hung Up on You" but nice slide guitar), and "The Summer Place". "Richie and Ruben" is seriously distressing, as is to a lesser extent "Acela". The slice of life vignettes are a key part of FOW's songwriting but they work better with "he" or "she" subjects that allow listeners to filter their own experiences through the story. Desmond and Molly/proper noun tracks about specific people or well-known things just don't work because the music stops doing the talking and the stories tend to be clunky and strange. "Hate to See You Like This" and "Radio Bar" could be growers.

I continue to find it interesting that they have dabbled so enthusiastically in hypercompression and vocal processing. This obviously isn't new ("Maureen" was the first time I noticed the loudness war, before I knew what the term even meant) but still unfortunate when the melodies and vocals don't need any extra help. Brendan Benson did the same thing on his latest album, usually to negative effect. "Radiation Vibe" and "Survival Car" sound so organic and, well, REAL by comparison. "Firelight Waltz" verges on Rascal Flatts territory.

skip, Friday, 22 July 2011 03:16 (eight years ago) link

I'm almost hearing more Owsley (circa his self-titled album) than Fountains of Wayne in a lot of these tracks.

skip, Friday, 22 July 2011 03:38 (eight years ago) link

I don't think there's any more need to discuss this album: the Jersey Journal has had its say.


This should perhaps be in the worst music writing thread.

Trudi Styler, the Creator (ithappens), Friday, 22 July 2011 13:24 (eight years ago) link

First album classic, second great, third meh, 4th a smarm-fest - this: meh.

Colin Allstations (PaulTMA), Friday, 22 July 2011 13:28 (eight years ago) link

Gamemaster1015 July 21, 2011 at 4:46PM

Power pop? Is that really a music genre?

skip, Friday, 22 July 2011 14:18 (eight years ago) link

Hawaii 5-0? WTF??

Sean Carruthers, Friday, 22 July 2011 14:20 (eight years ago) link

Live perf / interview on WFMU momentarily


you call it trollin' i call it steamrollin' (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 23 July 2011 15:40 (eight years ago) link

I want to live in this alternate universe where "Red Dragon Tattoo" is played on the radio.

skip, Saturday, 23 July 2011 16:02 (eight years ago) link

Richie and Ruben sucks live as well...not sure why they are leading with this track. I Hate to See You Like This is a good second song though.

skip, Saturday, 23 July 2011 16:30 (eight years ago) link

Halfway in, liking this much better than Traffic and Weather.

If Assholes Could Fly This Place Would Be An Airport, Tuesday, 26 July 2011 02:25 (eight years ago) link

Nothing is as bad as Traffic And Weather....

This is is their best since Utopia Parkway, which admittedly isn't saying much, though it's a huge improvement

Colin Allstations (PaulTMA), Tuesday, 26 July 2011 03:27 (eight years ago) link

That's twice you've made this somewhat baffling assertion that Welcome Interstate Managers isn't all that good. I mean I like Utopia Parkway just fine but still surprised that you find it better than WIM...what was it about it you found so "meh"? Honestly curious here.

Sean Carruthers, Tuesday, 26 July 2011 03:55 (eight years ago) link

Me too. Some days, WIM is my favorite. So many great songs.

If Assholes Could Fly This Place Would Be An Airport, Tuesday, 26 July 2011 04:06 (eight years ago) link

Mexican Wine / Bright Future in Sales / Stacy's Mom might be the best consecutive run of three songs in their whole catalogue, but after that WiM drops off steeply for me -- but again this may just be becaue their ballads and country pastiches don't do it for me.

I think I prefer "California Sex Lawyer" to anything on Traffic and Weather.

Guayaquil (eephus!), Wednesday, 27 July 2011 15:15 (eight years ago) link

they'll never touch the debut IMO, it's the only one that's not just listenable but great, front-to-back. then again I prefer the comparatively "lo-fi" two-member recording style.

WIM does have four or five great songs though.

THIS IS SATIRE BTW (Simon H.), Wednesday, 27 July 2011 15:21 (eight years ago) link

That's twice you've made this somewhat baffling assertion that Welcome Interstate Managers isn't all that good. I mean I like Utopia Parkway just fine but still surprised that you find it better than WIM...what was it about it you found so "meh"? Honestly curious here.

Well, I did one of the occasional attempts at a Welcome Interstate Managers reassessment this afternoon and I have to report I remain unconvinced there's a single great song on there. 'Mexican Wine' and 'Halley's Waitress' come closest, though'. For me, the level of uninteresting acoustic cheese songs is way, way too high and the upbeat stuff - well, there's hardly any of it. 'Bright Future In Sales' and 'Mexican Wine' are OK for cheesy, semi-ironic rawk value... 'Hey Julie', 'Valley Winter Song' - I'm guessing a fan favourites here - are just dull. 'Fire Island', 'Peace And Love' and 'Supercollider' are just flat-out dreadful, the latter appearing to be a bewildering homage to 'Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants'-era Oasis. The recurring businessman lyrical theme is uninteresting, these and the other characters don't present themselves as people captivating enough to be cared about, which seems kind of important for what I'm guessing FoW wish to achieve.

I'm yet to revisit what I remember as the appalling Traffic And Weather, but I'm pleased to say the new album has the pre-WIM spark back and sounds more like the logical follow-up to 'Utopia Parkway', which sags towards the end like all of their albums except for the debut, though was otherwise a pretty great album.

Colin Allstations (PaulTMA), Wednesday, 27 July 2011 18:41 (eight years ago) link

Mexican Wine / Bright Future in Sales / Stacy's Mom might be the best consecutive run of three songs in their whole catalogue, but after that WiM drops off steeply for me

B-b-but..."Hey Julie" and "Hackensack!"

If Assholes Could Fly This Place Would Be An Airport, Wednesday, 27 July 2011 20:10 (eight years ago) link

"Valley Winter Song" is all time.

Gukbe, Wednesday, 27 July 2011 20:46 (eight years ago) link

The new album is kind of great. Not reallly "meh" until near the end. I'm lovin it!!!!

Colin Allstations (PaulTMA), Thursday, 28 July 2011 00:19 (eight years ago) link

sorry to come in with the 'prefer the early stuff' but never heard anything as good as Radiation Vibe...just sounds effortless

Master of Treacle, Thursday, 28 July 2011 00:24 (eight years ago) link

They are on Letterman tonight (also featuring Louis CK!)

Gukbe, Friday, 29 July 2011 02:11 (eight years ago) link

never heard anything as good as Radiation Vibe

to me this is so obviously correct that it doesn't detract from the rest of what they did, it's no more "prefer the early stuff" than saying violent femmes never equalled "blister in the sun"

Guayaquil (eephus!), Friday, 29 July 2011 02:35 (eight years ago) link

First time watching Letterman in like ten years but I happen to be in front of the TV and the Louise / FoW doubleshot is too good to pass up for Golden Girls reruns tonight

If Assholes Could Fly This Place Would Be An Airport, Friday, 29 July 2011 04:01 (eight years ago) link

They were good! They came across a lot more 'stylish' than I expected (even if that style was 'ironic detachment'), and I came away liking that "Dip In The Ocean" song more than I did initially, so, success.

Kirstie Alley is insufferable.

Louie was good.

If Assholes Could Fly This Place Would Be An Airport, Friday, 29 July 2011 06:31 (eight years ago) link

As far as early FOW goes, "Leave the Biker" > "Radiation Vibe." Just sayin'.

Dave Zuul (Phil D.), Friday, 29 July 2011 13:36 (eight years ago) link

Considering he's one degree away from Superdrag and Nicki Minaj, I suspect "six degrees of Adam Schlesinger" would shame Kevin Bacon.

brechtian social distancing (Simon H.), Thursday, 2 April 2020 14:53 (three months ago) link

If you are interested, Maron moved his 2012 talk with Adam out from behind the paywall. It's actually a pretty good talk.

soaring skrrrtpeggios (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Thursday, 2 April 2020 16:08 (three months ago) link

i'm listening to it, it's very nice. what a balanced sounding, kind fellow he seems. his persona is slightly less gruff than i'd guessed at. i had no basis for my guess, just like...pictures i guess? i just learned brian young was in the posies for a while. i was surprised, and i also learned now he's drumming for jesus and mary chain.

the quick ween commentary was a minor but wild side note to me.

blather rinse repeat 2020 (Hunt3r), Thursday, 2 April 2020 17:05 (three months ago) link

Sad he lost the Oscar and Golden Globe to that incredibly dull song from Evita. That Thing You Do was a great song that needed to sound credible for the whole movie to even exist.

✖✖✖ (Moka), Thursday, 2 April 2020 17:55 (three months ago) link

otmfm, and which is sort of easy to never even consider (since the song is exactly what it is). what would that movie even be if the song sucked? i mean, the alt take would be for it to be obviously horrible, i guess?

i still love the "oneders" joke.

blather rinse repeat 2020 (Hunt3r), Thursday, 2 April 2020 18:14 (three months ago) link

Me too. I love the movie.

Every so often if I'm in a brainstorming session I'll randomly say "I keep backing back to the Heardsman"

narcissistic sleighride (Neanderthal), Thursday, 2 April 2020 18:15 (three months ago) link

If you are interested, Maron moved his 2012 talk with Adam out from behind the paywall. It's actually a pretty good talk.


donald failson (sic), Thursday, 2 April 2020 18:22 (three months ago) link

Is it Adam singing on Everything's Ruined? I always pictured that but never had that confirmed. It could have been the friend who taped me their debut told me so, but that was about 23 years ago so can't remember at this stage.

PaulTMA, Friday, 3 April 2020 00:27 (three months ago) link

"From the night I can't remember / with the girl I can't forget" seems like such an obvious couplet and yet they wrote a perfect song around it and no one else did.

that's not my post, Friday, 3 April 2020 01:06 (three months ago) link

Many xp, Brian Young was the drummer on "Amazing Disgrace," my absolute favorite Posies album. Joe Skyward was the other half of the rhythm section for that one, and when I saw them live the power knocked my socks off.

Bougy! Bougie! Bougé! (Eliza D.), Friday, 3 April 2020 01:08 (three months ago) link

Carl Wilson on Adam

Maria Edgelord (cryptosicko), Thursday, 9 April 2020 17:38 (two months ago) link

"From the night I can't remember / with the girl I can't forget" seems like such an obvious couplet and yet they wrote a perfect song around it and no one else did.

Did this predate the Magnetic Fields song with a similar conceit?

morrisp, Thursday, 9 April 2020 17:57 (two months ago) link

always got them confused with ben folds five...

Can't get my head around this

Guayaquil (eephus!), Thursday, 9 April 2020 18:02 (two months ago) link

Xpost that Magnetic Fields tune was released first. The Girl I Can’t Forget came out a few years later on Out of State Plates.

that's not my post, Saturday, 11 April 2020 06:35 (two months ago) link

CC on Adam:

He viewed himself as a craftsman and not an artist, a word he considered pretentious. He worked diligently every day, even when he didn’t feel like it, which is true of a lot of successful people, and probably the greatest single difference between us.

enochroot, Saturday, 11 April 2020 14:24 (two months ago) link

lol that RS photo makes each member of the band look stoned on a different drug.

Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 11 April 2020 14:42 (two months ago) link

What a great interview. Reminds me a lot of Forster's account of Grant McLennan, except that Adam was really technically proficient.

Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 11 April 2020 14:50 (two months ago) link


Three Hundred Pounds of Almond Joy (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 11 April 2020 14:57 (two months ago) link

Very nice tribute. Does anyone know what their falling out was all about?

Paul Ponzi, Saturday, 11 April 2020 15:12 (two months ago) link

Artistic differences?

Three Hundred Pounds of Almond Joy (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 11 April 2020 15:17 (two months ago) link

i read something in the last few days where Collingwood basically said he checked out during the making of Sky Full of Holes (drugs/alcohol-related, maybe? or maybe he just wasn't into it) and that forced Schlesinger to take over to keep the ship moving. and then once Collingwood was in a better place and tried to return - I'm paraphrasing here - "it was hard to go from him leading back to a 50/50 situation". i think that was the main reason for their separation ... if they truly fought, i'd guess it grew out of that as opposed to artistic differences or whatever.

i wish i could remember where i saw that, maybe someone else will know.

alpine static, Saturday, 11 April 2020 21:32 (two months ago) link

COLLINGWOOD: Well, the - you know, the struggles with alcohol were over in 2006 or so. And Fountains of Wayne was recording long after that. So it hasn't been an issue for several years. It was related to, I think, what eventually caused the demise of Fountains of Wayne in that when we were recording the record before the last Fountains of Wayne record, which was called "Traffic And Weather," I didn't really have a whole lot to contribute to that album. I was out to lunch a little bit, mentally, and just drinking too much.

And I think that the fact that I sort of removed myself from the process at that point made it really easier for Adam to take over. And when I was ready to actually make another album, you know, several years later after I'd sort of cleaned up my act, it was very difficult. It was very, very hard to get back into the position where we were equals.


veronica moser, Sunday, 12 April 2020 01:49 (two months ago) link

re: Sky full of holes

“Adam and I just fought constantly making that record,” he says. “We stopped making that record in the middle of making that record to try to work out a whole bunch of things that were going on between us. We saw a psychiatrist and tried to work things out. ”

In the end, they reached an agreement to finish the album, tour a bit behind it, and then go their ways.



AS: I don’t know if Chris wants to do it anymore. Getting the last FoW record finished and out in the world was sort of a nightmare, frankly. If we can find a way to work together and have fun and be creative again and not have it be miserable, I’m totally into it. But I’m too old to have band fights.

CC: I like Sky Full of Holes quite a lot, but it was no fun to make. There were two different writers with two increasingly different visions, and we spent more time fighting than recording. I try never to say never, but it’s staggering to think of everything that would have to happen for me to want to repeat that experience.


veronica moser, Sunday, 12 April 2020 01:56 (two months ago) link

xpost i had the timeline wrong, but that's it - thank you vm

alpine static, Sunday, 12 April 2020 08:35 (two months ago) link

Listened to UP and Traffic and Weather this am as I was making Easter brunch. The latter was a mainstay in my car CD player after it came out. It’s obviously not on the level of its two predecessors and has fewer classics. But it holds up better than I remember and that the circumstances surrounding its recording would suggest.

Naive Teen Idol, Sunday, 12 April 2020 15:49 (two months ago) link

Yolanda Hayes for the sneaky win here.

Naive Teen Idol, Wednesday, 15 April 2020 23:48 (two months ago) link


PaulTMA, Thursday, 16 April 2020 16:31 (two months ago) link

^ Squeeze's Glenn Tilbrook's new cover of Hackensack

PaulTMA, Thursday, 16 April 2020 16:32 (two months ago) link

Hackensack is the best FoW song.
(also, Glenn Tilbrook is one of my all-time favorite songwriters, but this cover is a bit limp -- dude *is* in his 60's after all)

enochroot, Thursday, 16 April 2020 17:27 (two months ago) link

https://youtu.be/m9p8t4Q_MX4?t=185 him doing Red Dragon Tattoo in 2003

PaulTMA, Thursday, 16 April 2020 19:59 (two months ago) link

That's more like it -- back in 2003, Glenn still had the juice (I think i saw that solo tour)

enochroot, Thursday, 16 April 2020 20:24 (two months ago) link

Hackensack w/ Sharon Von Etten:

PaulTMA, Thursday, 23 April 2020 12:33 (two months ago) link


Together Again Or (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 23 April 2020 14:02 (two months ago) link

three weeks pass...

Watched Josie and the Pussycats with the kids tonight. Of course Adam is all over the soundtrack, but I've always thought this one by him was a career power-pop highpoint:


Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 20 May 2020 02:23 (one month ago) link


maura, Thursday, 21 May 2020 00:22 (one month ago) link

three weeks pass...

crossposting w/ the emo thread, only up to the Silverman/Ben Lee "Way Back Into Love" but this is really nice so far


k*r*n koltrane (Simon H.), Tuesday, 16 June 2020 16:43 (three weeks ago) link

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