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

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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

You don't have to fuck anything if you disagree, though.

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

I'm a "Survival Car" guy, myself.

Just found out that "A Road Song" from their new album has also been covered by America of all bands, on their new covers album. Huh!

Sean Carruthers, Friday, 29 July 2011 17:53 (eight years ago) link

"Survival Car" is great! Maybe we should poll the album, there are a ton of little gems on there.

Dave Zuul (Phil D.), Friday, 29 July 2011 18:26 (eight years ago) link

FoW albums ranking
1 Debut
2 WiM
3 The new one
4 Utopia Parkway

5 Traffic and Weather

Trudi Styler, the Creator (ithappens), Saturday, 30 July 2011 16:05 (eight years ago) link

Can't argue with that too much except to say that 1 and 2 positions are probably changed for me most of the time.

Sean Carruthers, Saturday, 30 July 2011 19:39 (eight years ago) link

1 Debut
2 Utopia Parkway
3 The new one

enormous drop-off

4 Welcome Interstate Managers
5 Andrew Ridgely's 'Son Of Albert'
6 Traffic And Weather

Colin Allstations (PaulTMA), Saturday, 30 July 2011 21:02 (eight years ago) link

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"

Mudhoney to thread

lol at the Andrew Ridgely

Master of Treacle, Saturday, 30 July 2011 23:18 (eight years ago) link

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

Fer crying out loud people! What about their unquestioned masterpiece, No Better Place? Their best evah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

kornrulez6969, Saturday, 30 July 2011 23:52 (eight years ago) link

Yeah, the WIM hate on here is bananas.

If Assholes Could Fly This Place Would Be An Airport, Sunday, 31 July 2011 00:39 (eight years ago) link

Data point: downloaded the album last night, went to bed, woke up feeling kinda miserable, ate breakfast, started playing new album. Instantly felt less miserable!

Also, WIM is jam-packed with hits.

T.S. Eliot-themed roach fetish porn (silby), Wednesday, 3 August 2011 14:07 (eight years ago) link

This new is actually pretty good, I can see myself returning to it a lot more than Traffic and Weather.

jon /via/ chi 2.0, Wednesday, 3 August 2011 14:09 (eight years ago) link

All the talk about the mellowness of much of the new one has me hesitant to even listen, even if it supposedly better than the last one. But probably will

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 3 August 2011 14:55 (eight years ago) link

It's more of a grower than any of their others (I know that's a weird word to use when describing a power pop band known for instantly likable hits), but worth the effort I think. About a million times better than Traffic and Weather. I'm really enjoying this new one.

If Assholes Could Fly This Place Would Be An Airport, Wednesday, 3 August 2011 15:32 (eight years ago) link

They're alternating electronic and acoustic shows on their current US tour (or at least the DC area gigs offer 1 of each)

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 3 August 2011 16:05 (eight years ago) link

Electronic?? What have you done with my Fountains of Wayne? (Guessing you mean electric, but if they've gone the full-Mould, it could be...interesting?)

Sean Carruthers, Wednesday, 3 August 2011 17:17 (eight years ago) link

ha

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 3 August 2011 18:32 (eight years ago) link

At the time it seemed good, but there's a smarminess to Traffic and Weather that's hard to identify until you hear it alongside the other albums--something in the production is really off and the Desmond & Molly-itis is almost unbearable at times. I think the debut is missing some polish but I can see why people prefer it to their later stuff. IMO the highs aren't as high as on WIM or Utopia.

1. WIM
2. Utopia Parkway
...
3. s/t
....
4. Traffic & Weather

My back of the envelope 1-CD greatest hits would have 4 from FOW and T&W, 5 from Utopia, 8 from WIM, and Maureen. The new one will probably slot in at #4 ahead of T&W. I've listened it to it 9-10 times already and it's holding up. The shirt they give you with the Yep Roc package is also nice.

skip, Thursday, 4 August 2011 23:46 (eight years ago) link

OK, I take back what I said about "Richie and Ruben". That is some catchy shit.

skip, Friday, 12 August 2011 15:47 (eight years ago) link

The Summer Place, Richie & Ruben, Someone's Gonna Break Your Heart and A Drop In The Ocean = great new FoW songs.

Colin Allstations (PaulTMA), Saturday, 13 August 2011 04:07 (eight years ago) link

I like this more every time I hear it. The only one I'm not sold on right now is "Radio Bar." Think it's the sax.

My wife doesn't understand why I like this band, btw.

If Assholes Could Fly This Place Would Be An Airport, Saturday, 13 August 2011 14:03 (eight years ago) link

I also just realized how much this band reminds me of Grandaddy circa Sumday. "El Caminos In The West" could have been a FoW tune. Anyone ever make this connection?

If Assholes Could Fly This Place Would Be An Airport, Saturday, 13 August 2011 21:01 (eight years ago) link

Gotta say I've never made the connection to Grandaddy, but I have made the connection from both of them to Electric Light Orchestra so there's probably something in that!

Sean Carruthers, Saturday, 13 August 2011 21:14 (eight years ago) link

two weeks pass...

I love this record.

kornrulez6969, Wednesday, 31 August 2011 16:15 (eight years ago) link

Me too. Weirdly, something of a grower, but I find myself passing over, cooler, more recently acquired other things to hear it when I'm driving. I like every song except "Radio Bar" (still not sold on that one).

If Assholes Could Fly This Place Would Be An Airport, Wednesday, 31 August 2011 20:54 (eight years ago) link

I chose walking in the sunshine to give this a first listen, and it worked alright, but I'm still not pulled in. I have a feeling that at some point in the future, I'll put it on and it will click, because I can tell that's it pretty solid even if I'm not yet overly-enthused. But the summer season is waning and I feel I need to act right now.

Gukbe, Wednesday, 31 August 2011 21:04 (eight years ago) link

"summer place" was in my head today.

Guayaquil (eephus!), Thursday, 1 September 2011 01:36 (eight years ago) link

Thought this would be about Hurricane Irene flooding.

Hipster Shake Boogie (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 1 September 2011 01:41 (eight years ago) link

We're having a rough time here in NJ. Take a look at Wayne's Willowbrook Mall, just about a mile from what once was the actual Fountains of Wayne store....

http://media.northjersey.com/images/0830a_a3willowbrook.jpg

kornrulez6969, Thursday, 1 September 2011 01:57 (eight years ago) link

http://media.northjersey.com/images/0830a_a3willowbrook.jpg

kornrulez6969, Thursday, 1 September 2011 01:58 (eight years ago) link

Back to the record, this is quickly becoming my #2 Fountains of Wayne record, right behind Welcome Interstate Managers. It's so much better than Traffic and Weather.

kornrulez6969, Thursday, 1 September 2011 01:59 (eight years ago) link

Your second sentence is definitely true, but I can't imagine ranking WIM over either of the first two.

jon /via/ chi 2.0, Thursday, 1 September 2011 02:01 (eight years ago) link

I think I'm with kornrulez

If Assholes Could Fly This Place Would Be An Airport, Thursday, 1 September 2011 12:35 (eight years ago) link

Maybe its nostalgia and all the hours I spent with the first two albums in college as an antidote to all the awful music my roommates were playing at the time, but I think those first two are pretty much perfect power pop albums. I'd rank 'em as:

Fountains of Wayne
Utopia Parkway
Welcome Interstate Managers
Sky Full of Holes (although, with time, I think this may climb to #3)
Traffic and Weatehr (definitely their worst)

jon /via/ chi 2.0, Thursday, 1 September 2011 13:37 (eight years ago) link

I like this new record quite a bit after a couple of listens but unlike their other three good albums, I can't get into it TOO much because there's one song ("Someone's Gonna Break Your Heart") that is so far ahead of the other songs, it's absolutely perfect, maybe the best song they've done since the second album, so the other songs haven't had a fair hearing from me. Might listen to it front to back while skipping that one...

unskinny blap (edwardo), Sunday, 4 September 2011 15:23 (eight years ago) link

jon OTM. First album is just classic after classic. Traffic and Weather was, I think, them trying too hard to be Steely Dan for middlebrow people, but mostly failed. (Although "Someone To Love" is still great.)

Ad hom . . . in em's cock? (Phil D.), Sunday, 4 September 2011 16:37 (eight years ago) link

Yeah, a lot of enjoyable but imperfect tracks on the new one. Even "Someone" has a repeat or two too many. Better than traffic and weather which is full some superficially well written songs that are just not that fun to listen to.

skip, Sunday, 4 September 2011 23:20 (eight years ago) link

yes!!!

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

https://fatherdaughterrecords.bandcamp.com/album/saving-for-a-custom-van

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


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