Thursday, March 14, 2013

"Radiation Vibe" of power-pop at The Queen

If you went to college in the mid-1990s, you owned Fountains of Wayne's self-titled debut. You just did.

And if you were into the Beatles and other bands with boatloads of singles in the '60s, you either loved or hated the 1996 Tom Hanks film "That Thing You Do!" and its Oscar-nominated title tune, penned by FoW's Adam Schlesinger.

This is the jam.
Unbelievably, the Fountains - a long-time songwriting venture of Schlesinger and Chris Collingwood - are still spewing out music (including the latest, "Sky Full of Holes,") although not for long according to some recent articles. This is probably a good thing, since it's been quite a while since they cranked out anything good, and that includes "Stacey's Mom." While it boasts a killer hook and some slick production, "Stacey's Mom" was just a blatant grab for attention and airplay, complete with a video that couldn't have spelled it out any plainer. Why not, "My Dong and Stacey's Mom," or "Stacey's Mom in a Thong," or "I'm Really Into MILFS, Your Mom is So Hot."

I'm just now realizing that when this shameless slice of light-porn came out in 2003, it was supporting the boring-ass "Welcome Interstate Managers" record, which went GOLD thanks to the whore-ish "Stacey's Mom." This would be like Hanks winning an Oscar for "Forrest Gump" by playing cute and pandering to the Baby Boomer Academy judges with a soundtrack packed with Creedence, Bob Seger, The Beach Boys, etc.

Wait ... Nevermind.

The Fountains are in town tonight (March 14) for a show at World Cafe Live at the Queen, 500 N. Market St., Wilmington, and as is almost always the case, the opener is pretty much responsible for the existence of the headliner. Marshall Crenshaw pioneered the very kind of power-pop that the Fountains specialized.

Believe it or not, this geek rocked.
The counter-harmonies on "Mary Ann" are all over the Fountains songbook. "You Curse At Girls" = "Cynical Girls". And like just about any other band in the genre to pop up after Crenshaw's genius 1982 debut, the Fountains have been chasing but have never achieved the genius of "Someday Somewhere."

But baby, baby-baby, it's all about the '90s nostalgia, so cut your hair into Collingwood's phallic-like 'do found in the video above and come on down to the Queen. Tonight's show starts at 8 p.m., and doors open at 7. Tickets range from $20-$33 at Ticket Fly.

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