Archive | February, 2016

Certain Songs #466: Fountains of Wayne – “No Better Place”

Fountains of Wayne Welcome Album: Welcome Interstate Managers
Year: 2003

Here is the list of songs from Welcome Interstate Managers that I almost wrote about: “Bright Future in Sales,” “All Kinds of Time,” “Bought For a Song,” “Supercollider,” and of course the actual hit single, “Stacey’s Mom,” which rode a brilliant Cars rip and a problematic MILF-tastic video to just outside the top 20.

But it always seems like doing that many songs an album is excess, except when it doesn’t. None of which has anything to do with today’s song, “No Better Place.”

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Certain Songs #465: Fountains of Wayne – “Mexican Wine”

Fountains of Wayne Welcome Album: Welcome Interstate Managers
Year: 2003

After 1999’s Utopia Parkway, which seemed to be a step back from their debut (though it did feature a song I almost wrote about, the gorgeous “Amity Gardens”), Fountains of Wayne came roaring back in 2003 with the album I consider to their masterpiece, Welcome Interstate Managers.

In my original review of Welcome Interstate Managers for Neumu, I predicted it would “go down as a guitar-pop classic, smack dab in the midst of the pantheon with any Big Star, dBs, Posies, etc. record you might want to name.”

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Certain Songs #464: Fountains of Wayne – “Leave The Biker”

fountains of wayne fountains of wayne Album: Fountains of Wayne
Year: 1996

One of the great things about Fountains of Wayne is that even when they write songs about well-worn territory, they’re able to come up with enough detail to make it fresh and funny.

Which is one of the reasons I love “Leave The Biker:” it’s full of what all of my English teachers used to call “telling details,” which give real heft to the story of an (ostensibly) Nice Guy who has a thing for a girl who is hanging with a douchebag.

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Certain Songs #463: Fountains of Wayne – “Sick Day”

fountains of wayne fountains of wayne Album: Fountains of Wayne
Year: 1996

In retrospect, it makes sense that a band that named themselves after a local retail store would end up penning some of the best songs ever written about an underserved rock ‘n’ roll subject: the 9-to-5 white collar workplace.

After all, part of the ethos of pop music is not having to work a day job, and that ethos — fantasy, really — fuels song after song about a life where you aren’t expected to be at a desk or a counter five days a week.

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Certain Songs #462: Foo Fighters – “Everlong”

foo fighters the-colour-and-the-shape Album: The Colour and The Shape
Year: 1997

Two decades down the road, Dave Grohl has remained so consistent and so successful at what he does — the honorable profession of providing radio-friendly punk-pop to the masses — that he is overexposed and underrated at the same time.

And two decades after the suicide that may not have launched his career — he probably would have done a solo record anyways — but certainly solidified, it’s tempting to forget how weird it seemed at the time that Nirvana’s drummer also had songwriting ability.

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