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#1 Fountains of Wayne: Welcome Interstate Managers

By Gary Wien

originally published: 01/26/2012

Simply put, Welcome Interstate Managers is one of the most brilliant pop albums of all-time.  From high school kids lusting after their friend’s mom, workers in dead-end office jobs, waitresses that never return to a table, and kids partying while their parents are away on Fire Island, this is the suburban Sgt. Pepper. Songs include the witty lyrics and word plays of Elvis Costello with melodies and choruses that mirror The Beatles. 

The album represents what Top 40 would sound like if the music industry had any taste.  How good was it? Well, it earned Fountains of Wayne a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist even though the band’s first album was released nearly 7 years earlier!  While Fountain’s two previous releases contained minor hits like “Radiation Vibe” and “Leave The Biker,” this was their masterpiece and it took many people by surprise.

The band was named after a retail store called Fountains of Wayne that sold outdoor furniture, lawn ornaments, and freaky Christmas decorations on Route 46 in Wayne for more than 40 years, before closing in 2009.  Adam Schlesinger, who co-founded the band with Chris Collingwood, grew up near the store in Montclair.  The two met as freshmen at Williams College in Williamstown, MA. They recorded Fountain’s debut as a duo, later adding Jody Porter and Brian Young to the band. 

New Jersey’s influence appears not only in the band’s name, but often in their songs as well. The quirkiness of the Garden State has proven to be a perfect source of inspiration for their lyrics.  Schlesinger has even shown a little Jersey Pride by wearing t-shirts that salute rest stops along the New Jersey Turnpike while on stage.

Highlights include “Mexican Wine,” “Stacy’s Mom,” “Hackensack,” “No Better Place,” “Hey Julie”, “Fire Island,” “Bright Future In Sales,” and “All Kinds Of Time.”


Photo by Audrey Levy


From the book Are You Listening? The Top 100 Albums of 2001-2010 by New Jersey Artists by Gary Wien

 






For more by this author, click here




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Event calendar
Friday, Mar 22, 2019


MUSIC

East Coast In Lullaby @ The Stone Pony, Asbury Park - 7:00pm

LIONEL RICHIE @ Hard Rock Live Etess Arena at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City, Atlantic City - 8:00pm

Swingadelic Featuring Rob Paparozzi @ Roys Hall (Blairstown), Blairstown - 8:00pm

Carolyn Messina at Table 42 @ Table 42, Dover - 7:00pm

Tom Chapin with Dan Pelletier at the Minstrel @ Morristown Unitarian Fellowship, Morristown - 7:30pm

Finding Neverland @ State Theatre New Jersey, New Brunswick - 8:00pm

Music of Cream @ The Newton Theatre, Newton - 8:00pm

Summer of Love IX @ Count Basie Center For The Arts, Red Bank - 8:00pm

WARRANT @ Starland Ballroom, Sayreville - 6:00pm

Selwyn Birchwood @ Lizzie Rose Music Room, Tuckerton - 7:30pm







THEATRE

Mamma Mia @ Axelrod Performing Arts Center, Deal Park - 8:00pm

Native Gardens @ Eagle Theatre, Hammonton - 8:00pm

The Source by Jack Canfora @ New Jersey Repertory Company, Long Branch - 8:00pm

Sassy Mamas presented by Dunbar Repertory Company @ Middletown Arts Center, Middletown - 8:00pm

CURIOUS GEORGE: THE GOLDEN MEATBALL @ The Growing Stage: The Childrens Theatre of New Jersey, Netcong - 7:30pm

Duke Ellington's Sophisticated Ladies @ Victoria Theater @ New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), Newark - 7:00pm

Ken Ludwigs The Gods of Comedy @ Matthews Theatre @ McCarter Theatre, Princeton - 8:00pm

Theo @ Marion Huber Theater @ Two River Theater, Red Bank - 8:00pm


COMEDY

Comedy Night at Black Box PAC @ Black Box PAC, Teaneck - 8:00pm


FILM

Hairspray Sing-Along with host Jeremy Grunin! @ Jay & Linda Grunin Center For The Arts At Ocean County College, Toms River - 8:00pm


KIDS

Celebrate Holi @ iPlay America, Freehold - 4:00pm

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