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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


Gary Wien has been covering the arts since 2001 and has had work published with Jersey Arts, Elmore Magazine, Princeton Magazine, Backstreets and other publications. He is a three-time winner of the Asbury Music Award for Top Music Journalist and the author of Beyond the Palace (the first book on the history of rock and roll in Asbury Park) and Are You Listening? The Top 100 Albums of 2001-2010 by New Jersey Artists. In addition, he runs New Jersey Stage and the online radio station The Penguin Rocks. He can be contacted at gary@newjerseystage.com.



 
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EVENT CALENDAR

ART | COMEDY | DANCE | MUSIC | THEATRE | COMMUNITY

Into The Woods

Sunday, May 22, 2022 @ 3:00pm
Algonquin Arts Theatre
60 Abe Voorhees, Manasquan, NJ 08736
category: theatre

Click here for full description

Adelphi Orchestra - International Anniversary Celebration

Sunday, May 22, 2022 @ 2:00pm
Fair Lawn Community Center
10-10 20th Street, Fair Lawn, NJ 07410
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Click here for full description

Kids 'N Family Series: The Little Mermaid

Sunday, May 22, 2022 @ 1:00pm
South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC)
One Sopac Way, South Orange, NJ 07079
category: community

Click here for full description

Ride the Cyclone: The Musical

Sunday, May 22, 2022 @ 2:00pm
McCarter Theatre Center (Berlind Theater)
91 University Place, Princeton, NJ 08540
category: theatre

Click here for full description

THE MUSIC OF LIONEL RICHIE

Sunday, May 22, 2022 @ 2:00pm
Brook Arts Center
10 Hamilton Street, Bound Brook, NJ 08805
category: music

Click here for full description

The Charlie Apicella Trio feat. Don Braden

Sunday, May 22, 2022 @ 3:00pm
Grunin Center
1 College Drive, Toms River, NJ 08754
category: music

Click here for full description

New Jersey Ballet presents "Cinderella"

Sunday, May 22, 2022 @ 1:30pm & 4:30pm
Mayo Performing Arts Center (MPAC)
100 South Street, Morristown, NJ 07960
category: dance

Click here for 1:30pm | Click here for 4:30pm



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