Day 10. A song from a band that you think should be more popular
“Someone To Love” — Fountains of Wayne
Okay, first of all, can it really be 10 years since “Stacy’s Mom”?
Second of all, it’s a shame that it’s probably the only song you know by Fountains of Wayne (hereafter referred to as FoW).
But now you’ll know at least two.
Feel free to tell me your opinion below in the comments, but in general, I think it’s a lot harder to discover and “get into” new groups that you really like after the age of 30. Maybe 35. Not only does life sort of take over and you don’t have the time you once did to just listen to music (and I don’t even have kids), but by that age your tastes are pretty firmly ingrained and it’s more difficult to branch out. Laura has to fight with me to throw away old shirts, much less find new music.
So I guess it’s a good thing that FoW are affirmed fans of The Cars. (In fact, if you listen to the opening strains of “Stacy’s Mom” it’s an obvious homage to The Cars’ “Just What I Needed”) Why is this a good thing, you ask? (Yes, I heard you ask, even from over here.)
It’s a good thing because, while it’s been clearly documented (here, here, and here) that Genesis is my favorite band, The Cars are second in line (and were first until about 1992). So the fact that the first song I ever heard by FoW was channeling my second favorite band boded (yes, I had to look that up to see if it was correct) well for me doing some investigation.
Now, I keep talking about “Stacy’s Mom” (from 2003’s Welcome Interstate Managers) like it’s today’s song selection, but it actually isn’t. I decided since this was about a band I wish was more popular that I’d try to force some exposure to other songs in their repertoire. Today’s song, “Someone To Love,” was the first single off their next album, 2007’s Traffic and Weather. It’s typical FoW: Catchy; upbeat; interesting, slightly ironic story; and a chorus you can kind of bounce around the living room to when no one is looking. (I won’t tell if you don’t.)
Honestly, I can’t quite figure out why they haven’t gotten more attention. Well, on second thought, I suppose I can. They aren’t pretty, don’t twerk, and haven’t been in trouble with the law (that I know of), so they don’t get the media attention. And their music isn’t slick, produced-to-within-an-inch-of-its-life-with-copious-use-of-autotune pop, so Top 40 radio doesn’t take much notice. But their music is definitely pop (I’ve seen it described as power-pop, but I’m still not quite sure what that means); you don’t have to work hard to get into the songs. They are good musicians and songwriters. In fact, bassist Adam Schlesinger wrote the hit title song to the movie That Thing You Do!, as well as the theme song to Kathy Griffin’s talk show (the first probably being more important than the second for most people for some reason).
In short, their stuff is worth checking out. And check them out I did. I now have a pretty good collection of their stuff. But I can’t make them popular on my own. You need to pull your share of the load. So buy something, will ya?