Inside D.C. entertainment

The '90s revisited: Fountains of Wayne plays 9:30 Club

April 20, 2012 - 06:24 PM
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(Photo: Brianne Nemiroff)

Fountains of Wayne, a band best-known for their hit “Stacy’s Mom,” played the 9:30 Club Thursday night to promote their latest album, Sky Full of Holes. But they are much more than just that one hit. Their history includes five albums, two Grammy nominations, one Oscar nomination (for Adam Schlesinger’s work in That Thing You Do), and even a Canadian animated series theme song and cameo.

Even though they’ve been around for 16 years, FOW’s method of songwriting has been the same since day one.

“Chris and I each write songs and bring in a batch. We arrange them together,” bassist Adam Schlesinger said.

For their first big tour, they opened for the Smashing Pumpkins, which made Smashing Pumpkins' guitarist James Iha fit into the lineup as opener so seamlessly. “We’ve been friends since then. He’s gearing up to promote a solo record,” Schlesinger said. He even mentioned they [Schlesinger and Iha] owned a small record label together.

Their latest record, Sky Full of Holes, was released on a smaller indie label, Yep Roc, back in August 2011.

“They have a roster we fit in with pretty well. A lot of songwriters, pop-stuff,” Schlesinger said. “They’re music fans,” Collingwood said.

The band said they prefer this label because of that. Their former label, Atlantic, cared more about the business than the music and didn’t feel as comfortable there.

The band is definitely one of a kind. Their inspirations range from The Beatles to the Beach Boys to the Zombies. It showed when their audience ranged from businessmen to teenage boys. When their name is taken from the name of fountain store that used to be in Wayne, New Jersey, how can these guys not be unique?

Throughout the night, they played songs from all five of their albums, pleasing new and old fans alike. And of course, they made sure to slip it a more acoustic and piano-rock version of “Stacy’s Mom” before ending the evening.

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