Sunday, June 11, 2006

Fountains of Wayne at Appel Farm 6-03-06

(And finally, the final chapter of our Appel Farm Arts & Music Festival saga...)

My admiration of Fountains of Wayne goes far beyond (and before) Stacey's Mom.

It was a little movie, "That Thing You Do!" that made my husband and I aware of the songwriting talents of FOW's Adam Schlesinger.

If you've seen this film, you know that the title song (written by Schlesinger) is insidious. You will not be able to resist singing along. You will not be able to remove it from your head. Ever. (In part because it's played at least 50 times through the course of the film.)

In fact, just seeing the above photo will have this tune stuck in my brain the entire day.

Adam Schlesinger seems to have a particular talent for writing unbelievable hooks.

Happen to hear of the Click Five? My kids are totally obsessed with their CD -- especially the single "Just the Girl" written by...

...none other than Adam Schlesinger.

(Hmmm...matching suits just like the guys in That Thing You Do! )

Actually, the Click Five has a whole Beatle homage thing going on, as evidenced by their moptops and their music videos.
(Click Five figures into the end* of this post in case you're wondering why I'm bothering to include them here.)

Anyway, Fountains of Wayne is the greatest. The songwriting duo of Schlesinger and leader singer Chris Collingwood are the heart of the group.

I could go on & on about why I love these guys' catchy, witty songs. But instead, I present the first verse of Fountains of Wayne's "Mexican Wine" as evidence:

He was killed by a cellular phone explosion
They scattered his ashes across the ocean
The water was used to make baby lotion
The wheels of promotion
were set into motion


FOW on stage (dusk made all our FOW photos blurry, but you get the picture.)

You can see the vastness of the crowd over my shoulder...

My husband and I had just put together a tentative-from-memory setlist for FOW's Appel Farm show when I found on a post the Fountains of Wayne messageboard that not only confirmed my list but provided a review. (Thanks, scottiei.)

Radiation Vibe
Mexican Wine
Barbara H
Janice's Party
Red Dragon Tattoo
It Must Be Summer
Hey Julie
Leave the Biker
Stacy's Mom
Joe Rey
Bright Future in
Sink to the Bottom

Half a Woman
I've Got a Flair

Although scottiei was correct to say that most folks stayed firmly planted on their blankets even as Adam encouraged them to mosh, there was a contingent dancing along the sidelines during the entire show (as the above photo shows) and my kids couldn't resist jumping up themselves and heading off to the shoulder (our blanket was along the side anyway) sometime around "Hey Julie."

There was one uninhibited lady in front of us who stood up to dance early on -- she boogied like the middle-aged woman she was (Look, I can't dance either, but at least I restrain myself in public) and we loved the g-clef tattoo on her upper back. I said, "Music teacher" to which my husband responded "Choir director" Either way, she was enjoying herself, to which I give a big thumbs up!

A couple of Moms couldn't help but run up to dance in front of the stage during "Stacy's Mom" -- but they both had "got it going on," so all was okay.

Appel Farm photo from FOW website -- attributed to scottiei -- gives one a better idea of the crowd.

We did join the rush to the stage during "Joe Rey." My two girls and I all pogo-ing along. (While husband kept his dignity...)

Family fun! (Even when I had to cover my little one's ears during Bright Future in Sales' "I'm gonna get my sh*t together...")

I think it was Adam Schlesinger who said this was probably the first mosh pit ever at Appel Farm.

What else? Adam told the crowd that he himself was a camper at Appel Farm during his youth (in the early 70s?) Very cool.

Our oldest daughter really wanted to hear, "Utopia Parkway;" the youngest was somehow hoping for FOW to play a version of "Just the Girl*." I told them they could shout out their requests between songs (Hey, it could be cute if a kid's doing it) but of course they didn't have the courage to (I never do either in these situations.)

Even though neither of their favorite songs was performed, a great time was had by all! And believe me, these grade schoolers are a tough audience.

We hoped to grab some autographs after the show. (All our earlier FOW CDs were autographed at the 2004 'XPN festival, but I had Out-of-State Plates in hand, and the girls had their shirts.)

Chris and Adam eventually came to the fence at the side of the stage. There was a very large contingent of teeny-boppers crowded along the fence, and the guys stayed on the other side signing stuff.

One young person asked Adam, "How do I get to be famous like you? " To which he responded good-humoredly something along the lines of, "What do you want me to do? Teach a master class?"

We were being polite, so we didn't stand a chance of breaking through the young groupies.

And then, the guys had to go. As Adam turned to leave, my usually-not-into-these-things spouse yelled out, "Adam! Adam! Can you sign my girls' shirts?" Which Mr. Schlesinger was cool enough to do. But he didn't have a sharpie and had to borrow a red roller-ball-type pen from another fan.

You can just barely make out "Adam" on the orange shirt -- maybe why he didn't bother with his last name.

Got him to autograph our CD too.

As he signed, I told him Adam that our youngest had wanted to request "Just the Girl" and he said FOW didn't record the song themselves because Chris thought the song was too young for them. (Younger than "Stacy's Mom"?) At last, I was able to make a comment to an artist that didn't make them inwardly cringe! Mark this date on your calendars, boys and girls!

All in all, it was a great day! I'm sure our girls will remember it for the rest of their lives. I know I will.

And now -- equal time for Chris Collingwood! Photos from 2004's WXPN Singer-Songwriter Weekend:


At June 11, 2006 7:03 PM, Blogger spocko said...

I love Fountains of Wayne! I heard them on Terry Gross' show Fresh Air a few years ago and I ran out and bought their album. I think it was great that they acknowledged the connection with the Cars in the opening riff on Stacy's Mom.

Also That Thing You Do is one of my favorite movies. As a whole movie it isn't in the same category as Adventures in Babysitting, but it is damn close. What I especially love is the scene when they first hear their song on the radio. There are very few movies that have been able to capture just pure JOY in a scene and that is one of them. (Another movie that has a scene like that is "It Could Happen to You" with Nick Cage and Bridget Fonda.)

I also loved your previous post about going to the Porto potty with the kids. You are approaching Dooce's skill level on that post and she better look out she might have some hilarious competition. (You have read her potty work haven't you? If not, you should. It will make you feel you can go SO much further.)

It sounded like a great concert. If you didn't hear it, check out their interview on Fresh Air.

At June 11, 2006 9:40 PM, Blogger Merujo said...

I adore "That Thing You Do." (SPARTACUS!) And now that you've mentioned the song, it will be in my head for the rest of the night. :-) Great band - what a killer weekend for music. I'm envious.

BTW, before one of my Jersey sisters moved, I would drive past the actual "Fountains of Wayne" store to get to her place. (Interestingly, that store is also featured in the opening montage of "The Sopranos." Go figure.)

At June 12, 2006 8:30 AM, Blogger Cyn said...


Thanks for the Fresh Air link -- I will definitely check it out. Oh, and a general thanks for the comment. Great to hear from someone new. (Um, at least I don't think I've heard from you before. The old memory ain't what it used to be. I blame my excessive consumption of aspartame.)

I'm not familiar with Dooce (hopefully this doesn't make me some sort of blog village idiot); however anyone who has a body of "potty work" is okay by me.

We are one of those backwards people who doesn't have HBO -- so I have never seen the Sopranos! (Not interested enough to seek it out on DVD either...I've read enough about the show to know what's gone down each season.)

But I have to think the Fountains of Wayne store appearance is some sort of tribute.

At June 12, 2006 10:23 PM, Blogger Merujo said...

I think Dooce is highly overrated, to be honest. (She's the original blogger who was fired for blogging about work - from whence the concept of getting "dooced" comes from.) She blogs mostly about raising her daughter. I think there are lots of people who are funnier, better writers, the whole nine yards - but she has ridden a wave of fame and popularity based on having been canned for blogging.

At June 12, 2006 10:23 PM, Blogger Merujo said...

Wow - I should have grammar checked that last comment. "from whence... comes from"??? Jeez.

At June 17, 2006 2:25 AM, Blogger spocko said...

Hi Cyn:

I stopped in to see if you listened to the Fresh Air link yet?

One of the other things I liked about the movie "That thing you do" Is the character of Stephen Zahn. (One of the guitar guys) He had some hilarious lines there. My favorite was when he was at a jazz radio station where Clint Howard (Ron's Brother, Balok in ST: TOS) was asking who their influences are Cap'n Geech and the Shrimp Shack Shooters.

The best! If I had a band I would seriously consider that as a name.

Oh one more thing. You look ADORABLE in that photo. Now you can say you have been complemented by other worldly beings on your looks.

At June 17, 2006 8:25 AM, Blogger Cyn said...

Thanks for the compliment -- after I put the photo up, my husband said, "Why'd you use that picture of you drunk on our anniversary?"

I protested, "No -- we took this before we went out!" Went back to the digital archives and of course, he was right. (Hey, I was drunk -- how am I supposed to remember the timeline?)

So, the moral of the story is: Everyone Looks Better Drunk. (Or at least more relaxed, if you have kids.)

I have the Fresh Air interview on my mental list. It's a very cluttered list, so thanks for reminding me.

At June 17, 2006 9:01 PM, Blogger spocko said...

What I should have said, (insert child's name)'s Mom has got it going on.

But that would have been too clever by half.

At August 30, 2006 11:08 AM, Blogger valovelace said...

Cyn - I was thrilled to come across your write up. In your first Appel Farm photo there is a white t-shirt draped across the fence. I had flown from Albuquerque New Mexico to see FOW and I wanted to meet Chris Collingwood. He had been asking about an online character on his blog, so just for grins, I had the character placed on a t-shirt. You may remember between songs, he asked, "can anyone tell me about this online bear thing?" after noticing the t-shirt. Anyway, I did get backstage right after the show (because of the shirt) and he was so cool and gracious. It was worth the trip!

At September 02, 2006 8:33 PM, Blogger Cyn said...


Yes, I remember that -- and I remember being confused because I didn't know what the shirt was about. I know.

Glad to hear that your pilgrimage from NM worked out so well! That's dedication.

It was a great show, wasn't it?


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home