Monday, November 17, 2003

Concert Recommendation: Fountains of Wayne, Vic Theatre, Wednesday, November 19

Fountains of Wayne write such hook-filled pop songs that it should be a guilty a pleasure. But for starters, there's Jody Porter, who gives their songs just enough guitar muscle to avoid the cloying coyness of bassist Adam Schlesinger's other band Ivy. But their real strength is in their lyrics. Songs like "Stacy's Mom" and "Fire Island" are written from the perspective of teenagers, but songwriters Schlesinger and Chris Collingwood are in their 30s and drop subtle hints at the delusion of that younger age. Choruses like the one from "Little Red Light:" "It's not right/it's not fair/I'm still a mess/and you still don't care" are like clichés in the making -- the words flow together so well it's astonishing no one has thought to assemble them previously like dance/chance/romance. Their concerts lend themselves to audience sing-alongs, and the band members have the self-deprecating sense of humor needed to survive when they look like they got beaten up, or at least teased, frequently in high school.

Fountains of Wayne play with Caviar at the Vic Theatre, 3145 N. Sheffield, Chicago, 773.472.0449 at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, November 19.

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