Why is Fountains of Wayne’s Welcome Interstate Managers on my best 1,000 albums ever list?
Serious about its 1970s and 1980s guitar rock sensibilities. Doubly serious about having a gas in the lyrical content department.
Some stats & info about Fountains of Wayne – Welcome Interstate Managers
- What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Power Pop, Alternative Rock, Rock, Pop
- Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – not ranked!
- All Music’s rating – 4 out of 5 stars
- When was Welcome Interstate Managers released? 2003
- My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #973 out of 1,000
Fountains of Wayne’s Welcome Interstate Managers on Spotify
What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?
Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.
But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective take on what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.
What does Fountains of Wayne’s Welcome Interstate Managers mean to me? What does it make me feel? Why is it exciting or compelling?
Many people associate Fountains of Wayne with the hit single, “Stacy’s Mom,” which does a pretty good job of representing this album and the band at its truest and best: very serious about its 1970s and 1980s guitar rock sensibilities while being doubly serious about having a gas in the lyrical content department.
Let’s put it this way: there’s a zero percent chance that anyone who has a solid grasp of the English language could come away from “Stacy’s Mom” without understanding that, at the very least, Stacy’s mom has got it going on.
To put it another way: it’s a really good song and a really fun song at the same time, and ain’t that one of the main points (if there are in fact main points) of rock n’ roll?
I really enjoy the dreamy, whimsical vibe of “Hackensack,” and it may well be my favorite song on the album.
More on this one below.
And while songs like “Bright Future In Sales” are bright and fun and remind me of a certain super popular throwback sitcom (more on that below, too!), I prefer Fountains of Wayne even more in a more acoustic-y, earnest-er (yeah, okay, I’m coining words here: I should write a play called The Important of Being Earnest-er, perhaps?) mode. A great example is “Hey Julie.”
This album also sounds like
There’s a range of 1970s and 1980s bands that clearly influence Fountains of Wayne, ranging from The Cars to Matthew Sweet and (particularly) Weezer in terms of self-conscious tongue-in-cheek lyrics, but honestly while listening to Welcome Interstate Managers I kept thinking about Big Star’s “In the Street,” otherwise known as That ‘70s Show’s theme song!
Hello Wisconsin, or New Jersey, indeed.
Pop culture stuff that’s somehow related to Fountains of Wayne’s Welcome Interstate Managers
Some people might know that the band name Fountains of Wayne ties to “a lawn ornament store in Wayne, New Jersey,” which is weird and interesting enough. And if you’re hip to Fountains of Wayne – the band and the lawn ornament store – and you’re a Sopranos superfan (which you absolutely should be), you’ll know that the lawn ornament store was featured in a scene in “Another Toothpick” from the HBO series’ third season.
And if you’re an insane superfan like I am (I’ll let you off the hook on this one if you’re not), you’ll also know that that scene that takes place at Fountains of Wayne the lawn ornament store features actor Erik Weiner, who appears in exactly one scene in one episode of The Sopranos, and in which he speaks a single line of dialog: “Leon, take your break at two.”
If you’re asking why and/or how I know that, you absolutely must watch this immediately.
Spoiler: it’s insanely hilarious, spectacularly executed, and quite insightful into the grind of being a working actor.
And if you want much, much (much) more about an actor that almost appeared in one scene of an HBO megahit (Band of Brothers in this case) but didn’t, I can’t recommend Dead Eyes with Connor Ratliff. Honestly, it’s one of those things that doesn’t sound like a thing but totally is a thing and it’s fantastic.
But back to the Fountains of Wane song, “Hackensack,” as promised!
It’s featured in the 2005 romantic comedy, Just Friends.
Now, Just Friends is sometimes known as the “Ryan Reynolds in a fat suit” movie, which is not totally unfair but loses scope on the fact that it’s a wonderful movie overall with a delightfully biting sense of humor that hits the sweet spot that both my wife and I love.
In fact, it remains one of the most quoted movies in our household. For example, it’s well known to us that people from New Jersey ski in their jeans and that, with regard to Simply Dusty: is there any other kind?