Fountains of Wayne | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Fountains of Wayne 

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Fountains of Wayne

While there's nothing particularly smart about Fountains of Wayne, they've managed to stand out against this year's lackluster pop competition by openly displaying their tunefulness, unhindered by either irony (like Weezer) or extraneous sonic gunk (like Eric Matthews). On their eponymous debut (on TAG), guitarist-writers Chris Collingwood and Adam Schlesinger (who also plays with Ivy) might cop from the Beach Boys on one song, borrow from the Beatles on another, and on yet another conjure late-70s power pop, but the antecedents have a way of dissolving into the sugary delirium. While a tune like "Sick Day" borders on twee, for the most part the Fountains undergird their melodies with chunks of meaty guitar. Lyrically it's all pretty fluffy, but it wouldn't make much difference if they quoted Derrida--the hooks are what matter. Fountains of Wayne perform as part of a showcase for the local Scratchie label--Schlesinger is a co-owner with Smashing Pumpkins James Iha and D'Arcys--as do Chainsaw Kittens and Fulflej, a pair of true alt-rock irrelevancies. Saturday, 6:30 PM, Metro, 3730 N. Clark; 773-549-0203.

PETER MARGASAK

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Adam Schlesinger photo by Joseph Cultice/ Chris Collingwood photo by Joseph Cultice.

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