New York power-pop combo Fountains of Wayne will give fans a musical travelogue of their near-decade together with the release of Out-of-State Plates.
Due on June 28, the double-disc set contains a whopping 26 non-album tracks recorded at various stages during the band’s career.
Intended to appeal to both die-hard fans and newbies snared by the hit “Stacy’s Mom,” the set is a motherlode of rarities and unreleased tracks; there are also five covers and two brand-new songs. The title might seem to continue the automotive theme that the band used on its last two albums, 1999’s Utopia Parkway and 2003’s Welcome Interstate Managers, but the band’s Adam Schlesinger said he sees the “plates” as records.
The success of Interstate set the stage for another album – so why this odds-and-ends collection? “The short answer is we don’t have a new album to put out,” Schlesinger said with a tiny chuckle. “It had been accumulating for a long time and was getting to be a pile too big to release all at once. We had been kicking around the idea since Utopia’s Parkway, and we didn’t do it then.” He added that the track list may change a bit before the album hits stores.
Of the new songs, Schlesinger described “Maureen” as “what you would expect a Fountains of Wayne song to sound like: power pop, though it is actually one of the fastest we’ve ever recorded.” He said the other new song, “The Girl I Can’t Forget,” is actually “about a guy who can’t remember the events from the night before.”
From the dozens of covers that the band plays live, these five made it to the Plates : Burt Bacharach’s “Trains and Boats and Planes,” the Electric Light Orchestra’s “Can’t Get it Out of My Head,” Jackson Browne’s “These Days,” Aztec Camera’s “Killermont Street” and Britney Spears’ “… Baby One More Time.” The latter has been played on the radio (on Howard Stern’s show) as a bootleg, but has never been released.
Plans call for the band to headline the second annual Sing for the Children sing-a-thon to benefit New York’s homeless children on May 22; the concert will take place in Central Park and Ben Kweller will open. The band is currently putting together a tour to accompany the albums’ release.
One reason for FOW’s sporadic output over the years is Schlesinger’s other band, Ivy. The trio released its fifth LP, In the Clear, earlier this year and will be on tour, off and on, up until the release of Plates in June. Schlesinger also lent his talents to the band the Click Five, who just finished touring with Ashlee Simpson and will join Aaron Carter for some dates. “There are two songs of mine on the Click Five record. Right now I’m also working with an L.A. band called Big City Rock. They’ve kind of got an ’80s influence but they’re still power pop. It’s definitely up my alley.”