Power pop accessorized with empathy, brains and hooks, Fountains of Waynes 2007 Traffic and Weather stands as one of the decades essential recordings. Songwriters Adam Schlesinger and Chris Collingwood tackled middle-class angst and self-absorption and made it sound almost attractive, and Traffic and Weather proved prescient on the subject of economic meltdown and its aftereffects. The beleaguered debtor of Strapped for Cash found himself face to face with a crew of collectors who pulled up in a Pinto, while New Routine expertly parsed American rootlessness, right down its portrait of two guys talking real estate, prostates, Costco in a diner. With its George Harrison licks, Badfinger rhythm guitar and subtle nods to Dylan and country-rock, Traffic was a formalists dream, yet it completely avoided pastiche. Theyre a great band, and tonights all-acoustic show should show off their big, fat songbook in exemplary fashion.
Thu., Sept. 17, 9 p.m., 2009