Facebook R&B crooner Mario has been relatively quiet on the music front for…
- Posted on Jun 7th 2007 2:00PM by Gaylord Fields
As I revealed in a previous IFLTS of my devising, I'm perhaps too big a fan of the rock 'n' roll subgenre known to musicologists worldwide as Fake Beatles. I suppose it's because I'm drawn to the idea that one band can totally mimic another band's highly distinctive style to the degree that the simulation becomes a comment of sorts on the original group. And that's why I'm championing Robbie Fulks' 'Fountains of Wayne Hotline,' in which the alt-country singer-songwriter has crafted a note-perfect homage/parody of the hook-happy popsters while simultaneously twitting (and exposing) every trick in that band's book.
In 'Hotline,' Fulks imagines himself calling a telephone crisis line where panicked songwriters and producers in a pinch can get access to Fountains of Wayne-sanctioned operators. The pop technicians on the other end proceed to talk the distraught songsmiths down from their musical ledge, suggesting solutions such as "employ the radical dynamic shift" and "slather the holy hell out of the thing with a semi-ironic Beach Boys vocal pad." All this is set to music, including an announced "slightly distorted melodic solo," that would fit snugly on the Fountains' resplendent 'Welcome Interstate Managers' album from 2003 (with Fulks twisting his usual twang into a dead ringer for FOW's Chris Collingwood).
Straying miles away from his typically sardonic yet reverential take on classic country songcraft, Fulks has crafted a masterful satire that is both clever and revealing in its barbed whimsy. And the end result would probably fool Fountains of Wayne's own mothers, if not their lawyers -- though it's a fair bet the Fountains see the huge honor in having been given the full-on Rutles treatment.
What song do you freakin' love? Write our next IFLTS. Send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org