So I've been working these crazy hours, but I had one of those weird, serendipitous experiences last night that left me contemplative on my long commute.
I was in the car, approaching a gas station, humming along to the goofy FOW Christmas song "I Want an Alien for Christmas" and thinking that, man, I like this band. They're catchy and sharp and don't take themselves too seriously. You'd have to look hard to find a song more good-humored and cutting than "Bright Future in Sales," for example, and that's a pretty hard line to straddle. I saw them in 2003, at Metro in Chicago, just before "Stacey's Mom" broke huge, and they were tight and just a bit uptight. But an amazing band. (True: a friend of mine went to college (Williams, in Massachutsetts) with Collingworth and Schlesinger, but he said they existed "on a completely different level of cool" than he did--alas, I believe it.)
So I cruise into the pump, which is one of those informational pumps, where the screen tells you that beer is on sale and there's a radio making announcements over the music. But the music, which I was also humming along with without quite realizing it, turned out to be "That Thing You Do"--a middling bad film, but with a decent power pop soundtrack. Ruminating in empty brain space, I grinned a bit thinking that "power pop" and "Oscar" don't generally go in the same sentence. But in this case, I'm glad they did.
So I get back in the car, realizing that I've left the ipod playing this whole time. Oops. It's dreamy, contemplative, a girl's voice. Ivy.
Not until that song is over do I realize that I've just been treated to a 1-2-3 punch from Adam Schlesinger, one of the most gifted people working in music right now, and a solid power pop guy. I run into him in the weirdest places: for example, the documentary "Gigantic: A Tale of Two Johns"--shot partly at a 2001 recording session--scanned the room and across Schlesinger's face: he was producing them.
So Schlesinger is everywhere, or at least some days it seems that way. And you know what? I'm okay with that.