Adam Schlesinger, best known to most music fans as a member of the power pop band, Fountains of Wayne lost his life on April 1st of this year at the age of 52. One of the first musicians taken from us by the Corona Virus pandemic, Adam’s death is an immeasurable loss. In addition to founding Fountains of Wayne with Chris Collingwood, Schlesinger was a gifted and prolific songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist who also recorded with electro-pop trio Ivy and ‘supergroup’ Tinted Windows (with Bun E. Carlos, James Iha and Taylor Hanson). Offstage, he had an impressive career writing music for film and television. I first met Adam in 1995, when I interviewed Fountains of Wayne during the press cycle for its debut album, and over the years I would see him occasionally at parties and industry events. He was a nice guy and an unbelievable talent. Everybody loved Adam.
It is in Adam Schlesinger’s memory that wide array of artists touched by his life pay tribute to the many musical projects of which he was a part via a Bandcamp-exclusive benefit compilation, Saving for a Custom Van. The 31-song collection features collaborators, tourmates, friends, and fans putting their own spin on songs spanning his entire career. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend co-creator, executive producer and star Rachel Bloom turns Fountains of Wayne’s “Stacy’s Mom” into a jazzy cabaret moodpiece, while Schlesinger’s Fountains of Wayne bandmate Jody Porter contributes a melancholy, shimmering take on Ivy’s “Four in the Morning.” Sarah Silverman — who teamed up with Schlesinger on the upcoming musical The Bedwetter — joins with songwriter Ben Lee for a gorgeous, folk-leaning take on “Way Back Into Love,” a Schlesinger song central to the 2007 film Music and Lyrics.
Other musicians on the compilation tackle Fountains of Wayne songs (Letters to Cleo’s Kay Hanley, “Radiation Vibe” — listen at This Link.; Motion City Soundtrack, “Dip in the Ocean”; Nada Surf, “Sick Day”; Vivian Girls/Upset member Ali Koehler, “Hackensack”), while Ivy songs are also well-represented (Belly members Tanya Donelly and Gail Greenwood, “Undertow”; Ted Leo, “Everyday”; HUNNY, “Tess Don’t Tell”).
Saving for a Custom Van, which takes its title from a lyric in Fountains of Wayne’s “Utopia Parkway,” is co-curated and co-released by Father/Daughter Records and Wax Nine, the label/journal run by Speedy Ortiz’s Sadie Dupuis (who also contributes a FoW cover under her Sad13 moniker). One-hundred percent of proceeds will be donated to MusiCares’ COVID-19 Relief Fund, which is dedicated to helping music industry and community members affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Download the full album for just $10 at Bandcamp via This Link!
Saving for a Custom Van Track Listing:
1. Apex Manor – Utopia Parkway
2. Tanya Donelly and Gail Greenwood – Undertow
3. Jeff Rosenstock – Please Don’t Rock Me Tonight
4. Kay Hanley – Radiation Vibe
5. Ben Lee and Sarah Silverman – Way Back Into Love
6. Remember Sports – Just the Girl
7. Rachel Bloom – Stacy’s Mom
8. Christian Lee Hutson – Red Dragon Tattoo
9. Sad13 – A Fine Day For a Parade
10. Jack Dolgen – What’ll It Be
11. Motion City Soundtrack – A Dip in the Ocean
12. Field Mouse – Valley Winter Song
13. Cheekface – That Thing You Do
14. Lucy Stone – I’ve Got a Flair
15. Nada Surf – Sick Day
16. Jody Porter – Four in the Morning
17. Suzy Shinn and Charlie Brand – All Kinds of Time
18. Ted Leo – Everyday
19. Potty Mouth – I’ve Got A Feeling
20. Cocktails – Sink to the Bottom
21. Bree McKenna – Our Twisted Fate
22. Ethan Eubanks – Troubled Times
23. Ali Koehler – Hackensack
24. Charly Bliss – Pretend to Be Nice
25. Julian Velard and Alex Dezen – Michael and Heather at the Baggage Claim
26. HUNNY – Tess Don’t Tell
27. Mikey Erg – Hey Julie
28. Off Book and the Family Band – Come On
29. Prince Daddy & The Hyena and Just Friends – Mexican Wine
30. Lisa Prank – Little Red Light
31. Joshua Stoddard – Survival Car