With their first new release since 2007’s Traffic and Weather, Fountains of Wayne carries on its critically acclaimed brand of shimmery pop.

Fountains of Wayne
Sky Full of Holes
Yep Roc Records

With their first new release since 2007’s Traffic and Weather, Fountains of Wayne carries on its critically acclaimed brand of shimmery pop. Formed in New York in 1996 and named after a garden store in neighboring New Jersey, this two-time Grammy-nominated band was formed by songwriters Adam Schlesinger and Chris Collingwood. Interestingly, bassist Schlesinger penned the title song for That Thing You Do, a 1996 Tom Hanks film about a 1960s one-hit-wonder band. The title track became a hit (unlike the film), and the band has continued to churn them out ever since. FoW’s original lineup, which also includes guitarist Jody Porter and drummer Brian Young (formerly of the Posies), has remained unchanged since their first tour.

Full of blazing power pop and acoustic-driven ballads, Sky Full of Holes comes just in time for late-summer fun. The stories remain great, and the songs have the same feel that longtime fans expect (check out “Road Song”), with a gentle, lap-steel love song quickly being taken over by a happy and quacky pop song with a big horn section. The different styles work well with this fun and sometimes-clever group of tunes, many of which sound destined for Top 40 radio. The album doesn’t have all the scrap and surliness of their earliest stuff—this outing has its share of Hollywood gloss—but then what is crunchy power pop all about, anyway? Fun, that’s all. So if you’re into Big Star, Evan Dando, and Weezer, Sky Full of Holes is definitely worth a listen.

A faithful recreation of the Germanium Mosrite Fuzzrite with a modern twist.

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With such a flashy flame top, the Silvertone 1445 was built to catch the eyes of department store shoppers.

I don’t know what’s going on lately, but I’m breaking down all over and my shoulder is the latest to crumble. When I was a kid I would practice guitar in my bedroom near a radiator with an ungrounded amp plug and I’d get a zap right through my guitar and into my hands. Well, my shoulder pain is like that now, only without the cool story of rock ’n’ roll survival. I simply woke up one day like this. After a few weeks of discomfort, I figured I’d try out a new pillow, since mine are flattened like a wafer. I ventured out to the mall and, much to my sadness, saw the local Sears store shuttered, with weeds growing up from the sidewalks and concrete barriers blocking the large glass doors. I know I don’t get out much, but, man, was I sad to see the Sears store I’d known since childhood closed-up like that. My wife was laughing at me because apparently it had been closed for some time. But since I seem to exist on a separate timeline than most folks, it was all news to me.

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It doesn’t have to be all cowboy boots and yee-haws!



• Learn how to comp using hybrid picking.
• Add nuance to your playing by combining pick and finger string attacks.
• Add speed and fluidity to your lead playing.

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The first thing most guitarists think of when they hear the phrase “hybrid picking” is undoubtedly twangy Telecasters. While that may be the most common use of hybrid picking, it is far from the only application. Diving into hybrid picking opens a whole new world of control, timbre possibilities, ideas, speed, and more.

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