Letters

Letters 08-01-2016

Voter Suppression And Choice In 2013, five Supreme Court justices, each appointed by Republican presidents, knocked the teeth out of the Voting Rights Act. Immediately a majority of Republican-dominated states began passing laws aimed at suppressing the votes of their majority Democrat demographics: minorities, students and the elderly. These laws – requiring voter IDs, cutting early voting, eliminating same-day registration, closing selected polling places, banning straight-ticket voting, etc. — never flat-out deny a person’s right to vote; they just make actual registering and voting more difficult, and therefore make it more likely that individuals in certain groups will not vote. Think of voter suppression as a kind of reverse marketing strategy, one aimed at getting people not to do something...

Free Parking Patrick Sullivan’s good story on parking overlooked one source of “free parking” that has become an increasing problem in Traverse City: spill-over into adjacent neighborhoods. Instead of discouraging people from bringing cars downtown, we’re allowing them to park on both sides of narrow residential streets all day long...

Real American Duality Isiah Smith didn’t really put his deep thinking hat on before writing the “American Duality” commentary. First there’s geography. His daughter feels safer in Sweden than in the United States, at least partially because of the violence in Dallas, Baton Rouge and Minnesota. Really? Safer than in northern Michigan, which is further away from Dallas and Baton Rouge than Stockholm is from Ansbach, Paris or Brussels and no closer to Minnesota than Sweden is to Germany? Did Smith miss recent supremely violent events in those places? Alrighty then...

Home · Articles · News · Music · The New Cars
. . . .

The New Cars

Ross Boissoneau - November 23rd, 2006
What is 40% Cars, 40% Utopia and 20% the hardest hitting man in rock and
roll?
Take a look under the hood and you’ll see it’s The New Cars, featuring
original Cars Elliot Easton and Greg Hawkes (guitar and keyboards,
respectively), with Todd Rundgren and Kasim Sulton channeling Ric Ocasek
and the late Ben Orr. Tubes drummer Prairie Prince, who’s also spent time
with Todd and Jefferson Starship/Airplane, keeps the motor humming.
The New Cars make their Michigan debut Tuesday, Nov. 28 at the Kewadin
Casino in St. Ignace. They were scheduled to play this summer at DTE
Energy Music Theater in Clarkston on a double bill with Blondie, but just
days before the show the tour bus was involved in an accident and Easton
broke his arm.
The New Cars developed from the desire of Easton and Hawkes to return to
those thrilling days of yesteryear, when “Let’s Go” and “You Might Think”
were blasting out of radios nationwide. For those who can’t get enough of
those days, the recent release of the live DVD/CD set “Unlocked” provides
a glimpse and a listen to the band in its heyday.
Many of The Cars’ 20 Top-40 hits are represented in vintage performances,
from packed club gigs in the ‘70s to sold-out arena shows in the ‘80s,
with backstage, interview, and rehearsal footage. Former bandleader Ocasek
personally compiled and produced “Unlocked,” spending over three years
distilling hundreds of hours of footage from his personal archive. The
results show a band that worked hard, yet enjoyed itself, which wasn’t
necessarily in evidence when the band was riding high in the ‘80s. It’s a
fascinating and enjoyable ride.
But that was then, and this is now. So how do you go about resurrecting a
band that’s been on the shelf for 20 years? Easton has been quoted as
saying, “We are approaching this as if we are a brand new band, it just so
happens that we have an incredible amount of great music in the trunk to
take along for the ride.”
Not only does the band have the Cars’ body of work to lean on, but the new
band debuted three new songs on “It’s Alive,” and the group also draws on
Rundgren’s work, going all the way back to “Open My Eyes” from the Nazz,
circa 1968.
Rundgren’s voice does bring to mind a deeper version of Ocasek. And the
twin guitar attack of Rundgren and Easton is at least as powerful as that
of the Cars in its prime. But where that band was viewed right or wrong as
Ocasek’s mouthpiece, the new version is much more democratic.
But how does it sound? “It’s Alive” shows off a band that’s tight, musical
and muscular, more so than the original. Cars fans and Todd fans alike can
enjoy the music and groove on the ride.
One caveat to the Kewadin show: Sulton will be replaced by Atom Ellis, who
is guesting on several concerts, while Kaz tours with Meat Loaf, for whom
he is musical director.
For tickets ($38.50), contact the casino at www.kewadin.com.

 
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