Wednesday, May 31, 2006

"New Cars" Backfires

Out Of The Wrecking Yard

I am glad that those who enjoy this refitted version of The Cars are enjoying it, I really do. More power to ya.

After witnessing a recent performance, I realize why I won't be able to match the level of some people's enthusiasm for The New Cars.

It's simple, really. I just can't see Rundgren, the purveyor of melodic, feel good, 70's rock (most of which I like) as the lead singer in one of the groundbreaking bands that brought the "New Wave" mentality to the mainstream.

New Wave was the antithesis of the "Have A Nice Day", "I'm OK, You're OK" attitude that permeated pop music for much of the 70's. To me, one of the major messages of New Wave was, "I'm NOT OK and life is NOT a frickin' bowl of cherries all the time". New Wave cloaked itself in darkness, disenchantment and detachment.

While I appreciate each of these genres independently, combining their elements creates a strange melange.

Todd, the former 70's Flower Child, posing as frontman for a band of dark, New Wave icons is like mixing oil and vinegar. To me, It's like The Doors returning with David Cassidy at the helm. Todd's singing, which is fine in it's own right, just can't match the spookiness and reticence of a Ric Ocasek.

Of course, it's my own small minded perception and prejudice that frames things that way. Those that have more flexibility in their outlook on this band are probably reaping benefits I have yet to aspire to. So while I may be limiting myself, that's where I am.

It does look like, in an attempt to create a New Wave image, Todd took his hair coloring tips from Debbie Harry, whom he will be touring with. The black locks underpinning a thick shock of overbleached, fright wig hair is as disturbing as his attempt to fit in as a New Wave Hero.

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