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Fall Out Boy

The 2007 Honda Civic Tour rolls into town this week, and we’re left to wonder: However do they fit five bands and all their gear into such a small car?

OK, har-dee-har, whatever, shut up. The tour is sponsored by Honda’s flagship brand; the bands will, of course, travel in their own rides. In the case of headliners Fall Out Boy, we’re guessing the ride is a big, lush tour bus with a fully stocked mascara locker. The Chicago emo-pop heartthrobs are currently plugging their Infinity on High release; in lesser ways, they’re also pimping Angels & Kings, the bar they just opened in New York’s East Village, and bassist Pete Wentz’s status as one of People’s 100 Most Beautiful. Which apparently means that People has a few openings for editors with eyesight.

Also appearing on Wednesday’s emo-riffic bill are +44 (featuring former Blink 182-ers Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker), The Academy Is . . ., Cobra Starship, and . . . Paul Wall? Perhaps he really is selling everybody grills!

The Honda Civic Tour, featuring Fall Out Boy, hits the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (Saratoga Spa State Park, Saratoga Springs) this Wednesday (May 30). Tickets for the 6 PM show are $39.25 in the amphitheatre, $23.75 on the lawn. (Ahh, the lawn. Welcome back, summer!) For more information or to purchase tickets, call the box office at 587-3330.

Close Encounters With Music

“Come wiz me to ze cazbah, ma petit cherie amour . . .”

Spring is here, and all around us are the signs of love. Or something like that. Close Encounters With Music will bring the musical love on Saturday evening in Great Barrington, Mass., with their program L’Amour Toujours. Musical guests including James Tocco (piano), Lisa Shihoten (violin) and Nadine Asin (flute) will join cellist and musical director Yehuda Hanani for a romance-drenched program of Brahms (Piano Quartet in C-minor), Franck (Piano Quintet), Tchaikovsky and Piazzolla.

L’Amour Toujours will be presented by Close Encounters With Music on Saturday (May 26) at 6 PM at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center (14 Castle St., Great Barrington). Tickets are $35, $10 students; $100 preferred seating and patron’s reception. For reservations and information, call (800) 843-0778 or (413) 528-0100.

Ralph Nader

The arguments made in Unsafe at Any Speed seem quaint—cars shouldn’t run over their owners, they shouldn’t blind drivers with shiny interior chrome, they shouldn’t fishtail uncontrollably, they should all have seatbelts. Such common-sense stuff, it’s a wonder that any of it was ever debated. But it was debated, and vehemently. So if these design details appear to be no-brainers today, it is in large part due to the effectiveness of the activist who championed these concerns way back in 1965.

On May 25, Ralph Nader will visit the Capital Region—specifically, the Spectrum 8 Theatres, the Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza in Albany, the Sanctuary for Independent Media in Troy, and Red Fox Books in Glens Falls—as part of a tour promoting his latest book, The Seventeen Traditions, an autobiographical work about growing up working class in bucolic Connecticut, and the opening of the documentary about Nader’s career, An Unreasonable Man. He refers to the book as a love story for his parents, and reviewers have noted its warm tone and noncontroversial subject matter. You can be certain, however, while visiting the area, controversial issues will be exactly what Nader will want to talk about.

“Corporate power is so dominant, we now have a corporate government in Washington,” Nader said in a phone interview with Metroland. “It is dominant now more than ever. It’s corrupting our electoral processes. It is turning the government against its own people. Washington, D.C., is corporate-occupied territory.”

It is within this “corporate-occupied territory” that Ralph Nader has spent the past 30 years fighting the influence of 10,000 political action committees and more than 35,000 full-time lobbyists representing the interests of large corporations. Many of his battles have been documented in An Unreasonable Man.

So, what can be done about our corporatacracy?

“First, we need to get public funding of campaigns,” Nader said. Also, he would like to see the Audience Network Act enacted. It is a proposal that he championed during his 2004 presidential bid.

“The premise is that the people own the public airwaves,” he said. “The Federal Communications Commission is the real-estate agent and it gives away licenses free 24 hours a day to a large variety of radio and television corporations. The idea is to return an hour or more a day of prime-time television to the control of the audience, establishing nonprofit studios that allow reporters to put out news without the pressures of advertisers—or, in the case of public media, underwriters—on them.

Another blow to big government would be the empowering third parties, which have always been the champions of bold ideas, he argued, including women’s suffrage, the 40-hour work week, and Social Security.

“We should not allow a two-party dictatorship to stifle third-party candidates,” he said. “I think people want more voices and choices.”

Ralph Nader comes to the Capital Region bearing stories, statistics and progressive solutions tomorrow (Friday, May 25), and you’ll have many chances to catch him. He begins his day at 11 AM the Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza (Albany) with a book signing. Next, he travels to Glens Falls to speak at 3 PM at Red Fox Books (28 Ridge St., Glens Falls); An Unreasonable Man opens that evening at 7:40 PM at Aimee’s Dinner & a Movie (190-194 Glen St., Glens Falls).

Then, it’s back to Albany, to the Spectrum 8 Theatres (290 Delaware Ave., Albany), where Nader will lead a Q & A after the 3:30 and 6:30 PM showings of the documentary—taking time to slip out and head over to a pizza party and fundraiser (6-8 PM, $25) at the Sanctuary for Independent Media (3361 6th Ave., Troy). Need extra incentive to go to the Spectrum? Well, the Rock Hill Bakehouse is making sure you’ll get a free loaf of bread when you buy a ticket. For more information, call Spectrum 8 Theatres at 449-8995 or the Sanctuary at 272-2390.

—Chet Hardin


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