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October 24, 1996 - Image 10

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-10-24

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

10A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, October 24,

Southern rock makes
Michigan appearance
Widespread Panic hits Ann Arbor

By Aaron Ronnie
Daily Arts Writer
Long accustomed to constant tour-
ing, Southern rock stalwart Widespread
Panic will be invading Ann Arbor
Thursday night for a performance at the
Michigan Theater.
Widespread's percussionist,
Domingo "Sunny"_
Ortiz, spoke
recently with The P F
Michigan Daily to
discuss the current
state of one of Toni
America's greatestp
live acts.
Noting the dif-
ference between fans in the various
regions of the country, Ortiz said, "Our
stronghold has always been the
Southeast. You know when we first
started out on this long venture of ours,
we figured that the Midwest and the
Northeast were gonna be our toughest
markets, only because they're so -
and I hate to use this expression - but
they're so widespread.
"But fortunately, you know, we've
had some real good luck with some
good radio stations that are willing to
help us out and that's the key right
there, getting in the radio waves. That's
what it takes for an underground band,
like we still are.
"We've been doing this now for 10,

I1 years and there are still some mar-
kets that have never heard of us:'
A talented and versatile sextet,
Widespread Panic has gradually
developed both fan and critical
acclaim. Its solid and confident 1994

album, "Ain't
praised by the
ght, doors open at 6:30
At the Michigan Theater
Tickets $18.50

Life Grand," was
musical press from
coast to coast,
but the band did-
n't face main-
stream recogni-

Continued from Page 9A
structing her 1969 piece, "The One
Hundreds," on 100 members of the
Ann Arbor and surrounding communi-
ties with participants gathered from
places like Community High School,
Wayne State, local dance companies.
and University athletic and dance
Tharp created "The One Hundreds"
at a period in her choreographic career
in which she explored working with
movement theme, exploring one initial
phrase and constantly changing it
through tactics such as reversion, inver-
sion, resequencing, and changing
Tharp described "The One
Hundreds" as "a dance that I simply
and modestly designed to represent
the entire universe."
One-hundred people, filling a
space, all working off the same 110
second phrase of movements. The
movement is constructed from every-
day gestures, able to be instantly
picked up by any bodies with nearly
no rehearsal time.
Tharp, along with the 100 commu-
nity participants, will present only
one demonstration of the reconstruc-
tion tonight at the Power Center at 8
The show will include footage o@
the original version of the piece as it
was performed more than 25 years
ago, as well as video clips from the
Michigan rehearsal made earlier in the
day. Recognizing the bold era in which
"The One Hundreds" was conceived,
Tharp is awarding a prize to the par-
ticipant with the most flamboyant';
most retro or wildest '60s / '70s cos-


Ortiz proffered
that MTV "might
be against us.
We're just not

Choo-chool Widespread panic chugs Into Ann Arbor tonight.

that camera-friendly." This fact should
be duly noted, as lead vocalist and gui-
tarist John Bell is not, frankly, a front-
man whose air-brushed countenance is
pinned up on every teen-age girl's
wall, and neither are those of the rest
of the band (keyboardist and vocalist
John Hermann; lead guitarist and
vocalist Michael Houser; drummer
Todd Nance, and bassist and vocalist
David Schools).
Nevertheless, the members of
Widespread Panic are not exactly living
like paupers. "We've always had huge
amounts of successfulness by touring.
We really didn't depend on MTV or
VH-1 or the radio as our mainstay.
We're still traveling out here about 200

dates a year," Ortiz said.
And the group is hitting the road for
the right reasons. "Most bands just tour
to support (their) albums. We just tour
cause we want to tour."
Widespread Panic took almost two
months off its busy schedule this sum-
mer to record the follow-up to "Ain't
Life Grand."
"It sounds real good. We've got 10
new songs on there," said an excited
Ortiz. "We think it's gonna do some
damage here."
Although it won't be released until
Feb. 6, Widespread Panic will be play-
ing some of the new tunes in concert.
"Trial and error," Ortiz explained,

"that's how we hit on some of these
One source of inspiration for the
band is legendary rocker Col. Bruce
Hampton, ex-leader of Aquarium
Rescue Unit and current head of a
power trio, the Fiji Mariners.
"The Colonel has been a stronghold,
almost a member of the band since we
first started out. He's kind of our spiri-
tual father. For a 55, 60-year-old man,
he's still out there kickin' it, kinda like
how Sun Ra was before he passed
away," Ortiz said.
In addition to spending a good
amount of time with Widespread Panic
on the inaugural H.O.R.D.E. tours in

1992 and 1993, Hampton wrote the sur-
real and hilarious liner notes to "Ain't
Life Grand."
In a particularly funny section,
Hampton describes Ortiz as a percus-
sionist who plays his percussions with
"the sensation of being stalked."
Ortiz aptly laid out Widespread
Panic's philosophy: "That is to make the
people out there who come and spend
their hard-earned money have a really
good time. Without them, we wouldn't
be out here."
Come see the band Thursday for a
fun, explosive evening of rock 'n' roll.
It will definitely be worth your hard-
earned money and your while.

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