The Madeira is giving a free concert on Sunday in the parking lot outside Checker Records , a cafe and video store, in downtown Hillsdale.

This high-energy surf music band is known on campus because one of their accom­plished guitar players is none other than Pro­fessor of Eco­nomics Ivan Pon­gracic. He is excited for stu­dents to come see the show at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 7.

“People should come because, well, how often do they get to see one of their pro­fessors in full ‘Rock god’ mode?” Pon­gracic said, laughing. “We’ve been at this for a long time and we have toured all around the country and even Italy.”

The Madeira just cel­e­brated its tenth anniversary and Guitar Player Mag­azine fea­tured the band in its March issue.

Bill Zeiser is a graduate student and happens to be Pongracic’s next-door neighbor.

“I had never lis­tened to surf rock before except for the sound­track to Pulp Fiction,” Zeiser said.

Soon after Zeiser first heard Pon­gracic rehearsing his guitar parts, he acquired a new appre­ci­ation for The Madeira and now enjoys seeing them play in concert.

“It’s high-energy rock with an exotic sound. I like tiki bars and all things retro, but beyond that, Pon­gracic is a very tal­ented player,” Zeiser said.

John Spiteri, owner of Checker Records, said The Madeira has played at his coffee shop before. When Pon­gracic, a good cus­tomer, was looking for a venue to host The Madeira, Spiteri was happy to oblige.

“The band is great live and a lot of fun and plus, the show is free,” Spiteri said, laughing.

He added that the show pro­vides a great oppor­tunity for stu­dents to see a tal­ented band perform and, if so inclined, suck up to a pro­fessor at the same time.

The Madeira’s drummer, Dane Carter, is looking forward to being in Hillsdale again.

“Drumming for a surf rock band is actually a lot like drumming for any other genre,” Carter said. “The Madeira try to create great songs that emo­tionally connect with people and tell stories without words. They just happen to be rec­og­nized as surf rock songs. If you become emo­tionally con­nected with a genre, every song within it tells a dif­ferent story in an entirely unique voice. The one exception is polka. All polka songs are exactly the same.”

Though surf music was born in the early ‘60s, Pon­gracic said the Beatles and other British bands eclipsed it in pop­u­larity.

“Even though it’s very under­ground, there are surf bands all around the world, par­tic­u­larly in Europe and Latin America, but also Japan and Aus­tralia,” Pon­gracic said.

Senior Kadeem Noray may have only heard The Madeira on Spotify and YouTube, but he is excited about the chance to see the band live.

“Getting the oppor­tunity to see a pro­fessor perform in a surf rock band is a once‑, maybe twice-in-a-lifetime oppor­tunity. I def­i­nitely plan on attending,” Noray said.

Previous articleFreshmen Leap into “The Devil’s Disciple”
Next articleLittle Caesers: hot but not ready
Jace Lington is from Murphy, Texas. He is a fourth-year doctoral student in the Van Andel Graduate School of Statesmanship. Freelancer for the Collegian since 2014, he wants to transition from academia into journalism after graduation. Jace likes writing about politics, economics, and music when he isn't battling his cat, Hayek, for the keyboard. email: | twitter: @jacelington