By HAP MANSFIELD
What a week! If you watched any of the inauguration, you’re as exhausted as a White House aid — that was one big shindig full of images and rhetoric. It might be tempting to loll in front of the tube this weekend watching the Winter X Games 13, but if you can put down the Men’s Super Pipe, there are loads of great activities in town this weekend.
Friday, January 23
It’s an over-used term, but in this case it might apply: the Archibalds, appearing at the Triple Crown (206 North Edward Gary) tonight, are somewhat Beatlesesque — if the fab four had grown up in Alabama and Texas, that is. Great tunes, good lyrics and an impeccable sense of harmonies make them a great choice for an evening’s enjoyment.
More than 100 Celtic artworks are on display at the Walkers’ Gallery in the San Marcos Activity Center (501 East Hopkins) right now. The featured artwork is a rich panoply of colors, textures and mediums by artists from as far away as Scotland, England and China to as close as Austin and San Marcos. Quilts, tooled leather, handmade paper, cast crosses, etchings, watercolors and much, much more are waiting for your kind attention at the Gallery. The exhibit will be there until Feb. 27 and is open until 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
The Second Act Troupe, a division of the San Marcos Performing Arts Association, returns to the Price Center (222 West San Antonio Street) tonight and tomorrow night with Eyse Nass’ touching and funny one act play, Admit One. The play focuses on a septuagenarian who places a personal ad for a younger female companion. The play stars Carla Daws and Allen Eastwood.
The evening also includes “Hat Tricks”, a collection of comedy sketches by Dori Appel that features the ladies of the company. Dinner will be served by Joyce and Roger Kidd in the Price Center Tea Room at 6.30 p.m., with coffee and desserts during intermission. The inclusive ticket price is $22. Required reservations can be obtained now by calling (512) 618-3355. Reservations are also recommended for those who just wish to attend the 8 p.m. performance. Tickets are $12.
Merle Haggard’s legendary back-up guitar player, Redd Volkaert has played with a literal who’s who of country music. Go to reddvolkaert.com to see the massive list. Strap on your dancin’ shoes and do not miss your opportunity to see this world famous “noodler” at Riley’s (8894 FM 1102 in Hunter) tonight at 9 p.m. He’s genuine treat for your ears and your tappin’ foot. Hoo-eey!!
Saturday January 24
The mighty Texas State Bobcats men’s basketball team will be at home today at Strahan Coliseum against Lamar (4 p.m.), if you want to go root, root, root for the home team and help them break that current losing streak.
The Kings of Hard Luck, performing at Riley’s tonight (9 p.m.) are gifted musicians of the Country/Americana persuasion with a lead singer, Nathan Lange, who can twist any sentence into a melody with his smoky, able voice.
At Texas State’s Joann Cole Mitte building (north side of the Comanche St. Bridge) Galleries 1 and 2 will be hosts to an artist’s reception and sale. This scholarship fundraiser and exhibition features 100 works by 100 artists who are friends, faculty, alum and students of Texas State University. Tonight’s gala reception will be selling the works through silent auction, live auction or raffle. This is a great way to support the arts and the university. For more information contact Mary Mikel Stump at (512) 245-2664 or (512) 665-0730.
The Triple Crown features Scraps of Life, an intense metal band from New Orleans who claim they were twisted into existence by Hurricane Katrina, and this assessment certainly sounds accurate when you hear them. Also appearing on the bill is Replacement Killers and LUG.
If you just feel like hunkering down in front of the set with a bowl of popcorn and a beer, you can watch all 240 minutes of Sam Neill reprising his role as the enigmatic wizard of Camelot in “Merlin’s Apprentice” starting at 7 p.m. on the Sci-Fi Channel. This is the sequel to 1998’s well-received “Merlin.” It’s hard to find something Sam Neill can’t do well, and he heads the series with his usual aplomb.
If sword and sorcery isn’t your thing but you still have that bowl of popcorn, tune to TCM at 7 p.m. for the Billy Wilder directed Witness For the Prosecution. There’s not a bad performance in the flick, but with Charles Laughton, Marlene Dietrich, Elsa Lanchester, and Tyrone Power would you expect anything less? The story is based on an Agatha Christie story and the ending is at least one good twist of the mystery stiletto.
Sunday, January 25
Today might be a good day to grab your favorite Sunday paper and head out to Jo on the Go (312 University Drive), grab a chai and enjoy the extraordinary artwork of Topher Sipes and Claude Dylan Ramey on display there. Sipes and Ramey are both alumnae of Texas State and now work as professional designer/illustrators. Sipes’ pyrography and Ramey’s photos deserve your attention, and the coffee at Jo ain’t no slouch either.
The Cheatham Street Warehouse (119 Cheatham St.) features Kent Finley’s All-stars, and when he says, “all-stars,” he means that their music sparkles from here to Alpha Centauri and back. It’s always a pleasure to sit at Cheatham Street and see the collection of musicians that will make up the all-stars for the evening. That sign that says “Welcome Home,” outside of the front door means you and every musician who ever really meant a chord. The Sunday music usually goes from about 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Both Riley’s and the Triple Crown have their mics open tonight for those who feel the call of the footlights.
If the cold makes you want to sit at home in your snuggie (or your slanket, which is yet another version of the ubiquitous “blanket with sleeves”) and drink hot cocoa, you’re in luck because the TV is pretty good tonight. You can watch skunk researchers search for the reclusive stinkers on Nature (KLRU, 7 p.m.) or Mira Sorvino search for clues leading to The Last Templar (NBC, 8 p.m.).
Jet Li delivers an awesome performance in the visually gorgeous Hero (Spike, 7 p.m.), a now classic 2003 wuxia film directed by Zhang Yimou (who also orchestrated, with Zhang Jigang, the astonishing opening ceremonies for the 2008 Beijing Olympics). Tan Dun’s film score, punctuated by the violin prowess of Itzhak Perlman, is as beautiful as the scenery.