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January 30th, 2009
The Weekend: A Super Bowl and ways around it

Bruce Robison, the songwriter to the stars, is playing Saturday night at Cheatham Street Warehouse.

Scene Editor

It’s the weekend of the Super Bowl, the second biggest food holiday of the year (only Thanksgiving is bigger), when researchers estimate that Americans will be crunching down 15,000 tons of chips and 4,000 tons of popcorn.

The beer? No man can say.

In the midst of preparing for your Super-party (Hallmark Cards, Inc., states it’s the number one home party event of the year), there’s plenty of things to do in San Marcos this weekend.

Friday, January 30

You can start out the weekend at 6 p.m. at the Triple Crown (206 N. Edward Gary Street) tonight with Ricky Lugo and Little Storm. Stay a little longer for Clay Nightingale, who epitomizes everything that is most compelling about alt-country with his honest lyrics and clear strong voice with a dash of rock’n’roll. Appearing on the bill with Nightingale is Gleason and a band sporting possibly the most apt name of the era, Bankrupt and the Borrowers. Their song “Holden Caulfield at Age 35” is a standout.

Riley’s (8804 FM 1102) features Darryl Lee Rush, who has the honorable distinction of being the first artist signed to Shiner Records. He’s been tapping the toes of roadhouse crowds for more than a decade with his vivid songwriting abilities and flare for the honky-tonk.

Bill Rice, appearing at the Cheatham St. Warehouse (119 Cheatham Street) tonight is one of those rare singer/songwriters who will immediately strike you as a musician destined to rocket to the top of the charts, where he will stay for the rest of his songwriting life if there’s any justice in the world. Kent Finlay has compared Rice’s vocal talent to Merle Haggard’s, which is high praise, indeed. When you hear Bill Rice, you’ll be knocked out by his abilities, guaranteed. His tune “Kicked Out,” is climbing the charts and if the chorus doesn’t make you smile, you ain’t listening. Also appearing are the always fun to hear Dr. G and the Mudcats.

Saturday, January 31

Start off your morning with a delicious breakfast of pancakes at Applebee’s Neighborhood Bar & Grill (210 Springtown Way) with the Vietnam Veterans Chapter 923 annual Pancake Breakfast. It goes from 8-10 a.m. and the cost is five dollars at the door. All proceeds go to help local veterans.

If you’d rather get some exercise this morning, you can join the San Marcos Greenbelt Alliance with trail building at Ring Tail Ridge from 8:30-10 a.m. (8 a.m. for first-timers). Long pants, sturdy shoes, a hat, gloves and protective eyewear are required, and bringing some water is recommended. For details call (512) 754-9321.

At 11 a.m., you can head over to the San Marcos Activity Center (501 East Hopkins Street) for the colorful St. Bridget’s Day Festival. Artwork, craft booths, music, dance, storytelling and free Celtic crafts for the kids are just some of the marvels you can experience until

The always rockin’ Joel Hoffman Band will be a Riley’s tonight, and the Triple Crown features the frenetic and slightly demented Muchos Backflips. Also on the Triple Crown bill is I.S.S., Dying For More and Katsuck. Be warned — Katsuck is spelled with an umlaut.

If you own one of his eight albums or are familiar with the No. 1 hits he’s written and have been recorded by George Strait (“Wrapped”), the Dixie Chicks (“Travelin’ Soldier”), Tim McGraw and Faith Hill (Angry All the Time”), then you are already going to the Cheatham Street Warehouse tonight to hear Bruce Robison. Fresh from his gig at the Luckenbach Dance Hall, Robison never disappoints with his deliciously country-flavored music, which is probably why he received a Country Music Awards nomination for “Best Single” in 2007. He and his wife, singer-songwriter Kelly Willis, have four children, including twins, so he’s awful busy even when he’s not on the road.

Sunday, February. 1

The convenience store chain, 7-Eleven, reports that the Monday after the Super Bowl shows a 20 percent increase in antacid sales. Hard telling if this is because of the mass quantities of food eaten or the disappointing results of the game for fans of the losing team. Admittedly this Super Bowl holds no big thrills for life-long Cowboys fans, as the teams in question are what would militarily be referred to as “enemies.”

It would be much more fun to watch the Super Bowl if, instead of the Steelers, it was the Car-Pitts (in 1944 the Steelers and the Cardinals merged briefly and got the nickname). But then, who would they play?

The Super Bowl is always worth watching for the water-cooler talk of commercials on Monday. Let’s face it, it’s going to be fun to watch the concussion-prone Roethlisberger protect his much-pummeled pate. It’s also amusing to note that when Raymond James Stadium is not in use, the sound system pipes in the sounds of crows cawing in the hopes of discouraging roosting pigeons. This obviously had no effect on Cardinals, but it seems to have worked on ravens.

Don’t forget that Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl V will be on from 3-5 p.m. as an alternative to the Super Bowl, and it’s worth peeking at just to see the great puppies. All 54 of the participating puppies were selected from animal shelters and rescue groups. Pepper the Parrot will kick off this year’s game with an unusual rendition of the national anthem, and this year there’s the new Kitty halftime show with 15 frisky kittens, also selected from shelters. All the puppies and kittens are adoptable at

The Ash family will harmonize beautifully at the Cheatham Street today between 4-8 p.m. and Riley’s and the Triple Crown usually have their mics open for musician hopefuls if you don’t care to participate in the Super Bowl festivities.

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