San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas
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March 6th, 2009
The weekend: Happy birthday, Bob Wills

In Texas, Bob Wills is still the king. For more, tune into “What’s Happening, Hap?”

By HAP MANSFIELD
Scene Editor

Contemporary music, it seems, is not your father’s music. Neither is it your kid’s or your grandkid’s or your grandfather’s. Nobody gets to claim it as his or her own. Just a cursory look at the music scene this past week will demonstrate.

For example, Taylor Swift and the Jonas Brothers continue to dominate the Billboard charts while U2’s “No Line on the Horizon” hit the shelves this week as well as rapper/scratcher pioneer Grandmaster Flash’s first big studio album in 20 years, “The Bridge.” Rush released the third in its series of retrospective cd/dvd combos, Michael Jackson announced his “final” tour at a press conference in London and Fatboy Slim’s new BPA project is spinning on dance club turntables around the world.

South by Southwest this year will feature Redd Volkaert, Echo and the Bunnymen and These Arms Are Snakes, just to name a few generations. Quincy Jones is the keynote speaker.

The new “Beatles: Rock Band” video game is due out this fall, and Liverpool Hope University announced that it will offer a Masters of Arts degree in “The Beatles.” Meanwhile Armageddon Action Figures continue to receive attention and Pitchfork, the online music mavens, dropped talking about My Bloody Valentine long enough to say that Radiohead, Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails and Grizzly Bear are all announcing tours. Steve Earle is making a Townes Van Zandt tribute album and Eminen says he wants to make two albums this year.

Bob Wills would be turning over in his grave, if he were really dead. Today is Bob’s birthday (born March 6, 1905, died May 13, 1975), and while he may not be with us corporeally, he is certainly still with us musically, we are happy to report. So when you see the music listings for the various bands in San Marcos, it’s good to remember that they all have an important place in the musical spectrum. And Bob Wills is still the King.

Music, while it is an integral part of San Marcos, is not all we do well here. A gander at some of the events of this weekend will demonstrate.

Friday, March 6

After all that head-spinning time-bending music information and what with the stress of tax time and unemployment rates soaring, you could use a few relaxing moments of Yoga. The San Marcos Public Library (625 E Hopkins) is happy to oblige with its weekly Yoga class at 5 p m. Bring your own towel or sit-upon and prepare to release the stress of the week.

The Texas State Opera Theatre is staging Sigmund Romberg’s spirited operetta, The Student Prince, tonight at Evans Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. This tale of a prince, his college days in Heidelberg (they’re rousing!), the “commoner” girl of his dreams and his devotion to his country is a delightful diversion for the weekend. If you miss it tonight, there is also a performance on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and a 2:30 p.m. matinee on Sun.

Music abounds tonight with the syncopations of Joel Hoffman at Riley’s Tavern (8894 FM 1102), Texas High Life at the Grey Horse (in Crestwood Center), Walt Wilkins and Jason Eady at the Cheatham Street Warehouse (119 Cheatham Street) and the inimitable Victoria and Zeta Five at Royal Crown Billiards (205 West San Antonio Street.)

The rootsy, bluesy Devil’s Hollow will record its live performance tonight at the Triple Crown (206 North Edward Gary), but if you go, please don’t be the dill-weed who yells out “Free Bird!”

In celebration of Bob Wills’ birthday today (which should be a Texas state holiday if not a national one, in our humble opinion), those Texas Swing masters Lone Star Swing will perform at the LBJ Student Center Ballroom on the Texas State campus at 7 p.m.

In addition to the members of Lone Star Swing, who are highly lauded performers in their own right, some illustrious former Texas Playboys like Johnny Gimble, lap-steel genius Herb Remington and Johnny Cuviello will join the band. Free parking is available at the LBJ Student Center parking garage. There will be space to dance and the whole event is free. What a great way to celebrate Bob’s birthday in style!

Saturday, March 7

You could jump out of bed, put on your long pants and sturdy shoes, grab a hat, a bottle of water and a pair of gloves and run on out to help the San Marcos Greenbelt Alliance do a bit of trail building at 8:30 a.m. today at Upper Purgatory. Those with a hardy appetite for adventurous volunteer work should call (512) 754-9321 for details.

If you are having trouble sorting through all that paperwork for college financial aid forms to send your brilliant progeny to college, San Marcos Area Chamber of Commerce members are coming to your rescue with free one-time assistance today at San Marcos High School from 8:30 a m  to 12:30 p.m.. They’ll help you wade through the acronyms of FAFSA and TAFSA. The help is available to all high school seniors, college students and parents/guardians. Don’t forget to send the Chamber of Commerce a Christmas card this year, because this is a wonderful service to the community. Call (512) 393-5900 for details.

Texas State’s baseball team is playing Purdue today at 2 p.m. at Bobcat Field. There’s nothing like baseball to get your motor revving for spring. General admission tickets are only $6.

Today is also the day to help the San Marcos River Foundation keep that gorgeous San Marcos River clean and debris-free. The 24th Annual Great Texas River Cleanup on the San Marcos River is the longest river clean up in the world covering some 90 miles of river. Call Tom Goynes at (512) 392-6171 for details on where to meet up and help.

Everyone participating in this event is invited to camp free at either Shady Grove Campground/ Spencer Canoes (http://www.spencercanoes.net) or at the San Marcos River Retreat (http://www.sanmarcosriverretreat.com) for the weekend. Starting at 6 p.m. on Saturday evening, there will be a meal provided by the San Marcos River Foundation (http://www.sanmarcosriver.org) at Shady Grove/Spencer Canoes. There will also be a non-denominational Christian worship service at the San Marcos River Retreat at 8 a.m. on Sunday morning.

The Triple Crown hosts the rap-hip-hop happening that is Word Association tonight. They are joined by Quanstar.

If you want your boots to do more scootin’, the Cheatham Street Warehouse offers the always thumpin’ Dr. G and the Mudcats and the Brett Crenshaw Band. Brett Crenshaw gives lie to the old credo that “you get what you pay for” because the band is giving its album away, for a limited time, free of charge on its website and once you hear it, you’ll feel like a thief because it’s a heck of a good release.

Sunday, March 8

Don’t forget to set your clocks to spring forward today. Hurrah! More daylight!

The Hays County Civic Center is the site of the Austin K-9 Express dog show this weekend, and today might be a great day to go out and see those beautiful dogs go through their paces. Call (512) 353-0498 for more info.

If you missed out on seeing the Student Prince at Evans Auditorium, there is a matinee starting at 2:30 and if you missed the mighty Bobcat baseball team taking on Purdue yesterday, there’s another game today at Bobcat field at 1:00 p.m.

The “first family of Hill Country music”, the Ash family, will be blending their dulcet tones at the Cheatham Street Warehouse today from 4-8 p.m. There’s no better way to end the weekend than with a pleasant afternoon at this historic venue.

If you need to work out the kinks from all the running around you did this weekend, Bob Steine’s chair massage at Wake the Dead Coffee House (1432 Ranch Road) may be the perfect solution. He’ll dole out that healing touch from 4-8 p.m.

The mics are open at Riley’s and the Triple Crown, so if your songbird needs to soar, it’s got a place to land.

If you just feel like staying home, it might be a good night to pop up some corn and watch the Elvis double-header on TCM, which is showing the classics Blue Hawaii and Girls, Girls, Girls tonight starting at 7p.m.  You can eat a piece of that leftover cake you baked for Bob Wills on Friday and celebrate with two kings at once.

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