San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas
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March 20th, 2009
The weekend: South of South by Southwest

Fish Fry Bingo, appearing Saturday night at Tantra Coffeehouse, might be just the kind of anti-alternative music you might want in San Marcos this weekend.

By HAP MANSFIELD
Scene Editor

Maybe spring fever hasn’t quite hit you yet, although, lord knows, the weather has been trying to infect you with it.

We know there’s a lot to keep you from experiencing the gorgeous spring and the great music and events that permeate San Marcos. We know you may be worried about the economy or planting your garden. A variety of other whispers may be interrupting the insistent whispers of spring in your busy ears.

There’s the frenzy of the South by Southwest music/media conference/festival up in Austin, during which Kanye West will most likely play the Fader Fort corporate venue party and Metallica will play the least “surprise” gig of all time in support of their version of the video game Rock Band. You probably don’t want to miss all this, so you won’t be in town and will instead be fighting the crowds of jaded music biz insiders and enthusiastic fans on the packed streets of Austin. Maybe not.

Maybe you’ll be staying home for the hotly anticipated series finale of Battlestar Galactica, Daybreak Pt.2, which premiers tonight on the Sci-Fi channel.

Maybe you’re still fighting your way through Resident Evil 5. Okay, maybe not.

We know the variety keeping you inside the confines of your home or out of town, but a plethora of pleasant pastimes await you in San Marcos, and spring fever is eventually gonna getcha.

So DVR that Battlestar Gallactica episode (you can DVR both Daybreak Pt. 1 and Pt 2 in a row Friday night), put down the game controller, just for the weekend, cast your troubles aside, put on your dancing shoes and have a cup of joe on the patio of one of the great coffee houses in town, have a lemon-drop martini along the river at the River Pub, get some Gil’s and sit at a picnic table at  the  park. There’s nothing as nourishing to the soul as Texas sunshine, unless it’s a dark blue velvet Texas night.

If you’re at a loss for what to do, here are just a few suggestions to help you catch and keep the only fever that makes you feel good. Viva spring fever!

Friday, March 20

If you’re in the mood for comedy, the Price Center (222 W. San Antonio Street)  is presenting “Senior Moments,” four comedy sketches featuring the Second Act Troupe at 8 p.m. You can have a lovely dinner at the Price Center  then see the show ($22) or go just for only the play ($12). Call (512) 618-3355 for more info and reservations.

At 7 p.m. tonight the Hays High School baseball team is facing Del Valle, and it should be a beautiful night to watch some good baseball.

The Triple Crown (206 North Edward Gary) has a rocking rockabilly night scheduled starting out with the raucous Thrillbillies at 6 p.m., followed up later at 8 p.m. with those boot-stompin’ boys, In and Outlaws and Black Water Revival.

There’s plenty more music in town with the always great  Doctor G and the Mudcats at the Cheatham Street (119 Cheatham Street), the Tres Womac Band at Riley’s (8894 FM 1102) and the double bill of A Formal Affair and Josh Glenn at Tantra Coffee House (217 West Hopkins.)

If you are a fan of the blues, you should not miss the bluesy grooves of The Texas Blind Salamanders at Wake the Dead Coffee House (1432 RR 12) from 6-9 p.m.

Saturday, March 21

Today would be a good day for a walk, and Wimberley is providing an excellent way to get a little exercise and challenge yourself without bursting an artery, thanks to the Mayor’s Fitness Council.  It’s their first ever Spring Walk, where participants sign up to walk either 5K (3.1 miles) or 10K (6.2 miles). The walk is untimed. Walkers can start at any time between 8 a.m. and noon, but they must finish by 3 p.m.

An outdoor path wending in and around downtown Wimberley is the course for what is considered in Germany to be a “Volks Marsch” (people’s walk), an event that gives folks a chance to appreciate the town and move their limbs. The starting point is the Wimberley Community Center (14068 Ranch Road 12).

This event is open to the public and the cost is $3  to participate. Included will be some free pedometers, zip bags, merchant coupon booklets, energy bars and fitness handbooks, courtesy of the Wimberley Chamber of Commerce, the Merchants Association and the Mayor’s Fitness Council. The fun will be free and good for you, too.

The Texas State softball team will face Central Arkansas at 1 p.m. General admission is a mere $5 for an entertaining, pleasant afternoon of watching softball in the warm spring air.

Tonight at 7:30 p.m., Evans Audtiorium on the Texas State campus houses the Show of Champions, those golden throated winners of the Barbershop Harmony Competition. If you think that barbershop is “Minnie the Mermaid” and “By the Sea,” you are thinking of your grandpa’s barbershop. These barbershop singers can do “Down by the Old Mill Stream” but they have additional more modern songs that are amazingly lush and moving.

The show will feature winners of the quartet and chorus contests, winners of the College Barbershop Quartet contest, and past champions, Genesis, Glory Days, Marcsmen and the world famous Heart of Texas Chorus. Tickets are $15 in advance, available at the San Marcos Area Chamber of Commerce, and $20 at the door.

If your grandpa ever played bluegrass radio in the early morning before heading out to the fields, you will recognize Fish Fry Bingo as the current incarnation of of everything good about bluegrass-hillbilly music. Fish Fry Bingo will be at Tantra Coffee House (217 West Hopkins) along with The Dusty Bunkers tonight starting at 8 p.m. They are a delight.

The incredible James McMurtry will be at the Cheatham Street Warehouse tonight at 9:30 p.m. and he really needs no introduction to music lovers other than to say that if you haven’t seen him, he is a collector’s edition, leatherbound, gold-engraved treat. At Riley’s is the sweet and salty Texas Honky-tonkin’ Bo Porter and the Triple Crown features Blood Engine, Inovo and Broken Seal.

Sunday, March 22

You still have a chance to join in the second day at the Wimberley Spring Walk or you could walk around the Joann Cole Mitte Galleries at Texas State (at the intersection of Commanche and Sessom Streets). They are open on Sundays from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. and are currently featuring an exhibit entitled “What Is, Isn’t.” It’s a fascinating mixed media look at identity and culture as seen by three unique artists  – Allyson Fox, Mimi Kato and Misako Ianoka.

Put on your red dress or your bolo tie and head on over to the Geronimo VFW (6808 North SH 123) for an afternoon of dancing to The Jeff Thompson Band. There is open seating, the hall’s kitchen opens at 2 p.m. and the dancing takes place from 3 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. All proceeds benefit their veterans/military programs. It would be mighty fun to just sit and listen, too.

If you’re still tense after a weekend of walking, dancing and generally enjoying the weather, fear not. Bob Stiene will be massaging your cares away from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. today at Wake the Dead Coffee House with his amazing chair massages.

The mics are open tonight at the Triple Crown and Riley’s, so you can hone the points of your future superstardom or you can participate in Jazzie-Oke at the Grey Horse in the Crestwood Center.

If your spring fever done been sprung, there’s always the NCAA basketball tournament, which is legion this weekend. You could celebrate National Corndog day on Saturday or National Maple Syrup day. Maybe not all at once, though.

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