Girl in a Coma plays Friday night at The Triple Crown.
By HAP MANSFIELD
Every town in America has something of which they are justifiably proud. San Marcos, though, has an embarrassment of riches.
It is of no little importance that we live in the oldest continually inhabited area in North America. For several thousand years, people have found this area attractive. Part of this has to be the presence of that gorgeous San Marcos River.
Added to the river are the many vintage buildings and homes with their architecture full of character. Texas State University with its lovely grounds and impressive history is yet another reason to be proud of our town. We have rodeos and menudo cook-offs. We have cutting edge ecological study sites, glass bottomed boat trips and a plethora of plants and birds and butterflies and other creatures that fill our area with colorful life.
And we have music. Really good music.
There are many fine venues for music in San Marcos, this town that lives in the shadows of the two big music cities of Austin and San Antonio, and that may be amazing enough all by itself. We attract great musicians.
One of the most important reasons we attract them is due to the efforts of Kent Finlay and the world-famous Cheatham Street Warehouse.
Just a few days ago, on June 2, Mayor Susan Narvaiz issued a proclamation making June 2009 officially Cheatham Street Warehouse Month in San Marcos.
The proclamation mentions the music stars Finlay has nurtured, like George Strait, Todd Snider, Charlie Sexton, Randy Rogers and others. It mentions the “humble and intimate honky tonk that rattles when the trains pass by” that has attracted thousands of music fans to its door.
The proclamation goes on to say that the Cheatham Street Music Foundation is “dedicated to developing, promoting, preserving, and perpetuating Texas music” and that the venue “has become a legendary place that has put San Marcos on the map of great musical venues in our state and has been instrumental in making San Marcos the music center it has become.”
You may all know of Cheatham Street’s 35-year history of developing good musicians and bringing talent to audiences and customers to local businesses. Some of us know that the 100-year-old cotton warehouse that houses the stage has heard more remarkable music than almost anywhere else in the state of Texas.
One benefit, very hard to quantify, is the ineffable pleasures of a human being that occur when music touches the heart. How many times has it happened this year alone? Each listener, as much as they tell others about their joy in hearing music, keeps a little bit of this private, secreted away inside of them. That music was just for them alone. This is one of the golden values of the Cheatham Street that compels us to go back to it over and over.
The proclamation says that it calls “upon the citizens of San Marcos and Texas to recognize the enormous contributions made by Cheatham Street Warehouse to our community, to Texas and to the world of music.” And that is as it should be.
But we like what the warehouse itself tells each listener as they enter. There’s a little sign by the front door that says simply, “Welcome Home.”
Friday, June 5
The early show at the Triple Crown (206 North Edward Gary) at 6 p.m. is a CD release party for the Springsteen-like Ricky Stein. While his driving rhythms and urgent voice do remind one of the Boss, Stein has a sound all his own and is well worth the hearing.
The Pointe Dance Studio will present 150 lively dance students in a performance entitled “Step in Time” at the Hays CISD Performing Arts Center on both Friday and Saturday. Based on the music and storyline of Mary Poppins, “Step in Time” promises to showcase many dance styles including ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, hip-hop and acrodance. Tickets are only $10 and tonight’s show starts at 6:30 p.m.
There’s always lively action at the Wimberley VFW post Friday Night Bingo. Prepare to have a lot of fun and don’t forget to check out the concessions supplied by the Ladies Auxiliary. The cage starts turning at 6:30 p.m. The post is located at Veteran’s Park on Jacobs Well Road.
Dub Miller hails from Houston and sounds a lot like the Texas version of Gordon Lightfoot. Miller will be at the Cheatham Street Warehouse (119 Cheatham Street) tonight at 9 p.m. His beautiful voice and smooth lyrical flow makes him a pleasure to hear. Ask him to play “Cowboys and Sailors,” and you’ll be smitten.
When you are in a band and people like Morrissey and Joan Jett take an interest in your career, you know you’ve got something special. San Antonio’s Girl in a Coma is much more than a “girl band” and one listen will convince you that women are still woefully under-represented and under-appreciated in all genres of rock. Girl in a Coma has opened for Frank Black, the Pogues and Social Distortion, just to name a few of the talents they can often equal. The band is at the Triple Crown tonight at 10 p.m. Certainly the “must-see” gig of the night.
On the bill with Girl in a Coma is Miss Derringer, a band with a Blondie-esque sound and the awesome talents of lead singer Liz McGrath. Hailing from La-La land, they are polished professionals who can hold their own with the stellar Girl in a Coma. Great night for music at the Triple Crown.
Saturday, June 6
Get up early today if you want to snag the best finds at Wimberley Market Day this morning. Going from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Lions Field in Wimberley, it’s the second largest flea market in Texas, and that is saying something. This is the kind of market that turns browsing into an Olympic sport what with all the items to see and all the great foods to eat. Don’t forget to wear your sunscreen and do prepare to pay for parking. The proceeds from much of the market booth rental, concessions and parking lots go to the charitable work of the Lions Club so you are serving the community while you are enjoying the cornucopia of wares.
The first Saturday of the month also means Kyle Market Day from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fresh produce, organic plants, live music and hand-made items are just a few of the great features of the day. The Kyle Market takes place on Front Street between City Hall and the train depot and it’s always loads of fun and healthy food.
The San Marcos Greenbelt Alliance (SMGBA) is sponsoring two hikes today in celebration of National Trails day. The Prospect Park/Lower Purgatory hike is for the casual family hiker so strollers and walkers are welcome to participate. It starts at 9 a.m. and will feature a demonstration of geocaching. Geocaching is a lot of fun, a sort of high-tech treasure hunting game played worldwide. In addition to being a really exciting search-and -find game, it also instills a sense of community involvement with the environment. Don’t miss this fun demonstration.
If you are a heartier hiker, then you may prefer the SMGBA hike also taking place at 9 a.m. for the more experienced adventurer. The Ringtail Ridge hike is 2.5 miles that will be led by Master Naturalists. Call (512) 754-9321 or go to www.smgreenbelt.org for more details.
Powerhouse Christian Center is sponsoring a beginners “Hair and Hound Rally” today starting at 10 a.m. This men’s event is free and is part of the church’s Mentegrity (men with integrity) program. The Rally teams must have a licensed, insured, and safety certified vehicles, operated by a licensed drivers and ride-along navigator. The event will start from the PHCC parking lot located at 3331 RR12 just west of San Marcos at Pioneer Trail.
If you missed the charmed dancing feet of the 150 performers from the Pointe Dance Studio at the Hays CISD Performing Arts Center yesterday, fear not. You can still catch all the dancing at 4 p.m. today. The title of the event “Step in Time” reflects the variations on the Mary Poppins theme.
Moondog starts out the evening at the Triple Crown tonight at 6 p.m. Later on a hip-hop experimental throw down features Soul .45, Omari Kamau. Jaysin. Chief and Cactus Ranch. There won’t be a lead foot in the place. Or head over to Wake the Dead Coffee House (1432 RR 12) to hear Ian Lee at 9 p.m.
Guitarist extraordinaire Monte Montgomery is a great act to launch Cheatham Street Warehouse Month. He is appearing at the warehouse tonight at 9 p.m. Montgomery has been given such disparate accolades as the “Evel Knievel of guitar” and the “answer to the Fermi Paradox.” In 2004 Guitar Player Magazine named him one of the 50 greatest guitar players of all time. There is no way to describe how flattened you will be by his proficiency and originality. Many of his songs, notably, “Corner of 1st and Repair” illustrate that his voice ain’t no slouch either.
Sunday, June 7
Wake the Dead Coffee House will have fruits and veggies out for sale at its stand today between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. This is a great way to support local agriculture as well as treating yourself to healthy seasonal foods.
Bob Steine will give relaxing chair massages today at Wake the Dead from 4-8 p.m. Now, don’t bring a chair and ask him to massage it. There’s no telling whether masseuses have a sense of humor about such things and you don’t want to alienate him, since he will massage your tensions away. Get a nice cup of coffee while you are there, too.
The mics are open at both the Triple Crown and Riley’s (8894 FM 1102) tonight. It’s amazing how much local talent there is here in town, so it’s always fun to watch if you are still filled with stage fright at the thought of performing. The Triple Crown always features hosts/musicians Pat Pankratz, Holly Aiken and Nate Hinds, so things are always really jumpin’ on the mic.
You may just feel like staying home and watching the NBA playoffs. This is the time when the games are the most fun to watch no matter who is playing. Or you could tune into ABC Family at 7 p.m. for the charming “Finding Nemo”, a movie that most all kids and some adults, too, can watch over and over again.
This may be a lovely night to go out and just look at this beautiful town in which we live. There are so many charming places to look at and so much river to enjoy. What would be better than a ride (or a walk) around town followed by a Dilly Bar? It’s an old fashioned way to spend Sunday, but we’re hard pressed to think of a better one.