San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

December 18th, 2009
The Weekend: Hallelujah! and joy

11fishfry

Fish Fry Bingo will charm the hills with Hillbilly Bluegrass magic at the Gray Horse Saloon on Saturday.

By HAP MANSFIELD
Scene Editor

It is only fitting that as Christmas gets closer, there are fewer and fewer distractions outside of shopping for a few presents and baking up some cookies. There are plenty of things to do this weekend, and lots of music to hear, but the world slows a bit to let us contemplate the season.

In the spirit of the season of meditation, let us extend to you our warmest wishes for a happy Chrismahannukwanzaa! Here are few suggestions for delightful things to do this weekend.

Friday, December 18

It’s commencement weekend at Texas State, and we extend our congratulations to all the grads there, as well as the grads from the Phoenix Learning Center.

We can’t think of a better way to unwind from a rushed pre-holiday week than with the shimmering rootsy power pop of Bill Jerram tonight at 6 p.m. at Triple Crown (206 North Edward Gary). Jerram used to play bass for The Danglers, and we have a theory that the bass players in every band have a chunk of genius in them. After all, bass players include the likes of Gene Simmons, Geddy Lee, Paul McCartney, Sting, Jah Wobble, Les Claypool and Mike Watt. You could add Bill Jerram to that list, and we wouldn’t stop you.

School is officially out for the holidays now, and you could stem off the constant litany of “Now can we go to the Trail of Lights? Please? Now? Now can we go?” by just going tonight before all the Christmas movies have the kids glued to the tube. The Trail of Lights at the EmilyAnn Theatre (1101 FM 2325) is pretty spectacular, and you’ll probably be more impressed than the kids, since you know what kind of hard work it took to put it together.

If beach volleyball is an Olympic sport, we don’t see why bingo can’t be one also. It takes stamina, patience, reading ability and an athletic talent for shouting “Bingo!” Well, maybe it’s not a sport, per se, but bingo is fun to play.You can hone your abilities for the day, when it does make it to the Olympics by going to the Wimberley VFW (Veterans Park on Jacobs Well Road) for Friday night bingo, a tradition that is just slightly younger than the Olympics themselves. With concessions sold by the fine women of the Ladies Auxiliary, Bingo Night might even be more fun than the Winter Games.

Klaus Weiland is one of the most infamous acoustic guitarists of mid 1970’s Europe, particularly Germany, where he stood music up on its ear. He is adept on both the bouzouki and the mandolin. Tonight, he will be at Wake the Dead (1432 RR 12), playing the bouzouki and pretending he is just a regular old guy who picked up a Greek-made bouzouki and started to noodle around on it. You’ll be extremely lucky to see him. The music starts at 8 p.m.

The rich tones of Kristin Muennink are what shoot Buster Jiggs into the stratosphere of Americana country rock. She’s more than ably backed by a band that blends together almost perfectly. You’ll be glad you went to see them tonight at Rileys Tavern (8894 FM 1102). The band has a genuine Texas music glow that is as bright as any star on the top of a Christmas tree.

This is another one of those magical nights that can only happen in San Marcos, really. You may be able to see some goofy, crowded, expensive arena show in some big city up north tonight, or you could live here and have to choose between Klaus Weiland, Buster Jiggs and the sterling musical artistry of the band that plays the Cheatham Street Warehouse (119 Cheatham Street), Texas Renegade. We are so blessed to live here. Texas Renegade stays true to its Lone Star roots, ably play a wide range of country/rock with its own tangy and sweet musical style. The music starts up around 8 p.m.

You just can’t say that this area doesn’t have something for every musical taste. Tonight at Triple Crown, you can feast your ears (which will need earplugs for safety, just sayin’) on the many musical moods of Wargasm, Wise Reading, Lotek and our personal favorite, Buzz N’ Bangs, whose punky spirit has the sharpness of genuine punk. The music starts around 10 p.m., and it will be a fun and loud show.

Firewater Sermon will preach to the converted tonight at the Gray Horse Saloon (1904 RR 12). The band is an area favorite. The music starts around 10 p.m.

Saturday, December 19

Just like all the natives in New York who have never been to the Empire State Building or the Statue of Liberty, many San Marcos residents have never been to the Aquarena Center (921 Aquarena Springs Drive) or Wonder World (1000 Prospect Street). Aquarena will be closed Dec. 20-25, so if you want to go there, you’d best get scootin’ this weekend. Wonder World is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and is only closed on Christmas eve day and Christmas Day. Might be a good time to go see these attractions now that the kids are out of school. And, of course, nothing says Christmas like a fault line cave.

Since it’s the last weekend before Christmas, many of us will be doing that last minute shopping or what used to be called regular Christmas shopping. Hard to believe but only 40 short years ago, people didn’t really start shopping for Christmas until the month of December was well underway. It was a lot more fun that way but much, much more crowded.

Our point is, if you are out shopping today, don’t forget that downtown San Marcos is full of unexpected delights for your shopping and eating pleasure. Just a glance around the square will yield up the Paper Bear, Way Back Attic, Twice Blessed Consignment, Wally’s Party Factory, Books in Demand, Emerald’s, the Wine Cellar and much more. Then there are great places to eat like Cafe on the Square, the Coffee Pot, the Tap Room, Newton Gang’s Getaway and many more. And if you’ve never been to Dixie Cream Donuts, you poor thing, just remember they close a smidge after noon, so you’ve got to get up early to get a fabulous donut.

Do we sound like the local booster club? Guilty as charged. San Marcos is a great town. We agree with the sign posted just outside the Yellow Store: Shop locally.

The EmilyAnn Trail of Lights with its 150 displays and hot chocolate and hot dogs and campfires is beckoning for you to come and see it. There is usually some musical guest, there as well.

When you were a little kid, didn’t your mom and dad pile you into the car and drive around to see all the Christmas lights around town? Might be fun to do that, then come home and have a nice hot cup of cocoa. It’s practically free and it’s worth it just to see the “Bah Humbug” lights on San Antonio Street.

Again, it’s a good night for music with Gardenella at Wake the Dead, and Megan Tubb will be at Riley’s. The always enjoyable Zack Walther and the Cronkites will be at the Cheatham Street, and so will the amazingly talented Javi Garcia.

Austin songbird Clay Nightingale will be at Triple Crown. He is joined by Frank Smith and Pure Ecstasy. Its their usual triple threat of triple talents.

As you can see, there is plenty of good music at all venues, but the standout gig, to us anyway, is the Crystal Creek Boys with Fish Fry Bingo at the Gray Horse tonight. Well, it is if you want to have a foot-stompin’, singin’, dancin’ regular old hoe-down of a time. It’s like the Gray Horse is giving us a present wrapped in Bluegrass and tied up in an old rope. It’s just what we wanted.

The Crystal Creek Boys play a lively and somewhat punky bluegrass that will delight your ears. They can do the Mint Julep Breakdown so well you’ll swear you got a bit tipsy from it. Fish Fry Bingo may bring about world peace. Okay, they can’t do that, but they can play old-time hillbilly bluegrass with a just bit of a contemporary twist that is guaranteed to delight you. We can’t say enough good stuff about them. They are what a band of this ilk is supposed to be, talented and unpretentious.

Sunday, December 20

Author Debbie Roppolo will be at Wake the Dead today at 11:30 a.m. to sign copies of her book, Cup of Comfort for Parents of Children with Special Needs. This would make a lovely present for the appropriate family. After her appearance, the S.M.A.R.T. String Quartet will play at 1:30 p.m. Bob Steine will be there from 4-7 p.m. making with the relaxing chair massages. There’s a good cup of coffee in there somewhere, too. Lovely day at Wake the Dead.

Hallelujah!!! Today is really a day for folks who want to sing. At the Wimberley Community Center (14068 RR 12), there will be a Handel’s Messiah Sing-A-Long for all and any who would like to participate. The accompaniment is provided by the Starlight Symphony. They urge you to “bring your best singing voice and your own score and raise the roof.” More details can be found at www.starlightsymphony.org. The roof raising will start at 4 p.m.

Now can we see the Trail of Lights, mom? Pleeeeeez? It’s a good night to see the fabulous lights at the EmilyAnn and maybe get a cup of cocoa.

The mics are open at Riley’s and Triple Crown, and there is karaoke at the Gray Horse, so if you aren’t already hoarse from the Hallelujah Chorus, you can still sing away the night.

Favre and the Vikings are looking to clinch their edge in the playoffs tonight against the Carolina Panthers tonight on NBC at 7 p.m. Phineas and Ferb have their own Christmas special tonight on the Disney channel at 8:30. We can wait to see what new goofy evils Dr. Doofenshmirtz is planning for Christmas.

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3 thoughts on “The Weekend: Hallelujah! and joy

  1. Man I am reeeeaaallly lookin’ forward to playin tonight at the gray horse- Thanks for the plug Hap!

    (Crystal Creek Boy)

  2. Thanks for the great comments and plug Hap, didn’t see it until today, I never knew the newspaper existed. How on earth did you find out about me?……I know it’s not really the San Marcos scene, but on-line there’s a big “todo” about the DEERBRIDGE Klaus Weiland Style Signature Guitar, and my upcoming Europe Tour connected to it………the story how it happened…on-line….. might be interesting for the musicians out there? Interested? Any way, a much belated thank you, for your comments , and keep up the great work! Klaus

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