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

June 11th, 2010
The Weekend: The singing Mockingbird and Texas musicians

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The EmilyAnn Theatre presents the musical Grease for three days this weekend.

By HAP MANSFIELD
Scene Editor

Not long ago, we were surprised to hear a couple of birds singing around 9 or 10 p.m. Birdsong in the middle of the night is unusual for any part of the country, save for the strange calls of the loons on the lakes of Minnesota and the occasional owl hooting. Perhaps you have been in Texas so long that you take it for granted, but our state bird, the night-singing Mockingbird is a fitting avian companion to our area.

For one thing, the birds appear all over the state, democratically apportioned, if you will. For another thing, they have a repertoire of 25-40 songs they can sing, and ain’t that just like a musician in Texas? The birds have their own songs, but they can “cover” a variety of other bird’s songs as well, hence the name.

Mockingbirds can sing at night, but it’s only males serenading for a mate. When you think on it, this is what a lot of musicians like as a side benefit to playing music — the chicks (no pun intended).

Mockingbirds are not afraid of a fight and are known to scare off snakes with their posturing. We don’t suppose we have to make any connections here for Texans.

Both the male and female mockingbirds take an active role in nest building and child rearing, something that should be mirrored with all humans, don’t you think?

San Marcos is full of Mockingbirds and musicians, as they are both indigenous to the area. We sometimes take it for granted, because the birds and the musicians are year round residents. This weekend, look for a few Mockingbirds and even give them a few seeds if the mood strikes you.

As for the musicians, here are few suggestions as to where to find them, along with some other fun activities for the weekend.

Friday, June 11

Bill Jerram is at Triple Crown (206 North Edward Gary) tonight to kick off the weekend’s music. Jerram”s expressive voice allows power pop to fly to the top of the genre food chain, where it belongs. He’s always a pleasure to hear.

If you’ve been goin’ to bingo, then surely you been goin’ to do your bingoin’ at the Wimberley VFW (Veterans Park on Jacobs Well Road) on Friday nights. It is probably the most established bingo game in Central Texas, and that’s gotta be saying something. Equal in delight to the game, the prizes and one’s painless contribution to veteran’s programs, are the tasty snacks sold by the fine women of the Ladies Auxiliary. The basket starts its revolutions at 7 p.m.

Colorful characters abound in the EmilyAnn Theatre’s (1101 FM 2325) production of “Grease.” You’ll see beauty school dropouts, salacious radio stars and a lot of high spirited singing and dancing. That ought to rev your motor for the weekend. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for students and children younger than five years old get in free.

The Krayolas have been kickin’ out the Tex-Mex pop jams since the late 1970s. Their 2010 release, “Americano,” demonstrates that they’ve still got the chops, but their poetry is 30 years better and deeper. Unafraid of confrontation, the Saldana boys’ recent “1070 (I’m Your Dirty Mexican)” deals with the inherent racism in the controversial Arizona immigration bill. On a lighter note, their recent “Fruteria” may be the happiest Tex Mex pop tune ever. The Krayolas will be at Gruene Hall (1281 Gruene Road in New Braunfels) at 8 p.m. tonight. Tickets are $12, and the night will be worth a hundred times that.

You know those expensive earplugs you can get at the drug store that come in bright colors and will seamlessly adhere to your ear canal? You might want to pick up a pair of those before heading to Triple Crown tonight to see the line up. Indisgust and Disfigured, not surprisingly, are thrashcore flash metal bands that will dissolve your brain into a pool of mush without said plugs. The third band, the Monk, will drive in the final nail. Faces will be melted off tonight.

Winner of the 2010 Texas Music Awards “Rising Star” award, Mark Allan Atwood has a distinctive voice that appeals to country and rock fans alike. He will be at Riley’s Tavern (8894 FM 1102) tonight, and you’d best not miss him if you like your country music served with a side of Texas spirit.

The talented Samantha Finlay and Friends will make some uncommonly sweet music at the Cheatham Street Warehouse (119 Cheatham Street) at 9 p.m.

The Dead Phonetics will play their thoughtful bluesy rhythms at the Gray Horse Saloon (19094 RR 12) later on tonight at 10 p.m. They are the perfect gig to close out the evening in a smoky, last shot of whiskey kind of way.

Saturday, June 12

Now, ya’ll got to get on up this morning and make it down to the Market on the Square in downtown San Marcos by the courthouse. Fresh produce, crafts, entertainment and more await the happy morning shopper. There are plenty of shops on the square as well, not to mention the LBJ Museum, and it’s perfect for a market of this kind. It goes from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., so if you snooze, you lose. Oh, we suppose we ought to also mention that it’s fun!

If you were planning to watch the canoes take off on their journey from Aquarena Center for the Texas Water Safari, the world’s toughest canoe race, the event has been postponed until July 10. Hard to be too mad that the lower Guadalupe is flooding when one remembers how bone dry it can be. We don’t wish for floods, but water, as we all know too well, is precious stuff.

The San Marcos Greenbelt Alliance is sponsoring a kid’s hike at the San Marcos Nature Center (430 Riverside Drive) at 10 a.m. The route will go around the Nature Center and then hit the wetlands across from Rio Vista Dam. The hike returns to the Nature Center for a fun craft. You can bring the whole fam damily and strollers are welcome. Take a gander at that new butterfly house when you’re there, too.

The Austin Music Award winning Porter Davis will be at Gruene Hall this afternoon at 1 p.m. The music is a bewitching Texas outlaw blues. The trio is a cactus full of spiky prose and surprisingly beautiful blossoms. No cover for this gig, so it’s truly a don’t miss.

Today at 2 p.m. is the first of two free piano recitals with students from the first annual Texas State International Piano Festival. These hand-picked, gifted students will amaze you with their depth and proficiency. The second free recital will be at 7 p.m. The concerts take place at Evans Auditorium. Don’t be fooled by the free price tag — this is a gift to the community.

The Lotus Ranch ( 525 Fischer Trail in Wimberley) will be the site of a Texas Hold’em tournament to benefit cancer victim Jackie Stanfield. Registration starts at 6:30 p.m. with a $75 fee at the door. First prize is a Marlin semi-automatic .22 rifle, second prize is an outdoor grill and third is a Guadalupe River rafting trip for four. It’s sponsored by Lotus Ranch and Ameritex Builders. The cause is a good one and the scenery at Lotus Ranch is worth the trip alone.

The Jeff Thompson-Dana Lee Band will play swingin’ country music at the Geronimo VFW (6808 SH 123) tonight from 8 p.m. until midnight. It’s only a $7 donation to get in the door and dance your head off. Proceeds go to the VFW’s veterans programs. These dances are always a lot of fun and you’ll meet the nicest folks there, too.

“Grease” is one of those musicals full of rhythmic teenage bon mots like “Keep your filthy paws off my silky drawers,” and “Well, this car is systematic, hydromatic, ultramatic — why, it could be Greased Lightnin’!” Okay, it’s not Oscar Wilde, but the songs are full of energy and the EmilyAnn Theatre keeps them humming. The curtain rises at 8 p.m.

Jeremy Steding plays a pure country sound that neither panders to the rock crowd nor condescends to the classics of the genre. Steding’s voice is hauntingly expressive. He’s always worth hearing and you can do that tonight at Riley’s Tavern.

Pake Rossi sings a song, “Broke In,” that never fails to delight us with it’s talk of hand-me-down denim jackets and sweethearts who were married before. He’s full of witty personality, which is all to the good because he shares the stage at Cheatham Street tonight with the equally individual Josh Dodds. Dodds says he reads C.S. Lewis, Discover magazine and The Bible, and we’re always pleased to see a reading writer. The third player in this triple threat evening is the silken voiced Paul Eason’s band. Great night at the Cheatham Street Warehouse. The music starts up around 9 p.m.

There aren’t any stoves or ovens on the stage at Triple Crown, but nevertheless, sweet jams will be cooking there tonight. Funkotron, Fatty Lumpkin and the Incredible Sandwich will start heating the place up around 9 p.m. They will be cooking with gas.

The talented Amber Lucille will be at the Gray Horse Saloon tonight. It’s her CD release party, so spirits will be high and the music will be rockin.’

Sunday, June 13

Gruene Hall features its Gospel Brunch with a Texas Twist this morning starting at 10:30 a.m. The brunch features turkey, beef, polish wedding sausage, scrambled eggs, biscuits, cream gravy, fried apples and a groaning table-full more. The brunch is catered by the Gristmill. Bret Graham, who plays cowboy style gospel tunes with the Gospel Silvertones, leads the musical festivities. Tickets are $25 for adults and $12.50 for children. Visit gruenehall.com to purchase. Purchase in advance is recommended.

Brett Graham then plays a no cover charge set at Gruene Hall between 12:30-4:40 p.m. It’s a charmingly enjoyable afternoon’s music.

A mighty fun trip on a Sunday afternoon might be wandering out to the Wimberley Glassworks (6469 RR 12). The shop is open from noon-5 p.m. and you can observe a free glassblowing demonstration from the talented artisans. The shop has cool gifts for Father’s Day, too.

Now, right here in San Marcos you can hear the dulcet tones of the first family of Texas Hill Country music, the Ash Family, at the Cheatham Street Warehouse between 4-8 p.m. Families don’t come much more talented than the Ash Family.

The San Marcos River Pub (701 Cheatham Street) presents the popular Mickey and the Motorcars tonight at 7:30 p.m. The seating is festival, admission is free. The pub has an awesome view of the river. And dare I mention their awesome chicken-fried steak? I done dared.

The EmilyAnn Theatre will reprise its version of the musical “Grease” tonight at 8 p.m.  The effervescent tunes will be buzzing in your head all week. Their outdoor theater is a charming place to see any kind of entertainment.

You can’t say San Marcos doesn’t give you a chance to develop your musical talents. Well, you can say it, but it wouldn’t be true. Riley’s and Triple Crown have open mics waiting for your talent to blossom. If you want to sing but don’t want to make a career out of it, the Gray Horse Saloon has karaoke.

The Los Angeles Lakers are battling it out with the Boston Celtics on ABC tonight. CBS will broadcast the 64th Annual Tony Awards. Here’s a sentence we’d never thought we’d write: Green Day will perform on the Tony Awards tonight.

For those who would like their evening’s entertainment a little less serious, Freedonia declares war on Sylvania in one of the funniest and silliest movies of all time, the Marx Brothers’ “Duck Soup” on TCM tonight at 7 p.m.

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  1. Pingback: Krayolas To-Go a Flashback to the 70s « postcards from sanantonio blog

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