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

July 9th, 2010
The Weekend: Intrepid canoe racers, music and, maybe, Teddy bears

070709txrenTexas Renegade will be at the Cheatham Street Warehouse on Saturday. Probably without the false mustaches.

Scene Editor

In Canada, Europe and Australia, July 10 is the popular Teddy Bear Picnic Day. No. we’re not making it up. Children and their parents celebrate the day by having tea parties or picnics with their Teddy bears in the park.

Quite frankly, we think the namesake of the Teddy bear, Theodore Roosevelt, would be more than a bit abashed to have his name associated with such a, well, let’s say it, wimpy day.

While it’s said that the holiday emanated from the John Walters Bratton Song, “The Teddy Bear’s Picnic,” which was written in 1907, the day found recognition in 1988. That’s when the collectibles and toy company Royal Selanger seized on the concept and started issuing collectibles for the holiday.

While the day never caught on in the U.S., thousands of families celebrate it elsewhere. Of course, even more thousands watch soccer, which you can also do this weekend. We suppose you could combine the days and watch the World Cup finals with your Teddy bear.

The best part of this odd holiday, in our humble opinion, is the traditional making and eating of Teddy bear cookies.

Now, while we may watch the World Cup game, we’ll be eating good ol’ Texas barbecue sans the bear. Just because we’ve still got a Teddy bear (it’s a black one named Sasha Boris) doesn’t mean we’re going to have a picnic with it. Probably. And we’re not gonna make no cookies for it. Not when there are perfectly good cookies you can just buy at the store.

There are lots of less wussy things to do than have a picnic with your Teddy bear in San Marcos. Here are just a few suggestions.

Friday, July 9

A San Marcos favorite, Mark Jungers, starts out the weekend’s music at Triple Crown (206 North Edward Gary Street) at 6 p.m. Junger’s roots music blend of Country and Americana is always a great listen.

Once, playing Bible Verse Bingo at summer Bible school, we almost started a riot with our misquotation of a verse from the psalms. “Thy word is a light to my feet and a lamp to my path.”  The woman running the game, Mrs. Garson, assured us that it was a “lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” We couldn’t figure out why your feet would want a lamp. Other students thought the verse meant maybe there were flashlights on people’s shoes in the Bible. Another student said it was a torch and someone else said that torches would burn your feet, wouldn’t they? Everybody was a little confused and Mrs. Garson was flustered until the pastor happened by. He reckoned that the important part was that the word of God was a light and told Mrs. Garson what a good job she was doing getting the students so involved. She beamed, we all got pink cupcakes and chocolate milk and everybody was happy. You probably won’t have a theological discussion at the bingo game at the Wimberley VFW (Veterans Park on Jacobs Well Road), but you will feel happy playing the game. The women of the Ladies Auxiliary, while they may not have pink cupcakes, do have delicious snacks for sale. The basket starts turning at 7 p.m.

Beautiful girls with talent are often misjudged as pretty flash-in-the-pan pinups and they don’t get the serious musical consideration they deserve. Kelly Willis has certainly taken her knocks with this judgment since her career started in the early 1990s and kept on fighting. Older now and twice as pretty, she has been critically acknowledged for her bright lyrics and rich voice. We could listen to Kelly Willis sing names from the phone book and be happy, but you won’t have to do that if you see her at Gruene Hall (1281 Gruene Road, New Braunfels) tonight as she has an exciting playlist of her own songs. Tickets are $15. Be prepared to stand at the venue.  Brian Keane opens.

Tonight Buda’s Toons and Tunes presents the movie “Where the Wild Things Are” at Buda City Park on Main Street in Buda. The movie starts at 9 p.m. Bring a blanket or some lawn chairs to sit upon and watch the movie adaptation of the musical based on a Maurice Sendak classic in the gorgeous Texas night.

Javi Garcia and the Cold Cold Ground will electrify the audience at the Cheatham Street Warehouse (119 Cheatham Street) at 9 p.m. Garcia is a supercharged performer with a band so hot it could melt metal. The band’s new release, “Southern Horror,” is dark, disgruntled and demands your attention. Garcia plays Texas style-rock, which just means it’s bigger, better, multifaceted and more intense than the awful “lite” rock that seems to permeate the airwaves. Don’t miss out on seeing the band live. They’re great.

Riley’s Tavern (8894 FM 1102) features the Joel Hoffman Band tonight at 9 p.m. Hoffman’s band plays country with a rockin’ edge. The band’s got chops and is always fun to hear.

Milhouse lead vocalist Jonathan Boyce is one heck of a gifted vocalist, and his voice is a good counterpoint to the band’s boisterous guitar-driven rock. Milhouse has a soupcon of Faith No More in its delivery, and you will be blown away by the energy. We are particularly taken with the song “Drive,” which flows with fluent guitar work and compelling vocals. Milhouse is at the Gray Horse Saloon (1904 RR 12) tonight at 9 p.m.

It’s a night of punkabilly twanging and rockin’ at Triple Crown with the awesome lineup of De Los Muertos, Glambilly and The Gay Sportscasters. We pity the lucky San Marcian who has to decide what gig to see tonight, because this is another awesome lineup. We’re partial to Glambilly, which manages to play like  an explosive combination of punk and Carl Perkins. De Los Muertos manages to combine Tex-Mex with punk, and the Gay Sportscasters? Well, they’re either classic punks or the Jocks who are likewise. The music gets whompin’ at 9 p.m.

Saturday, July 10

Market on the Square on courthouse square in San Marcos opens up at 9 a.m. Fresh produce, music, fun things to do and great people are just some of the things you’ll find there. The market goes until 1 p.m. Try to not miss it.

The Texas Water Safari, that race for intrepid canoe teams, was postponed in June because of flooding on the lower Guadalupe River. We don’t know if conditions are much better now, but the race is slated to take off today from Spring Lake at the Aquarena Center (921 Aquarena Springs Drive.) The safari is a nonstop marathon canoe race running 260 miles down to the Guadalupe River-San Antonio Bay confluence at the Gulf of Mexico. Participants must have all provisions, equipment and items of repair in their possession at the start of the race. Each team has a captain who follows along in a car to keep track of their position and give them the only two allowable things to get from the “outside,” water and ice. They must reach mandatory checkpoints by certain times and need to cross the finish line in the 100 hour deadline. Whew! They don’t call it the “the world’s toughest canoe race” for nuthin’. You can watch the participants depart today and give them a bit encouragement starting at around 9 a.m. this morning.

Warren Hood and his new band the Goods, have been making waves from here to San Francisco with Hood’s extraordinary take on country, rock, blues and even Balkan music. Hood’s fiddle is limber and the band plays a solid set. They will be at Gruene Hall today from 1-5 p.m. No cover!

The San Marcos Greenbelt Alliance Naturescapes photo contest deadline is July 12, so you have just enough time this weekend to go capture a photo of the natural beauty all around us with your camera. Go to for details on how to enter. Check out the amazing photos of the winners from last year, while you’re at their site.

A really wonderful place to capture some of that natural beauty is the San Marcos Nature Center (430 Riverside Drive). The center is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays, and the new butterfly house is just one of the many attractions. The kids will love the turtles, snakes and lizards, and you’ll love their beautiful “wildscapes.” Then on the way home, stop for some ice cream. Perfect day, right there.

Jen “Lil’ Bit” Adams has a voice perfect for honkytonk and rockabilly. The trio of Lil’ Bit and the Customatics will give you the shivers with the lonesome songs and make feet tap to the rockin’ ones. They’ll be at Riley’s Tavern tonight at 9 p.m.

Rotel and the Hot Tomatoes will zap you back to the 1960s with their costumed female singers, powerful brass section and choreography. They bring the party with them everywhere they sing which, tonight, is Gruene Hall. Ticket are $12.

You’ll never regret one second of seeing Texas Renegade, playing at the Cheatham Street Warehouse tonight. These Texas boys can really play Texas alt-country tunes and every song tells a story. They’ll start spinning musical tales around 9 p.m.

Not quite as ska as Skankin’ Pickle but not quite rock either are the sounds of Rio Specter playing tonight at the Gray Horse Saloon. The band is carving out a sound of its own, and you can watch the work tonight at 9 p.m.

The night is distinctively punkish without actually being pure punk at Triple Crown tonight. The stylish punkabilly of Winter Dance Party is tempered by poetic sensibilities. The punk tones of the Beer Gnomes are mixed with a ska-like bravado. Black Water Revival is punk-blues with a sense of humor. Fun night for the listener.

Sunday, July 11

Gruene Hall features its Gospel Brunch with delicious food and equally tasty music this morning starting at 10:30 a.m. Tickets are $25, and you’d best get there early before it fills up. Catered by the Gristmill Restaurant, the assortment of foods is amazing. Then, stay on to hear the country gospel of Bret Graham at 12:30 p.m.

From 1-4 p.m., Central Texas Medical Center (1301 Wonder World Drive) is having Baby Fest, an afternoon devoted to babies, moms and families. There will be door prizes, a children’s stuffed animal “hospital,” an appetizer buffet and mini-tours through their new Childbirth Center. The kids can bring their toys for an “examination” throughout the event. Included in the day are several “health talks” conducted by the medical center’s staff.

At 12:30 p.m. today, you can be part of what is expected to be the most watched event in world television history, the World Cup 2010 final match between Spain and the Netherlands. Predictions are that it will break the record set in 2006 for the World Cup final of 715 million people. The event will be broadcast on ABC. Go Spain! er…Go Netherlands!  If you can’t stand the sound of the vuvuzela, the horns that will incessantly blow throughout the match, there are several places on the Internet that can instruct you on how to downplay it for your set.

Much less irritating than the vuvuzela and considerably more soothing are the sounds of the Ash Family at the Cheatham Street Warehouse today from 4-8 p.m. You may need to go after the World Cup game just to soothe your nerves. They’re the folks that can do it.

The Jeff Strahan Band plays the kind of blues rock that makes you feel good all over. You can hear that the band really feels the music and Jeff’s voice is strong and solid. They’ll be at Gruene Hall today at 5 p.m. No cover.

Well, it’s always a good day to sing, but tonight you can polish your skills at an open mic at both Riley’s Tavern and Triple Crown. There is karaoke at the Gray Horse Saloon for those who would like mechanical accompaniment.

It’s a dull night for television unless you want to see the Chicago Cubs play the Los Angeles Dodgers on ESPN tonight at 7 p.m. The game will probably be a good one, and you could make it a fun night with hot dogs, peanuts and Crackerjack. You won’t be able to have a plastic baseball cap with a sundae in it, but you could make a sundae at home (how about a tin roof? Yum!) and be glad you aren’t at the ballpark getting a mortgage on your home so you can afford one at the concession stand.

Or you could do that Teddy Bear thing.

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