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

August 20th, 2010
The Weekend: Hot art, hot music, hot theater and, uh, more hot heat


Zack Walther and the Cronkites will be at Cheatham Street Warehouse on Saturday.

Scene Editor

As the school year starts anew, we are reminded of the words of the late great Kurt Vonnegut who said, “True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country.”

A generation’s responsibility for the health of democracy is something all of us have to face. All that big talk about what we would do if we were in charge now boils down to hot air if we haven’t had a good enough education to know what the constitution says, what the ecological concerns are and how to communicate effectively. It also helps if we know how to make coffee, blow soap bubbles and invent ice cream flavors, but these skills, while important, are somewhat less vital.

Even though the first public secondary school in America was started in 1635 (of course, it admitted no women or racial minorities), it wasn’t until 92 years ago that all the states in the union had passed laws requiring children to have at least an elementary education. Compulsory education extending through to high school didn’t really take hold until 30 years later. Compulsory education through high school for all children is a younger concept than the automobile and the telephone. Many Texas districts didn’t require 12 years in school until the 1940s.

Before we pat ourselves on the back too strenuously for our educational advances, let’s remember that Thomas Jefferson and George Washington felt that education should be available to all people regardless of their position in society, free from religious bias and run by the government.

For some reason, it always takes us a while to catch up to the founding fathers.

However, you can catch up to what’s going on this weekend by examining the following suggestions.

Friday, August 20

Devil’s Hollow plays a spirited blend of ’70s rock and blues with a decidedly contemporary twist. The band’s sound is lightly battered  enough to be crisply Southern fried. If you are a fan of the genre, the band serves up a tasty platter of country rock. Lead singer Justin Murray’s gritty voice wafts like campfire smoke over the songs. The band is at Triple Crown (206 North Edward Gary Street) tonight for the early gig at 6 p.m.

The Brits are a bit bonkers about the game of bingo. It’s estimated that three million people play the game every week. There’s even a national bingo game that goes on every day — at least, we think it’s every day. We don’t quite understand the British game. It’s a bit confusing. It’s decidedly not confusing to play bingo at the Wimberley VFW (Veterans Park on Jacobs Well Road). The added plus of the delicious snacks sold by the Ladies Auxiliary make the game a delight. The cage starts rolling at 7 p.m.

Lead singer Shawn Line’s passionate voice is a good blend for the bluesy rock of Firewater Sermon appearing tonight at the Gray Horse Saloon (1904 RR 12). The whole band has a fervor for the music and you’ll hear that in every note.

Brave Combo is celebrating the release of its latest CD “Kikiriki” at Gruene Hall (1281 Gruene Road in New Braunfels) tonight. Now, we’re not exactly sure why they called it that, but it is how Germans say “cock-a-doodle-doo,” a Deutschland version of what the crow of a rooster sounds like. Brave Combo certainly has something to crow about, what with its 30-year run of lively and varied music that runs the gamut from rock to polka. The band is joined by squeezebox master Ponty Bone. Tickets are $10.

Well, the weather certainly has felt a tad bit like living on a hot tin roof, but the Wimberley Players will emote a different kind of heat when they perform “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” at the Wimberley Playhouse this evening. The curtain rises at 8 p.m. Tickets are $18 for the adult-themed play.

Dignan plays a lush, dreamy, introspective rock that has an ethereal sound. The McAllen-based band is a beguiling listen at  Triple Crown tonight with fellow McAllenites the Young Maths, whose refreshing poppy punky beats take them in a whole different direction from their local compadres. Rounding out the bill is a San Marcos favorite, Buzz ‘n’ Bangs.

You get a refreshing Finlay three-pack tonight with singer-songwriters Jason Bednorz and Russell Bisby opening the evening and the Kyle Bennett Band closing it out at the Cheatham Street Warehouse (119 Cheatham Street). The song writing is superb and the music is toe-tapping. Should be a great evening of music.

Saturday, August 21

If you are a rummage and yard sale junkie but find the heat unbearable for shopping, consider going to the Indoor Air Conditioned Rummage Sale at the Onion Creek Senior Citizens Center (111 Bartons Crossing) in Buda this morning. The sale goes from 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m. and will be loaded with furniture, household items and clothing. The sale is a fund raiser for the building fund of the senior citizens center. You can shop in “air-conditioned splendor,” as they used to call it at the movie theaters.

We’re not going to lie to you, it’s supposed to be hot today. Maybe we’ve already mentioned the heat. So it’s a good idea to get your marketing done in the cool of the morning, and Market on the Square in courthouse square in downtown San Marcos has the user-friendly (and weather-friendly) hours of 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Food, music, arts and crafts and fresh produce will be proffered in our lovely downtown setting. While you are downtown in the morning, don’t forget that Dixie Cream Donuts (201 South LBJ Drive) is open until noon. You deserve a morning treat.

More shopping awaits the weekend warrior at Old Gruene Market Days in the Gruene Historic district in New Braunfels today from p.m. Around 100 vendors offer collectibles, crafts and packaged Texas foods. Candles, soaps, jewelry and other finery await. There’s a convenient ATM there, too.

While you are shopping in New Braunfels, don’t forget to stop by the Heiss Art Fest at 764 West Frame Shop and Gallery at 764 West San Antonio Street. More than 20 area artists from the Schertz Area Artz Council will be represented at this outdoor event. You’ll see a diverse array of mediums and styles, including sculpture, glass, prints, computer art and more. The art fest’s hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Eric Middleton’s compelling voice drives the sound of the Midnight River Choir, but what will keep you mesmerized are the band’s harmonies and songs. The choir will be at Gruene Hall today from  1-5. No cover.

The Bent Tree Gallery (101 Henson Road in the Garden Gate Shops) in Wimberley is having a reception for two of its newest artists, Ronnie Weeks and Lotus McElfish, today from 4-6 p.m. Weeks’ assemblages and McElfish’s botanical works will delight you. Refreshments include spicy salsa samplings and summer sangria.

At 4 p.m., the San Marcos High School Class of 2010 will dedicate the renamed stretch of road at the intersection of the Old Bastrop Highway and East McCarty Road to forever be “Rattler Road.” The public is invited to attend as the senior class leaves this re-naming as a gift to the city of San Marcos. San Marcos Mayor Susan Narvaiz, school board members, district administrators, students and parents plan to attend the event.

Guest Director David Schneider, president of the Gaslight-Baker Theatre in Lockhart, interpreted Tennessee Williams’ classic “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” at the Wimberley Playhouse for the start of the Wimberley Players’ 30th anniversary season. The steamy play centers around the lives and secrets of a wealthy Mississippi Delta family, and features some of Williams’ most amusing and heart-wrenching dialog. The curtain rises tonight at 8 p.m. It’s the last weekend to see this adult classic. Tickets are $18.

Band of Heathens currently has a free download available at its website ( that pokes a little stick in the eye of the folks responsible for the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. The heathens had a big buzz going ever since they appeared on Austin City Limits in the same show that featured Elvis Costello. You can see what all the fuss is about when they appear at Gruene Hall tonight. Tickets are $12. Austin roots and bluesman Seth Walker, fresh from a tour of Denmark, opens.

Chicken Shift plays its own brand of country rock that has more than a shade of rockabilly in it and a whole lot of git up and go. Chicken Shift is at the Gray Horse Saloon tonight with San Marcos’ own Rio Specter, whose base-laden tunes put one in mind of the Minute Men.

There’s no mystery as to why Zack Walther and the Cronkites have a large cadre of devoted fans. The band plays infectious new country grooves with ease, they write a good song and Zack Walther has a great voice that blends perfectly with the music. They’ll be a the Cheatham Street Warehouse tonight, and you’ll be very happy you went.

If you’ve ever wondered what blues would sound like if they were  put into a meat grinder and mixed with metal, Rooster Suicide, appearing at the Triple Crown tonight, can fill that bill. They are joined by Austin’s Blower, an umlaut band that sounds like KISS in a car accident. Also on the bill are thrash metal rockers Burials. This is a night to wear your motorcycle jacket, an eye-patch and a good set of earplugs. The night should be loud, rowdy and fun.

Sunday, August 22

It’s the last precious day of summer vacation for the kids of San Marcos CISD, and the students are probably a combination of nervous, excited and a little sad. The summers go by so fast, and surely you remember how the school year seemed to drag until Christmas. Sounds, to us, like a job for ice cream. Your favorite  Dairy Queen or Rhea’s Ice Cream (318 North LBJ Drive) could supply the cold, creamy stuff and make the summer’s ending and the school year starting a sweet memory.

We can’t say enough about the Fireants of Austin, appearing at Gruene Hall today from 12:30- 4:30 p.m. These young folks really know their way around gypsy, bluegrass, country and swing and the combination of the genres yields some awe inspiring results. There’s no cover today, and it’s a perfect Sunday afternoon treat.

For those who prefer their Sunday treats with a sultry hue, the Wimberley Players’ last performance of “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” takes place at a matinee at 2 p.m. Go watch the last swagger of Big Daddy and re-incorporate “mendacity” into your daily vocabulary. Tickets are $18.

The celebrated Ezra Charles will be at Gruene Hall tonight with his big band horns. Their bluesy piano-driven sound is well known throughout the world. They’ll be playing from 5-9 tonight. No cover.

Mics are open at the Triple Crown and Riley’s Tavern, if you’d care to start a singing career. The Gray Horse features karaoke for those who don’t want to make a career of it but would still like to sing out.

Tonight, the Minnesota Vikings will be playing the San Francisco 49ers in preseason football on NBC at 7 p.m. We’d be surprised if Brett Farve makes more than a cameo appearance. While he’s returning to the Vikes, we don’t think they’ll be wasting too much of his energy in the pre-season. The first quarter of the game might be good, though.

A childhood classic movie, Swiss Family Robinson, is on TCM tonight at 7 p.m. The National Geographic channel features its new “Dawn of the Ocean” program  at 8 p.m. exploring the depths of the mysterious sea. Science actually knows more about the moon than it does about the oceans, in which they discover new creatures weekly.

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6 thoughts on “The Weekend: Hot art, hot music, hot theater and, uh, more hot heat

  1. The Unicycle Football League is back in season starting Sunday with the Gnarwals vs. the Hot Dogs at 3, followed by Austin’s Hell on Wheel vs. the Berzerkers. Go Hot Dogs! Hot Dogs forever! Honor Obedience Tackling(Tickling?) Defense Obedience Godspeed Squishy!

  2. Where does the UFL play these days? Last I saw them it was next to Tantra, but I thought they moved at some point last year.

  3. Pingback: The Weekend: Hot art, hot music, hot theater and, uh, more hot heat – San Marcos Local News | newsgage

  4. Thanks Kelly!

    Hopefully the coming weeks bring lower temperatures. When I left the house today my back porch thermometer was at 106 degrees! The spectators must have had fun watching us boil. Next Sunday the defending UFL champs the Hot Dogs take on the Unicychos at 4 PM.

    Hope to see you all out there!

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