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

October 1st, 2010
The Weekend: Fire Fest, Market Days, and art

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Singer songwriter Ben Danaher will be at the Cheatham Street Warehouse on Saturday.

By HAP MANSFIELD
Scene Editor

The weather is gorgeous. Texas looks beautiful, and there are so many things to take a gander at this weekend that it’s almost an embarrassment of riches.

One should be a bit embarrassed about how rich we all are, relatively speaking. When one considers that one in five people on this planet live very much the way people lived 2,000 years ago, it’s amazing that we all have so much.

We’re usually broke, or close to it, most of the time. Yet there’s a free public library and loads of free events. It’s kind of embarrassing to complain about not having any money when the sun shines on the trees and there are so many free events in which to share.

We blush with pride as we suggest just a few things.

Friday, October 1

The weekend opens with a flourish as Buda’s 53rd annual Fire Fest opens its vendor gates at 5 p.m. and championship bull riding starting at 6 p.m. in City Park (204 San Antonio Street.) Later, on the Bud Light main stage the Turnpike Troubadours and Tracy Lawrence will entertain.

Eric Hisaw will start up the weekend’s music at 6 p.m. at the Triple Crown (206 North Edward Gary). Hisaw is a well-read storytelling songwriter who injects his narratives with the grit of Texas rock and blues.

Gruene Hall (1281 Gruene Road) features the inimitable Ponty Bone and the Squeezetones at 7 p.m. There’s no cover tonight. Bone’s proficiency on the squeezebox will chipper you right up.

Buda’s 7th annual Fine Arts Festival kicks off tonight with “Art After Dark,” a premier art event on the greenbelt in downtown Buda. Tickets for tonight’s event are $15 at the door. The evening includes live music from jazz performer Liz Morphis, a wine-tasting and hors d’oeurves. You can meet the artists, purchase works for sale and participate in a silent auction.

The art of bingo is a whole different world away from painting and sculpture, although one could use his winnings to purchase them. The point of bingo, though, aside from the prizes, is really the fellowship of the players. Such a fellowship exists at the long standing Wimberley VFW (Veterans Park on Jacobs Well Road) Friday evening bingo game starting up at 7 p.m. However, the delicious snacks sold by the capable hands of the Ladies Auxiliary are artful in their ability to allay your hunger as you play the game.

High school football games at 7:30 p.m. find San Marcos High celebrating homecoming against Anderson at Bobcat Stadium. The halftime show will feature music and the crowning of the homecoming king and queen. Lehman will face off against Canyon at Bob Shelton Stadium. Meanwhile, Hays will be at Alamo Heights, Dripping Springs will face Vandergrift and San Marcos Academy is at home against Texas Military Institute.

At the PSH Foundation Studio Theatre, the Texas State Department of Theatre and Dance will perform Neil LaBute’s startling “Reasons to be Pretty.” The play underlines Labute’s somewhat misanthropic muse as the work asks questions about the American obsession with physical beauty. Tickets are $8 general admission and $5 for students. Should be a very amusing, striking and thought-provoking evening.

The extraordinary glam rockers Chasca will be at the Gray Horse Saloon at 8 p.m. If you have never been part of the Chasca experience, you will be wowed. If you are a returning fan, make sure to tip your bartender.

The Wimberley Players will be stomping’, fightin’, and singin’ their way through the rowdy musical about the pacific Northwest, “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.” The Wimberley Playhouse (450 Old Kyle Road) will ring with the robust songs and dialogue of the rough and tumble musical, directed by Lee Colee with choreography by Pam Schultz. Tickets are $18.

A wind ensemble directed by Dr. Rodney Schueller will blow through the Evans Liberal Arts building on the campus of Texas State at 8 p.m. The striking program includes Jonathan Newman’s “My Hands Are A City,” a piece based on a Gregory Corso poem, The piece is part of Newman’s Symphony #1 and quotes a bit of jazz in addition to his own poetic sensibilities. The rest of the program is equally compelling. Tickets are $5 for general admission and $3 for students.

Bianca is a pretty girl with loads of suitors, but her dad says she can’t get married until her irascible sister Katherina is wed first. No man seems up to the task until the bold and wild Petruchio takes up the gauntlet. It doesn’t hurt any that Katherina’s dowry is a rich one. Is Petruchio a gold-digger, a soldier of fortune, a misogynist or just a great character through which Shakespeare can vent his spleen? Who knows? But it makes his “Taming of the Shrew” an enormously entertaining night of theater, which, tonight, will be provided by the EmilyAnn Theatre (1101 FM 2325). The curtain rises at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 general admission and $10 for students.

The Whiptails are musicians who play a haunting mix of Texas rock, country and punk. Any band that cited the Minutemen get our vote for understanding the nuances of lyrical rebellion. In fact, if D. Boone had been born a girl, he couldn’t have been more persuasive than the Whiptails’ Jeanne with her sometimes mournful, yodeling warble. The band will be at Riley’s Tavern (8894 FM 1102) tonight. They’ll rip up the place good and proper.

Speaking of ripping up a place with some mighty compelling music, Forest Wayne Allen will be at the Cheatham Street Warehouse (119 Cheatham Street) along about 9 p.m., shaking the rafters of the old cotton warehouse with his band’s signature country rock energy. The evening also features the lively stylings of Court Nance.

The Blue Hit is certainly not your typical Austin band with Grace Rowland’s tuneful, almost Bjork-like, vocals and band mates who play cello and guitar. The spare sound is somewhat eclectic and the songs, oft penned by Texas State music alum Rowland, are quirky and compelling. The band will be at Triple Crown tonight. Joining is the up-and-coming sensation that is Danny Malone, who is all energy and wild notes. Not to be missed.

Saturday, October 2

We don’t know if there is such a thing as too much to do for fun on a Saturday, but if there is, this day comes very close to it. For one thing, it’s Wimberley Market Days which start out bright and early at 7 a.m. in Lions Park. More than 475 booths await your perusal. The event always includes food and music, as well.

Buda’s Fire Fest Starts out with some opening ceremonies in Buda City Park at 9 a.m., followed by a 5K run/walk. From 9:15 a.m. until 5 p.m., firefighters will go through their astonishingly tough paces competing in events that NFL players would have a hard time completing. Meanwhile, there are games for the kids, a Miss Fire Fest Pageant contest and loads of vendor booths, food and music.

The Wimberley Village Library will have its annual book sale from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. at Chapel in the Hills (14601 RR 12).

It’s also Kyle Market Days (City Square Park between Center Street, Main Street, Burleson Street and Miller Street) starting at 9 a.m. The day features food, fresh produce and music provided by the Sideshow Five, followed by Bradley Jaye Williams and the Fabulous Polkasonics. The market goes until 2 p.m.

Last, but most certainly not least, is Market on the Square in Downtown San Marcos (on the San Antonio Street side of courthouse square.) Music, food, fun and fresh produce right in the middle of our beautiful city.

The Geronimo VFW Post 8456 (6808 North SH 123) hosts a CASI sanctioned Chili Cook Off today, and the delicious smells will lure you there, for sure.

Today, the Wimberley Merchants Association opens its popular yearly pumpkin patch (110 Old Kyle Road) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Get a pumpkin and see the creative scarecrows in the square from Keep Wimberley Beautiful’s scarecrow contest, too.

From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. the Buda Fine Arts Festival will have demonstrations, a kids art area, food, music and more. It all takes place on the greenbelt in downtown Buda. Oils, pastels, pottery, glass, mixed media, photography, sculpture, acrylics and fine jewelry from artists across Texas will be featured. Weekend admission to the event is free.

Santa Fe new Mexico’s Bill Hearne Trio plays the old-fashioned country swing and blues that really never goes out of style due to its abilities to set your toes tappin’ and your heart to yearnin’.  None other than Lyle Lovett cites Hearne as an influence. The trio is starting a Texas tour and will be at Gruene Hall this afternoon from 1-5 p.m. There’s no cover, so it’s a gift from the music gods.

Those who have seen the film “In the Company of Men,” already know the direction of author/director Neil LaBute’s thinking. In “Reasons to be Pretty,” being staged today by Texas State’s department of Theatre and Dance, the drama has a biting comedy that displays the author’s often bitter world view. The curtain rises at the PSH Foundation Studio Theatre on campus at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $8 General admission and $5 for students.

Henry and the Invisibles and the San Marcos-based Helix will be at the Gray Horse Saloon tonight. Helix is a dynamic mix of musicians formed as a band in 2009 from their mutual attendance at Texas State. They are gathering momentum as they sell out venues playing their piquant mix of gypsy funk jam. No cover.

The boisterous fun of singing dancers duking it out is just one of many things that await the attendees of the Wimberley Players performance of “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.” The curtain rises at 8 p.m. Tickets are $18.

Buda’s Fire Fest will wind up with awards, food and Kristen Kelly and the Modern Day Drifters on the Bud Light main stage. Kelly is followed by Mark Chestnutt around 10 p.m.

Shakespeare’s “Taming of the Shrew” has inspired many performances, not to mention one of our favorite musicals, “Kiss Me Kate.” The “battling Burtons” gave it a go and the John Wayne film “McClintock!” is loosely based on the play. Even John Cleese took a whirl at playing Petruchio. The EmilyAnn Theatre will perform its version of the comedy tonight at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 general admission, $10 for students.

Peewee Moore and the Awful Dreadful Snakes will play their electric honky-tonk at Riley’s tonight. Meanwhile, at the Cheatham Street Warehouse, Texas State alum and all-around great songwriter Ben Danaher will grace the stage. Gruene Hall features the talents of the popular Sean McConnell, with Rodney Parker opening.

Triple Crown will spill over with word and tune masters tonight as it hosts Word Association, OT23, Stormshadow, G. Cleff and the inimitable DJ Notion. Holla!

Sunday, October 3

If you were busy hitting all the markets and music yesterday, you can still hit the 7th annual Buda Fine Arts Festival, which will go from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today on the greenbelt in downtown Buda. Lots of wonderful art to see, food, music and great ideas for Christmas gifts. Admission is free.

Gruene Hall features the working-class country rock of A.J. Downing and the Buick 6 from 12:30-4:30 p.m. No cover.

Texas State’s Department of Theatre and Dance will reprise its performance of Neil LaBute’s biting comedic drama, “Reasons to Be Pretty,” at 2 p.m. at the PSH Foundation Studio Theatre on the campus.

If you would rather see dancing and singing rough-hewn mountain men, then the Wimberley Players rendition of “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” at 2:30 p.m. at the Wimberley Playhouse is for you. It’s sort of like a football game wrapped in a musical wrapped in a chick film, i.e. everybody wins!

The Kyle Wayne Kutscher Band will play its easy-on-the-ears brand of country rock at the Cheatham Street Warehouse this afternoon form 4-8 p.m. Just what the doctor ordered for a pleasant Sunday afternoon’s diversion.

If you just can’t get enough football, it’s high time you saw a Unicycle Football League game. Today at 4 p.m., the ILL Eagles will take on the Berzerkerz in the strangest football game you will ever love. The jousting starts at the San Marcos Farmer’s Market parking lot (204 South Edward Gary Street).

Susan Gibson wrote “Wide Open Spaces,” which won the Dixie Chicks a Grammy. But that’s old news in Gibson’s career, in which she has excelled at solo work and worked with Mark Jungers, Jim Lauderdale and others. She’ll be at Gruene Hall from 5-9 p.m. No cover.

If you want to start out your career in singing or poetry or spoken word pieces like David Sedaris, you’ve got to start out somewhere. The perfect venue may be the open mics tonight at Triple Crown and Riley’s. There’s always karaoke at the Gray Horse, for those who’d just like to follow the bouncing ball. (Remember the bouncing ball? No? Ask your grandma.)

The Chicago Bears will try to preserve their (so far) undefeated season as they line up against Eli Manning and the New York football Giants at 7 p.m. tonight on NBC.

TCM features Frank Capra’s heartfelt love letter to democracy that is “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.” Jimmy Stewart rules. It’s followed by another classic, “To Kill A Mockingbird.” BBCA will show Johnny Depp as “Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” a strange but compelling musical at 7 p.m., where the meat pies are made of, uh, soylent green.

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