Ryan Beaver will be at the Cheatham Street Warehouse on Saturday night.
BY HAP MANSFIELD
Since the 1990s, Jan. 29 has been celebrated as Freethinker’s Day or Thomas Paine Day, in honor of the revolutionary writer’s birthday. Paine, while he was not one of the authors of either the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution, was, nonetheless, an important part in America’s bid for freedom from Great Britain.
His pamphlets Common Sense and The Crisis were pivotal for informing the population of the goals of liberty and freedom from England. “The Crisis” featured the now famous line, “These are the times that try men’s souls.” George Washington kept a copy of the pamphlet with him and used to read it to his troops as inspiration.
In Common Sense, Paine wrote, “Of more worth is one honest man to society and in the sight of God, than all the crowned ruffians that ever lived.” The pamphlet sold more than 500,000 copies in one year. The entire immigrant population of the U.S. was 2.5 million people. That would be like selling 61,000,000 books now, which is more copies than Gone with the Wind has sold since 1936.
Thomas Paine, like most of the founding fathers, was not a Christian, but a Deist. This has been a sore point for some with Paine. He was good at stirring the masses to freedom and did it again in France. He was against the death penalty for aristocrats, though, and the bloodthirsty French paid no mind to this and booted him out. They loved his principles, but hated his compassion.
Paine died a poor man. He kept none of the money he made from his best-selling pamphlets, but instead donated it all to the revolutionary cause. He also strongly believed in the abolishment of slavery.
Paine, by the way, is not literally buried anywhere. He was originally interred out in the country somewhere in New Rochelle, NY — no Christian church would take him — but he was exhumed by British journalist William Cobbett and the bones were taken to England. Cobbett meant to make Paine a grander grave in his home country. After that, the disposition of Paine is foggy. Paine was never buried and, in fact, no one knows where his bones are. The bones were part of Cobbett’s estate, but they somehow got “lost.”
It’s not a bad idea to celebrate his birthday with a bit of cake and gratitude. Even if we still feel that the times are a bit soul-trying.
What can often soothe the soul is music. There is a lot of that going on this weekend, and more besides. Here are just a few suggestions.
Friday, January 28
The weekend starts off with the music of Mark Jungers at the Triple Crown (206 North Edward Gary). Jungers’ pleasant style and country-rock tunes are a great way to start off the weekend.
At 8 p.m. tonight, the Gray Horse Saloon (1904 RR 12) features Amber Lucille, a Texas girl with a voice as big and wild as the state. She’s got a solid backup band, too.
Jason Arnold and the Stepsiders are perfect for a roadhouse dance-hall like, let’s say, Riley’s Tavern (8894 FM1102). So, it’s a match made in country dancing heaven that they will be there tonight. The Sidesteppers always have a fiddle or two on board, a steel guitar and the constant bass of Arnold. Should be a fun night at Riley’s Tavern.
Just a couple of nights ago, the Texas Renegade guys said that they were hangin’ out with Louisiana southern rockers extraordinaire Dash Rip Rock. Last night, they were at the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo. Tonight, they are in San Marcos at the Cheatham Street Warehouse (119 Cheatham Street). You’ll certainly enjoy their well-crafted tunes and vocals, and hangin’ out at the Cheatham Street Warehouse is always noteworthy.
The Triple Crown features its triple threat Friday with Kabomba!, Del Feo and iMBiBE. Kabomba!, formerly Helix, apparently had the same name as a Canadian metal band. “The Canadian metal band threatened to beat us up with their hockey sticks,” says the former Helix’s MySpace page. So the band changed names. If it’s any consolation at all, Kabomba! sounds like a band that can do Latin, reggae and funky jams. Helix does kind of sound like an ’80s hair band, anyway. Whatever you call them, you’ll enjoy the music, and that’s what counts.
Saturday, January 29
There are so many cool museums in the area to go visit on the weekends. Did you know that the Caldwell County Museum in Lockhart is open from 1-5 p.m. on Sat. and Sun.? The building alone is worth looking at closely, as it’s a fine example of Norman castellated style architecture. You could stop and get barbecue, or get a hat at the world famous Texas Hatters. Might be a fun trip.
The Wittliff Collections on the seventh floor of the Alkek Library at Texas State has several great exhibits. Their newest one is “Big Bend: Land of Texas Imagination,” featuring photographs and literary works all dealing with the mythic Big Bend area in the western part of the state along the Mexican border. The exhibit is open from 1-5 today and 1-6 on Sunday. They say Big Bend is the place where rainbows wait for rain.
The San Marcos Greenbelt Alliance will have its annual meeting today at the Price Seniors Center (222 West San Antonio Street) from 3-5 p.m. The alliance will discuss activities past and present, hand out awards and talk about what’s in the works for the future. The public is invited to attend and participate.
The San Marcos High School (SMHS) Drama Boosters Club’s presentation of the musical “Little Shop of Horrors” is fun, the plot is a bit bizarre and the sets look great. The SMHS Performing Arts Center’s box office opens 30 minutes before the show, when you can buy a ticket for $7. It’s less expensive than some movies and way, way more fun to watch. San Marcos is loaded with talented kids, as we all know.
The Gray Horse Saloon will feature the talents of Rubix Cubed tonight. Andrea Marie and the Magnolia band will be at Riley’s Tavern. Their county sounds can cheer you up or shed a tear in your beer. They’re a lot of fun to hear.
The Triple Crown will host Clyde and Clem’s Whiskey Business, local bluegrass masters the Crystal Creek Boys and Fire in the Pines tonight. Should be a highly rowdy night of punky blue grass and country-Americana. This kind of music is perfect for a January night, as it’s sure to warm you right up.
Austin based Ryan Beaver has a brand new release, “Constant,” due out on Feb. 8. While you’re waiting for this package of home grown songs and remarkable vocals, it might be a good idea to go see him tonight at the Cheatham Street Warehouse. He will headline this year at the Impossible Possibilities St. Patrick’s Day Festival in Ft. Worth. In fact, his schedule just keeps getting busier as the word spreads about this Texas State grad’s song writing and singing abilities.
Sunday, January 30
There will be a matinee of SMHS’s performance of “Little Shop of Horrors” today at the SMHS Performing Arts Center at 2 p.m. It’s your last chance to see this talented group of students in this delightfully amusing musical. There’s nothing like watching a blood-thirsty monster hybrid plant to take your mind off your troubles. The music is catchy and fun, too. Tickets will be available for $7 at the box office 30 minutes before show time.
Well, what kind of football is left this year? There’s that Pro Bowl game tonight. There’s the Super Bowl next weekend. But if you want to see some live football out in the crisp winter air, where to go? Good news! The Unicycle Football League’s new season is up and running in the San Marcos Farmer’s Market parking lot (204 South Edward Gary Street.) Today, you can see the Ill-Eagles take on the Unicychos at 4 p.m. You may never want to watch football without a wheel again.
The mics are open tonight at Riley’s Tavern and the Triple Crown, if you’d like to polish your singing skills. Glenn Allan hosts at Riley’s. Hosting at the Triple Crown are Grant Ewing, Holly Aiken and Nate Hinds.
There’s karaoke for those who just feeling like following the bouncing ball at the Gray Horse Saloon with hosts Amanda and Cassie.
Tonight, the aforementioned AFC/NFC Pro Bowl will be on at 7 p.m. on FOX. It never really feels much like a real game, but pre-Super Bowl beggars can’t be choosers.
The 17h Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards are on TBS tonight at 7 p.m. Since it’s a union shindig, most of the members will show, and that spells star-studded. Tim Conway will give Ernest Borgnine a lifetime achievement award. Oldsters will remember the duo from the television show McHale’s Navy. Youngsters know them as the voices of Mermaid Man (Borgnine) and Barnacle Boy (Conway) on the cartoon Spongebob Squarepants.Email | Print