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

November 20th, 2009
The Weekend: It's no turkey

The StandOuts will be at the Gray Horse Saloon on Saturday.

Scene Editor

Next Thursday, Americans will gobble down 45 million turkeys at their traditional meal. The day was proclaimed as a set holiday by Abraham Lincoln in 1863, even though it had been celebrated on different days in different states for many years previous.

If it weren’t for Sarah Josepha Hale, who knows when we’d all celebrate Thanksgiving? A magazine editor, she relentlessly wrote about how important it was to have a fixed national holiday of thanks. She badgered everybody about it and Lincoln finally agreed. Hale is one of the few authors who wrote something almost everyone knows by heart, “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” No kidding.

Of course, on Thanksgiving, Mary will have a little turkey. Maybe also a little stuffing and some mashed spuds and some sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce and that green bean casserole everybody makes and, to top it all off, a slice of pumpkin pie. The “original” Thanksgiving meal was a lot more like a dinner you’d get at a hunting lodge in Maine — venison, goose, lobster, cod and corn.

If those wonderful Wampanoag Indians had not taught the Pilgrims the proper use of the natural resources of their area, it’s doubtful that first Thanksgiving would have taken place. It was a good deed to help the pilgrims and as our dad always said, “No good deed goes unpunished.”

Cranberries, by the way, are one of the few fruits native to North America. They are as indigenous to the northeast as music is here in San Marcos. There’s plenty of music here this weekend, too, and lots more. Herewith, a few suggestions.

Friday, November 20

The always-charming Molly Hayes will be at Wake the Dead Coffeehouse (1432 RR 12) at 6 p.m. The Ricky Lugo Project will be at Triple Crown (206 North Edward Gary) and if you’ve ever heard Los Gallos, you know you are in for a treat. Lugo is an extraordinary singer and songwriter. His bands have all the vivid flavors of Texas, blues, rock, and Latin. Delicious stuff.

If you are tired of your PSP or you just can’t cough up the money yet for Assassin’s Creed II for your Playstation or XBox, there is game whose roots are roughly in the same Renaissance era — Bingo!  We guess it started in Italy because after all the Borgias died off, things got a little dull for a while. You, too, can live like a Renaissance Italian if you just go to Friday night Bingo at the Wimberley VFW (Veteran’s Park on Jacobs Well Road) at 7 p.m. While the Renaissance may have had Leonardo DaVinci, it did not have the snacks and concessions served up by the kindly hands of the Ladies Auxiliary. So you’re one up on Leo, right there.

The Holland Street Church of Christ (205 East Holland Street) is hosting Psalom, the Russian Quartet at 7 p.m. The quartet will perform traditional sacred hymns and original music composed by Konstantin Zhigulin. This should be an extraordinary night of music.

If you haven’t seen “BatBoy: The Musical,” you still have this weekend to make it happen. The musical comedy inspired by the Weekly World News is modern, the music is more contemporary, but the musical form is timeless. The curtain rises at 7:30 p.m. on the Main Stage of the Texas State Theatre Center. Tickets are $10 for general admission and $7 for students.

At Jowers Hall, in Studio 178, the Texas State advanced choreography students and faculty will dance in a Choreographer’s Showcase presentation. Tickets are only $5. Also included is faculty choreography set on the “Performance Workshop” class.

If you are a fan of “Noises Off” or the work of Christopher Guest (Best of Show, A Mighty Wind, Waiting for Guffman), you will delight in the Wimberley Players’ “Inspecting Carol,” which starts this evening at 8 p.m. at the Wimberley Playhouse (450 Old Kyle Road.) It all starts with a theater group trying to put on and maybe update “A Christmas Carol.” The jokes come thick and fast. Tickets are $18.

The rootsy rock of Tom Gilliam will be at Riley’s (8894 FM1102) tonight at 8 p.m. At the same time, the clear voice of Samantha Finlay will charm the patrons at Wake the Dead.

The Cheatham Street Warehouse (119 Cheatham Street) has a very solid coupling in the sounds of Southside Union with country-flavored rock and Buster Jiggs with rock-flavored country. Although, actually, there is a blend of many musical flavors in both bands. You’ll just find it all to be very tasty. It starts up around 9:30 p.m.

The Skeletons play a clean-twangin’ Telecaster-like rockabilly that will knock your socks off if you are wearing socks, which we highly recommend wearing, as it’s getting a bit cold out. They are joined by the rootsy Chris Allbright Band and the country bluegrass sounds of Flat Car Rattlers. Three good bands, lots of shakin’, toe tappin’, and shiverin’. Great line-up.

Scene reporter Sarah Stevens calls Firewater Sermon “heartfelt, haunting and catchy.” We couldn’t agree more. You can catch the sermon tonight at the Gray Horse Saloon (1904 RR 12).

Saturday, November 21

The Wimberley Civic Club Home Tour starts at 10 a.m. today. You can buy tickets at the Wimberley Visitors Center or at the homes on the tour. This year, the tour showcase six lovely homes from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tickets are available at the Visitors Center (14100 RR 12) and at the homes on the day of the tour.

This year, the tour includes a custom builder’s home, a home with a theme for every room and a home all gussied up for Christmas. Husbands and boyfriends should be left at home if they are not capable of understanding the difference between an armoire and an étagère. Might be more of a girl’s day out. There are lots of charming places for lunch in Wimberley, too. The Civic Club has been doing this tour for more than twenty years now, and it gets done beautifully.

While you’re in Wimberley for the Home Tour, why not go see the Wimberley Valley Art League’s Exhibition at the Community Center (14068 RR 12)? It’s free and League members and artists are there to answer questions.

Texas State plays its final football game of the 2009 season today at 2 p.m. at Bobcat Stadium against Sam Houston State. The Bobcats are looking for their seventh win of the season. The tickets are only $13. The weather is supposed to be great for it, and there’s nothing like a football game to put you in the mood for that future turkey dinner on Thursday.

At 3 p.m., there is a Double Reed Jury Recital at Evans Auditorium on the campus. Admission is free. Double reed instruments are bassoon and oboe, among a few others. That extra reed gives a distinctive and expressive tone unlike other instruments. Once you hear them, you’ll never confuse them with a clarinet or other similar single reed instruments.

“Batboy: The Musical” will be on the Main Stage at the Theatre Center at Texas State. There’s laughter, there are tears, there’s good music and there’s a boy who is part bat. You know, typical musical plot. Bat meets girl, bat loses girl, bat sings. It all starts at 7:30 p.m.

At 8 p.m., the Wimberley Players will be staging “Inspecting Carol,” which is about a theater group trying to stage “A Christmas Carol.” It’s more than just a play within a play. It’s also very funny. Tickets are $17.

At 8 p.m., you have the contrasting choices of Flat Top Jones at Riley’s Tavern or a piano recital by Timothy Woolsey at the Music Building Recital Hall on the campus at Texas State. Tickets for the recital are $5. Which one to choose? If you enjoy the piano, we’re pretty sure Flat Top Jones will not be giving a recital. Does that help?

The inimitable Country stylings of Big John Mills will be at the Cheatham Street Warehouse tonight. The blissful electronica of the equally inimitable Cosmic Jaguar will be at Wake the Dead.

Triple Crown tonight is, once again, a poster for earplugs with Cactus Rash, Hammer and Blower. The sounds are good and brutal, and so is your hearing damage, if you don’t use caution. Jeff Beck can’t even stand up anymore from his ear imbalances due to noise damage. If you don’t know who Jeff Beck is, well, then, your loss is far greater than just hearing. The roar starts at 10 p.m.

The Stand Outs, playing at 10 p.m. tonight at the Gray Horse Saloon, may just be the standout gig of the evening. They’re tuneful, proficient and fun. It’s hard to think of a rock band in recent memory that has fewer hang-ups on style or content. They know who they are and they know how to play it. It’s what alternative rock used to be. Good stuff.

Sunday, November 22

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again — a good cuppa joe and some fine music is a good way to start out the day. You can get both today at Wake the Dead, which presents Day Jazz today from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. Then, at 1:30 p.m. the S.M.A.R.T. String Quartet will play. You could spend a wonderful lazy Sunday there with coffee and friends and music. From 4-7 p.m. Bob Steine will even give you a chair massage. Sounds like a day of bliss.

Central Texas Medical Center’s (1301 Wonder World Drive) brand new expansion is now ready to be seen from 2:30-5 p.m. The public is invited to a free preview of the new Women’s Center, have a snack and get a chance to win a laptop. There will be entertainment for the kids as well. The place is loaded with high-tech equipment and beautiful private rooms.

More than 40 Texas authors and illustrators will be at the San Marcos Public Library from 2-5 p.m. for Texas Author Day. Readings will be done by Diane Castilleja, Allan C. Kimball, Jaqueline Kelly and Shelley Seale.  Books will be available at the event from the Texas University Book Store and the authors themselves. There will be a variety of literary genres from local history to mystery to children’s literature to poetry and so much more. The event is free. There’s nothing as charming and thoughtful as an author-autographed book for a Christmas present for your loved ones. You could just treat yourself to one, too.

“Batboy: The Musical” is neither about the kid who handed the Louisville Slugger to the “Babe” back in 1921, nor about the life of the young Bruce Wayne. No, “Batboy” is a wacky, campy, rockin’ romp through a pop culture myth gone weird. See it today at 2 p.m. on the Main Stage of the Theatre Center at Texas State.

“Inspecting Carol,” the hilarious new play being done by the Wimberley Players, will have its matinee today at 2 p.m. It’s a charming look at small town theatrical companies done by a charming small town theatrical company. The play is a riot, with lots of laughs and clever jokes.

Texas State is loaded with music today. First at 2 p.m. there’s a free trombone recital at the Music Building Recital Hall. At 3 p.m. it’s the Texas State University Singers with the Texas State Men’s Choir and Women’ Choir at Evans Auditorium. Tickets are $5 general admission and $3 for students. Then, at Evans auditorium at 6 p.m. is the chorale concert. Tickets are $5 for general admission and $3 for students. For a mere ten bucks today at Texas State you could see a million bucks worth of music.

Tonight, the Cheatham Street Warehouse will have an evening of appreciation for Gregg Andrews and Vicke Bynum, a going-away party of sorts. There will be many singers and songwriters there as well as the spirited Dr. G. and the Mudcats. The party starts at 3 p.m. the music starts at 7 p.m. When will it end? No man can say.

The Wine Cellar is featuring one of its popular Reader’s Theater events today from 4-6:30 p.m. There will be light hors d’oeuvres, but it’s also a perfect time to make dinner reservations and eat after the reading. The play is “The Rest of Me” written by Eugene Lee, playwright in residence at Texas State. The play is a mystery tale of sorts with a variety of interesting plot twists and Texas sized fabrications. Call (512) 805-9463 for the required reservation. The event is free.

Maybe you’d like to be a singing superstar and ride around in a limo and get endorsement deals and eat caviar on toast points for lunch and have a rider on your concert contract that specifies you will not eat or look at red M&M’s and have a pool shaped like your cat at your mansion in Malibu. You have to take that first step to stardom by getting to an open mic and honing your chops. You can do just that at Riley’s and Triple Crown tonight, as their mics are open. If your fantasy is more along the lines of singing Karaoke, then you could head for the Gray Horse Saloon which accommodates with that tonight.

The Eagles are playing the Bears tonight at 7 p.m. on NBC. It’s always fun to see how cold it can get in the Windy City for football. The incredibly freaky version of Dr. Seuss’ Cat in the Hat is on TBS tonight at 7:30 p.m. It’s the one movie of Mike Myers that you wish was Michael Myers instead. It’s far more horrible than Friday XIII. Better by far to watch Tim Allen in The Santa Clause on Disney. It’s not perfect, but at least he’s not dressed up in a scary cat costume.

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