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

March 12th, 2010
The Weekend: We're in the chips, and the tunes

011210omarOmar and the Howlers will be at Riley’s Tavern on Saturday.

Scene Editor

In the pantheon of meaningless observances — Talk Like A Pirate Day, Yoda Day, International Banana Slug Day — a couple of them stand tall and proud. One of them is Pi Day, and the other is National Potato Chip Day. Luckily, they are both on Sunday.

Pi Day, while one is hard pressed to think of how to celebrate it, is nonetheless clever. March 14, i.e. 3.14. Get it? Of course you did. Don’t know how to do much with it. We suppose you could bake a cake and cut it. That seems more like cake day, though, doesn’t it? So you’ll have to be a cliché’ and cut a pie. Nothin’ wrong with pie. Or pi.

National Potato Chip Day is just an excuse to eat potato chips, like anybody needs one of those. Ever since that customer in an upstate New York restaurant complained about his too thickly cut fried potatoes and received a returned plate full of chips made by the resentful chef, chips have been a staple of American snack cuisine. The lesson here is that when Americans get complaints, they turn them into chips.

Now, of course, there is every flavor one can think of put onto a potato chip. Steak and onion chips, jalapeno chips, sour cream and wasabi. You name it, somebody put it on a chip. We’re not complaining. We’re awed.

So as you chomp on chips and eat your pie, remember that every weekend cannot be loaded with fun activities. Sometimes you have to make your own fun. While it is slim pickin’s around here for stuff to do this weekend, with spring break and all, the following weekends are going to be loaded.

And speaking of Slim Pickens, he would have loved the fact that there is always a load of good music in San Marcos. The calendar may not be loaded with activities, but what is there is great. Here are a few suggestions.

Friday, March 12

Rabb Rodriguez starts out the weekend at Triple Crown (206 North Edward Gary) at 6 p.m. Rodriguez is a little bit funky and a little bit rock and roll.

The Texas State Bobcats baseball team faces Penn State’s Nittany Lions all weekend. The first game is tonight at 6:30 p.m. Should be a very nice weekend for baseball.

The original Italian game of bingo is called “tombola,” and it’s played only horizontally. There are winners for each full line, but the game continues on until the big winner, the one who covers the whole card, gets to shout “Tombola!”  It’s a fun game, but not half as fun as the Friday night bingo game at the Wimberley VFW (Veterans Park on Jacobs Well Road). The concessions sold by the fine gals of the Ladies Auxiliary are an added plus. The fun starts at 7 p.m.

Riley’s Tavern (8894 FM 1102) features the Joel Hoffman Band at 8 p.m. Hoffman’s rich voice is just right for classic Texas honky-tonk and, lucky for us, that’s what the band plays. It’s perfect for dancing or pulling on a Lone Star.

Who says that classic country music can’t be contemporary? Anyone who thinks that needs to hear A.J. Downing’s “Facebook Song.” It sounds like Hank Williams wrote it in a time warp. You can hear it for yourself tonight at the Cheatham Street Warehouse (119 Cheatham Street), where Downing and his band the Buick6 will celebrate the release of their new CD “Way Back Home.”  Also on the bill is that Canadian steamroller Romi Mayes, who’s most recent accolades include Album of the Year and Songwriter of the Year at the 2009 Western Canadian Music Awards. You won’t want to miss her absolutely stellar vocals. It’s a don’t miss gig at the Cheatham Street for those who love music.

Earle Browne was formed, like many great bands, right here in San Marcos, so you know they got the good vibes of the place goin’. The band plays a neatly bluesy rock that will give you the good kind of chills as you listen. Wear a sweater and go see this band tonight at 9:30 at the Gray Horse Saloon (1904 RR 12).

The In and Outlaws are a four-piece honky-tonk band from San Antonio whose sound could make a mule get up and dance. You’d have to be pretty stubborn not to dig their country-rockabilly groove. They will play tonight, along with another San Antonio band, Snowbyrd, whose post-punk explosiveness is equaled by its pop quality tunes. Rounding out the evening is the Christophers. All in all, another great evening at Triple Crown.

Saturday, March 13

Might be fun to go to the San Marcos Nature Center (430 Riverside Drive) and take a gander at the cool snakes inside and the wildscapes planted outside. There are two ponds there, and it’s a great place to see some bird natives take a drink. The center is open on Saturdays from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Did you know that the Hays County Historical Commission has a two page map you can download that contains the sites of all public access cemeteries, Texas historical markers and National Register sites? Each day as you drive through the county, you pass places that mark human history in Texas. Go to and just see if you’ll ever look at Hopkins Street the same. Just hunting down a few of the sites would be a really cool thing to do on a Saturday afternoon. Like today. Sun’s out. You could stop for ice cream on the way home.

Texas State will battle Penn state today in the second of their three game series at beautiful Bobcat Field at 2 p.m. What’s more fun than watching baseball? Okay, let’s rephrase that. What’s more fun to do outside in a crowd on a gorgeous Texas afternoon that involves a ball, a bat and a lot of base running? See? Nothin’, that’s what.

The Geronimo VFW (6806 North Texas 123) features the Texas Weather Band from 8 p.m. until midnight. The band plays a swinging danceable country and your feet will get up and dance, whether you want them to or not. (Get it? Whether and Weather? Okay, not even remotely good. We try.) Admission is a $7 donation. Proceeds benefit VFW military and veterans programs.

Omar Kent Dykes has voice that should be a registered weapon in the state of Texas. He can kill you with it. The guy can belt out a song. Did you know he was in that Larry the Cable Guy movie “Witless Protection?” He stole the show. He steals the show wherever Omar and his assembled howlers are, and tonight Omar and the Howlers are at Riley’s. Classic rockin’ country blues.

Star de Azlan is as pretty as her name, but what is really gorgeous about this musician is her voice. She started at Cheatham Street when she was only 13, and she’s been wowing folks ever since. Prepare to be wowed by her gig at the Cheatham Street tonight in whatever manner one prepares for such a thing. The Tejas Brothers have a lot of Tex in their Tex-Mex stylings, and they are awesome. They’ll also be at the Cheatham tonight.

Four Audio and Robbie and the Robots will be at the Gray Horse tonight. As we have often said, Robbie is always worth seeing, with or without robots. Four Audio makes this gig a standout.

Good grief! How to choose? The Triple Crown has an awesome lineup tonight with the great Western Rockabilly sounds of both the Beaumonts and the incomparable Skeletons. You may remember that the boys from Lubbock, the Beaumonts, put on an amazing benefit for the Hays County Food Bank this last Christmas. Should be a fun evening, with two bands loaded with personality and style. Quavers will be cast tonight starting around 9:30 p.m.

Sunday, March 14

It’s the last baseball game of the three-game series between the Texas State Bobcats and Penn State’s Nittany Lions. Nothing like a Sunday afternoon baseball game to clear out the cobwebs. The bat cracks at 11 a.m. at beautiful Bobcat field. Those Texas State guys are a pretty darn good ball team, by the way.

The gentle harmonies and lilting musical strains of the Ash Family will grace the Cheatham Street Warehouse this afternoon at 4 p.m. They aren’t called the “first family of Hill Country music” for nothin’, you know.

Suppose you’ve been watching “American Idol” and you’re thinking to yourself, “Well, shoot, I can sing as well as that guy!” Time to put your talent where your mouth is and get to an open mic night. You can choose tonight between the open mics of Riley’s Tavern or Triple Crown. We won’t stop you. If you just want to sing a few classics, then head over to the Gray Horse for a little bit of karaoke.

Tonight on TNT, you can watch American Idol contestant Jennifer Hudson in 2006’s Dreamgirls. She can belt out “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” pretty darn strong, although we really miss Jennifer Holliday in the role she made famous on Broadway.

Eskine Caldwell’s novel “God’s Little Acre” was so controversial when it came out that libraries refused it and Caldwell was on trial for obscenity.  In 1958, it was made into a movie that was no less controversial, starring pre-Gilligan’s Island Tina Louise. When the movie was first released, no one younger than 18 was allowed to see it in the theater. You’ll find all of this pretty laughable if you watch it tonight at 7 p.m. on TCM. The culture has come a very long way down that road.

Thinking on that makes us really want a potato chip. Or some pie. Or both.

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