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

July 16th, 2010
The Weekend: Summer is slow, rolling magic

071610slowrollThe Slow Rollin’ Lows will be at Riley’s Tavern on Saturday.

Scene Editor

There is something about the summer time and the weekend that often make us long for magical entertainments. It’s as if we feel we should always have extraordinary activities when school is not in session, even though many of us have been out of school a good, long while.

But, we would like to point out that as you are gazing out of the window on a Wednesday afternoon, thinking about the weekend and the summertime, it is often the quotidian routine of our youthful summers for which we remain most nostalgic.

Quite frankly, all the county fairs we’ve ever been to kind of blur into one big blur of cattle exhibits, the smell of frying foods and the taste of cotton candy and buttered corn. It’s a nice blur, but one fair becomes indistinguishable from another. The summer’s activities we remember with most fondness are things like eating a cold sweet popsicle on a hot day, playing a rousing game of flash-light tag at twilight and getting to stay up late and watch movies with some popcorn and an ice-cold root beer.

It is these everyday memories of precious small things that come back to us and make us long for those wonderful summers of carefree youth. Most of the time, we did nothing special with the time because time was one thing of which we knew we had a lot.

Now, when know better, summer is a great time to slow down, make a batch of Kool-Aid (one sip is like time travel in a glass), enjoy the bugs and the trees and the big open Texas sky full of clouds. This is the true richness of life and, regardless of the economic times, we are as wealthy as Midas.

Of course, there are lots of fun thing to do this weekend in San Marcos. Here are a few suggestions.

Friday, July 16

The country-cousin tones of Buck Jones and the Haggards start out the music of the weekend at Triple Crown (206 North Edward Gary) at 6 p.m.. It’s worth noting, once again, that Triple Crown has featured music every day for the last 13 years. That is an extraordinary record, and we’re proud they did it in San Marcos.

According to (yes, there is one) the number one reason for playing bingo is enjoyment. Winning money comes in at a paltry fifth reason. Bingo is fun, by jingo. You can have some bingo fun yourself tonight at the Wimberley VFW (Veterans Park on Jacobs Hill Road) regular bingo game. The fine women of the Ladies Auxiliary serve up tasty treats, too, the proceeds of which go to help their veterans programs. The basket starts its revolutions at 7 p.m.

Buda’s Tunes and Toons summer program features the “tunes” part this evening with Bo Cox and Texas FX (now going by the moniker Bootless and Burdened.) This is a good chance to see the young bucks of country making their mark on the genre and changing it slightly with the cultural influences of their lives. The concert is free and both Cox and Texas FX are proficient and pleasurable. Bring a lawn chair or a blanket to sit upon and prepare to enjoy the lovely Texas evening and some great music in City Park on Main Street in downtown Buda starting at 7 p.m..

We wish there was something one could make with two tons of steel and eleven hundred springs. Maybe manufacturing mammoth wristwatches for Mt. Rushmore could qualify, if all those stone presidents had arms instead of just heads. If, however, you want to hear good music and not make jumbo Rolexes, then Two Tons of Steel and Eleven Hundred Springs can make that. Both bands will be at Gruene Hall (1281 Gruene Road in New Braunfels) tonight at 8 p.m.. Tickets are $12.

If you are in the mood for a little down and dirty roadhouse blues, look no further than Riley’s Tavern (8894 FM 1102) where Spencer Thomas will playing the blues with a few tones of the hot exciting reds and and smooth passionate purples. Thomas can shout it out with feeling and he’ll knock your old blue devils out. He starts swinging at 9 p.m..

Casting a completely different mood is Electric Courage Machine with their thoughtful and somewhat dreamy rock. There’s a sliver of the 1990’s era Manchester sound, i.e. Charlatans U.K. and the Stone Roses, in their work that charms. The machine will be at Triple Crown tonight with Ohio’s She Bears, who echo that  “Madchester” beat. Fellow Buckeyes, Monolithic Cloud Parade gets our vote for the best word picture ever for a band name. Don’t let the Parade pass you by. The music starts up around 9:30 p.m..

Local favorites Firewater Sermon will be at the Gray Horse Saloon around 10 p.m.. There is never a cover charge at the Gray Horse, and it’s worth mentioning how awesome that is.

Texas State grad Ryan Turner plays a spirited country-rock that shines like a polished gem. He’s got a band that has a dead-on feel for the music, too. Of course, it’s because Turner’s song writing skills are just plain delicious. The band is ear candy you can sample for yourself at the Cheatham Street Warehouse tonight at 9 p.m..

Saturday, July 17

It’s Market on the Square starting at 9 a.m. on beautiful courthouse square in downtown San Marcos. Music, produce and fun await the morning shopper. The market is open until 1 p.m..

At 10 a.m., it’s Gruene Market Days (1724 Hunter Road in New Braunfels) with a charming array of merchandise including jewelry, metal art, ceramics, crafts and more. Fortunately (or alarmingly, if you are a shopper on a budget), there is an ATM on site if you just have to have that hand-milled soap.

Here in San Marcos, the dedication of the new fire station (100 Carlson Circle) will start up at 10 a.m. Mayor Susan Narvaiz will be there, as will Interim City Manager Laurie Moyer and Fire Chief Les Stephens. The announcement of the coloring contest winners will be augmented by the display of the children’s artwork. Also on display is that historic 1926 American La France fire truck and the 1963 fire chief’s car. The event signals the completion of the $5 million station, which will also serve as administrative headquarters. The public is invited to attend. That old fire truck, by the way, is pretty cool.

The Wimberley Adoption Group (WAG) will show off the adorable dogs that are up for adoption at the Quarter Shops just off the main square in Wimberley. The Dog Adoption Day will be held under the shady cypresses by the aptly named Cypress Creek from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m..

If you are in Gruene for the market day, or if you’d like a little treat, it might be fun to hit the grand opening of The Gruene Flour Cupcakery (2314 Gruene Lake Drive). The cupcake bakery is one of the few trends of the decade that we can enthusiastically appreciate. Cupcakes seem to bring out the happy little kid in everyone. The event starts at 11 a.m.

The Dry Comal Creek Vineyards in New Braunfels (1741 Herbelin Road) is pairing truffles with wine, a surprisingly delicious coupling, from 12-5 p.m.. today. Cathy’s Sweets is supplying the chocolates for this deeply, almost soul-stirring, pleasure. Wines will be on sale, and for each case purchased today (excepting Port), consumers will get 30 percent off and four chocolate truffles. Sah-weet!

Hayden C. James will play his lilting traditional Texas country shuffle-dance music at the Geronimo VFW (6806 North Hwy 123) country dance from 7 p.m.. until midnight. The doors open at 6:30 p.m.. and a $7 donation is requested. The proceeds benefit military and veterans programs. The dances are always loads of fun and great aerobic exercise, too!

Bootless and Burdened (once known as Texas FX) will be at the Cheatham Street Warehouse tonight. It’s a pleasure to hear what these fellas do with the building blocks of rock and country. Bootless opens tonight for William Clark Green, who also does wonders with the  new “new country.” He writes a catchy song and has a honied voice that flows well with the music. If you want to see the new face of country music, head down to the Cheatham Street Warehouse around 9 p.m.., where two bands will show you how it’s done.

The Slow Rollin’ Lows will play their signature brand of country Americana at Riley’s Tavern tonight. Their often wistful tones will wring your heart while you are tapping your toes. The music starts at 9 p.m..

Local band the Fotoelectric Effect finds a little soft spot with us when they name several of our favorite bands, the String Cheese Incident, the Mars Volta and Arcade Fire, as influences. While they sound a little dreamier than those bands, we chalk a lot of this up to the San Marcos River, which makes dreamers of us all. The band is joined tonight at Triple Crown by the confrontational pop sounds of Fulton Read.

The popular Organics will be at the Gray Horse Saloon around 10 p.m.. tonight. Their guitar-driven sound will wake you up so that you can go have breakfast at 3 a.m. before you crash, just like when you were in college.

Sunday, July 18

We can’t think of anything that is lovelier than Sunday morning. It’s a good time to go to church or go meditate by the river or just go get a cup of coffee at a local coffeehouse. Whatever your ritual is on a Sunday, even if you have to work, there is just something about the day that makes one want think about things a little more deeply. And get donuts. There are many fine places to get coffee and a pastry in San Marcos, but if you need a push, how about Tantra (217 West Hopkins), the Coffee Pot (129 East Hopkins), Wake the Dead (1432 RR 12), Jo on the Go (312 University Drive), or Mochas and Javas (799 North LBJ and 102 Wonder World Drive)? Lot of good coffee goin’ on at these places.

Local award winning musician Big John Mills recently found his band trailer broken into and all of his musical and sound equipment stolen. It takes a long time to get all these items and and an even longer time to replace them. As a musician, even if you could afford the insurance, you’d never get the value of some of your older tried and true pieces. The Cheatham Street Warehouse will feature a benefit for Mills today so he can hopefully replace the equipment that is replaceable. There will be many singers and songwriters donating their time to this cause, which starts up around 3 p.m.. and promises to go until 2 a.m. Whenever you drop by, you will certainly hear good music. That’s the one thing we can insure.

Oddly, Deadman plays a lively blend of Americana and rock. Their songs and sounds are poignant, and their hearts are full of good Texas stuff. Deadman will be at Gruene Hall from 5-9 p.m.. No cover.

You’ve got to pay your dues if you want to play the blues, and you know it don’t come easy. But it don’t come hard, either, if you want to hone your skills at one of the open mics tonight at Triple Crown or Riley’s Tavern. It’s even easier if you just want to sing karaoke at the Gray Horse Saloon.

Tom Brokaw reports on the baby boomer generation tonight on MSNBC at 7 p.m.. He talks about the Boomers’ impact on society and the challenges of aging. Sounds like a real knee-slapper. On TCM, Jean Cocteau’s truly amazing “Beauty and the Beast” is on, but it might be a bit scary for children. Made in 1946, the special effects, at the time, were hair-raising. It is followed by the original 1933 “King Kong” with Fay Wray and the trailblazing stop-motion Willis O’Brien effects. TBS features “Shrek the Third” as a contrast to the older movie technologies. Might be a good night for movies and some popcorn.

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