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Thursday, April 27, 2006 - Page 1B

Entertainment Contact —

Cool festivities for a hot summer By Stephen Lloyd The University Star

Summer is almost here and for many, that means free time away from those pesky classes. But what to do? San Marcos offers many events of interest during the break. Menudo is a traditional Mexican soup made from tripe, hominy and chili. It’s widely believed to be a good cure for a hangover. One of the most prominent features of San Marcos’ Viva! Cinco de Mayo celebration is the menudo cook-off. As well as a beauty pageant, a parade will be held in the downtown historic district that will include floats, marching bands and decorated cars. There will also be live music from the bands Los Desperadoz, Los Ambles, Grissomhill and Jimmy Gonzalez y Grupo Mazz, who will close out the festival on May 6. Admission prices vary with activity. The event will be held on May 4 through 6 at the Hays County Civic Center. To find out more information, visit www.vivacincodemayo. org. Break out those cowboy boots. The 14th annual Texas Natural

Festival & Western Swing Hall of Fame will be held on May 20. There will be live music on The Square from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Performers will include Honky Tonk Heroes, Texas Playboys Reunion, Damian Green and Dixie Reel, among others. The Hall of Fame concert on the river at 7:30 p.m. will feature the River Road Boys. There will be some reserved seating available for the Hall of Fame concert for $20, but it will be free to the public. Some of this year’s Hall of Fame inductees include Bill Dessens, Bob Kelly, Jody Meredith and L.J. Pritchett. All events at the festival are free, and don’t forget to bring your lawn chair. For more information contact Kelly Franks at (512) 393-8430 or toll-free at 1-888-200-5620. San Marcos has its annual Juneteenth Celebration on June 19th. The holiday commemorates the day Texas slaves received the news of the Emancipation Proclamation, two years after President Lincoln issued it. This is the oldest known community event that celebrates the ending of slavery. Activities include a picnic, a 5K run, a barbeque cook-off, a beauty pageant and a gospel music song See FESTIVITIES, page 9B

Mike Wood/Star illustration


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Thursday, April 27, 2006

Reel picks for Summer ’06 By Nixon Guerrero The University Star In 1975, Steven Spielberg set out to make a low-budget horror film. Spielberg had no idea just how successful his little horror film would become. The film was Jaws, and it was the first film in history to pass the $100 million mark at the box office, thus being credited as the first-ever summer blockbuster. Summer is fast approaching, and that means monster-budget, high-profile movies are coming our way — some of which have had trailers showering theatres since last summer.

May 5 An American Haunting Stars: Donald Sutherland, Sissy Spacek I’ve commented that “truestory” movies are the best. That is, when they’re done well. So here it is. In 1818, it was documented that a Tennessee family by the name of Bell was terrorized by an unknown, malevolent entity. This is also the only time in American history when someone has ever actually died Courtesy of 20th Century Fox from such a thing. Overall, the film looks atmospheric as hell X-FACTORS: Halle Barry, Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman and Ian McKellen reprise their characters in X-Men: The Last Stand. with top-notch actors and a seemingly strong and spooky premise. Count me in. less villain instead of a conniv- endearing compliment. Set in a This is a Dreamworks aniThis is supposed to be a reing journalist. If you’ve seen the fantasyland where two warlords mation flick that shows a lot of freshing take on the romantic Mission Impossible III trailer, you’ll notice there are go- cause a country to turn on itself, promise. Forest animals wake comedy. This film begins where Stars: Tom Cruise, Philip Sey- ing to be some thrilling action the film is centered on a young up one day after a winter siesta others of its kind end — at the mour Hoffman scenes that probably will be the peasant girl who is caught in the and realize that they’re victims “happily ever after.” A couple Well, it looks like agent Ethan highlight of the summer. middle of the wars and encoun- of urbanization. They’ve been starts to realize that they drive Hunt (Cruise) is out to save the ters a goddess. The goddess tells robbed of most of their homes each other completely nuts and world, yet again. But you know The Promise the little girl that she could be and with them — the food. In should not be together. Vaughn what? It is so damn fun and ex- Stars: Hiroyuki Sanada, Jang “adored and kept” by the power- between the new world and the is a great actor and is good citing watching him do it. Not Dong-Gun ful but under one condition: All old is a towering hedge. This in everything he does. Now, I too much is known about the This movie has been called the men she will love, she will looks like a really funny movie wouldn’t usually say the same film’s central plot, but we do get “one of the most beautiful films lose. for adults and children. Plus, for Aniston, but since Friends to this year’s Oscar-winning best imaginable,” and it really does Willis is back in the voice-pro- With Money, she’s really showactor, Hoffman, to play a ruth- look like it will hold up to that Bandidas vider chair again. ing some promise. Stars: Salma Hayek, Penelope Cruz As if the two leads weren’t enough reason to see this film; I’m sure a lot of campus males X-Men: The Last Stand The Omen (me included) feel as if their Stars: Patrick Stewart, Hugh Stars: Liev Schreiber, Julia prayers have been answered: Jackman Stiles Western comedy set in 1888 The Last Stand is said to be Wow, another remake. Many Mexico starring two of the sexi- the definitive and concluding of you should know the premise, est Latina stars in history. installment of the popular and but if you don’t, here’s a bit of it. successful X-Men franchise. A wealthy family adopts a child This time, the war between man in Italy. What they don’t know is and mutant is in full swing. that their child is the anti-Christ Many new mutants, good and and is destined to bring about Poseidon bad, join the rest, including Jug- the end of the world. Although Stars: Josh Lucas, Kurt Russell gernaut, Archangel, Shadow Cat the Oscar-winning 1976 version On New Year’s Eve, a highly and a possible appearance by is practically flawless, we should populated cruise ship is cap- Phoenix. be curious as to what is going to sized by a 100-foot wave in the be added to the remake. There middle of the North Atlantic. are rumors of making the deaths Yes, it’s another remake, but the more gruesome and a bit more new version may have a little realistic. But is that really necesmore to offer. There is a strong The Break-Up sary? Who knows? But this film cast, and there’s no doubt that Stars: Vince Vaughn, Jennifer See REEL, page 5B there will be some great effects Aniston that will add just a little to what the original had going for it.

May 26

June 6

May 12

June 2

May 19

Courtesy of Paramount Pictures TOP SECRET: Tom Cruise continues his role as agent Ethan Hunt in Mission Impossible III.

The Da Vinci Code Stars: Tom Hanks, Audrey Tautou Do you really need a reason to see this movie? It’s only based on one of the highest-selling and most controversial books of all time. This film will have one of the highest built-in fan bases for the summer next to Superman Returns and X-men. Ron Howard is at the helm and he has yet to let us down. Over the Hedge Stars: Bruce Willis, Carell

Courtesy of Warner Brothers Steve

UNDERWATERWORLD: The cast of Poseidon is trapped in a capsized ship in this remake of 1972’s The Poseidon Adventure.


Thursday, April 27, 2006

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REEL: Blocbusters abound CONTINUED from page 2B

will probably do very well for itself this summer. I know I’ll be there.

June 9 Cars Stars: Owen Wilson, Paul Newman Pixar is back, and this time they’re hitting the world of cars. Have you ever met anyone who didn’t like a Pixar movie? In this film, we follow the cocky Lightning McQueen race car that thinks life is all about winning and glamour. It takes help of his new average-Joe car friends to help him realize otherwise — no doubt a great choice for all.

June 16 Nacho Libre Stars: Jack Black Black plays a Mexican monk harboring fantasies of becoming a luchador (masked wrestler) and helping the poor orphans of his village. That should be all you need to know.

June 23 Click

Stars: Adam Sandler, Christopher Walken How often have you wished you had a remote control that’ll allow you to pause a moment in time, replay a memory, fast-forward boring situations and slowmo the very best in life? Well, Sandler’s character has been given that exact chance. If you get a chance, check out the trailer. It’s hilarious.

June 30 Superman Returns Stars: Brandon Routh, Kevin Spacey Superman may very well be one of the most recognizable heroes of our time. This film is said to take place after the other Richard Donner films, which means it’s not a remake. And that’s always a good thing. Routh plays the man of steal and Spacey the evil Lex Luther. Many are counting the days until its release, and so am I.

July 7 Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest Stars: Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightly Well, now that Captain Jack Sparrow has acquired the Black

Courtesy of Buena Vista Pictures FIRST MATES: Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightly are back as Will and Elizabeth in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest.

Pearl, what’s next? This time Sparrow has to deal with the squid-faced Davy Jones, who’s trying to collect an overdue debt — Sparrow’s soul. A Scanner Darkly Stars: Keanu Reeves, Winona Ryder I’ve actually seen this movie already, and I have mixed feelings about it. It really is awesome looking, though. Keanu’s character is an undercover cop — way undercover. He has a suit that allows him to change his appearance to pretty much anyone he wants. He’s been getting too involved in his work and has been taking the same drugs he’s trying to keep from circulation. This Richard Linklater film, which uses the same animation technique he used for 2001’s Waking Life, is about his mental descent.

bad. Pulse Stars: Kristen Bell, Ian Somerhalder This is remake of a Japanese horror movie about a computer/Internet ghost that kills about a half-dozen college kids pretty violently.

July 21 Lady in the Water Stars: Paul Giamatti, Bryce Dallas Howard

Finally, I know a lot of you might be early waiting for an M. Night Shyamalan movie to hit the big screen. Giamatti plays a lonely apartment complex repairman who discovers a nymph-like woman (Howard) living in the complex’s pool. Monster House Stars: Steve Buscemi, Nick Cannon, Maggie Gyllenhaal This is an animated movie about three teens who discover that their neighbor’s house is actually a living, breathing thing. There is some wickedly spooky-

looking animation to this movie. I have a feeling the kids will love it.

July 28 Miami Vice Stars: Colin Farrell, Jamie Foxx There won’t be any ’80s music and clothing to make us all tilt our heads in nostalgic tranquility for this television series send-up. Sorry to any ’80s enthusiasts out there. Michael Mann is heading up this project of stylish undercover-cop action.

July 14

Courtesy of Warner Brothers MAN OF STEEL: Brandon Routh takes over the superhero role last played by Christopher Reeve in Superman Returns.

You, Me and Dupree Stars: Owen Wilson, Matt Dillon, Kate Hudson Dillon and Hudson’s characters have just been married and are ready to live the rest of their life together in perfect harmony. That is until Dillon’s best man, played by Wilson, needs a place to stay until he gets a job. I think this is going to be great movie — the beautiful Hudson strutting her stuff; the chiseled Dillon and comical Wilson having us laugh it up. It can’t be all that

Courtesy of 20th Century Fox OLD WEST WOMEN: Penelope Cruz and Salma Hayek star in the Western comedy Bandidas.

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Thursday, April 27, 2006

A year of entertainment in photos Photo by Armando Sanchez

Photo by A.D. Brown


(Clockwise from upper left): Central Texas is a historical draw

for music acts, and Texas State students were treated to many of these in Austin and San Marcos. Juliana Theory lead vocalist Bret Detar sings with the crowd at Emo’s in Austin, Hasidic reggae artist Matisyahu sooths the crowd at Stubb’s, Early Man brings its hard rock and head-banging to Emo’s and local Eleven Fingered Charlie performs in San Marcos.

Photo by Stephanie Gage

Photo by Brynn Leggett

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Photo by Spencer Milsap


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Photo by Spencer Milsap

Photo by Danny Rodriguez

Photo by Bridgette Cyr

(Clockwise from top left): Chris Cornell of Audioslave leads the band’s uptempo show during Bocktoberfest in Shiner, while Dane Adrian, frontman of Squint, rocks the crowd in Austin. The LBJ Student Center is the stage for Texas Music Unplugged, bringing together generations of well-known Texas musicians and the Texas Renaissance Festival staged jousting battles in Plantersville; Austinbased Lumita performs at Lucy’s on the Square’s anniversary show in March.

Photo by Brynn Leggett


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Thursday, April 27, 2006

Central Texas summer tubing guide By Maira Garcia The University Star Tubing is a Texas institution. It is a break from the “squareness” of a swimming pool and a chance to enjoy a more natural approach to cooling down on a hot Texas day. Once the temperature hits anywhere near 80 degrees, people already have their swimsuit on and tube in hand. Riverbanks fill with people eager to set a tube in the water and crack open a cold one. What makes tubing such a popular recreation activity is how easy and relaxing it can

be. You’re hot; so you dip your lower torso into the water. You’re thirsty, and you reach over to the cooler tube and grab a drink. You get tired; so you sit on the tube. It’s the ultimate lazy day ritual. Texas Parks and Wildlife lists 15 major river systems in the state that snake their way across the landscape. Two of these, which include the Guadalupe and Frio River, have become meccas for tubing enthusiasts. However, smaller rivers like the San Marcos and Comal are also tubing hotspots on a smaller scale. With its rising popularity, landowners have caught on to the tubing demand and have set

The Lodge at Turkey Cove 2386 Colleen Drive Canyon Lake Located on Canyon Lake, The Lodge at Turkey Cove offers a waterfront view. Rooms start at $79, and groups are welcome with prior reservations.

up shop along the river. Not only can you rent a tube from river outfitters along the river, you can get a ride back to your car on a shuttle, eat food from a nearby restaurant or rest up on one of the campgrounds or lodges for multiple days of tubing. Prices to rent a tube along the river vary between $10 and $20, but the high price is to accommodate for shuttles. Because tubing rides can last anywhere from 2 hours to all day, the difference from where you started to where you end can be miles. In addition, if you have a large group of tubers, reservations help outfitters make the most of

Maricopa River Lodge Highway 306 Canyon Lake This lodge along the river is 15 miles west of New Braunfels and near Canyon Lake. The lodge has 19 units, some with kitchenettes, and provides discounts for large groups and military personnel. Custom tubing, kayaking, canoeing and rafting trips are available that last from one hour to all day. Free shuttle service and parking is provided.

your trip by being able to plan the ride out and reserve a campground or lodge for your party. Not to mention some offer discounts for larger groups. The duration of a tubing ride consists of two main factors: where you start along the river and what the water flow is like for that day. The Army Corps of Engineers measures river flow by cubic feet per second. One cubic foot per second is equivalent to 449 gallons per minute. According to the Web site river-fun. com, 100 to 500 CFs is considered recreational flow, 500 to 800 CFs is challenging flow, 800 to 1200 CFs is aggressive flow

River Sports Tubes Intersection of FM 306 & FM 2673 Canyon Lake River Sports Tubes, which is located 12 miles west of New Braunfels on the “Horseshoe Loop,” offers long and short tube rides down the Guadalupe River. Tube rentals are between $14 and $22, life jackets, shuttles and parking are free with a rental. River Sports also offers various discounts for general public groups, college students and military personnel on weekdays and weekends. Reservations are requested for groups of 30 or more on Saturday floats.

and any number above 1200 CFs does not allow tubing, only guided rafting. River outfitters are the best guides in combining the factors and determining where to start tubing. No matter where you decide to begin your tubing ride, several TPW laws must be kept in mind. Alcohol consumption is allowed on the rivers, but glass and Styrofoam are not permitted and can be confiscated. Access points to the river are only allowed at places where a public road crosses the stream, through a public boat launch or where public land, such as a park, is adjacent to water. River outfitters are the

only way to access private property entry points into the river, unless you have a landowner’s permission. Once your tubing trip is planned, remember some important tips to make your trip fun, safe and successful. If you are not a strong swimmer, wear a life jacket. River levels can go from three to 20 feet quickly and there are no lifeguards. So rent a jacket if you don’t own one. Always wear shoes, especially if you plan to wade or walk back to your vehicle. Finally, stay hydrated, wear sun block and have fun.

The Guadalupe and Comal River background: According to TPW, the Guadalupe River is 250 miles long, beginning in Kerr County and draining out into the Gulf of Mexico. It is a popular recreation river and has one major reservoir, Canyon Lake, and seven smaller ones. The 24-mile stretch between Canyon Lake and New Braunfels is the most popular section of the river because of its scenery, falls and dams, making it a whitewater utopia. Joining the Guadalupe at New Braunfels is the Comal River. It is the shortest river in Texas at about 2 1/2 miles.

Rio Raft & Resort 14130 River Road Canyon Lake Situated near Gruene Hall, Rio Raft & Resort has 25 river-view cottages, RV hookups, a camping site, meeting hall, camp store and river trips. Cottages start as low as $65 a night and tent/RV sites at $21. River trips range from two to six hours and give you a choice of tubing, kayaking or rafting. Tubes without bottoms are $12 and $13 with bottoms. Tubing trips all have a free shuttle upriver. Rafts and kayaks are $22 per person. There is also an upper Guadalupe raft trip that is about three to four hours long and is $28 with shuttle. Reservations are required for this trip.

Lazy L&L Campgrounds 11699 River Road New Braunfels The Lazy L & L Campgrounds are situated on 25 acres of land on the Guadalupe River. Tent and RV camping sites are available. In addition, the Meckel Haus, with accommodation for four, is available to rent. Lazy L has a camp store with souvenirs and necessities for your trip. Hot showers and a grill are also available. Tube rentals begin at $10 and rafts are $24. Parking is free with a rental and shuttles are provided for free as well for the first trip and $8 for each additional trip.

Janie’s Riverbank 6000 River Road New Braunfels Located between the first and second crossing on the Guadalupe, Janie’s Riverbank has several tubing and raft rides that range between two and seven hours. Tubes range from $12 to $18 and kayaks, canoes and rafts begin at $23.50. Private shuttles are also available for $10 per person.

Brynn Leggett/Star photo Rockin ‘R’ River Rides 1405 Gruene Road New Braunfels 1-800-55-FLOAT Rockin ‘R’ is by far the largest river outfitter not just on the Guadalupe, but on the Comal River as well. They have four tube and raft rental locations along the Guadalupe, three campground sites, four souvenir shops and the Waterfront Grill and Catering restaurant. Started in 1979, the outfitter has experience in setting up group tubing rides, rafting, teambuilding river ropes courses and information on river conditions. Shuttles are available to drive you back to the starting point. Reservations can be made any time of the year.

Brynn Leggett/Star photo

Texas Tubes 250 Meusebach St. New Braunfels Texas Tubes is located on the Comal River and offers about a two-hour float. They open at 9 a.m. and close at dark. Tubes run between $13 to $18, depending on whether you need one with a bottom or one for a cooler. Life jackets are free with any rental. If you already own a tube, river entry is $5 and $4 to use the shuttle. Shuttles drive you back and forth to the entry point.

Gruene River Company 1404 Gruene Road New Braunfels The Gruene River Company offers not only tubes, but kayaks, canoes and rafts as well. It offers trips lasting anywhere from one and a half hours to six hours, depending of river flow. Tubes range from $12 to $18. Rafts, kayaks and canoes start at $25. These prices do not include the $1 Water Oriented Recreation Tax used for law enforcement and cleanup. In addition, the Gruene River Company has a gift shop and hot showers available for after your tubing ride.

Brynn Leggett/Star photo


Thursday, April 27, 2006

The San Marcos River background: The San Marcos River, which also eventually joins the Guadalupe, is 75 miles long and begins at Aquarena Springs in San Marcos. It has some rapids, but also has pools of calm water, such as those in Sewell Park. A large segment of the river near the Rio Vista dam is currently off limits as the dam is being renovated.

The University Star - Page 7

Joe’s Crab Shack 100 Sessom Drive Dropping into the San Marcos River at the small stretch of water between Joe’s Crab Shack and Clear Springs Apartments provides the potential for the longest float. This water is also very shallow on the Sessom Drive side of the river, which allows tubers to load up a cooler tube and drop in with minimal risk of flipping their tube. This drop-in point does, however, require floating under the Aquarena Springs Drive bridge — not a trip for the claustrophobic. Also, the waterfall directly under Joe’s packs a deadly undertow that has drowned several swimmers, so steer clear. The Lions Club 170 Bobcat Drive San Marcos (512) 396-5466 The most common entry point for tubers on the San Marcos River is at City Park in front of The Lions Club Tube Rentals. The best-known establishment in San Marcos for tube rentals and purchases, The Lions Club charges $6 for single tubes and $8 for single tubes with bottoms, with a $15 deposit required for singles. Double tube rentals are $12 without bottoms and $14 with bottoms with a $30 deposit required for either. The Lions Club also sells $20 tubes made of a very thick, durable material that are well worth the expense.

Rio Vista Park 555 Cheatham St. San Marcos The tube chute at Rio Vista Park is a quick but breathtaking ride for tubers willing to go the distance on the San Marcos. Remember, the chute is not always friendly to personal belongings. Many cooler contents, sandals and sunglasses have been lost to this exhilarating drop. This spot marks roughly the halfway mark for the longest tubing route. Or, for tubers who are just looking for a quick dip, the park is a good exit point, less than an hour’s float from Sewell Park. Tubers who do exit here should do so before the chute, as the current may prove too strong to get to shore beyond that point. Parking is available across the street from the San Marcos River Pub and on the west side of the river. Also, The Lions Club offers a shuttle that picks tubers up here until 6:45 p.m. Use of the shuttle is included with tube rental from The Lions Club and costs $1.50 for those who bring their own tubes. Anyone starting upriver of Rio Vista must be aware of the fact the dam is being renovated. That means tubers must get out of the water several hundred yards upriver. The city expects to be far enough along on renovation by Memorial Day to open the river back up.

“Thompson’s Island” If you choose to take the longer trip, you’ll meet a fork in the river at the area sometimes called “Thompson’s Island” by locals. On the left fork, the river slows and becomes murky and uninviting, so tubers are advised to take the right fork. At the fork, the river narrows and descends into a small but treacherous falls, so you will have to haul your tube over the artificial concrete and limestone bank on the left side of the falls. This stop can be seen as an opportunity rather than an inconvenience, though. The bank is a great place to pause for some sunny relaxation, and the falls provide a wonderful swimming and climbing area. Though it is a privately owned area, the owner is friendly to those who stay on the right side of the “island” where the waterfalls are. However, he will get upset if you venture into the grassy left side where he has erected a fence to discourage river patrons from roaming onto his land.

John J. Stokes San Marcos River State Park Cape Road Bridge over San Marcos River This is the final exit point for tubers on the San Marcos (without venturing on into Martindale), about 20 minutes past the fork at Thompson’s Island and about two or three hours from the start of the trip, depending how long you spend relaxing beside the river. There is parking available here off Cape Road, but remember, you’ll need to have two vehicles, one parked here and another at your starting point. You’ll also want to make sure to leave your towels in the vehicle at the exit point. You may want to take some time to dry off before heading home, but remember, alcohol is prohibited at Stokes Park, so keep it legal.

Star file photos

And now, stay tuned for ...


up y’all, and welcome to the first edition of Pimp My Tube. It’s getting hot already, and that means one thing for the seasoned river rat: tubin’. Sure, you could just grab any old thing that floats and jump on the river with it, but to get the full-fledged fun that the river offers, you gotta pimp it out. What we’re going to do today is show y’all some phat accessories that you can add to your own float to impress the ladies and party with the dudes. From adding tunes to getting a floating ice chest in order, your tube can be the envy of every other Jo Blo that is kickin’ it on the water, We’ve organized the merchandise on a scale from good to best, so regardless of your cash flow, there is definitely something out there that you can get to pimp your tube. Check out The Star’s Orientation Issue for an upcoming Pimp My Tube contest!

The Tubes: A regular truck inner tube.


Pros: Cheap, easy to find. Cons: gets hot in the sun, not always comfortable. Cost: $15-$20

The Ice Chests: Mega Chill inflatable floatable ice chest. Pros: Inexpensive, deflates for easy storage. Cons: Top does not seal

The Sounds: AM/FM shower radio. Pros: Cheap and water-resistant. Cons: Only receives radio transmissions. Cost: $10

closed. Cost: $15 Dream Gear Boom Boom Box.

The Trek-n-Tube. Pros: Folds into a backpack


for easy carrying when deflated, includes cup holders, headrest, handles and small compartments for drinks. Cons: A little pricey. Cost: $50

Pros: Inexpensive, water-reRegular ice chest inside a tube. Pros: Easy to find, may use any ice chest that fits. Cons: Requires extra tube and can be unstable in rapids. Cost: Varies

sistant, accepts input from any audio source including MP3 players and iPods, which are contained and sealed from the environment. Cons: Some may not want to risk getting nice players wet. Cost: $20

The Creek Company


Round Float. Pros: Heavy

Big Bobber floating ice chest.

duty construction, lots of

Pros: Sturdy plastic, seals

storage space, headrest,

closed and floats evenly.

designed for fishing. Cons:

Cons: A bit expensive. Cost:

Pricey, may be too much


tube for some. Cost: $80

Shower CD player. Pros: Water-resistant, plays CDs, CDRWs, and MP3 CDs which are themselves waterproof. Cons: Some models cost too much. Cost: $40


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Thursday, April 27, 2006

San Marcos solutions for finals munchies By Vanessa Lau The University Star In such a stressful time as finals, it is important for all students to remember to take a break from the books and take care of themselves. Studying for five or six finals can lead to marathon sessions that last long into the night, but even then it is important to get the mental break the brain is begging for and the nourishment the body needs. There are several places around town that are perfect places to take the books and settle in — if a change of scenery

is what will get the engines going — some restaurants in college towns like San Marcos cater to students who are up all night, offering quality food at all hours; others — while not available 24 hours — are ideal for their own reasons.. The Root Cellar, located on North LBJ — just minutes away from campus — offers a nice atmosphere for students to leave the books for a while and have a nice meal. While most menu items cost less than $10, students can afford the expense of dining out at this restaurant. Deliv-

ery is also available, which adds appeal for students who are too swamped in their studies to leave for food. The Root Cellar’s hours of operation are 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday; so latenight dining is not an option at this particular establishment. The All-Niter Diner, located on the corner of Hopkins Street and S. LBJ Drive, is open 24 hours to suit the student’s need for brain fuel at any time — day or night. Affordable menu options allow the starved student to eat inexpensively and conveniently, with a location close to campus — for those at the library late into the night. Students who have posted reviews of the All-Niter Diner on the San Marcos Web site, 78666. com, rate the food served at this new establishment as hit-or-miss. At 3 a.m., after hours of exhaustive studying, students should be appreciative of the option. For another late-night option for students, there’s always IHOP, located in the Springtown shopping center, next to Furr’s and J.C. Penney. This large chain restaurant offers menu items ranging from burgers and steak to the ever-popular breakfast menu. Usually quiet after the dinner rush hour, IHOP is also a popular place for students studying in groups to gather and have a good meal while still being productive. Nearly every fast-food joint in town — including Taco Bell — will have a drive-thru window open well into the night. Greasy food late at night may not be the best or most healthy choice, but they are viable options nonetheless. If breakfast food is what a student needs to get his or her gears going before those 8 a.m. finals, Whataburger or Taco Cabana offer very affordable options like breakfast tacos or taquitos for about a dollar each. Valuable in their affordability and quick speed-of-service, drive-thru cuisine may be just what fits the bill for the studying college student. Students looking for a conducive atmosphere for studying away from the dorms, apartments or library will find a number of coffee shops in town that fit the bill. Mochas and Javas, with two locations at N. LBJ Drive and Wonderworld Drive, offers a quiet environment, quality coffee and tea and baked goods at reasonable prices. Free wireless

Internet is also available at both locations. If studying dominates a student’s schedule, and he or she is unable to take a break to go out and get food, several options for delivered food exist as well. The most versatile of these options,

Bobcat Delivery, offers delivery service from a variety of restaurants, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily. Restaurants using this service include Applebee’s, Cedars Café, Fazoli’s, Gil’s Broiler, Imperial Garden, Italian Garden, Subway and Taco Cabana, among

others. Finals are a daunting time in the life of a student, and if homecooked meals are not an option, these restaurants around San Marcos provide alternatives that will keep a student going to make it through the final two weeks.

Star file photo

Thursday, April 27, 2006


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At the Point records intimate concerts of Matt Nathanson FESTIVITIES: Fireworks display, illuminated bridge to light up night on 4th By Andrea L. Short The University Star

After producing five full-length albums, a few EPs and a tour to promote them, Matt Nathanmusic son grew tired of hearing his review tell him ✯✯✯✯ fans they like his Matt Nathanson records but At the Point prefer his live High Wire Music shows. That’s positive reinforcement for most of us, but for Matt, it’s those comments and others like it that pushed him to develop an album with a concert feel. Nathanson has always been a true individual in the business. His success stems from the word-of-mouth publicity of his dedicated fans and his grassroots stance. And so, At the Point was born as a thank-you to Nathanson’s listeners. Recorded from more than three nights of totally sold-out shows during the summer of 2005 in Pennsylvania, At the Point compiles Nathanson’s best performances in front of a live audience. His sound is comparable to that of the Dave Matthews Band — with his lone acoustic guitar and soothing yet raspy voice. Judging from the audience’s reaction when Na-

thanson begins to do a cover of If you enjoy the simplicity of soulful voice and a few laughs the song “Crash,” it’s obvious an acoustic guitar, then this is a at his jokes, At the Point should that his fans are also DMB fans. must have for your easy-listen- definitely help ease the stress of On this record, “Angel” and ing collection. With Nathanson’s finals looming over your head. “I Saw” will have you listening intently in an attempt to catch every word of his sentimental voice. The true feeling of sitting in a quaint venue comes through when listening to Nathanson play and when he stops to address the audience. Before “Princess” is belted out, Nathanson informs his listeners about the real girl on which the song is based; after the ensuing applause, he continues to babble, crack jokes and take requests from the audience. And finally, on “All Been Said Before,” Nathanson introduces more upbeat guitar playing as well as encouraging a little toe tapping to the beat. Basically, the entire album consists of beautiful, poignant songs that tug deeply at your heart, mixed with interjections of many inappropriate comments that you will catch yourself giggling to. His live album highlights the effect that his energy and interactions with his crowds have on his performances. On a side note, that parental advisory warning on this album’s cover is not related to Nathanson’s songs but are actually for his commentary throughout the performance. His stories and jokes bring a different kind of Courtesy of Zeitgeist Artist Management intimacy and interest to this alMATT POINT: Matt Nathanson’s first live album, At the Point, is reminisbum that his lyrics alone never could. cent of Dave Matthews Band and includes a cover of the song “Crash.”

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festival. For more information contact Harvey Miller at (512) 396-4903. If you ever have the whim to see some live music in the great outdoors, the Summer in the Park series is great. Presented by the San Marcos Performing Arts Association, the concerts will be held on Thursday evenings from 7:30 to 9 p.m. at Veramendi Plaza or San Marcos Plaza (In case of rain, at the San Marcos Activity Center) throughout June, July and August. For more information, contact the San Marcos Parks and Recreation Department at (512) 393-8400. The 26th annual Summerfest Fourth of July celebration will take place at Sewell Park. The festival makes the most of the river setting with the illuminated river parade. The festival begins at 11 a.m. and ends at 11 p.m. There will be live music from the bands Plinko, The Crabby Grass Boys, David Ybarra & The LA Blues Band and Cheryl Murdock. Other activities include the Hays County Crime Stoppers Ducky Derby, a variety of

food options and a patriotic program. Parking will be available at Bobcat Stadium and the Coliseum parking lots. The Lions Club tube rental will be open all day and to encourage attendees to cool off if they so choose, lifeguards will be on duty at the river at all times. A fireworks display will take place after sun down before the band Trio-Faze closes out the celebration. Summerfest is free for all ages. For more information, visit Eddie Durham was an innovator. The San Marcos-born jazz musician is credited as the first person to play the electric guitar on record. He may have even invented it. He was also a gifted trombonist and arranger, and played and arranged for many jazz greats, including Count Basie and Billie Holiday. The fourth annual Eddie Durham Music Tribute will be held on August 18 and 19 this year. Day one of the jazz festival will be held at the San Marcos Activity Center. Day two will be held at San Marcos plaza along the banks of the river from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. For more information contact Johnnie Armstead at (512) 353-0124.


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Thursday, April 27, 2006

The Lashes whip up new album with old recipe By Stephen Lloyd The University Star Looking at the face of popular rock music these days, it almost seems like it’s 1985 all over again. The newmusic wave style review has come ✯✯✯ back with a The Lashes vengeance. Get It But whether Columbia it needed to Records come back or not is up for debate. Seattle-based band The Lashes certainly didn’t break this mold on its new album Get It. However, there are elements to the band’s sound that add an appealing old-school flavor at times. “New Best Friend” features a cool, warbling organ intro, unlike the synthesizers many of the band’s peers seem to favor.

When the rest of the instruments kick in, the song becomes similar to Elvis Costello because of its hard guitar strumming. Ben Clark’s vocals, however, are more reminiscent of the semiself-indulgent croon of The Strokes’ Julian Casablancas. The vocals on “Daddy’s Little Girl” are interestingly similar to those of Mick Jagger, though the chorus has more of the Costello-influence, while the guitar solo is uplifting and triumphant in a style familiar with Cheap Trick. Another song in the Cheap Trick vein is “Please, Please, Please” with its pop softness mixed with a rifffilled rock edge. “Safe to Say” has an interesting ska-like rhythm punctuated by jumpy guitar. The song also features a fuzzy, crackling keyboard intro that conjures up images of old silent films. With its stop-start rhythm, “Yesterday Feels Like a Year” is more aggressive than the rest of the album. Adding to this are the two guitar solos. Pia-

no-driven “Dear Hollywood” almost seems like a TV show theme song — the song is a bit too polished. “Nate’s Song” has a slight rockabilly feel. It’s anybody’s guess whether that was intentional or not. The song is again Costello-like, but this time it’s because of the keyboard blips in the intro. The song also features the best guitar solo on the album. The album does have a certain cheesy factor, but that’s forgivable on most of the songs. However, on a couple, it is not. The saccharine lyrics of “The World Needs More Love Letters” are unappealing and “A Pretty Girl Is Like A Melody” is pure dumb-rock, and not in a good way. The Lashes do not break new ground. But with its “old ground” sound, it does create some simple, enjoyable rock. But that’s ultimately where the Courtesy of Columbia Records band fails as well. Listeners will not miss out on anything if they GOT LASHES: The Lashes new album, Get It, takes advantage of the current re-birth of the new wave decide to pass on The Lashes. style.

Thursday, April 27, 2006



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E3 gives professionals first look at the new games to be introduced to market The 2006 Elecreserved by Asian pubtronic Entertainlishers such as Ninment Expo — known tendo, will be a hotbed as E3 — is the largof activity as Nintendo est video game trade and Sony have reserved event in the world booths right next to and is held for three each other. E3’s floor days during the later plan shows that, comBILL RIX part of May in Los bined, Nintendo and Star Columnist Angeles. Sony will occupy more Many high-profile than half of the entire software outfits attend E3 to exhibit hall. show off their latest and greatNintendo, in this case, Ninest in the way of video game tendo of America, Inc., and software and hardware and this Sony, Sony Computer Enteryear will be no different. tainment of America, Inc., are E3 is held every year for a both expected to have playable week at the Los Angeles Con- versions of their next generavention Center and in keeping tion consoles. While there have with the “trade event” spirit of been ample photos of both the expo, the event is only open consoles, they have yet to be to “industry professionals.” play-tested in an environment One gains entrance by mail- like E3. ing or faxing industry credenSony has recalled its origitials — including company nal controller design for the credit cards, business licenses PlayStation 3. So, many in atand resale tax certificates — to tendance will be on the lookout E3. for the new design to see if Sony This excludes the general has been true to its word. public who rely on journalists Regardless of what happens and other news professionals with the PlayStation 3, there are to supply them with up-to-the- still many hot games coming moment information about out for the PS2. new releases and announceThe sequel to the 2005 smash ments. hit and “Greatest Hits” game, E3 is typically a time when God of War, will be shown in many gaming industry heavy- greater detail at the expo. SCE weights reveal new products. In Studios Santa Monica’s Cory 2003, id Software gave attend- Barlog, director for God of War ees their first look at the now- 2, promises many recurring legendary Doom 3, and in 2004, themes from the original, inSony finally showed anxious cluding the notorious puzzles: gamers the much-anticipated “But the puzzle solving and the PSP. platforming are sort of on the The West Hall, the area of same level, kind of turning the the LACC that is traditionally puzzles in a different direction

in some respects. Some we’re bringing back, like the ones with story elements, the story driven puzzles.” In addition to the next God of War, Vivendi Universal, Inc. will be showing its latest in the Spyro the Dragon series, The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning. This iteration will focus on the history of Spyro and promises even more intense action and will feature “the voice talent of Hollywood’s best.” Capcom will be showing Street Fighter Alpha Anthology, a collection of all the SFA games —including SFA2 Gold — and Pocket Fighter. This is the first time the Alpha titles will be bundled together, making it a perfect addition to any Street Fighter fan’s collection, or at least for someone who will enjoy the Puzzle Fighter-esque Pocket Fighter. On the portable front, Capcom will be releasing Ultimate

Ghosts ‘n Goblins for the PSP. It will be a remake of the arcade classic, Ghosts ‘n Goblins, originally released in 1988. The side-scroller will benefit from a makeover thanks to the PSP’s superior graphical technology. Also available for the PSP will be at least one PlayStation Spot — kiosks where gamers can download content via the integrated WiFi connection. SCEA’s wily marsupial, Crash Bandicoot, will return in Crash Boom Bang! — tentatively titled — for the DS. Crash and company will be giving gamers a Mario Party-style experience, as the game will be focused on many small, heads-on games, which makes it perfect for the WiFi capabilities of the DS. The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning will be released on

the DS, as well as the GameCube and the PS2, among others. Xbox 360 owners can look forward to the next release in the venerable Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball series. While Tecmo’s Itagaki Tomonobu promises that the next game will be more than a “swimsuit game,” it will be up in the air until more information is released as to whether or not the new game will be more of the same bikini-clad women from the DOA series doing little more than jumping up and down. Webzen’s Huxley, a new first-person shooter/massively multiplayer online role playing game hybrid which utilizes the Unreal 3 Engine, will surely be shown at E3. It will have stiff competition from Gears of War,

“Microsoft’s Secret Weapon,” according to Game Informer magazine. While it will be no Halo 3, it will hopefully satiate gamers long enough for Microsoft to get Halo 3 on the shelves. While this is only a cursory glance of what one can expect from this year’s E3, it gives a good example of the major releases and surprises that can be expected on the floor. Many triple-A games and hardware are announced at E3, making the event a press feeding frenzy. The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) estimates in 2005, E3 drew more than 70,000 attendees, meaning there will be no shortage of photos and gameplay footage available online as events transpire.


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Thursday, April 27, 2006

my latest tunes Entertainment Editor Kyle Bradshaw reveals what he’s been listening to this past week. The Cream of Clapton Eric Clapton

The Essential Lynyrd Skynrd Lynyrd Skynrd

Summerteeth Wilco

Favorite track: “I feel free”

Favorite track: “Free Bird”

Favorite track: “When You Wake Up Feeling Old”

Wednesday’s solutions:

SU DO KU Complete the grid so that every row, column, and 3-by-3 box contains every digit from one through nine inclusively.

Wednesday’s solutions:

Go to for today’s answers.

© Pappocom

04 27 2006 Section B