Getting Into Marfa
Texas' hugeness means that if you find yourself in a less than stellar spot - like Laredo on a Monday, for example - there's always more out there. After a morning in Alpine where I made sure to check out Ringtail Records, I saddled up and excitedly rolled into Marfa, which for the last six or so years has a coolness quotient possibly unheard of in the rest of West Texas. After stopping off to ogle some of the gallery storefronts and take in some of the restaurants, I basically walked the town from tip to tail to try and get a feel for the place. Guess what? It's tiny. Even during my day or two stay I kept running into the same people, which makes sense in a town of 2,100 or so folks.
What with the heat most people were indoors, and I spent some time in the DQ and then at the beer garden Planet Marfa doing work and waiting for the night. The owner of a bookstore on the main strip suggested I try out a place called Padre's, which featured interesting food, good beer, live music, and a back patio with classic video games, shuffleboard, and a big seating area. I liked it so much I went back the next night.
Unfortunately on Saturday night they weren't hosting a band, which felt unseemly to my music-logged mind, but again, this is Marfa, which - as the bookstore guy explained to me - meant that sometimes nothing happened and sometimes amazing stuff happened.
On Friday I took in Mike and the Moonpies, which was kinda funny because I had often heard of shows the Austin-based country band were playing but had yet to check one out. So I finally did, but abroad (so to speak). They played a solid country set with originals and the occasional standard thrown in (I got to hear "Streets of Baltimore" for the second night in a row). I left during the band's break, and as I walked out I saw a line steadily growing despite the relative emptiness of the venue prior to my leaving. I guess things happen later in Marfa, weird lights included.