The Return of Kitsch
Late Thursday, three ten-foot-tall frogs made of pipe, wire mesh, and sprayed urethane foam—two dancing the tango, the third playing a cornet horn—will be placed atop the Taco Cabana on Greenville Avenue. The three frogs are part of a group of six that Bob Wade, the seventy-one-year-old Austin-based conceptual artist known as Daddy-O, created to sit above the Tango nightclub that opened in 1983 at the same location. After Tango closed a year later, the frogs enjoyed celebrity at the Carl’s Corner truck stop, near Hillsboro, before a fire there ended their run, and the frogs were split up. The revitalization along Lower Greenville has inspired the return of half of the original group. On Thursday afternoon, the frogs will be on the ground for pictures, as part of an eighties-themed Throwback Thursday party. Wade—whose roadside-attraction-as-public-art include forty-foot-high cowboy boots in San Antonio—will be there for a meet and greet. Wade’s forty-foot-long iguana atop the Fort Worth Zoo, which was originally planted on the roof of the Lone Star Bar in Manhattan in 1978, led him to the creation of the frogs. Both are a testament to how Wade’s love of tchotchkes has influenced his art. “I had that whole Mexican, kitschy, stuffed-critter souvenir thing going on,” Wade said.
Taco Cabana, June 26, 4 p.m., tacocabana.com
Rock bands rarely claim inspiration from Laredo, the border town whose crime-ridden neighbor, Nuevo Laredo, has given it a bad rap, but one group, Spanish Gold, has parlayed its muse into a debut album, South of Nowhere, that earned a nod from Rolling Stone and an appearance on “David Letterman.” Friday at Sam’s Burger Joint is the last chance to catch the band play a show in Texas before the Austin City Limits Music Festival, in October. This supergroup of sorts pairs two Laredo natives, the lead singer Dante Schwebel (formerly of Hacienda) and the guitarist Adrian Quesada (formerly of Grupo Fantasma), with Patrick Hallahan, the drummer for My Morning Jacket. While their lyrics may echo the dark side of border life, their sound is more buoyant, like on “Out on the Street,” the hit song that Schwebel equates to what would result from Michael Jackson hanging out in Miami.
Sam’s Burger Joint, June 20, 8 p.m., spanishgoldmusic.com
Hillary Clinton’s Tour
To run or not to run for president again, that is the question most people have for Hillary Rodham Clinton, and one that might be explored Friday when she speaks at the Long Center. The speech is part of a tour for “Hard Choices,” Clinton’s memoir recounting her loss to Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election and her subsequent time as secretary of state in his administration. The book is 656 pages and reportedly earned Clinton an $8 million advance. In it she calls Benghazi her single biggest regret and is critical of herself for voting in favor of President George W. Bush’s decision to invade Iraq. Each ticket holder will receive a copy of the book, in which Clinton’s bottom line about a potential second presidential run appears near the end.
The Long Center, June 20, 7 p.m., thelongcenter.org
Take Great Pride
The seventieth anniversary of D-Day earlier this month has stirred the patriot within. Those wishing to celebrate America’s hard-fought freedom should consider attending Audie Murphy Day, a tribute to one of the greatest of the so-called Greatest Generation, with a veteran’s parade, an Air Force flyover, and military exhibits. Murphy, a sharecropper from Hunt County who earned the Medal of Honor at nineteen years old, was one of the most decorated American soldiers of World War II. He went on to have a career in Hollywood despite having post-traumatic stress disorder. He brought the disorder to the national consciousness and his valor was recognized with the dedication of the Audie L. Murphy Memorial Veterans Hospital, in San Antonio, in 1973.
Freedom Plaza, June 21, 7:30 a.m., farmersvilletx.com
A Juneteenth Marker
Juneteenth, the annual commemoration of the delayed end of slavery in Texas in 1865, became a state holiday in 1980, but not until Saturday will it receive a state historical marker, during a ceremony hosted by the Texas Historical Commission.
22nd & Strand, June 21, 10 a.m., galveston.com/juneteenth
Drinking for Dollars
The Best Little Brewfest in Texas, taking place on Saturday afternoon, professes to be the only beer festival in Texas whose proceeds go exclusively to charity, which provides a good excuse for indulging in around sixty local, national, and international craft brews.
Old Town Lewisville, June 21, 4 p.m., bestlittlebrewfestintexas.com