Bars and clubs on The Square should cater to a wider variety of musical tastes and styles.
The Square on a Friday night does not offer much diversity in the way of music. Most bars rely on screeching pop, airy dance tracks and bumpin’ bass to get their patrons hot-blooded and purchasing more drinks. Admittedly, a few exceptions to this rule do exist. Black Rabbit Saloon, for instance, opts to play grungy 90s throwbacks.
Generally, however, weekends on The Square cater mainly to drunken 20-somethings who prefer to jump up and down rather than actually groove. Many students long for a hangout that accommodates different musical tastes in San Marcos—myself included. San Marcos bars and clubs currently focus mainly on Top 40 material, barely scraping the surface of the diverse tastes present in town.
While heel-wearing, fake-tanned babes and their polo-sporting boy-toys deserve a place that satisfies their tastes, not every bar on The Square should blare vapid dubstep remixes of MTV music. Country, dance, dubstep, mainstream rap and hip-hop are the default styles in San Marcos. Live, local music is available through shows at tiny bars such as Triple Crown, but could definitely benefit from more aggressive exposure to interested college students. Very little diverse music exists in San Marcos outside of these established spheres, and it is high time this is changed.
San Marcos needs a venue that focuses on golden-age hip-hop and its roots while showcasing the talents of local DJs and rap and hip-hop artists. It needs a lounge for salsa, jazz, blues and world music. It needs clubs and bars with relaxed, low-key atmospheres that offer “grown-folk” music. There should be places where students and residents can meet with friends and have a drink without having to shout over shrieking drunks. A few of the latter do exist, but the primary style is country music, and grizzly old boozers are not the only people who would enjoy a more relaxed atmosphere. Admittedly, San Marcos is too small right now to sustain a different club for every genre of music. If more local venues would consider hosting nights or weekends devoted to different styles, however, it could make a big difference.
There is definitely a market for more specialized music venues within San Marcos, especially ones that tailor to several different genres. Clubbers can go just about anywhere to dance to Skrillex. Those who desire a different experience will feel more attached to a place that caters to their craving. A solid, reliable client base could be easily built and sustained for spots offering a unique variety of music.
The Coffee Pot was the one place on The Square that offered a good study atmosphere while playing music inside for anyone to hear when it was open. It was exactly what I wanted. Since nowhere else offered that kind of atmosphere, I was more loyal to The Coffee Pot than any other business in town. I bought a drink there nearly every time I passed by, even if I was not particularly thirsty. That is the kind of loyalty businesses stand to potentially garner if they offer something unique to San Marcos residents.
Texas State students love to party, but there is more than one way to throw down. Business owners on The Square should offer partiers a chance to relax and groove rather than just stomp around until they pass out.