COUCH CONCERT (12/26/10) - Cactus Joe Performs "Red Shoes" by Elvis Costello and "Light it on Fire" by Cowboy Mouth

Cactus Joe's Couch Concert presents Cactus Joe performing two classic rock-n-roll hits.

1. "(Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes" by Elvis Costello.

2. "Light it on Fire" by Cowboy Mouth.

Cactus Joe is on a roll! A rockin' roll.

I couldn't help it...

Merry Christmas - YouTube: They Might Be Giants

Hi Friends.

Here is my homemade Christmas present for you, for being so supportive all these years.

It's a Couch Concert performance of me playing "Santa's Beard" by They Might Be Giants


OPEN MIC NIGHT - Thursday Rocktober 7 in Lake Mills WI

Hi All.

I'll be hosting OPEN MIC NIGHT at Waterhouse Cafe in Lake Mills WI on Thursday night, 10/7/10 from 7 to 9 PM. It's fun and it's free.



HOUSE CONCERT - Sunday October 3 from 3-6 PM

Hey Everyone!

HOUSE CONCERT at Cactus Joe's Imperial Palace of Rock this Sunday October 3 from 3 to 6 PM.

$5 suggested donation OR a side dish to share, your choice.

Direct message me to RSVP and get directions.



Kickoff Open Mic @ New Venue (Lake Mills WI) This Thursday

Hi Friends.

I am hosting a debut Open Mic Night this Thursday 9/16 at a new venue - Waterhouse Cafe in Lake Mills WI - from 7 to 9 PM.

All acoustic acts are invited and welcome to come perform and hang out. We need spectators too!

For the remainder of 2010, I'll be hosting Open Mic from 7 to 9 PM on the FIRST THURSDAY of the month at Waterhouse.

This week is the kickoff party, which is why it is not the first Thursday. See you there!



Monday August 16, 2010 - I am Guest Hosting Come Back Inn Open Mic Tonight!

Hi Friends!

I am guest hosting Tim Lochner's open mic night at Come Back Inn in Madison WI tonight, 9 PM to midnight.

Won't you come spectate or perform?

It's $0.50 cent taco night until 10 pm. YUM!

Rock on!



Songwriter's Circle at Waterhouse Cafe in Lake Mills WI on Thursday July 8th - 7 to 9 PM

Hi. It's Joe.

Just real quick, I saw that there is a songwriter's circle going down at Waterhouse Cafe in Lake Mills WI on Thursday night, July 8th, which is tomorrow night as I write this, but probably tonight as you read it.

It's from 7 to 9 PM and I encourage everyone who can go to go. Dave Schindele and Paul Stiegler will be there, in addition to Rich Baumann and a couple other great Madison area songwriters. It will be very fun and you can sip icy beverages too.

I should put my money where my mouth is and go, but I have a PEOPLE BROTHERS BAND practice that I simply cannot miss. I want other people to go because local live music needs our support or it will atrophy, wither, and die.

That cannot be allowed to happen.


House Concert - Sunday July 4 @ Cactus Joe's Imperial Palace of Music

Hi Friends.

There will be a HOUSE CONCERT.

Oh yes.

There will be a HOUSE CONCERT.

It's Sunday July 4th from 3 to 6 PM at my house.

RSVP HERE: http://www.meetup.com/Madison-Energize/calendar/13833596

This HOUSE CONCERT is being organized via the MADISON ENERGIZE ACTIVITIES MeetUp group.

As such, you need to RSVP via the MeetUp site.

OR (if you don't want to sign up to the MeetUp Group, even though it's totally free!)...

You can just E-MAIL ME your RSVP and I will add you as a GUEST to my RSVP.

Those are your two options if you want to come. I would really appreciate an RSVP, instead of people randomly showing up. But if you are going to randomly show up, at least bring $5 and a side dish to share.

Guppy Effect unplugged acoustic is slated to perform. I am looking for another one or two musicians/acts to perform. They have to be 100% acoustic (no PA this time) and have transportation to Cambridge WI. Let me know if you or someone else is interested.

It's going to be a ball.


New Web/Blog Page Design

Hi Friends and Fans!

As you can see, the old Couch Concert web page has been replaced by this (imho) better one, thanks to BLOGGER joining the 21st century on template designs.

Leave a comment to let me know what you think or suggest other improvements.

Also, CACTUS JOE'S OPEN MIC is on for this Wednesday 6/16 at Brink Lounge in Madison WI.

It's from 9:30 to 11:30 PM and will feature several local Madison-area bands.

I already have all the 30-minute showcase slots filled except for one. So if you are in a local band that would like to perform this week, E-MAIL ME ASAP or post a comment below.

Otherwise, just come out and enjoy the music. It's FREE and bottles of wine are 1/2 off on Wednesdays at the Brink Lounge.



Seeking Local/Amateur Bands for 6/16 Brink Open Mic

Hi All!

My open mic at Brink Lounge on Weds 6/16 is seeking local Madison area new and amateur bands to showcase (30 min per band) from 9:30 to 11:30 PM.

First come first served until all 4 slots are filled. All genres welcome.

It is expected for the bands to bring in 5 to 10 fans at least, especially if you want to book a longer show in the future at Brink.

So if you are in such a band, or know someone who is, LMK ASAP.

A PA is provided.



June 2 Open Mic Pre-Party 8-10 PM

Hi Everyone!

Please come to the Brink Lounge in Madison WI on Wednesday June 2 from 8 to 10 PM for my OPEN MIC PRE-PARTY.

I'll be hosting CACTUS JOE'S OPEN MIC NIGHT at Brink Lounge every Wednesday June - August (except June 9 and July 28) from 8 to 10 PM.

We'll be showcasing bands and artists at each event and Brink wants to have the schedule of performers IN ADVANCE of each date.

So, while it is not mandatory to attend the pre-party (open stage too - everyone gets a go!) on Wednesday June 2, it will be a great opportunity to score a day/time for the summer open mic season because I will have the calendar there.

If you can't make it on June 2, simply E-MAIL ME your preferred date and time slot (it can be 30 minutes or 60 minutes, but if you want 60 minutes, please ensure that you draw a good crowd!).

I will give precedence to bands and artists who show up at the pre-party on June 2. So if you can make it down to Brink that night, I'd love to party with you!

It's cheap wine night on Wednesdays at Brink, if that's any incentive. Red wine is extraordinarily good for your health and longevity.


CJ Open Mic Kickoff Party and Open Stage - Wednesday June 2 at Brink Lounge (Madison WI)

Hi Everyone!

My Wednesday Open Mic at Brink Lounge kicks off on Wednesday June 2 with an open stage party at the Brink. Bring your axe and we'll rock until everyone has had a go at the mic.

IMPORTANT: If you want to perform at the open mic this summer, it is really important that you attend this show (or get ahold of me via Facebook or e-mail ASAP).

This is because the Brink Lounge is asking that I pre-book open mic slots for the available Wednesdays from June - August. (Note: no open mic June 9 and July 28, due to events.)

Although there will be no walk-ins this year (unless there are no shows), musicians/bands can now book 30-60 minute showcase slots to flaunt their stuff for the Brink and its patrons (instead of the usual 15 minutes at other open mics).

Think of it as kind of like an Open Mic American Idol (only less lame and no Simon). We are taking it up a notch.

At the June 2 party, musicians and bands who want to book a future Wednesday night slot for the summer can do so. I will have the calendar available. I will also book via E-MAIL if you cannot make the June 2 party. However, I will not be able to book you until after June 2, to give party goers dibs on slots. So if you can come to the party, that is optimal.

The Brink will be looking for two things from the open mikers - musicianship & draw (how many people come to see you perform). The more people you can invite on June 2, the better for booking a slot later in the summer.

If you need help with promotion, please visit www.cactusjoeproductions.com and subscribe to the DIY musician blog. I will post tips and resources for marketing your music periodically.

So invite as many people as you want/can for the open stage on Wednesday June 2, and let's have a ball!



Come to Fat Boyz Open Mic Tonight! (If you are able...)

Hi Friends!

Once again, Cactus Joe and Fiends will be attending the Open Mic Night at Fat Boyz in Fort Atkinson WI tonight! It's always a rowdy fun time and you should come if you will be in the area.

It goes from 8 to 11 PM - although things really don't start heating up until about 9 PM, you'll want to get there before 9 to score $6 all-you-can-eat-wings (this is not a joke, and they are good wings too) - and it is upstairs in the Hog Den private party room (which has it's own bar!).

The Fat Boyz Open Mic substitutes for Cactus Joe's Open Mic during the off season (through the end of May). My open mic starts Wednesday June 2 from 7 to 10 PM at Brink Lounge in Madison WI, and you'll want to attend the first one of those because that is when we will be scheduling the musical slots for the rest of the Wednesdays of the summer through the end of August.

Yes, of course you can schedule a summer Wednesday slot with me before June 2 via E-MAIL or by simply commenting below. It's first come first served, but there will be NO WALK INS for my open mic this summer (Brink Lounge policy). Sadly, we tried that last year and it was a disaster. On the up side, time slots will be 30 minutes in length, so you can really shine. I'll even give you an hour if you really want it. But you need to convince me you will bring in at least 10 people. Brink likes to make some money...

But that has no bearing in tonight's fun at Fat Boyz, so come on down!



Won't You Help Me Save Fat Boyz (Fort Atkinson WI) Wednesday Open Mic?

Hi Music Lovers and Providers.

We have a situation!

Hog Pen/Fat Boyz (Fort Atkinson WI) open mic host Mario has been valiantly hosting an open mic night every Wednesday from 8-11 PM.

Notwithstanding $6 all-you-can-eat chicken wings, attendance has been light lately.

This will not stand! I realize we are in a downer economy and cultural illiteracy is at an all time high.

These are not legitimate excuses.

That's why I have decided to combine forces with Mario and help him save his open mic from THE MAN, who would like to shut down this awesome live music venue just to save a few pennies.


Let's let THE MAN know exactly what we think about that.

CACTUS JOE'S OPEN MIC will go "mobile" on Wednesday April 14. We will hold it in conjunction with Mario's Hog Den Open Mic Night at Fat Boyz (upstairs) in Fort Atkinson WI from 8-11 PM.

If the $6 all-you-can-eat chicken wings are not enough incentive for you, then do it for the troops, or the children, or the old ladies, or boosting your own ego,...I don't care.

Just be there!

Car pooling is available for the Madison folks if they want to meet at my house in Cambridge on the way. Be here by 7 PM if you want to share a ride. Otherwise, be at Fat Boyz in Fort Atkinson WI by 8 PM.

We can do this!




Cactus Joe's Americana Music Download is Just $1 (this week only...)

Hi Friends!

I'm feeling saucy.

So in honor of MUSIC MONDAY (it's a Twitter thing), I decided to make my album Cactus Joe's "Inspirado" available for download IN IT'S ENTIRETY for just $1 (11 of my best songs of 2007).

And it will be so for this entire WEEK! (but only this week...unless I feel saucy next week.)

Visit www.cdbaby.com/cactusjoe to preview it and download it for just a buck!

Also, if you download it and leave a written review of the record on CD BABY, I will give you a free AUTOGRAPHED copy of the actual CD (while supplies last, so don't delay!).


GUPPY EFFECT (unplugged)

Hi Everyone.

After GUPPY EFFECT band practice today, we decided to go bowling. However, it was league play, so we couldn't get a lane. Instead we played shuffleboard and darts, both just as fun, and cheaper too - although the money saved went to buy more drinks, which our kidneys turned into urine. So essentially we pissed the money away, however you want to look at it.

But after we got back from the bowling alley, we decided to throw a COUCH CONCERT for my roommate Matt.

Here are some highlights.

1. GUPPY EFFECT (unplugged) performs "(Make the Water) Bubble" (original) by CACTUS JOE

2. GUPPY EFFECT (unplugged) performs "Wicked World" by Black Sabbath

3. GUPPY EFFECT (unplugged) performs "Robots" by Flight of the Conchords

Visit www.guppyeffect.com for more on GUPPY EFFECT and their music.


Beth Kille

Beth Kille is an up and coming singer/songwriter from Madison WI who performed at the COUCH CONCERT on Monday 3/8/10.

If you missed it, here are some performance highlights...

Beth's MySpace Site: www.myspace.com/bethkille

SUBSCRIBE TO THE COUCH CONCERTS and be alerted whenever a new show is posted.

CLICK HERE to SUBSCRIBE or to RSVP a live show.

We are going to have some killer musicians on here in the coming months. Don't miss out.*

*Although you can always bookmark this site and visit any time to catch up on live music shows you may have missed.


Cactus Joe's Song of the Day - "Mammal" by They Might Be Giants


It's Fat Tuesday. That doesn't have much bearing on my song selection for today's recital.

I just really like They Might Be Giants, and I always wanted to learn this song, but never got around to it.

Not many bands can do science themes in songs well. THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS do.

In fact, they even have an album called "Here Comes Science" that is all about SCIENCE: http://bit.ly/6HsTO

You probably heard about it on NPR.

"Mammal" is not on the science album; it is on APOLLO 18. If you like my rendition, you can download TMBG's original version in mp3 format here: http://bit.ly/dpe68M

Keep in mind that I fully intend to perform the SONGS I learn for this blog at my live shows. If you want to come to a show, visit www.cactusjoeonline.com to find out where I will be rocking.

Vote for Madison's BEST at the Madison Area Music Association Awards

Hi Everyone!

The FIRST ROUND OF VOTING for the Madison Area Music Association Awards is now open.

Visit www.themamas.org if you want to have a voice in deciding the future of the Madison WI music scene by voting. Numerous categories, artists, and bands to choose from, including BORDERLANDS, CACTUS JOE, PEOPLE BROTHERS BAND, and GUPPY EFFECT.

Cactus Joe was honored to be nominated for BEST BASSIST in Madison WI. Maybe he is and maybe he isn't. But you have the VOTE, so you decide!

It costs $5 to be eligible to vote in every round up until the finalists are chosen. The donation goes to area schools to help fund their music programs and groom the next generation of ROCKERS in Madison WI.

So you really can't go wrong in VOTING.

Thanks in advance.


Cactus Joe's Song of the Day - "Better" by Flood Romeo


I realize you probably never heard of this band.

Flood Romeo was an indie rock band from Sioux Falls, SD in the late 90s. I chanced upon them because I played in a band with their soon-to-be drummer, Darren Matthes, in the mid-90s.

I always thought their song writing was excellent, and I was sad when they broke up in 1998 after releasing their only album "A Sugar-Coated Truth," which is no longer in print (I own a rare signed copy...).

So this cover of their song "Better" is a tribute of sorts.

Toby Kane and Dan Anderson, the principle song writers for FLOOD ROMEO, went on to form the TOBY KANE BAND. So if you like my rendition of this song, check out the TOBY KANE BAND at www.myspace.com/tobykaneband.

See you tomorrow.


Cactus Joe's Song of the Day - "Alison" by Elvis Costello


I have always liked this song and wanted to learn it.

No better time than Valentine's Day, since it's a nostalgic love ballad.

I'm told I sound a lot like Elvis Costello live, so I'd love to know what you think.

Comment on this post below.

Quick link to the song by the original artist: http://bit.ly/drtOYl


Cactus Joe's Song of the Day - "Classico" by Tenacious D

WARNING: Explicit lyrics. Do not play when THE MAN is near.

I had a belated New Year's Resolution to write and/or learn a song each day, largely inspired by FAWM's "14 Songs in 28 Days" challenge.

So I decided to video tape my "recital" of each song after I learn it and post on YouTube. I will post these videos here in between couch concerts. SUBSCRIBE to get notices when I post.

Today I learned "Classico" by Tenacious D, a song I have always wanted to learn.

Quick link to the original song by The D: http://bit.ly/9IMDJg


Cactus Joe's Cambridge Open Mic - Next Show = Feb 3, 2010

Hi All!

Cactus Joe's Cambridge Open Mic went successfully on Wednesday 1/6/10 and we produced the show on Saturday 1/9/10 (my birthday!). It should start broadcasting on Cambridge Cable Access really soon, if it hasn't already.

What channel is Cambridge Cable Access, you ask? I have no idea. I don't have cable because I have no time to watch TV. But my roommate Matt does, and so if anybody needs to know and can't look it up E-MAIL ME and I will ask him.

That all said, my open mic will be held monthly on the FIRST WEDNESDAY of each month. The next one is Wednesday 2/3/10 from 7-9 PM at the Amundson Center, 200 Spring St, Cambridge WI 53523.

I have one confirmed performer for that night and I seek 2-3 more to come and perform for the TV show. You get 15 minutes or 3 songs, and it all gets included in the show, along with a link to your web site, MySpace, Facebook, or whatever you want.


Cactus Joe's Open Mic in 2010

Hi All.

We are going to make a heroic effort to get CACTUS JOE'S OPEN MIC going strong in 2010. You can help my attending and/or performing.

We found a great venue: Amundson Community Center, 200 Spring St, Cambridge WI.

It will be held on the FIRST Wednesdays of every month from 7-9 PM, starting Wednesday 1/6/09.

The next one is Wednesday February 3, 2010.

Doors open at 6:30 PM. A small PA for vocals will be available, but you must bring most of your own gear.


Time slots will be 15 minutes or 3 songs, whichever comes first, and there will be a sign up sheet available on site.

It will be filmed for CABLE ACCESS TV, and edited down to a 30 minute or 60 minute episode, depending on the turnout and performances.

Now that we have our own public venue, it can be TOTALLY AUTONOMOUS and not at the whims and discretions of venue owners, bless their hearts.

I am still doing COUCH CONCERTS at my home, as a separate entity. These can be scheduled any time. Just E-MAIL ME to set one up.

You perform a few songs on my living room couch, then I produce a public YouTube video of it for the world and you can use it as you see fit. It's a sweet deal.