12.03.2016

Punk Rock Outing Takes Unexpected Turn

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Contact: Joe Leonard, ragbraijoe@yahoo.com

MADISON WI, December 3, 2016 - The planned outing by Cactus Joe, Deborah, Sherry, and Tyler to see a slew of punk rock bands at the Crystal Corner was unexpectedly sidetracked by financial instability earlier this evening.

"Sherry told me it was a $7 cover," Cactus Joe said. "I guess I sort of knew that, but it seemed less important earlier in the week when my wallet was fatter."

The group of friends had just attended a social dinner at the El Dorado Grill with a large gathering of bike enthusiasts.

"The place was a little overpriced," Deborah said. "So I think the pricetag made us all feel a bit more frugal when we discussed our options at the coffee shoppe before the punk rock show. I didn't even know there was a cover."

The group instead had an enjoyable and lively discourse at the Chocolaterian coffee shoppe and bakery.

"The dark chocolate flourless nut cookies were amazing," Deborah said. "I could have eaten everything in the place, but luckily more level heads prevailed."

Deborah ended her period of Atkins dieting today and was thus free to do whatever the hell she wanted.

"It's her life," said Cactus Joe, who sources say did take a single but substantial bite of the aforementioned confection. "She can do whatever she wants."

12.02.2016

Analysis: Weekend Looks to be Chillaxed and Fun

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Contact: Joe Leonard, ragbraijoe@yahoo.com

MADISON WI, December 2, 2016 - With only about a month and a half to go before the existential crisis that will pretty much destroy humanity, an analysis of trends leading up to this weekend suggests it should be a pretty chillaxed and fun time.

"I have a rare weekend off from any substantial music gigs," said Cactus Joe, who conducted the analysis. "No band shows. No open mics to host. The only quasi-responsibility I have is to rehearse a couple songs for the open jam at Funks Pub that I'll go to on Sunday night. But that's a really low stress relaxed environment and I enjoy concluding my weekend there with some good music and a couple pints."

Critics point out that Cactus Joe will still be on his fortnight of Atkins dieting as of jam time on Sunday night, and thus cannot imbibe beer while remaining within the boundaries of this low carb, high fat/protein dietary regimen.

"Yeah, that's a bit of a bummer," Cactus Joe said. "But I was just speaking generally, not specifically. I don't need to drink beer to have a good time, although it does make other people more tolerable. But this Atkins diet has shown some significant effects on my waistline and some people are noticing I'm thinner, so I don't want to screw it up. Hopefully, the free appetizers that Funks serves up for everyone during the jam will have some Atkins friendly selections. There was a marinated pork shoulder last Sunday that was...mmmmm...to die for."

Deborah Montgomery, soul mate and life partner of Cactus Joe noted one caveat that could disrupt the weekend's predicted platitude.

"We really need to rake the leaves in the backyard before it snows," Montgomery said. "And by 'we' of course I mean Joe..."

The weekend fun begins tonight when Cactus Joe returns home from Uber driving and goes to the gym.

"I'm hoping Deborah wants to work out tonight," he said. "It's funner to go to the gym with a workout partner. Maybe we'll go out for an Atkins friendly dinner somewhere after that. I need to squeeze an hour of piano practice in there somewhere."

Learning jazz piano is one of Cactus Joe's objectives for the 100 Day Challenge he is participating in as part of his Mastermind accountability group.

"I'm also learning Spanish and Welsh," Cactus Joe said. "I doubt I'll ever need to speak Welsh in my lifetime, but you know...what what if I did?"

On Saturday, Joe and Deborah will join good friends Sherry and Tyler for a social holiday dinner with the bike group that they occasionally rode with last summer and this will likely be followed by the four of them going to the Crystal Corner dive bar to spectate a slew of punk rock bands that are performing there.

"One of my Uber passengers is the drummer in one of the bands, No Hoax, and when he told me about the show, it sounded compelling," Cactus Joe said. "When he said he knew drummer Dano from EDDIE ATE DYNAMITE, the punk band I think I still play in, I was sold."

[Editor's Note: EDDIE ATE DYNAMITE, Wisconsin's classiest punk rock outfit, is currently on indefinite hiatus.]

Sources close to Cactus Joe said that he will spend a portion of Sunday in seclusion, mastering his martial art of ROCKNROLL FU (aka ROCK FU) for upcoming band performances against unknown musical adversaries (mostly music venue charlatans).

11.30.2016

MAKE MUSIC MADISON Showcase at High Noon Saloon Produces "Total Wank Fest"

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Contact: Joe Leonard, ragbraijoe@yahoo.com

MADISON WI, November 30, 2016 - "It's a total wank fest!" a musical colleague who shall remain unnamed yelled as she stood beside me on the stage at the High Noon Saloon. She was making reference to the 25+ minute musical "breakdown" jam that we were in the thick of at that moment (me on bass), along with several other musicians who were attending the MAKE MUSIC MADISON fundraiser event at the venue.

Upon further analysis, I similarly concluded that the chaotic maelstrom of music emanating from the stage was indeed a metaphor for orgiastic musical masturbation. Various performers were trading shredding solos on the two chord refrain of the albeit ironic song "Don't Be a Dick," composed collectively by several local collaborating musicians. The song encourages listeners to refrain from such dickish and douchebaggy behaviors as being mean to people or driving aggressively.

"It took 18 hours for us to record this song," said Mark Fairchild, drummer and co-writer of the so-called Dick Song seconds before the roughly 8 to 10 musicians on stage busted into the tune. "Which is way longer than it should ever take to record one song. Here we go...a one, two, three, four..."

Prior to the group Dick Song performance, several local musicians had performed short sets on the stage to help raise funds for MAKE MUSIC MADISON, a city wide music event that takes place every year on the summer solstice, June 21 (a Wednesday in 2017, for anyone interested in participating or spectating). The Dick Song was principally sung by one Kelsey Miles, with backing vocals by other musicians on stage. The KELSEY MILES BAND performed the spectacular headlining set of the evening that people can't stop talking about according to unnamed sources.

I have no idea how much money was raised for MMM 2017, but I can tell you the $10 suggested donation at the door was a great value for the music provided in return. The bands were paid in vouchers for free slices of pizza and, supposedly, six packs of good beer (as of this writing unconfirmed).