2247 Guadalupe, 475-6515
The Cactus Cafe is somewhat of an
anomaly in the Austin music scene, as
the artists that grace its stage are often
larger than the club itself. Tucked in the
Student Union building on the University
of Texas campus (it can be a bit difficult to
find, but just ask any passing student),
the Cactus has been a haven for
singer-songwriters and folkies since it
opened its doors in 1975. The intimate
room (capacity 156) regularly features
major-label talent and developing artists.
National treasures and true Texans like
Lyle Lovett and Nanci Griffith played the
Cactus in the fledgling stages of their
careers, and legends such as Townes
Van Zandt played the club on a regular
basis up until the end (R.I.P. Townes).
Other notables that have walked through
its doors include Graham Parker, Iris
DeMent, the Cowboy Junkies, Richard
Buckner, Steve Forbert, and literally
hundreds of others.
Befitting the musicians who play there,
the Cactus has quietly established an
impeccable reputation over the years
among both artists and patrons, and the
small setting virtually guarantees
laid-back, loose, and friendly
performances. About the only drawback to
the Cactus is that any background noise
in the room (incidental chatter, etc.) is
unusually audible, but the crowds are
typically mild-mannered, and for proximity
to the performer, the place can't be beat.
Tickets are almost always sold at the
door only. As part of the university, the
Cactus is subject to a few quirks: If
it'snear finals time, forget about parking,
and at Christmas, the Cactus takes its
holiday break just like the students.
Finally, and this is a bonus for some
while a pain in the ass for others, the
Cactus Cafe is a smoke-free club, as is
every university building. So, if you want a
butt, you have to step out on the back
porch. If it makes you feel any better, so
do the performers. – Michael Bertin
UPCOMING LISTINGS AT CACTUS CAFE
Carson McHone, Ben Ballinger, Jake Paleschic
Thu., Sept. 1, 8:30 p.m.
Emily Clibourn, Silverfox Ln.
Fri., Sept. 2, 8:30 p.m.
Thu., Sept. 8, 8:30 p.m.
Fri., Sept. 9, 8:30 p.m.
Adam Torres, Thor & Friends
Sat., Sept. 10, 8:30 p.m.
The Campbell Brothers
Mon., Sept. 12, 8 p.m.