Archive for August, 2007

Monkbot Revisits Austin

August 20, 2007

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Helloooo! Anyone here? I’m blowing the dust off the blog to give an update on the Traveling Monkbot Project. Below is a write-up from Jan (of Soul Patrol Relief fame) who showed Monkbot some fun in Austin this summer. As some of you may remember, our little cymbal-clashing wanderer was in Austin once before…where he first met Taylor Hicks, thanks to Quossum. On his return visit, Jan made sure he met up with some other fine musicians. Read on…

Monkbot in Austin
By Jan Capps

Austin, TX, is the live music capitol of the world. Our motto is “Keep Austin Weird,” which people take pretty seriously around these parts. So, when I took Monkbot around Austin nobody seemed in the least bit surprised.

The first place I took Monkbot in Austin was Antone’s to see an acoustic Drive By Truckers show on their The Dirt Underneath tour. The smoke machine (yeah, like they used to use in dance clubs in the 80s) made all my pictures of the show suck. The flash reflected off the smoke so I didn’t get any decent shots of the Drive By Truckers. I did get a great t-shirt which you will see as my tale unfolds.

The song the tour was named after – Bulldozers and Dirt

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The Drive By Truckers performing live at Antone’s

Antone’s is the “home of the blues” in Austin. Clifford Antone did so much to bring great blues to this town. He passed away a bit over a year ago and we are still in mourning. Check out the DVD, “Antone’s Home of the Blues” to learn about his contribution to the music scene in Austin. You can rent it from Netflix.

Our next outing was to see George Clinton and the Parliament Funkadelic at Stubb’s BBQ which is another great historic venue. They have have great BBQ and great music. I carried Monkbot in a backpack and smuggled my camera in since cameras weren’t allowed. They were searching people so I was really lucky to get get some pictures of the show.

The last two shows that I saw at Stubb’s were sold out so I made my friends get there when the doors opened so that we could be close to the stage. Turns out that people didn’t show up until hours later so we just stood at the stage in the fairly empty venue like dorks until the rest of the crowd showed up. We had a good time hanging out and eating BBQ while we waited though so it was all good.

The show was great! Parliament came out and jammed for about 30 minutes before George Clinton joined them. They played for at least three hours. I can’t believe that I actually saw the Godfather of Soul and the Father of Funk in the same venue.

If you have never seen Parliament, I highly recommend that you do so. George Clinton likes to get the audience to chant stuff like, “If you ain’t gonna get it on, take your dead ass home” and “Free your mind and your ass will follow.” Those are pretty clean but I can’t say that about the rest of the chants. He can be downright raunchy so don’t take any children to see George Clinton or Parliament. There is something surreal about seeing a grown man performing in a diaper, another wearing a crown, and Sir Nose dirty dancing all while gettng your funk on.

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Jan and Monkbot at Stubb’s

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George Clinton and the Parliament Funkadelic

George Clinton and the Parliament Funkadelic – Atomic Dog

Strangely enough, they had a bring Monkbot to work day while Monkbot was visiting. What are the odds? Here is a picture of Monkbot checking out the latest video phones from Cisco Systems which is where I work.

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Monkbot Checks Out New Cisco VoIP Phones
Also, I took Monkbot on a tour of our lab.

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Monkbot Tours the Lab

My friend Melanie had her 40th birthday at a roller rink and Monkbot was there. I forgot how much fun it is to roller skate. We just took over the rink on a Saturday night. Everytime we went by the DJ booth, we screamed out a request for Blondie! Blondie Rules! Play Blondie!! It’s been many years since we had all roller skated so we were falling all over the place.

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MB and Jan rollerskating

My family came for a visit to see my new house. We took Monkbot hiking on the Greenbelt and swimming in Barton Springs (MB declined to swim). It had been raining so much in Austin and the river was flowing much more than normal. There were about 50 people there on a Friday afternoon. There was a guy playing a bongo which was really cool.

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Monkbot At Barton Springs

Our last grand adventure of the trip was climbing at Reimer’s Fishing Ranch with the family. We woke up to dark grey clouds that would have discouraged most people. We decided that we were going to the climbing area no matter how ominous the sky looked. We were optimistic and that optimism paid off. We all bouldered in the cave as we hiked in.

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Monkbot At Entrance To The Sex Cave at Reimer’s Fishing Ranch
We hiked to a wall with lots of beginner routes on it since I had the kids with me. Turns out that my nephew had outgrown his harness so I let my niece climb one route and then we went down to the river. I found a nice boulder with a great view and decided to let Monkbot give climbing a shot. It was pretty difficult with cymbals for hands so he decided to just check out the view and rappel.

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Monkbot on boulder

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Monkbot chillin’ on the rock

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Monkbot on rappel

Hanging out with Monkbot in Austin was so much fun! I can’t wait until the next time.