Monkbot Revisits Austin



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


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.


Jan and Monkbot at Stubb’s


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


Monkbot on boulder


Monkbot chillin’ on the rock


Monkbot on rappel

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


24 Responses to “Monkbot Revisits Austin”

  1. bamaborntxbred Says:

    It’s so good to see Monkbot’s shining smile again!

    Jan- It’s sounds like you guys really bonded this summer. You really showed MB a good time. I especially love the pics of the little guy rappelling. What a brave monkey!

    Shelley- Thank you for continuing to host the MB’s adventures!! I miss your writing, your humor (liberally dosed with sarcasm) and the day to day “touching base”!

  2. Laurita Says:

    Wow, what a huge and wonderful surprise to get the email version of this post in my inbox today πŸ˜‰

    Very cool story and photos, Jan – thanks for all your efforts!

    Reminded me of how great it was to see the Drive-By Truckers in San Francisco on May 8th, the night before Taylor rocked the Warfield (soon out on DVD hopefully!)
    We met Taylor/El SeΓ±or Monkbot and Ted/alltheanswers when they came for the last half of the show, and I also got to hang out with the manager for DBT while he worked the sound boards – he was such a sweet ole southern guy and gave me two of their CDs too!

    Hope all is well with you, Shelley! Wondering what’s been happening with your house hunt, life, work, family, etc. Would love to get a quarterly upate from you here if you’d be up for it…

    Take good care…

  3. patty cee Says:

    i heart monkbot! lol

  4. jenfera Says:

    Aww, what fun!! Good job, Jan!

    ~~sniff, sniff… getting all sentimental for the old dayz ~~

  5. rowan Says:

    Aww, lovely to see the wee guy again! “Rappelling” is a new word for me. (Love a new transatlantic word.) We call it abseiling.

    Jan, you are a brave woman. I am glad when bus drivers lower the hydraulic step for an elderly person exiting in front of me, so I am not faced with the foot-high jump into oblivion.

    Shelley, I echo all requests for updates on how things are going for you! Thanks for the great TM thread, which has given us really fab insights into eachother’s worlds. Hope he continues on his travels!

  6. Shelley Says:

    Since we’re back for the day…I might as well go whole hog…

    Rowan gets the Official Prize of the Day for this little jewel…

    I am glad when bus drivers lower the hydraulic step for an elderly person exiting in front of me, so I am not faced with the foot-high jump into oblivion.

  7. bamaborntxbred Says:

    Ooh nice POTD Shelley!!

  8. bjewel Says:

    Austin! Jan! MonkBot….I’m homesick. 😦

  9. Connie8 Says:

    Hi Shelley and everyone! I just stopped by “just in case” and “hopin'” I’m so pleased to see the new entry and really enjoyed the Monkbot’s latest adventure. I miss you guys.

  10. Jan Says:

    I miss this blog and all of you very much.

    Monkbot will continue on his travels for some time to come. I can’t wait to hear about his next adventure.

  11. rowan Says:

    Aw thanks, Shelley! Hee hee! I wake up bleary and frowsy to find a smiling George Clooney to cheer me up. Yer most kind. (You rawk, in fact.) Okay George…seeing as you are here, you can start on the mountainous ironing pile while I get my wake-up tea.

    So nice to be here again, Shellz.

  12. ruhappytoseeme Says:

    oh this was GREAT! thanks for a fun post, I so missed you guys! the one pic of monkbot on the rock looks like hes praying (I dont wanna fallllllll) LOL
    when I first saw the email I was sooo excited, even tho I wasnt a huge poster I always read and enjoyed this blog.
    Shelly I sure hope all is well on the house hunt and everything else! I hope you have more time now to do what you need to do and also to do what you want to do πŸ™‚
    Hugs to all, I would stay and chat more but I had back surgery 2 weeks ago and im hurting a lot still, oh but btw my first granddaughter was born on july 30 6lbs 7 ounces and shes a beautiful little one, if youd like to see pictures of her heres a album I made on a site called care2 (maybe some of you know what that is?) I hope I can put a link here, its not anything but a photo albulm (has my real name on it even lol cause care2 is a site you go to to try and help the enviorment, animals and people, cant use a fake name or the signatures on the petitions wont count.
    hugs to all, hope you have a great week!

  13. Quossum Says:

    Wow!!! Good to see that TM is up to his tricks still. Jan, glad you could show him more of Austin than the fairgrounds.

    Shelley, it was a happy day when I checked here and saw a new post. Be sure to share some of your exploits with us, if possible. We miss you!!! πŸ˜‰


  14. ivoryhut Says:

    Yay! So happy to see a new post here! Jan, I almost wish I were a little portable Monkbot so I could ask you to take me to all those shows. I might, however, get dizzy and nauseous up on a rock or in a cave, so I should probably make sure I stuff my monkey suit with some travel wipes.

    Shelley!!! So so nice to see you online. That made my day. πŸ™‚ Thinking of you always makes me smile.

    And Rowan always cracks me up. Heh.

    Hi everyone! Hope you’re all doing well.

    PS ru, congrats on the little one!

  15. Dr. Bob Says:

    Hi everyone!!

    Jan, fabulous, fabuous job. The harness was an inspired touch. And the videophone. And the concert. You did TM proud, baby, proud. I like the nonchalance with which you discuss hanging off the sides of a cliff.

    Ivory, I can get you one of my patented “volmit kits” — as the mom of a sort of perpetually carsick five-year-old, I gotcha covered.

    Rowan — a well-deserved POTD. Very funny indeed. I have a mental image of you clinging to the handrail, a bit woozy, foot reaching out for the step.

    ru — congrats on the little one — joy abounds, does it not?

    Shelley!!! Thanks for posting. What a very nice thing to find in my inbox. It was great. Hope that all is going well for you. You made my day, which needed serious help, I might add.

  16. rowan Says:

    Dr Bob – yeh, that’s me in a nutshell. Rowan, Vertigo Woman!

    Was just going to post about how cool Monkbot’s harness is, and the videophones, but Bob has got there first. I am seconding from afar. There is an undercurrent of deep hilarity about the wee purple rope tied around Monkbot – suppressed hilarity, cos if I give out the laugh it deserves, I will wake the kids, it being after 11pm.

    Jan, do those groovy phones have a night-sight, for revealing the vague and blearly forms of peeps in other time-zones? Quite like the idea of appearing all ghostly and midnight blue, with skeery reflective retinas. Even more skeery would be to be revealed as I actually do look in the wee small hours, in glorious technicolour in my Homer Simpson pjs. Think they may have been intended for men, but they were on sale. The sugar pink”Hello Kitty” ones alongside them, which might require a “volmit kit” only came in a size 4, and had thin shoulder straps, which kinda renders the whole pj volume-experience null and void. Nightwear ought to envelop and not dig in. Just sayin. Oh, and cover more than one leg.

    I think I would like a videophone.

    Women are not good at expressing their needs.

    I so really need a videophone.

  17. rowan Says:

    Would like to wish all you fab Monkbotesses a great weekend. Good tae see ye!

  18. Jan Says:

    Dr. Bob: The faux harness for Monkbot was an inspired moment. I crawled up on the rock with Monkbot in tow. My niece and nephew were climbing up with me which was a bit scary at least for the 6 year old. Those pictures crack me up. Really.

    The Parliament show was quite an adventure. I was within a few feet of the stage with Monkbot in tow. I shot some crappy video footage that also cracks me up.

    Rowan: The video phones are not really available to home use. You need a Cisco Call Manager and all kinds of stuff. They are really cool though. You should see the telepresence rooms we have. It’s amazing. You go into a conference room with three huge plasma screens and have a meeting with people anywhere in the world and they are looking at you life sized. It’s pretty damn cool.

  19. rowan Says:

    Jan – wowzers! Hmmm…I think I’d want to opt for the ‘telepresence head on a stick’ approach, or preselect my own bespoke body and meeting outfit from a cyber menu. Could power-dress and lose pounds and get flattering up-to-date specs just at the click of a mouse. Yo!

    The phones are mighty cool. It must be a really interesting place to work!

  20. Sunny Says:

    Glad to see you’re back. Austin will do that to a gal – and her Monkbot. Viva la 6th Street and Emo’s. Barton Springs, ‘rocks’ too. πŸ˜‰

  21. texastaylorfan Says:

    Ooooooo, I’m at boogie today, and Gray is there, and Shelley is there, and it is so much fun, and someone said Shelley’s “semi-retired” blog, and I thought “semi-retired? could it be?” and I ran over here, and pulled it up, and, and, and HERE you are! Semi-retired! What a great surprise!
    Now I’ll settle down and read the Austin adventures of little monkbot with a big, goofy smile on my face.
    (And I know this doesn’t mean daily posts, but…..I’ll take every once in a while!)
    So glad to see you today.

  22. Jan Says:

    Rowan: telepresence head on a stick is freaking hilarious. I think that would really increase productivity. Many of us have video cams attacted to our computers at work and video phones but we don’t use them much just because, who want people to see that they are wearing a Beers of Belgium shirt and all the clutter in their office?

    Sunny: Austin is a great place to be. ACL Fest!!! I have a few people coming to visit to see the show. They don’t know it yet but I got us tickets to see Bob Dylan at Stubbs. I figure I can sell the tickets if they aren’t interested but seeing Bob Dylan at a 2200 person venue is not going to happen often. I saw James Brown, Parliament, Willie Nelson, and My Morning Jacket in the same venue.

  23. texastaylorfan Says:

    It’s so good to read a new post on this blog. I’ve missed it. Are you missing it at all?
    Jan, you did a great job showing Monkbot Austin — such a cool city.
    Hope to have another update before toooooo terribly long.

  24. sideways721 Says:

    Still have this as a favorites link, so decided to try it today.
    Read the recap on BB, and nice to see the Monkbot enjoying the sites of Austin. (Does Monkbot scrapbook? I have some cool stickers, cut-outs etc. )

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