|<< May 06'|
June finds bnf still in Austin and lovin it!! We celebrated five years of bnf / simple living on May 18, '06 which is the date we left the last foundation based home we may ever live in. Since May 18, '01 we had not lived in one place longer than three months until we arrived back in Austin in Oct '05. We're just not chomping at the bit to leave.
When we got here in October we renamed our BNFamily project to FamiliesRock with the help of the ExtremeFamily. As Families Rock we got some equipment, threw some rock shows, developed the production ideas, and cut a deal with some mall space that fell apart due to insurance underwriters being terrified of kids, parents, and music together under the name of 'Families Rock'. Apparently it's so much safer litigiously to keep kids and parents separated as in Chuck E Cheese, church, school, and >21 nightclubs. Then we learned there is 'special' insurance for competitive industries such as bowling, skating, golfing, etc... God forbid we try to bring some parents and kids together with 'rock' music.
Frustrated and cynical? No. Just more determined than ever to 'Live within the tension'... to create our American Dream while living within theirs. We're thinking maybe a pizza joint to talk their talk and accomplish our goals. In the meantime, June became research, musician relationships, and collecting some cash.
So if you're paying attention ~ we're not musicians, rather 'professional fans' (can't be denied our pro-fanity). That said, our latest hero died last month at 56 of a heart attack. Clifford Antone is credited to starting the Austin music scene through his blues club, Antones. Cliffs club is one of the last that still lets the kids in to see some great and real music (a real 'all ages' venue). Most 'all ages' venues gawk when you show up with kids.
Clifford Antone's life celebration took place Saturday June 3, '06 at the Palmer Events Center. It was magical. In the picture below, Sugar Bear (exiting right) had just announced Jimmie Vaughan. Sugar Bear was Antones stage guy forever and Jimmie Vaughan is Stevie Ray's brother who both got their 'start' at Antones back in the 70s.
Clifford was there.
So if Armageddon happens tomorrow (written 6/5/06), we're happy in knowing that Clifford is with us and waiting for us in a better place. And since Armageddon didn't happen, nyah nyah nyah. (thief in the night people, wake up right now and be ready to know that you lived the best life possible. right now. just do it... do it... do it...).
We're hanging with Jimmie Vaughan backstage right now! Wow. Do it.
After Clifford's celebration we headed over to hear one of Austin's finest country rock bands ~ Texas Radio! They jam like rock stars and have an authentic rock n roll sound that makes it impossible to stay in your seat. Not to mention they are real cool to hang with after the show! We always enjoy their show and the kids are crazy about them. True barenaked material... That's Steve Powers, Brant McClelland, and Clayton Pulley (drums).
As we were slaving away countless hours on the websites in the RV we finally reached that computer daze where we couldn't even see straight (FamiliesRock has become a listing of shows the kids can 'get in' with parents ~ finding and listing shows like this is work... good work). Feeling completely drained and exhausted, Jenn thought all we need right now is a Guy Forsyth show...hmmm...We ended up finding some obscure listing for a Guy show that we had not found before...Coincidence...I don't think so...The show was hosted by Myspace and was a road tour of up and coming artists including the band above featuring a very inspiring chick on bass (Kesley's instrument of choice).
The Guy Forsyth Band (Josh Gravelin, Rob Hooper, Guy Forsyth, and Colin Brooks). What was great about the performance was the energy that was just oozing off of Guy Forsyth after returning from a trip to West Texas. He had the most humble presence we have seen yet and it reminded us no matter the amount of work you do, don't forget about your passion. What makes you happy. Sounds simple, but many of us get caught up and let the important things slip. It seems that for a long time now we have let some of our passions slip and have been stuck on survival mode and this night helped in a big way to change that. The sun was setting, Guy was playing, and the energy was transformed into passion again in our heads and in our hearts. We literally had a huge discussion over this show about what needed to change for us and felt like we were able to make it happen. Now that's a great show, ya'll. Hollah like a bitch!! Whooo-HOOO!
We took the kids over to the world famous Continental Club for a rare all ages happy hour show with Gary Clark, Jr. The kids have always heard us talk about this club as one of the coolest venues to go in Austin for drinks and live music. They were impressed with Gary Clark Jr. and his band but couldn't resist the power of the pool table in the back. Classy. At least they're cheap dates...
Months ago we heard that one of our all time favorite rock stars, and I mean ROCK STAR, Sammy Hagar was coming to town! On top of it, the tickets were only $10 for the lawn seats! This was one of those 'don't get stuck on work and survival and forget about the things that make you happy' moments so we decided to go ahead and buy the five Family tickets to this show. Going to this show meant a lot to us since last year when we were in Monterey, CA working harder than ever and Sammy's music was an inspiration to live our dreams while we were there. There were times we darn near packed it all up and headed to Cabo because we were so burned out. We even bought the small sample bottle of Sammy's Cabo Tequila since we couldn't spend the fifty dollars on the big bottle and used it to make some drinks when we felt like quitting. Yep, we drank when we felt discouraged! And it felt fine. Actually it helped remind us if you want Cabo, then get Cabo. If you want anything, then just go get it. We still have our little empty bottle and it reminds us of where we have come from when we look at it. Sammy reminded us that we can do what ever we want, so do it...just do it...do it do it... Right Now. He is the coolest example of creating life the way you want it. We felt great about purchasing the tickets and rewarding ourselves with this show. And of course, we tried to Pro-Fan it before the show finding the backstage area, but this venue was tight!
Though we only paid $10 for our tickets, we got upgraded to $50 seats real quick using our Pro-Fan strategies. We eventually got even closer to the stage and settled for some awesome seats for the rest of the show. (simply making friends with the ushers). Will you just look at Sammy! Hell yeah!
Sammy performed his music in the first set with his band 'The Wabos' and the second set with Michael Anthony from Van Halen as 'The Other Half'. They performed Van Halen songs together and totally rocked Right Here, Right Now with a guitar solo replacing the keyboard parts and Sammy pleading on the floor for people to just do it.. do it do it...live your dreams...This made our night and by far was the most memorable part of the show! We just went crazy and danced through the whole row of seats we scored, arm in arm as a Family of five living and loving some real Rock n Roll!
Sammy brought his Cabo San Lucas club (Cabo Wabo) with him on tour and set up not only the stage but the outside of the concert venue with donkey rides, mariachis, dunking booths, kid slides, free Cabo Wabo tequila shots...The stage was set up as a cantina with about 100 of the fans up there during the whole show! He spent a lot of the show signing autographs on stage for people who would throw stuff up there, then he'd throw it back into the audience. He also threw out tequila drinks into the audience while performing! This guy knows how to rock, cause you know there really is only one way to rock.
Check out his recent inspiring interview where he contrasts bitching about problems and creating solutions... He creates solutions to help make people happy. "if I had solutions for brain cancer, that's what I'd do...".
solutions for fun...
Michael Anthony did his famous bass solo and got the crowd going wild. He really is a madman with the bass and the kids now do an impression of him with their bass in the RV. Not too impressive in small spaces, but funny anyway. The kids were happy to see one of the original members of Van Halen and hear him play the old stuff. They are huge Van Halen fans after seeing The Atomic Punks, an early Van Halen Tribute Band (Roth era), in Los Angeles ~ and now they don't think dad's so stupid since he's freaked on Van Halen from day 1.
The kids dug the confetti cannons that kept blasting through out the show! It was so cool to watch all the confetti fall to the ground over the audience through the concert lighting. The show was great and we were so pumped afterwards that we got to see such a production! We walked around the venue trying to find a place to get backstage, but couldn't. It was so nice to go to this show and feel inspired by someone like Sammy. The kids loved him, we all rocked out, and were grateful for him and a great show! Even if we didn't get backstage. This time.
The Rolling Alaskans contacted us through the guestbook a few months ago and came through Austin to see their Family. They called us and asked to get together with them so off we were on another Family internet date! They are a Family from Alaska RV traveling with their kids making the decision to grow closer and build great relationships with their Family instead of working it all away. They have seen how crazy Family life has become and how we have all been led to believe that's the way it should be. They left it all behind. Good for them for creating their own American Dream! Eventually they are heading out on a sailboat to sail around South America. Funny thing is they have never done something like this before so it will be all new to them. They are rebuilding a sailboat and when it's done they are out! Their Family was so cool to be with and we were glad they came out! The kids got along great and played all day long. They are a true inspiration to what Family life can be.
We took them to see our friend Guy Forsyth perform at the lake after we had been swimming all day. They were so impressed with him and enjoyed his show while having some great dinner! The kids let loose on the dance floor and had a ball. The sunset was incredible.
It's really cool to see so many Families realizing that they can do anything they want. We've been blessed through this website to meet and connect with so many of them. They are shedding stuff in order to spend more time together as a Family. It's a beautiful thing to see people make these decisions to take back their lives knowing just how scary it can be to make such a change. There are not a lot of examples in this day and age for Families that want nothing more than to work, learn, and play together full time as a Family yet some remain so determined to make this transition from the expectation of more stuff (their american dream), to the satisfaction of less. Brilliant!
Sometimes they are doing it with cruel words hurled at them by others who don't understand why they make these choices. The pain that some Families go through to take back their Family time should not be taken lightly. These Families sacrifice everything they have worked for and built because they thought they were doing the right thing. They were taught that the American Dream is to accumulate and build and work and work and work at the sacrifice of the reason why... Family. In the middle of it all Family time has suffered being replaced with material and money. In order to make things right, Families are waking up to see that they can give their kids the chance to be raised in a functioning, loving Family. It doesn't have to be anyway in particular. We find what works even if it can't fit into a description others can get their heads around. Sometimes we just have to do what we know is right in our hearts.
Living Their American Dream is easy. That's what makes the decision of getting out of it all so special. If it were easy it wouldn't mean much now would it? The road less traveled. What better way to bring a Family closer than jumping off the edge, together. Hand in hand. All for one and one for all.
To all of the Families out there taking back your life: You are heroes. Pioneers. You are the stuff dreams are made of. You are the world. You are beautiful.
June 13 was Greg and Jenn's anniversary so we headed out to the place where the two of us (plus Austin in mom's belly) had our honeymoon dinner fourteen years ago! We were broke when we got married and broke once again 14 years later. Happy.
Then: we had $50 for the Justice of the Peace who also doubled as a feed store owner in a small Texas town; $5 gas money to Austin and back; and a $5 tip at the sunset capitol of Texas ~ The Oasis restaurant. We let the waitress know that it was our honeymoon and we couldn't afford dinner but knew that they served free chips and salsa with water so that's what we had. We left her the $5 we had for a tip and celebrated our honeymoon in a beautiful place. That honeymoon experience has always meant so much to us that we decided to spend our anniversary there this year in the same way...
Now: We were upgraded to free tea, water, chips and salsa plus we celebrated with our three kids on a bench with no waitstaff and no tip. Free but for the $50 in gas money to drive across town. Happy.
Happy 14th anniversary you sexy bitches.
Uncle Ern and our cousin Ashley invited us to go tubing on their boat and the kids were chomping to drop their ass and bend those knees with him again. He took Austin wakeboarding a few months ago and taught him the basics of perfecting wakeboarding ~ 'drop that ass and bend those knees.' Now that's all the kids say. Everywhere. That's Uncle Ern and that's why he is so fun.
Our cousin Ashley with Sunny, Austin, and Kesley right before Unlce Ern punched the gas and threw them off the back of the boat. Gotta love Uncle Ern!
Our friends Vallejo were playing at a new venue here in Austin (The Oaks) so we packed up the Family and went out to see them. They dig having Families at their shows and are well respected here in Austin for their positive attitude and great rock n roll music. It's nice to see a group of brothers and friends making music based on the principles of respect, Family, life, love, and passion. One of the most down to earth rock bands that we have ever known, these guys always grab the kids and embrace having them around. They often get the kids on stage after a show and let them jam on their equipment and give them drumsticks and guitar picks before hauling them off backstage to hang out. It's funny having to go find your kids backstage at a concert. 'A lot of people's kids are in there...' (Wayne's World).
Vallejo has supported FamiliesRock.org and has our sticker on some prime real estate!
Chilling on the river after Gregnando the Pool Gringo put in a full day at a new sub contractor gig he's got going on ~ repairing pools in high places during the day. Rocking out with Families Rock in the evening.
After we clean Gregnando the Pool Gringo up from a day at work, we take him out to sample some new bands like 'The Mother Truckers'! These guys blew us away and they loved seeing the young ones two stepping and swing dancing in the crowd. They promote their show as an all ages show which opens the door for kids to see some real music! And man, they delivered!
Teal and Josh took some time after the set to visit with the kids. The kids went crazy over this band calling them their new favorite band. The Mother Truckers won them over with their mean country rock version of Guns n Roses Paradise City medleyed with been caught stealing from Janes Addiction and followed by AC/DC TNT where Greg and Kes couldn't resist going in front of the stage for some daddy, daughter hair down headbanging. We were so happy to see such a cool couple doing what they do best, together. We are hooked on this band and will be seeing them more and more! Thursday nights at Contintental Club ya'll.
Earlier this year we met J.D. Fortune, the lead singer for INXS, at a local coffeehouse. We were sitting in a corner talking about all kinds of stuff in our life when J.D. saw the kids and came over and introduced himself. Before we knew it two hours had passed! We spent that time opening up with each other about our lives and beliefs while sharing all kinds of stories. He quickly became a friend even before we knew who he was. It was awesome finding out he was the singer for INXS after talking with him for awhile, thus making our friendship feel authentic instead of star struck. He exchanged his information with us and told us to call him in June because INXS was playing a concert here in Austin and he wanted us there with him. So we called him up and he asked us to meet him backstage. On the way out to the concert we caravanned with the opening band ~ Scott Stapp from Creed! The drum player was in the front seat and threw the 'rock on' hand to us!
When we got to the venue we waited for J.D.'s bus to arrive so we could hang with him again. We've all fallen in love with him and the new Switch CD and think of him as Family. He has been so generous sharing things with us like video games, clothes, books, and jewelry and even called us while on stage in Ohio. When his bus finally pulled in he was standing in the window waving to us while we are all were chomping at the bit to get to him. He stepped off the bus and waved us down past the security guards to come see him! We threw our arms around each other and hugged like crazy. It was like getting to see a Family member after being away from each other for awhile. In fact it was just like that, because he is easy to love and loved us back. He was excited to take us onto the bus and show us where he has been living all this time. On the bus we got to meet and spend some time with Kirk Pengilly and Tim Farriss, original INXS band members who were just chilling on the couches and recognized us from JD's conversations. JD gave us a tour of the bus showing us all the cool things on board and we sat on the couches talking with JD, Kirk, and Tim before being ushered off as VIPs to the backstage. We were also given comp tickets to the show and thoroughly enjoyed Scott Stapps performance from the front.
After Scott's performance we were asked backstage by the tour manager who let us know that JD thinks the world of us (wow!). Scott's band was coming off the stage and we learned that Scott had actually picked the band from Austin out of the local scene! We talked with the guitar player extensively (right) who bears a striking resemblance to Vallejo's Omar Vallejo so much so that Greg probably looked like an idiot when he first came off the bus and he was excited to see Omar. Greg got to explain the idiocy to him after his show...
We also talked with him about Scott and the media ~ as expected, Scott's a great guy from the people that know him and has been depicted wrongly in the media. Scott and his band's music and performance were PHENOMENAL!! His new music is great and his show was hi energy and well done. If you were into his Creed stuff (or just like killer rock music) ~ check out Scott's solo project and CD.
We were really treated like Family by the crew and the band. JD gave the kids all kinds of stuff he gathered from the road and introduced us to everyone backstage. We caught up with band and were invited to hang with them till they walked on stage. These guys have got to be the coolest guys in rock n roll! We managed to squeeze some personal uninterrupted time with J.D. to share the story of the very cool UnpluggedFamily that we love so much. We told him how much his song Afterglow means to our two Families and asked him to sign a picture we were planning on sending to them celebrating the life behind this song. He knew just what to write and made it special for us. He is one of the most selfless and thoughtful people we have ever met and feel fortunate to have him as such a great friend.
This is the piece of art the kids made for the UnpluggedFamily that J.D. signed for them. 'Dear Justis Live to remember, remember to live. Love, your friend in time J.D.'
Right before the band took the stage J.D. hooked Austin up with a big job for the opening of the show ~ dropping the Kabookie! That's right! The Kabookie is the giant curtain that goes up in front of the stage and drops at the opening of the show. Austin's job was to be on stage with the band behind the curtain and as it drops he pats the Kabookie forward keeping it off the equipment. When it's done he grabs a section of it with the other roadies and hauls it off the stage. Think Austin has a taste for the Kabookie. He was thrilled when he came off of the stage and even had an insightful little chat with J.D. onstage in the few seconds before the Kabokie dropped. Austin told us he looked back at J.D. on stage right before the show started and wished him luck. J.D. smiled and told Austin 'luck has nothing to do with it, there's no such thing as luck. It's what you create and put into it, what other's around you like friends, Family, and God believe in as well.' Then the curtain dropped and he kicked 4,000 fans ass for two hours and left them begging for more!!! That's who J.D. is. That's what he is all about. The real deal. A bona fide Rock Star. A Human Being.
In the dressing room backstage after the show, the whole Family was so high on life! J.D. gave us such an incredible evening filled with love and energy. He shared everything he had and so much more. He cares tons about Family that he makes sure we have everything we need. His life is filled with abundance that he has created and believed in for so long and has no problem opening up and sharing all he has with anyone. We are so proud of him and all that he has accomplished that he is truly one of our greatest friends we have ever had. We already miss him. Oh, and this picture was not intended to be a flipping off one, Jenn was in motion doing something else and well...forget it...no explanations...it was a great night...We love you J.D., Kirk, Tim, John, Andrew, Gary and all the touring crew that made this one of the most memorable nights of our life!
On our way out from the concert and the band on their way to some of the last shows before heading back to their homes! You can see all the goodies the kids scored out of J.D.'s closet! He loaded them up with all kinds of cool stuff they were thrilled to get! Thanks for everything J.D., amazing...
We immediately resolved to become a closer Family, updated our Family pic and our minivan stickers...
This at the hay maze in Marble Falls...
And this out of email (thanks Linda)
(we don't own a minivan but would soooo do this)
Now we leave June with the Guru's symbols of wisdom. We love Weed.
Apparently we are doing the right thing. Thanks Colton, you always come through.
July '06 Pictures >>