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DIVA NEWS ARCHIVE -- OCTOBER 2006


October 18, 2006

Super Indian Comic Book CoverSUPER INDIAN HITS THE AIRWAVES IN NOVEMBER!

Arigon's awesomely funny radio comedy to debut on Native Voice One satellite network!

THIS JUST IN: The latest edition of the Native American Public Telecommunications Newsletter has this exciting news. We're sure you'll want to tune in and check it out.

Celebrate Native American Heritage Month With A Three Course Feast For The Ear

The Native Radio Theater (NRT) Project presents three original radio plays, produced at a National Audio Theatre Festival workshop in West Plains, MO in June, 2006. Melba’s Medicine, written by Rose-Yvonne Colletta (Lipan-Mescalero Apache) features a Native Grandmother who hosts her own radio talk show and gives out sage advice. Super Indian by Arigon Starr (Kickapoo) is about an Indian with super powers and his side kicks General Bear and Diogi. THE Best Place to Grow Pumpkins by Rhiana Yazzie (Navajo) tells the story of a young girl who helps her grandfather fight his diabetes through a magical pumpkin patch. Funded by the Ford Foundation, NRT is a project of Native American Public Telecommunications and Native Voices at the Autry.

The hour-long special will be broadcast over Native Voice One (NV1) eight times during November. NV1--The Native American Radio Service distributes through the Public Radio Satellite System to Native American radio stations around the country. Listeners all over the world can hear it on the web at www.airos.org or www.nativeradio.org

Thursday, November 16 at 8 a.m., 1 p.m., 6 p.m. E.T.

Saturday, November 18 at 1 p.m. E.T.

Sunday, November 19 at 1 p.m. E.T.

Twice on Thanksgiving Day, November 23 at 8 a.m., 1 p.m., 6 p.m. E.T.

Saturday, November. 25 at 1 p.m.

Sunday, November 26 at 1 p.m.

In the coming days, we'll have a sneak preview of the "Super Indian" theme song that Arigon recorded in Los Angeles, plus casting news for the upcoming staged reading during the Native Voices Festival of New Plays on Saturday, November 4th. Lots of stuff happening here in Diva-Ville -- thanks for checking us out!


October 17, 2006

Arigon at Mother BearsTHE WHIRLWIND SEPTEMBER TOUR!

Arigon has returned from her road trips to Seattle, Portland, Nashville, Wisconsin and Iowa with tons of souvenirs, good times and stories.

HOT STUFF: Arigon is now writing a regular column with national newspaper NEWS FROM INDIAN COUNTRY. You can read her first column online here. She has a featured spot in each bi-weekly issue of the award-winning newspaper. Based in Hayward, Wisconsin, NEWS FROM INDIAN COUNTRY has been in business for over two decades and has the most accurate and current national Pow-Wow Calendar. If you're interested in subscribing to the newspaper you can either get their print or online edition. Check out their site at http://www.indiancountrynews.com for all the scoop. Tell them the Diva sent you!

The Diva has been one travelin' gal. During the month of September you might have caught site of her whisking past you in Seattle at Elliott Bay Books, singing for the kids at the Boys & Girls Club on the Tulalip Reservation, visiting with her friends Cathy, Sue and Mary Sue in Battle Ground, WA, stopping in at Warm Springs' radio station KWSO-FM, laughing at Elaine Miles' jokes at the Red Earth Performing Arts benefit in Seattle, browsing the shelves at Powell's Books in Portland, sitting in on a panel at the Americana Music Conference in Nashville, having breakfast with Richie & Lily Plass at Granma's in Oneida, Wisconsin, dropping by WOJB-FM in Hayward, Wisconsin and entertaining tribal members at the Meskwaki Settlement in Tama, Iowa. "Me and my suitcase are good friends," laughed Arigon. "It's always packed and ready to go at a moment's notice."

Lily Plass with the All Nations Cafe t-shirtMany exciting things happened, yet Arigon wanted to let fans of "The Red Road" one-woman play know that the "famous" t-shirt talked about in the play is NOW available.

"I've been wracking my creative brain to come up with a design for the shirt that was true to my vision. It took the creativity of my award-winning pal Lily Antone-Plass (Oneida) to come up with a winning design," smiled Arigon. "Lily and sat in her sewing studio and came up with an Eagle in flight and some funky cool lettering that became the All Nations Cafe t-shirt."

[That's Lily on the right -- she ain't smiling because she hates having her photo taken! She'll just have to get used to being a superstar. AAAY!]

For those of you who haven't seen the play yet, The All Nations Cafe is a fictional truck stop/diner in Sapulpa, Oklahoma. The t-shirt has become a cultural icon and is worn by the likes of John Lennon and Johnny Cash. In fact, the famous t-shirt draws in punk rocker Danny Dacron who comes to the All Nations just to experience the Cafe -- and Miss Verna Yahola.

If you're interested in owning your very own All Nations Cafe t-shirt, please drop us a line here at Starrwatcher Online. Lily stitches each of these up by hand and they're sure to be collector's items. "She even made a version of the design on an apron for my Mom," smiled Arigon.

carolyn dunnIf you'd like to see a photo of "the Apron" look no further. The lovely Carolyn Dunn-Anderson models the Apron at her shop in San Pedro, Mother Bear's Books.

Carolyn's store carries a number of Native crafts, jewelry and books, including all of Arigon's CDs. Carolyn also features Native entertainment on Thursday nights. This past Thursday, Arigon appeared with singer-songwriter Jamie Coon.

Arigon began her promotional tour in Seattle, Washington. "I had quite the agenda," she laughed. "I wanted to let folks know I have a new CD out -- but I also needed time to work on my latest project."

What is that project, you might ask? Well...it's the radio series "Super Indian" -- which is based on the 10-minute episode that Arigon wrote for the National Audio Theater Festival last June. Native Voices at the Autry, the Native Radio Project and the National Audio Theater's Sue Zizza will be helping Arigon bring her Reservation Super Hero, Hubert Logan, to life.

"Super Indian" is one of the projects selected for Native Voices at the Autry's Festival of New Plays during the weekend November 3-5. "The play will be presented with live actors and sound effects, much like radio from the olden days," said Arigon. You can be sure there will be some of Native Voices at the Autry's regulars and newcomers alike involved in the production. "There are a bunch of different parts -- and it will be interesting to see the final cast," Arigon mused.

"Super Indian" will eventually become a full-fledged comic book. As many of you know, Arigon is a long-time cartoonist and will be writing and drawing her own "book" soon. "I was really inspired visiting Comicon in San Diego this year," Arigon said. "There were so many different genres represented. There's gotta be a place for a Native American superhero." More news on "Super Indian" in the weeks to come!

Arigon with Robin CarneenWhile in Seattle, Arigon took a jaunt north and visited with her friend Robin Carneen. Robin works on the Tulalip Reservation (north of Everett, Washington) at the Boys & Girls Club. She has her own Native Youth Radio project and encourages involvement from tribal youth. Arigon also appeard with Robin and Jerome on her long-running Native radio program on KSVR-FM called NAMAPAHH First People's Radio. The Diva spoke with Robin and Jerome and also performed many songs live on the air.

[That's Arigon with Robin Carneen in Seattle.]

Arigon also hooked up with Robin back in Seattle for the Red Earth Performing Arts' benefit concert on September 17th. A great line-up of Native performers sang everything from show tunes to opera to country, in addition to presenting dramatic scenes and some very funny stand-up comedy.

"Freida Kirk, who runs Red Earth Performing Arts is doing her best to get the Native community in Seattle interested in theater. I met her a few years ago at the Project HOOP Conference at UCLA and we've stayed in touch. It was great night," said Arigon.

Arigon and Elaine MilesArigon also saw her good pal Elaine Miles at the same event. "Elaine and I are cooking up some plans for the New Year -- so stay tuned!" laughed Arigon.

Elaine's mom is battling cancer and we want to send out good thoughts and prayers to her. "The Frybread Babes" (as Elaine calls she and Arigon) also caught up on happier topics and compared "snags." AAAY!

We wish Elaine the best for her mom -- and also on her upcoming appearance at the Yakama Cultural Center on November 11th. We are sure that Elaine will keep 'em laughing in Yakama Country.

Just in case you were wondering -- Elaine starred in the classic CBS' series "Northern Exposure" and was one of the backwards-driving gals (with Michelle St. John) in the comedy film "Smoke Signals." "Elaine and I always laugh that people mistake us for one another. Honestly -- what an honor to be mistaken for such a pretty gal!" smiled Arigon.

Arigon also had time to visit with her good friends in Battle Ground and Cougar, Washington. "I realized it had been a long time since I'd visited with my pals Cathy, Mary Sue, Jim, Sue, Shirley, Mike and Bob. I worked in some time to catch up with them," said Arigon.

Arigon also treated these same pals to a staged reading of "The Red Road" on Cathy's back porch. "Many of the ideas for the show came from these folks and this part of the world. I was sorry to have missed visiting with Leslie Jollie over at Jollie's Restaurant while I was there. Jollie's is a place that gave me the confidence to create the world of 'The Red Road.' Who would have thought that an Indian family would have owned and operated a restaurant for over thirty years!? They're cool people."

Cathy and her bunch are Gary Bennett's family, Arigon's country music pal in Nashville. Gary has a new DVD out (Inside & Out, produced and directed by former BR549 bassist Smilin' Jay McDowell), in addition to a live concert that's schedule to air on XM Satellite Radio's X Country 12 on October 25th. "I had to tell Cathy what a difference her son and BR549 made in the lives of my family. My Dad was a big fan of theirs and we all still listen to their new and old music."

Arigon with Donna at KWSOArigon made time to also visit her friends in Warm Springs, Oregon. She had a great time visiting with station manager Sue Matters, plus her pals "The Wilman," Brutha Wayne, Donna, Liz and Jennifer. Arigon pre-recorded some songs live that will be broadcast on KWSO-FM.

"They are so warm and genuine here. As many of you Starrwatchers know, The Willman provided the voice for the evil villian "Wampum Baggs" in "Super Indian" that was taped at the National Audio Theater Festival in West Plains. "All roads lead to West Plains!" she shouted.

Donna and I had the best salmon lunch up at Ka-Nee-Tah," said Arigon. Donna is a Warm Springs tribal member. Some of her family are on the tribal council -- but a few of thems are celebrities on the Rez -- including a junior Pow-Wow queen and a rodeo champ.

Donna's wonderful mom passed away a few years back and she and Arigon talked about losing parents. "I still miss my Dad," she said. "I find a lot of comfort in talking with folks who've been down that road."

Yummy Oregon frybreadArigon snapped a photo of the fresh, hot frybread that was served at lunch. "I didn't find out for sure where the cook was from -- so I can't identify this other than 'Frybread from Oregon.' I always like to find out what tribe the cook is from. I know I can't be the literal 'Junior Frybread' -- but I can at least be the online version," she laughed. Doesn't that photo make your mouth water! Ee-yah!

Arigon brought extra frybread back for her pals in Battle Ground. "I surprised Mary Sue with a frybread delivery," she laughed. "I think I ought to consider that as a career choice. AAAY!"

Arigon made sure to visit with her friends at KBOO-FM in Portland, Oregon. She appeared on Mitakuye Oyasin, hosted by Eugene Johnson. Arigon and Eugene were joined by legendary host John Talley. Eugene asked lots of great questions and Arigon performed many songs from "The Red Road." "I was excited to show them what I can do," she said. "I think the show needs to come to Portland because there are a lot of folks who would really understand the Native humor."

We totally second that! It probably won't be the last time that "Danny Dacron," "Emmitt Tsinajinnie" or "Bonnie Doolittle" will hit the radio airwaves. The Diva also found time to hang out at one of her favorite places on earth, Powells Books. She also took in the beautiful scenery around Mt. Hood and the Columbia River.

John Talley of KBOO with Arigon[That's Arigon at KBOO with her good pal John Talley on the right. John is one of the smartest and entertaining hosts in Portland. They were snapped in front of the music library at the station during her recent visit.]

The Diva returned to Los Angeles for a brief stop -- then hopped another plane to Nashville, Tennessee. It was time for the annual Americana Music Conference. Arigon's friend singer-songwriter Ross Wine-Sky invited her to perform with him at an intimate solo acoustic performance at Nashville's Bluebird Cafe. "I was totally thrilled to meet Ross' friends Rich Price and Kathy Chiavola," said Arigon. "They both had their own unique styles -- and I think we complimented each other's music." Rich Price is a singing-cowboy in the tradition of Gene Autry or Roy Rogers -- and Kathy Chiavola has a beautiful, soulful style that she mixes with romantic ballads and songs about her dogs! The event was videotaped by Billy Block of Western Beat Entertainment. If they are any clips available, we'll let you know as soon as we get them.

Arigon also attended the conference and did her best to get to all the evening showcases. "I was so happy that the folks at the Americana Music Association included our event as an unofficial showcase," said Arigon. "They're really trying to be inclusive of a lot of different artists. Everyone from Elvis Costello to James Hunter to Roseanne Cash to James McMurtry were featured during their awards show." Arigon also had time to visit with her friends Gary Bennett (who showcased at the Station Inn) and Chuck Mead (who showcased with his group The Hillbilly All-Stars.) "My sister Gay Noble also joined me and we had a great time seeing a bunch of folks we knew in town - -plus some we haven't seen in a long time." Arigon's pal Sandra Schulman had a preview of her upcoming project "The Ballad of Peter LaFarge" at BMI Music's offices in Nashville and she really enjoyed the luncheon hosted by Shilah Morrow and the Sin City All-Stars. "Nothing like seeing the Lonesome Spurs, Bryson Jones and Chris Lawrence doing their thing at Robert's Western Wear," she smiled. There were lots of radio folks in town, including Arigon's old pal Cuzin' Dave from Cleveland's WRUW-FM.

Following the conference, Arigon joined her friends Richie Plass and the Flying Feather Band at the Mount Juliet Pow-Wow. Unfortunately, the weather was not cooperating. "We had to run for our cars after the tornado sirens went off at the Pow-Wow grounds," she said. Luckily, Arigon, her sister Gay and their pal Lorre Mendelsohn found their way to the band's hotel.

Arigon in the All Nations Cafe T=shirtBecause the evening Pow-Wow was cancelled, the band decided to hold their "jam" session in a hotel meeting room. They were joined by Qua-Ti-Si (a talented award-winning singer based in Nashville) and Chuck Mead. "Never in my life would I have imagined singing 'Delta Dawn' with Chuck," laughed Arigon. The Flying Feather Band (Richie, Waubono and Dave) are a talented bunch and they sang many of the country and rock songs they knew. "We stumbled through 'The Red Road' -- and it really sounded cool with some hard-core country folks playing along," she said.

The next day Arigon put her sister Gay on a plane back to San Diego and she followed Richie and crew back up the road to Wisconsin. "We drove like crazy people! Dave was a good navigator and I was just able to keep up with him all the way to Oneida." The next day, Arigon had a wonderful visit with Richie and Lily Plass. (See Lily above with the All Nations Cafe T-Shirt). She then drove over to Hayward, Wisconsin which is on the west side of the state. The very next day, she performed twice at Lac Courte Oreilles Community College. "It was great to reconnect with Pat Shields (who's an instructor at the college)," she said. "I met him a few years ago at the Project Hoop Conference and he's doing his best to interest the local folks in telling their stories on the stage." Arigon also took time to visit Lake Superior, then chat with Jeff St. Germaine live on WOJB-FM. "I loved talking with Cleo and Dennis Little," said Arigon. Cleo has a program on WOJB and Dennis runs the tribe's K-12 school. "They felt like family! Probably sounds redundant -- because I feel like I say that about everyone. However, there is nothing like sharing stories and a few laughs with Native folks."

Arigon then packed up the car and drove on to Tama, Iowa home of the Meskwaki Tribe of Iowa. Bill Marsh, who works with the Tribe in their Drug/Alcohol recovery program had found Arigon online and invited her to perform for the school and at the Tribal Center. "I've never been to Iowa before," marveled Arigon. "This was new territory for me -- but again, meeting Native folks face to face reminds me of our simliarities and not our differences." Arigon's first show was at the Meskwaki Settlement School for a combined assembly of the schools K-12 students. "I was a little worried they wouldn't get it -- but after a few minutes, they were up on their feet and clapping." Arigon spent a lot of time taking questions from the audience and gave away copies of her CDs to some of the lucky few. She was also treated to a tour of the school and was literally mobbed. "It was the cutest thing ever," she laughed. "Those fifth graders had me signing their t-shirts, arms. shoes, socks, etc. I had this vision of an army of moms coming after me for ruining their kid's shoes. AAAY," laughed Arigon. If you'd like to see a photo Arigon took from the stage of the entire school -- click here to check out the photo.

meskwaki schoolBill Marsh gave Arigon a detailed tour of the Meskwaki Reservation, which included acres of farmland. "The Tribe does have a thriving Casino, but seems to be putting back a lot of resources into their people," said Arigon. Later the same evening, she performed a well-received show at the Tribal Center. "Had another great time chatting with Cat Campbell-Currier from KZAT-FM," smiled Arigon. "She and her husband run a classic hits station in Tama. She got into the radio business because she felt that the community was under-served. I was impressed with not only her knowledge of sound equipment (they produce many events including some major ones at the Casino), but that she travels and does a lot of remotes throughout the area."

During the evening performance, several of the students from the Settlement School were "hungry" for "Junior Frybread." "I always try to do that song last," revealed Arigon. "I saw a group clamoring to join me onstage and a bunch of them were re-christened 'The Junior Frybread' singers. The kids quickly learned the chorus of the song and sang with gusto," Arigon smiled. We're sure it's probably not the LAST time a group of kids will join Arigon onstage....and certainly not the last road trip. "I'm looking forward to the next trip. There is something really wonderful about meeting new people and also greeting old friends and supporters," Arigon said. "I wish I could put out a new record every six months and just keep this going!"



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