Another Blog Post (Featuring Rihanna)

Rihanna? I jokes!

It’s Arigon Starr here. Another fabulous sunny day in Los Angeles. Decided I really needed to blog away and keep everyone updated on the doings here at Wacky Productions.

The reason I mentioned Rihanna (who I think is a great singer & artist) — was watching a replay of MTV’s Video Music Awards last weekend. Seems like 80% of the nominated videos were artists….”Featuring Rihanna.” That girl has been busy!

Lady Gaga was the host and throughout the evening, she stayed in character as her “Jo Calderone” character. First of all….Gaga reminded me of one of the Juicy Fruits from the film “Phantom of the Paradise.” If you’re not familiar with “Phantom,” start with The Swan Archives, a site jam-packed with information about the production. It’s a film from Brian DePalma starring Paul Williams that was released in 1974. The Juicy Fruits were a take on Sha-Na-Na, a 1950’s styled group. Here’s how I imagine Jo performing with the Juicy Fruits.

Jo Calderone fronts the Juicy Fruits

Lady Gaga as Jo Calderone -- fronting the retro band "The Juicy Fruits."

As you can see, I’m clearly not right in the head. Photoshop is my friend!

We all had a good laugh over that. We also enjoyed the guest appearance of rock legend Brian May with “Jo.”Brian was the mastermind behind the classic song “We Will Rock You” and lead guitarist for Queen. I’m sure you knew that! Just testing your trivia skills!

I’ve been slaving over the artwork, coloring and lettering for “Super Indian.” As you know, the current storyline is “Hubert’s Blog” and has been running since April. Yes, that’s a BRAND NEW COMIC every Monday. There’s also a new sub-comic called “Kyle,” which follows the adventures of a hairless cat.

I promised a few photos from the San Diego Comic Con. Here’s one of my favorites:

Arigon with the Donnie Darko Bunny

Arigon hangs out at San Diego Comic Con with her pal, the Donnie Darko Bunny

Had a few wonderful meet-ups with fellow Native comic book creators Jacques LaGrange and Teddy Tso. We talked about forming a collective of Native American comic book artists and writers to help support each others’ work. The group is still in the talking phase, but hope to have news on that soon.

Other groups have formed coalitions….I don’t see why our people can’t do that. Right now, we don’t have much of a presence at the larger Comic conventions. Jacques LaGrange has been really great in raising awareness in Arizona, but all of us need to keep doing what we’re doing and shouting from the rooftops about our work.

On another front, I spent a fantastic long weekend in Lapwai, Idaho working with the Nez Perce Language Program on a radio version of one of their traditional stories. The talented Thirza Defoe was also a part of the group leadership as we put a few tribal members through their paces as writers and actors. We did tape the production and the show will hopefully air on KIYE-FM, the local tribal radio station. Angel Sobotta pulled out all the stops and assembled a talented bunch of folks. Thirza also performed a short dance demonstration at Lapwai Park. Even though it was over 90 degrees, Thirza gave her all and really put on a stunning show.

That’s today’s wrap-up. There will be more…much more….soon!

 

Mega Diva News Archive

Arigon visits Yellowstone National Park

Arigon and her smoking cool cowboy hat at Yellowstone

We have been busy at Starrwatcher Online!

As many of you know, Arigon has been in the entertainment business since 1996. Ain’t that something? We sure think so and we’ve been spending hours upon hours updating the Diva’s Progress.

We’re proud to present a link to all of the archived Diva News pages from “back in the day.”

Yep, all those trips to the Native American Music Awards, Milwaukee Indian Summer Festival, Cherokee Homecoming, National Museum of the American Indian, Gathering of Nations, Santa Fe Indian Market, Nashville, Australia and beyond are now back for your viewing pleasure. We think they’re better than ever!

We hope you’ll take time to look and see where we’ve been. It’s been an amazing ride so far!

Here’s the link:

http://www.arigonstarr.com/Diva/dox/news_archive_dox/archive_index.html

There will also be a permanent, tabbed link on the new Diva News Page.

Come back and visit awhile. We sure had a blast visiting the Diva’s past and know that there’s a lot more where that came from!

 

Time For San Diego Comic Con!

Comic Con Logo

The Famous Comic Con Logo!

Arigon is in San Diego getting ready to join the throngs of creators, artists and fans attending the annual Comic Con in San Diego. She’s been busy creating the ongoing story of “Super Indian” and is getting farther along into the “Hubert’s Blog” storyline. “I’m excited to see where the story is going,” she said. “One thing that has really come clear to me — the more you do the work, the better you get at it. I was able to crank out three full pages last week and that was personal best.”

For those of you who haven’t been following the story of Arigon’s comic art, she’s been at this since she was a child. Her early work followed her heroes, The Beatles and she branched out with other superstars like Elton John, Queen and The Who. “I had an eclectic love of comic art — including Saturday morning animation, “Archie” comics, MAD magazine and the excellent artists who created “Creepy” and “Eerie” magazines. Recently came across a bunch of my teenage artwork and had a laugh at my movie parodies, which were much like the great spoofs in Mad,” she laughed. “Although, I was a kid then and not quite as clever as those Mad guys!”

In addition to her comic book work, she’s been traveling. In early June she attended the annual National Federation of Broadcasters convention in San Francisco. Her hosts for the conference were the fantastic folks at RadioCamp — Gregg and Gabriela McVicar. As many of you know, Gregg is the host of the wildly popular “UnderCurrents,” which is syndicated on hundreds of stations across the U.S. Arigon was invited to perform at a special reception during the conference and at a special honoring luncheon for radio legend Peggy Berryhill.

Arigon with her friends at the NFCB Conference

Arigon with the NFCB All-Stars

Peggy Berryhill is also a Muscogee Creek woman. She was instrumental in starting many folks in their radio careers, in addition to being a radio producer (the funny “Club Red” with Charlie Hill was one of her shows) — and now she’s starting a brand new Native radio station on the Northern California coast, KGUA-FM. She also is a cancer survivor. “At last year’s NFCB Conference in Minneapolis, a group of us said special prayers at the Mississippi River for Peggy’s recovery,” Arigon revealed. “I sang the Creek hymn “Helelulyvn” for her. My friend (and another radio legend herself) Susan Braine asked me to sing this for her at her honoring luncheon. It not only brought folks to tears — it brought the house down. I think it was the best I ever sang it!”

Arigon also did a short, solo acoustic music set at a reception at the hotel. She was joined by the awesome Patrick Landeza, who is a Hawaiian slack-key wizard and fine singer to boot. Many Native radio stations were at the conference, including stations from Arizona, Washington, Oregon, Oklahoma, Montana, Alaska, New Mexico and California. The most memorable number of the night was Arigon’s rocking acoustic version of “Indian Land Forever.”

After the show, Arigon took some time to record some special acoustic tracks at Gregg’s studio. Gregg recently installed a vocal booth and Arigon was the first honored musician to record live music. Hopefully, the tracks will be part of a future “UnderCurrents” broadcast. We’ll keep you posted!

More updates to come from San Diego. It’s sure is fun to follow the Diva!

Cain’s Ballroom and Phoenix Comic Con

Fun With Kickapoos!

My cousin Elmer Walker, me and my Mom Ruth Wahpecome

As my Oklahoma cousins say — “Oh, Buh!” Which basically means….it’s just ridiculous!

I’ve been traversing the country lately, living out of my suitcase. It’s been a busy few months helping my Mom get her house in order. She’s getting ready to relocate and move to a smaller place. I’m sure lots of you know what it’s like to downsize! Many trips to Goodwill have been made, AAY!

On a fun note, I’ve had some time to unwind in Seattle and Walla Walla Washington. Have some awesome friends up there who always have something fun planned. You folks that live up there are just dang lucky! I’m one of those few people who love rain.

Wanted to let you know that I would love for y’all to join me at the Phoenix Comic Con on Saturday, May 28th at 4:30pm. Comic artist Jacques La Grange invited me to be part of the “Native Americans in the Comic Book World” along with Jon Proudstar — and it’s gonna be great. It’s the first time I’ve actually spoken at a Comic Book Convention, although it’s not not my first time to the rodeo. AAY! (Previously, I’ve been a panelist at the National Federation of Community Broadcasters in Minneapolis and at the Res Summit in Las Vegas.) This time — it’s just about comic books and how we as Native people fit into that world. It will be very interesting to see what goes down. As you know, folks have a lot of ideas about who we are…..and often they’re based on the stereotypes you see on television or film. Glad to be able to help clear all that up. AAY “Super Indian” will be represented and I’ll have some cool promotional postcards to hand out to folks.

Again, a HUGE thank you to my family in Tulsa, Oklahoma for hosting me and doing all the hard work to plan and stage a benefit concert at Cain’s Ballroom. My family (Yvonne Cahwee, Dianne Guthrie, Janene Alford, Dwayne Cawee, Ray and Renee Alford, Tia Alford and all y’all) started the Native American Warriors Society a few years back. Every month, they buy supplies to send care packages to Native soldiers stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan. They worked with a bunch of sponsors (including the Osage Million Dollar Elm Casino) — and my cousins urged the Kickapoo Casino to bring me out for the event. And…THEY DID! Another big shout out to Kendall and the crew at the Kickapoo Casino who brought me out from Los Angeles. It was a special night filled with awesomely great music — and what a thrill to see Native people onstage at Cain’s. I hope this happens again really soon. The event was a memory I’ll cherish for a long time.

I’ve also been invited to perform again at the annual National Federation of Community Broadcasters conference in San Francisco June 2nd. I’ll have more about this next week….as I totally have to dash and pack my suitcase.

Look for me, Janet Miner and my mom Ruth Wahpecome in Phoenix. Let’s all meet up at the Fryrbread House! AAAY!

May is Gig Month!

There is much excitement brewing here at Wacky Productions. Thanks to my friends at the Kickapoo Casino in McLoud, Oklahoma, I will be part of the Native Warriors Society Benefit Concert on Saturday, May 21st at the historic Cain’s Ballroom in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Cain’s Ballroom has been a gathering place for Native folks since they opened. My Aunt Sue Alford has stories of going there for swing concerts — and my Uncle Gene Alford had many a good time there. Even my Mom, Ruth has stories of seeing Bob Wills perform live there.

The sign of Cain's Ballroom

Yep -- it's Cain's Ballroom All Right!

My first visit to Cain’s was with my sister Gay to see our Hillbilly Heroes, BR5-49. It was one rockin’ country show — and it was so cool to enjoy the wooden, “sprung” floor. Those springs made for some wild dancing, I tell you what!

Gay and I made a long drive to Tulsa twice to see BR5-49. The group was just THAT good. If you’ve never had a chance to hear their music, look them up on ITunes or wherever fine music is sold. They had a tremendous, positive energy and Gay and I smiled so much our faces hurt afterwards! BR5-49 also invited some of the best rockabilly/alt-country groups in the area to perform on the same bill with them. We’ll never forget Brian Lee Parsons doing a country version of Echo & The Bunnymen’s “Lips Like Sugar.”

Knowing that Cain’s had such a historic vibe and importance to my family, I let my cousin Janene Alford know that it was a goal to someday perform on the stage at Cain’s.

Flash forward years later — and Janene and a group of dedicated volunteers have formed the Native Warriors Society. They gather donations, purchase supplies and ship monthly care packages to Native soldiers stationed overseas. As you know, we still have many of our people stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Janene has told me it really means a lot to the Native troops that they know WE remember them. Every month, NAWS ships items we take for granted (magazines, gum, toothpaste, etc.) in individual boxes to these tireless soldiers. They are still taking names and address of Native soldiers overseas — so if you know of a Native service person who should be on the list, contact NAWS directly.

NAWS has had several successful benefits in the past, including a pool and golf tournaments — but booking Cain’s Ballroom and hosting a music festival has been on their list for a long time. Thanks to the efforts of many people and the financial support of folks like the Osage Nation’s Million Dollar Elm Casino — the “Red, White and G.I. Blues” Music Festival is on.

I’m going onstage probably around 5-6pm. The music will start around 2:00pm and go to midnight. The line-up looks great — and I’m sure there will be lots of Native friends and family there. Take a look at the flyer and pass the word! Hope to see a bunch of you there!

Flyer for the NAWS Benefit Concert