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RIP Katherine Smith (1919ish-2017)

So when I learned the exact time Wednesday that my old friend Katherine died I thought back about “what was I doing at that very moment?”

I had an afternoon assignment teaching one of the farther schools I sub at so I drove to a natural spring near there to fill up some 1-gallon containers. It’s the closest place anywhere near me that has relatively unpolluted springwater. Everything about my morning was discombobulated and strange.

 

Raspberry Slump On Frybread Maybe.
Head Chef: Sherry Pocknett

 

I lingered there because I met an elderly couple filling up dozens of bottles on their way to Foxwoods for some gambling. They do this a couple times a year and they’re from Western Massachusetts but they know just about ever southern New England native american person I know as well as dozens of cool “anglos” that I’m friends with from years back. What started out as “oh, you’re from such and such, do you know so and so?” became, “oh, nice to meet you, I have to get right to my gig, I think I have just enough time to get there,” which then became, “oops, this road doesn’t get there as fast, let me try that one…”

When I got to my assignment I replaced a sub who was filling in til I got there since I’d taken several wrong turns on my way. I know these roads well, why on earth would I make three different wrong turns in one drive? Something else was on my mind besides driving down the road, that’s for sure.

I got in the classroom and the teacher told me the kids had been unruly and obnoxious all day, and left wishing me luck. When I sub on days like that the main part of the “Classroom Management” skillset I tend to use besides what the teacher has already established is called “with-it-ness.” Know your students just as well as they know themselves. If they know something they think is “hip and with it” that they don’t expect any of the teachers to have any clue about, you try to know all about it already. Google is your friend. This applies to everything from “Charlie Charlie,” to “Andy’s Coming,” to Key and Peels “The Substitute” segment. Bachata and Reggaeton music styles are good to know as well as all the usual Heavy Metal, Hip Hop and R&B. It helps to know all the silly jargons and slang terms that the middle schoolers are teaching themselves too.

I was teaching Language Arts for an amazing 7th/8th grade teacher and his classes usually aren’t this unruly. Even withitness wasn’t very effective. In times like these you just keep an eye on everyone’s safety, and remain the taskmaster reminding people to keep working and at least get back to their seats and do some work. (until the next time, of course, that you remind them they’re supposed to be at least near to their seat!)

My planning period got absorbed into covering one class for the Spanish teacher so I went in there knowing he’s usually really good at giving clearcut lesson plans and suggestions for enrichement and other differentiations. Nope. Not today. On the whiteboard were some goals for the students to meet. Nothing else. Mentor, taskmaster and babysitter for the day. When everyone had completed everything even while fooling around a lot I tried my hardest to find tasks besides “read to self” or “free draw” which almost never works well with middle schoolers. By the time I came up with anything new I figured out the best way to handle everything that had escalated was to say nothing and instead write on the board, “ALL TOYS WILL BE TIDIED UP AND PUT AWAY BY 2:20 PM.” This gave them up to 5 minutes to continue playing around somewhat inappropriately but convert themselves back to the eager scholars they usually are. Absolute chaos went to silence in a matter of seconds save for whispering voices I heard, “what’s he writing?” “uh oh, he’s mad at us,” and “All toys will be…” and laughter.

They straightened out the whole room in three minutes in relative silence. “OK, I said, thank you so much. Two minutes of complete silence and then I’ll allow talking very quietly while you continue doing actual work.” They complied just fine. It’s easy enough to extrapolate from my note to the teacher that the student’s conversion from unruly to habits of scholarship happened here in Konetiuk at the same time my old friend in Arizona had died since that was 11:18am.

So earliest reflections? Why was I scatterbrained on my way to my afternoon assignment? I learned growing up that I always have a few fairly profoundly discombobulated moments when a friend or relative is dying. It’s almost as if my own mind and body is learning of this even before he or she is. I can’t explain it very well other than that.

These moments are usually followed by many many more moments of clarity. Strange clarity. A “Sacred interconnected” kind of clarity as Brian Willson calls it. Well ok, that was Wednesday. Well this lucidness lasted well past last night while I was looking at artwork by by the late Allen Houser, his son Bob, and Courtney Leonard from around here as well as many artists from New Mexico, Washington and Canada.

Have you ever had strawberry shortcake on a little piece of frybread?

Sure you have. Think Blueberry Slump. Or Lakota Wojape right?

Last night having some of that and some Quahog fritters and stuffed mushrooms made by the team of Mashpee Wampanoag head chef Sherry Pocknett helped make all this at least just a little bit OK.

RIP Katherine Smith (1919ish-2017)

relative is dying. It’s almost as if my own mind and body is learning of this even before he or she is. I can’t explain it very well other than that.

These moments are usually followed by many many more moments of clarity. Strange clarity. A “Sacred interconnected” kind of clarity as Brian Willson calls it. Well ok, that was Wednesday. Well this lucidness lasted well past last night while I was looking at artwork by by the late Allen Houser, his son Bob, and Courtney Leonard from around here as well as many artists from New Mexico, Washington and Canada.

Have you ever had strawberry shortcake on a little piece of frybread?

Sure you have. Think Blueberry Slump. Or Lakota Wojape right?

Last night having some of that and some Quahog fritters and stuffed mushrooms made by the team of Mashpee Wampanoag head chef Sherry Pocknett helped make all this at least just a little bit OK.

RIP Katherine Smith (1919ish-2017)

Why We Clash

Why We Clash

by Marco Capelli

 

We clash you and me.
First I thought because you are so different, you see.
But then after all the dust cleared
And the shrapnel was swept up into neat little tins
And all our respective allies’ bodies were policed up by loved ones—
Dogs and crows and old men with metal detectors and headphones
Closing the circle in little by little hoping to find a scrap or two,
And the grandmothers all weep over tea, saying

I Told You So: See? Nothing Was Accomplished Again;
Who’s Gonna Feed The Kids.

For the 432nd time,
It was then I realized:
The reason you and me,
We used up every bullet we had
Not because we’re so different, you see.

Because we’re mirror images, aren’t we?
Like Isaac and Ishmael maybe,
But who needs analogies when we’ve each got th’other?
We do kinda look alike, huh?
Besides all the acting, and talking
And walking like each other.

But enemy, my friend.
Can I ask you one question?
What kind of Creator lets us miss each other that many times?

 

Originally published in volume 4 numberof  Autumn Leaves magazine.

Hungry Henry Have Not. A Very Old Poem

Have You Hugged Your Havenot Today?
The haves drive BMWs – Haves wear Reebox
Have nots drive push brooms
Have nots look like retreads
with their torn up
muddy disgusting Pro Keds
The haves have central
heating and hot and cold
running water in every room
Have Nots have no heat.
And the only running water now
Dribbles across the plywood
Shanties that have been flattened
Out by the borgouisey bulldozers
Haves have someone
Park their car while
They ascend the sidewalk to their state
Windowside meeting room
Havenots stretch gladbag leantos against
Park benches next to sidewalks.
Half their tent is a window
Haves drive off to the inner city
To look at blacker people and
Guatemalan refugees.
They smile and offer their Beamer
saying, “Let’s go see how the other half “lives.”
Have nots don’t have to go anywhere.
They just poke their heads out the leanto
And watch the Honorable Harry Have,
Walking up the sidewalk to his whispering
Windowside committee room.
Harry Have happens to have
So much compassion, he’s
Head of a commissioned meeting
Discussing what to do
With all these hopeless homeless
Have Nots.
Hungry Henry Havenot
Was about to use the donation
Whoopie Goldberg gave him from
Comic Relief.
Enforcement agents sort of
Misplaced the money when they
Violently locked up
Hungry Henry Havenot
For Loitering.
Harry Have comes from a long history of Haves.
Aristocrats from
Waaaaaayyyyyyyyyy back.
Hungry Henry Havenot’s mom had him when she was 12.
She left him somewhere near the beach,
And couldn’t find him.
Her mom was a child abuser
And her mom was too.
And so was her mom.
Wow.
Sounds like a terrible problem those
Russians are having, huh?
Hmmm…
I’m pretty sure I was talking about here.

A SATISFIED MIND: Blogging My Fretboard Logic

wampum1

by Marco Frucht

I must say, of all the lead guitar solos I’ve ever recorded for myself or anyone else, there isn’t one I’m truly satisfied with. I listen back and cringe a little bit usually. None are flawless. Don’t get me wrong. It doesn’t have to be flawless for me to keep from cringing, but it definitely needs to be close. It also needs to truly say something. Directly AND metaphorically, I think things through under a “lens” of “does this tell you something? Take you somewhere? Mean something…”

Shredding, and noodling mean little or nothing to me. A solo isn’t just a bunch of notes in the key of the song. It has to go somewhere. Listen to some of the artfulness and storytelling of some Link Wray or Stevie Salas solos, you’ll see what I mean.

Now that said, there is one 4track recording I did a very long time ago for a friend of mine, Mr. Luis Argarin.

https://www.reverbnation.com/…/26131282-tgif-words-and-musi…

There’s one non-confident spot where I’m noodling and trying to find my way back to the story. Everything else about that solo (1:32 mins to about 2:13 mins) does just fine.

That one I’m nearly satisfied with. 🙂

Thank you, person who taught me troubleshooting, whoever you are…

I’d like to thank whoever taught me troubleshooting so long ago.
I think I’ve used that skill set five times in the past two months!
And this time I just really want to tell the whole world about.

ImaginationArtStudioCellFoneHolder

 

OK, so my fob to my car was starting to work less and less, 2nd and 3rd try each time to get my car locked or unlocked.
No problem, I have a second one tucked away somewhere from when I purchased this vehicle right? I fish that out and pretty quickly that one’s working its way toward taking a 3rd and 4th try. I switch back and not even in days that one passed the 4th try and was taking sometimes half a dozen tries each time. Great, does it just need a battery or is there something massively wrong with the electrical system?? Something I certainly can’t afford right now if it’s not warrantied or covered in a recall or anything, yikes.

I go to AutoZone to use their cardboard testing display thing right? The light comes on just fine every time. First try and all. I’m not sure but the light coming on looks feint maybe. Nothing to compare it to.

So before going in and asking at the dealership I figured I’d trouble shoot two more times with brand new batteries because that will cost me far less than asking them to clean, repair or replace the brains of the car!

I buy one battery and swap it in. Right away the car starts locking and unlocking on the first try. So now I’m just thinking I need to buy a second CR1616 battery in the not too distant future, whenever I can better afford to just buy extra things again.

So thank you to whoever taught me troubleshooting. Some was my dad when I was a little kid but the bulk of it really was in Fort Gordon, GA., when I was in A School for the Signal Corps. Lineman tool and my trusty Swiss Army knife and I’d learned how to troubleshoot just about anything. Yay! Oh man, what was that Signal Drill Sergeant’s name?? I’ll have to try and look it up in old journals because I really do want to think the old guy if he’s still around. He’s the one who didn’t like us swearing around him, saying he’d compromise on most of the cuss words, but absolutely no fbombs and no G- D-, etc.

Didn’t find out until graduation when one of the kids in my squad wanted to marry his high school sweetheart right on the same day he graduated. Drill Sergeant goes, “Does he have blood test squared away?” Yes. “Marriage license?” Yupper, “well then I can.” What? Drill Sergeant. You mean to tell me that Drill Sergeants can perform wedding ceremonies? “Ordained black southern Baptist preachers can,” he told me, wow. I didn’t know. Anyhow, the coping skills that guy had, wow, and the ones he imparted on me? Almost as much wow.

Thank you, thank you thank you.

& also in DIGITAL MUSIC NEWS:

& also in DIGITAL MUSIC NEWS:

OK, now what’s Groove Sale? In my tiny but growing revenue stream, the two groups treating me best these days are Tidal and Groove. Thank you, thank you thank you!

Looks like my most popular song in the U.S. is still Frybread but the biggest interest all over the world is for my “Swedish Folk Song.” Neat! And the second hottest song elsewhere around middle Earth kind of amuses and fascinates me.


My “Redundant Song” isn’t even released as a single, just an mp3 and youtube that I put online when I had done a mini-midwest tour supporting GarageBand’s Choozapalooza thingie a couple Presidential elections ago.

(anyone even remember the Garageband page? http://www.mi2n.com/press.php3?press_nb=71290 No, not the recording tools, the website. That and mp3dotCom seemed to go away about the same time Friendster did.)

So “Redundant Song,” I sure do hope people aren’t thinking they found a free mp3 of Green Day’s completely different song of the same title. If they did I hope at least it entertained them and they weren’t too disappointed as they keep searching. hehehe

How & where U can buy my Frybread song. :)

You can buy the song at iTunes and Amazon too but I’ve always made it available lots of places free (pro bono) as well.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00C36NL1E
http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/chiapaneca-single/id446265622

 

frybreadpromo

 

Call me crazy, sure. But it’s always been more important to me that I share this story with people all over the world than make a buck or three, but I’m not naive either. Making a buck or two here and there comes in handy when your stomach growls…

Wanting to use some of Mary Amato’s book in my book someday. ;)

Here’s a snippet from my Thesis where I mention Mary Amato’s book “Guitar Notes.” Good stuff!

 

Maybe with Mary Amato’s permission, excerpts from her Young Adult book Guitar Notes could weave through chapters five through 10 or so giving students a flavor of the very lore of musicianship and musicality from perspectives of a young dreamer or two. She even portrays young adults writing songs throughout the story and occasionally includes verses notated so someone could easily sing and play the melody on a guitar or piano. Once in a while she also includes a guitar chord diagram along with a suggestion such as, “try a Hendrix chord in place of the E7 when you get to the beating part. I think it would sound cool. Here’s the diagram for the chord, which is named after Jimi Hendrix, of course. God of guitar. I’m going to make you some guitar-playing videos and send you the links” (Amato, 2012, p. 139). With all that in mind, doesn’t this book take on a somewhat mixed-media or multimedia art form? Or perhaps a found art of sorts.

Amato, M. (2012). Guitar notes. New York: Egmont USA.

 

UPDATE: (Can’t believe I left something this crucial out 6 years ago!)

Holy wah. 6 years ago I forgot to include the actual link to the music video of a song so people had to find it on their own.

 

Lo siento, desculpa me.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1eLnOhVRr1o

 

 

So here’s an explication:

 

The story behind “Chiapaneca,” a song. (Girl From Chiapas) – a Flamenco/Huapango mix.

It is December 22, 1997. A paramilitary group called “Paz y Justicia” rapes and murders dozens of women and children at a prayer meeting in Acteal, Chenalho, Chiapas. One paramilitary chooses to leave. He picks up a little girl, Marcela saving her from harm. But later he is found out in the act of helping her escape to the neighboring village and they hang him after much torture. Aggressively they search for little Marcela but give up after a time. There are other witnesses they weren’t able to kill. Undetected, a young guitarist sits in the bushes; waiting for them to leave. He remembers everything he has seen.

 

[ref] = [ http://muffinbottoms.org/?p=792 ]

Track List for Marc Frucht’s Free 2012 Christmas CD

Christmas Rekkid,
a Free CD by Marco Frucht

Track List:

1) Intro Eastern Point Beach
2) Anarcho Jazzm Arch (A March)
3) Old Folksinger
4) Ziggy’s Little Drummer Boy
5) Completely Different
6) Burma Shave
7) Roll In My Sweet Baby’s Arms
8) Bunion
9) How Come (You Do Me Like You Do)
10) It’s Beginning To Look A Lot (Like Xmas)
11) Is This Thing On
12) Chiapaneca
13) Frybread
14) Little Things
15) Swedish Folk Song
16) Manitou
17) Love Me For My Heart
18) Verseless Song

Full description at:

Free CD — Last year’s entire 18 song Christmas record!