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Happy Thanksgiving/ThanksTaking, Everyone.

Happy Thanksgiving/ThanksTaking everyone.

Here’s another musical memory to share.

Sometime around 2006 I co wrote the following song:


It was the weekend before Thanksgiving I remember that. I was on a bus returning from Phenix City Alabama to Green Bay Wisconsin and a friend of mine, John Heckenlively counted 22 Wafflehouses that we drove by. That was only the ones where you can see their signs from the road or they have a listing in one of the roadsigns along the highway! I’m sure there were many more.

So in between counting we crafted this parody of Arlo Guthrie’s classic hit, “Alice’s Restaurant.” John also called a friend of his at Z Studios in Milwaukee and purchased studio time on a 2 inch master. We did this on almost no sleep the minute we got there. I already had a guitar along for the trip so we walked right in there and recorded it. I’d say unrehearsed but we probably went over this song several dozen times on the bus instead of trying to sleep!

The last big memory I have of that session was that the song was almost exactly the time length of a 2 inch master tape. The engineer said afterwards he was stressed out at the very end because he was thinking any second now he would have to stop us and back up a tiny bit, then continue on trying to punch that in without too many noises between takes. He figured he’d just let us finish to not ruin our momentum and then just ask us to do the last part one more time. You see a traditional reel or spool is set for just a little bit more than 16 minutes. And this song came in at 16 mins and 40 some odd seconds. Back in the analog days they gave you 30 seconds or so of extra tape just to be safe but you shouldn’t count on it.

I held the last G chord out for a sustain and natural fade, and just then tape machine started slapping that last piece of leader tape around and around at the first part of complete silence.

Perfect timing.



Here’s the whole audio as an mp3 if you’d like that:

pps: John sent it to Arlo Guthrie and he liked it!

Music Hits All 9 of Howard Gardner’s Intelligences?

So this one’s for Cathy McGriff:

Just How Does Music Hit All 8 of the Other Gardner Intelligences?

1. Naturalist: sensitivity to natural world features.
3. Logical-Mathematical: 32nd? 64th? 128th note. Think about the 8-bit computer chip!
4. Existential: Why are we… how’d we get here? Synthesizing idioms, metaphor, myth.
5. Interpersonal: Plays well with others. We be jammin!
6. Bodily-Kinesthetic: Fretboard logic, sound holes, air, pitch, breath.
7. Linguistic: Applying complex nuance, entendre, evaluating the inferred.
8. Intra-personal: Compare/Contrast self to others, community actualized.
9. Spatial: Analyzing time/space, abstract and concrete. Reasoning on the fly.

Follow The Drinking Gourd – Lesson Plan – Marc Frucht

Follow The Drinking Gourd – An Integrated Inquiry Based Social Studies Lesson by Marc Frucht

Content Standards:
INQ 3–5.4 Determine the kinds of sources that will be helpful in answering compelling and supporting questions, taking into consideration the different opinions people have about how to answer the questions.
INQ 3–5.5 Gather relevant information from multiple sources while using the origin, structure, and context to guide the selection.
INQ 3–5.7 Identify evidence that draws information from multiple sources in response to compelling questions.
CT Core Standards: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.1, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.7, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.5.1

Also covers the concept of Place-Based Media Arts as developed by Rachel Tso at STAR school, Flagstaff, AZ.

Learner Background:

Students have been comparing and contrasting primary and secondary sources. Earlier this year they went on a field trip to a museum where the director taught them a bit about Oral Tradition’s role in Colonial America. Next week they will visit New London, CT’s Joshua Hempstead House where some slaves rested a while along their way toward Niagara where many found freedom.

Student Learning Objective(s):

Students will show understanding of the Underground Railroad through the secondary source of Folk Hero Peg Leg Joe’s song, “Follow the Drinking Gourd,” and a primary source such as Lee Hays’ letter to Pete Seeger with the lyrics to the song. Students will evaluate the folksong to determine whether it is a primary or secondary source; additionally whether it is history or oral tradition. Each student will show proficiency and participation in a team completed research paper to better than 85% achievement.


Students will use the “chalktalk” method to brainstorm and create their own writing prompt. Some will do alternative related research and present a short TEDx styled talk to the class which can be used by each small group as an additional source for their one-page paper they will complete and sign off on.


1. Birdhouse Gourd or Dipper Gourd
2. “Follow The Drinking Gourd” song.
3. Facsimile of original document, Letter from Lee Hays to Pete Seeger with song lyrics.
4. Underground Railroad episode of LeVar Burton’s “Reading Rainbow.”

Teacher Resources:

Learning Activities:

Standard classroom for most of the lesson, differentiating for one student who is twice exceptional and two slower learners then we will move to small groups and presentations.


Paper and pencils will be set out before students arrive They know they’ll have a writing prompt of some kind whenever they see that. They always set it to the side and keep it there knowing they’ll be told when to write. Students and teacher will share many methods to find North such as looking at the Sun, observing moss on trees and rocks, seeing shadows on the ground, as well as using compasses and modern day GPS. Students will compare a birdhouse gourd to a picture of the Big Dipper and discuss how the Big Dipper and Little Dipper got their nicknames.

Lesson Development:

Discussion: Finding Your Way Out If You’re Lost in the Woods.
Snippets of LeVar Burton’s “Reading Rainbow.” Pass around a dipper gourd while they watch.
Based on the song “Follow the Drinking Gourd”, this show explores an infamous chapter in America’s history centered around the song “Follow The Drinking Gourd.” Burton introduces the heroes, stories and music of the African-American culture which emerged from slavery.


I will sing verse and two choruses of a parody of Tom Paxton’s “What Did You Learn in School Today,” with some takeaways from the day’s lessons; then before they’re even fully engaged I’ll put the guitar down and ask them to help me dream up an additional verse while I’m note-taker at the whiteboard.

Individuals Needing Differentiated Instruction:

Which students do you anticipate may struggle with the content/learning objectives of this lesson?
Student name Evidence that the student needs differentiated instruction How will you differentiate instruction in this lesson to support student learning?
(Names Fictitious)
He does great work when not stressed out. Shuts down quickly with most written assignments. Brendan, Tyla and Dylan will form a cohort researching oral history, so will not be pressured to write any “finished copy” today.

Small group will search online for rumors and legends of Harriet Tubman having stopped in New London, CT staying with escaped slaves at the Joshua Hempstead house on their way to Niagara Falls while others are finishing writing prompt. They’ll relate their work orally to teacher having taken turns as a group.

After research is cleared, these students may either present to the whole class or join other small groups and share what they’ve learned from memory in case others want to use some of “their oral tradition” in their written work. They may add their name to the other groups’ work.

Tyla She loses focus often. I believe her biggest difficulties come when she finds a lesson boring. Same.
Which students will need opportunities for enrichment/higher level of challenge?
Student name Evidence that the student needs differentiated instruction How will you differentiate instruction in this lesson to support student learning?
Dylan G/T and LD.
Often refuses to write.


My students met 100% proficiency if I assess the three differentiated students’ work the same as those who did actual writing. If I’m not allowed to do that they still met the 85% mark because 24 of the 27 were able to show an ability to complete this as the primary composers of the written work. I will attempt to make a strong case for the helpful research shared orally being just as important as the written work, as per the prior field trip where the museum’s director showed how important Oral History was to Colonial America’s history, especially regarding longstanding Native American traditions.

All students met the spirit and letter of Inquiries 4, 5 and 7 from the 3-5 content standards as stated in today’s Lesson Plan.

Additionally each of these students can now share many different methods to finding their way out of the woods both day and night without modern technology such as a compass or GPS on their phones. So some life skills as well cross disciplinary skills have been acquired, gaining much self-efficacy. For example learning about moss on rocks can be everything from Geology to Health, not just Social Studies or American History. The work with primary and secondary sources will help them their whole lives whether they’re writing a scientific research paper or a memo to a coworker.

Getting Kids to Love Love Love Reading!

How Do We Go Beyond Instilling a Love of Reading toward Sustaining It as a Habit for the Lifelong Learner?

by Marc Frucht


“Kids will learn reading skills in school, but often they come to associate reading with work, not pleasure.  As a result, they lose their desire to read. And it is that desire—the curiosity and interest—that is the cornerstone to using reading and related skills successfully.”

RIF. Reading Is Fundamental [Getting Your Child…]


Just how can we keep young people so excited about reading that they never want to stop? When I grew up reading was such a central part of my family’s culture that my sister and I were asking to read right from the beginning; but it’s been my observation that many kids feel like reading is such a chore that they come to dislike it from an early age. In fact, I guest teach in many different schools and students everywhere are quite outspoken saying they “dread” and “hate” moments they are told to read something for content. I never felt that way but some of my own friends have. My parents subscribed to both the Hartford Courant and New London Day newspapers as well as half a dozen magazines. It was commonplace to see any of these in their hands around the house; but summers always saw my mom and dad sitting right next to each other in beach chairs reading sections of the papers or People magazine and conversing about it! At five or six years old, I wished to emulate them. As I look back on those times, I recognize that not only did my parents love to read, they had developed their own habits for reading during just about every spare moment they had. They went beyond that too in modeling the same thing for my sister and me.


Let’s explore some “tricks of the trade” for distilling a love of reading into a completely sustainable habit.

In Donalyn Miller’s “Education Week” magazine article entitled, “Five Teaching Tips for Helping Students Become ‘Wild Readers'” Miller lists five characteristics that students need modeled for them. They are dedicated reading time, self-selected reading material, shared books, reading plans and an acquired strong preference for certain genres, authors and topics as the


“It is necessary to model, explicitly teach, and reflect on students’ development of lifelong, avid (or, as I call them, “wild”) reading behaviors to ensure that students remain motivated, engaged readers.” [Donalyn]


She suggests encouraging students to keep a book with them at all times, essentially having it handy everywhere they go, creating customized “preview stacks” of books for each student in the classroom, and also promoting that the children read a book series now and then which establishes its own “schedule” since students will look forward to each next book.


Having words surrounding a young person’s environment can be helpful in sustaining the desire to read no matter what age the reader is. You might discuss everything from street signs to promotional signage for a store. This is a compelling way to keep young people curious. “A child cares a lot more about seeing the word ‘open’ when she knows she can play in the park,” says Sally Moomaw in her book “Get Ready To Read!” [Moomaw,132] With a baby or toddler, you can point to signs such as that park’s ‘Open’ sign, and just tell them what it says. Perhaps ask them what it says the next time he or she sees it. Then as they get older, you could ask some rather engaging questions about signage around them. Maybe ask them why the sign says ‘Open’ rather than ‘welcome’ or ‘come on in.’ While pumping gas, ask questions about the percentage of ethanol mixed with unleaded gasoline. This leads quickly to an inquiry as to just what ethanol is, and why a car needs both ethanol and gasoline instead of 100% ethanol. Let the child guess on their own that maybe 10% is the most flammability that will still work with today’s engines. As soon as you are near the Internet, you could ask him or her to look it up and make even more educated guesses. Without sounding too preachy, try to remind them that they are discovering all these things by reading. They love to read, right? One would hope so.


Moomaw’s book embraces Kindergarten and Pre-K; but some of her tips and suggestions apply to older children too. I have seen the “word wall” concept work just as well for fourth and fifth graders too so it’s not only for the lower elementary grades. The reader will never forget new vocabulary if they see the words right on the walls around them for a few days at a time. For the same reason it might even be helpful in middle school or high school years. I’ve certainly seen the UConn English and International Baccalaureate teachers at Fitch High School keep a column of newly acquired words on the white board for weeks at a time. “Environmental print serves as a wonderful example of using all parts of the environment as potential curriculum content to teach reading and writing.” [Moomaw,63]


Dan Rearick at Preston Veterans elementary school utilizes word walls and book nooks and the other usual fare to keep his 4th graders engaged; but he also does something I haven’t seen in any other schools yet. Years ago, he brought three large trophies in from home that he keeps on a mantle throughout the year. They are three different sizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. His students compete on how many books they have devoured but also on how compelling their short essays are as they review each book. He judges all of that periodically and once a month places three new names on the trophies. When I have subbed in his classes, the kids always ask to read when they completed each task while waiting for their classmates to catch up. None of them need to be assigned SSR (sustained silent reading) time and they need no reminders to look for new books. Their desks are busy with everything from “Captain Underpants” to “Harry Potter” and books of all page counts in between.


On a website called a writer named Jessica Dang published a tip that I simply must include from this paper even though the current wisdom says never cite someone from his or her own personal web page.


“5. Balance and diversify. Almost everyone has a subject/genre that they are really interested in. It doesn’t have to be an ‘academic’ subject either. Whatever it is, choose it and read as many books as you can find about it.” [Dang] She also recommends balancing “depth and breadth” by picking up a random book once in a while from a different genre and reading the first couple pages just to see if that genre interests you as well. She then sums up all her tips saying, “…try not to think of reading as a chore. It’s not homework. It’s not work at all. It expands your horizons, pushes your imagination and can change your life.” [Dang]


Feeding an obsession over a topic or genre sounds like a wonderful way to keep a student reading more and more books. I recall fondly when I was in elementary school that no one ever needed to talk me into reading about soccer, baseball or guitar. These were my personal enthusiastic fascinations and I can tell you the Biography section of every library was my home away from home. I wanted to know so much more about Pele, Carlton Fisk and Jimi Hendrix than any one library or bookstore could tell me, that’s for sure. Occasionally, my mom would have make suggestions such as reading about Arthur Ashe’s tennis career or Albert Schweitzer’s piano playing in an attempt to nudge me just a little bit wider from my obsessions. In addition, my dad was always surprising us by insisting I read “Little Women,” or that my sister had to leave the “Nancy Drew” books for a little while to try just one from my “Hardy Boys” collection no matter how “icky” she assumed they were going to be.  I might digress a tiny bit to mention anecdotally that my parents were among the last generation of American homeowners to answer their door for an Encyclopedia salesman and actually follow through by purchasing one alphabet letter each month. On rainy weekends if I told my dad I was bored with all the other possibilities around the house he often picked a random page number and letter name and told me to read a full page and get ready for an informal quiz. I’ll never know how he got me to believe that would be fun. I think I just looked forward to him showing me where I was right and wrong.


Now, a song lyric caught my eye at while I was researching this paper.


“Make Reading a Habit” by Ben and Elizabeth Stiefel


The very best thing that you can do

If you wanna do great in school, it’s true

Take some time each day

every single, silly, seriously, super n’ spectacular day

To read n’ read n’

Read n’ read n’

Read n’ read some more


The lyrics feel similar to “You’ve Got To Be Carefully Taught” from “South Pacific,” even before you listen the song’s audio track which they provide right there on their webpage in an embedded music player. An MP3 of the song itself might even serve as a tool teachers could use by playing a snippet before a “book talk” or a read aloud. I might even consider it for the beginning of a daily SSR timeslot since it would serve as its own mini pep-rally of sorts.


When discussing a long-sustained love of reading who can leave out LeVar Burton? Public Television’s “Reading Rainbow” series kept me engaged throughout my entire youth. Burton begins each show with inquiry questions about topics such as the Underground Railroad, or “How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World.” Then he pairs it with an entire book reads to the television audience. It had a 20 year run and trailed off a bit but now there’s a brand new revived series with a modern digital-age app that began less than a year ago. His group is currently working on moving all of the archives from PBS over to their very own webpage at Reading Rainbow’s success shows that children who dislike reading still love when someone reads to them.  Burton’s slogan “you don’t have to take *my* word for it,” will always gently nudge them toward reading things in a book for themselves. Often times the show ends with three or four similar books, the viewer can ask about if they want to teach themselves even more.


In her book, “Elementary Children’s Literature: Infancy through Age 13,” Nancy Anderson lists several specific “benefits children derive from reading and listening to books” as bullet points. I will include a few of them here:

  • Developing a favorable attitude toward books as an enrichment to their lives
  • Gaining new vocabulary and syntax
  • Becoming familiar with story and text structures
  • Stimulating and expanding their imaginations
  • Stretching attention spans
  • Developing an interest in new subjects and hobbies
  • Understanding the heritage of their own and other cultures
  • Learning new knowledge about nature
  • Bringing history to life [Anderson,19]


With these in mind, I would say it is plausible that reading obsessively boosts cognitive abilities and increases self-efficacy. The cliché “…more you know, the more you want to know,” seems apt here.


None of these tips alone will have someone identify as a habitual reader. Nevertheless, with many of these factors in play early in a young person’s life there is a greater chance they too will keep the reading habit forever.



Works Cited


Anderson, N. (2009). Elementary Children’s Literature: Infancy through Age 13 (Third ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.

Dang, J. (2010, August 1). 5 ways to kick start and feed your reading habit. Retrieved May 8, 2015, from

Donalyn, M. (2014, March 26). Five Teaching Tips for Helping Students Become ‘Wild Readers’ Retrieved May 8, 2015, from

Getting Your Child to Love Reading. (n.d.). Retrieved May 11, 2015, from

Moomaw, S., & Hieronymus, B. (2006). Get ready to read!: Making child care work for you. St. Paul, MN: Redleaf Press.

Stiefel, B., & Stiefel, E. (2012). Make Reading a Habit: Song For Teaching About the Importance of Reading. Retrieved May 8, 2015, from

Asking To Learn Then Learning So Much More!

Asking To Learn Then Learning So Much More!


An old blog note I found in google cache. I don’t want this one to ever disappear and it looks like a database went away where this entry used to sit. Bummer.

Monday, 12 August 2013

The most serendipitous kismet I’ve had this side of the Millenium happened yesterday afternoon. I was looking around Danbury for Marian Anderson’s famous homestead. Not the studio, I’d already seen that, and I found a building I thought might’ve been it. I asked a guy in a station wagon near me if he knew if that building was the famous growing up home, and he said he wasn’t sure, but his granddaughter was about to have her cheer-leading camp and the instructor might know so I should wait and ask her.

“He’s a famous baseball player,” said the granddaughter. Well it turns out the fellow I asked was Gilbert Black who played professionally in the “Negro Leagues” in ’56!

He gave me an autographed photo and I gave him a copy of my newest CD, etc. He was delighted to meet a young folksinger because it turns out he went to grade school with Josh White’s daughter and he was shocked when being asked if I knew who Josh White was, I quickly recalled the name even though never knowing actual songs I could say I knew he got famous in the ’40s. He said he listened to nearly the entire NPR stream of this year’s folk festival for three days straight and almost none of the people there knew who he was. Pete Seeger sure, Woody Guthrie, Leadbelly, etc., but almost no one knew who Josh White was. Well, Mr. Black, I’ve heard of him, and now I’ve heard of you, and thank you for pointing that out so I can go find his renditions of “Joshua Fit,” and “Dying Bed” and stuff. Wow. Amazing.

2014 THE YEAR THAT WAS: Journaling What FB’s Anniversary-Algorithm Left Out:

Happy Valentine’s Day, err’budd… I mean Groundhog day, ummm, I mean Polar Plunge day, or Solar Flare? Bipolar Hair day. Fred Astaire; Stroller Chair, everywhere. Yes, I mean that from the depths of my heart, top and bottom. So here’s a recap of my year. Much more in depth than the algorithm Facebook decided to share, although I did like the pictures they chose. But it definitely did not tell a complete “story.”

Another circle around the sun. Beauty before me, beauty behind me. Beauty under my feet, so I walk lightly, deliberately and with great care.

Winter NAMM. I didn’t go this year. Enough said. I’ll miss the new technology; I’m kind of take-it-or-leave-it with being surrounded by so many petentious snobs and so few peers and mentors who truly are the real deal…


The year mostly begins with my song “Frybread” getting picked up to be the theme song of a TV pilot. I got paid a little bit of money and if the show ends up seeing light of day (the percentages on these things are rather daunting…) I’ll see a bunch more and be able to say “you knew me when,” or something. Or something.

Anniversary of Ant Hamlin getting murdered in cold blood in front of New York Amtrak and then his body was dumped near Shewville Road out in North Stoningtonish, Prestonish, Grotonish. Yuck. I’m friends with his ex and many other friends of his and this hurt my feelings a lot. Facebook got this one right and collected up 4 pix of the ceremonies including a rose I kept on my dashboard until early summer and brought over to bury about where his body had been found.

27jan Pete Seeger died. I don’t even know where to start writing about that. I’ll wait for clearer words and a different venue to write that. I could go long! One of the best tributes was written by his friend David Amram who was with him the moment he died.

He wrote this just a day and a half ago, but almost a full year after Pete’s passing. Profound!

What else can I say about “Desiree Bassett sits in with Foghat at the Wolf Den,” but wow, just wow.

Bob Dylan did a car ad for the Superbowl and everyone gave him a hard time but me it seems. I must say it was a great ad.

Bob Dylan is a master creative, a creative genius and a genius musician, what more can I say. Does anyone out there feel just a little less venomous toward Mr. Dylan a full year out now? I sure do appreciate the guy.

4april can be summed up academically this way. So this week I watched Frozen three times and DrumLine four times. Yay!

In fact I’ll give you two perspectives of the same day back to back. Two different substitute teachers co-teaching the same students.
“I watched Frozen 3X & DrumLine 4X. 2day I’ll teach Quantum Theory & Linear Equations 2 Theater majors. Neat!” — Marco Frucht
“Any day can turn around: I am now getting paid to watch Drumline, speak Spanish, and have my hair braided by middle schoolers #love” — Carolyn Luby

I released a fully remastered and engineered cut of my EP “Poems For Roberta Blackgoat” in April too. You’ll remember it as the one I printed 150 copies of to give away at my Indian Summer Music Festival performance in Milwaukee last year. I had so much fun giving it away to not just radio stations and industry bigwigs but anyone I met who was considering whether they could afford the asking price on my commercial CD. “Here, have this free even if you can’t get my commercial CD,” I’d say, maybe you’ll get it some other day at iTunes or Amazon, right? I think I sold a total of 5 rekkids and gave away more than a hundred. Yay! Sometimes cash flow is not only less important than what else is going on, but not important at all.

No matter what else happens every April 12, this day will always be the time I was was beaten to within a 3-minute blackout of my life in Washington DC back in 2003. I was telling someone just the other day that one of the last big purchase items I got for myself from my out-of-court settlement was a $1500 memory foam bed. I have no regrets with that, and I joke that I’m actually thankful I was a victim of police brutality since I can sleep so well now.

2may the late Link Wray’s birthday.

Stevie Wonder got my friend Dylan Jenet Collins signed. That was my high point for the month of March I think. Just rooting for that young Native American rockstar!

10 may New London Konetiuk’s 4th annual Youth Talent Show. I’m their instrumental talent coach. Some amazing moments that day. No, many amazing moments that day!—garde-arts-center-10may14-full-Trk31cJbhY8.html

7june or so? Whalie Awards. Nominated for 2 or 3, win nothing. I will never win an award in New London because of people like, well I won’t name them there are 5 or 6 of them and they are very corrupt, very small minded and very self-centered not to mention big fishes in the littlest pond ever. Oh well, who cares. I don’t do this stuff for awards — nominations just tell me someone was thinking about me and makes my nose itch so I’m happy about that!

16june or so. I go to Hank’s Dairy Bar to see Noelle Smith. An amazing singer/songwriter who moved to North Carolina. Connecticut’s loss and America’s gain for sure.

21june I sing some of my zaniest renditions of my even crazier songs at the bonfire of a guy named Andrew and his wonderful family. Soooooo fun. I hope we do that again 3 or 400 more times next summer!

23june I get accepted to Sacred Heart on a full ride scholarship from the VocRehab section of the Veterans Administration. I should probably say that in allcaps. I GOT ACCEPTED TO SACRED HEART FOR GRAD SCHOOL! Wait, I should type it in allcaps but spaced out old gutenberg style, I’m just THAT excited about it.

I G O T A C C E P T E D T O S A C R E D H E A R T F O R G R A D S C H O O L !

Yeah, that was a highpoint in my year, perhaps my decade. I got rejected by UNH because they didn’t like my essay, and was feeling pretty terrible about that when the letter from SHU came in and patched it all up and made it better than better. Heck, I’ll say it, UNH is a horrible school anyhow. Their loss 😛

22junish Gabriel Ayala plays the National Anthem on a classical guitar at an Arizona Diamondbacks game. You could hear a pin drop! Wow.

26jun or so I drop off a single flower at the site where the murdered Ant Hamlin’s body had been dumped after someone killed him outside of Amtrak in downtown New London. His murder just like Mr. Spicer’s up the road from me here in groton remain unsolved from so long ago. Not among New London, Groton, Waterford submarine-capitol-of-the-world’s proudest moments, to be sure.

4th of July I publish Marc Frucht’s American Songbag. :)

12july my first A as a grad student. My bachelors degree did not even closely resemble these grades.

Jana’s movie starring alongside Lorenzo Lamas hits Walmart stores around the country. About the same time last year or so she managed to get onto Sony RED which my friend Tony helped start back in the day, and they agreed to some kind of distribution for her newest CD but when you walked into Walmart and BestBuy you had the clerk telling you it wasn’t present but you can order it. This time around I was able to walk right in the store and actual buy a copy of the DVD right on premises. Sooooo happy for Jana to be getting her artwork out there like that. She’s been working so hard in these industries!

Pauline Whitesinger dies. She was Roberta Blackgoats next door neighbor. (and by next door I mean half a mile down a fairly well graded dirt road) In the early 90’s I walked back and forth between those two house at least 5 dozen times. A couple times pickup trucks have pulled up and given me a ride half way there because a snowstorm had just begun that might have killed me before I got there. One time it was Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) cops that saved my life.

18aug – I sort of “ambush” the Governor GuerillaJournalist-Style at one of his openhouse town meeting forums in a coffeeshop to request that he bring gas prices down in southeastern CT since wages are so much lower in the parts of CT where gas prices are artifically low but wages are so much higher. I’ll never know if he brought the prices down two weeks later or if they did that on their own but it sure made some good press.

26aug my Making Wampum video gets to the 6000 hits mark which I’m happy about but I get a little suspicious. It seemed to climb really fast a couple days in a row. Looking for why the spike hit I discover that for one year this video had been included in an eBook by one of the CommonCore corporations outfitting schools with material they claim is better than what the schools are already using. Sort of a backhanded curriculum change without any reflection or deliberation on the school district’s part. Anyhew, state of New York school systems were using my homemade music Video as supplemental material to teach grade schoolers about NDN crafts in centuries past. I’m flattered and aggravated at the same time, to say the least.

9sep I find out that the makers of Duke Nukem video game have been using the .MID file of my song “Hey Mon” for years in their video games. They acquired it in a very “pirate” way from their own developers so I’ll never see a single penny from it, but I don’t care. I’m just happy to be able to say you can hear a melody that I wrote in some of the most popular singlepersonshooter games to ever hit computers prior to Grand Theft Auto and Mortal Combat and stuff, right? Ah, there’s a claim to fame I might not even tell too many people about, certainly not anyone under age 11 or so, yikes.

My coversong of the Violent Femmes’ coversong of Marc Bolan’s “Children Of The Revolution” gets shown for an entire month at a listening station in an art gallery as part of an installation at a national gallery in Sharjah, UAE. You get to hear my song in between ones by Joey Ramone and Aldous Huxley! I use an exclamation point there because this is way more exciting than it sounds.

30oct 4 years ago this day 6 teenagers killed my friend Matt Chew. That’s why I became a substitute teacher and that’s why I became an instrumental talent coach, to show young people all over my county that they can write a song, or sing along, or dance and shout or let it all hang out, instead of pulling a drive by or a beat down, right? Yupper and this led to the annual youth talent show that brings so much beauty out of and into New London!

9november I discover someone’s selling a used copy of my SOFFTY FASNFFTOF CD for almost 60 dollars online. I don’t know for sure yet but I think it’s a drop-shipper who hasn’t even purchased it yet but knows s/he can get it off of CDBaby anytime he needs to. If I ever see a penny from that transaction it will only be something like four-dollars-and-fifty-cents and there’s almost nothing I can do about it. This “recording industry” is dying a slow torturous twisted and sordid death and it’s killing off so many souls in the process. I refuse to care. I’m just flattered someone thought enough of my musical work to include it in his/her diabolical plans to take over his or her tiniest part of his world.

Janice Marie Johnson closes out the Nammys this year. I wasn’t able to go this year but was able to see the thing livestreamed on the web. Great stuff. My friends Clayson and Jeneda performed and got an award, so did the Plateros. Very happy for them. They get to tour as the Plateros now and also as part of the band Indigenous.

8oct. Educator Diane Ravitch speaks at Quinipiac college. That was major!



And sometime in early November I was the sole witness to a Kindergartner speaking for the first time. I won’t write much about it, but he was labelled with a nonverbal learning disability and was on watch for either Selective Mutism or full Mutism and I was supposed to lead in structured play and readalongs and make notes if I see him do even so much as a grunt or a snortle. Well since I’m not like your usual average “garden variety” substitute teacher I brought a guitar and played him some flamenco music three days in a row and sang to him a capella occasionally in between all the structured play. He had a favorite book called “Five Little Monkeys,” that I could read to him and point at pictures. I impovised my own little ditty to sing to him as the introduction of this book and then I’d ask if he wants to read it with me. The third day I did this he pointed at it and said, “Monk.” I nearly jumped out of my skin! “Did you just say “monkeys?” I asked him. He just puffed out his chest and grinned and said nothing else. So I read it to him and that’s all I’m going to say about that. It really was one of the “most high” moments I’ve experienced in 5 or 6 years, not just this past year!


13ish November my friend Frank Waln makes it onto MTV with a major project he’d been working diligently on. I’m amazed that MTV allowed such monumental ideas to be shared in one movie short. Not since Little Steven led the Sun City campaign, or maybe with “We Are The World” did that much “movement” happen!

Other November highpoints? Sihasin getting a NAMMY, Jones Benally getting a lifetime achievement award from the Heard Museum.

Please close the School of Americas no matter what name they’re giving WesternHemisphereInstituteForSecurityCooperation it’s still the School of Assassins. I’m embarrassed to be a patriotic American citizen having served in the US army signal corps with each new day that our tax dollars pay for us training paramilitary death squads like that. Look it up.

F I N A L E X A M S :(

(Translated from the Greco Roman to the English that means, “stress.”

2dec starts off the month AND THE FOLLOWING YEAR with auditions for the 5th annual New London Youth Talent Show coming up 13march (pi day by the way)

13dec Franc Gramz releases a CD to a fully sold out show at Hanafins Pub. I saw Dio Hanafin and his wife at a local Homegoods/Hardware store a few days later and he told me it was one of the best shows of his entire year, with his wife nodding in agreement the whole time.

Sometime between Thanksgiving and NewYears I found out online thanks to BlackBoard educational webapp that I managed to get 3 gradschool As and a B- at America’s most unaffordable college. My masters degree candidacy is more difficult, more stressful and rigorous all the while more fulfilling than I could have ever imagined it to be.

26dec My friend Tanya Tagac gets declared Canada’s best artist for 2014. Wow.

31dec – Noon. Save for eating dinner and other NYE stuff the very last thing I did this year was pretty neat. Late morning I get a call from DJ Dot who is the “Gramma” in Gramma’s attic. She’s had a last minute cancellation on her weekly TV show and can I come on and entertain TVland in one of those “Taped-Live” settings. Sure, when? Oh, a couple hours. I literally went home, got three guitars, tuned them up once quickly and scoured my room for several set-lists and cheat sheets because I knew I wouldn’t even have time to rehearse at all. I’ll stick to songs I know well. Yeah right. How did that work out for you? I had to cover for so many mistakes with humor that this show went from loose to fun to downright zany in less than 35 seconds. I hope that translates well to the upcoming show and isn’t too embarrassing for you. Or me!

Consequently, I had more fun entertaining on this show than I’ve had in any venue for years! The show airs in a few weeks and then I can start sharing movie shorts from it on vimeo or liveleak or something. Yay!

Happy GNU Year!

marco frucht
aka Marco Capelli
e&p atizine since 1988
Singer/Songwriter since well, since I’ve been singering and songwritering.

PS: THIS JUST IN!! 2015 begins with my dear friend Eric Lichter nominated for a New England Music Award as Producer Of The Year. Eric owns and operates Dirt Floor Recording Studio which is almost entirely an analog environment. If you want an easy comparison of just how wonderful analog equipment can sound with the right producer placing mics and engineering you, you can listen to his three productions on my commercial CD and then contrast them against most of the others.

Here are two to compare:

RIP Sam Houston Kingfisher, an old friend I met on the Navajo rez.

RIP Sam Houston Kingfisher, an old friend I met on the Navajo rez.

I just found out an old friend, Sam had died two years ago.

Sam’s dad Eagle Kingfisher was really good friends with Sam Drywater who I met in Tulsa in 1992.

A very headhitting funny story I can tell you about Sam Drywater is this. A newage wannabe lady came to this potluck supper we were having and she found out that Sam was a bona fide certified wool-in-the-dyed medicine type elder dude. So she offered him a pack of cigarettes and asked his advice about a profound moment she had just had. She was driving to that pot luck just hours ago and drove by a large hawk that had been hit by a car. She stopped a while and sat and prayed near it and asked Creator for guidance and was just certain Creator sent him to her, in the form of sending him to that Potluck that she was going to. Well Sam asked for a small room he could darken completely and some blankets and clothespins to do it. He sat in that room for at 20 minutes, and I swear this lady sat in a chair facing that door the entire time waiting for him to come out just like my family dog used to do when you pushed down the electric canopener.

Well he eventually came out that door while most of us were eating potluck stuff and mingling and he went right to her. Well he couldn’t go anywhere else without going right to her first because she was about 9 feet away directly in front of that door facing him. She got up like he was 9 men on a jury about to give the verdict and she was the defendant.


She stared deeply into his eyes, and he stared back. Neither of them blinked for a long time.

I just knew she wasn’t going to do a thing until he said something. It was almost painful to watch. Finally he pursed his lips and stiffened his chin and here’s what came out.

“Did you call the DEP or at least the DOT?”

She left that potluck with a mission, pronto. Many of us giggled a little. Even before Sam Drywater told Eagle, Eagle’s wife, his wife, me and Sam and a guy everyone calls Fumby, we laughed again as he told us he figured out in that room that it had to be the same roadkill wild turkey he’d driven by a few hours to get to the same potluck supper.

Well that’s what I remember, there’s probably more. So long ago.

Story about Sam Drywater while I’m remembering Sam Houston Kingfisher, sort of his nephew, who died a couple years ago. I just found out this morning. RIP.

New London’s 5th Annual Youth Talent Show Is Going To Be Sooooo Awesome!

This just in from The New London Youth Talent Show


The results are in. Thank you all! It was tough, but the search is over.

We are excited for this year and promise an EPIC showcase!

Be sure to tell your friends and family! Bring joy this Holiday season. Tickets go on sale SOON!


1) William Nieves

2) Denny Ward

3) Eric Jones

4) Kairo Castillo

5) Lions Den

6) Jeni Flo Band

7) Ryder Singer-Johnson

8) Dance Infusion

9) Sara Coley

10) Moe Steele

11) Caroline Tanner

12) Jonas Picinich

13) Todd Belcher

14) Naomi Jones

15) Zak Ackart

16) CJ Thibeau

17) Juan Moscol

18) Anna Dozier

19) Carlos Rosario

20) Andrew Barnes

21) Ramon Mendez

22) Sara Maynara

23) Michael Okoasia **

24) Iyanla Page

25) Casey Flax

26) Rebecca Reyes

27) Rhythm ‘n Sync

28) Miquel DeJesus

29) Zionna Williams

30) Brian Johnson

31) Mykela Parker

32) Maria Bonanno

33) Joseph Salcedo

34) Ra’anna Clark

35) Serenity Davies

36) Kathianna Celestin

37) Aliyah Slater

38) Dina Erie

39) Crystaliz Sanchez

40) Brianna Brown

41) Kathy Liz

This show is going to be so off the chain, over the top, other worldly, out of the park, amazingly wild and wow, what else to say that begins with a “w” or an “o” did I say Wow? Yeah, wow, just wow.

The Boy Who Said, “Monk.”

The Boy Who Said “Monk!”  record3

A Connecticut K-5 school. I’m on a three-day assignment in Special Ed. Several one-on-ones with students who have a schedule of tiered RTI pull-outs from their regular classes. A little pre-schooler I won’t name of course comes every day for a morning hour and an additional afternoon on Fridays. I have him Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. They’ve tagged him as nonverbal and on watch for mutism. I was asked to write down any grunt or giggle I might hear if possible. Even if it’s just positive response to something I’ve said or done and you almost hear a snortle or something.

First two mornings there was nothing, but he was very cheery and happy to comply with each and every change in structured play. Each day in between tasks I sang a capella to him or got my guitar and played him an instrumental flamenco piece. Each morning I read him a cardboard book entitled, “Five Little Monkeys” and he really seemed to like that.

So Friday morning I made up a song about the 5 little monkeys book before reading it to him and asked if he wanted us to read it together and he looked at me plain as day and said, “monk!” Yes, I nearly jumped out of my own skin.

I said, “Wait, did you just say “monkeys?” and he didn’t say another word, just grinned and puffed out his chest.
Then I read him the book and he smiled the whole time.

Then I had one more hour in the afternoon and it turned out it was after his class had a music special. He walked in, waved goodbye to his para professional and pointed at the boom box on the floor. So I turned it on and he sat on the floor repeating “wheels on the bus” and “heads shoulders knees and toes” over and over for most of the hour.

CEREMONY: NAMA15 Realtime Hilites From the ATIZINE LiveTweet.



CEREMONY: Donating Some More Journalism Skills to the Native American Music Awards

By marco capelli frucht

[inline] [/inline]  silenceisaweapon-laptop-blackfiresticker2

So here’s my reverse chronology rundown of the Nammys last night. Their 15th annual. 

There were a couple glitches at the beginning of the show from the webstream’s point of view but overall it went really great. This is the first year they’ve managed to include anyone else anywhere else in the world who wanted to watch the Ceremony from afar. I’m really psyched about how well it went, and what an artifact it’s now become thanks to the people at Livestream, SingleFeather, and FNXdotOrg. Yippie!

Congrats to Tribe @atribecalledred for their Best Music Video win at the nammys! capelli @atizine · 10h10 hours ago
So I missed @raphaeldeas presenting and I missed Village People shouting out the pop category. What else did I miss?
@atizine Here’s a link where you can scroll fwd/bkwd and see anything you might’ve missed earlier 2nite: …

· 10h10 hours ago
BTW: I think Livestream’s company has plenty of bandwidth to archive shows so it’s probably going to be an “artifact” now. :)
· 10h10 hours ago
And my sistah from anuddah mother, Janice Marie Johnson closes the show. #nama #nammys
Kelly Montijo Fink and John Kane presenting the next one… #nama #nammys #nammy

More capelli @atizine · 11h11 hours ago
@4JayMichael You’re welcome! So happy I can help out even a little bit from afar. I’ve been there backstage for so many other ones.
· 11h11 hours ago
It is so absolutely neato keen and awesomely wonderful to see @theplateros joining Indigenous. Now that’s rock n roll. Have Mercy! 
· 11h11 hours ago
@mwalim brings the music a capella to introduce Charly Lowry and DarkWater Rising. Wow.
Best Rock Recording goes to the Ollivanders #nama #nammy #nammys
Sihasin about to perform one of their songs. I think Woody Guthrie’s “Mean Things” is gonna be one of ’em. :)
Ryan Little Eagle Molina takes Best Instrumental Recording Nammy at the 15th annual #nammys for “The Long Journey Home.”
More · 11h11 hours ago
Janice Marie, how’s the lights for you. Too bright? Not bright enough? 😛 That’s right, boogie oogie oogie. Good work grrl!

Nama gives a guitar away. Weall usually sign it the night b4. It’s always a fundraiser for great things. Vets, heating fuel, antisuicide…
· 12h12 hours ago
Joanne @JoShenandoah‘s daughter Leah performs one of her songs at NAMA15. 14nov14 :)
· 12h12 hours ago
Dark Water Running and Jimmy Wolf win Nammys. Couldn’t write fast enough for provenance. I’ll get the specifics asap.
· 12h12 hours ago
Sihasin takes the Debut Group Of The Year Nammy at the 15th annual #nammys for “Never Surrender!” Yippie!

More· 12h12 hours ago
Tracy Bone takes the Best Country Nammy at the 15th annual #nammys Yippie!
@raphaeldeas @NativeAwards I think it’s 15lbs, Raphael, but I know whatcha mean!
@Edko5871 See what I mean? Edko’s houseband’s jam right now sounds like Eagles’ I can’t tell you why, meets Ted Nugent’s Stranglehold… Show @NAMCountdown · 15h15 hours ago
Good luck to everyone at the #NAMA‘s! Happy 15th Anniversary!
· 12h12 hours ago
@Edko5871 provides the house band for each annual #nammys – These guys are selfless and amazingly talented! So proud to call them friend
· 12h12 hours ago
FNX, First Nations Experience provides this brand new #nammys live webstream along with Mikey Kickingbear Johnson’s SingleFeather Media.
Samantha Eldridge @DCSamantha · 21h21 hours ago
Don’t have plans tonight? Watch the live stream of the 15th Annual Native American Music Awards @ 8:00 PM EST #NAMA
marco capelli retweeted Arts @ICTMN_Arts · 13h13 hours ago
Are you watching? Native American Music Awards #NAMA streaming live right now on @FNXTV link: 
marco capelli retweeted Waln @FrankWaln · 5 Nov 2012
My beats were winning awards before I was. #Nammys Best Producer 2010 Best Rap/Hip Hop Recording 2011 
Bobby Richardson @ColdWinterWind · 10 May 2013
ME!! RT @delschilling: Who is watching the #NAMMYS ? 
Ed Koban @Edko5871 · Apr 5
Please visit my band page and click like. We appreciate your support. #EKG #FUMSE #nammys #NAMA #edko 
· 12h12 hours ago
And what’s Jim Boyd do in addition to giving an acceptance speech? Carries out his geetar and plays for us. Yippie! @atizine
View conversation

· 12h12 hours ago
Jim Boyd gets “rekonized” at the 15th Nammys. Hard medicine; good medicine. Janice Marie Johnson hands Jim the Lifetime Achievement award.
· 13h13 hours ago
Leah Shenandoah takes the Debut Artist Of the Year Nammy at the 15th annual #nammys for her rekkid “Spektra.”

More capelli @atizine · 13h13 hours ago
Indigenous wins the Best Blues Recording #Nammy at the 15th annual #nammys for “Vanishing Americans.”

More capelli @atizine · 13h13 hours ago
Buddy Big Mountain & his little friend intros the next performer, Jan Michael Looking Wolf at the 15th annual #nammys

· 13h13 hours ago
The Tribe wins the Best Pow Wow Recording #nammy at the 15th annual #nammys for “Stoic.”

14h14 hours ago
@DylanJenet onstage this second presenting!!! Best Pow Wow Recording. Who might get it! #nama #nammys #nammy

· 14h14 hours ago
“Indian Honkytonk Wonder Woman.” — One of the Superkids jammin live this sec w/ Wayne Silas, Jr. Menom & Oneida represent! @KarlaCarolAnn
View conversation
· 14h14 hours ago
Spirit of Thunderheart wins the Best Traditional Recording #nammy at the 15th annual #nammys for “Rising.”

marco capelli @atizine · 14h14 hours ago
@Edko5871 Boy, that’s a gorgious backline, what with the Mesa Boogies, Marshalls and Fenders and stuff. :) 
View conversation

marco capelli @atizine · 14h14 hours ago
@dougbluefeather, are you watching the #nammys on the webstream? @NativeAwards

Dark Water Rising @DarkWaterRising · Nov 13
Layla Rose got all of us to take a #selfie#GotSnow #Salamanca #NY #NAMMYS 

marco capelli @atizine · 14h14 hours ago
Watching the native american music awards on the livestream. #nammys 

marco capelli @atizine · 14h14 hours ago
@tinselkorey @Nataanii_Means …
View conversation

marco capelli retweeted
Zalka Csenge Virág @TarkabarkaHolgy · Nov 13
Don’t know yet what I am teaching next semester, but #RebelMusic is going straight in the syllabus. #culturestudies

marco capelli retweeted
Tinsel Korey @tinselkorey · Nov 13
Watching @FrankWaln @Nataanii_Means & @inezjasper on the big screen #RebelMusic @MTV #NativeAmericanHeritageMonth 
marco capelli retweeted
Alannah Begay @LongHair_DC · Nov 13
Inspiring and powerful video on behalf of @MTV . Native Country is alive and well! Represent. @FrankWaln @Nataanii_Means@inezjasper

marco capelli retweeted Dani @xodanix3 · Nov 13
What I liked most about #RebelMusic was it showed Native Americans as human. Not as angry activist or stereotypes but as relateable ppl.

And here’s the complete list of winners:

Artist of the Year
Mato Nanji
Vanishing Americans

Best Blues Recording
Vanishing Americans

Best Compilation Recording
Don’t Let Me Forget
Kelly Montijo Fink

Best Country Recording
Woman Of Red
Tracy Bone

Debut Artist of the Year
Leah Shenandoah

Debut Group of the Year
Never Surrender

Best Female Artist
Rita Coolidge
A Rita Coolidge Christmas

Best Folk Recording
Keeper of the Dreams
Red Feather Woman

Flutist of the Year
Rona Yellowrobe
The Gathering

Best Inspirational Recording
Grace & Grit: Chapter I
Dark Water Rising

Group of the Year
Plenty Wolf Singers
Medicine Wolf

Best Historical/Linguistic Recording
Heart of the Buffalo
Richard Stepp & Rick McKee

Best Instrumental Recording
The Long Journey Home
Ryan Little Eagle Molina

Best Male Artist
Jimmy Wolf
A Tribute To Little Johnny Taylor

Best Native American Church Recording
Apache Peyote Songs
Joe Tohonnie Jr

Best New Age Recording
Rushingwind & Mucklow

Best Pop Recording
Day After Day
Jamie Coon

Best Pow Wow Recording
Tha Tribe

Best Producer
Kevin Chief
Honoring The Mazinikijik Singers

Best Rap Hip Hop Recording
One Tribe One Nation
The Council

Record of the Year
Romanze Songs of Tosti
Lawrence Harris

Best Rock Recording
Two Sons
The Ollivanders

Song of the Year
Witchi Tai-To – Water Spirits
Shadowyze, Caren Knight Pepper and Jim Pepper

Songwriter of the Year
Theresa “Bear” Fox

Best Spoken Word Recording
Grandfather Speaks
Ken Quiet Hawk

Best Traditional Recording
Spirit of Thunderheart

Best Music Video
Sisters ft Northern Voice
A Tribe Called Red

Best Waila Recording
In Loving Memory of Our Beloved Father & Uncle
Family Pride

Best World Music Recording
Nature Dance
Joanne Shenandoah

Native Heart
Lex Nichols
The Long Road

Lifetime Achievement
Jim Boyd