PopCult Rudy Panucci on Pop Culture

The RFC Flashback: Episode 99

RFC 99 "Porkchop shirt" from Rudy Panucci on Vimeo.

This week we go back to May, 2010 for our 99th show, “Porkchop Shirt.”  This time we produced what was then an extra-long show, with music from Highway Jones, OVADA and HARRAH, plus a visit from IWA East Coast Heavyweight Champion contender, Chris Hero, a short film by Murfmeef and some really cute, but disgusting animation.

This was the first show where we used the Kodak Zi8 video camera, which was then-new, and is today obsolete, but it’s still our weapon of choice as we now have five and a half of them. (Don’t loan your cameras out to other people, kids)

It was also the first appearance of HARRAH as a band, although Lee Harrah had been part of the show since episode 19.

The promo for Chris Hero was shot for us by Bo Vance, and is notable because Chris spent years at WWE’s NXT brand as “Kassius Ohno,” and in this clip he challenges Roderick Strong, who is still a star in NXT, and name-checks other wrestlers he’d faced, like Billy Gunn, Jerry Lynn and current AEW star, Jon Moxley.

All  in all, it’s a pretty solid show, loaded with great music and plenty of weird extras to help you pass the time. Original production notes are HERE.

Two Quick PopCult Videos

The PopCulteer
May 20, 2022

This week, in keeping with the original spirit of The PopCulteer to do something different every week, we are bringing you two very short PopCult videos.

Think of them as video essays.

While they seem to have nothing in common on the surface, the fact is, they were recorded within fifteen hours of one another.

These are holdovers from our lightning trip to New York City three weeks ago. We’re going to show them to you here in reverse order from wence they was shot.

First up you’re going to see a very short video I shot on Sunday, May 1, from the window of the Amtrak Cardinal. We were passing the C&O Railway Heritage Center, and I got footage of the back end of the museum, including some of the rare and ancient cars they have in their railyard alongside the Amtrak tracks.  If you are a Charleston Gazette-Mail subscriber, you can read a cool article or two about the C&O Railway Heritage Center that were published earlier this week.

Anyway, here’s the quick video…

Our other video is a totally different story.

While we were in New York to see The Minutes, we chose to see a matinee so that we could run around Times Square a bit in the evening (and get some Junior’s Cheesecake while we were there).  When it was time to get back to the hotel, we had a hell of a time flagging down a taxi.  However, our knight in shining SpongeBob gear appeared with his Pedi-Cab, and said he could get us to our hotel in less than eight minutes, which he did. It was a blast.

I wrote about it HERE, but I also shot video of the ride, sped up just a little to match the background music (we had to use approved music so that YouTube wouldn’t flag us), and here is the result…


And that is our PopCulteer this week because yours truly is off on a very quick (and much closer) day trip this weekend, and didn’t really feel like writing word things. Be sure to check PopCult for fresh content every day, because that’s what I do. If there isn’t fresh content, there’s probably something wrong.

Special note: PopCult may disappear from this location at The Charleston Gazette-Mail soon. Don’t miss out on our new posts at our NEW HOME. Bookmark the new site, and subscribe to our RSS feed. You can also follow PopCult and Rudy Panucci on social media at Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Art Walk and Stuff To Do

Okay, it’s time once again for your guide to things you can do in and around Charleston, Huntington and other places nearby during this post mid-May week in our latest edition of STUFF TO DO.

A special note: ArtWalk happens again in Charleston Thursday from 5 PM to 8 PM.  This free event is open to the public as art lovers can walk to all the usual suspects and take in the majesty of the art. Some galleries will have music and/or munchies as well. It’s a really cheap way to support the local scene and get out and mingle a bit…if you are so inclined. Several post-Art Walk events are listed below.

Live Music is back at Taylor Books. There is no cover charge, and shows start at 7:30 PM. Friday it’s Dina Hornbaker. Saturday sees David McGuire (from Bad Keys On The Mountain) at Charleston’s Bookstore/coffeehouse/art gallery institution.

Please remember that the pandemic is not over yet, and now only the stupidest of people are going without vaccinations. Many people who have very good reasons are still wearing masks, and many of us, understandably, are still nervous about being in crowds, masked or not. Be kind and understanding  while you’re out.

If you wanna hear something funny,  tune in to The AIR Wednesday night at 11 PM where we will offer up a new episode of The Comedy Vault, this time featuring an hour of the comedy of Gilda Radner.

In the meantime, if you’re up for going out, here are some suggestions from folks who were kind enough to provide graphics and make my job easier…




Continue reading…

A Kickstarter Campaign Hits The Fan

Above you see the Kickstarter pitch video for a new trading card game created by Richie Ray.  Area music fans may remember Richie as the front man for Shindig (We had the band on RFC back in 2009). Richie has pointed his creative energies in a new direction, strained hard, and pushed out a trading card game called “Oh Crap.”

Think of it as Pokémon, only with poop instead of monsters.

I’d better let Richie explain…

This game evolved from making up silly songs with my wife into a full on collectible trading card game.  With my knack for poop jokes (and graphic design) and my friend Gavin’s insane artistic talent, we created a game that is as funny as it is fun.  Playable like most TCG’s, these are fun to have and quickly become a topic of discussion when they come out.

So…if you have the proper sense of humor, then this is the game of craps you want to support. With his buddy Gavin MacDonald, Richie has come up with a fun game that fans of trading card games can really run with. There are ten days left in the campaign, and it’s near its goal, so it’s not like you’ll gamble and lose. You will want to be in on this when it comes out.

Seriously, this game is like a steamer full of fun…from Cleveland. Some folks might find a game like this to be nutty or corny, but if it cracks you up, then you know that you gotta go to the Kickstarter page and drop your support into the bucket. Don’t pass on this. You’d be flushing away your chance to get in on the ground level of something that could be massive.

There are several levels of support, including a full 36-card starter deck for fifteen dollars, and other levels with bonus cards and other goodies.

You can support the campaign HERE, and follow their progress at the Oh Crap Facebook page.

Special note: PopCult may disappear from this location at The Charleston Gazette-Mail soon. Don’t miss out on our new posts at our NEW HOME. Bookmark the new site, and subscribe to our RSS feed. You can also follow PopCult and Rudy Panucci on social media at Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


Newness and Weirdness On RFC Tuesday

It’s Tuesday on The AIR  and you know what that means. Today it’s tie for yet another one-third-new, three-hour  episode of Radio Free Charleston. You simply have to point your cursor over and tune in at the website, or you could just stay on this page, and  listen to the cool embedded player right here…

Yes, it’s one more hybrid edition of Radio Free Charleston at 10 AM and 10 PM Tuesday.   This week we open with a full hour of  local and independent music, and then we hit you with two hours of classic Radio Free Charleston International from 2019.

Our first hour, opens with new music from Amos Steel Co., who you will be reading about here in PopCult as they play more local gigs. You’ll also hear brand-new music from The Heavy Editors (featuring former Feast of Stephen six-stringer, Joe Vallina), The Smile, Bane Star, The Settlement and making his RFC debut, Corduroy Brown. We also have a new tune from Jim Lange and a song from Chicago’s all-girl punk band, Mystery Actions.

The second and third hours of our show re-present a mixtape edition of Radio Free Charleston International from July, 2019, when yours truly was in rough shape after a quick trip to Chicago when the heat index was 117, This fever-dream playlist makes no sense on paper, but it sure sounds good.

Check out the playlist below to see all the goodies we have in store (live links will take you to the artist’s pages where possible)…

RFCv5 088

Amos Steel Co. “The Ballad of Amos Steel”
The Heavy Editors “Time Travel”
The Smile “Thin Thing”
Bane Star “You Should Have Seen Her”
The Settlement “Riff Destroyer”
Dubioza Kolectiv “Traktorska”
Mystery Actions “War Beat”
Corduroy Brown (featuring Alro McKinley) “Secret Wars”
XTC “I’d Like That”
The Black Keys “War Child”
Jim Lange “Early Morning Affirmation”
Jazz Sabbath “Paranoid”
Minor Swing “Limehouse Blues”

hour two
Children of the Sun “Her Game”
Joe Jackson “Steppin’ Out (live)”
Elvis Costello “This Town”
Rosalie Cunningham “House of the Glass Red”
Tim Heidecker “Insomnia”
Agwabom “POTUS The Alien”
Harry Nilsson “I’d Rather Be Dead”
Squirrel Nut Zippers “Beast of Burgandy”
Plasmawine “Sell Yo Mum”
Manfred Mann “Chicago Institute”
Perspective Vortex “Out of Time”
The Ivory Elephant “Maybe I’m Evil”
Mini Mansions “I Should Be Dancing”

hour three
The Shadows “Atlantis”
Quiet Life “Get Up”
Terry Draper “Once Upon A Memory”
Soundgarden “Black Hole Sun (Live)”
Paul McCartney “Frank Sinatra’s Party”
The Alarm “Armegedden In The Morning”
Space Raptor “Psychedelic Warfare”
Violent Femmes “Hotel Last Resort”
Stray Cats “Devil Train”
Shriekback “The King In The Tree”
Matt Berry “Lord Above”
Kitty Rose and the Rattlers “Missing The Train”

You can hear this episode of Radio Free Charleston Tuesday at 10 AM and 10 PM on The AIR, with replays Thursday at 2 PM, Friday at 9 AM, Saturday at Noon and Midnight,  and  Monday at 11 AM, exclusively on The AIR. Now you can also hear a different episode of RFC every weekday at 5 PM, and we bring you a marathon all night long Saturday night/Sunday morning.

I’m also going to  embed a low-fi, mono version of this show right in this post, right here so you can listen on demand.

After RFC, stick around for encores of MIRRORBALL at 1 PM, and Ska Madness at 2 PM. At 3 PM we have two recent episodes of The Swing Shift.

Special note: PopCult may disappear from this location at The Charleston Gazette-Mail soon. Don’t miss out on our new posts at our NEW HOME. Bookmark the new site, and subscribe to our RSS feed. You can also follow PopCult and Rudy Panucci on social media at Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Monday Morning Art: From The Depot


Our art this week is a quick and sloppy small study for a potential large-scale painting later. It’s so sloppy you can probably see where I dropped my straight-edge on the canvas board right when I was almost finished, and was too lazy to clean it up.

This is an acrylic study based on a photo taken from the train in Staunton, Virginia. There were a few utility poles and lines that I didn’t like, so I left them out. When I do this on a larger scale I may leave out the guy who was just standing there, staring at the train.

If you’d like to see it bigger, just click on the image.

Meanwhile, Monday at 2 PM on The AIR, we bring you a recent episode of  Psychedelic Shack, followed at 3 PM by a recent edition of Herman Linte’s weekly showcase of the Progressive Rock of the past half-century, Prognosis.  You can listen to The AIR at the website, or on the embedded radio player right here…

Psychedelic Shack can be heard every Monday at 2 PM, with replays Tuesday at 9 AM, Wednesday at 10 PM, Friday at 1 PM,  and Saturday at 9 AM. Classic episodes can be heard Sunday at 9 AM as part of our Sunday Haversham Recording Institute collection.

You can hear Prognosis on The AIR Monday at 3 PM, with replays Tuesday at 7 AM, Wednesday at 8 PM, Thursday at Noon, and Saturday at 10 AM. You can hear two classic episodes of the show Sunday at 2 PM.

Tonight at 8 PM you can hear an hour of great stand-up by Billy Connelly on The Comedy Vault. Wednesday evening at 10 PM, we’ll have another new episode of The Comedy Vault.

Then, at 9 PM we bring you an overnight marathon of live, local music by some of Charleston’s best musicians.

Special note: PopCult may disappear from this location at The Charleston Gazette-Mail soon. Don’t miss out on our new posts at our NEW HOME. Bookmark the new site, and subscribe to our RSS feed. You can also follow PopCult and Rudy Panucci on social media at Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Sunday Evening Video: The Jam, Live…Again

Sinice we have moved PopCult to an undisclosed location, away from the Charleston Gazette-Mail, I have been trying to go back and clean up broken links, missing graphics, and videos that have been yanked from YouTube. Tonight we bring you another one of those videos, originally posted here in August, 2014.

Enjoy The Jam, Live At Bingley Hall, Birmingham, England from 1982. Go back 40 years, when The Jam were a hot young English band that sprung out of the punk/new wave movement and spearheaded a short-lived Mod revival.  Paul Weller’s pre-Style Council band was one of those great musical entities that never quite managed to cross the Atlantic and find commercial success in the US. That doesn’t take away from the excellence of their R&B inflected, sharp British Pop-punk.

Also, remember to keep checking PopCult for all our regular features and possible top secret surprises this week.

The RFC Flashback: Episode 98

This week The RFC Flashback goes to April, 2010, for Radio Free Charleston 98, “Marilyn Monroe Shirt,” featuring music by The Diablo Blues Band, David Synn and Captain Crash and The Beauty Queen. We also had animation by Frank Panucci, and a look at the then-new GI Joe Adventure Team.

You can read the original production notes HERE.

Special note: PopCult may disappear from this location at The Charleston Gazette-Mail soon. Don’t miss out on our new posts at our NEW HOME. Bookmark the new site, and subscribe to our RSS feed. You can also follow PopCult and Rudy Panucci on social media at Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The PopCulteer
May 13, 2022

Don’t be frightened. Today is not like every other day. It’s the 13th day of the month, and this Friday we offer up shiny new episodes of MIRRORBALL and Sydney’s Big Electric Cat.  The AIR is PopCult’s sister radio station. You can hear these shows on The AIR website, or just click on the embedded player right here…

At 2 PM, Mel Larch uncorks a new MIRRORBALL! The AIR’s showcase of classic Disco music presents a wild collection of classic Disco tracks from the classic era of people dancing in dark rooms on cocaine.

For one hour you can go back to the Golden Age of Disco, where the sideburns were long, the skirts were short and the dancing was endless.

Check out the playlist…

MB 51

Kool And The Gang “Hollywood Swinging”
The Crusaders “Street Life”
L.T.D. “(Everytime I Turn Around) Back In Love Again”
The Brothers Johnson “Stomp”
Donna Summer “Hot Stuff”
Oliver Cheatham “I Need To Find”
Tavares “Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel”
Leon Heywood “Don’t Push It, Don’t Force It”
Thema Houston “Don’t Leave Me This Way”
The Commodores “Lady”

You can hear MIRRORBALL every Friday at 2 PM, with replays Saturday at  9 PM (kicking off a mini-marathon), Sunday at 11 PM, Monday at 9 AM, and Tuesday at 1 PM  exclusively on The AIR.

At 3 PM, it’s Big Electric Cat time as Sydney Fileen delivers a special mixtape edition of her show that, rather than flowing smoothly, attempts to be as jarring and disconnected as possible. It’s all designed to jar your senses with the type of random diversity that you’d have experienced at the time.

It’s all in the spirit of fun, so check out this playlist…

BEC 090

Adam & The Ants “Kings of the Wild Frontier”
B 52s “Dance This Mess Around”
Duran Duran “Planet Earth”
Pretenders “I Go To Sleep”
Godley & Creme “Under Your Thumb”
Aneka “Japanese Boy”
Bad Manners “Can Can”
The Look “I Am The Beat”
The Police “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic”
Visage “Fade To Grey”
Toyah “It’s A Mystery”
Madness ‘It Must Be Love”
Altered Images “Happy Birthday”
The Human League “Love Action”
ABC “Tears Are Not Enough”
Human Switchboard “Who’s Landing In My Hangar”
Siouxsie And The Banshees “Spellbound”
Fun Boy Three “The Lunatics (Have Taken Over The Asylum)”
Department S “Is Vic There”
The Teardrop Explodes “Reward”
Gary Numan “She’s Got Claws”
Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark “Souvenir”
Kim Wilde “Kids In America”
Ultravox “Vienna”
Japan “Quiet Life”
Hazel O’Connor “Will You”
Modern Romance “Everybody Salsa”
Spandau Ballet “Chant No. 1”
The Passions “I’m In Love With A German Film Star”
U2 “Fire”
UB40 “One In Ten”
The Jam “That’s Entertainment”

Sydney’s Big Electric Cat is produced at Haversham Recording Institute in London, and can be heard every Friday at 3 PM, with replays Saturday afternoon, Monday at 7 AM, Tuesday at 8 PM, Wednesday at Noon and Thursday at 10 AM, exclusively on The AIR.

That’s what’s on The AIR Friday, and that is this week’s PopCulteer. Check back every day for fresh content and loads of regular, irregular and constipated features.

Special note: PopCult may disappear from this location at The Charleston Gazette-Mail soon. Don’t miss out on our new posts at our NEW HOME. Bookmark the new site, and subscribe to our RSS feed. You can also follow PopCult and Rudy Panucci on social media at Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The Power of Power Records

The PopCult Bookshelf

Power Trip
written and compiled by Jason Young
Self Published
$25 available directly from Jason Young/Old Times Digest

For the last couple of years, Jason Young has been self-publishing some terrific books about the fringes of pop culture where your humble blogger likes to shine his spotlight. He’s done it again with a great look at one of the niche collectibles from the pre-“Me Decade.”

Kids of the 1970s have fond memories of Power Records. Power Records was an imprint of Peter Pan Records, a long-running record label devoted to selling records to children.  They started out by producing kid’s novelty songs and storybook records, but during the 1960s Superhero boom, Peter Pan produced an album of DC superhero adventures, and a few “monster” records, and in the early 1970s they revisited the concept in a big way with the Power Records imprint.

Power Records is most known for producting book and record combo sets that included a comic book, with the best printing on the highest-quality paper that had been used for comics to that date, and a seven-inch single that brought the story to life with voice, music and sound effects, like a short radio play.  The company licensed characters from DC and Marvel, as well as Star Trek, Conan, Planet of The Apes and more. Not only were they beautifully-drawn comics, they were even educational, helping encourage some kids to learn to read.

At the time, a lot of hardcore comic snobs ignored these books because they had the stigma of being designed for kids. However, those comic snobs missed out on some of the most spectacular comic book art produced in the 1970s.  Power Records had hired the late Neal Adams and his Continuity Associates to oversee the artwork and production, and the end result was that the Power Records comics looked better than almost every regular comic book being produced at the time.

Most of the Marvel entries from Power Records were simply adapted and reprinted from existing comics, but for the rest, most of them sport covers by Adams, and much of the internal artwork shows his touch as well. Other artists working on the interiors included masters of the field, such as Russ Heath, Gray Morrow, Dick Giordano, Rich Buckler and others.

In his latest book, Power Trip, Jason Young gives us a generously-illustrated look at the history of Power Records and Peter Pan Records, and clears up some of the confusion over which imprint released which comic/record sets when. He also covers the end of the Power Records line, the switch to using cassettes instead of vinyl records, and a series of 12″ LPs that compiled the audio portions of these sets wih or without the comics (but usually with gorgeous new covers by Adams).

To be honest, I’m more than a little surprised that DC hasn’t released a collection of the stories featuring their characters, and that IDW hasn’t compiled the Star Trek comics into a hardcover yet.

These records were repackaged and reissued so many times in so many different formats that compiling a complete checklist would be extremely difficult. Young sidesteps that problem, instead just presenting as much information as he can, without trying to be complete. It’s much more useful as a reference book if it doesn’t try to be definitive about a business as undocumented as the kid’s records market in the 1970s.  You never know when a previously-unknown limited release or foreign-market edition of something may turn up.

The market for collecting Power Records has not gone crazy yet. Aside from a few items that can go for hundreds of dollars, most of the best book/record sets can be found for under fifty bucks, which isn’t bad considering the very high quality and the fact that these came out five or six decades ago.

As it is, Power Trip hits all the key points of the Power Records story, and packs a ton of information and artwork into its 156 pages. The art direction is clever and lets the graphics from the original records shine. Power Trip is a must-have for fans of 1970s mainstream comics. It was a little bittersweet receiving this book in the mail shortly after Neal Adams passed away. It’s loaded with his artwork, and stands as yet another tribute to his lasting influence and appeal.

Special note: PopCult may disappear from this location at The Charleston Gazette-Mail soon. Don’t miss out on our new posts at our NEW HOME. Bookmark the new site, and subscribe to our RSS feed. You can also follow PopCult and Rudy Panucci on social media at Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.