PopCult Rudy Panucci on Pop Culture

Mistress Rhonda Has Left Us

rhonda-01There are some things I don’t enjoy writing about in PopCult.

Last week, Rhonda Baffes, the proprietor and programmer for Bizarre TV passed away after a hard-fought and lengthy battle with cancer. I’d interviewed Rhonda for PopCult almost three years ago, and was a big fan of her work, and I also became an online friend.

Rhonda had a dream of sharing her tastes in film with an ever-growing circle of friends. Bizarre TV had thousands of viewers, or “lurkers,” who loved her mix of cult films with independent shorts, ancient commercials, music videos and vintage “snipes,” the little interstitial films they showed in movie theaters and drive-ins (like the “Let’s All Go To The Lobby” clip).

Had Rhonda not fallen ill, she planned to branch out and start making short films in collaboration with some of the artists whose work she’d showcased on her channel. She got to be Facebook buddies with Lee Harrah, and we’d tried to arrange for her to make a trip to ShockaCon, but it was not to be.

Rhonda overcame a lot of adversity in her life. A single mother, she lost everything in Hurricane Katrina, and had to start life all over over again in Alabama. Our hearts go out to her teenage son, who meant the world to her. It’s heartbreaking that, after rebuilding her life and pursuing her dream with Bizarre TV, she was stricken with cancer.

Bizarre TV was more than just a Roku channel. Rhonda created a community, one that shared a special worldview with an appreciation of horror, exploitation, and cult independent movies. She was key in encouraging the current revival of horror-movie hosts. Rhonda touched so many lives, and her loss is profound.

bizarre-001I first discovered Bizarre TV on Thanksgiving night, 2014, and quickly found the online community that Rhonda had started just a few months earlier. It was a world populated with kindred spirits, people who enjoyed the labors of filmmakers who may have had more heart than budget or talent, but still managed to create unique artistic statements (sometimes unintentionally).

Rhonda branched out over the years. I suppose it’s okay now to talk about Bizarre TV Underground, a channel for which you paid a one-time fee of twenty bucks for a lifetime subscription. BTU was a “gray” channel, where Rhonda would play movies that she might have not exactly nailed down all the broadcast rights to, but since it was a channel for a small, closed group of friends, there was plenty of “fair use” legal wiggle room.

byuWe operated under “Fight Club” rules. You just watched BTU, and didn’t talk about it outside of the closed Facebook group. It was on BTU that I was exposed to the work of a lot of independent filmmakers whose work I have since purchased on DVD and Blu Ray and have recommended in this blog.

Like Bizarre TV, Bizarre TV Underground was programmed with Rhonda’s one-of-a-kind wit, taste and cleverness.

Rhonda even briefly experimented with offering a Bizarre Sexploitation channel plus some special bonus channels for her subscribers, but eventually she had to give those up, because it was costing her so much money in server fees. Rhonda never attempted to make a penny with Bizarre TV. Even when it was one of the top free channels on Roku she never tried to run paid commercials or cash in on it. The one-time subscriber fee for BTU just barely covered her expenses for a month or two. Bizarre TV, BTU and the Lurker Community  was Rhonda’s labor of love.

Last year a couple of BTU subscribers looking to curry favor with a horror convention caused Rhonda a tremendous amount of grief by reporting the channel for showing movie trailers without permission. I hope those people are aware of the harm they did to a woman who was struggling with what became terminal cancer. Suddenly faced with potential legal trouble, Rhonda pulled the plug on BTU, leaving it up with a scroll promising to return. Rhonda was ever-hopeful that she would be able to resume programming her channels. It was a great joy in her life, and It’s a real shame that at her lowest point, two really horrible people conspired to rob her of that small bit of happiness.

rhonda-002It was inspiring to see the Bizarre TV communities rally around Rhonda during her illness and during that incident. People across the country came to know Rhonda as a friend, and we came to know each other as fellow Lurkers in Rhonda’s Bizarre TV world. We loved the movies she showed, and we loved her wicked sense of humor. She was our Mistress of the Macabre.

Rhonda had fought hard. She’d started chemotherapy more than a year ago, and last summer had her stomach removed. She’d rallied a bit and had Bizarre TV running with fresh programming until October, her favorite month, when she discovered that a new cancer had developed and was spreading rapidly. About a week into October, Rhonda put Bizarre TV on autopilot, and the station has been running the same six movies, twice a day, since.

I don’t know for sure what the future holds for Bizarre TV. I know that at one point last year, she’d almost finalized a deal for a partner to come in and convert Bizarre TV to an all-horror-host channel that would potentially include commercials. I believe that her illness kept that deal from happening.

If Bizarre TV does continue, it will never be the same without Rhonda. My best guess is that eventually Bizarre TV, as the bills stop being paid for server space and Roku access, will simply disappear, like an abandoned space station falling out of orbit and becoming a shooting star.

That might just be the way Rhonda would like to be remembered. Especially if that space station hits the ground, and an astronaut’s hand crawls out and starts killing people.

Rest in peace, Rhonda. We are going to miss you greatly. Thanks for letting us lurk.

Radio Notes From The Underground

air-logo-1-8-18Get ready for a barrage of new programming to keep you warm on The AIR this week. In case you forgot, that’s PopCult’s internet radio station. Check it out at the website, or listen in on this cool embedded player…

Tuesday at 10 AM and 10 PM, your PopCulteer hosts the local music showcase, Radio Free Charleston. This week’s show Digs into the RFC Archives to bring you all the music from the legendary 5th Anniversary episode of the Radio Free Charleston video show.

Mostly shot over a single weekend in early July, 2011, this show brings you exclusive live performances from Mother Nang, Jeff Ellis with Sasha Colette, Andy Park and the Kountry Katz, HARRAH, Holy Cow, Linework, Remains Unnamed, The Stacee Lawson Band and more. Save for two songs, these are performances that you can only hear on Radio Free Charleston.

We always do our best to serve the local music scene here in Charleston, and Radio Free Charleston is the only radio show dedicated to all local music that has nearly thirty years under its belt. You can hear replays of this week’s episode Thursday at 3 PM, Friday at 8 PM and Saturday at 11 AM and Midnight.

Tuesday at 3 PM stick around for a new edition of The Swing Shift, where your RFC hosts shifts gears and brings you the best Swing Music of the last century. This week’s show includes the following music:

tss-logo-1-2-18 The Swing Shift 037

Dirty Romance Novels  “I Love You More Each Time We Dance”
Rhydian and the Residuals  “With A Wink And A Smile”
Maureen and the Mercury 5  “Gimme Mo”
Ray Charles  “I’ve Got A Woman”
Benny Goodman  “Airmail Special”
Jools Holland  “Tuxedo Junction”
Sugarpie and the Candymen  “You Give Love A Bad Name”
Krystal Jyl and the Jacks  “Walkin’ With An Apostrophe”
Teddy Wilson  “Wham (Re-Bop-Boom-Bam)
Lillian Briggs  “Follow The Leader”
Wolfgang Parker  “Sing Baby Swing”
Torello’s Jive Bugs  “Wakin’ Up Baby”
Cherry Poppin’ Daddies  “I Love American Music”
Lily Wilde and her Jumpin’ Jubiliee Orchestra  “Jumpin’ Jack”
Jack’s Cats  “The Little Man Who Wasn’t There”
Swing Rocket  “Swinging On Nothing”
Atomic Fireballs  “Hit By A Brick”

You can hear a replay of The Swing Shift Thursday at 7 AM and Saturday at 10 AM, plus we have all-night marathons of past episodes Thursday and Sunday at Midnight.

Wednesday sees new episodes of Life Speaks To Michele Zirkle at 1:30 PM and 7 PM, Beatles Blast at 2 PM and Curtain Call, with Mel Larch at 3 PM. 5 PM will see a new installment of The AIR Audio Playhouse.

Thursday brings you a new edition of Radio Free Charleston International at 3 PM, plus a new-to-The-AIR episode of The Real with Mark Wolfe at 10 PM, and a new collection from The Comedy Vault at 11 PM.

Friday begins with morning replays of our talk shows, and then sees new episodes of Radio Coolsville at 2 PM and Sydney’s Big Electric Cat at 3 PM. This week Sydney Fileen presents a two-hour career retrospective of Talking Heads. Friday at 9 PM tune in for an hour of The Third Shift with Jay and Jarod.

If space permits, we will remind you of some of these shows during the rest of the week, but PopCult is going to be filled with lots of new articles for the time being, as we have tons of stuff going on, so be sure to keep up to date with The AIR on this handy embedded schedule…

Monday Morning Art: Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds



We kick off this holiday-shortened week with a digital painting inspired by a Beatles song. What you see at the top of this post is “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds,” my take on the third song on side one of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Coincidentally, the song was inspired by a piece of art itself. One day a very young Julian Lennon brought home a drawing of a classmate from school, and when his father asked what it was, he replied, “That’s Lucy in the sky with Diamonds.” John Lennon then was inspired to write the song, and that piece of artwork is now in the collection of Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour.  This piece of artwork, as seen above, is digital, and you can see a bigger version by clicking on it.

I sort of know a lot about the Beatles, but aside from the fact that I am a Beatles geek extraordinaire, I had another reason for creating this particular piece. I’ve been hearing this song a lot lately. On February 2, Mark Scarpelli and his excellent Beatles tribute band, Rubber Soul, will perform a marathon of over 200 Beatles songs in a 14-hour concert as a benefit for Fund For The Arts.

26167075_10154999191095925_2972438973863527932_n-1200 songs is a heck of a lot for one band to perform, so Mark is calling this show, “With A Little Help From Our Friends” as an all-star lineup of top local talent will all chip in and take over singing or playing for a song or two (or more) so that the band does not drop dead of exhaustion at the end of the night.

Joining Rubber Soul for this lengthy expedition through the Beatles’ songbook will be Larry Groce, Ron Sowell, Julie Adams, Ryan Kennedy, Ryan Hardiman, Spencer Elliott, John Inghram, Jonathan Tucker, Casey Litz from The Company Stores, Phil Washington, Kim Javins and many, many more.

Among the “many, many more” joining in will be Gazette-Mail mainstay, “One-Month-At-A-Time” Bill Lynch. There’s another notable name joining the line up: My beautiful wife, Melanie Larch, will be singing lead on “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds,” and as such she has been listening to the song quite a bit of late. The song got into my head, and I turned it into the piece you see at the head of this post.

Proceeds from The Marathon Concert will benefit Fund For The Arts, and the show kicks off at noon on Friday, February 2, at the Captiol Theater, 123 Summers Street, in Charleston. There is a $25 pre-sale available at Showclix, and I believe the ticket will allow you to come and go, just in case fourteen hours of Beatles is a bit too much for you to take in one sitting.

You can be sure that I’ll be telling you much more about this show as the date approaches. Beatles fans might also want to check out a show I host each Wednesday at 2 PM on The AIR. Beatles Blast presents an hour of Beatle-centric content each week. Recent episodes have brought a collage of interviews with the Fab Four, a look at the Beatles’ Blues influences, their Christmas records, sound-alike bands and more. You never know exactly what the show will be, but it will always be about the Beatles. You can tune in to The AIR website, or listen on this embedded player that I tend to pepper all over this blog…

PopCult Note: There is another reason I posted a piece of art inspired by something my lovely wife is doing today. Twenty-eight years ago on this day, I first met Melanie Larch at The Charleston Playhouse, during a a CD release party for Stark Raven. To keep this story small-worldy, at least two members of Stark Raven are performing along with Melanie on February 2.

Sunday Evening Video: Inside “The Prisoner”

the_prisoner_roverWe are in the golden anniversary year of the legendary and awesome British cult TV series, The Prisoner. Patrick McGoohan’s brilliant creation debuted on British and Canadian television in 1967, and was broadcast in America on CBS beginning in June, 1968.

This week Sunday Evening Video brings you a documentary about a show that your PopCulteer first saw as a young child, and one that stuck with him for the rest of his life. The intrigue, twists, turns, and action instilled a healthy dose of skepticism, cynicism and optimism in me that is hard to explain to the uninitiated.

The Prisoner‘s mark on pop culture extends to comic books (Jack Kirby’s never-published mid-1970s adaptation will finally see print this year. See a smaple at the bottom of this post), television (The Simpsons, along with many other shows have paid tribute, and McGoohan himself reprised his role, sort of, in episodes of Columbo) and music (Iron Maiden and XTC, among many other bands have written songs about the show, and Dhani Harrison’s group, thenewno2, is named after the show’s ever-changing authority figure character). Along the way the series had a poorly-received mini-series remake in 2009 on AMC and a somewhat better-received comic book sequel in 1988 by Dean Motter and Mark Askwith.

prisoner_smThe Prisoner only ran 17 episodes before its magnificently confusing conclusion, but the series still endures half a century later. That should be a testament to just exactly how special this program was. In the UK, a deluxe Blu Ray release came out last year to commemorate the anniversary. In America, a 2009 set, with beautiful transfers and plenty of bonus material is currently out of print and selling for big money on Amazon and eBay. Here’s hoping that the current US rights holders plan to release a more affordable set in time for the 50th anniversary of the American debut of the classic show.

In the meantime, enjoy the documentary. If you know The Prisoner, you’ll like the memories, and if you don’t, it’s a good introduction.


The RFC Flashback: Episode 122

image4At the head of this post, you see Radio Free Charleston 122, “Fistful Of Mercy Shirt.” This episode of the show dates back to March, 2011, and featured music from Roger Simms (seen right), Drop Ded Phred, and a return visit from Sasha Colette. We also had a preview clip of the Contemporary Youth Arts Company production, “A Service For Jeremy Wong” (courtesy of Austin Sussman), and animation from Frank Panucci.

Host segments were shot in the friendly confines of Taylor Books Annex Gallery, prominently featuring the art of our old friend, Charles Jupiter Hamilton in the background. The namesake shirt for this episode is a t-shirt featuring the band logo for the group, Fistful Of Mercy, which included Ben Harper, Joe Henry, and longtime RFC fan, Dhani Harrison.

Our first musical guest was Roger Simms. I met Roger & spoke to him about being on the show, when he said OK, grabbed his twelve string, and walked me out of the Blue Parrot to a pickup truck on Capitol Street where he let down the tailgate, hopped in, and treated me to a couple of songs. We included one of them in this show.

Our animation from Frank Panucci, “Texting Tragedy” is a serious look at the problem of driving while distracted, which was the disposable cause of its day, back when all the TV stations were asking viewers to sign pledges not to use their cell phones while driving. These would be the same stations that now ask viewers to download the WAZE App so they can report on traffic conditions while they’re driving.

Drop Ded Phred is up next, and the four-year wait from the time I first saw them to the time I finally recorded this punk-pop-powerhouse was well worth it.

Closing our show is the ever-wonderful Sasha Collette, recorded at LiveMix Studio, back in the day. Check back in this space next Saturday for RFC 123, with Andy Park and QiET.

Charleston’s Transient Politician Problem

aaaaaatshirttwothumbThe PopCulteer
January 12, 2018

Charleston is a city with a lot of problems facing it, and one of the most pressing today is the huge influx of transient politicians from other areas of the state. I’m not talking about our normal local politicians. While it’s sad to see them around, they seem relatively harmless, and some of them are colorful personalities that can be amusing and even charming, in their own way. I’m talking about a new breed of politicians that have poured into Charleston in recent weeks and are likely to stick around for the next few months making things unpleasant and intolerable for all of us.

It’s become a safety issue as the politicians hit the streets begging for money. It used to be that they’d be happy standing by the street begging, which was unsafe, but not horrible. Now we have a more beligerent political fundraiser who might storm right up to you demanding a contribution, and if you turn them down they get agitated and start waving their arms and scream about “Obama’s war on coal,” and “Benghazi.” It’s made it so that I don’t really like going to some parts of Charleston anymore. You never know when some shady-looking person is going to come up to you and demand that you donate to their PAC.

relection-signPart of the reason for this is that Charleston is such a compassionate city. We have so many social programs to help support politicians. If a politician is willing to play by the rules, they can usually get warm meals at the Chop House or Soho’s, provided by the many good Christian lobbying organizations in town. If a politician doesn’t want to play by the rules and insists on getting drunk or hanging out with prostitutes, many of these groups will take care of their needs anyway.

And that compassion has had the unintended effect of drawing even more politicians to Charleston. Our generous Per Diem program allows them to build massive tent cities in the Marriott and Embassy Suites downtown, and when the politicians are too lazy to feed themselves, you can be sure that lobbying groups will deliver Tudor’s Biscuits to the State Capitol and spoon-feed them a hearty artery-clogging breakfast. This has made Charleston a dumping ground for politicians.

polticiansThere are even reports that failed politicians from other states like Maryland and Maine were put on a bus with one-way tickets to Charleston when they became too unruly to get elected in their home states.

It’s become a real problem. West Virginia is blessed with an architectural wonder in the Cass Gilbert-designed Capitol Building, but ask anyone in town, and they’ll tell you that they’ll do anything to avoid going there right now. The reason? All the politicians. They take over the place, like nasty Canada Geese in an otherwise peaceful pond, fouling it with their presence and wretched honking, and claiming all the best parking spots.

kochOf course, the real problem is that these politicians are generally up to no good. While in town they try to craft laws that are criminally harmful to the people of West Virginia.

They’ll erase laws that protect our water, our air, our job safety, and they’ll try to kill off state agencies that they don’t like by slashing funding for education, public broadcasting, environmental protection and social programs.

At the same time they’ll cut taxes on businesses that they, or their family members own, and try to make it impossible for anyone to sue a negligent business.

This problem is very real and I really don’t know what we can do about it. Charleston’s poor lobbying organizations are overwhelmed, trying to keep this transient population of politicians comfortable with five-star meals, booze and other considerations, but the politicians are still out there doing their best to wreck this state. They’re not content with their salary, per diem and special license plates and parking privileges. They want more power, and they want it at the expense of average citizens.

dark-capitol-4In an ideal world we wouldn’t have any politicians, but this is the real world and politicianness is a real and unavoidable problem. Charleston seems to have a worse situation than other cities because of the great number of support organizations in town. We can’t really avoid the elephant in the room either. The State Capitol seems like a magnet for these transient politicians, but every time we talk about moving it the social justice warriors start crying about how we’re targeting one particular segment of the population, so nothing gets done.

What can we do? The good Christian thing to do when encountering a politician would be to offer them a meal, listen to them and actually engage them in conversation so that they feel like they’re worth something. After listening to them, gently explain that they’re wrong and have dedicated their life to furthering an evil agenda that will eventually lead to the destruction of this country. It’s highly unlikely, but they may actually listen to you and take your advice to heart and leave politics, perhaps returning to their home to find a job that actually contributes to society.

Call me overly optimisitic, but I believe that many politicans can be rehabilitated and turned back into useful members of society. The difficult part is figuring out how to connect with them and explain how they can turn their lives around without completely robbing them of their dignity.

We really need to find a way to deal with this issue, or Charleston will just become a shell of its former self.

That is the PopCulteer for this week. For those of you who need to have your satire clearly labelled, this column was satire. Be sure to check back for all our regular PopCult features as we continue to post fresh content every day.

The PopCult Magazine Rack

Welcome to a new semi-regular feature in PopCult. Your PopCulteer has always been an avid reader of magazines, and in the past in PopCult I have made note of some of the periodicals that stood out on the stands. Now, in the spirit of PopCult always acting as a cheerleader for a downtrodden institution, every couple of weeks we plan to shine the PopCult spotlight on magazines that we think our readers might enjoy.

jan-2018-10-1-coverRemind Magazine
published by NTVB
general newsstand distribution
cover price: $4.99

Remind is actually in their tenth year of publication, and they’ve been on my radar for some time. I’d usually pick up an issue with a topic that interested me, and I enjoyed the nostalgia they present each month in a fun manner. Regular readers of this blog are probably all too aware of my fondness for pop culture nostalgia.

However, with their latest issue, Remind has added a new feature that is so functional that it may well make the magazine a must-buy each month. With the January, 2018 issue, Remind has added Retro-TV listings. They have a fairly comprehensive run-down of classic TV programs that run on cable and digital sub-channels, like ME TV, Antenna TV, Get TV and several that I hadn’t heard of previously. They also list a few classics that run on channels like Sundance and AMC.

That’s not all. They also now run a two-page spread with the complete month’s programming guide for Turner Classic Movies. You may remember that TCM suspended the print version of their Now Playing magazine/guide last August, and switched to a wholly-unsatisfying digital format. With this new feature, Remind has picked up the slack and lets us Luddites enjoy flipping through paper to find out what movies are on TCM tonight, instead of getting an email that we don’t remember to open until half the month is over.

This is a great and logical addition to the magazine and it’s not too much of a strain on the editorial staff. Remind‘s publisher, NTVB, also publishes TV Guide, TV Weekly and the Dish Network monthly guide, so they have all this information floating through their offices already. It makes perfect sense and it really enhances what was already a fun magazine.

july-2016-8-7-coverThe key to Remind is pure nostalgia. They claim to cover each decade from the 1960s to the 1990s, but since nostalgia was already such a huge part of pop culture by then, they have also delved into pre-1960’s pop culture icons like the Universal Monsters, Elvis Presley, Marlon Brando, Humphrey Bogart, Marilyn Monroe and the earlier stars of Hollywood.

I’m not complaining, because Remind employs a light, informed and fun approach to their articles. You won’t find deep, probing analysis here, just the highlights and some great photos. It’s fun, and that’s really something we need more of these days. The articles serve their purpose to remind us of the cool stuff from the history of pop culture. Hence the name.

Remind also has trivia, crossword puzzles, word search, and one of my favorite features, reprints of vintage comic strips from the various decades. This is the kind of magazine that, by law, should be required in all waiting rooms.  It’s a bit like Highlights Magazine for grown-ups.

Another part of the charm of Remind is that it’s a hybrid magazine, with part of it printed on slick paper, and the rest on newprint. Hardly anybody prints on newsprint anymore, and to be honest, I sort of miss it.

Too many modern magazines are all slickly printed (usually in Asia) on thick paper with art direction that sacrifices clarity for composition and content that reads like it was intended for a website. Remind isn’t like that. It’s a good, old-fashioned magazine on cheap paper that you won’t feel bad doing the puzzles in.

When I was growing up there was a magazine called Good Old Days. This mag served much of the same purpose as Remind, only for an earlier generation as it was dedicated to the period from 1930 to 1960, and seemed more rural-oriented and less fun. Shockingly, Good Old Days is still being published, and still seems to not venture much beyond 1960 in it’s subject matter. So, good on them.

march-2017-9-3-coverIt does seem like Remind skews a little heavily toward the 60s and 70s, but that doesn’t really bother me. I can deal with a magazine that covers the Batman TV Show, Star Trek, Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In and The Beatles.

I don’t know if my younger readers will be that interested in this magazine, but the mag does touch on The Police, the early days of Apple Computers and Nirvana in their latest issue…even if the cover story is a look back at 1968. I admit that there is a chance that Millenials will look at Remind the way I looked at Good Old Days.

One other nice note about Remind is that, except for the back cover, it’s ad-free. Given the age of the probable target audience, this is refreshing, because I’d really rather not be bombarded with ads for prescription drugs, trusses and catheters when I’m reading.

The latest back-cover ad is for the Comet channel, which is pretty darned cool.

If you are one of the dwindling number of magazine readers out there (and if so, why are reading a blog?) you might want to track down Remind. It’s five bucks and you can find it at many places that still sell magazines. Or you can subscribe at this link.

New Shows Wednesday On The AIR!

air-wednesday-new-1-10We have gotten ourselves back into a groove for the new year at The AIR , and Wednesdays always bring lots of great stuff to our humble little internet radio station.  We continue our march into 2018 with brand-new episodes of our top programs.  Today you’ll get fresh servings of Life Speaks to Michele Zirkle, Beatles Blast, Curtain Call and The AIR Audio Playhouse.

Wednesday morning brings you a replay of this week’s edition of The Swing Shift followed by a couple of hours of great local music on Radio Free Charleston

At 11 AM it’s a special encore presentation of The AIR Audio Playhouse from last week, with once-thought-lost episodes of The Stan Freberg Show.

Noon sees 90 minutes of Mrs. PopCulteer, Mel Larch, first hosting a replay of Curtain Call, and then also hosting a classic episode of On The Road with Mel. On The Road with Mel will be returning in a few weeks with new episodes in a slightly-tweaked format.

At 1:30 PM it’s time for an all-new edition of Life Speaks to Michele Zirkle.  This week we bring you part two of Michele’s intriguing interview with the paranormal investigators behind History and Haunts. This is a fascinating look into the world beyond the visible world with thought-provoking anecdotes and adventures. You can hear a replay of Life Speaks at 7 PM.  Sunday night at 7 PM we will present both parts of this interview, back-to-back, as part of the Sunday night Talk Block.

At 2 PM music takes over witha brand-new Beatles Blast, hosted by yours truly. This week it’s an audio collage of some of rare Beatles music that usually doesn’t make it to the airwaves. The show opens with “You Know My Name,” and after my introduction, it’s all music for the remainder of the program. Even the most die-hard Beatles fan will find something new and different.

At 3 PM a brand-new Curtain Call presents a mix of the best examples of musical theater from the past, present and future, as Mel Larch throws in tunes from Grand Hotel, Marry Me A Little, South Pacific, Mamma Mia, and A Chorus Line, and previews songs from upcoming musical productions, Quadrophenia, Beaches and Frank Zappa’s Joe’s Garage.

The AIR Audio Playhouse brings you an hour of Mystery at 5 PM, with a show that’s split between Alfred Hitchock’s Scary Tales For Young People and Mystery In The AIR. At 6 PM, our double-shot of The New Music Show and The (BS) Crazy Show follows that.

Following a replay of today’s new episode of Life Speaks at 7 PM, we have a classic episode of Word Association with Lee & Rudy at 7:30 PM.

8 PM sees a replay of this week’s episode of Prognosis, as Herman Linte brings you the music of Premiani Forneria Marconi. At 10 PM we present two hours of our beloved Bat (poop) Crazy Show.

At midnight, we don’t know for sure what will be on The AIR, but we’re leaning toward a line up of all-night comedy.

Crowdfund Creek Don’t Rise

rfc-creekYou can hear a new song by Creek Don’t Rise Tuesday at 10 AM and 10 PM on Radio Free Charleston, on The AIR

The band has released the title track of their upcoming EP, Sometimes It Rains, as a teaser for their IndieGoGo Campaign to finish the record and get physical copies into stores.

We go to their campaign page for details:

Creek Don’t Rise’s upcoming EP, “Sometimes It Rains,” will be released soon and includes all your favorite CDR songs.
1) Sometimes It Rains
2) You Don’t Have to Stay Gone
3) You Won’t Let Me Love You
4) Thank the Lord and Carry On
5) White Coat Man
6) Creek Don’t Rise

We’ve funded the majority of this record on our own but now we need your help. Contribute to this project and be one of the first to receive the new EP!

These tracks have been recorded with Eddie Ashworth at the Oxide Shack in Athens, Ohio, and sound incredible. The band just needs some extra funds to get this project to the finish line. Funds raised will pay for the mixing/mastering of the EP, album artwork, distribution and new merchandise.

We go back to the band for their mission:

We write songs about what we know and here in Appalachia nothing is more common than drug addiction and catastrophic flooding. The two tracks that resonate most with our fans are “White Coat Man” and “Creek Don’t Rise.”

“White Coat Man” is about the opioid crisis here in Appalachia as it relates to the over-prescribing of narcotics that lead to heroin addiction and often death. This song has meant so much to so many people. Folks come up to us after shows and tell us their stories about struggling with and overcoming addiction. We hope to shed light on an epidemic that is destroying our state and killing our friends. “White Coat Man” will be featured nationally on the PBS Newshour series “America Addicted” later this year as part of a series on the drug epidemic. Our demo version of this song has over 104k video views on Facebook.

The song “Creek Don’t Rise” is about the desperation of watching everything you own be washed away in a flood; a feeling West Virginian’s know all too well. We’ve helped raise a lot of money for flood relief through this song. One testament to how meaningful this song is to folks is the demo version has over 248k video views. If you loved this song before, you’re going to be blown away with what we have done with it.

To help get the band to their goals, you can follow the links in this post, or hit up the widget below…

And in case you miss Radio Free Charleston, listen to the song on their IndieGoGo page, or right here, to get a taste of the great music you’ll be receiving…

And if you do tune in to The AIR for Radio Free Charleston at 10 AM and 10 PM, here’s the full playlist for this week’s show:


Creek Don’t Rise  “Sometimes It Rains”
Johnny Compton  “One for Magoo”
Speedsuit  “Upside”
Jeff Ellis  “Fooled”
Stark Raven  “When You Wish Upon A Star”
John Radcliff  “Back Of The Line”
Pepper Fandango  “Waiting”
Farnsworth  “Hold On”
Membrane Cell  “Walking Dead”
4OHM MONO  “Over The Rift”
Barkin’ Iron Band  “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down”
Out of Nowhere  “Your Innocence Is Dead”
Feast of Steven  “Urge To Care”

air-logo-1-8-18We have tons of cool new stuff coming up on The AIR this week. Check it out at the website, or listen in on this cool embedded player…

Monday at 3 PM Herman Linte returns with the first new Prognosis of 2018. This episode is dedicated to the Italian Progressive Legends, PFM, who have just released a new album in both English language and Italian versions. In the second hour of Prognosis, Linte brings you the Italian language version of “Emotional Tattoos” by PFM.

Tuesday at 10 AM and 10 PM, your PopCulteer hosts the local music showcase, Radio Free Charleston. This week’s show will feature new music from Creek Don’t Rise, Johnny Compton, John Radcliff and more, plus we’ll also dive into the vast RFC archives.

We always do our best to serve the local music scene here in Charleston, and Radio Free Charleston is the only radio show dedicated to all local music that has nearly thirty years under its belt.

Tuesday at 3 PM stick around for a new edition of The Swing Shift, where your RFC hosts shifts gears and brings you the best Swing Music of the last century. This week’s show will mix Stan Kenton and Duke Ellington with Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Brian Setzer Orchestra and Maureen and the Mercury 5, plus you can expect some new Swing Music from bands you haven’t heard of…yet.

All week long The AIR will bring you new episodes of our specialty music shows, plus some great installments of our talk programming, too. Keep up with it all by using this swell embedded schedule…