PopCult Rudy Panucci on Pop Culture

A Treasure Trove of RFC and Swing Music Tuesday!

It’s Tuesday on The AIR  and you know what that means. Today we deliver unto you new episodes of Radio Free Charleston and The Swing Shift. That’s two all-new programs totalling four new hours of particularly swell internet radio!  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…

We have a  killer new Radio Free Charleston at 10 AM and 10 PM Tuesday.  This week we open with new music from Summerville’s Red Audio, and we continue with a pretty darned epic line up of music that includes great local stuff, coll new releases from major artists, a few classic tracks and a three-song set from a Chicago-area Roots-Reggae tribute to Tom Petty.

About that Tom Petty tribute…who doesn’t love Tom Petty?  Red Spot Rhythm Section is the multi-instrumental project of Chicago writer and musician Joshua Siegal, along with a host of Chicago-area collaborators. Just last month, Red Spot Rhythm Section dropped Won’t Back Down: A Roots Tribute To Tom Petty, a 12-song album featuring a wealth of collaborative musical and vocal talent.
It’s a wildly entertaining take on Petty’s tunes, and we offer up three of them in our first hour.  We’ll be bringing you more from this album in the coming weeks.

You can order the full album HERE. And read more about Red Spot Rhythm HERE.

Also, see if you can find the part of the show where I totally butcher the pronounciation of a song title, mere seconds after hearing it!

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

RFCV5 062

hour one
Red Audio “Radio Blah Blah”
The Stranglers “This Song”
Time And Distance “Fear”
The Kinks “Everybody’s Gonna Be Happy”
The Vaccines “People’s Republic of Desire”
Elvis Costello & The Attractions and Fito Páez “Radio Radio”
The Renfields “Circle of Fakes”
Red Spot Rhythm Section with Livingston “I Won’t Back Down”
Red Spot Rhythm Section with Cosmos Ray “Runnin’ Down A Dream”
Red Spot Rhythm Section with Angela Peel “You Got Lucky”
Cassius At Best “Hornets”
The Rules “You Are Rock”
Steve Hackett “Day of the Dead”
4 OHM MONO “Void All In Between”

hour two
Joseph Hale “Church of Paranoia”
Static Fur “Dopamine”
Bullock Brothers “Harley David Son Of A Bitch”
The Science Fair Explosion “The Plan”
Andrey Mosyagin “Puppeteer”
Geezer Butler “X 13”
All Torches Lit “Occulation”
Hello June “Mars”
John Radcliff “Muse”
Brian Setzer “The Cat With 9 Wives”
Carl Perkins “Your True Love”
Sierra Ferrell “At The End of the Rainbow”
The Madison 2 “Friends”
Steve Howe “Strange Wafarer”
James Townsend “Troffea”

hour three
Big Daddy “Once In A Lifetime”
Me First and the Gimme Gimmes “Eleanor”
Moron Police “Whorehouse”
Lost Decades “Nosedive”
Gerry Rafferty “Still In Denial”
Heavy Set Paw-Paws “Warsh”
Crystal Bright & The Silver Hands “Engastrimyth”
Emmalea Deal “L.A.”
The Beach Boys “This Whole World”
Big Rock and The Candyass Mountain Boys “See See Rider”
Todd Burge “Pickin’ A Lock (live)”
Bob Dylan “I and I (Reggae Remix)”
Desmond Dekker “Ah It Mek”
The Specials “Friday Night Saturday Morning”

You can hear this episode of Radio Free Charleston Tuesday at 10 AM and 10 PM on The AIR, with replays Thursday at 3 PM, Friday at 9 AM, Saturday at Noon and Midnight,  and  Monday at 11 AM, exclusively on The AIR. Now you can 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 a brand-new episode of The Swing Shift. This week it’s a globe-trotting collection of Swing Music from all around the world. We start in South Korea with The Golden swing Band, and jet-set all over the place, making stops in Denmark, Russia, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Norway and The UK, before winding up in Canada.

Check this playlist. It’s the one with passport stamps all over it…

The Swing Shift 118

The Golden Swing Band “Why Don’t You Do Right”
Charlie Watts and the Danish Radio Big Band “Molasses”
Adriano BaTolba Orchestra “Jean, Jean, Jeannie”
Gagarin Brothers “Belgrade By Night”
Django Reinhardt & Stephane Grappelli “St. Louis Blues”
Gájer Bálint “That’s How It Goes”
Bill Elliott Swing Orchestra “MIldred, Won’t You Behave”
IKS Big Band “Flying Home”
Hot Sugar Band “Till Tom Special”
Group ‘n Swing “Nem lat, nem hall, nem beszel”
Lady J and her Bada Bing Band “Die For My Baby”
The Monkey Swingers “St. James Infirmary”
Pink Turtle “Don’t Know Why”
The Jive Aces “On The Sunny Side of the Street”
Johnny Favourite “Black Dog” 

You can hear The Swing Shift Tuesdays at 3 PM, with replays Wednesday at 7 AM, Friday at 8 PM and Saturday afternoon only on The AIR. You can also hear all-night marathons, seven hours each, starting at Midnight Thursday and Sunday evenings.

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: Skyline Pencils

Last week I brought you a watercolor over pencils of an image of WTC One, the building erected on the site of The World Trade Center. This week I’m giving you another piece based on the lower Manhattan skyline, with WTC in the background. This is based on a photo taken on the same trip as the ones I based last week’s art on, but instead of rendering this in watercolor, I just left it as a pencil drawing, with some poorly-done eraser smudging in the sky.

So yeah, basically you’re getting a reject from last week. Deal with it.

You can see the photo it’s based on at right.

If you want to see the big image a bit bigger, just click on it.

Meanwhile, Monday at 2 PM on The AIR, we bring you a new episode of  Psychedelic Shack, followed at 3 PM by a new 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…

Nigel Pye has informed us that Psychedelic Shack will open with a trippy classic from The Yardbirds, but he did not provide a playlist for us this week.

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.

At 3 PM, Herman Linte offers up a new Prognosis, which will present highlights from a recent boxed set by Anthony Phillips, the original guitarist for prog-rock legends, Genesis.  Herman also managed to not provide a playlist this week.

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.

At 8 PM, stick around for an 11-hour marathon of The Comedy Vault.

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: Pirate Video

In honor of Talk Like A Pirate Day (which is today, in case you didn’t know) we go backinto the Radio Free Charleston Archives for a couple of video clips featuring our friends from California who happen to be real, true pirates, The Dread Crew of Oddwood.

Eight years be past since the ARRRRR-F-C cameras caught up with the plundering pundits of “Heavy Mahogany,” and the scurvy dogs are still kickin’ and playing all up and down the ports of the Western Territories.  Our crew encountered their crew at the World Famous Empty Glass, and we ventured forth to bring ye a heap of video treasure from that fateful night.

Above ye see an ARRRRR-F-C MINI SHOW starring the Dread Crew, in fine form.

Down below ye see a bonus clip featuring the charming scoundrels, produced to mark this very holiday in the year of our lord, twenty thirteen.

So, avast ye swabs, set sail for the music of The Dread Crew on this special day!

The RFC Flashback: MINI SHOW number 68

This week we take you back six years to an RFC MINI SHOW recorded at ShockaCon 2015. This was the Saturday night performance by Hurl Brickbat.  This was one of the first performances by the band, who have become mainstays of the Charleston music scene, and actually performed at The Empty Glass just last night (as this post is being published).  The band has developed some great original tunes, but in this RFC MINI SHOW we brought you a couple of Alice in Chains covers that they’d worked up.

The Last “Stuff To Do” For A While

The PopCulteer
September 17, 2021

I’m a bit torn over this, but I have decided that this week will be the final “Stuff To Do” column I post until after the pandemic has subsided a bit. I’ve mentioned it in the past, but while I really want to see our local scene thrive here in Charleston, at the moment I do not feel safe attending any live, in-person events. We are seeing new case and hospitalization records being set in West Virginia every day. Our sad excuse for leadership in this state is doing nothing to mitigate the situation, and even though I’m vaccinated, I don’t want to be one of the rare cases of a breakthrough infection.

At the moment I plan to stay home and focus on staying healthy enough so that I don’t have any other non-Covid reason to go to the hospital. There is no room at the inn, as it is, so I’m just hoping that everybody’s appendices and hearts and other organs behave themselves until things calm down. There is no sane reason for healthy people to forego vaccinations at any time, but in the case of Covid, it’s really the main thing you can do to stay healthy.

By all means, if any of my readers think that this means I think that you have to be an idiot to go without the vaccine, let me assure you that you are correct. Please don’t take it upon yourself to prove my assumption correct by trying to argue the point.

So, for the last time for a while, there are tons of things in and around Charleston to keep you busy this during this last weekend of summer.  Here are a few.  I am suspending this feature after this week.

You should know the drill by now. The pandemic is still not over.  In fact, it’s been getting  way worse again. If you are fully vaccinated and ready to do your best to stay safe, you should go check this stuff out. Outdoor shows might be okay for vaccinated folks to go maskless, but maybe not at the moment. Indoor shows leave you at the mercy of your fellow patrons, and with the Delta variant surging, why risk any exposure? I know there are folks who hate the idea of wearing masks, even if they’re not vaccinated. Those people are why you should wear a mask.

If anybody gives you grief over wearing a mask…get the hell out of there. It’s not safe. Nobody wants to be the last person to die of COVID.

So use your common sense and stay safe…and support the local scene. Here are a few select shows happening in Charleston this weekend…

 

 

 

 

That is this week’s PopCulteer. Check back because we have a fresh post every day. STUFF TO DO will return when it’s safe.

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 Return Of The Stranglers

The PopCult Listening Room

Dark Matters
by The Stranglers
Available as Vinyl LP, CD or Download

I did not expect to be reviewing a new album by The Stranglers in 2021. I’ve been a fan of the band for over 40 years, and was very sad last year when their keyboardist, Dave Greenfield, died from Covid early in the pandemic. I was not aware that they’d been working on a new batch of songs since 2018, and it was a pleasant surprise when I got a pre-release notice from them earlier in the summer.

Dark Matters is the first Stranglers album since the retirement of their founding drummer, Jet Black, and it includes eight tracks with keyboards recorded by Greenfield before his death. Its actually their first full album since 2012.

The Stranglers are survivors of the original 1970s UK punk scene, and they survived by evolving. They always had prog-rock leanings due to the keyboard artistry of Greenfield, and and as the 80s progressed, they grew musically to the point where, at times, they sounded more like Pink Floyd than Pink Floyd did.

The band survived the exit of their frontman, Hugh Cornwell, in 1990, and the 2006 departure of his replacement, Paul Roberts, and through all of it they managed to release reliably excellent albums every few years. Dark Matters is the latest, and it is stunning work.

Musically, the album ranges from pure, classic Stranglers on the songs “Water,” “This Song,” If Something’s Gonna KIll Me (It Might As Well Be Love),” and “No Man’s Land.” That style melds smart lyrics with thumping basslines and catchy elements of pop music with a harder edge.

The gut-wrenching song on the album is “And If You Should See Dave,” a tribute to the band’s late keyboard player. It’s a mellow groove with trademark Stranglers’ riffs and achingly poignant lyrics. You can see the video here…

Another standout is the brief and lovely, “Lines,” which in another reflection on aging and mortality.

There is no “bum track” on the album, as every song is remarkable in its own way. “White Stallion” sounds like pure, vintage New Wave, with a bizarre auto-tuned vocal break that could almost be a contribution from the blue Diva in “The Fifth Element.”

LP and CD copies of Dark Matters include a bonus CD tribute to Greenfield, with 8 live recordings from the last seven years, including two songs from this album, recorded in 2019. The Download version has four bonus cuts, which are acoustive versions of songs from the album.

Dark Matters is an excellent album, a must-have for any Stranglers fan, and well worth listening for anybody who wants to hear sophisticated and powerful music with roots in punk and prog-rock.

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.

Become A Scale Real Estate Baron

The PopCult Toybox

This is a bit of a first for The PopCult Toybox. Today I’m looking at two HO Scale structures, intended for the dominant scale of model railroading. Several companies make pre-built buildings that hobbyists can use to make their train layouts more realistic and interesting. Technically, these are not toys, but are marketed as “model-making products” because these have parts that are way too small to be considered toys.

Since I don’t want to start a new sub-heading, these are going in The PopCult Toybox, with the above disclaimer.

There are different levels of detail among these items, and today we’re going to look at one fairly inexpensive, less-detailed building, and another, more expensive building that comes complete with finished interiors and LED lights.

I do not currently have a train layout, but I’ve been stockpiling some of the more interesting-looking structures for when I finally have enough time and space to build one. My enjoyment of the hobby comes more from building a realistic-looking scene than from actually running the railroad, so when the day comes, I’ll be spending more time creating streets than running trains on time and keeping manifests.

First up we have 10th World Comics, a fully-assembled three-story structure, pre-painted and with decals applied. Made by Walthers with a list price of $24.98. It’s available from many hobby shops, local and online.

This s a 1/87th scale building, so it doesn’t take up a lot of space. It’s about three inches wide, four inches high and four and a half inches deep. That’s not a bad size if all you want to do is build a bookshelf street scene instead of a full-blown layout.

Of course, I picked this one because it’s a comic book store. There are decals in the windows that look right, and there are black and white copies of four vintage comics in the window (you don’t put actual comics in the window because they fade in the sun, so this is a nice touch).

The inside of the building is unfinished. There are windows (with blinds) and the structure is fairly complete, but at this price you’re not going to get interiors, drains, electrical hook ups or weathering.

For some folks, applying their own details is a big part of the fun, so this is not a problem. It’s a nice piece for a layout, as you can see in the photos…

Here we see a nicely-detailed storefront, plus we get a look at the brick and window detail and some molded-on roof vents.

Continue reading…

RFC Revisits 2014 on The AIR

Tuesday on The AIR  your blogger and radio show host takes a bit of a sick day with a patchwork edition of Radio Free Charleston. A late summer sinus infection has wrecked my voice, so I’m bringing you three hours of the first internet radio edition of RFC from 2014. It’s an interesting artifact, and it’s jam-packed with three hours of great local and regional music. 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…

At 10 AM and 10 PM you can hear this compilation of RFC volume 3, episodes 3 and 4. In addition, you can hear most of what was left out this Thursday night on Live and Local, since I excised an hour of music that was all recorded at The Empty Glass, and didn’t want it to go to waste. These shows were produced for the predecessor of The AIR,  Voices of Appalachia, which I called New Appalachian Radio half the time for reasons I cannot remember. These shows haven’t been heard anywhere for more than six years, so they sort of capture a freeze-frame of the Charleston music scene, along with lots of classic tracks. Check out the playlist:

RFCV5 061

hour one
Kevin Scarborough “Birthright”
Anthony Hoey “So So”
Crazy Jane “Silver”
Since We Set Fire “The Stone I Was Cut From”
Renaissance(featuringing Stephanie Adlinton) “Star of the Show”
John Radcliff “My Plastic Lover”
Ouralias “Can’t Fight Love”
B.A. Fielder “Ode To Jim”
Hellblinki “Don’t go Down To The Woods Tonight”
Travis Egnor and the Horse Traders “World Stands Still”
Hasil Adkins “The Hunch”
The Nanker Phelge “Scream”
InFormation “She’s Like Poison”
Under Surveillance “City Boy”

Hour Two- Instrumental Music:
Chuck Biel “Theory of Mind”
J.B. Lee “Johansen’s Testament”
Frank Panucci “Testicamel”
C2J2 “Bop Bottle”
Josh Buskirk “Dust”
Duo Divertido “Blue Afro”
Karma To Burn “Thirteen”
Trielement “Loose Fuse”
Scrap Iron Pickers “Swamp Thing”
Raymond Wallace “I’ve Anchored My Soul to a Haven of Rest”

hour three
The Big Bad “Shine The Signal”
Time And Distance “Little Disaster”
The Science Fair Explosion “Cosmic Girls”
Joe Vallina “Suzy Said So”
Marcie Bullock “Maybe Just Crazy”
Granny’s 12-Gauge “Dear Devil”
The Boatmen “Another New Year’s Alone”
Ouralias “Daydream”
Scooter Scudieri “Ancient Rituals”
Mother Nang “Fade”
John Radcliff “It’s Not The End”
69 Fingers “Faster and Stronger”
Sarah Schlies “Child, My Child”
Sasha Collete “You Had Me”
Crack The Sky “We Want Mine”

You can hear this episode of Radio Free Charleston Tuesday at 10 AM and 10 PM on The AIR, with replays Thursday at 3 PM, Friday at 9 AM and 7 PM, Saturday at Noon and Midnight,  and  Monday at 11 AM, exclusively on The AIR. Now you can 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 NOISE BRIGADE at 2 PM. At three we have two recent episodes of The Swing Shift.

My voice should be back later this week so I can record my parts for what looks to be an epic, all-new three-hour RFC for next week.

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: Tower

 

 

This week’s art is a small watercolor, based on photos I took in New York City a couple of years ago. While I did not see fit to participate in the fetishistic wallowing of the milestone anniversary of a certain horrible day this weekend, I did want to salute a city to which I hope to be able to return for a visit someday.  That was an event I remember every day, and I choose not to observe the almost celebratory anniversary day the way many other folks do. To each their own.

This was done Saturday afternoon with cheap watercolor markers over pencils on the back of a large index card. I goosed the colors a little after I scanned it.

If you want to see it bigger, just click on the image.

Meanwhile, Monday on The AIR, our Haversham shows will be presenting encores of recent episodes this week, but they will return with fresh shows next week.  Our Monday Marathon, starting at 8 PM, will be an eleven-hour blast of talk show and comedy weirdness, scooped up from our archives.    You can listen to The AIR at the website, or on the embedded radio player right 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.

Sunday Evening Videos: Internet Nostalgia Nostalgia

I first posted the playlist you see above over eleven years ago. Coding issues caused by YouTube being a jerk have caused it to be unviewable for a long time, but after smacking the computer for an hour or so, I finally made it give up the goods, and now you can see these thrilling videos onced again.

An entire generation or two has grown up with the internet as a major presence in their lives. That means that the time is ripe for INTERNET NOSTALGIA! Above you see a series of video clips of such classic internet fads as The Numa Numa Guy, Salad Fingers, The Hampster Dance, Banana Phone, Diet Coke and Mentos, Xiao Xiao, The Star Wars Kid and kicking it off, The Creepy Dancing Baby animation.

These things were passé over a decade ago, and now they’re practically adorably quaint and seem like artifacts from a prehistoric time.

Just in case you think that TikTok invented stupid, vapid, goofy videos, go back and revisit the primal goop of what has become a new, vaster wasteland than Newton Minnow could have ever imagined.