PopCult Rudy Panucci on Pop Culture

Bring Your Daughter To The Slaughter

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IWA East Coast returns to the South Charleston Community Center on June 7 with “Bring Your Daughter To The Slaughter,” another classy evening of refined mayhem. The big name guests for this evening of ring magic include Matt “Brother Runt” Hyson (AKA: Spike Dudley from WWE), The Blue Meanie of ECW fame, and Tracy Smothers, who has wrestled all over the world for every major company.

Hyson will take on Warpig, the monster who’s demolished almost every opponent he’s faced in IWA East Coast. Hyson’s reputation as “the giant killer” will be tested mightily as he runs up against the Kosher Colossus. An interesting side note: My “Animated Discussions” cohort, Melanie Larch, helped IWA get in touch with Hyson. She’d been trading emails with him since his “Spike Dudley” days. We can call her “Booker Mel” now.

Blue Meanie and Smothers will face each other in a dance-off. At least, that’s the idea. Nobody will be shocked if violence somehow ensues. Meanie is famous for his dancing skills, while Smothers is known for his short temper. There’s no telling how long Smothers will put up with Meanie’s disco hijinks. Meanie has just returned to the ring following major lung surgery earlier this year, so it’ll be interesting to see if he can shake off the ring rust should the dance turn dangerous. Meanie is the guy who was singled out by WWE wrestler John Bradshaw Layfield last year and had his face half ripped off by WWE’s top locker-room bully. This happened at the “ECW One Night Stand” event, and led to Meanie getting a short-term deal from WWE, to forestall any legal actions.

The most anticipated match of the night sees hardcore legend Ian Rotten facing off against Ashland’s Juggulator in a “loser leaves IWA East Coast” match. This match will feature barbwire-wrapped baseball bats, and the loser will be gone from IWA East Coast forever! The outcome of this match is a huge question mark with massive repercussions. Juggulator is local, and has a decent following, but Ian is not only a legend–he owns the ring that IWA East Coast uses. The loss of either man could be a major blow to the organization. Ian is also coming off a year that almost saw his forced retirement. He suffered a major concussion in 2005, and wasn’t supposed to get back in the ring after that. Anyone who thinks wrestling is all fake should meet Ian, and take a look at his forehead. He’s got the better part of two decades worth of scars to prove how “fake” wrestling is.

Also on the program: Trik Nasty seeks revenge against his former partner J.D. Escalade. Mad Man Pondo and 2 Tuff Tony team up to face the mysterious Hane Brothers. “High” flyer, El Drunko, takes on “high flyer” Omega Aaron Draven. “Mr. Insanity” Toby Klein takes on Brain Damage in the first ever “Cheese grater on a pole” match. Fans will be treated to all that and more, next week.

This will be a fun evening, and we should enjoy IWA events at the South Charleston Community Center while we can. There are rumors that the Community Center’s management isn’t too keen on keeping IWA East Coast in their arena. It’d be a shame if they allow their squeamishness to drive IWA East Coast to another building, since it’s such a good fit where it is. Fans might want to stop by while they’re at the show and tell the building’s management how happy they are that they can see IWA shows in such a nice place.

If You Go: IWA East Coast presents “Bring Your Daughter To The Slaughter” starting at 7 PM, Wednesday June 7 at the South Charleston Community Center, 601 Jefferson Road. Tickets are $15 and $10 and can be purchased at the door, or in advance at the Cold Spot in Dunbar.

The Bloggers Meet

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The Charleston Area Bloggers group met Friday at Taylor Books on Capitol Street. It was a small, but cool group (well, except for me). Rick Lee was there, as was Scott Mitchell, both of whom I met at the previous CAB meeting. I finally got to meet Oncee, whose blog I’ve been reading for months, and the highlight of the meeting was a visit from Sharon, who writes the excellent Adventures Of A Domestic Engineer blog, which is a bright spot in the blogosphere. As the meeting broke up, Bob Coffield, who writes the Health Care Law Blog showed up. Rick took photos, as did Sharon. This meeting was called on the spur of the moment, so the turnout was less than usual, but it’s still great to get together, put faces to the names behind the blogs, and exchange ideas on the art and science of blogeration. We’ll have to try and get the word out more next time.

Congrats to MShane,
creator of Through the Lens, who was otherwise occupied over the weekend, and didn’t make the meeting.

Memorial Day Bonus Photo

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In honor of there not being much going on for me on this Memorial Day, here’s a bonus photo, of the KRT Bus Station on the West Side. It is a digitally-assaulted photograph. I just assaulted this one in a more subtle manner than I usually do. See if you can figure out how. Click to enlarge.

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This week’s Monday Morning Art hails from the West Side of Charleston. It’s a digitally assaulted photograph looking Westward down Randolph Street at the intersection with Florida Street. This is the way the streets look to me. Click to enlarge.

Cool Toy Of The Week: Dig This!

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This week we’re taking an educational turn with our cool toy, but don’t worry, it’s still fun. Our pick is the I Dig line of playsets from Action Products International. These are little (or big) hunks of rock that come with the tools needed to chip away at them until you reveal a fossil, arrowhead, or other nifty treat within. It’s a cool way for kids to learn the techniques of fossil recovery and excavation without digging holes all over your front yard. These are perfect for the budding archeologist or burgeoning tomb raider. The prices aren’t too bad, either. Small kits start at around five dollars, but some of the more elaborate kits sell for more than 50 bucks.

You can order these directly from API here, but if I recall correctly, these can also be found at the gift shop in the Avampato Discovery Museum at the Clay Center.

The Animated Blogosphere

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Animated Discussions
by Rudy Panucci and Melanie Larch

There seem to be blogs out there on every topic, so it’s no surprise that there are thousands devoted to animation. We’re going to check in on three Spumco-related blogs today, and we’ll check back with more animation blogs in the coming weeks.

All Kinds Of Stuff is the blog of John Kricfalusi, the creator of Ren & Stimpy and Ripping Friends. John’s blog isn’t just a repository for plugs of his work and upcoming projects, John K. has also been sharing his vast knowledge on animation history and technique. This blog is updated several times a week, and it’s all meat, no filler. John also gets more comments than any other blog we’ve seen. Any prospective animator, or fan of the art form, should bookmark this blog and visit it every day.

Funny Cute is the work of Katie Rice, a Spumco newcomer and protege of John K, who worked extensively on the most recent episodes of Ren & Stimpy. She specializes in drawing cute girls, and shares her work with her readers on a regular basis. Katie’s been doing her blog longer than the other Spumco folks, and it’s a safe bet that she may have inspired the others to claim their own little corner of the blogosphere.

Uncle Eddie’s Theory Corner was just launched last week by legendary animator Eddie Fitzgerald, a longtime John K. cohort, and the possessor of the famous “clean hand” from the days when Nickelodeon fired Spumco from Ren & Stimpy. On this blog, Eddie will share funny drawings, poetry and whatever else he feels like doing. It’s going to be a blog to watch.

Charleston Area Bloggers Want You

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CAB5, the fifth gathering of Charleston Area Bloggers, will take place Friday May 25 at the coffeshop in Taylor Books. Bloggers will be meeting between 8 and 9 AM. I was lucky enough to attend CAB4 (as seen in Rick Lee’s blog, here), and I’ll be at Taylor Books Friday morning. The meeting is open to any blogger in the Charleston Area (extending to the entire state, really). It’ll be a fun meeting of the minds. Maybe we can get a record turnout this time.

Being Evil

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Go ahead, follow this link. It’ll stick in your head for days.

Song Of The Week: New Bluegrass

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This week’s SOTW, in honor of this weekend’s Vandalia Gathering, is a cool little tune by progressive bluegrass band, The Yonder Mountain String Band. “Left Me In A Hole” is a lament to a lost love from their 1999 CD “Elevation.” Despite the sad subject matter it’s an uptempo song with bright folksy vocals.

I first discovered the Yonder Mountain boys last year, when they provided the highlight of a CD tribute to the Beatle’s “Rubber Soul” album. On checking out their website, I was mightily impressed. I’m not normally a big fan of country-leaning music, but occasionally a bluegrass band will cut through the twang, and get to me with their musicianship. The Yonder Mountain String Band manages to stay true to traditional bluegrass instrumentation while bringing a fresh approach to arrangements and vocal harmony. They manage to do this without giving in to typical Nashville gloss and phoniness. As they say in their press kit, they’re “bridging the gap between bluegrass and rock.”

Our SOTW is not from their latest self-titled CD. The new CD takes the band even further into new musical territory. Best of all, you can hear their new CD for free. It’s streaming in the background when you visit their website. While visiting their website, you can also order their CDs and buy merchandise. I don’t know if these guys have ever been on Mountain Stage, but if they haven’t, they should be. They have the perfect sound for the show. They seem to be circling West Virginia for the next week, with shows in Ohio, Maryland, and Virginia. Maybe we can get them to play here some time.

Monday Morning Art: A Very Sunny Day

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This week’s Monday morning jumpstart art is “A Very Sunny Day In Dunbar.” It’s a digitally assaulted photograph of the recently-dismantled vacant Ames Department Store in Dunbar. I took this photo last week, but thought it would look better with a surreal sky and giant sun. The sun appears courtesy of NASA. click the image to see it bigger