PopCult Rudy Panucci on Pop Culture

Radio Free Charleston Trailer

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UPDATED: Episode Six of Radio Free Charleston is online NOW! Follow this link.

The new Radio Free Charleston, episode six, “Chris Hero Shirt,” will go online in a matter of hours. Until then, sate your RFC addiction by repeatedly watching the trailer above. Then go buy RFC merchandise at our store, and sign up to be a friend at our mySpace page.

Dip-ta, dip-ta…yahooo!

The new RFC should be online tomorrow. We wrapped it on Tuesday and I delivered it yesterday between changing flat tires on my car. You can see a snippet of Professor Mike’s performance in the new GazzTV show, “What’s Going On.” Show number six cranks up the hyperactivitization level a bit as we bring you our loudest band yet, the aforementioned Professor Mike, and the mysterious musical cabal known as Two Watts Of Power, who also give us our song of the week in the post below this one. Episode Six is titled “Chris Hero Shirt,” named after the shirt I’m wearing in the show (The shows are named after my shirts, you may have caught on to that by now). Chris Hero is the reigning Heavyweight Champion of IWA East Coast, and it’s a really cool shirt.

We’ve also got a movie trailer featuring The No Pants Players. I shot their footage back in June or July, but there were so many technical issues (on my end) that it took until now to work out the bugs and edit the piece that you see on the show. The RFC “Yahoo” guy joins the troupe, unofficially and against their will, for one brief cameo. The NPP will be appearing at the Labelle Theater with their Halloween show later this month, but Friday night three members of the troupe will be onstage at the Labelle performing Shakespeare of a sort.

Professor Mike came into the LiveMix Studio last week, and we bring you the exciting results. They perform an electrifying version of their own song, “Greater Good.” It was a blast meeting the guys, and we’ll probably be seeing them again on RFC real soon. They were certainly one of the loudest bands we’ve had on the show, and I was really knocked out by their sound. If they ever didn’t win a battle of the bands, it must have been rigged. Professor Mike is at the Sound Factory Friday night, and Mel and I will be zipping over to see them after we catch “The Complete Works Of William Shakespeare (Abridged)” at the Labelle.

LiveMix Studio is our production facility and in the coming weeks I’ll be writing more about Charleston’s coolest Audio/Video production house. It’s time for the boys to take a bow. We’ll be doing a photo essay here in PopCult, and a behind-the-scenes video may even turn up somewhere.

GI Joe returns to Radio Free Charleston in this episode, too. You can almost see an Action Marine sitting astride Bob Dobbs’ head in the background of Professor Mike’s performance. You can also check out an Adventure Team Astronaut menacing The Red Baron. Toys are fun. Oh, and I can now let the cat out of the bag–the GI Joe Adventure Team Land Adventurer with Kung Fu Grip, as seen in episode five of RFC, will be available exclusively from Hot Topic this November.

Be sure to check out our MySpace page, and go ahead and sign up to be our friend. Also, watch the news, because if I ever find the guy who designed the Blogger.com interface, I’m going after him with a bludgeoning oar. If you happened to read this post before 9 PM Thursday, you may notice that the second half of it has been completely re-written. Guess why.

One of the featured bands on the next episode of Radio Free Charleston will be Two Watts Of Power, a collective of three artists who collaborate over the internet. Until recently none of them have met face-to-face, and two of them still haven’t met the third member.

Our SOTW is Pandora’s Box, by Two Watts Of Power. You can check out more music and video by these guys at their website, here. Their music can best be described as electronic montage, with synthesizer, guitar and drums blended with found vocals from a variety of sources.

The new Radio Free Charleston will be available here at theGazz.com tomorrow, and later today I’ll have detailed production notes. In addition to Two Watts Of Power, we’ll also have Professor Mike , the No Pants Players, and more! Professor Mike will be appearing live at the Sound Factory Friday night, and next week, our SOTW will be their cover of 311’s “Beautiful Disaster.”

Check back later today for the production notes.

Shakespeare At The Labelle

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Friday night there will be a ONE NIGHT ONLY performance of “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) ” at the Labelle Theater on D Street in South Charleston. Tickets are ten bucks for adults and seven dollars for students. The show stars Kevin Pauley, Jason Dunbar, and Duncan Stokes from the No Pants Players, and just played to rave reviews a couple of weeks ago at Camp Washington Carver.

“The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)” is exactly what it says it is: 37 of the most legendary plays in English history performed in 97 minutes. The show was the longest running comedy in London during its run and, according to the N.Y. Times, is “full of gung-ho vitality.”

From two men performing all of the major characters of “Romeo and Juliet,” to “Titus Andronicus” done as a cooking show, to “Othello” being done as a rap, the show is full of energy and runs at a breakneck pace. It concludes with “Hamlet,” which is done normal, fast, faster and backwards!

Tara Phares-Pauley directs for Everyman Players. The show stars Jason Dunbar, Kevin Pauley and Duncan Stokes, all of the No-Pants Players comedy troupe. Everyman Players is a non-profit group that brings theater programs and workshops to area schools for little to no money. This show is a fundraiser for the group to continue this mission here in the Kanawha Valley and abroad. This comedy will only be performed for one night, so be sure to make plans to attend.

If you go: “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)” starts at 8 PM, Friday September 29 at the Labelle Theater in South Charleston. Tickets are $10, or $7 for students.

Monday Morning Art: Warmask

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It’s been a long, long time since I sat and actually drew anything using real paper, so Sunday, as I watched my Steelers lose another game, I pulled out some cheap paper and a Bic Permanent marker and started doodling. Satisfied with the results, I scanned it and colored it in the computer. Now, for your enjoyment or ridicule, here’s Warmask. If you’re crazy enough to want it on a shirt or something, click here. Other PopCult stuff can be found here.

click to enlarge

Update: I noticed after the fact, that this is the 300th post in PopCult! Oh boy, quantity!

Radio Free Charleston News

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I finally got around to starting a RADIO FREE CHARLESTON MYSPACE PAGE, so if any of you want to be my “friend” (God, that sounds so much like something Casper the freakin’ Friendly Ghost would say) click the link and add me. You won’t really get much in the way of bonus material, since I post all the behind-the-scenes production notes here at PopCult, but you will get to have that nifty icon over there showing up in your “friends” list.

In other RFC news, we’re deep in production of episode six. We have taping sessions scheduled for tonight and Monday, with the goal of delivering the show next week. We’re also doing preliminary work on the Halloween episode(s). More on that, later. Keep checking back here for more info on Radio Free Charleston, and if you’re interested in performing or contributing to the show, drop me an email here.

Song Of The Week: Punk Goodbye Earl

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Me First and the Gimme Gimme’s specialize in doing punk covers of inappropriate songs. They’ve skewered singer/songwriters, R&B, Broadway show tunes, and 60s pop. Now they’re setting their sites on country music. “Me First and the Gimme Gimme’s Love Their Country” is due out October 17th, but the fine folks at Fat Wreck Chords have posted a teaser, the Gimme’s cover of the Dixie Chick’s “Goodbye Earl. “

The Gimmes have a lot in common with the Dixie Chicks. Just as the Chicks have become pariahs in some parts of the country for stating the obvious about the president, the Gimmes are now persona non-grata in Pittsburgh, due to some questionable booking by the folks at PNC Park.

WITHDRAWAL!

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I should have known this would happen. Every time I cave in to an indulgence it quickly becomes an obsession and then an addiction. Now I’m hurtin’…bad. Longtime readers of this blog know of my dependence on Spinach. Not just any spinach, but pre-packaged, washed, and currently-unavailable fresh baby spinach. It’s been a week now since I’ve had my leafy green fix. Thus far, the E Coli break out is one of those unexplainable phenomena, like the way the Sears store in the Charleston Town Center always stocks Cleveland Browns merchandise to the exclusion of all other teams during football season. I’m pretty sure it’s a Republican plot to steal the upcoming midterm elections.

But all the conspiracy theories in the world won’t get me a bowl of my favorite veggie. I mean, where the HELL am I supposed to get my folic acid? Vitamins are NOT an option!

So I’m going to have to go slumming. You’ll see me in the seedy neighborhoods looking for the house that has Popeye’s shoes tied together and slung over the power lines out front. I’m not proud, but I needs my spinach! I know, they’ll give me the first bowl for free. Then they start charging. I don’t care, I’m already hooked! I’d even buy a bag if it had a sticker that read “Now With 50% More E Coli!”

I’ve come to the conclusion that anything I decide to eat will eventually be declared unhealthy.

Cool “Toys” of the Week

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This week, instead of picking a cool current toy, I’m going to bring you a short film called “Toys”. This film, made by Grant Munro in 1966 for the National Film Board of Canada, starts out showing kids looking at a window display at a toy store during Christmas time. It seems innocent enough, and you can see all sorts of great vintage toys. But when they get to the GI Joes, the Joes spring to life, and start acting out violent real war scenarios via stop-motion animation. Now, at the time, the Vietnam War was raging, and this was supposed to be a striking anti-war message. Nowadays it stands as an example of some of the coolest vintage GI Joe animation ever made! Some of the toys shown here are worth more than some automobiles, if you can find them. So whether you prefer the anti-war message, or the cool animated GI Joe action, check out “Toys.”