PopCult Rudy Panucci on Pop Culture

Production Notes: RFC Number Ten

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Wow, it’s already time for another set of production notes for Radio Free Charleston already!  Our latest show features new music from The Sleeping Dons and The Heydays, as well as a short film by Danny Boyd and our usual animation and mind-hurting weirdness. 

This episode is called “Captain Action Shirt,” and if you would like your own Captain Action Shirt, featuring the logo from the superhero action figure, you can order it at the Captain Action Cafepress Store.  I’ve wanted a shirt like this since I was a kid and had the Captain Action with parachute that always wound up on the roof.  I’ve written about the good Captain here, and here.  Dressed sort of like Captain Action, I can be seen image1.jpgabusing his nemesis Dr. Evil in the animation intro. 

We shot the host segments on the grounds of the State Capitol last Sunday, taking advantage of the wonderful Indian Summer, which sadly seems to have left us.  Melanie Larch directed and shot the host segments this time.  The musical performances and animation were directed by yours truly. 

TV Tabloid comes to us courtesy of Danny Boyd.  This short film was made at West Virginia State College about twenty years ago, and we’ll be seeing more of Danny’s work in future shows.  The animated opening for this bit was done by my brother Frank back in his pre-computer days. 

Our first musical guest is The Sleeping Dons, back for an encore after treating us to the Native American baseball tune, “Story Of The Coyote People” on our second show.  This time around they give us “Wild River,” which was featured as the Song of the Week here in PopCult back in June.  This video showcases the band set against a montage of illustrative footage of rivers and nature, which was necessary when we lost two camera angles in a hard drive crash. 

We brought The Heydays into Livemix Studio a couple of Fridays ago, following their performance at Taylor Books.  It was the first time that our esteemed Gazz Editor, Douglas Imbrogno, had been up to the musical home of RFC.  Doug and master guitarist Paul Callicoat are The Heydays, and in this episode they perform their arrangement of “Shady Grove.”  In a future show, we’ll bring you a semi-animated video of one of their original songs.   A different mix of “Shady Grove” will be the Song of the Week here at PopCult in a couple of days. 

That’s the behind-the-scenes dirt, now go watch the show.   We’re going to be gearing up for our special Christmas and New Years episodes.  Keep reading PopCult, and stay tuned to Gazz TV for details on when those shows will appear. 

The Next Radio Free Charleston

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It’s that time again.  I’m off to finish assembling the new Radio Free Charleston.  This episode, “Captain Action Shirt,” features music from The Sleeping Dons and The Heydays, vintage animation remixed, and a short film starring Danny Boyd as an evil dwarf.    We shot the host segments yesterday at the State Capitol, taking advantage of this spectacular weather we’re having.  See, global warming isn’t all bad! Look for the show tomorrow at GazzTV, and look for detailed production notes here in PopCult.  Meanwhile, here’ s a sneak peek.

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No Pants = Big Fun!

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The No Pants Players’ annual holiday show, Joytacular, was a triumph of comedy, improv and choreography.   It was the funniest NPP show that I’ve seen yet, and the only downer of the evening was that they aren’t performing it again next weekend.   Mel and I saw the Saturday Night show along with a healthy crowd, and it was just loads of fun.  From the fine Doo Wop harmonies of Crushed Velvet to the improv games, prizes, and holiday cheer, the night was a winner from beginning to end. 

The next No Pants Players show is a special New Year’s Eve party at the Labelle Theater in South Charleston.  I hope we get to see a return performance by the most amazing dance trio to hit Charleston since they cloned Jesco.

Obituary Time

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I’ve mentioned Mark Evanier’s blog here in PopCult many times.  Mark is in fine health these days, but he also seems to be the go-to guy for obituaries in many areas of entertainment, and yesterday he brought us news of three notable passings. 

 Jerry Bails was the father of comic book fandom.  He founded one of the first comic book fanzines, Alter Ego, back in the late 1950s, and laid the groundwork for most of the scholarly research done on the comic book medium.  He passed away yesterday at the age of 73.  I never met Jerry Bails, but I’ve known who he was for as long as I can remember reading.  He always had letters of comment printed in the comic books from which I learned to read.  Mark has a more detailed obit here, and links to an even more detailed article about Bails by longtime comic book fan Bill Schelly, which can be found here.

 Betty Comden, the playwright-lyricist for “On The Town,” “Peter Pan,” “The Will Rogers Follies,” “Singin’ In The Rain,” and many other classic musicals passed away at the age of 89. Evanier has more information here. 

 Chris Hayward was a television writer who contributed to some of the funniest shows in television history. “Bullwinkle,” “Get Smart,” and “The Munsters,” and “Barney Miller” were some of his many works.  Evanier writes in more detail about the man, who passed away Monday at age 81 here.

Post Thanksgiving Pantslessness

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Friday and Saturday the No Pants Players return to the LaBelle Theater in South Charleston for the third annual  “Joytacular,” a holiday-themed show with cool skits as well as the improv games you’ve come to know and love.  In addition, the Pantsless ones are holding a pants drive.   Fans who donate a new pair of pants for Covenant House will be eligible for a drawing for prizes donated by Broyles Jewelers, Holiday Inn Charleston House, Taylor Books, Bennigan’s, First Watch and more.

Special musical guests Crushed Velvet will  be on hand to present acapella Doo Wop music to thrill and delight the crowd.  What better way to work off the tryptophan coma and get into the holiday spirit than by enjoying an evening of fine music and comedy? 

If you go: Tickets are $10, the show starts at 8 PM both Friday and Saturday nights at the LaBelle Theater on D Street in South Charleston. 

Testing the new blog interface.

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In an effort to enhance the Gazz experience for our loyal readers, we have recently switched over to new software for creating our blogs.   As with any sort of change, there are lots of bugs to be worked out.   To see if we’ve sorted a couple of them out, here are two test images.   Feel free to use the comments button below to tell us if they show up correctly.

First, hopefully to the right of this text, is a photo of the new GI Joe Land Adventurer with Kung Fu Grip, which will be showing up at Hot Topic stores sometime in the next week.

Next, to the left of this text, we have the Official Seal of Radio Free Charleston.  Sadly, it appears that we can no longer let you click on the images for a better view. 

Monday Morning Art Color Sky

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This week’s Monday Morning Art is a digitally assaulted photograph I took at an intersection somewhere on the West Side of Charleston.  I just went nuts on the sky, using the divisions made by the crossing power lines to hold different bright primary colors.   “Color Sky” is just an exercise in color composition.  Click the title to see the T shirts and knick-knacks.  

Radio Free Charleston Production Notes

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Episode Nine of Radio Free Charleston, “Duh Nuh Nuh Nuh Nuh Nuh Nuh Nuh Nuh Nuh Nuh Nuh Nuh Nuh Nuh Nuh BATMAN Shirt,” henceforth known simply as “Batman Shirt” is in the books.  You can see it here, and check out our impressive RFC Archive here.  Plus, go check out the other fine offerings from Gazz TV here.

Still recovering from our big Halloween shows, we took a low-key approach to this episode of RFC.   Stephen Beckner is back, and this time he’s brought his ukelele.  We’re working on bringing you more of Stephen’s work from his own personal music and film archives for future shows.  

We have an epic-length devil cartoon Thanksgiving episode on hand, as Timmy and his grandma go hunting for a giant turkey and pay tribute to the late Iron Eyes Cody.

Delving into the deep Radio Free Charleston archives, we find a performance by Mother Nang recorded live at the Levee (now known as Julie J’s).  This was the release party for the Music Feast Sampler CD, produced by John Kessler.  Also on the bill that night was Strawfyssh and Crazy Jane, and we’re searching for their performances from that show for inclusion in future episodes of RFC. 

Mother Nang has actually been on the show before, but not all at the same time.  Spencer Elliott and Brian Young are currently in Whistlepunk (joined by Dan Jordan), who you may remember from our first and eighth episodes.   Jay  Lukens and Deron Sodaro are in The Sleeping Dons (along with Sean Richardson, who was in Strawfyssh).  The Sleeping Dons were in episode two of RFC, and will be back very soon.

 We have more in this edition of Radio Free Charleston:  a glimpse of turkey hell, a brief visit by the Talking Adventure Team Commando, and end credit music from Greg Wegman.

So follow the links for fifteen minutes of bliss.  RFC:  It’s terrific, it’s Ideal!