PopCult Rudy Panucci on Pop Culture

You Can Still Get A Leg (lamp) Up!

Don’t forget, there are three more performances of Kanawha Player’s production of “A Christmas Story” as detailed here last week.  That means you have three more chances to buy a raffle ticket to win your own “major award,” a leg lamp of your very own to treasure, admire and stroke.   Performances are tonight at 8 PM and tomorrow at 2 PM and 8 PM.  The drawing for the leg lamp will take place Saturday night, after the last show.

Monday Morning Art: Whistlepunk

whistlepunkchalk02.jpgThis week’s shot of artistic caffeine is a digitally-assaulted photograph of local alt-rock masters, Whistlepunk.  I took this photo at the Vandalia Loungelast summer, and ran it through the digital mill to create a faux chalk drawing.  You can read more about Whistlepunk and hear some of their music here and here, and see them on episodes one and seven of Radio Free Charleston

Click to enlarge.  Go here to buy this image on T shirts and other overpriced trinkets.

Your Chance To Win “A Major Award”

Kanawha Players presents their production of “A Christmas Story”, based on the classic movie of Jean Shepard’s childhood memoir December 8, 9, 15, and 16 at the Charleston Civic Center Little Theater, and folks who go to see the play will have a chance to take home their own Leg Lamp, just like The Old Man won in the movie (and as featured in the PopCult Gift Guide last year).  If you go to the show, you’ll have a chance to enter a raffle for your very own Leg Lamp! It’s Frageelay, just like the one in the movie.

Humorist Jean Shepherd’s memoir of growing up in the midwest in the 1940s follows a 9-year-old Ralphie Parker (Jarrett Hansen) in his quest to get a genuine Red Ryder BB gun under the tree for Christmas. Under narration by the grown-up Ralph (Kevin Pauley), Ralphie pleads his case before his mother (April Ritter), his teacher (Tammy Perkins) and even Santa Claus (Eric Persily) with the consistent reply “you’ll shoot your eye out!”

All your favorite elements of the movie version are here, including the family’s temperamental exploding furnace; Scut Farkas (Stephen Sweat), the school bully; Flick’s (Aaron Persily) experiment with a wet tongue on a cold lamppost; the Little Orphan Annie decoder pin; Ralphie’s father’s (Joe Miller) winning a lamp shaped like a woman’s leg in a net stocking; Kid brother Randy’s (Pat Reed) restrictive snowsuit’ Ralphie’s fantasy scenes and more.

KP brings the movie to life on the boards of the Civic Center Little Theater.  The movie is a classic, and the KP production is top-notch, loaded with local talent and a fun evening for all. 

 If you go: “A Christmas Story” runs at the Charleston Civic Center Little Theater this Friday and Saturday (8 and 9) and next Friday and Saturday (15 and 16) at 8:00 p.m. with a 2:00 p.m. matinee on Saturday, December 16. Tickets are just $16 for adults and $10 for students/children! Bring a food item for the Salvation Army and get a dollar off of your ticket!


Last night, at the DVD launch party for the AWA Apex “September To Dismember” event, Danny Boyd, also known as “Professor Danger” ended his in-ring career in a surprise announcement.   Boyd and his partner, Death Falcon Zero, captured the AWA Apex tag team titles at the September show at WVSU, and the drama in the ring was matched by the drama behind the scenes.  Boyd and Death Falcon Zero were stripped of their belts by the AWA Apex commissioner. 

 AWA’s national head honcho, Dale Gagne, offered Boyd and his partner a shot at the AWA National tag team titles, currently held by Steve Corino and Ricky Landell, but Boyd has decided to decline the offer and retire.   He will continue to manage Death Falcon Zero, but as he put it last night, he experienced an epiphany while on the receiving end of a beat-down following his win in September, and has been cured of the craziness that led him on a journey, “fueled by hate” in his words, into the world of professional wrestling.

 The surprise announcement capped off a star-studded evening at the Athletic Club at the Embassy Suites in Charleston (a classy joint if ever there was one).  AWA stars in attendance included Boyd and Death Falcon Zero, as well as Scufflin’ Hillbilly, the team of Glorious And Young, The Cuban Assassin, Flex,  and others.   Danny’s first partner, Raw Talent was on hand, and IWA East Coast Mega-Stars Crowza and Woody Numbers were on hand to show their support.  It was an electric evening as fans who came to watch the WVU basketball game got hooked on the wrestling, which was being shown on one of the big screens, and stuck around to the end to see what happened next. 

 The DVD itself is spectacular.  Directer/editor Amy Trent did an amazing job.  The production values on this record of the “September To Dismember” show are on par with anything produced by WWE.  It’s also clear that this event was the best show with “Dismember” in its name produced in the country this year, by far.  Check PopCult next week for information on how you can order your own copy of this memorable closing chapter in the saga of Danny Boyd, professional wrestler. 

Wrestling DVD Release Party

sept-2-dsm-dvd-artsmall.jpgWednesday night, December 6, there will be a special gala premiere of the AWA Apex “September To Dismember” DVD held at The Athletic Club at Embassy Suites in Charleston, West Virginia., the most exclusive sports bar/grill in the state

This is the DVD record of Danny Boyd’s wrestling show which he put on back in September at the Davis Fine Arts Auditorium at West Virginia State University.  It was a great evening of old-school wrestling fun, capped off by Danny and his partner, Death Falcon Zero, pulling off an upset victory and capturing the AWA Apex tag team titles. 

The DVD was directed by Amy Trent, who had previously directed “In The Ringer,” and features an amazing array of wrestlers, including the Legendary Midnight Express, AWA world champions Ric Converse and Krazy K, The Cuban Assassin, Flex, Hillbilly, Mr. Black and more.   It’ll be a kick getting to relive that bizarre night.  The DVD will be screened and available for purchase.  Melanie and I plan to attend and the event is open to everyone.  It should be a memorable evening. You never know what’s going to happen when Danny Boyd veers into the world of wrestling.

The DVD Release party for AWA Apex “September To Dismember” will be free and open to the public from 8 PM to 11 PM. DVDs will be available for purchase. For more information call Amy Trent at (304) 204-4012. The Athletic Club is located at the Embassy Suites Hotel at 300 Court Street in Charleston, West Virginia.

Song Of The Week: “Shady Grove”

Our song of the week this week is The Heydays performing their arrangement of the traditional tune, “Shady Grove.”  If you watched last week’s brand new Radio Free Charleston (and shame on you if you didn’t) then you saw The Heydays, otherwise known as Paul Callicoat ( above L.) and Douglas Imbrogno (above R.) performing this very same song.  Why would we make it the song of the week, you ask?  Well, this is a recording of the same performance that we used on the show, but due to deadline issues, we didn’t have the fully-produced audio ready in time to include it.  The video version actually has audio from the camera microphones, doctored a bit with some reverb. 

This version is fully resplendant in all its stereo audio glory, as produced and engineered by Brian Young at LiveMix Studio.  It’s well worth an encore listen. 

Listen to “Shady Grove” by The Heydays “Shady Grove” by The Heydays


Today’s art is a photo of the KRT Bus terminal on Charleston’s West Side. It’s heavily retouched, enough so that you could say it’s digitally-assaulted.  I made it all surreally and stuff.

Click to enlarge.  Go here to order shirts and overpriced crap with this image.