PopCult Rudy Panucci on Pop Culture

Homegrown Horror

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Legends of the Mountain State: Ghostly Tales from the State of West Virginia is an anthology of thirteen tales surrounding known legends and ghosts in the state of West Virginia. You can pre-order this book by following this link. You’ll get five dollars off the retail price and free shipping. The timing of this pre-sale is perfect for the Halloween season. You can show your pride in your state and scare the bejesus out of yourself at the same time.

Writers contribuing to this project include Thomas F. Monteleone, Tim Waggoner, Kealan Patrick Burke, Scott Nicholson, Joseph Nassise, Bev Vincent, Mark Justice, Geoffrey C. Fuller, Michael Hughes, Jude-Marie Green, Trent Walters, Marta Murvosh and Charleston’s own Brian J. Hatcher

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Stephanie Deskins Bonus Video

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Steph Deskins is featured in the latest episode of Radio Free Charleston performing her song “When You Come Around.”  You can also read a profile of her in The Gazz today and an in-depth interview elsewhere here in PopCult. 

As a bonus, here’s Stephanie performing her rodeo-themed song “The Fall,” recorded at the same session as her RFC spot last week at LiveMix Studio in Charleston. 

Be sure to check out episode 27 of Radio Free Charleston, starring Stephanie Deskins, Doctor Senator, and Comparsa, and read the production notes right here!

Cool Thing Of The Week: Briefs and Shorts Return!

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Kanawha Players“Briefs and Shorts” program returns Thursday evening at the Charleston Ballet Building with an evening of comedy that celebrates the wit of brevity.   Three short plays–around ten minutes each–make up the evening.  It kicks off at 8PM and you’ll be home by 9:30. 

Tonight KP presents a scene from the play “The Owl And The Pussycat,”by Bill Manhoff, directed by Tara Phares-Pauley and starring Tony Slack and Morgan Garrett.  This is the play that the popular Barbra Streisand/George Segal film came from and tells the story of Doris, a retired prostitute, and her encounters with Felix, an older, stodgy man. Some of you may remember Tony from his memorable opening line in the No Pants Players Cabaret show during FestivAll last June.

Next is a short play entitled “Date with a Stranger” by Cherie Vogelstein, directed by and starring Kevin Pauley, and also starring Jamie Dunbar.  Both are also members of The No Pants Players.  This is a hilarious piece that goes through the entire process of a relationship, including every high and low, in the span of about ten minutes!

Lastly,  Huntington playwright Jon Joy will bring his original piece, “The War on Halloween” to the Charleston stage.  The cool thing is that just a little over a week later this same piece will debut in New York City – but Charleston gets the world premiere!

It’s great to see the new season of KP’s Briefs and Shorts kick off. This is a great way to experience live theater in an intimate setting. Plus this format caters to those of us with short attention spans.

IF YOU GO: Thursday Night’s performance will be at the Charleston Ballet at 822 Virginia Street.  Admission is $5. The show starts at 8PM.  Shows include adult language and situations.

Episode 27 of Radio Free Charleston is online now! This installment, titled “Trust Me I’m A Doctor Shirt,” is crammed full of a diverse assortment of excellent music, plus just a dash of animation and mind-hurting weirdness. We’re all over town in this show, at LiveMix Studio, The Sound Factory, The La Belle Theater, and on the South Side Bridge!

We have great songs from Stephanie Deskins, Doctor Senator, and Comparsa, plus a cartoon by Stephen Beckner and a really creepy toy commercial (about which we will not speak again). Hosted by yours truly from the South Side Bridge, the iconic gateway that leads from downtown Charleston to up where all the user fee money goes to pave roads.

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Stephanie Deskins: The PopCult Interview

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Stephanie Deskins is an up-and-coming country music singer-songwriter dividing her time between Logan and Belle. In the never-ending quest to bring new and diverse local musical voices to Radio Free Charleston, I found Stephanie through MySpace, and she appears on episode number 27 of RFC, which you can watch right here. Though she’s just at the beginning of her career, Stephanie has already picked up sponsors such as Timberline Guitars, Knucklehead Guitar Strings, and Morgan’s Leather Den.

You can hear samples of Stephanie’s songcraft at her MySpace page, and I’ll be bringing you updates of her upcoming shows here in PopCult. A local rock band will be covering one of her tunes for a future episode of RFC, too. Her work is really impressive, and I have a feeling she’ll become a major force in the Charleston music scene, and possibly beyond. We spoke with Stephanie about her music and her career.

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Monday Morning Art

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After posting lightly last week, we kick off this week here in PopCult with another exercise in digitally-assaulted photography. This time it’s a shot taken at Appalachian Power Park, looking at the building beyond the North gate.  Again, I’m playing with the color composition. Eagle-eyed PopCult readers may notice that, yes this is indeed the same building that was in last week’s Tuesday Morning Art. But that was a different photo.

To make up for last week’s sparse PopCult, this week will see a lot of new posts.  Later today a Q & A with singer/songwriter Stephanie Deskins will be posted.  Steph appears on the next episode of Radio Free Charleston, and a profile of her will run in the Gazz this week.  Tomorrow RFC number 27, “Trust Me I’m A Doctor Shirt,” goes online, and the production notes will be available right here in your semi-favorite blog. The next show features Stephanie along with Doctor Senator and Comparsa, plus a cartoon by Stephen Beckner and a creepy toy commercial–brought to you from the striking and noisy South Side Bridge!

Later this week we’ll have news on a West Virginia horror anthology book, IWA East Coast wrestling, and if I can squeeze in the extra time, some CD and comic book reviews.  But for now, start your week with the art. 

As always, you can click the image to see a larger version.  And you can also buy this image in the newly revamped Monday Morning Art Store.  You still have a chance to be one of the first three customers of the store!  You can also follow these links to see my efforts in the PopCult store and the Radio Free Charleston store.   

Tuesday Morning Art

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Delayed by a day due to a doctor’s appointment (just a check-up, your loyal PopCulter is in good health) here’s this week’s Monday Morning Art–on Tuesday. 

It’s a shot taken last Saturday at Appalachian Power Park during the Oktoberfest fundraiser for the Clay Center.   I was using the “color accent” function on my new camera so that the only color that came through was blue.  Everything else is in black and white. You can get some really neat photos of the sky this way.  Like this one, in which you can see some of Whistlepunk playing at the bottom of the picture, but the star of the photo is the bright blue sky peeking under the canopy and over the buildings and mountains. 

 As always, you can click the image to see a larger version.  And you can also buy this image in the newly revamped Monday Morning Art Store, celebrating one whole year without a single sale! Hey, that ship has done sailed.  However, you still have a chance to be one of the first three customers of the store!  You can also follow these links to see my efforts in the PopCult store and the Radio Free Charleston store.   If you check ’em out, buy something, fer crap’s sake!  Don’t just read the descriptions and click away. I’m not running a library here!

Music (and more) Out The Wazoo!

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I’m still recovering from witnessing the incredible concert by Bert Lams and Tom Griesgraber (seen at left) last night at LiveMix Studio, and a full review will be forthcoming late Sunday, but in the meantime, there is still plenty of way-coolness in which to indulge in Charleston this weekend! 

We’ve got open mic nights, improv comedy, cool rock music (from guests on Radio Free Charleston, no less), beer and the West Virginia Symphony. 

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Guitar Concert @ LiveMix Thursday Night

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Thursday Night, LiveMix Studio (one of the “stars” of Radio Free Charleston) will play host to their first concert.  Bert Lams of the acclaimed California Guitar Trio will perform on guitar, accompanied by Tom Griesgraber on stick.  Seating is very limited and the show is close to being sold out. Call 304-932-0705  to see if tickets are still available.

This will be the first public event at LiveMix, and it’s an exclusive performance by world-class musicians.  This is part of Bert and Tom’s East Coast Driving Tour, which is being documented on Bert’s Diary page at the CGT website.

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Monday Morning Art: Lee Street In Color

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Your Monday Morning blast of my so-called “art” this week is a digitally-assaulted photograph taken on Lee Street, glancing upward at one of our nifty downtown lampposts, with some of the Charleston skyline buildings colored like the marshmallows in Lucky Charms cereal, in the background.  It’s an exercise in color composition, for you art majors in the audience.

Be sure to click the image to see a larger version.  And you can also buy this image in the newly revamped Monday Morning Art Store, celebrating one whole year without a single sale! You can also follow these links to mock my efforts in the PopCult store and the Radio Free Charleston store.   You may as well go look, even if you don’t buy anything.  There’s sort of a train-wreck quality to the stores.