PopCult Rudy Panucci on Pop Culture

Briefs and Shorts Return Again

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Tonight at The Charleston Ballet building Kanawha Players presents a fresh evening of “Briefs and Shorts,” tiny, meticulously-crafted little playlets that showcase some of the area’s finest acting talents.  It’s sort of the theater analog to the appetizer platter, where you get to fill up on all the tasty little morsels that you normally only get a taste of instead of choking down a huge main course that may not be particularly filling, or to your tastes.

This month’s theme is “How We Relate” and features four pieces, each involving two actors/actresses.  The unique thing about this is how Tara Phares-Pauley, the Briefs and Shorts coordinator, took the theme into new territory.  Each show has been put together by the two performers – from casting to rehearsals to blocking to even directing!  This gave them a chance to really create and the results promise to be intriguing.

Among the performers that you’ll get to see are familiar faces to regular PopCult readers, Kevin Pauley and Jeff Bukovinsky from the No Pants Players are featured in the show-closer, and RFC Big Shot (and recent example of Monday Morning Art) Melanie Larch co-stars in another of the plays.  I hear that the entire cast is really impressive and the night will see some top-flight performances, many from new faces on the scene.

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.

Monday Morning Art: Lee Street in COLOR

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Lee Street, digitally assaulted photograph

This week’s art is a digitally-assaulted photograph of Lee Street, looking West from Capitol Street.  I played with the contrast and went a little nuts with the color and sky effects. That’s Laidley Tower in the middle of the shot, and over on the right side, you can see The Purple Moon, West Virginia’s only Atomic Age Art Gallery and Antique Emporium.  I swear that this is not an attempt to get Chuck from the Purple Moon to order more stuff from the Monday Morning Art store.  Read the italics for info on the various PopCult stores, and follow the jump for a less-assaulted version of this photo.

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 ten customers of the store!  You can also follow these links to see my efforts in the PopCult store and the Radio Free Charleston store  

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The latest episode of Radio Free Charleston is online now! “Lucha Mask Shirt (Show Without Words #1) features music from Charleston’s Blues legend Raymond Wallace, WV’s Latin Stars Duo Divertido, and Parkersburg’s master of the 12-string Josh Buskirk. We also have fresh animation from RFC Big Shot Frank Panucci and a special visit from the Commander in Chief. Best of all, this episode of RFC features NO VOCALS! The music is all instrumental, as is the animation, and even the President doesn’t have much to say.

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RFC 34 Delayed

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For all of you who just want me to shut the hell up...

The latest episode of Radio Free Charleston, “Lucha Mask Shirt (Show Without Words #1)” will be delayed while The Gazz Internet wizards work to iron out problems with the server.  I would like to make it clear that, even though I was in the building today, I did not wander into the restricted Interweb area, nor did I spill anything on the massive Charleston Newspapers Supercomputer, and further, I don’t even drink Diet Pepsi. 

With any luck, the show will go online sometime Thursday, after the Supercomputer has dried out sufficiently.  Meanwhile, follow the jump for some teaser images from the show. 

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Monday Morning Art: Plane Fline

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We fly into the week with a digitally-assaulted photograph that I took last week.  It’s one of our Air National Guard’s C-130s flying over Capitol Street during lunch.  I guess maybe they were stopping by Graziano’s so they could score some Spinach pizza.   I played with the colors a bit, and the end result is sort of a cross between a psychedelic 1960s poster and a stock combat photo from WWII.  Always a sweet combination!

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 ten customers of the store!  You can also follow these links to see my efforts in the PopCult store and the Radio Free Charleston store.  

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8 Cool Things To Anticipate in 2008

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2008 is still in its infancy, and the new year promises some cool new things that will thrill and delight those of us who surf the waves of Pop Culture. With that in mind, PopCult presents a list of 8 Cool Things To Anticipate in 2008. This list runs the gamut from a revival of a classic toy line to long-awaited new laws, from really inexpensive computers to cool TV shows and more.

This is a totally arbitrary list of what PopCult deems to be “cool.” Feel free to disagree in the comments, or chime in with your own suggestions. But first sit back and memorize this list. At the end of the year you can see which of our picks were amazing life-changing experiences, and which of them were total busts.

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The Weekend Music Review

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Last week was a good one for music here in town.  On Thursday, I caught The Coal Men (above) at the Empty Glass.  I’d reviewed their CD in The Gazz last week, and was really looking forward to seeing them in person.  They did not disappoint.  Then on Saturday, Mel and I observed the 18th anniversary of the day we met by indulging in a gourmet French meal at Cafe De Paris, and we got to hear a little bit of the world-class jazz from The Paris Project before we headed next door to check out Sean Richardson, Karen Allen and friends at Capitol Roasters.  It was a great few days for live music in Charleston, with the events we attended, plus Chris Botti at the Clay Center on Friday, and my adopted nephews The Concept at the Blue Parrot Saturday night (we would’ve been there, too, but that would have made the night way too long). 

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Monday Morning Art

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This week we’re going to go back to a sunny day in September.  It was at the Oktoberfest fundraiser at Appalachian Power Park.  Whistlepunk was playing.  Beer was flowing, for those who enjoy that sort of thing.  And I was trying out my new Canon Powershot 630.  This is a digitally-assaulted photograph of the Contemporary Galleries building and its neighbors, taken from the beer deck of Power Park.  There’s the usual amount of digital fiddling to create the image you see above–contrast, color manipulation, cropping, squooshing, etc. 

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 ten customers of the store!  You can also follow these links to see my efforts in the PopCult store and the Radio Free Charleston store.   

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A Weekend Filled With Live Music From Guests Of RFC.

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Hot off an incredible show last night at the Empty Glass featuring future RFC guests, The Coal Men (a more detailed review is forthcoming here at PopCult), Charleston music fans won’t know which way to go, as the weekend is crammed to the gills with live shows featuring musical acts that have appeared on Radio Free Charleston.

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Monday Morning Art: A Diva

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The first Monday Morning Art of the new year is a rare photograph, taken almost with her consent, of Radio Free Charleston Big Shot and Resident Diva, Melanie Larch.  Mel is notoriously camera-shy.  When she sang “Ave Maria” on episode eleven, you couldn’t see it, but we had her shackled to the fire escape to keep her in front of the camera. 

Lately, I’ve been more persistent in stalking my prey, and Melanie has gotten comfortable enough with the camera for me to actually get a few decent photos of her.  This is one of them, taken Saturday night at Stately Radio Free Charleston Manor after a fun evening of music with Holden Caulfield and Suburban Graffiti at the La Belle Theater. 

The only digital manipulation was me knocking it down to black and white, and playing with the contrast a bit.  The beauty is all Mel’s. 

Just like every week, you can click the image to see a larger version.  You can also buy this image on shirts, posters, buttons, and other stuff in the newly revamped Monday Morning Art Store.  You can also follow these links to see my efforts in the PopCult store and the Radio Free Charleston store.