PopCult Rudy Panucci on Pop Culture

Random Time Again

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78coverThe PopCulteer
April 30, 2010

It’s In The Trees!

We’re in the middle of a very busy time here at PopCult. Episode 99 of Radio Free Charleston will go live early next week, and we’re working overtime to make our one-hundredth episode something really special. We’ve been recording bands, introducing new hardware and personnel to the production team and we’ve got all sorts of really cool special treats and events in the works for this summer.

And if you think that means that I’m just going to slack off and crank out another “15 Random Items” PopCulteer, maybe focusing on toys, comics, animation and stuff around town……then you’re absolutely right!

So…on with the randomness!

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Monday Morning Art: Taylor et Taylor’s

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Today’s Monday Morning Art is a digital oil painting based on a photograph of Josh Buskirk taken last Saturday night at Taylor Books. He’s playing his Taylor 12-String, hence the title. No explanation for the French in the title, other than I wanted to drive Gomez wild.

If you saw yesterday’s video post, you got to hear Josh playing a medley that included Leo Kottke and J.S. Bach. You’ll get to hear Josh play and sing on Radio Free Charleston 101, coming up in a few weeks. Until then, click the image to see it larger.

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We added a new toy to the Radio Free Charleston arsenal last week. The Kodak Zi8 is a flip-style video camera that shoots full HD video and gets astonishing sound for a device that’s smaller than an iPhone. We’re going to be using it on the show (we’ve already shot five artists with it and we haven’t had it a week yet), but I’m also going to be posting some quickie, one-camera videos here in PopCult.

Above you see WATT 4, recorded Friday night at The Blue Parrot, tearing through an amazing version of “Proud Mary.” We’re still getting the hang of how to encode and edit the new format, so you might see the screen sizes change until we nail it, but it looks and sound incredible.

Below you see Josh Buskirk, recorded at Taylor Books on Saturday, with a Medley that includes Kottke and Bach.  Josh is also the subject of tomorrow’s Monday Morning Art.  You’ll be seeing much more from these artists and the new camera both in PopCult and on Radio Free Charleston in the coming months.

A Gratifying Week and Teen-aged Dope Slaves

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Snappy Dresser at age 6The PopCulteer
April 23, 2010

Life Is Good

I gotta admit, I’ve had a great week. Sandy Well’s “Innerview” profile of me ran Monday, and the response has been universally positive (Well, almost. In an amusingly predictable move, my ex-wife de-friended me on Facebook because of the interview.).  I also posted a new episode of Radio Free Charleston, of which I am very proud, and our next several episodes are shaping up nicely. That includes our big 100th episode, which is going to be jam-packed with top-flight musical guests and special features. I hope our new readers like what they’ve seen so far.

And the point of all this is that I am, indeed, one of the luckiest people on the face of the planet. I have a wonderful woman in my life, loving family, a colorful and loyal group of friends, and I get to have ridiculous amounts of fun almost as a profession. Plus, for some inexplicable reason, a number of people seem to enjoy reading about my exploits here in PopCult.

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RFC 98 “Marilyn Monroe Shirt” from RFC Archives on Myspace.

logoAbove you see episode 98 of Radio Free Charleston. This means we’re just two episodes away from our big 100th show, with Jeff Ellis, The Nanker Phelge, The Hellblinki Sextet, Eva Elution and David Synn.

This edition, “Marilyn Monroe Shirt,” features music by The Diablo Blues Band, David Synn and Captain Crash and The Beauty Queen.

98 rudWe also have animation by Frank Panucci, and a look at the new GI Joe Adventure Team.

Host segments were shot late Friday evening on the grounds of The State Capitol, which didn’t seem nearly so dark while we were there.

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Above you see yet another test shot from the animated short, “Stark Charleston” which will premiere on Radio Free Charleston’s 100th episode. This film will be a high-contrast, surreal tour of the city, photographed, drawn and animated by me, with music by David Synn, who can be seen on RFC 98. Click the image to get a better look.

Sunday Evening Videos: The Art Of Asylum

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What with all the trivial nonsense going on in town recently, with a certain shyster-family staging “protests” which were met by folks from the arts community pulling together, it’s important to remember that there are real people living in real places in the world where demonstrative dissent can get you killed. And there too,  it’s “the bleeding hearts and the artists” who stand up for what’s right.

Khet Mar, reading to patrons at Taylor Books Cafe, 4-15-2010
Khet Mar, reading to patrons at Taylor Books Cafe, 4-15-2010

During last Thursday’s ArtWalk, I stumbled into the cafe at Taylor Books and spent a few minutes taking in the story of Khet Mar. This is a woman who is currently living in Asylum in the United States.  In her native Burma she could be killed by the government, simply for expressing her views. You can learn more about her story at City Of Asylum/Pittsburgh, and read an interview with her here.

The video you see above presents highlights from a December 2009 event that combined jazz performances with poetry readings from exiled authors around the world. You can see Khet Mar in the video. After the jump, you’ll see another video from City Of Light/Pittsburgh, where they create art in the face of tyranny.

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Flaming Guns and Walking Art

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Img_9627The PopCulteer
April 16, 2010

This week we bring you the expanded version of my review of The Charleston Stage Company production of “Flaming Guns Of The Purple Sage,” along with a ton of photos, mostly from the April 15 ArtWalk, but a couple or four from other recent coolness. The Cool Comic takes the week off as we gear up for the weekend debut of RFC 98 and some surprise notoriety early next week.

A Bloody Great Time At The Theater

One of the last things I ever expected from the live theater experience was to see a Grindhouse gore flick brought to life, but The Charleston Stage Company has done just that with “Flaming Guns Of The Purple Sage.” This play, written by the mysterious Jane Martin, is a hilarious tribute to the type of trashy, gory exploitation movies that used to bring teens to drive-in theaters in droves (and inspired a legion of filmmakers like Quentin Tarantino). This is the first time I’ve gone to a theater production that made me think of Roger Corman and Herschel Gordon Lewis.

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Monday Morning Art: The Capitol In Comics

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This week’s dose of quickie art is a digitally-assaulted photograph of our state capitol building, manipulated in various ways and then run through the “comics” filter. I actually used a version of this image more than three years ago, but it was worth revisiting.  As usual, click it to see it bigger.

Sunday Evening Videos: Duty Now For The Future

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Atomic 02Devo needs your help. They have a new album coming out soon, but they need to narrow down the song line-up to 12 tunes.

You can help them by participating in the DEVO Song Study over at Club DEVO.com.

Watch these videos (there are more after the jump) for more information.

Please act now. This is vitally important to our national security.

Please watch the other videos after the jump. Our spuds are counting on you.

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