PopCult Rudy Panucci on Pop Culture

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The PopCulteer
July 30, 2010

Randomosity
Around The World!

There is one weapon in the blogger’s arsenal that I have not yet used here in The PopCulteer, the column composed entirely of links to cool stuff on the net. Well, I haven’t had to resort to this sort of deadline emergency fill-in column until today. See, I’m buried under work on a Halloween surprise, and it’s eaten into my writing time for PopCult this week.

So, here’s a bunch of random links to really, really cool things. Enjoy!

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Monday Morning Art: Desperate But Not Serious

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This week’s blast of wake-up art is another abstract.  This one is called “Desperate But Not Serious.”  You could try to explore my psyche and come up with some deep reason for that, or you could just look at what I’ve been listening to while working on this, and see that Adam Ant was in the playlist.

It’s a digital painting, an excercise in space and various rendering techniques. You can click the image to see a bigger version, but that probably won’t make it look any better.

This week’s blast of video madness here in PopCult is a look back at some of the cool videos we featured on Radio Free Charleston during our first 18 months as an online video program.  We’re hard at work on RFC 108 (with music from InFormation, Volt 9000 and The AK 40 Sexuals, plus short films by Scott Elkins and K.D. Lett) so we thought it’d be fun to look back at our early days.

Included in the above embedded playlist are classics from Whistlepunk, Sean Richardson, The Ghosts Of Now, John Radcliff and The Concept.  Since these videos appeared on the show, the personnel from these clips have re-arranged themselves into other groups, including Tofujitsu, Mother Nang, Ovada, The Scrap Iron Pickers, WATT 4, and HARRAH.

We’re trying out YouTube’s playlist feature, so you don’t have to scroll down.  The videos should play one after the other.  Enjoy!

Hughes, Waybright, Tidquist and Smith

The PopCulteer
July 23, 2010

“Sure it’s funny, but is it commercial?

“Bert Hellmunn Fights The Demons Of The Stage,” the new original play written by Dan Kehde and presented by The Contemporary Youth Arts Company, is a brilliant commentary on the struggle between art and commerce, portrayed as a series of episodic snapshots of the life and work of a “successful” playwright.It manages to be smart, sexy and funny, with a strong cast and a sly, even self-referential script.

The play begins as Bert Hellmunn, captured perfectly by Donnie Smith, a struggling playwright, starts to make changes to his work in order to be more commercially successful. Nik Tidquist plays Jack, his cynical producer, and some would say “partner in crime,” to a “T,” providing just the sort of devil-on-the-shoulder nudge needed to persuade Bert to aim for the lowest common denominator.

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See Bert Hellmunn Fight The Demons Of The Stage

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The Contemporary Youth Arts Company returns to the West Virginia State University Capitol Center Theater tonight, to debut “Bert Hellmunn Fights The Demons Of The Stage.”

The new play, written and directed by Dan Kehde, is described as a “sexy farce about a playwright and the pursuit of happiness.”  The titular role belongs to Donnie Smith (right). We here at PopCult have been blown away by Kehde’s work in the past, and we can’t wait to see this new project.

The cast includes many CYAC veterans, including Nik Tidquist, Jaclyn Cobb, Heather Newhouse, Sean Price, Kim Waybright Lauren Mallory, Jenny Totten, Robbie Hughes and Montana Rock.

Show Dates are July 22 through 24 and 29 through 31 at the West Virginia State  University Capitol Center Theater 123 Summers Street, Charleston

Each performance starts at 8 p.m. with tickets available at the door the evenings of the performances  Tickets are $5.50 for students and seniors (65 plus) and $9.50 for adults.

I Vant To Drink Your Wine

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I don’t know anything about wine.  You should read the Wine Boy blog if you’re interested in that. However, I do know about pop culture, celebrity and the absurd.  That’s why I think you guys might be interested in a new product of the vine, Bela Lugosi Wine.

From the PR: “Bela Lugosi created his unique characterization of Count Dracula on the Broadway stage in 1927 and brought it to the screen in 1931. One of the first members of the Screen Actors Guild, he was a true American film pioneer. Although Count Dracula never “drank” wine, Bela Lugosi, the man, had impeccable taste in wines. With the creation of the Bela Lugosi brand wines, the Lugosi family pays tribute to their patriarch, a man of distinction, while acknowledging the icon that will forever be – Dracula.”

I’m guessing that it’s a red wine.

This is the first release under the Lugosi label, and it’s limited to 1,200 hand-numbered bottles.

So, if wine is your cup of tea, and you have an affinity for the works of Bela Lugosi (we had a musical tribute to the man on last year’s RFC Halloween show), then why don’t you order a bottle, pop in a DVD of “Plan 9 From Outer Space” and drink a toast…to Karloff!

Sunday Evening Videos: Pop Culture Overload

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Today we’re bringing you a totally random collection of Pop Culture icons on video. Above you see “The Beatles vs. Betty Page,” which combines the Fab Four’s music with one of Ms. Page’s 1950’s fetish films.  After the jump, you’ll find videos featuring The Batmobile,Lost In Space, Twiggy, Andy Warhol and Edie Sedgwick, The Bicentennial, The Rolling Stones with Ralph Bakshi, Bugs Bunny and The Marx Brothers.

There’s no logic or reason behind these choices, just sit back and enjoy!

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The Quick Weekend Rundown

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Above you see Jeff Pierson’s cool poaster for this Saturday’s big No Pants Players show at The La Belle Theater in South Charleston.  Six bucks gets you in to see WV’s premiere improv comedy troupe, and this time there are a couple of twists: First, troupe member Kevin Pauley is acting as MC, which means Joe Wallace will be playing the games instead of introducing them as he ususally does.  Second, if you wear a a piece of No Pants Players merchandise to the show, you will be given a free mug. Be warned that if you wear an NPP shirt with a crude handmade obscenity scrawled across it, your free mug will be hurled at your head at a high velocity by Tony Slack.

More local coolness can be found after the jump.

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At The Chet Lowther Gallery

The PopCulteer
July 16, 2010

A bit of a low-key ArtWalk took place in Charleston last night. Art fatigue from FestivAll combined with competition from Bridgefest subdued attendance a bit, but there were still plenty of folks out enjoying the art in the various galleries in the downtown area.

The PopCulteer took a prolonged mosey around town, and here is our biggest ArtWalk photo essay ever. Standouts this month included the Charleston debut of Amelia Schroeder at The Purple Moon, Tom Wills striking black and white photography at The Art Emporium and an impromptu art show, put together at the last minute, at The Good News Mountaineer Garage Gallery.

There were also many great new pieces by top artists all over town, and yours truly made his first visit to Chet Lowthar’s gallery, and was duly impressed.

If you couldn’t make it to ArtWalk, let your eyes do the walking right here, after the jump. 

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