PopCult Rudy Panucci on Pop Culture

Taking A Vacation and DC Comics Ennui

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The PopCulteer
June 29, 2012

Your PopCulteer is in FestivALL recovery mode this week, so this edition of our weekly blog column is being dictated, stream of consciousness style, to his lovely secretary.

We’re going to cover as many topics as we can this week before it’s time to quit and watch “Louie” on FX.  So let’s dive on in.

A Stunning Announcement

In the production notes for Radio Free Charleston 162, I promised that in this week’s PopCulteer I would make an announcement about next year’s special FestivALL episodes. Here it is:  There aren’t going to be any.

Before you panic, allow me to explain.  For the last three years, I have covered FestivALL extensively, bringing my loyal Radio Free Charleston viewers hours and hours of exclusive coverage of the art, music, dance, theatre, and other events.  This year, instead of doing a gazillion short episodes, I decided to just do two really long ones.  That worked out pretty well.  I’m very proud of this year’s episodes.  In fact, here they are again…

…Pretty cool, huh?  So, you may be asking why aren’t I going to do FestivALL episodes next year?

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Part Two of FestivAll 2012 on RFC 162

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Radio Free Charleston’s coverage of FestivALL 2012 continues this week with another bonus length episode

West Virginia Dance Company

featuring tons of music, dance, film, and other stuff.  The city became a work of art and we were there pointing our cameras right in its face.

We kick off with The Bob Thompson Unit, captured at The Shops at Bridge Road, performing on the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame bandwagon.  With the Bob Thompson Unit’s smooth jazz playing behind them, we cut to footage of the West Virginia Dance Company, recorded at the Charleston Town Center Mall.

The Boatmen

From there, we race over to Davis Park at the Appalachian Power Stage to bring you a lovely, new “murder ballad” by Oak Hill’s virtuoso Americana band, The Boatmen.

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Monday Morning Art: Dr. Sketchy’s At FestivAll

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Last night saw the end of FestivAll 2012, and for us, the final event was Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School at The Broadway.  Penny Maple, Elle Xombeah and Afrodesiac struck their poses and the artsy folk did their stuff. We ended up leaving about halfway through, because I had to get back to work on RFC 162, the second half of our FestivAll coverage, which we hope to have edited and uploaded by Wednesday You will even get to see some video from last night’s Dr. Sketchy, along with music from The Bob Thompson Unit, The Boatmen, Bare Bones, The Leon Waters Blues Band and way more.

Until then, enjoy the models, and click to enlarge. Above, you see Penny all folded up. Below you see Elle, concentrating, and Afrodesiac pnking it up with  ukelele.

Sunday Evening Video: Hypno Wheel

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Look into the Hypno Wheel. You are feeling calm. Relax. Repeat…”I feel so calm. I am relaxed.”  Repeat over and over…”I feel so calm. I am relaxed. I feel so calm. I am relaxed. I feel so calm. I am relaxed.I feel so calm. I am relaxed. I feel so calm. I am relaxed. I feel so calm. I am relaxed. I feel so calm. I will go watch all the episodes of Radio Free Charleston on YouTube multiple time. I feel so calm. I am relaxed. I feel so calm. I am relaxed. I feel so calm. I am relaxed. I feel so calm. I am relaxed. I feel so calm. I will send Rudy all my old action figures. I feel so calm. I am relaxed. I feel so calm. I am relaxed. I feel so calm. I am relaxed. I feel so calm. I am relaxed.”

Don’t you feel better now?

Proof in St. Albans and Toys in Wheeling

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The PopCulteer
June 22, 2012

Last night your PopCulteer missed his first ArtWalk in years. Things came up and it couldn’t be avoided, and that means that we can’t bring you our usual huge photo essay. I’m very disappointed because the FestivAll edition of ArtWalk is always one of the most fun, and missing that, and the Derick Kirk benefit, will leave a big hole in the next episode of Radio Free Charleston, not to mention this blog.

But don’t despair. We’ve already got a ton of things on tap to record this weekend for part two of our FestivAll 2012 extravaganza, and we even have an extra-cool treat for this week’s PopCulteer.

But first we have a special video for you. The Alban Arts and Conference Center is openimg a production of David Auburn’s award-winning play, “Proof” tonight. With all the FestivAll hoopla, opening a play in St. Albans has to be a daunting experience. I ran down to the Alban Theater Wednesday night and shot some of the play for this clip. From what I saw, it looks like Director, Adam Bryan, and his cast have done a great job with Auburn’s play about a family coping with the fine line between genius and madness.

After that, we’re bringing you a long photo essay devoted to Wheeling’s Kruger Street Toy and Train Museum, which is one of the most fun places to photograph in the state.

First up, be warned that there is some strong language in this clip, but check out a bit of “Proof.”

When we went to Wheeling for MEGO Meet 2012 a couple of weeks ago, we also took the time to snap some pictures of the regular exhibits at the Kruger Street Toy and Train Museum. Enjoy, and fill your eyes with childlike wonder…

"Remember me? I'm the one who loves you."

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RFC Does FestivAll 2012: Part One

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Every year during June, Charleston, West Virginia is a city that becomes a work of art. For the past few years, Radio Free Charleston has been there to immortalize parts of this city-wide event in internet videodom.  This is the first of two special episodes of Radio Free Charleston devoted to the sights and sounds of FestivAll 2012.

Included in this show is music from Red Audio, Andy Park, Emily Burdette, The Kanawha Kordsmen and Sweet Adelines and Paul Calicoat. We are also treated to an Effects Makeup demonstration by Rob “RJ” Haddy, a finalist on the SyFy program, “Face Off.”  Much of the show is devoted to the FestivAll Art Parade, while we finish with scenes of The East End Main Street Streetworks Art Auction and Celebration, and auctioneer Ted Brightwell.

Among the Art Parade fun you’ll see Razor Sharp Productions with Porkchop and Pig Girl, Dale Morton Studio Mascots, Zombies and ghouls from Shocka Con, The West Virginia Music Hall of Fame, The Chemical Valley Roller Girls, The Charleston Light Opera Guild and more!

We didn’t come close to making it to every cool event, but what we did capture was loads of fun. Next week we will bring you part two of our coverage, with music recorded at Thursday’s Derick Kirk Scholarship Benefit, and cool stuff from next weekend’s Capitol Street Art Fair, plus tons of other cool things.

MEGO Meet 2012 In Photos

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The PopCulteer
June 15, 2012

MEGOMANIA

Last week your PopCulteer headed North to Wheeling for the annual MEGO Meet, a convention of devotees of MEGO action figures from the 1970s, and their modern-day counterparts. The poster for this year’s show (seen right) was a tribute to Neal Adams’ classic cover for the “Superman vs. Muhammad Ali” comic book. The folks at The MEGO Museum know how to put on a great toy show.

The Kruger Street Toy and Train Museum played host to this gathering of dealers, customizers and folks peddling new MEGO-style figures. As always, it was a blast.

As always, MEGO Meet was a blast! The odd thing was, I spent most of my money on GI Joe Adventure Team and Captain Action stuff, but the show was mostly MEGO, and rather than blather, I will now kick into photo-essay mode. Enjoy!

Prepare for action figure Nirvana…

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Radio Free Charleston’s 2012 FestivAll Preview

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Above this text you see RFC 160, “Deep And Dangerous Shirt,” our FestivAll stream-of-consciousness preview/sampler show. We tell you about some of the cool things happening during FestivAll, and we give you some examples of the artists and performers on display. This is not, by any means, a comprehensive guide–for that, visit the FestivAll website. This is just a sampler, so enjoy!

We kick things off standing in The Lee Street Triangle, where, on Saturday July 16, at Noon, there will be a free edition of Dr. Sketchy’s Anti Art show, where anybody who wants to will get the chance to do some live figure drawing.

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The Making Of “Deco Pop”

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As promised, this week’s Monday Morning Art will present a step-by-step breakdown of the process I used to create my sign for this year’s East End Main Street Streetworks project for Charleston’s historic East End.I showed you the finished version that will be auctioned off this Sunday, June 17, last week, but this week you’ll find out how I came up with it. Up above you see the design that will actually be printed on a 36″ round piece of metal, and mounted on a streetpost on Washington Street East. If you’d like to see it bigger, wait until they’re installed, then drive around the East End until you find it.

The East End 2012 StreetWorks Art Auction and Celebration will be part of FestivALL and takes place this Sunday at Habitat ReStore, as you can see in this sedate promotional video…

For more details on the auction and on how you can bid on the pieces, visit the Facebook page that EEMS has set up for the occasion.The evolution of “Deco Pop” begins after the jump…

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Instead of video this evening, we’re bringing you some audio audio. A couple of weeks ago I hsd the honor of being the third guest recorded for “That Conversation” a podcast hosted by Patrick Felton. I had a blast doing it, and wouldn’t mind appearing again sometime when my phones aren’t ringing off the hook.  You can listen as Patrick gets me to ramble on about pop culture, what incluenced Radio Free Charleston, cable TV weirdness in the 1970s and some of my personal history. If you ever wanted to hear me blather for almost 90 minutes, this is your chance! It’s great that Patrick is doing this, and you should check out his other podcasts with Dan Kehde and David Smith at his website.