PopCult Rudy Panucci on Pop Culture

The PopCult Bookshelf 

The Big Lebowski: An Illustrated, Annotated History of the Greatest Cult Film of All Time
by Jenny M. Jones
Voyageur Press
ISBN: 978-0-7603-4279-4
$35.00

A coffee-table book devoted to one of the biggest and most-merchandised cult movies of recent memory is a bit of a no-brainer, and Jenny Jones has crafted a loving, if unauthorized, tribute to The Big Lebowski, the 1998 box-office disappointment that has become possibly the most-quoted movie since “The Godfather.”

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The PopCult Toybox

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The end of The Easy Bake Oven As We Know It…
…or knew it. 

We warned you. Welcome to our new weekly feature that will bring you news, reviews essays and photos from the world of toys. We’re kicking off the first PopCult Toybox column with a story so world-shattering and heartbreaking that it transcends mere mortal concepts of “old news” and deserves to be dragged out in the sunlight for everyone to see.

The iconic, original, Easy Bake Oven

The traditional Easy Bake Oven is gone, dead, obsolete, abandoned. Worse yet, those daring collectors who cling to their precious childhood food factory will soon find themselves with only memories, as the heart of the beast, the soul, the engine of The Easy Bake Oven, the 100 Watt light bulb, fades from our modern existence.

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Monday Morning Art: Mystery Image

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Today’s Monday Morning Art is a bit of a preview of an upcoming project that you will be reading about here in Popcult. All I can tell you now is that it involves Radio Free Charleston, Radiohead and The Wayward Girls School of Burlesque. Keep watching and click to enlarge the image.

Navigating Dante’s Seven Levels of The DMV

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The PopCulteer
January 25, 2013

So it’s time to renew my car license. That should be a relatively routine task. All I have to do is gather up my insurance card and make sure that my property taxes are paid up, and I should be good to go.

You would think.

But life doesn’t always go according to script. Here’s what happened:

I called the Kanawha County Assessors office to see if my taxes were current. I was informed that I owed 2010 taxes on an Olds Cutlass. I used to own a 97 Cutlass. You may remember that, on December 6, 2008, I introduced that car to the concept of black ice, and therefore stopped owning it. I used a family member’s spare car for several months, before buying the current RudyMobile in August, 2009.

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The PopCult Bookshelf 

Welcome to the first PopCult Bookshelf, where we take a look at pop culture-oriented books and current comic books, with a pretty intense focus on comics. The plan is to make this a regular Thursday afternoon feature in PopCult.  

Comics About Cartoonists: The World’s Oddest Profession
edited and designed by Craig Yoe
Yoe Books/IDW Publishing
ISBN-13: 978-1613773468
$39.99

“Comics About Cartoonists” is an absolute treasure. A collection of comic strips, panels and stories about the people who draw comic strips, panels and stories. Loaded with some of the biggest names in the history of the cartooning world, this book is a massive, loving collection of “inside baseball” stories, in-jokes, self-mockery and even a little score-settling. 

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Radio Free Charleston With Its Mouth Shut

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Radio Free Charleston 178 is our fourth “Show Without Words.” This episode marks a first, This is the first edition of Radio Free Charleston in which your host, Rudy Panucci, does not appear. This was entirely due to a well thought out aesthetic choice and not simply because he didn’t want to put on a clean shirt and go out in the sunlight.

Our music this episode is provided by Doctor Curmudgeon and TriElement from Charleston and special guests, Grounded, from Asheville, North Carolina. Computer graphics throughout this episode are provided by Frank Panucci.

“Too Many Amps For Doctor Curmudgeon” by Jason Myer

The show kicks off with the cartoon, “Too Many Amps For Doctor Curmudgeon” by Jason Myer. We’ve had Jason on the show as a musician with Qiet and Sign Of The Fig in the past and we’re very glad to have his animated contribution to Radio Free Charleston.

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Monday Morning Art: Car Art

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This week we kick off PopCult with some car art. More specifically, it’s a digital painting based on a photo I grabbed last summer at a car show at The Crossings in Elkview. I know nothing of the vehicle, other than it looked really sharp, so if you know what it is, or who owns it, leave a comment.

As aways, click to enlarge, and check back in PopCult before noon for Radio Free Charleston 178, our fourth “Show Without Words.”

Sunday Evening Video: Grounded

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Based in Asheville NC, Grounded is André Cholmondeley, guitar & Brett Spivey, bass. They also both use looping, synths, samplers and the like. Usually a duo, they also play live as a trio with drummer James Wilson, or collaborate in mash-ups with groups like Balloon Animal Farm. Their main focus is instrumental, experimental music ranging from ambient to full on noise & chaos. Elements of world music, electronica, musique concrete, rock & performance art can be found in their work.

“Its Everything Except What It Is! (Improv 01)” was recorded January 6, 2013, shortly after midnight, at The Empty Glass in Charleston, WV. This was part of “Dr. Curmudgeon, Grounded, and Trielement’s Night of Instrumental Music,” a night at The Empty Glass that was the basis for episode 178 of Radio Free Charleston (which is coming to PopCult on Monday).

The soundboard mix was by James Vernon Brown. Camera by Melanie Larch and Rudy Panucci. Editing by Rudy Panucci, with computer graphics by Frank Panucci.

An excerpt of this performance is included in episode 178 of Radio Free Charleston.

The Butt-Hurt Chronicles

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The PopCulteer
January 18, 2013

There’s an awful lot of butt-hurt going around these days. If you’re not familiar with the term, butt-hurt is derived from the way a toddler reacts when they fall while learning to walk, get up, and proclaim “my butt hurts.” The phrase denotes a childish and simplistic way of dealing with a disappointment in life.

Butt-hurt often involves a great hyperbolic wailing and gnashing of teeth, followed by posting sarcastic sayings superimposed over Gene Wilder’s photo on Facebook, or perhaps links to articles that proclaim President Obama (or whomever the object of the butt-hurt is) to be some sort of Secret King of the Space Muslim Communist Nazi Doofuses.

This gets a little annoying and tiresome for those of us who live in the real world and unfortunately, so far 2013 seems to be The Year of The Butt-Hurt. We’re going to try to deflate and diffuse a little of the butt-hurt this week with our own soothing salve.

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