PopCult Rudy Panucci on Pop Culture

Monday Morning Art: North Star

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This week being Christmas week and all, I decided to post a digital painting that is slightly religious. The North Star is a digital oil of its titular subject.  Click to enlarge.

Later today, PopCult will bring you ten video surprises. I’m not going to tell you what’s in them. You’ll have to unwrap them to see for yourself. Look for them to start appearing, one every half-hour,  around 9 AM. In fact, Popcult will be ALL VIDEO until the day after Christmas.  Keep checking back to see what we have in store.

Sunday Evening Video: “Crucivixen”

1316538906_lWay back on Radio Free Charleston 22 (a 2007 episode that is currently offline, awaiting restoration), we brought you a music video by Voices of Anatole which was the directorial debut of Holly Siders.

Six-and-a-half years later, Holly is still creating terrific music videos. Her latest is for a Pittsburgh band called Only Flesh (seen above), who have quite the distinctive look and sound. “Crucivixen” is a pretty incredible circus of bondage and piercings and powerful music.

We were impressed with Holly’s early work, and it’s great to see how she’s evolved as a filmmaker with her Screaming Butterfly Entertainment productions. We’re bringing you this video now in PopCult, but if Only Flesh ever comes to Charleston, we’ll probably pop it into an episode of RFC, too.

Stuff To Do Today

Holiday slacking has led your Popculteer to skip doing a comprehensive “Stuff To Do” this weekend, but there are two big things you should know about…

At the site of the former Rock Lake Pool
at Kanawha Players Theater


Rad rfc 16From March 2007, This episode is called “A Place Of Solace Shirt” in honor of the Huntington band who didn’t appear on RFC until many years later. Our musical guests on this episode are John Radcliff and Al Carey.

Radcliff is an old buddy from way back in my radio days, and Al was unknown to us, but submitted a music video with a striking, but dated and ham-handed political commentary. Rad sings the very XTC-like “Rainbows,” while Al provides us with a song which, in the intervening years, has pretty much lost any relevance that it had at the time.

Also in this show is animation by Stephen Beckner, a short film by Frank Panucci and a vintage Major Matt Mason toy commercial. Read the original production notes here.


Saturday at 1 PM (10 AM Pacific Time) and Sunday at 12:30 PM, on The HUB, The Aquabats go on a Christmas Adventure. They will follow this with two more special episodes airing in the following month.  First we have “Christmas with The Aquabats!.”

Ricky’s perfect Christmas is threatened when the Aquabats arrive in a strange village and are convicted of breaking a law that forbids any Yuletide celebration. Their only chance at saving themselves and Christmas is for the big man himself, Santa, to lend a mitten! The special includes guest stars Matt Walsh (“Veep,” “Upright Citizen’s Brigade”) as Santa and Robert Smigel (“TV Funhouse,” “Triumph the Insult Comic Dog”) as the voice of The Krampus.

Next week, “Shark Fighter!,” finds the Aquabats face-to-face with mutant land sharks and when the legendary Shark Fighter (Rhys Darby, “Flight of the Concords”) arises to take on the Bats, he ends up being the big brother Crash has always wanted. On January 19, “Kitty Litter!,” the Aquabats encounter a new villain who blames them for his villainous condition and devises a plot for revenge that uses the cuteness of kittens to battle his enemies.

The Aquabats Super Show is the coolest thing on TV, and it’s a real Christmas treat to have new episodes.

The Last ArtWalk of 2013

Img_9761The PopCulteer
December 20, 2013

Your PopCulteer finally managed to hit a nearly-full line up of galleries last night at the Holiday ArtWalk, the final one of the year. We’re going to bring you a bunch of photos but the text might be a little light this week. Things are still holiday-hectic around Stately Radio Free Charleston Manor.

We’re starting out this photo essay with a few shots from Jake Fertig’s post-ArtWalk show over at Rival Cards and Games in Kanawha City. Jake has jsut started contributing animation to Radio Free Charleston (you can see his work in the previous two episodes) and he’s currently hard at work on a six-part epic for future installments of RFC.

You’ll see some of what he’s been up to in the last month, plus some artwork that will make its way into his cartoons.

After that, we’re just going gallery-hopping.

Continue reading…

Santa’s Got A Gun

The PopCult Bookshelf

Because you’ve all been good boys and girls, you get a bonus PopCut Bookshelf this week!

lastchristmas_hc_coverThe Last Christmas
Written by Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn
Art by Rick Remender and Hillary Barta
Forward by Patton Oswalt
Image Comics

The Last Christmas is a warm, fuzzy, feel-good testament to hope, faith, and the everlasting joy of a child’s belief in Santa Claus. It’s also a gore-filled tale of revenge, chock full of death, destruction, alcohol, blood, guts and gore, set in a post-apocalyptic nightmare of a world.

Yes, Virginia, you can have it both ways.

Continue reading…

A Monster of an AudioComic

The PopCult Bookshelf

Perhapanauts in Monsters Among Us…or Chimera I Wanna Tell You Something
perhapanauts audio2Based on the comic book by Todd Dezago and Craig Rousseau
Adapted by Todd Dezago and Elaine Lee
Available for download from iTunes, Amazon and AudioComics

This latest AudioComics presentation takes a fun paranormal comic book that’s been published by Dark Horse and Image, and turns it into a brisk and entertaining audio comic book. The Perhapanauts are agents of Bedlam, a top secret government agency that investigates supernatural occurances. Along with several Special Ops types, the team includes a teenaged ghost, a Chupacabra, a Sasquatch and Karl…who some people might recognize as Mothman.

This audio presentation is a great introduction to the team that spends the first fifteen minutes setting up the premise and letting us meet each team member, each of whom have very entertaining personality quirks. The Sasquatch, Big, is a well-educated genius. Molly the ghost is in denial about being dead. Chupacabra (or Choopie) is an immature tempremental dolt. Karl, or Mothman, is just a lonely awkward guy who wants to have friends, and is also a red-eyed, winged harbinger of doom. A new member is brought in and meets the team before their adventure unfolds.

Continue reading…

RFC 194, “Hasa Diga Shirt,” is our Christmas spectacular, with music from The Bob Thompson Unit and Frenchy and The Punk, plus a message from Santa, and new animation from Jake Fertig, which opens our show with a commercial for The Bearded Axe.

Our host segments were shot around the Mound in South Charleston, a location which was chosen because it had a big tree that was lit in the daytime, and all the other places we tried first were either too crowded or just dreary-looking. Luckily we managed to find a place that was infused with the Holiday Spirit!

Continue reading…

Stuff To Do December 19

379680_10151807389463657_1481853973_nThere’s plenty to do Thursday, and it’s ALL FREE!


The big event Thursday is the Downtown Charleston ArtWalk. From 5 Pm to 8 PM, participaing galleries will be showing off their wares and hosting special receptions for the last time in 2013. This holiday edition of ArtWalk is the perfect place to find a last-minute Christmas gift for your artsy-fartsy loved ones.

There are special shows happening during ArtWalk. A group of international artists share multi-media works based on recurrent memory in a collaboration entitled “Prediction” at Apartment Earth located at 223 1/2 Hale Street in Charleston on December 19th. The doors are open from 5pm – 9pm with local musicians and “a nest of undulating sounds” to warm the December gallery goer. The Purple Moon hosts their annual Holiday Party during ArtWalk, with music from Tofujitsu.

Participating Galleries in ArtWalk this month are, Art Emporium Gallery, Charleston Ballet, Chet Lowther Studio, Delfine’s Jewelry, Gallery Eleven, The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation, Good News Mountaineer Garage Gallery, Hope Village Fair Trade Cooperative, Ivor’s Trunk, Mission Savvy, Modern by Design, Romano Law, Savvy Chic, Stray Dog Antiques, Taylor Books – Annex Gallery, Tony the Tailor, The Purple Moon, Visions Day Spa, White Oak Photography & GiGi’s and Uncork & Create. For more information visit the ArtWalk website.

After ArtWalk, you can head to Rival Cards and Games in Kanawha City for an After ArtWalk show featuring local artist (and RFC animator), Jake Fertig. The work includes sculpture, posters, drawings, paintings… an eclectic mix of art and creative overflow from the previous twelve months.

Third Eye Cabaret

1503316_254144288075232_1203780150_nThursday night at 8 PM it’s 3EC #53, Third Eye Cabaret UNPLUGGED! A more intimate night than ever…..an awe-inspring collection of musicians, including Don Baker, a singer songwriter for more than 30 years coming in from Belpre Ohio who appeared on Radio Free Charleston way back on episode 18 in 2007Also on tap are Ryan Wright, Sean Richardson and Albert Perrone. They’re moving all the tables and chairs closer for a more up close and personal show this week.

Mojo’s Comedy Open Mic

Charleston’s burgeoning comedy scene continues to grow. Check out Ground Zero, the open mic at Mojo’s Sports Bar, behind the Mound in Soutch Charleston. The comedy starts at 9 PM.