PopCult Rudy Panucci on Pop Culture

RFC Flashback: Episode 74

Radio Free Charleston’s seventy-fourth episode, “RFC Trax shirt” is from June, 2009. This show features music from former Morgantonians, J Marinelli and Slate Dump, plus special announcements from Mad Man Pondo and Tofujitsu, as well as a Plant Ro Duction Mini Movie.

We also continued the First Great Guitar Giveaway with Route 60 Music, which has now been over for quite some time. Don’t bother trying to enter.But please do visit Route 60 Music and tell them you heard about it on RFC.

Host segments and our end credit bed were shot during FestivALL 2009 in Davis Park, during the “Art On A Stick” sale and open stage. You’ll hear RFC’s old buddy, Jerry Fugate, singing and playing Mandolin as we show you some of the sights of the day.

This show makes many references to our big third-anniversary show, which was posted the following week. You will not see RFC 75 next week because I posted it here months ago.  Go check it out, it’s a gem. And you can read the original production notes for this show HERE.

Dr. Sketchy’s Welcomes Paco Fish


Burlesque legend, Paco Fish, is the featured model for a special Saturday edition of Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School.  Tomorrow at Kanawha Players Theater at 6 PM, artists and photographers can settle in for a session with the one and only, Paco Fish.

Admission is $10 at the door. Bring your own art supplies and your own bottle, if you wish. This is a 18-up event. All art mediums are accepted as long as they don’t disturb anyone else (ask first before firing up the chainsaw). Artists of any skill level from the novice to the pro are invited to come create in this relaxed environment.

The official Paco Fish bio tells us, ” Paco Fish is a dynamic performer of spoken and physical comedy, burlesque, boylesque, stilt walking, clown, mime, and a variety of other disciplines. Most of Paco’s characters exist in multiple forms and his acts are visual representations of the transitions between these coexisting identities. Whether playing a freshwater turtle in forbidden saltwater love, an exhausted cheerleader, or a submissive judge, Paco dismantles assumptions and defies convention with humor and passion. He has performed in nearly every state in the US and has won the title of “King of Burlesque” at the Southern Fried, Carolina, and Great Southern Exposure Burlesque Festivals, “Most Humorous” from both the Great Burlesque Exposition and The Carolina Burlesque Festival, and was voted one of the top ten male burlesque performers of 2013 by 21st Century Burlesque.”

This should be a unique and memorable night of Sketchy’s.

April’s ArtWalk Photos

Img_0452The PopCulteer
April 18, 2014

Last night saw an epic Downtown Charleston ArtWalk, with beautiful weather, crowded galleries and really wild exhibits. Things were hopping so much that your PopCulteer only made it to a small fraction of the participating galleries. In fact, he barely ventured off of Hale Street, and still wound up taking over a hundred photos (and one video) at six different galleries.

While this is far from complete, it can give you an idea of the variety of cool stuff on display. We had movie props from Razor Sharp Studios, Blekno Glass, photography by Betty Rivard, cool antiques, enviormentally-concious work and an intrigiuing “Ritual.”

I only made it to part of the ArtWalk events. Keep in mind that most galleries will be leaving these exhibits up for a while, so you can still get out and see what all the galleries have to offer–perhaps this Saturday, after you hit Budget Tapes and Records or Sullivan’s Records for Record Store Day.

But now, the ArtWalk photos…

“Ritual” at Good News Mountaineer Garage

This was an immersion event by Gregg Oxley, and is best sampled via video, so watch this, then look at the photos…


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Where No Comic Book Had Gone Before

The PopCult Bookshelf

Star Trek: Gold Key Archives Volume 1
star-trek-gold-key-archives-01-cover-michael-striblingwritten by Dick Wood
art by Nevio Zeccara and Alberto Giolitti
introduction by Tony Isabella
IDW Publishing
ISBN-13: 978-1613779224

Back in the glory days of the original Star Trek series, Science Fiction was still not quite a proven commodity in entertainment circles. Despite the success of TV programs like “Star Trek,” “Lost in Space,” “The Time Tunnel” and others, Sci-Fi was still seen as a risky “cult” genre, not quite ready for the mainstream.

Captain Kirk, by Zeccara
Captain Kirk, by Zeccara

Much of the pure science fiction elements had been purged from mainstream comic books of DC and Marvel, although there were plenty of sci-fi overtones in their superhero comics. There was, however, one holdout among the then-major comic book companies. Gold Key Comics was still a major player, and offered straight-up space opera with “Space Family Robinson: Lost in Space” and Superhero-tinged science fiction in “Magnus: Robot Fighter” and “Doctor Solar, Man of the Atom.”

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The RFC MINI SHOW: The Terra Firma Ensemble

Uncredited photo swiped from Jim Lange's Facebook page
Uncredited photo swiped from Jim Lange’s Facebook page

This week’s RFC MINI SHOW features The Terra Firma Ensemble, recorded at The Kanawha Forum at Kanawha United Presbyterian Church on Quarrier Street. The Terra Firma Ensemble is Jim Lange, David Porter, J. Scott Milam, Lisa Peery, John Inghram and Ryan Kennedy. The Kanawha Forum offers up free half-hour lunch concerts at the church, which are followed by a paid gourmet meal, which is optional.

At this particular edition of The Kanawha Forum, The Terra Firma Ensemble performed three pieces: “Innocente,” by Robert Towner and Gary Burton; “Eye of the Needle,” by Robert Fripp and the world premiere of “Brambles and Briers,” a piece composed by Jim Lange. You will see Jim Lange’s composition next week on the full-length Radio Free Charleston number 197. This RFC MINI SHOW features “Innocente.”

In a couple of weeks we will bring you the entire program from The Terra Firma Ensemble’s Kanawha Forum peformance, with all three pieces presented in order.

Lisa Perry, Scott Milam, Ryan Kennedy
Lisa Perry, Scott Milam, Ryan Kennedy

It was a real treat to get to record this group. Jim Lange has been a friend of RFC dating back to our radio days, when he appeared live, on the air, with The Velvet Brothers. His guitar work is legendary. David Porter brings his virtuosity on the EWI wind-controlled synth to the ensemble. Lisa Peery contributes acoustic flute. Scott Milam brought percussion and the malletKAT to the table. And eagle-eyed viewers of RFC may recognize Ryan Kennedy (guitar) and John Inghram (fretless bass) from The Bob Thompson Unit, who appeared on our last Christmas show and their own RFC MINI SHOW.

David Porter, Jim Lange, John Inghram
David Porter, Jim Lange, John Inghram

This is an amazing collection of musicians who include three current or former members of The West Virginia Symphony Orchestra among their ranks, alongside musicians with lists of credits that would take up several paragraphs. It was truly an honor to record them for the show.

ArtWalk Returns Thursday

10256438_762243323809941_1691789147068721091_oWell, in truth Downtown Charleston’s ArtWalk returned last month, but I was too wiped out from JoeLanta to attend, so for your PopCulteer this will be the first ArtWalk of 2014.

It’s also the first ArtWalk for Centered Pilates, at 225 Hale Street. They will be playing host to Razor Sharp Studios and WVIFF. At Centered Pilates you will see artwork and goods from Charleston’s local horror auteurs, Razor Sharp Studios. Come see (and purchase!) zombie babies, original noir photography, high-quality poster prints, and much more!

Vincent Renfield, of the horror-themed band The Renfields, will be playing a live acoustic set in the street. There will be a screening room with a short film by Razor Sharp and previews of films from the upcoming festival!

WVIFF will have information, t-shirts, and tickets for the upcoming festival that runs from May 9-17.

ArtWalk is the monthly walking tour of art galleries and art-friendly spaces in Downtown Charleston. Usually taking place the third Thursday of each month, ArtWalk is when the galleries are all open after normal business hours. The adult beverages and knoshes flow freely and all good peoples come out in droves to soak up the culture like sponges. Many galleries hold their openings or schedule special events during this time. It’s a wonderful time for an art-filled stroll.

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“Little Shop” at WVSU


The hilarious musical spoof, “Little Shop of Horrors,” is being staged at West Virginia State University starting tonight This musical, by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman is about a hapless florist shop worker who raises a plant that feeds on human blood and flesh. The show runs April 16-19th at 8 PM at The Davis Fine Arts Building at West Virginia State University. Admission is ten dollars for the general public, free for WVSU students.

The musical is based on the low-budget 1960 black comedy film The Little Shop of Horrors, directed by Roger Corman. The music, composed by Menken in the style of early 1960s rock and roll, doo-wop and early Motown, includes several well-known tunes, including the title song, “Skid Row (Downtown)”, “Somewhere That’s Green”, and “Suddenly, Seymour.”

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The PopCult Toybox: Catching up with Captain Action

The 4.5" Captain, from Fresh Monkey Fiction
The 4.5″ Captain, from Fresh Monkey Fiction

While we’ve been wallowing in the wonderfulness of JoeLanta and GI Joe for more than the last month, there have been significant developments in the world of PopCult’s other most-favored action figure, Captain Action.

Work is progressing on their next four costume sets. Superman, Batman, Brainiac and The Joker are tentatively scheduled for December of this year. Meanwhile the folks at Captain Action Enterprises and Round 2 Corp. are keeping their Marvel Comics plans close to their vests. The animated Captain Action pilot is still in production, and Ed and Joe are sure to be pitching it to prospective broadcast outlets all year.

While all that is happening, the Captain Action brand is invading three new scales of collectible figures, and we have a new pulp-style novel and a cool comic book crossover with our buddy, Art Baltazar.

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Monday Morning Art: Licorice Van Gogh

tanks 002

I took a photo yesterday of the notorious Freedom Industries tank farm, which leaked MCHM into our drinking water in January, and aside from wondering why it’s still standing when they were supposed to have started dismantling it last month, I thought that it might be interesting to see what the photo would look like painted in the style of Vincent Van Gogh.

So I spent an alarming amount of time meticulously painting digitally over the photo while using all my Van Gogh brushes and trying to make properly Van Goghish color choices. After a lot of work, I came to the conclusion that it wasn’t so interesting after all. But I was too lazy to do a different painting, so you’re stuck with it. Click to enlarge.

And check back later Monday Morning for a very cool RFC MINI SHOW starring The Terra Firma Ensemble.

Sunday Evening Videos: The Goodies

TheGoodiesIt’s been five years since I wrote about The Goodies in PopCult, and in that time, the original videos I posted were taken down, and boatloads of other full episodes have been posted. So, to revisit it,

The Goodies were a trio of UK comedians/musicians (Tim Brooke-TaylorGraeme Garden and Bill Oddie), who created, wrote, and starred in a bizarre comedy series  in the 1970s and 80 that combined elements of Monty Python with The Monkees and lampooned the sitcom format.

All three members of the troupe were contemporaries of the members of Monty Python in the pre-Python days of The Cambridge Circus, and in various combinations, they worked in such proto-Pythonian programs as “At Last The 1948 Show,” “Do Not Adjust Your Set” and “The Frost Report”  before forming the Monkees-like rock group and TV show, “The Goodies.”

Though not widely known in the US (the show was only carried briefly on PBS in the 70s) there is a loyal fanbase.  Above you see “Kung fu Kapers,” while below you see “South Africa,” which pokes Pythonesque fun at Apartheid.