PopCult Rudy Panucci on Pop Culture

RFC Flashback: Milestones Past

Above you see this week’s RFC Flashback, which is the 100th episode of Radio Free Charleston from May, 2010. I’m posting it because I am about to head out to record the host segments for Radio Free Charleston 200. It really doesn’t seem like I’ve been doing this long enough for us to have this many shows in the archive, but numbers don’t lie.

We’re going a little more low-key for our two-hundredth show. It’s not like we can go shoot at Top-O-Rock at the moment. But I think you’ll enjoy it when we drop it on you Monday. For now, here’s our first double-0 show. Original production notes are HERE.

Music Review: “Birthright” by Kevin Scarbrough

10690034_663822613714665_7511771127119670583_nA real treat was unleashed on the world this week as Kevin Scarbrough released a new album. Kevin has appeared as a band member or Radio Free Charleston and is very well-regarded as a filmmaker, but I had no clue that he was this talented a songwriter.

This collection was recorded by Kevin at his home studio over the course of the last two years, with some of the tracks mastered by Aaron Fisher.

Aside from the mastering assist, this is a one-man show, with Kevin handling all the vocals and instruments. Birthright is a diverse collection of exceptionally well-crafted pop songs, touching on several different styles of music. His singing and playing is top-notch and the production does not betray its home-brewed origins. There are some really ambitious productions included here, with string and horn arrangements that give the album a sound unlike any other locally-produced album that I’ve heard.

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10628883_10152438269732950_5033302973117603083_oThe PopCulteer
September 19, 2014

This is an insanely busy weekend. Not only are there tons of things for everyone to do around town, this is the weekend that your PopCulteer has to finish shooting and assembling the 200th episode of Radio Free Charlestonm which should be right here in Charleston’s original Pop Culture blog next Monday.

Production on RFC 200 has gone to the wire, so much so that we had to skip ArtWalk last night. It was a worthwhile sacrifice as we held an impromptu recording session at a downtown landmark for the show.

Today we’ve got a grab-bag of stuff you should know about.

Under Surveillance and OurAlias

Believe it or not, we’re going to be at this show, recording the bands for RFC 201, after spending all day shooting our host segments for episode 200. I believe the cover charge for this show is five dollars.


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Comics Capsule Reviews

The PopCult Bookshelf

It’s been a while since I did capsule reviews of individual issues of comic books, and that was something I’d planned to do on a regular basis when I started The PopCult Bookshelf back in January, 2013, so let’s take a look at a hand full of comics from the last month or so…

MULTIV-Cv1Multiversity #1
written by Grant Morrison
art by Ivan Reis and Joe Prado
DC Comics
39 story pages $4.99

This is the first issue of Morrison’s long-awaited trip through the DC Multiverse, and it’s pretty much what you’d expect: Lots of confusing action and tons of characters, plus in-jokes that you’ll only get if you have a Phd in comic book nerddom.

it’s a bit of a cluster, but it’s still an entertaining ride. We meet all-new versions of familiar DC Comics characters who all have to team up to save reality itself from a menace rehashed from the original “Crisis On Infinite Earths” maxi-series that supposedly wiped out the whole parallel universe thing for DC back in 1985. Morrison once again goes back to the uber-meta “comic books in one universe are the reality in another” concept that he started milking over twenty years ago with Animal Man and Doom Patrol.

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PopCult Music Videos of the Week

Above you see the official music video for “20 Days” by Farnsworth. Read about them and their vinyl release show this Saturday HERE.

Below you see the latest RFC MINI SHOW starring Super Heavy Duty. Read about this band and their Ska-billy show this Saturday night HERE.

Remember, you read about it in PopCult first! Don’t be fooled by cheap imitations!

ArtWalk Returns Thursday

10551740_1548886815344050_4092183145160751989_oArtWalk in Downton Charleston returns Thursday, and galleries all over town will be open from 5 PM to 8 to bring you new shows and cool stuff from the area’s creative people. You can find a complete list of participating galleries HERE.

Two shows of note this month are HOLLER: New Works by Jamie Miller at Kin Ship Goods on Lee Street, and Feathers, Fangs, and Fur, the first new show by Apartment Earth in their new gallery space at the location of the former Good News Mountaineer Garage Gallery on Hale Street.

Kin Ship Goods is hosting new paintings and mixed media pieces by Charleston’s own Jamie Miller. This is her first solo show in Charleston since 2012. The collection features colorful scenes of dreamland critters, rooted in Appalachian iconology. The opening reception happens September 18th, from 5 to 9 PM at Kin Ship Goods, 818 Lee Street East. The show will remain open from September 18 to October 11th.

10563160_575338589255547_299455305341732344_nApartment Earth is expanding into the space previously occupied by Good News Mountaineer Garage. So that means they will finally have a street front entrance, instead of spilling out into the Alleyway.

AE is kicking this off with another one of their famous invitational shows with more than 40 artists. Feathers, Fangs and Fur is the show.  The theme of the show is anything and everything about animals. There is an incredible line-up of artists contributing to this, and you won’t want to miss it. Apartment Earth is now at 221 Hale Street.

Mojo’s Last Stand?

10606545_10101864501231436_6715541124927474230_nThursday night may well be the last night of the Comedy Open Mic at Mojo’s Sportsbar in South Charleston. After 1 year, 7 months, and 3 days, management is considering ending its 83 week run of comedy on Thursday nights, unless a huge crowd turns out for Thursday’s show to prove that it’s worth their while to continue it.

Losing Mojo’s would be a huge blow to the local stand-up scene, which gained traction for the first time, in large part, thanks to Mojo’s providing a regular showcase where local talent could hone their acts. Rumor has it that Mojo’s would replace comedy with an acoustic open mic. I don’t see how they could think this is a good idea considering that both the Singer/Songwriter night at Timothy’s and Third Eye Cabaret at Fireside Bar and Grill are already dividing the acoustic music audience between them on Thursdays.

If a big crowd turns out Thursday night (I know, it’s after ArtWalk, but what better way to wind down from an evening of looking at art than by taking in comedy?), Mojo’s may decide to keep the Comedy open mic night going, so this is your chance to show your support for the local comedy scene. These folks get funnier every time I see them, it’s cover-free and they serve alcohol and bar food. What more do you need?

The comics Thursday include Jacob Hall, Andy Frampton, Thomas Mac,
James Chase Holiday, Cody Lambert, April Hall, Steven Sneed and more being added every minutes. All of this is hosted by “He of the Red Jacket,” Patrick Felton. The show kicks off at 9 PM and is for folks 21 and up. There is no cover charge, so it’s not like you have to spend a ton of money.

Mojo’s Sportsbar is located on Seventh Avenue in South Charleston, behind The Mound.

61yJBSeuYNL._SL1500_I briefly mentioned Star Wars Command earlier this year when I was wrapping up web coverage of the International Toy Fair in New York, but now that these toys are actually in stores, it’s time for a closer look.

sw 01Star Wars Command is a throwback to the days of the classic Marx Toys playsets. This series is comprised of small plastic figures, most of them around 57 mm from their base to the tops of their heads, along with out-of-scale vehicles, pull-back toys onto which figures or vehicles can be placed, and a few over-sized vehicles with extra features.

This is basically Star Wars done up in the style of Green Army Men. Common figures are molded in one-color of plastic. You get multiple figures so you can build an army. The sets are relatively inexpensive. You can get nine figures for five bucks, or pay more for larger sets.

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Image7The RFC MINI SHOW number thirty-eight, starring Super Heavy Duty, was a real treat to put together. The band is a supergroup consisting of members of The Pistol Whippers, The Tom McGees, Beaver Knievel, and 69 Fingers. Two of the members of this band, Bobby Peyton and Brian Holstine, have been RFC favorites since they appeared way back on Episode 8 in 2006. Our cameras were there for the first full blown performance by the band last month at The Empty Glass. It was an unforgettable evening of Ska-Punkabilly explosions and wild, wild music. You can catch Super Heavy Duty this Saturday at 10 PM as they share the stage at The Blue Parrot with Time and Distance and Meet me in The Matinee. Five bucks gets in the door for a night of killer music.

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So I decided to run a photo I took in Daley Plaza in Chicago through one of my older “Stark Charleston” filters.  It came out looking pretty cool. The original image was snapped moments after Melanie Larch and I procured our marriage license, three weeks ago today.

And no, I’m not ever gonna shut up about it. Click the image to enlarge.