PopCult Rudy Panucci on Pop Culture

RFC Flashback: Episode 97 Will Mess With Your Mind

RFC 97 “Ding Dong School” from RFC Archives on Myspace.

Jeff Ellis is an incredibly good sport, allowing me to edit his song to a performance by an animated frog
Jeff Ellis is an incredibly good sport, allowing me to edit his song to a performance by an animated frog

One of the aspects of Radio Free Charleston of which I am most proud is the “mind-hurting weirdness.”  In April, 2010, for our April Fool’s Day show, we brought you the most messed-up episode of the show ever. We took music from Jeff Ellis, plus two inactive bands, Simply Sadi and The Emergency, and combined them with public domain animation.  We also have two mildy psychotic short films from Scott Elkins (starring Kitty Killton) and MURFMEEF. Then we ran a last-minute surprise at the very end, with no notice.

Making it all even more twisted, the host segments feature my voice dubbed over footage of Ding Dong School, a children’s program from the 1950s.

For some reason, I thought this was a good idea. Now you can watch it again and wonder why. Original production notes are HERE. A day later, I ran the “reveal” in The PopCulteer. Here it is…

5. About Episode 97 of RFC

Yes, it was this year’s April Fool’s joke.  This time I decided to do an entire show with the “Fake Rudy” joke that ends almost every episode of Radio Free Charleston. The kindly old schoolteacher who was mouthing my words was the host of “Ding Dong School,” a kid’s program from the 1950s.   Many thanks to The Emergency, Simply Sadi and especially Jeff Ellis, who were all very good sports and let me cut music videos using old cartoons with their music for the show. Big thanks also go out to Scott Elkins and Murfmeef for letting me use their short films for the show.

Over the end credits, that was indeed RFC’s resident diva, Melanie Larch, joining WATT4 for their version of the Police classic, “Message In A Bottle.” That just happened last Monday night and found its way into the show at the last minute.

Arteries, Richwood and Stuff To Do

Img_1571The PopCulteer
September 5, 2014

This week your PopCulteer brings you a photo essay of last night’s Arteries Horror/Sci Fi Art Show, news about this weekend’s Richwood Local Artists Show and a gallery of Stuff To Do This weekend.

Our next RFC MINI SHOW was recorded last night at the Arteries show at Mike Winland Studios and will bring you the music of Christopher Carter along with video of the show and all the cool stuff on display from the fine folks who bring us ShockaCon. Look for that on Monday. For now you can check out my photos from last night. It was a great show and I hope we see more shows like this at Mike’s studio. It’s an amazing, open and welcoming space.

With any luck, you will get to see the wedding video of yours truly to Melanie Larch sometime this weekend. When I post that, I’ll include a full account of our adventure in Chicago. But for now, the photos…


More happy people enjoying the beginning of the most wonderful time of the year, for some folks
Happy people enjoying the beginning of the most wonderful time of the year, for some folks

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Advance Notice

The PopCult Bookshelf


I’ve been a mightily impressed with the first two issues of The Charlton Arrow (read my reviews HERE and HERE), so I think it’s a safe bet that the third issue will be well worth the price of admission.  You can pre-order it now, and get a bonus poster by Frank McLaughlin that will only be available with the first printing. This project is a tribute to Charlton Comics, the plucky little company that carved out a niche in the shadows of DC and Marvel. These are comics created for the pure joy of it, not as some sort of corporate pitch for a big-budget movie. The Charlton Arrow is one of the most fun comic books being published.

I’m such a convert that I’m just going to quote the announcement from the Facebook page that inspired this whole project:

“The NEW 52… page issue of THE CHARLTON ARROW #3 is GO! Our sensational third issue has more pages than ever, at the same cover price of $6.99 (+s&h)! More thrills, chills and variety, all pulsing in the Charlton vein! Wild stories and art by Jim Aparo, Pat Boyette, Sandy Carruthers, Jason Caskey, Joe Gill, Jack Keller, Paul Kupperberg, Roger McKenzie, Andrew Mitchell, Dave Noe, Mort Todd, Larry Wilson and Neil Vokes! Plus articles by Mark Arnold on Charlton’s Sick magazine and Stephen Skeates on the Monkees comic strip in Teen Tunes! Action, horror, humor, romance, hot rods and rock & roll! The best of Charlton’s past, present and future! Order now and get a FREE poster of The Classic Charlton Action Stars with all-new art by the legendary Frank Mclaughlin (while supplies last)! Taking orders now with a scheduled release date of late September/early October! Be a part of the celebration of Charlton’s 70th Anniversary! And, of course, the success of this book will spur some great future releases!”

For more ordering details, GO HERE, and if you’re interested in some of their other projects, pick up a few of them too. I’ve just placed an order for the Classic Hot Rod comics.

Stuff To Do Thursday: Arteries Art Show

I wrote about it last Saturday, but here’s your reminder: Tomorrow night, Thursday, from 6 PM to 10 PM, head up to Mike Winland’s Studio in Kanawha City (not far from the old Southern Kitchen location) for Arteries, an art show featuring macabre and unusual artworks by some of the area’s most imaginative creators. It will be one of the coolest things you can see this week, and it’s one night only! Presented by ShockaCon.


The PopCult Toybox: Quake Collectibles in Chicago

StorefrontAs you may know, if you’ve been reading this blog for more than five minutes, your PopCulteer got married last week in Chicago (details coming soon). This was my first chance to really expore the Windy City and we planned our secret trip so that we’d have a chance to visit some out of the way places while we were in town.

On a whim, the day after our wedding, I Googled “vintage toys” and up popped QUAKE. A store named after the nemesis of my favorite cereal mascot, Quisp, had to be a pretty cool place to check out. So we wrote down the address and after hitting a mall and Hersheyworld, we hopped a cab out to North Lincoln to see what we could find.

We found a small store, maybe one-fourth the size of Where The Toys Are in Canonsburg, PA, but with about five-times the number of toys crammed into what is a very intensely-delightful space. You could spend hours in there and still find something new every time you turned around. Every inch of the place was covered with layers of action figures, toy robots, lunch boxes, fashion dolls, cereal boxes and more.

Unfortunately, we traveled to Chicago via Amtrak, and were limited in what we could bring back with us, so we spent less than twenty bucks on a vintage Snoopy for Mel and some cheap 12″ figures for me. But we plan to go back and I might just see if the owner, David Gutterman, will ship some goodies to me.

Quake does not have a website, but you can reach them at quakecollectibles@gmail.com, or call 773-878-4288.

Now, without captions, here are a handful of shots that we thought to take while we were there. Please pardon the blurriness in some. We got sort of shaky at the thought of leaving so much cool stuff behind. Enjoy the mini-photo essay.


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The RFC MINI SHOW starring Elephant in the Room

Image2Our guest this week on The RFC MINI SHOW is Elephant in the Room, an Appalachian Rock group featuring previous RFC guest, Donnie Smith, along with Dylan Burkhammer, Bo Ballard and Devin Fields.

You may want to note that the group is called “Elephant in the Room” and not “The Elephant in the room,” as RFC host, Rudy Panucci, mistakenly refers to them in his introduction, twice. Panucci has the excuse of being distracted by his recent wedding to RFC co-producer, Melanie Larch. Also of note in the host segment is that it was shot in front of Ian Bode’s Peer-to-Pier work of public art on Virginia Street…a nod to the cool story about Ian in Sunday’s Gazette-Mail, and also because it was raining and the Insterstate bridge provided shelter.

Elephant in the Room was recorded live at The Empty Glass and is seen here performing a cover of the Dolly Parton classic, “Jolene” and their original tune, “Ghost Town.” Thanks for Jason “Roadblock” Robinson for recording and engineering. The final audio mix was by Rudy Panucci. Keep checking PopCult for updates on future club dates for Elephant in the Room.

198_2623Today’s Monday Morning Art is a departure. Rather than feature my art, this week we bring you a photo essay of The Art of Dr. Seuss Gallery, which recently opened in Water Tower Place in Chicago. This is the latest of a series of galleries which are the exclusive home to limited edition prints by Ted Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, the beloved creator of such children’s books characters as The Cat in The Hat, The Grinch and The Lorax.

It’s not common knowledge that Geisel dabbled in fine art and sculpture. The primary reason for that is that he didn’t want this art to be seen while he was alive. The Gallery presents an amazing and overwhelming collection of his work, including nudes, abstracts, sculptures and preliminary sketches for his most famous works. It’s a new side of the artist that few have seen before.

If you want to purchase some of this art, visit the official website. For a detailed review of the June opening of this gallery, check HERE. (There are galleries in Cinncinnati, OH and Greensboro, NC, if you don’t want to go so far)


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