PopCult Rudy Panucci on Pop Culture

NEW YEAR’S EVE STUFF TO DO

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It’s the last day of 2015 and folks are scurrying about to find cool stuff to do. First, check out this list and map of tonight’s Good Night performances, then take a look at these events from people who were kind enough to supply graphics…except for a couple that I did because I had a few spare minutes…

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Meet Yuna

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The PopCult Toybox

Dream BIG Friends 02The toy industry is changing. The major toy manufacturers seem hamstrung by the thought of innovation. Their idea of “bold new thinking” is coming up with concepts like Mattel’s new toy car, controlled by a live cricket. It’s always been up to smaller companies and independent designers to come up with simple, yet fresh ideas to entertain and capture the imaginations of children.

Now, with Kickstarter and other crowd-funding platforms, creative toy designers can reach out directly to the public and bypass the congested pipeline that they used to have to follow to get products into the hands of customers. In the coming year, The PopCult Toybox will bring you news of all kinds of great new fundraising campaigns for toys and games alongside our regular coverage of cool playthings for people of all ages in The PopCult Toybox.

And to get things started early, we’re going to tell you about Yuna. Yuna is the first Asian-American at the center of an original doll line. She dreams of the science it will take to one day get her to Mars, the art that makes her life more beautiful every day…and on occasion…all the tacos she can eat. Yuna has a cat named Kamata, a love of robot model kits and a desire to explore that is infectious. It’s clear that Yuna could never have been born in the “pink aisle.” A Kickstarter campaign hopes to bring her to the world.

Dream BIG Friends 04David Horvath and Sun Min of Uglydoll and Klim Kozinevich of Bigshot Toyworks have pooled their considerable expertise …and love…into Yuna, the first doll in a line called Dream BIG Friends. Over nearly a decade, these three friends worked to make Yuna a reality…and now they are offering a pre-order to help bring Yuna into your home and take the first steps in showing the world that there can be alternatives for a more positive imaginative play experience.

Yuna is a ten-inch tall plastic figure with cloth clothing and a pet cat. She has a rich, realistic backstory and offers little girls a real alternative to traditional fashion dolls.

This is a very cool project. In order to actually get a Yuna doll, you have to kick in at the $40 level, but there are cool rewards at lower levels if you only want to show your support.

However, there are only four days left in the campaign, and they are about a hundred thousand dollars short of their goal. If you’d like to see this project come to fruition, you’d better act fast. Check out the video above and follow the Widget Below.

Good To The Last Drop

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krinOne of the perks of blogging here at the Charleston Gazette-Mail was being published alongside Karin Fuller, who has been writing a wonderful weekly column for the last eighteen years. In fact, it was my pestering of Douglas Imbrogno in the early days of The Gazz Online that convinced him to run Karin’s column as a blog, which began shortly after PopCult.

Now Karin is hanging up her “Smell The Coffee” hat, and moving on to new challenges, and I just wanted to publicly thank her and express how nice it was to be considered a colleague by such a fine writer. She says her farewell in one last post, and as always, does it eloquently and with class.

Trielement on THE RFC MINI SHOW

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Image1The final Radio Free Charleston production of 2015 brings you the triumphant return of Trielement–Kenny Booth, Dave Roberts and Joey Lafferty, recorded a couple of weeks ago at The Blue Parrot.

That was the band’s first show since May, and they were in top form, introducing five new tunes, two of which you will hear in this RFC MINI SHOW.

You can next see Trielement on January 2, 2016, at The Empty Glass, where they will share an awesome triple-bill with RFC vets Tape Age and InFormation.

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We kick off the final week of 2015 with an abstract painting that evokes fluidity creeping down a drain. Not really, but it sort of looks like that, so we’ll pretend. While your PopCulteer personally had a wonderful year, many of his friends did not, and this work is dedicated to them. May the new year bring to you a bountiful assortment of joy and coolness, and may all your troubles go…down the drain. Click to enlarge.

A new RFC MINI SHOW will pop up before 10 AM. Be here for it.

Sunday Evening videos: Kid Creole and the Coconuts

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P1370075a+Kid+Creole+&+the+CoconutsIf you are already familiar with the alter-ego of August Darnell, then you know that you’re in for a treat with the above collection of music videos by Kid Creole and the Coconuts.

If you aren’t, watch the videos, and then go educate yourself. You’re missing out on some great music.

RFC Flashback: Episode Seventy-Five

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Earlier this week we posted the seventy-fifth episode of The RFC MINI SHOW. Just for the heck of it, in today’s RFC Flashback we revisit the 75th episode of Radio Free Charleston, from 2009, “Unknown Hinson Shirt,” our third-anniversary Rock And Roll Extravaganza.

This landmark edition of RFC features music by The Pistol Whippers and Unknown Hinson, both legends of honky-tonk psycho-billy stage. We also have a snippet of Princeton’s Option 22 over the end credits.

With this being our third anniversary, we took it upon ourselves to corner a few really cool people with our camera to get them to say nice things about us. Among those who weren’t quick enough to escape are Ann Magnuson, Necrobutcher (featured in the OSCAR-nominated movie “The Wrestler”), wrestling legends Gypsy Joe and Bull Pain and GWAR’s front-man, Oderous Urungus. The really cool thing is that it looks like we recorded Necro and Gypsy Joe in the same place we recorded Ann.

Continue reading…

Merry Christmas From PopCult

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xmas pcThe PopCulteer
December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and whatever good tidings fill your bill from PopCult and the Larch-Panucci household.

For the tenth year running, we bring you Melanie Larch singing “Ave Maria” from the very first Christmas episode of Radio Free Charleston.

Let’s follow that up with last year’s Christmas treat that saw Melanie backed by Mark Scarpelli…

And we’ll finish with Mel’s 2009 Christmas song with Diablo Blues Band…

Wishing you and yours the best-

Rudy Panucci and Melanie Larch

Christmas Giving

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It’s Christmas Eve, and in the true spirit of the holiday, I’m going to tell you about two different crowdfunding campaigns that have been set up to help some folks who aren’t having the best holiday season.

dc0460f2-09d0-4bcb-9b81-bb2bfaae18e3_profileFirst up, we have my friend, distant cousin and HVAC guy extraordinaire, John Providenti. A couple of weeks ago in the early evening, John sustained a fall from approximately two stories high while working.  He was discovered unconscious, and transported via ambulance to CAMC General Hospital, where he underwent surgery to repair a broken C2 vertebrae in his neck, and shattered T8 vertebrae in his back.

Outside the medical speak, John is a single father to 4 awesome kids, and runs his own business to support his family.  This injury will mean downtime in his business, as well as significant medical expenses mounting for his family.

So far the prognosis is good. John is out of the hospital, but he’ll be in a halo collar and unable to work for at least a couple of months. The modest goal of ten thousand dollars has been met and exceeded already, but there are always unexpected expenses that creep up in a situation like this, so if you know John, one of the best heating and cooling experts in the area, considering throwing a few bucks his way. I know he’s been very generous, cutting his customers breaks, in the past. Let’s return the favor. You can dontate at THIS SITE.

7784871_1450816112.4647Veteran comic book artist DON PERLIN recently had surgery to stop bleeding in his head. After his initial surgery and recovery, doctors discovered more bleeding and last week, as Don described it, they removed a piece of his skull the size of a creditcard and then put in a Titanium plate. He’s stuck in rehab now which his Medicare and insurance do not fully cover since he exhausted his benefits during his first hospitalization.

Don broke into the business in the late 1940s, working for several publishers, including a three-year stint as a ghost artist on Will Eisner’s The Spirit. He continued working in comics, mainly for Charlton, while also producing technical illustrations and packaging artwork in th 1960s. In 1974, Don jumped to Marvel comics where he drew Werewolf by Night, Ghost Rider, The Defenders, Transformers and other books. In the early 1990s Don worked as an editor at Valiant Comics, before entering semi-retirement.

Don is a great guy, beloved on the convention circuit, and it’s terrible that he and his wife are facing such a miserable holiday season. If you’ve enjoyed his work in the past, consider donating a few dollars to help him get back on his feet. You can donate at THIS SITE.

All Thumbs

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Img_5351The plan was that this evening would see a new PopCult Toybox post. However, your PopCulteer had to wrap presents for his lovely wife, and…it got ugly. To be frank, my wrapping abilities are non-existant. On a good day, packages I wrap look like the work of an exuberant four-year-old.

They say that it’s the thought that counts. In this case, the thought is “how hilarious that Rudy thought he could wrap presents.” Making matters worse is that it takes me a really, really long time to wrap such lumpy, asymetrical, shoddy-looking packages.

Usually I let my wonderful wife, Melanie, do all the wrapping, but having her wrap her own gifts is a heel move that I could not abide. So ironically, the person who does the best job wrapping gifts, gets all the really crappily-wrapped presents.

Luckily, the packages all have cool stuff inside.

But that’s why you’re getting this post instead of a shiny new pile of information. It’s because I suck at wrapping.