PopCult Rudy Panucci on Pop Culture

Sunday Evening Video: The Queen of New Wave

Lene_Lovitch_1979Lili-Marlene Premilovich, better known as Lene Lovich, is a true New Wave pioneer and musical treasure. An artist on the legendary Stiff Records label, Lovich blended her extensive art and dance training with Slavic shtick and New Wave inventivness to create a unique body of work. Quite simply, nobody else has a voice like hers.

Born in Detroit, expatriated to Hull, England when she was thirteen, Before signing to Stiff, Lovich rubbed shoulders with such random and diverse people as Salvador Dali, Arthur Brown, and French disco star, Cerrone. Her first appearance on record may have been as an audience member on Chuck Berry’s sing-along live recording of “My Ding-A-Ling.”

It was when Lovich started releasing music made with her musical and life partner, Les Chappell, that ears perked up around the world. With a five-octave range and a voice that could range from delicate and operatic to bombastic and powerful, Lovich made a huge mark on the outsider music scene.

It’s been ten years since her last new CD (my review of Shadows and Dust, written for the Gazz.com’s now-defunct “New Sounds” blog has been reprinted by her record label HERE), but she has formed a new touring band and will be playing festivals in the UK in 2016. She’s also formed a new label to reissue her back catalog. You can learn more about that at her website and on her Bandcamp page. The above concert was recorded at Studio 54 in 1981, and features an embryonic Thomas Dolby as one of her keyboardists.

RFC Flashback Previews A Show At The Empty Glass

12247858_10205220455167477_1796660621647771100_oThis week in The RFC Flashback we’re going to re-present three episodes of The RFC MINI SHOW. InFormation, Tape Age and Trielement are all playing a killer triple-bill show tonight at The Empty Glass. It kicks off at 10 PM (cover is seven bucks), and if yours truly is able to shake the stomach bug that he picked up, the RFC crew will be on hand (that’s not looking likely at the moment).

At the top of this post you see The RFC MINI SHOW starring InFormation. We first had InFormation on Radio Free Charleston in 2007, and recorded this show at The Blue Parrot in 2011. It didn’t find its way out of our vault until 2014, though. InFormation is Curtis Chittendon, Shane Durham and Roy Graley and tonight’s performance is one of their last before heading into the studio to record a new CD. This is a powerful progressive pop trio that you shouldn’t miss. Original production notes can be found HERE.

Right below this block of text is The RFC MINI SHOW starring Tape Age. We recorded the first performance of Tape Age last year at The Empty Glass. Since that time, Sam Scholten and Dave Roberts have been joined by bassist, Doug Litton, and they sound phenomenal. Original production notes can be found HERE.

Trielement stars in the video at the bottom of this post. We’re cheating a little, flashing back to our most-recent show, but it’s a good one, and the original production notes can be found HERE.

All the bands are at the Empty Glass tonight.

The PopCult Interview with Mark Wolfe

PC 2016 001 01The PopCulteer
January 1, 2016

We are very happy to open 2016 with a PopCult Interview. Mark Wolfe has just released his first album, Rubáiyát, and it’s worth noting because Mark is not known locally as a musician. He is an artist, graphic designer and web developer– with his business, Mark Wolfe Design, he’s one of the most respected in the area, in fact–plus he’s the host of “The Real with Mark Wolfe” podcast (heard also on WTSQ), but until now, he’s kept his musical side private.

Mark, as seen by Glen Brogan, in his 20th Anniversary logo for Mark Wolfe Design
Mark, as seen by Glen Brogan, in his 20th Anniversary logo for Mark Wolfe Design

In the interest of full disclosure, I need to point out that Mark is a close friend, and contributor to PopCult, which is one of the main reasons that his first interview about Rubáiyát is appearing here. Even if I didn’t know Mark, this is an intriguing story.

It’s a fun twist, interviewing Mark just a few months after being the interviewee on his podcast. I hope you folks enjoy it and check out Mark’s music.

So let’s meet Mark and find out why Rubáiyát happened now, and what the future holds.

PopCult: After more than twenty years as a respected graphic designer and web developer, a lot of people were surprised to learn that you have a musical side. How long have you been playing and writing music?

Mark Wolfe: I have been writing and playing music on the guitar most of my life. I started at a very young age, about five years old. Music has always been an extremely important facet of my life and living. I have never had the confidence to play publicly, or expose my musical ability to the general public, until now.

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New Year’s Day Art 2016

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It’s an abstract, combining the infuences of Jack Kirby and Andy Warhol. You tell me what it means. Happy 2016, everybody. Click to enlarge.