PopCult Rudy Panucci on Pop Culture

Three Years In Space

three-years-in-spaceThe PopCulteer
January 6
, 2017

Okay, that’s a bit of a misleading headline. Three years ago this week your PopCulteer ditched Suddenlink Cable Television in favor of DirecTV. It’s been a while since I’ve given you an update, so let’s see how things turned out.

First, a quick recap. After being a customer of Suddenlink and its predecessor companies, Charter Communications and Capitol Cablevision since 1971, I finally had my fill of increasing fees and deteriorating service and, with no small amount of trepidation, made the leap to satellite television with DirecTV.

The last straw was when my bundle of cable and high-speed internet started costing more than my electric bill, even in the dead of Winter. I was stuck with Suddenlink for high-speed internet, since no other provider services my area, but I was still willing to gamble that I’d save money if I got rid of their overpriced cable television service.

As things turned out, I did indeed save money…lots of money. Originally I was saving over seventy dollars a month. I’d signed a two-year contract, and I knew that my rates would go up in the second year, but even with the cost of my internet raising due to un-bundling, I’d wind up playing much less.

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STUFF TO DO: January 5-7

The first weekend of the new year is upon us, and PopCult will once again offer up graphic highlights of some of the cool things that Charleston-area folks can get into, if they are so inclined.

std-01 There are plenty of events that your PopCulteer did not have time to hunt down for this post. However, this should give you a good start. If you are not heading out this weekend, perhaps due to the questionable weather, let me remind you that you can still participate in the local scene by listening to our internet radio station, The AIR. You can tune in at The AIR website, or right here, on this embedded player…

The AIR offers the most diverse programming you’ll find, and it’s always interesting radio. There’s something for everybody on The AIR. We feature local music on Radio Free Charleston, Swing Music on The Swing Shift, musical theatre on Curtain Call, progressive rock on Prognosis, New Wave classics on Sydney’s Big Electric Cat and more musical adventurousness. You can also listen to great talk programming like Life Speaks, The Third Shift, The Real with Mark Wolfe, That Conversation, Laugh Appalachia and more.

If you do brave the elements, here’s some STUFF TO DO…



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rfci-jan-logoRadio Free Charleston International takes a “live” approach to Classic Rock this week on The AIR. You can hear RFC International, the show where your PopCulteer, Rudy Panucci, gets to play whatever music he wants, Thursday at 3 PM at The AIR website, or right here, on the embedded player…

This week all of our music was recorded live, and as I built the playlist, I realized that it had gone in a bit of a Classic Rock direction. Some of these tracks are from brand-new releases and some are of dubius origin. Since I get to play whatever I want on Radio Free Charleston International, I ran with the idea. RFC International replays Friday at 7 AM and 10 PM, Saturday at 11 AM, Sunday at 10 PM and at various other times throughout the week on The AIR.

Take a look at our “Live” two-hour playlist:

Kate Bush  “Running Up That Hill”
Pete Townshend  “Behind Blue Eyes”
Greg Lake  “Nuclear Attack”
The Cars  “Let’s Go”
Neil Innes  “Shangri La”
The White Stripes  “I Wanna Be Your Dog”
Bob Dylan and Tom Petty  “Justine”
Gary Numan  “Down In The Park”
Dream Theater  “Learning To Live”
Guns N Roses  “Welcome To The Jungle”
The Beatles  “She’s A Woman”
John Lennon  “Come Together”
Paul McCartney  “Get Back”
George Harrison  “Old Brown Shoe”
Ringo Starr  “With A Little Help From My Friends”
The Rolling Stones  “Gimme Shelter”
Eric Clapton  “Layla”
Kansas  “Carry On My Wayward Son”
David Bowie  “Changes”
Elvis Costello and the Attractions “Watching The Detectives”
Kate Bush  “Rolling The Ball”

Final Bows on Curtain Call Wednesday on The AIR

cc-death-logoNo show runs forever.  This week’s Curtain Call takes a fond look back on those musicals which took their final Broadway bows over the past year. You can hear Curtain Call hosted by Mel Larch every Wednesday at 3 PM at The AIR website or on this convenient embedded radio player…

While Curtain Call is still poised for a lengthy run on The AIR, this week Mel Larch salutes those shows which, in the past year, have exited Broadway stage right and taken their final bow. You can hear replays of Curtain Call Thursday at 7 AM and 8 PM, Saturday at 1 PM and Tuesday at 9 AM on The AIR.

Check out the playlist to see what you can hear this week:

“Sun Is Gonna Shine” from Bright Star
“Top of The World” from Tuck Everlasting
“I Got Rhythm” from An American In Paris
“Good Times Are Here To Stay” from Dames At Sea
“Get In The Game” from Allegiance
“Broadway Blues” from Shuffle Along, or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
“I Want You Back/ABC/The Love You Save” from Motown:The Musical
“Come To The Fun Home” from Fun Home
“Sky High” from Disaster!
“Sunrise, Sunset” from Fiddler On The Roof
“I Dreamed A Dream” from Les Miserables
“Circus of Your Mind” from Finding Neverland
“The Last One You’d Expect” from A Gentleman’s Guide To Love and Murder
“Vanilla Ice Cream” from She Loves Me
“Mama Who Bore Me” from Spring Awakening

wed-logo02We have brand-new episodes of On The Road with Mel and Life Speaks with Michele Zirkle Marcum today on The AIR. Listen at The AIR website or on this convenient embedded radio player…

At 1 PM Mel Larch looks back at the basics that she’s covered on her show, On The Road with Mel. You’ll get a recap of travel tips for driving and riding the rails, along with other highlights of the show so far and a look at what the new year may hold for travelers and for On The Road with Mel.

On The Road with Mel replays Friday at 9:30 AM, Sunday at Noon and Monday at 12:30 PM.

At 1:30 PM on Life Speaks, Michele Zirkle Marcum relates a recent UFO encounter and the mulitude of strange aerial visitations that followed. Are they of an interstellar origin, or do they have ties to the United States Government? Listen to find out what Michele thinks.

You can listen to replays of Life Speaks Wednesday night at 7 PM, Friday at 11 AM, Sunday at 5 PM and Monday at 1 PM.

Check PopCult for more details on the brand-new programming on The AIR.

New Year-New Music on The AIR!

new tuesdayTuesday The AIR continues its march into 2017 with brand new episodes of Radio Free Charleston and The Swing Shift. You can listen at The AIR website, or on this embedded radio player…

At 10 AM and 10 PM the first Radio Free Charleston of 2017 brings you brand-new music from Deni Bonet and Ann Magnuson, plus previously unheard tracks from HARRAH, Kerry Hughes, Christopher Vincent and more. We also dig deep into the RFC Archives for classic local tracks.  The full playlist is below the jump in this post.

Radio Free Charleston can also be heard Thursday at 5 PM and Saturday at 10 AM and Midnight, exclusively on The AIR.

At 3 PM tuesday we have a new edition of The Swing Shift. This episode is loaded with classic swing tunes from Benny Goodman, Billie Holliday and Artie Shaw, plus great swing revival tracks from Lilly Wilde, Casey MacGill, Indogo Swing, The Mighty Blue Kings and more. You can hear replays of The Swing Shift Wednesday at 7 AM, Thursday at 7 PM and Saturday at 9 AM. The playlist for this week’s show runs at the bottom of this post.

The AIR is the internet radio arm of PopCult and we bring you terrific music and talk programming every day. We’re tweaking our schedule for the new year, so check PopCult for the latest listings.

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A Tribute To Greg Lake On The AIR

lake-logoMonday at 3 PM, Prognosis, The AIR’s weekly progressive rock program, presented by Herman Linte, brings you a tribute to the late Greg Lake, looking at his career with his own words and music. You can listen to The AIR at the website, or on this embedded radio player…

Greg Lake passed away in early December following a long battle with cancer. His death came less than nine months after the shocking death of his bandmate in Emerson Lake and Palmer, Keith Emerson.

In this week’s Prognosis Linte will look at Lake’s entire career, not only with ELP, but also with music from King Crimson, Asia, and Emerson Lake and Powell, along with his solo work and collaborations with Geoff Downes and Gary Moore.

The first 80 minutes of this show presents Lake, solo, telling tales of his musical influences and career while playing some of his most famous tunes. The remainder of the show presents even more music by the aforementioned musical outfits.

This kicks off a week of new programming as The AIR returns from its holiday merriment of the past couple of weeks to lurch forward into 2017.

The playlist for Prognosis 011:

Greg Lake with Gary Moore  “Parisienne Walkways”

Greg Lake solo Songs of a Lifetime:
“21st Century Schizoid Man”
“Lend Me Your Love Tonight”
“From The Beginning”
“Heartbreak Hotel”
“Epitaph/The Court Of The Crimson King”
“I Talk To The Wind”
“You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away”
“Touch And Go”
“Still… You Turn Me On”
“C.Est La Vie”
“Lucky Man”
“People Get Ready”
“Karn Evil 9 1st Impression Part 2”

Greg Lake “You’ve Really Got A Hold On Me”
King Crimson  “Cat Food”
Emerson Lake and Palmer  “Jeruselum”
Greg Lake with Gary Moore “Nuclear Attack”
Asia  “The Heat Goes On”
Emerson Lake and Powell  “Lay Down Your Guns”
Greg Lake and Geoff Downes  “Money Talks”
Emerson Lake and Palmer  “Black Moon”

Tomorrow you can expect new episodes of Radio Free Charleston and The Swing Shift on The AIR. Prognosis replays Tuesday at 7 AM and Wednesday at 8 PM, with more chances to hear the show over the weekend.



We are still milking our recent trip to Chicago for Monday Morning Art as we head into the new year. This time it’s a double-shot, with digital art based on two essentially abstract photos that I took out the window of our taxi as we were returning to our hotel after seeing Frank Conniff and Trace Beaulieu, “The Mads” from Mystery Science Theater 3000, live riff on a movie at the Logan Theater.

It was dark, being night and all, and I couldn’t see to adjust the settings on my camera. I could have tried it on automatic, which would have triggered the flash and potentially blinded our driver, so I thought better of that option. Instead I tried to grab a few images of the Chicago skyline at night and some cool cityscapes. Unfortunately the best I came up with were some random colored blobs.

The thing was, they still looked sorta cool. So I digitally painted over one of them, Impasto-style, and ran the other through a few filters, including my Kaleidoscope setting. That’s what you see at the top and bottom of this post. Click to enlarge.



Sunday Evening Videos: Fish Slap In The New Year

f26d68c7ff60ea81cc95e50d354fb7daAbove you see the famous “Fish Slapping Dance” from Monty Python’s Flying Circus. Below you see a mini-documentary about the art and history of Fish Slapping, featuring Michael Palin.

With 2016 being such an absolutely horrible year, one in which nasty, evil things happened that will have negative and ominous repurcussions well into 2017, I figured it was probably a good idea to post these videos here, so that when things get dark and dire, they’ll still be here for you to find easily to get a much-needed laugh.

The original Fish Slapping sketch by Monty Python is said to be the one true test of whether or not someone has a sense of humor. It this does not make them laugh, check their pulse.

And Happy New Year, from PopCult, Radio Free Charleston and The AIR.