PopCult Rudy Panucci on Pop Culture

Monday Morning Art: Yankee Stadium


Wrapping up September’s art, which was all inspired by your PopCulteer’s early-in-the-month surgical strike visit to New York City, we have a digital painting of the glorious sight that befell my eyes once I wandered out of the 161st Street Station, The House that Ruth Built (sort of), Yankee Stadium.

I wrote about my visit to this holy ground HERE. For this painting, I used some photographic reference, but the photos didn’t make it seem big enough, so I improvised a bit. I went hyper-realistic again with this one, after starting the month with two works of abstract Impressionism. I try not to overthink these artistic decisions, and just go with what I think works best for the subject.

You can see this in a bigger version by clicking on it.

Meanwhile, today on The AIR, you can catch the first day of BONUS ROUND WEEK, where we bring you different marathons, spotlighting our musical programming, which normally occupies the afternoon timeslots.

Monday we find ourselves in the midst of a 36-hour marathon of The Swing Shift, bringing you the best Swing Music from the last century. Tune in at The AIR Website, or on this neat little embedded player…

Check back each day this week for notes on what you can hear that day.

Sunday Evening Videos: Tex Avery

Fred “Tex” Avery was one of the greatest gag cartoon animators in history. He either created, co-created, or developed Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Elmer Fudd, Droopy, Screwy Squirrel, and Chilly Willy. Whether it was his early work at Warner Brothers, his creative peak at MGM, or his later years with Walter Lantz and advertising work, Avery’s sense of humor helped shape several generations of cartoon fans into the twisted mass of insanity that we are today.

His cartoons may well be the funniest ever made, and his influence continues to be seen in animation today.

Check out these two documentaries and one collection of cartoons to find out why. Be warned that the first one ends abruptly, but it’s still filled with great interviews and clips from his work.

The RFC Flashback: Episode 153

Episode 153 of Radio Free Charleston, “Dr. Pepper Shirt,” was a special episode, comprised entirely of rehearsal footage from two of this musical events happening in town back in March, 2012: The 2nd Annual Alumni All-Star Jam at WVSU, and the CYAC production of “Jesus Christ Superstar.”

I always felt honored to be invited to bring the RFC cameras into a rehearsal because it means that the performers trust me to document their work-in-progress, warts and all. It’s a gutsy move, and a sign of confidence on the part of the artists involved.

Of course, I had a bit of an “in” with one performer. Radio Free Charleston‘s Resident Diva and now Mrs. PopCulteer, Melanie Larch, appears in this special edition of RFC, as does Lady D, the WVSU Alumni All-Star Band and the cast of “Jesus Christ Superstar.”

Our first two songs are from The 2nd Annual WVSU Alumni All-Star Jam Band. These were early run-throughs, just the first or second time that the musicians have tackled these songs together. The incredible band is comprised of Jonathan Wesley (Inspiration) on drums, Tim Courts (Bob Thompson Unit) on piano, Mike “Nemo” Pleasant on bass guitar, Dick Stockton on trumpet and Bill Hambleton on Trombone. The show was a smash success, and more than six years later, people are still talking about it.

As a bonus in this episode we had a sneak peek of The Contemporary Youth Arts Company production of “Jesus Christ Superstar.” This was another case where our production deadline would not allow us to record a dress rehearsal, and we had to go in before they had their microphones working. You’ll hear the cast performing “Hosanna.”

You can find the original production notes HERE.

Swing Into The AIR’s “Bonus Round Week” on Monday

The PopCulteer
September 21, 2018

Next week our companion internet radio station, The AIR, will pre-empt all its regular programming so that we can present marathons and mini-marathons all week long to allow new listeners to sample all of our specialty music programming. We are calling these “Bonus Rounds” and it will give our new listeners a way to get up to speed on our regular weekday afternoon music shows.

Listenership at The AIR has been growing rapidly, and next week we will be gaining some additional exposure in Europe, so the time was right to showcase our wares in a more binge-worthy manner.

This will also allow your PopCulteer to take some time off to finish his anniversary trip that he and his wife began a few weeks ago. If you can stretch our your anniversary celebration for a full month, why not do it? Last year we had a “Fall Preview Week” and this year we found a new programming stunt to welcome the new season.

Each morning next week PopCult will tell you what you can tune in to hear on The AIR that day. Right now we are going to give you a head start and announce that Monday will present a marathon of The Swing Shift, and for that show, which has our largest world-wide audience, we will bring you 36 episodes, beginning Sunday at Midnight, and finishing up Tuesday morning at 7 AM.

The Swing Shift presents the best Swing Music from the last hundred years, all cobbled together in a weekly one-hour package.

The rest of the week will filled with shorter marathons of our other shows, some will be twelve-hours, some will be five. You can listen to the whole thing at The AIR Website, or on this embedded player of no small esteem…

On The Swing Shift listeners might hear classics from the Big Band era mixed in with music from the 1970s revivalism, 1990s Retro Swing, Electro Swing from Europe and brand-new music by today’s Swing Standard-bearers.

The show has proven so popular that we also run overnight marathons of The Swing Shift on Sundays and Thursdays at Midnight. So combining the regular Sunday night run with the Monday Marathon gives us a big start to the week.

With that, we will wrap up this week’s PopCulteer, and remind you that you can check back every day for fresh content and all our regular features, and if the opportunity arises, some posts from the road next week. And don’t forget that ShockaCon kicks off Friday!

ShockaCon Begins Friday

I’ve already told you about the Movie and TV stars who will be at ShockaCon this year, and you probably know about all the vendors selling cool scary and spooky stuff, but today we’re going to let you know about the other cool things happening at Charleston’s only horror and sci-fi convention.

First, you ought to know that ShockaCon 7 happens this Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Beni Kedem Shrine Center on Quarrier Street in Charleston.  It’s right between the Charleston Civic Center and the Charleston Town Center Mall. You can’t miss it. September 21, through 23 the Shrine Center becomes ground zero for all the macabre fun you can imagine…and some that you might not be able to.

Asdie from the Cemetary Knights Hearses and the Terminus Grill, you’ll find Ghostbusters, Renfields, Belly Dancers, cosplayers, gamers, and stars like Linnea Quigley and Sean Patrick Flanery, you can find all sorts of cool panels, and workshops.

Today we’re going to bring you the schedule for ShockaCon again, along with descriptions of the panels they’re having this year.

If the print is too tiny, just click on the graphic below to see a bigger version…


Talk Like A Pirate Today!

In honor of Talk Like A Pirate Day (which is today, in case you didn’t know) we go backinto the Radio Free Charleston Archives for a couple of video clips featuring our friends from California who happen to be real, true pirates, The Dread Crew of Oddwood.

Five years be past since the ARRRRR-F-C cameras caught up with the plundering pundits of “Heavy Mahogany,” and the scurvy dogs are still kickin’ and playing all up and down the ports of the Western Territories.  Our crew encountered their crew at the World Famous Empty Glass, and we ventured forth to bring ye a heap of video treasure from that fateful night.

Above ye see an ARRRRR-F-C MINI SHOW starring the Dread Crew, in fine form.

Down below ye see a bonus clip featuring the charming scoundrels, produced to mark this very holiday some five year ago.

So, avast ye swabs, set sail for the music of The Dread Crew on this special day!

More of The Best of The AIR All Week Long

This week The AIR presents the best examples of our most popular programs. That probably sounds familiar, since we just did this a few weeks ago, but the fact is that deadlines, outside committments and part two of your PopCulteer’s great anniversary trip have colluded to make another week of repeats necessary.  You can tune in all week to the website, or on the embedded player below for this week’s slate of familiar programs.

Whilst our hard working crew are preoccupied with life this week The AIR brings you more of the best of our programming. This will get you in the mood for next week, which will bring our annual Autumn Sampler, which will see a couple of mini-marathons almost every day, so you can spend an extended period soaking in our specialty music programming.  The crew at Haversham Recording Institute are still toiling away in France on a big-money project, but they pledge to return, along with all our domestically-produced shows, in the first week of October. Meanwhile, once again,  The AIR brings you the best of our recent shows this week.

Tuesday you will be treated to treasures from our archives for Radio Free Charleston, Psychedelic Shack and The Swing Shift. Wednesday it’s encores of Curtain Call, Beatles Blast and Life Speaks to Michele Zirkle. Thursday expect a classic edition of Prognosis, and Friday brings you hand-picked examples of the finest episodes of Radio Free Charleston International and Sydney’s Big Electric Cat. You can keep track of the full schedule on the widget-thingy at the bottom of this post.

Monday Morning Art: Big Fella


After two weeks of abstract Impressionism, I decided to go hyper-realistic for this week’s piece of art inspired by my recent trip to New York City. Like last week, this is a depiction of a view from Father Duffy’s Steps in Times Square, only this time, inspired by a detail from a photo I took during our trip. I decided to try and capture the seeming interaction between the gigantic LED image and the people sitting on the Steps. It cracked me up, so I made it a digital painting.

I’ve got one more week left in my latest New York series, and no idea what it’ll be, so you’ll have to check in a week from today to see what it turns out to be.  In the meantime, click on this image to enlarge it.

Over on The AIR, Marathon Monday brings you Sydney’s Big Electric Cat. You can hear 12 episodes of our popular New Wave Music program, presented by legendary London DJ, Sydney Fileen.  You can tune in on The AIR website, or on this rather ingenious embedded transistor radio thingy…

Over the last couple of months we’ve been telling you about how The Aquabats have a Kickstarter campaign to help pay for a revival of The Aquabats Super Show. When it looked like they wouldn’t meet their original goal, they pulled the plug and started over with a more realistic funding scheme, and you can read about about that HERE.

You can read about the original campaign, see the first part of a new adventure, and find links so you can donate HERE.

But tonight we’re going to bring you what may be the final two chapters of their epic quest to reunite the band for the show. . The Aquabats have been serializing the exploits of their quest in a series of Kickstarter Updates. To date there have been several entries, including the Kickstarter reboot video, and you can see those HERE and HERE, just to bring you up to date for these final two chapters.

Below the videos you’ll find the widget so that you can kick in and help bring the Aquabats Super Show back to life. The new goals were met in just a few hours, so we’re guaranteed a new album as well as at least six mini-episodes of the new show. Throw your money at them so we can get even more!

The RFC Flashback: Episode 152

From March, 2012 you see RFC 153, “Machine of Madness Shirt,” with music from Linework, The Tom McGees and the team of Chad Foss and Sean Sydnor. There;s also a couple of weird short films and some animation, and Lee Harrah is on hand to plug a then-upcoming all-ages show.

Our first musical guest this week was Linework, a veteran metal band from Charleston for whom I created a music video using footage shot at Mission Coalition the previous fall, and set to their studio recording, “The Finishers.” We also featured live footage of The Tom McGees, recorded at The Blue Parrot, performing their song, “The Choice.”  Wrapping up the music on this show we ended with Chad Foss and Sean Sydnor performing the Bill Withers classic, “Ain’t No Sunshine.

Also on hand in this show, which was hosted from various locations on Charleston’s West Side, are a couple of short films and the aforementioned Mr. Harrah. You can find the original production notes HERE.