PopCult Rudy Panucci on Pop Culture

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.

One Week Until ShockaCon

The PopCulteer
September 14, 2018

We are a mere seven days away from Charleston’s very own Horror and Science Fiction convention, ShockaCon. This is the seventh year, and the theme is “Seven Deadly Sins,” so seven days out seemed like the best time to tell you about the show. The fun starts on Friday, September 21, at The Beni Kedem Shrine Center on Quarrier Street in Charleston, and continues through Sunday, September 23.

The Beni Kedem Shrine Center will be packed with movie and TV stars, cosplayers, artists, vendors, Ghostbusters and more, and they’ll be signing autographs, holding question-and-answer sessions, meeting the fans and a wonderfully macabre time is guaranteed for all. Fans of horror and science fiction will gather to meet celebrity guests, take part in workshops, see interactive panels and demonstrations and buy stuff from the eeriest collection of vendors you’ll ever see. Plus there will be tons of live performance and music.

Right after this handy schedule graphic (click to see a bigger version), we’ll tell you a little bit about each of the headlining guests at this year’s show…


The Guests

Linnea Quigley is an American actress, film producer, model, singer, and author. She is best known as a B movie actress and is often referred to as a “scream queen” due to her frequent appearances in cult horror films during the 1980s and 1990s.

Very popular on the convention circuit due to her friendly nature, Quigley got her first acting role in the Charles Band-produced film Fairy Tales (1978). She continued receiving small parts mostly in B movies. Her first bigger part was in the 1981 slasher film, Graduation Day. Quigley followed with more films such as Savage Streets (1984) and Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984).

In 1985, Quigley appeared in the zombie horror film The Return of the Living Dead playing a teenaged punk Trash, which is considered one of her most notable roles and gained her the “scream queen” status. During the second half of the 1980s, Quigley starred in a number of cult films following the popularization of the home video. She repeatedly worked with the directors David DeCoteau (Creepozoids, Nightmare Sisters, and Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama) and Kevin Tenney (Night of the Demons and Witchtrap), and often appeared alongside fellow scream queens Brinke Stevens and Michelle Bauer.

Aside from her acting career, Quigley is also a singer (she formed an all-girl band The Skirts in the early 1980s) and an author (she’s written three books; The Linnea Quigley Bio & Chainsaw Book, I’m Screaming as Fast as I Can: My Life in B-Movies, and Skin). She is also a devoted animal rights activist and an active member of PETA.

Sean Patrick Flanery is an American actor and author, known for playing Connor MacManus in The Boondock Saints, Greg Stillson in The Dead Zone, Jeremy “Powder” Reed in Powder, Indiana Jones in The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, as well as Bobby Dagen in Saw: The Final Chapter.

He is also known for his role as Sam Gibson on The Young and the Restless in 2011. He starred in Devil’s Carnival, a short film which was screened on tour beginning in April, 2012. In 2016, he released his first novel, Jane Two, a coming-of-age story drawing inspiration from his own childhood and early experiences. It was released to generally positive acclaim.

Flanery is also a professional race-car driver and a holds a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Nicholas Brendon is an American actor and writer. He is best known for playing Xander Harris in the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997–2003) and Kevin Lynch in Criminal Minds (2007–2014).

His first major role in a feature film came with the Charles Busch satire Psycho Beach Party (2000). Brendon has also starred in the ABC Family Channel original movie Celeste in the City (2004). Brendon is a spokesperson for the Stuttering Foundation of America, appearing in a print campaign for the organization.

On October 28, 2010, Brendon began a four-episode arc on ABC’s Private Practice playing Lee McHenry, a mentally disturbed man who assaults Charlotte King.
Since 2014 he has been writing on the Buffy Season 10 comic book.

Tawny Kitaen is an American actress, comedian and media personality. Kitaen began her acting career in 1983 with a minor role in the television movie Malibu. In 1984, she starred as the title character of the erotic-adventure movie The Perils of Gwendoline in the Land of the Yik-Yak. She also co-starred in the movie Bachelor Party as the bride-to-be of a young Tom Hanks, and was the star of the 1986 horror movie Witchboard. She also starred in the 1997 movie Dead Tides with the wrestler Roddy Piper

Kitaen appeared in several videos in the 1980s for the band Whitesnake, including the hits “Here I Go Again”, “Still of the Night”, “Is This Love,” and “The Deeper The Love.” She was then dating Whitesnake’s lead singer, David Coverdale, to whom she was later briefly married.

Kitaen appeared in Seinfeld, once, as Jerry’s girlfriend in the 1991 episode “The Nose Job.” She had recurring parts in Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and co-hosted America’s Funniest People from 1992 to 1994.

Jyoti Amge is an Indian woman notable for being the world’s smallest living woman according to Guinness World Records. She rose to fame as Ma Petite in the fourth season of American Horror Story: Freak Show.

Following Amge’s 18th birthday on 21 December 2011, she was officially declared the world’s smallest woman by Guinness World Records with a height of 62.8 centimetres (2 ft 0.6 in). Her restricted height is due to a growth abnormality called primordial dwarfism.

Amge was featured in the 2009 documentary entitled Body Shock: Two Foot Tall Teen. She was also a guest participant on Bigg Boss 6, an Indian television show. In 2012, she met the world’s shortest man, Chandra Bahadur Dangi of Nepal. The pair posed together for the 57th edition of the Guinness World Records 2013

Special Events

In addition to the vendors, music, art, panels, contests, cosplayers as well as the food and drink, this year sees after-hours movie screenings added to the ShockaCon mix, and the now-traditional costume parade through The Charleston Town Center.


If you are even in the slightest bit interested in horror, science fiction, scary stuff, Halloween or anything cool like that, you should make it a point to be at the Beni Kedem Shrine Center next weekend. I will not be there in person, as business and pleasure will be taking me to Chicago, but I will be there in spirit, haunting the place. You can take in all that I mentioned above, and so much more. Just go check it out. Clear your schedule and get in the mood to kick off Halloween season in style. This is the seventh year for ShockaCon, and it’s got the biggest line-up of guests so far.

That’s it for this week’s PopCulteer. Check back for all our regular features.


Forbidden Gallery Returns

The PopCult Comics Bookshelf

Forbidden Gallery #3
edited by William Mull
Writers: Ed Devore, Nicola Cuti Roger McKenzie, Von Grimm, William Mull
Artists: Aileen Oracion, Dærick Gröss Sr, Karl Comedador, Nik Poliwko, Dan Day, Portaveritas, Jeff Austin, Steven Butler
Published by ACP Comics
details for ordering coming soon from ACP Comics

It’s time for another great issue of Forbidden Gallery, a horror comics anthology presented by William Mull and his ACP Comics, and this third edition is still quite the charm. I’m reviewing this from an advance pdf file. Soon you will be able to help fund the printing of hard copies via Kickstarter. As with the previous issues, Mull has assembled a fun and frightening collection of short-form horror tales in the tradition of classic EC comics and TV anthologies like Night Gallery.

This issue also continues the wonderful combination of veteran talents with bright newcomers and creates a perfect comics experience for the Halloween season with five scary short stories , all hosted by Archimedes, the curator of the Forbidden Gallery.

The spotlight is on Archimedes in the opening story, a short sketch of jealousy and ejection, written by Mull with art by Aileen Oracion. It’s a good way to set the tone for the book.

Next up is Scattercrow, in Night of the Long Talons, also written by Mull with terrific art from Karl Comendador (see a sample panel at left). This is essentially a supernatural superhero origin story, and it sets the stage for what will likely be future adventures of the avenging corvid-powered spirit of vengeance.I’m looking forward to seeing more from this character.

Comics vet, Nicola Cuti, writes The Vampire’s Wand, a tale of magic and vampires that packs plenty of twists into its seven pages and still manages to surprise at the end. Nik Poliwko’s art (see a tiny sample below), which I’ve been a fan of since discovering it in The Creeps Magazine, is spectacular, and he’s quickly become a modern master of the short-form horror story.

Turnabout is a story that manages to be cute and gory at the same time. This VooDoo tale of a woman scorned was written by Roger McKenzie, another veteran with impressive credits to his name, and features art by Dan Day, an artist I’ve always enjoyed from whom I have not seen work by for three decades. The story is a good quick thrill, and the art, with a bit of an underground comics vibe, perfectly matches the style of the story.

Wrapping up the stories, we have Necronauts, a horrific sci-fi tale written by Ed DeVore, from a concept by Von Grimm, with stunning artwork by the team of Portaveritas and Jeff Austin (seen left). This is a real gem of speculative fiction that tells the tales of a team of scientists who think they’ve discovered a gateway to the afterlife.

As a bonus we get a couple of great back covers by Steven Butler, whose Mr. Mixit (with writer Roger McKenzie) was one of the highlights of this year’s Charlton Arrow comics.

Forbidden Gallery #3 is a worthy successor to the excellent previous two issues (you can read my reviews of those HERE and HERE, and order them HERE), and I will remind you folks of this once the Kickstarter/preorder for print copies goes live, hopefully any day now.