PopCult Rudy Panucci on Pop Culture

Sunday Evening Videos: Joe Jackson

This week we’re going to look at the work of Joe Jackson (the musician, not the patriarch of the Jackson 5). Jackson began his career as a New Wave sensation, then showed his versatility by braninching out into Swing Music, sophisticated pop, Jazz and Classical music, while maintaining his sense of style and top-notch songwriting skills.

The top clip above shows Jackson performing live with his band in Tokyo in 1986. It’s a killer live show, and shows how big his catalog of terrifec songs had already become over thirty years ago.

The second clip above presents his latest single, “Friend Better,” from his upcoming album, Fool, which will be released later this week. A straight forward toast to friendship, “Friend Better” builds on the assumption that whereas love is fleeting, friendship endures.

Fool, the 20th studio album celebrating the artist’s 40th anniversary, is going to be released as CD Digipak, 1LP+download, Limited 1LP+7inch Vinyl+download (incl. 2 previously unreleased songs) and Digital album on January 18th, 2019 on earMUSIC.

The album was co-produced by Jackson and producer Pat Dillett (David Byrne, Sufjan Stevens, Glen Hansard, etc.) The band in question was the same group that Jackson has played live with ever since the release of “Fast Forward”: Teddy Kumpel on guitar, Doug Yowell on drums, and long-time collaborator Graham Maby on bass (Maby was on that first recording session 40 years ago as well).

Starting February 2019, Jackson and the band will embark on a new world tour, playing shows throughout the US and Europe and performing material drawn off five albums (“Look Sharp (1979)”, “Night And Day (1982)”, “Laughter And Lust (1991)”, “Rain (2008)” and “Fool (2019)”) as well as a couple of songs from other albums and some new covers. The US leg of the tour is largely sold out, but there are still seats available in Washington DC and Richmond, Virginia, on February 9 and 10.

It’s great having new music from Joe Jackson, who in recent years has been splitting time between his music career, and his acting career, which he does under the name “Tilda Swinton.”

Maybe. 🙂


The RFC Flashback: Episode 166

This week we go back to late August, 2012, for the first of three shows devoted to “Tribute To The Troops,” an outdoor show at Saint Albans City Park, produced by Wood Boys Music.  Over the next few weeks we’ll look at some of the top bands of the day, who donated their work for a great cause.

This week we feature HARRAH, Everpulse and In The Company of Wolves (seen right). The show kicks off with Cadence Weaver singing the National Anthem.

In the next two weeks you will see performances from Breedlove, The Under Social, Remains Unnamed, Deck of Fools, Johnny Compton, and Point of Jerus.

You can read the original production notes HERE.

Wrapping Up The Revamped Schedule Notes For The AIR

The PopCulteer
January 11, 2019

I want to thank my readers for indulging me in this week’s series of posts that put the spotlight on our sister internet radio station, The AIR. I fear I’d been neglecting my radio duties for the past two or three months, and I wanted to remind everyone that we’re still going strong.

In fact, you can tune in to The AIR at the website, or listen on this neat little embedded radio player…

Friday will see four hours of new music programming in the afternoon, but first we’ll tell you how we’ve revamped the weekend schedules.

As before, Friday morning continues to lead off with a replay of Prognosis at 7 AM, followed by Word Association with Lee & Rudy at 9 AM. Starting this week, The BS Crazy Show will follow Word Association at 9:30 AM.

This one-hour combo of Word Association and The BS Crazy Show will repeat at 9 PM, for those of you who don’t want to listen to these NSFW programs at work.

At 10 AM The AIR will broadcast The Best of The Real with Mark Wolfe. At 11 AM we’ll bring you two hours of The AIR Music Mix, which this week means two episodes of Beatles Blast.

Then at 1 PM we will debut the week’s new edition of Radio Free Charleston International. I’ll post this week’s playlist below.

3PM sees two new hours of Sydney’s Big Electric Cat (details of this week’s show are below) and that will be followed by two more hours of classic Big Electric Cat, so you can spend your afternoon and early evening jamming to four hours of classic music from the New Wave era.

At 7 PM we bring you the two most recent episodes of Radio Free Charleston, followed by our 9 PM replays of Word Association and The BS Crazy Show, and then at 10 PM a replay of RFC International. Overnight Friday/Saturday will be continue to be  random surprises. The Third Shift is currently on hiatus, but will return to its regular timeslot as soon as Jay and Jerod put the show back into production.

Saturday will kick off with a two-hour block of comedy (starting next week), followed by replays of all of our afternoon music programming in one big block. This will be followed by an hour of The BS Crazy Show at 8 PM, and the newly-combined Empty Glass Presents Live and Local which will run from 9 PM to Midnight. Midnight Saturday, as always, kicks off the overnight marathon of Radio Free Charleston and Radio Free Charleston International.

Sunday Morning will see The Talk Block kick off the day for two hours, beginning at 9 AM. This will incorporate replays of classic episodes of Life Speaks to Michele Zirkle and The Best of The Real with Mark Wolfe, along with other talk programs from The AIR archives. At 11 AM we bring two hours of classic Radio Coolsville with DJ Betty Rock.

Sunday afternoons will bring our music shows: Radio Free Charleston at 1 PM; RFC International at 2 PM; Harrah’s Hard & Heavy at 4 PM and Beatles Blast at 5 PM. Then from 6 PM to Midnight we have a prime-time marathon of Mel Larch’s Curtain Call. And at Midnight, an overnight marathon of The Swing Shift.

I hope you’re enjoying our new episodes, and the plan is to keep dishing them up as long as possible. Now here’s those playlists I promised:

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The Struts “Primadonna Like Me”
Matt Berry “Mr. Green Genes”
The Nice “Little Arabella”
The Winstons “Golden Brown”
Peter Hamill “On Deaf Ears”
Kate Bush ‘Leave It Open”
Roine Stolt “Six Thirty Wake-Up”
The Beatles “Revolution 1”
The Kinks “The Last of The Steam-Powered Trains”
10CC “Under Your Thumb”
Nazareth “Beggers Day/Rose In The Heather”
The Doors “The Unknown Soldier”
Be Bop Deluxe “Sister Seagull”
Paul MacCartney “Who Cares”
The Residents “Still Needy”
Sonic Elements tribute to Yes featuring Marisol Koss and Tony Kaye “Yours Is No Disgrace”
Thumper Monkey “Make Me Young”
Adam Rabin “The Badger Flies At Dawn”
King Crimson “Sleepless”
Renaissance “Mother Russia”
New Nektar “Intermezzo 1”

Radio Free Charleston International is the show where I play whatever I want, and you can hear RFC International Friday at 1 PM, with replays Friday at  10 PM, Saturday afternoon, Sundat at 1 AM and 2 PM and Tuesday at 11 PM, exclusively on The AIR.

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Joe Jackson “Is She Really Going Out With HIm”
Martha And The Muffins “Sinking Land”
ATF “Why Can’t We Be Friends”
Shriekback “Fish Below The Ice”
The Police “Demolition Man”
Frankie Goes To Hollywood “Rage Hard”
Hazel O’Connor “Black Man”
Heaven 17 “Who’ll Stop The Rain”
The Teardrop Explodes “Reward”
Little Nell “Do The Swim”
The Knack “It’s What The Little Girls Do”
Marianne Faithfull “What’s The Hurry?”
Men Without Hats “I Know Their Name”
M “Satisfy Your Lust”
The Stranglers “Duchess”
Television “Marquee Moon”
Flamin’ Groovies “Shack Some Action”
Richard Hell & The Voidoids “Blank Generation”
The Dictators “Seach and Destroy”
Talking Heads “Drugs”
The Crack “My World”
The Abs “Toes Stomped Flat”
Motorhead “Ace of Spades”
The Skids “Into The Valley”
Wire “Outdoor Miner”
The Saints “This Perfect Day”
Penetration “Don’t Dictate”
The Ravyns “Wraparound
Silcon Teens “Let’s Dance

Each week Sydney Fileen brings you two hours of the best music of the New Wave era. Sydney’s Big Electric Cat is produced at Haversham Recording Institute in London, and can be heard on Friday at 3 PM, with replays Saturday afternoon, Tuesday at 7 AM, Wednesday at 8 PM and Thursday at 10AM, exclusively on The AIR.

And that is this week’s PopCulteer. Thanks for reading and please check back for all our regular features. Next week should see the return of The PopCult Bookshelf and The PopCult Toybox, along with news of some upcoming local shows.

Prognosis For The New Year On The AIR

We continue to bring you our new year’s new schedule on The AIR, and Thursday sees a new episode of Prognosis. You can listen at the website, or on this embedded radio player…

Our new Thursday morning sees Psychedelic Shack gaining an addtional replay at 9 AM, followed by a replay of the previous week’s edition of Sydney’s Big Electric Cat at 10 AM and Radio Free Charleston International at Noon. Then at 2 PM we replay this week’s new episode of Radio Free Charleston, before kicking into a brand-new Prognosis at 3 PM.

This week Herman Linte presents two hours of fantastic progressive rock at 3 PM, with a new show featuring music from Pink Floyd, Big Big Train, Frank Zappa and much more. Then at 5 PM, starting this week, we follow that with a classic episode of Prognosis, giving you four solid hours of challenging and progressive music.

This week’s show includes the following:

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Big Big Train “The Transit of Venus Across The Sun”
Emperor Norton “Act III: Arrow”
Davie Steelman “Triplets”
Stone Angel Syndrome “Trans Lunar Express”
The Kentish Spires “Kingdom of Kent”
The Longing “Monsters”
Pink Floyd “High Hopes”
Frank Zappa and the London Symphony Orchestra “Bogus Pomp”
69 Windmills “UFO John”
Skitzo “Mother’s Revenge”
Dead End Space “Rituals”
IT “The Working Man”
Al DiMeola “Michaelangelo’s 7th Child.

Prognosis can be heard every Thursday at 3 PM, with replays Friday at 7 AM, Saturday at 8 AM, Tuesday at 8 PM and Wednesday at 10 PM, exclusively on The AIR. Also tune in Monday at 11 PM for a weekly eight-hour marathon of the best of Prognosis.

Our Thursday evening We continue to let our listeners play catch-up with the week’s new episodes of The Swing Shift, Curtain Call, Beatles Blast and Psychedelic Shack, beginning at 7 PM. At 11 PM we bring you an hour of comedy, then we kick into the all-night marathon of The Swing Shift.

Tomorrow we’ll tell you about new episodes of Radio Free Charleston International, and Sydney’s Big Electric Cat, and we’ll let you know about changes to the weekend programming schedule.

More Show Tunes and Beatles Wednesday On The AIR

The new year brings with it a new schedule on The AIR, and Wednesday brings new episodes of Beatles Blast and Curtain Call. You can listen at the website, or on this embedded radio player…

In the morning, following our regular 7 AM replay of the previous day’s episode of The Swing Shift, we will bring you up to date with Prognosis at 9 AM and Psychedelic Shack at 11 AM.  At noon tune in for Word Association iwth Lee & Rudy, followed by 90 minutes of The AIR Music Mix.  After two-and-a-half years, On The Road with Mel is going on hiatus.  Life Speaks to Michelle Zirkle will relocate to a weekend timeslot, but will return for special new episodes through the week as Michelle’s schedule allows. Beatles Blast will stay where it was, at 2 PM. You can find the playlist for this week’s new Beatles Blast (hosted by Your PopCulteer, himself) at the bottom of this post.

At 3 PM Curtain Call, Mel Larch’s weekly showcase of the best of musical theatre, will expand to three hours, with each week’s new hour followed by two classic replays.

This week Mel’s new hour of show tunes is packed with treats from new shows like The Prom and Here Lies Love and even a few non-Broadway surprises.  Mel also takes note of The Lights of Broadway Show Cards, which I’ve written about here.  Check the playlist:

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“Love Thy Neighbor” from The Prom
“Luck Be A Lady” from 2 AM At The Sands (featuring Andrew Samonsky)
“Swing” by Donna Murphy and company from the 2004 production of Wonderful Town
“The Little Things You Do Together” from Company
“Dreams & Ice Cream” from Ushers
“What A Movie” from Leonard Bernstein’s A Quiet Place (Libretto by Stephen Wadsworth
“A Perfect Hand” from Here Lies Love
“Nowhere To Go But Up” by Angela Lansbury from Mary Poppins Returns
“Metaphor” from Fantastiks
“The Greatest Show” by Pentatonix (from The Greatest Showman Reimagined)
“The Souvenir’s of Second Best” from Lautrec
“Touch Me” from Behind The Iron Mask
“Who Needs The Young” from Bat Out of Hell
“Cheering For Me Now” by Lin Manuel Miranda

Curtain Call can be heard Wednesday at 3 PM, with replays Thursday at 7 AM and 8 PM and Saturday at 6 PM. An all-night marathon of Curtain Call episodes can be heard Wednesday nights, beginning at Midnight.

Prior to that, at 2 PM, Beatles Blast will look at the recent Super Deluxe Edition of The Beatles “White Album” and will present five of the Esher Demos that were NOT recorded and released by the Beatles, followed by the eventualy commercial releases of songs by solo Beatles, or in one case, by a friend of the band that was signed to Apple Records. We wrap of the show with covers of songs from The White Album. Here’s the playlist:

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The Beatles “Revolution 1 (Take 18)”
The Beatles “Circles (Esher Demo)”
George Harrison “Circles”
The Beatles “Junk (Esher Demo)”
Paul McCartney “Junk”
The Beatles “Child of Nature (Esher Demo)”
John Lennon “Jealous Guy”
The Beatles “Not Guilty (Esher Demo)”
George Harrison “Not Guilty”
The Beatles “Sour Milk Sea (Esher Demo)”
Jackie Lomax “Sour Milk Sea”
CSN&Y “Blackbird”
Souixsie and the Banshees “Dear Prudence”
They Might Be Giants “Savoy Truffle”
Greg Hawkes “Goodnight”

The new year brings with it a new schedule on The AIR, and Tuesday brings new episodes of Radio Free Charleston, Psychedelic Shack and The Swing Shift. You can listen at the website, or on this embedded radio player…

While we have revamped our schedule, the new music on Tuesday is pretty much the same as it was. You can still hear the new episode of Radio Free Charleston at 10 AM and 10 PM. Psychedelic Shack will be new at 2 PM. The Swing Shift will be new at 3 PM.

Changes are that the previous week’s edition of Psychedelic Shack will air at 9 AM; The Swing Shift will now occupy a three-hour timeslot from 3 PM to 6 PM, with the new hour followed by two previous shows, and we will present two classic hours of Radio Coolsville, with DJ Betty Rock at 6 PM.

This week Radio Free Charleston presents a bunch of new local music from the likes of Bad Keys of the Mountain, Brooke Brown, John Radcliff and William Matheny, plus we plan to dig back into the archives for one or two classic broadcast-era songs in 2019, since this is our (GASP) thirtieth anniversary year.

Follow the jump for more details and playlist’s for today’s new programs.

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Monday Morning Art: Chinatown Postcard


This week we begin the week with an artistic experiment in mimicry.  Today’s image started out as a photograph taken from the “L” platform at Cermak/Chinatown on the Red Line. You see the entrance to Chinatown, at the intersection of Cermak Road and S. Wentworth Avenue. I wanted to try to give the picture sort of the look of a vintage postcard, and that took a lot of playing with contrast, saturation, tint, and color balance, and then quite a bit of digital painting to give it the look of a colorized image from a century earlier.  I decided not to put in fake tears or weathering on the image. Seemed a bit pointless.

I was very happy with the way the final piece turned out. Every Monday in January we will present another image inspired by a scene from our recent trip to Chicago, but each one will be in a drastically different artistic style.

Meanwhile, over on The AIR, we debut our slightly-remodeled schedule  The Monday Marathon has shrunk from 24 hours to 8. It still kicks off at 7 AM, every Monday, and it still showcases one of our popular music programs, but now it wraps up at 3 PM, to make way for two weekly marathon presentations of the best of two of our regular shows.  At 3 PM you can settle in for eight hours of great New Wave music with Sydney’s Big Electric Cat. Then at 11 PM you can spend you overnights with eight hours of the best Progressive Rock of the last half-century on Prognosis. Today’s Monday Maraston features Nigel Pye with Psychedelic Shack.

Every day this week we will unveil the new programming schedule for that day on The AIR, right here in PopCult, and if all goes according to plan, we should have new episodes of ALL of our music shows this week.

You can listen to The AIR at the website, or on this embedded radio player…

This week we just aim to entertain and confuse with an entire episode of The Hollywood Palace that originally aired October 6, 1966.

This edition of the anthology variety show was hosted by Adam West…in costume as Batman.  In addition to Mr. West’s dulcet tone crooning “The Orange Colored Sky” and “The Summer Wind,” we are also treated to dynamic vocal performances by Ray Charles and The Rayettes, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, and none other than Joey Heatherton!

We also get a pre-hippie George Carlin doing a routine about the American Indian, and novelty acts include a ventriloquist, a high-pole performer, and a slapstick troupe of little people.

The Hollywood Palace was an hour-long variety show from ABC from 1964 to 1970. It was named after its host venue, the one-time Hollwood Palace theater (now known as Avalon Hollywood). On the first season, the “billboard girl,” who would change out the placques with the performer’s name was a then-unknown Racqel Welch.

The show itself unintentionally became a bit of a train-wreck clash between established Hollywood, and the 1960s rock generation. The Rolling Stones made their US television debut on The Hollywood Palace, and were mercilessly mocked by that episode’s host, Dean Martin. Throughout the series, a mix of established stars like Bing Crosby, Jimmy Durante, Louis Armstrong and Ginger Rogers mixed with then-cutting-edge comedians like Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks, Jackie Mason and Shelly Berman, and then-daring rock performers like Janis Joplin, The Hollies, The Cyrkle and Marvin Gaye.

You gotta love a show that lists Martha Raye, Ravi Shankar, The Muppets and Tiny Tim among its roster of guest stars.

Anyway, enjoy this taste of 53-year-old pop culture insanity.

The RFC Flashback: Episode 165

This week we go back to August, 2012 for a special episode of the show that, in reality, takes us all the way back to December, 1989. At the time I called it “my most self-indulgent episode of Radio Free Charleston.” “Wild Adventure Shirt” broke our usual format and used a skit to set up vintage footage of a 1989 concert at the legendary and defunct Charleston Playhouse by the band Clownhole.

Clownhole was a punk trio consisting of drummer Randy Brown, bassist Chris (Flair) Canfield, and Defectors veteran John (Sham Voodoo) Estep. This concert was held during the Christmas season in 1989 and fell into my lap when Randy got in touch with me and put a copy of it in my hands.

This was pure nostalgic glee for me. The Charleston Playhouse, which I’ve written about here in PopCult almost since day one, was a very important place in my life. I met many lifelong friends there and even met the love of my life, “Mrs. PopCulteer,” Melanie Larch, about two weeks after this concert took place.

This episode of the show was a blast, and was made even more fun by the silly improvised host segments featuring me, Mel and my imaginary daughter, Kitty Killton. You can read more about this episode at the original production notes HERE.

As a bonus, the night before this episode went live, I posted a NSFW preview using footage that we left out of this show. You can see Johnny Mac and Sham Voodoo hamming it up on stage below.

Start The Year With Random Images

The PopCulteer
January 4, 2019

The truncated week combined with a sudden influx of interruptions has left your PopCulteer a bit flummoxed this week. As I have been known to do in the past, when faced with adversity and chaos, I elected to punt.

The essay originally scheduled for today will be postponed until next week so that it can be re-written, thought-out a bit better and extensively proofread before seeing print. In its place today I will run a photo essay of random images from the last couple of months of 2018. Many of these are leftover from the early-December trip to Chicago, but others are local and date back to November, when a lot of cool stuff happened while I was compiling the Proust-length 2018 PopCult Gift Guide.

Among the Chicago images you’ll find a few from The Green Mill, the legendary nightclub where your PopCulteer and his wife spent an evening enjoying the sounds of Alan Gresik’s Swing Shift Orchestra. I was so impressed by this genuine Big Band Swing music that I included a tune from that night in the latest video episode of Radio Free Charleston, which debuted last Sunday night and you should go watch RIGHT HERE if you haven’t already. This latest installment of our video show also includes music from Brooke Brown and The Velvet Brothers, and even more of our trademark mind-hurting weirdness.

Each photo will have a caption, and chances are that this week’s PopCulteer will be filled with typos…moreso than usual…because I’m cranking it out in a hurry. The lead image of this post is a Chicago nightscape, as seen from our hotel window.

Hopefully this photo essay will have something for you to enjoy, be it Batman, wrestling, toy news, travel photos or whatever. It’ll help us get this year off to a random and disorganized start!

Mrs PopCulteer was feeling a bit Wagnerian at the Mountain State Pop Expo
Seen at MSPX. This is not the announcement of Richard Ojeda’s presidential campaign.
A sudden power outage happened duiring the final match of the Woody Numbers Memorial Show, put on by IWA East Coast wrestling. The show was finished, illuminated by cellphones held up by the audience. It was freaking amazing.

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