PopCult Rudy Panucci on Pop Culture

Production Notes: Radio Free Charleston

The first Radio Free Charleston of 2007 is online now.  In this episode we have great music from Martyranny’s Collective Pulse and The Concept, plus animation and a puppet show from me brudder, Frank.   We shot the host segments in downtown Charleston on a cold, dreary morning…..and it shows!

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Cool Thing Of The Week: A Show

This week’s cool thing is a local art, music, and social justice show to be held Thursday Night, January 18, at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 520 Kanawha Blvd. West. 

Shannon Murray, a Minnesota singer-songwriter will be performing her socially-aware music as part of her 36 Northeast US tour promoting her new CD, “Elated.”  Shannon is part of the Riotfolk collective, which pledges that they are “Making Folk A Threat Again.”  

Supporting Ms. Murray will be Martyranny’s Collective Pulse, the buskers who perform in front of the library. MCP is fresh from their appearance on the latest episode of Radio Free Charleston, and this is a great way to hear their wonderful music indoors. 

The music portion of the show runs from 7 PM to 9 PM.  At 6:30m artist Amy Williams will have an art show opening, and attendees will be invited to help Amy make “Sadako” cranes for the Charleston Peace Crane Project.   There will also be information tables featuring Friends Of The Mountains, WV Free, and WV Citizens Action Group.   It promises to be a fun and enlightening evening.

If you go: This all ages show takes place from 7 PM to 9 PM (with the art show kicking off earlier) at the United Universalist Congregation, 520 Kanawha Blvd. West.  There will be a sliding scale admission of $2 to $5 (no one will be turned away). 

It’s online now!  You can go see it here.   Our musical guests are Martyranny’s Collective Pulse and The Concept, and we also have animation and a puppet show by my brother, Frank.  Detailed production notes will be posted tonight, after I finish the magazine article on Spider-man 3 that I’m writing. 

Monday Morning Art: Tree Fun

This week’s Monday Morning Art is Tree Fun a digitally-assaulted photograph of my Christmas Tree, which I wrote about last month.  I like the way it looks all oil-painty and crap.

Click the image to enlarge.  Go here to buy overpriced stuff with this image.

Video Time: Gollum Got It Goin’ On

Cool Thing Of The Week: Line Rider

I’ve had a few people ask me about Line Rider,  my pick for favorite videogame in the Gazz 2006 Best Of The Year poll.   How can a free Flash game be better than the ultra-expensive games that you can buy for your even more-ultra-expensive shiny new game consoles?  Well, for one, it’s free, and I’m cheap.  Second, this isn’t really a game.  It’s creator, Boštjan Čadež (also known as *fšk)  calls it a “toy.”  You don’t score points, or beat anybody else.  You just draw a line on your computer screen, and a little dude with a scarf rides his sled down them.  You can make him do tricks, jumps, or you can just let him cruise.  And when you get bored, you can make him wreck, and watch his body slide and bounce around the screen.

It’s addictive.  When *fsk posted his creation at Deviant Art in September, it quickly became an internet phenomenon, with over 140,000 short films based on the game being posted on YouTube.   Follow the links in this article to play it yourself.  You’ll be hooked, and your office productivity will plummet!

Cool Comic: For Better Or For Worse

 Lynn Johnston’s  For Better Or For Worse, carried locally by the Daily Mail, is one of those comic strips that doesn’t get much in the way of critical love.  Yet it’s one of the comics that people seem to read religiously, and it’s one of only five comic strips carried in more than 2,000 newspapers.   That’s why it’s a bit of a surprise that, come September big changes are afoot.  The characters will stop aging, as they have throughout the history of the comic.  They will remain forever the age that they are this year.  And the comic strip will go into what Universal Press Syndicate calls a “hybrid” mode, where new strips will primarily be framing sequences that will set up long periods of “re-runs” of earlier strips from the strip’s 28-year run. 

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Monday Morning Art: Archway

The first Monday Morning Art of the new year is a digitally-assaulted photograph that I call “Archway.”  It’s not actually a photo of an archway.  It’s a photo I took last summer of the levelling of the old Ames store in Dunbar.  I had at it with color manipulation, then mirrored it and came up with what you see. 

As always, click the picture to enlarge (or follow this link, if that doesn’t work) and go here to buy overpriced merchandise with this image.

Song Of The Week: German Beatles

This week, for no reason at all, the Song of the Week is The Beatles, singing “Komm Gib Mir Deine Hand”.  It’s “I Want To Hold Your Hand” sung in German.  Reportedly, it’s a very rough translation, though it appears they got the “Hand” part right.  Listen hard for the insane stereo separation!

Ladies and Gentlemen, The Beatles, in German…..
 “Komm Gib Mir Deine Hand” 

Link courtesy of April Winchell.

 As a total non-sequitur, we have a bonus.  A couple of weeks ago, we tried to bring you an MP3 of Melanie Larch singing “Ave Maria” from the Christmas episode of Radio Free Charleston.  We’re still working out the bugs, but if you want to download a noisy version, taken from one of the cameras, instead of the slick studio-mic rendition heard on the show, go here

Hey! Speaking of audio glitches…..if you clicked on the Beatle song above and heard something that made you imagine Alvin, Simon, and Theodore goose-stepping down the street in full Nazi regalia with Beatle wigs, then you’ve discovered that our “play the song way too fast” glitch isn’t fixed yet.  Go to April Winchell’s page, and then to her “Multimedia” page, scroll down, and you can find her link to “Komm Gib Mir Deine Hand” in the “German Cover Versions” section of her wonderful MP3 collection. Meanwhile, I promise we’ll fix our link as soon as possible…on Monday. 

 Also, Monday afternoon our first “Comic Of The Week” will be posted, with breaking news about the semi-retirement of a beloved comic strip artist, and the fate of that comic strip. 

Videos Of The Week: Spike Jones

For our first PopCult edition of Videos Of The Week, we’re going to look at the work of Spike Jones.   I’m talking about the legendary comedy bandleader, not the music video director who swiped his name, but spells it with a “z.” 

There is a wealth of Spike Jones material on YouTube, and reminded of that fact this morning by this post over on Mark Evanier’s excellent blog, I decided to showcase some of these nifty comic masterpieces in PopCult. 

First up, in honor of the GoodNight performance by “Slide By Slide,” the trombone ensemble who performed at the Riverside Baptist Church on New Year’s Eve, here’s “Flight Of The Bumblebee,” played on a slide trombone:

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