PopCult Rudy Panucci on Pop Culture

MEGO DETAILS REVEALED!

The PopCult Toybox

MEGO, the classic toy company from the 1970s announced its return last month, already delaying the full details once, and now we know more about what they’re releasing, where and when.

Target will be the exclusive retailer for the first year, and among the figures they’re releasing will be Star Trek, Action Jackson, Joe Namath, all of which were released back in the day by MEGO. New additions to the line include “The Brady Bunch,” “Cheers,” “I Dream of Jeannie”(seen right) and “Married with Children.” The line will feature 8-inch figures, 14-inch figures, and 8-inch figure 2-pack dioramas. Collectors can also look for the first 14-inch figure unveiled so far, which is Harley Quinn, from Batman The Animated Series.

It looks like Target is going after the nostalgia market, with MEGO maybe replacing Funko Pops, as those stylized figures seem to be rapidly falling out of favor with casual collectors. It will cool to find out what the additional figures in the line are. The suggested retail price is fantastic news for collectors, and this revitalized line has a lot of potential.

Target’s exclusive line of Mego collectibles will be available in stores and online July 29 at prices ranging from $14.99 to $29.99. More details will be available next week at San Diego Comic Con International, where the figures will initially go on sale. We’ll bring you the news as soon as possible, and it’s likely that MegoMuseum will scoop us. They broke this news just before us.

Another Wednesday has arrived, and with it, more cool programming on The AIR! Tune in to the website, or on the embedded player below for the lastest editions of Life Speaks to Michele Zirkle, and Curtain Call plus some other surprises on our new schedule…

We have a new normal for our midweek. Our new morning line-up on Wednesday’s begins with The Swing Shift at 7 AM, followed by Prognosis at 9 AM, Psychedelic Shack at 11 AM and an encore of a previous week’s Curtain Call at Noon.  We are re-presenting classic episodes of On The Road with Mel at 1 PM.

At 1;30 PM, Life Speaks to Michele Zirkle presents her interview last week fromThe Mr. Phil Show. Mr. Phil hosts a long-running public access program from Port Jervis, New York, and last week Michele appeared on the show to discuss her book, Rain No Evil, her experiences with the paranormal and her work with Reiki Healing and life-coaching.

Life Speaks to Michele Zirkle can be heard Wednesday at 1:30 PM and 7 PM, with replays on The AIR Friday at 9:30 AM and Sunday at 7 PM.

At 2 PM Beatles Blast presents an hour of the longest songs that the Beatles recorded, together and solo. Beatles Blast can be heard Wednesday at 2 PM, Thursday at 11 AM and 9 PM, Friday at 5 PM, and Tuesday at 9 AM.

At 3 PM Wednesday on Curtain Call Mel Larch presents a show that combines the musicals 1776 and American Idiot into a surprising new combination.

Curtain Call debuts 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.

At 7:30 PM, we have gone into the AIR Archives and unearthed the missing seven episodes of Word Association with Lee and Rudy. These shows were misplaced on a stray hard drive and have not been heard in more than two years. We’ll bring them to you over the next seven weeks, and hopefully follow these with some new shows. This week you can hear Lee Harrah and Rudy Panucci in the first-part of a two-part discussion of Saturday Morning Cartoons.  Word Association with Lee and Rudy replays Friday mornings at 9 AM.

Stay tuned all day, every day, for incredible music, thought-provoking talk and gut-busting comedy exclusively on The AIR. And check out the full schedule below, including our revamped evening programming…

Tuesday always brings you local music and other goodies like Swing and Psychedelica on The AIR. This week, something came up that prevented us from recording a new episode of Radio Free Charleston, but I think we more than made up for it. You can tune in at The AIR website, or listen in on this sweet little embedded radio player…

Today at 10 AM we are bringing you four episodes of Radio Free Charleston from January, 2017. These have been offline for over a year, and we’ll post a combined playlist for all four at the bottom of this post, after the jump. At 10 PM we’ll replay the first three of these, and bump RFC International from it’s normal replay spot for a week. These four shows include such incredible local musical acts as Deni Bonet, The Company Stores, Ann Magnuson, Karma To Burn, Lady D, Chuck Biel, Mother Nang, QiET, Stark Raven and many, many others.

Radio Free Charleston can be heard Tuesday at 10 AM and 10 PM, with replays Thursday at 2 PM, Friday at 8 PM and Saturday at 11 AM and Midnight, exclusively on The AIR.

At 2 PM it’s time for Nigel Pye and his psychedelic mixtape program, Psychedelic Shack.

3 PM sees a new hour of The Swing Shift, and you’ll find the playlist for that show below the RFC playlist at the bottom of this post. We open this week’s show with a cut from Jack’s Cats Swing sextet because Jack Malmstrom, the proprietor of said cats, left us a nice comment on last week’s show notes. Plus, they are a swingin’ bunch of folks. If you’re on the Left Coast, you can catch them in August and September at various gigs in Los Angeles and Pasedena. Visit their website for more information.

You can hear The Swing Shift Tuesday at 3 PM, with replays Wednesday at 7 AM, Thursday at 7 PM and Saturday at 9 AM, only on The AIR. You can also hear all-night marathons, seven hours each, starting at Midnight Thursday and Sunday evenings.

Remember, you can tune in to The AIR at all hours of the day and night for a variety and quality of programming that you will not find anywhere else.

Continue reading…

Monday Morning Art: Fluid Sky

 

Another in this month’s series of semi-abstract works, Fluid Sky is a sort of skyscape with a lawnish thing in the foreground. It started out as just a splash of colors, and perhaps should best be considered as that. As always, click the image to see it bigger.

Monday on or sister internet radio station, The AIR, our Monday Marathon presents 24 hours of Beatles music and documentaries with Beatles Blast, beginning at 7 AM and running through Tuesday morning. You can tune in at the website, or listen on this handy embedded player…

Sunday Evening Video: Steve Ditko

Instead of our usual Sunday Evening Video this week, I am linking back to a post from April, where I posted two videos, one dedicated to the late Jack Kirby, and one dedicated to Steve Ditko, whose death was made public last Friday.

You can find that original post right HERE.

In that post, I mentioned that I feel that Stan Lee is given too much credit as the co-creator of Spider-man, Dr. Strange, and the rest of the Marvel Universe. Lee deserves all the credit in the world for hiring some remarkable talents and largely turning them loose to create. What bothers me is that Lee claimed credit as the “writer,” when most of what he did could best be considered editing.

Lee would provide a brief spark or idea, but at the creative peak of Marvel, in the mid-1960s, it’s questionable that he was even doing that much. Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko were essentially turning in completed stories, which would then be edited by Lee, who would finalize the dialogue, sometimes for the better, oftentimes departing from the artist’s intentions.

Ditko walked away from Marvel, most likely due to his frustration over Lee taking so much credit for his work.

We can’t say for sure, because Ditko never expressly confirmed this idea (though it’s fairly obvious if you read all his essays on the matter), and Lee swears he didn’t see Ditko’s exit coming and has no idea why he abandoned his creations.

With Ditko’s passing, it’s important to make sure that the man receives proper credit for his work. He ranks among the most influential artists and writers in the history of comics, and deserves to be recognized as such.

Below I’m posting a video that presents a pretty decent recap of Ditko’s work, and how it spoke for the man, since he chose not to speak for himself. Rather than post a photo of the man, because to be honest, there aren’t many, I’ve included some of my favorite examples of his work. You can order his more recent work HERE.

Your PopCulteer had a wonderful time last night at the Clay Center in Charleston for the first show in three years by US Floyd, Charleston’s own Pink Floyd tribute band.

The evening delivered everything that a fan could ask for in a Pink Floyd tribute. The laser show was phenomenal, the films projected above the drums were note-perfect and the band, ten musicians in all, did a spectacular job of re-creating the music of one of the most successful bands of all time. It was a triumphant return for this group of top-flight performers.

There was not one weak link, as all the gears were working perfectly. I’m not going to single out any one musician because they were all just amazing. There were no signs of stage rust after the long hiatus due to their drummer’s health issues. The band I saw last night was a well-oiled machine that sounded like they’d been on the road for months. The perfectly served the music of Pink Floyd to a very appreciative audience.

It was just a pleasure to watch the show on so many levels. The band absolutely killed it. The crowd loved it. The entire evening was just an exhilerating joy.

It was also great seeing a local band nearly sell out the Clay Center. This may well have been the highest-grossing show by a local band in years. The fact is, US Floyd just happens to be local. That caliber of show could sell out any hall in any city in the country.

On a personal note, it was great getting out to what was just my second local show this year. I’m still adjusting to living with Myasthenia Gravis (even though I was diagnosed two years ago), and I’m still not up to marathon recording sessions at local bars because I simply can’t stay awake to catch a band that doesn’t go on until after 11 PM. It was fantastic to see a great band, sit in a comfortable seat in an air-conditioned hall and not have to wait until after midnight for the headliner to perform. It was also great to attend the show as a “civilian.” I was not recording video or audio, and was just able to enjoy the show without any pressure. I hadn’t even intended to post a review, but the show was so good I felt the need to tell my readers about it.

And enjoy it I did. I hope US Floyd plays around here again soon. If you get a chance to see them, you really ought to.

PopCult Note: Because I attended this show, PopCult’s Sunday Evening Video will be delayed, since I didn’t write it in advance. Expect it later today.

The RFC Flashback: Episode 142

Dating back to August, 2011, and positioned strategically at the head of this post, you should see this week’s vintage episode of Radio Free Charleston. Our 142nd installment was called “It’s Just A Flesh Wound Shirt.” Our music this week was by InFormation, The Renfields, and the Charleston Light Opera Guild cast of “Hairspray”. In addition, this episode features a quick look at Dan Kehde’s then-new play “Cupid Falling/Cupid Rising,” a short film by K.D. Lett, and animation by Frank Panucci.

This was our first episode back after taking off most of July. We’d produced a 70-minute anniversary show, right on the heels of cranking out eight episodes of FestivAll coverage in two weeks, and needed a break. We came back strong, with a show that combined great live music, and our friends The Renfields making their RFC debut, with a healthy dose of theatre, film and animation in the mix. Anfter busting our asses the the prior shows, it was a relief to get back to a “normal” episode.

Notes From The War Zone

The PopCulteer
July 6, 2018

I realize that this is the one week where you’re not supposed to complain about fireworks. But I’m gonna.

Back in 2016 West Virginia legalized the almost unlimited use of fireworks by any citizen. There was no great hue and cry for this. The majority of people didn’t care enough about the issue to object, and the ALEC-afflicted legislature would not do anything else to possibly raise revenue by increasing taxes, so the bill passed on a 96-0 vote, and was signed into law by Governor Tomblin.

A poison pill to keep this law from being repealed pledged 75% of the funds to veterans and the remainder to local fire departments. This cynical move was partially to cover up the politically-connected people who stood to make the real money on this law.

In typical West Virginia political fashion, it’s a safe bet that companies controlled by spouses or siblings of legislators own a good number of those fireworks tents that spring up like weeds on every paved lot in the area in the spring.

Now, after two years of local neighborhoods sounding like war zones from May to December, legalized fireworks are seen as a scourge by the vast majority of voters. If they put a referendum on the ballot in November, I have no doubt that the law would be repealed in a landslide.I have never heard more hostility coming from otherwise peaceful people than I have when listening to the complaints about morons with fireworks. We really need to reverse this wretched decision.

But our current legislature would never let that happen. Veterans groups, who theoretically get most of the money from the 12% tax on fireworks, would be caught between supporting a source of revenue, or representing the interests of Veterans who suffer from PTSD.

Pet owners would come out in full force to criminalize fireworks again. People who simply want some peace and quiet–a vast majority–want this plague gone.

I grew out of any desire to blow stuff up by the time I hit puberty. I have to wonder if some of the attraction people have to fireworks is the phallic shape of most explosives sold in those tents. There are an awful lot of dildo-looking fireworks out there. Makes you wonder what kind of twisted, repressed sexuality is behind all this stuff.

If you asked people this week to name the biggest problem facing this state, chances are that legal fireworks might edge out opiods or Hep-A. In a state that bristles under the label “most miserable,” fireworks have raise the misery levels in this state tenfold. This was legislation by trial and error, and the error is so obvious now that something has to be done to correct this awful mistake. West Virginia cannot afford to further degrade the quality of life here.

However, it’s not kosher to propose a change and a loss of tax revenue without offering up a solution to the lost fireworks tax monies. So how about we re-outlaw fireworks, and at the same time we legalize recreational marijuana?

Just think, we could slap a 30% tax on it. Dedicate half of it to the veterans and fire departments and use the rest to finance a revitalized tourism agency. You know it’ll bring in way more money than fireworks, which are only sold to the small portion of our population that thinks spending money on things that burn and blow up fast is a good idea.

And the folks who are currently bespoiling the lives of their neighbors by setting off fireworks all the time (even in the daylight–the idiots)? Hand ’em a joint and tell them to rub their eyes–it’ll give them the same effect without pestering everybody else, and they’ll still get to spend their money on stuff that they can burn for moments of fleeting joy.

That’s my modest proposal. If the legislators bitch about their families losing their fireworks tent income, let them set up pot tents. I’d rather see this state look like a Grateful Dead festival than a war zone.

YES with Trever Horn on Prognosis Thursday

Things get mixed up Thursday on The AIR, as we move our Progressive Rock showcase, Prognosis, from Monday to Thursday at 3 PM.  Tune in at The AIR, or listen on this embedded player thingy…

With Mondays now occupied with our Monday Marathon, Prognosis needed a new timeslot, so we moved it to Thursday. Fans of Radio Free Charleston International should not despair. The show where yours truly gets to play whatever he wants will now be heard Friday afternoons at 1 PM.

To celebrate the move, we have a special episode of Prognosis that presents the music of YES with Trevor Horn on lead vocals. We’ll bring you tracks from the 1980 album, Drama, plus the recently-released Fly From Here Return Trip, where Trevor Horn re-recorded the vocals for this album, which originally came out seven years ago with Benoit David’s voice in the lead spot. Since the music was largely co-written by Horn back in the Drama days, and he produced the album, this wasn’t that much of a stretch.  We also have some bonus tracks from the Drama reissue that fill in the gaps between the two albums.

Prognosis can now be heard Thursday at 3 PM, with replays Friday at 7 AM, Saturday 1 PM, Tuesday at 8 PM and Wednesday at 9 AM and 10 PM.

We continue to shake up the schedule here at The AIR. Keep checking PopCult for the latest details on our new line-up and special surprises we have planned.

The Fourth of July means NEW STUFF on The AIR! Tune in to the website, or on the embedded player below for the lastest editions of Life Speaks to Michele Zirkle, Curtain Call and a newly-tweaked schedule…

We have a few new entries on our schedule today, along with our returning favorites. Our new morning line-up on Wednesday’s begins with The Swing Shift at 7 AM, followed by Prognosis at 9 AM, Psychedelic Shack at 11 AM and an encore of a previous week’s Curtain Call at Noon.  We are re-presenting On The Road with Mel at 1 PM.

At 1;30 PM, Life Speaks to Michele Zirkle: Is a special episode devoted a meditation Michele created for the Salt Cave in Ohio. A follow-up to last week’s show, this half-hour will soothe you and lead you to find your angels to help you on your path to enlightenment. Michele’s path is taking her to New York City later this week, and she will present an interview with Mr. Phil on a future broadcast.

Life Speaks to Michele Zirkle can be heard Wednesday at 1:30 PM and 7 PM, with replays on The AIR Friday at 9:30 AM and Sunday at 7 PM.

At 2 PM Beatles Blast presents an hour of some of the worst covers of Beatles songs ever committed against humanity. Beatles Blast can be heard Wednesday at 2 PM, Thursday at 11 AM and 9 PM, Friday at 5 PM, and Tuesday at 9 AM.

At 3 PM Wednesday on Curtain Call Mel Larch presents two brand new shows. First you’ll hear Mel introduce highlights from the Broadway Musical based on Green Day’s American Idiot. After that, you’ll hear the original Broadway cast album of 1776. It’s Mel’s way of marking the holiday in non-traditional and traditional ways.

Curtain Call debuts Wednesday at 3 PM, with replays Thursday at 7 AM and 8 PM and Saturday at 6 PM.

Stay tuned all day, every day, for incredible music, thought-provoking talk and gut-busting comedy exclusively on The AIR. And check out the full schedule below, including our revamped evening programming…