Rudy Panucci On Pop Culture

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Toy Ventures Magazine Of The Third Kind

It seems like only yesterday that I was telling you about a new magazine devoted to vintage toys, and now Plaid Stallions has released the third issue of Toy Ventures. I’ve had mine for a few days but just did get the chance to crack it open, and it is an absolute treat.

The cover feature is about Action Man’s early 1980s space nemesis, Captain Zargon. This was a UK toy that I didn’t find out about until I was an adult, and it’s cool to get more details on this alien menace that’s fun for kids of all ages.

We are also treated to articles on Japanese Evel Knievel toys, Space: 1999 figures from Palitoy,  MEGO’s overseas partner, a comprehensive guide to the artwork used on MEGO superhero packaging, plus a heavily-illustrated guide to Lincoln International’s 1970s Monster figures. Rounding out the issue is an interview with John “Toyzilla” Marshall, a longtime writer who covered toys and pop culture and who was no small influence on yours truly.

Brian Heiler has done another amazing job on this issue, and you can order Toy Ventures #3, and find bundles of it with previous issues HERE, or you can snag it from eBay, if you are so inclined. While supplies last, a free iron-on transfer of Captain Zargon will be included at no extra charge! Hurry, becuase supplies are running low.

It is so great to have a new magazine devoted to vintage toys. I can’t wait until the next issue.

A Double-Dip Into The Radio Free Charleston Archives

Your PopCulteer is neck-deep in paying work at the moment, so we’re presenting a special episode of RFC this week that isn’t too labor-intensive. You can listen to The AIR at the website, or on the embedded radio player at the top of the right-hand column of this blog.

This week I have repackaged three of the latter-day, one-hour episodes of Radio Free Charleston Volume Four into one three-hour powerhouse episode of RFC V5. These shows, which aired in August and October, 2019, all feature live recordings of bands that were made for the RFC video show between 2009 and 2012. They’ve been off the servers for well over a year, but if you want to be picky about it, there are video versions of these shows floating around YouTube, thanks to a brief experiment with posting the radio programs there.

With all of our other music specialty shows in reruns today, I wanted to give you something new-ish. Tune in at 10 AM and 10 PM for this collection of live, local music.

Hour one brings you audio taken from raw video of two bands, Ovada and Mother Nang. recorded live at The Empty Glass in Charleston, WV.

Ovada was recorded in May, 2009, while Mother Nang was recorded one year later, in May, 2010. This is raw audio taken from one camera angle that we shot for the RFC video show. These files were thought lost in a hard drive crash years ago, but we recentl;y discovered a treasure trove of them tucked away on a backup disc. Much of this music has not been heard since it was recorded.

The audio quality is a little rough, and I left in the between-song banter, to give you an idea of what it was like to actually be there.

Mother Nang, of course, is Spencer Elliott, Brian Young, Jay Lukens and Deron Sodaro, and while they don’t perform together regularly these days, they remain friends and a reunion is always possible.  Ovada, on the other hand was led by the late Joseph Hale. When we recorded them, Joseph as billing himself as “Joseph Hellmouth,” and he was backed up by our old friend John Radcliff, plus Joe Rita and Cliff Boyd. It’s cool to help keep Joseph’s music alive.

Hour two is the first half of a pair of episodes devoted to a 2012 concert, put on by Wood Boys Music. This hour goes back into our video vaults for the first of two hours that bring you highlights of the Tribute To The Troops II show, held at Saint Albans City Park back in the summer of 2012. Some of these songs were heard on a three-part series on the RFC video show, while others are being heard here for the first time. This week we bring you performances by HARRAH, Deck of Fools, The Under Social, Remains Unnamed, Candace Weaver, Breedlove,
Point of Jerus and Johnny Compton.

Hour three dives back into our video vaults for the second of two hours that bring you highlights of the Tribute To The Troops II benefit show.  Some of these songs were also heard on a three-part series on the RFC video show, while others are being heard here for the first time. This hour we bring you performances by Everpulse and Point of Jerus. For some reason we had audio recordings of two entire sets by these bands, so we gave them the last hour of our live music retrospective.

I did not take the time to go back and re-edit the announcing for the original shows, so there may be topical on nonsensible references. Just ignore most of what I say and enjoy the music…which, to be fair, is probably good advice for every episode of Radio Free Charleston.

You can hear this episode of Radio Free Charleston Tuesday at 10 AM and 10 PM on The AIR, with replays Thursday at 3 PM, Friday at 9 AM and 7 PM, Saturday at Noon and Midnight, and the next Monday at 11 AM, exclusively on The AIR.

I’m also going to  embed a low-fi, mono version of this show right in this post, right here so you can listen on demand.


Psychedelic Shack Joins Prognosis On Mondays

We are changing things up with the Monday schedule on The AIR this week.  Psychedelic Shack, which has been sharing its Tuesday timeslot with NOISE BRIGADE for over a year now, returns to weekly status and moves to Monday as the lead-in to Prognosis. The Monday Marathon moves to a nighttime spot, and we’re switching stuff around all over the place. You can listen to The AIR at the website, or on the embedded radio player at the top of the right-hand column of this blog.

With our Haversham Recording Institute shows back in production in London,  we have decided to move Nigel Pye’s Psychedelic Shack to Monday at 2 PM, right before Herman Linte’s Prognosis.  The shows compliment each other well, and Nigel has even guest-hosted Prognosis in the past.

Starting today, We’ll have our usual replay of last Friday’s new Big Electric Cat at 7 AM. That will be followed a replay of MIRRORBALL at 9 AM, Curtain Call at 10 AM and Radio Free Charleston at 11 AM.

Then at 2 PM we debut a new episode of Nigel Pye’s Psychedelic Shack, bringing you the trippiest music on the planet. This showcase of psychedelc music moves to Mondays going forward. In the old Tuesday Timeslot, Steven Allen Adams’ NOISE BRIGADE will now alternate weeks with classic episodes of Dexter Checkers’ Ska Madness. Nigel has a pretty wild show for us this week, just look…

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Dukes of Stratosphear “25 O’Clock”
Josefus “Dead Man”
T2 “No More White Horses”
Room “Cemetery Junction”
Fun Of It “Bluesy Death”
Redbone “Chant: 13th Hour”
Troyka “Early6 Morning:

Psychedelic Shack can now be heard every Monday at 2 PM, with a lot of replays throughout the week. We haven’t settled on exactly when, but we will keep you posted.

Stick around, because we have Herman Linte and Prognosis with an ALL NEW episode at 3 PM. This is a killer show, just check out the playlist…

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Steven Wilson “Eminent Sleaze”
Transatlantic “The World We Used To Know”
Guranfoe “Night’s First Light”
Evership “Isle of the Broken Trees”
John Frusciante “Pleasure Explanation”
Marc Almond “The Stars We Are”
Jethro Tull “Black Satin Dancer”
Liquid Tension Experiment “Key to the Imagination”
Simon Collins “I Will Be Waiting”
Tears For Fears “Power”
Panoply “Five Steps To Nowhere”
Touch “Swan Song”
Rick Wakeman “The Prisoner”
Pallas “Ark of Infinity”
Moana “Smoke That Mirrors”
Steve Hillage “Water Trip”

Due to the lockdown in the UK, the Haversham Recording Institute programs has been in rerun mode Since February, and it’s a treat to have them back..

You can hear Prognosis on The AIR Monday at 3 PM, with replays Tuesday at 7 AM, Wednesday at 8 PM, Thursday at Noon, Saturday at 10 AM and a double-shot of classic episodes Sunday at 2 PM.

And if you enjoyed The Monday Marathon, stick around because at 7 PM it kicks off with 12 full hours of Beatles Blast, to celebrate its new evening and overnight timeslot. The Haversham overnight marathon will now move to Sunday morning and afternoons.

Monday Morning Art: Wood Nymph


Our art this week is a quick watercolor sketch, trying out some new paper. It’s about ten by ten inches, and I was basically just doodling to see how the paper worked with the paint. The piece itself is just a study in figure, form and composition, with some blotchy attempts at color gradients.  My fingers are working better again, and this is just part of my continual effort to relearn how to use them.

Click the image to see a larger version.

Look for an additional post in PopCult later this morning for news on our programming on The AIR.


Sunday Evening Video: RFC Goes Hi-Def

Up above you see Radio Free Charleston 126, “Purple Batman shirt.” This episode features music from WhiteChapel District, the duo of Chad Foss and Sean Sydnor, and a trailer for “Zombie Babies,” Eamon Hardiman’s latest motion picture. I hosted this episode in front of Jeff Pierson’s East End mural.  This was our first show uploaded in Hi-Def, and it went live ten years ago today.

One of the pitfalls of getting older is the way that time seems to fly by faster. It seems like yesterday that I made the decision to take our little no-budget local music video show into HD, and now the cameras I bought for that purpose are considered antiques. You can read the original production notes HERE.

Dance To Disco Or New Wave Friday On The AIR

The PopCulteer
April 9, 2021

Friday afternoon we offer up new episodes of MIRRORBALL and Sydney’s Big Electric Cat. The AIR is PopCult’s sister radio station. You can hear these shows on The AIR website, or just click on the embedded player at the top right column of this blog.

At 2 PM, Mel Larch uncorks a new MIRRORBALL! The AIR’s showcase of classic Disco music presents a collection of the Disco hits of the Brothers Gibb, as Mel salutes the most unexpected hit machine of the Disco era, The Bee Gees. Just check the playlist for this bodacious bit of boogeymania…


The Bee Gees
“Stayin’ Alive”
“If I Can’t Have You”
“Night Fever”
“Jive Talkin'”
“How Deep Is Your Love”
“Warm Ride”
“More Than A Woman”
“Wind of Change”
“Love You Inside Out”
“You Win Again”
“Grease” (with Frankie Valli)
“Emotion” (with Samantha Sang)
Nights On Broadway”
“You Should Be Dancing”

You can hear MIRRORBALL every Friday at 2 PM, with replays Saturday at  Midnight and 9 PM, Sunday at 11 PM, Tuesday at 1 PM and Wednesday at 7 PM, exclusively on The AIR.

At 3 PM, Sydney Fileen graces us with the first new episode of Sydney’s Big Electric Cat since the latest UK lockdown began a few months ago.  This time around, Sydney is so happy that she wants to dance, and that means we get the third Big Electric Cat mixtape of New Wave 12″ extended remixes. Peruse this here playlist for a preview…

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Men Without Hats “Safety Dance”
Scritti Politti “Wood Beez”
New Order “Blue Monday”
Nena “99 Red Balloons”
Heaven 17 “Temptation”
Dead Or Alive “You Spin Me Round”
Bananarama “Love In The First Degree”
Soft Cell “Torch”
Frankie Goes To Hollywood “Two Tribes”
Dollar “Hand Held In Black And White”
Duran Duran “The Reflex”
Howard Jones “New Song”
Propaganda “Duel”
Ultravox “Loves Great Adventure”
Yello “The Race”
Tears For Fears “Shout”
The Communards with Sarah Jane Morris “Don’t Leave Me This Way”
The Specials “Ghost Town”

Sydney’s Big Electric Cat is produced at Haversham Recording Institute in London, and can be heard every Friday at 3 PM, with replays Saturday afternoon, Monday at 7 AM, Tuesday at 8 PM, Wednesday at Noon and Thursday at 10 AM, exclusively on The AIR.

Details are not settled yet, but next week I plan to tweak the replay schedule on The AIR, so stay tuned for details on that.

That’s what’s on The AIR Friday, and that is this week’s PopCulteer. Check back because we have a fresh post every day. Does A Run-in With A Magazine

Longtime PopCult readers probably know that I enjoy watching professional wrestling. I don’t write about it a lot here, because it’s something I watch to get my mind off of work, and I don’t want to turn it into work. I do cover it occasionally, since it is such a big part of pop culture.

Since I got hooked back in 1998 while watching RAW so I’d know what action figures I was writing about for Toy Trader Magazine,  I’ve enjoyed the world of scripted athletics and, especially over the last few years, I enjoy following the business end of things and I really like to follow some of the deep inside goings-on in the industry.

There are some great news sources for this, predominantly Dave Meltzer and Wade Keller, but recently has emerged as their equal, with a well-assembled team of younger reporters and correspondents who do an amazing job keeping track of and sorting out the news, rumors, speculation and revelations of the sport.

Canadian web entrepreneur Jimmy Van owns the site, and he made a very wise choice picking Sean Ross Sapp to be his editor-in-chief. The charismatic Sapp has assembled a very talented team of writers and podcast hosts like Jeremy Lambert, Denise Salcedo, Robert DeFelice and others, and they put out a great product, covering a business that now requires almost constant supervision, with fresh major wrestling shows to report on happening every day of the week, all year long.

The explosion in wrestling lately has made it nearly impossible for one person to monitor every wrestling show that has a national cable outlet, and that doesn’t take into account the many YouTube based shows, indie shows, international feds and programming on streaming services.

For example, Pluto.TV now has three entire 24/7 channels dedicated to professional wrestling, and they don’t have WWE or AEW.

Fightful does a tremendous job covering all this stuff, and even covers MMA, which I don’t keep up with myself. It’s great that Fightful covers it, but there are only so many hours in a day.

The point is, is a terrific source for all your wrestling news, with articles, podcasts, plus they offer exclusive features on their Fightful Select subscription service, to which I will subscribe as soon as they go independent from Patreon (I bailed on Patreon over a billing dispute a few years back, and just don’t trust the service any longer).

Now, I’m not just kissing Fightful’s butt for the sake of plugging them, not that there’s anything wrong with that, but this week–just in time for Wrestlemania– Fightful debuted the first issue of Fightful Magazine. The first issue is digital only, and it’s a mere five bucks for an instant download. Luckily for us old folks, future issues will also be available in print form.

The premiere issue is a fun, 45-page affair, loaded with informative articles which are not so topical as to be rendered useless by the website. There is no “breaking news” here, just great and informative wrestling journalism.

There’s a terrific profile on Charlotte Flair, written by Molly Belle. Brandon Thurston, from Wrestlenomics Radio, offers an in-depth look at WWE’s potential future TV rights prospects. Taeler Hendrix offers up a profile of Taya Valkarie, who is likely to turn up in NXT next week as “Franky Monet” Jimmy Van, himself, turns in a really cool article about a rare Sgt. Slaughter action figure prototype.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Fightful Magazine is a fun and informative treat for die-hard wrestling fans, and I look forward to being able to purchase print copies in the future. It’s cool to see something new coming to print media, and also great to see Fightful covering deeper topics than they get to explore during their regular week of posting scoops and hot news.

You can order the first issue of Fightful Magazine HERE, and if you’re not feuding with Patreon, sign up for Fightful Select HERE.

Pepperland Triumphant on The AIR Wednesday

Wednesday afternoon The AIR brings you a brand-new episode of Beatles Blast! You can listen at The AIR Website, or on the nifty little player over in the right-hand column of this here blog.

At 2 PM, your humble blogger pays tribute to one of the most influential things in his life, The Beatles’s Yellow Submarine, or a special mixtape episode of Beatles Blast. For nearly the full hour I bring you songs featured in the classic animated movie, either in alternate versions by The Fab Four, or in cover versions by a variety of different artists. For good measure, I also toss in a few of Sir George Martin’s orchestral scroe tracks.

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Yellow Submarine Mixtape

The Beatles “Yellow Submarine (Rockband Remix)”
Andy Timmons Band “Lucy In The Sky with Diamonds”
Jamie Hoover “Only A Northern Song”
Greg Hawkes “Eleanor Rigby”
Paul Westerberg “Nowhere Man”
Journey “It’s All Too Much”
Kula Shaker “Baby You’re A Rich Man”
Courtney Pine Quartet “When I’m Sixty Four”
Oasis “All You Need Is Love”
Alice Cooper/Steve Vai “Hey Bulldog”
Sting “A Day In The Life”
George Martin “Sea of Monsters”
Paul McCartney “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band/The End”
Wet Wet Wet “With A Little Help From My Friends”
George Martin “Pepperland Laid Waste”
Younder Mountain String Band “Think For Yourself”
The Beatles “Love You Too”
The Beatles “All Together Now”

Beatles Blast can be heard every Wednesday at 2 PM, with replays Thursday at 10 PM, Friday at 1 PM, Saturday afternoon, and the following Tuesday at 9 AM.

At 3 PM we bring you two encore episodes of Curtain Call that focus on Jukebox Musicals.

Curtain Call can be heard on The AIR Wednesday at 3 PM, with replays Thursday at 8 AM and 9 PM, and Saturday at 8 PM. A six-hour marathon of classic episodes can be heard Sunday evening starting at 6 PM, and an all-night marathon of Curtain Call episodes can be heard Wednesday nights, beginning at Midnight.

Radio Free Charleston, Psychedelic Shack and The Swing Shift All-New Tuesday!

Tuesday on The AIR for the first time in months, we deliver brand-new episodes of Radio Free Charleston, Psychedelic Shack and The Swing Shift. It’s an Easter resurrection that lets you still support the local scene (and the stoner scene and the Swing scene) here on The AIR.  You simply have to move your cursor over and tune in at the website, or you could just stay on this page, and  listen to the cool embedded player over at the top of the right column.

We have a newish Radio Free Charleston at 10 AM and 10 PM Tuesday.  This week we open with the new single from Jim Lange, and bring you one all-new hour of RFC, and one encore of an early RFC International from five years ago. Your PopCulteer has doctor visits this week, and room had to be made in our schedule for that.  We do manage to bring you some killer new and vintage local and indpendent music in our first hour.

After the first hour of RFC, stick around because the second hour revives an old Radio Free Charleston International from 2016, which hasn’t been heard by human ears in almost five years. I implore you to use your human ears to give it a listen. The second and third hours are packed with killer semi-obscure, yet very cool music.

Check out the playlist to see all the goodies we bring you this week…

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Jim Lange “A Casual Waltz”
John Radcliff “Down”
Frenchy and The Punk “Bringin’ Out The Dead (Edward Gorey Seance)”
All Torches Lit “Mirrored Sky”
mediogres “Witch Sauce”
Boldly Go “Andorian Girl”
Strawfyssh “Netted Fish”
Lady D “Another Freedom Song”
Douglas Imbrogno “Better Day”
Crystal Bright and the Silver Hands “Adungu”
Mark Beckner “Little Mary Sunshine”
In The Company of Wolves “Forgot To Wait”
Tautologic “Memo To Yourself”
The Settlement “Recognize”

hour two
Iggy Pop “American Valhalla”
Wendy James “Situation Normal at Surfrider”
Avantasia “Mystery of a Blood Red Rose”
Leaf Hound “Growers of Mushroom”
Greenleaf “Golden Throne”
The Cult “Deeply Ordered Chaos”
Elton John “Claw Hammer”
Black Sabbath “Isolated Man”
National Lampoon “Flash Bazbo”
Alice Cooper “Clones”
Ringo Starr “Without Understanding”
Ozric Tentacles “Flying Machine”
Pink Floyd “Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together In A Cave and Grooving With a Pict”

hour three
Paul Kantner “Blows Against The Empire”
Yoko Ono with Jack Douglas “Move On Fast”
Pallas “Something In the Deep”
Jools Holland “Lady Madonna”
Elvis Costello “Watching The Detectives”
Kate Bush “Violin”
Kraftwerk “Pocket Calculator (live)”
Polysics “Married To A Frenchman”
Plastics “Last Train To Clarksville”
Paul McCartney “Temporary Secretary”
Wall of Voodoo “Hands of Love”
Red Hot Chili Peppers “Circle of the Noose”

You can hear this episode of Radio Free Charleston Tuesday at 10 AM and 10 PM on The AIR, with replays Thursday at 3 PM, Friday at 9 AM and 7 PM, Saturday at 11 AM and Midnight, Sunday at 11 AM and the next Monday at 8 PM, exclusively on The AIR.

I’m also going to  embed a low-fi, mono version of this show right in this post, right here so you can listen on demand.

After all that fun, at 2 PM we offer up a new episode of Nigel Pye’s Psychedelic Shack, loaded with trippy music from the trippy era of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Nigel, ever the upright gentleman, has even sent along a playlist…

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Camel “Never Let Go”
David Bowie “Letter To Hermione”
Elvis Costello “…And In Every Home”
King Crimson “Cadence and Cascade”
Peter Gabriel “Strawberry Fields Forever”
4th Cekcion “Find Yourself Another Way”
Ancient Grease “Mother Grease The Cat”
Broth “I’m A King”
Czar “Tread Softly On My Dreams”
Forever More “Promises of Spring”
The Third Power “Gettin’ Together”
Sainte Anthony’s Fyre “Chance of Fate”

Psychedelic Shack alternates weeks with NOISE BRIGADE  Tuesdays at 2 PM, with replays Wednesday at 10 PM, Thursday at 9 AM, Friday at 1 PM, Saturday at 8 AM, Sunday at 9 AM and Monday at 7 PM.

We top off our trifecta of Tuesday music specials with today’s all-new episode of The Swing Shift at 3 PM. This week it’s a mixtape, with the full hour devoted to Enoch Light and his Light Brigade, who, after many years as a pioneering record label czar and experimental stereo composer, returned to his roots and release four Big Bad Swing albums before his death in 1974. We have selections from those records, digitized directly from the original vinyl, so you can hear Light’s recreation of the top hits of the Big Band era, with a band stocked with sidemen who actually played on the original tunes.

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The Enoch Light and the Light Brigade
Big Bands of the 1930s

“Begin The Beguine”
“A String Of Pearls”
“I’m Getting Sentimental Over You”
“Well Git It”
“Woodchoppers Ball”
“One O’Clock Jump”
“Moonlight Serenade”
“Let’s Dance”
“In The Mood”
“South Rampart Street Parade”
“Take The A Train”
“American Patrol”
“Sugar Blues”
“Boogie Woogie”
“Bugle Call Rag”

You can hear The Swing Shift Tuesdays at 3 PM, with replays Wednesday at 7 AM and 6 PM, Thursday at 2 PM,  Saturday at 5 PM and Sunday at 10 AM, only on The AIR. You can also hear all-night marathons, seven hours each, starting at Midnight Thursday and Sunday evenings.

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