Rudy Panucci On Pop Culture

Radio Free Charleston 72: Rollergirls, Pickers and The District

Radio Free Charleston’s seventy-second episode, “Sulu Nation Shirt,” is online now! Watch it quick, they don’t seem to have much of a shelf life these days. This episode features music from The Scrap Iron Pickers and Whitechapel District. We also have a guest appearance by The Chemical Valley Rollergirls, who coincidentally enough are holding tryouts June 30 at Skateland in Campbell’s Creek, where we shot our host segments this time.

We are driving to episode 75, in just three weeks. We’ll celebrate our third anniversary with a star-studded show featuring great music and shocking cameos. You can also check out our archives. Every day this month I’m reposting an entire classic episode of the show right here in PopCult. You can finally expose yourself to what some folks are calling “Charleston’s best-kept secret.”


We shot our host bits in Campbell’s Creek Monday night at Skateland, the home base for The Chemical Valley Rollergirls. It was great hanging out with the rollergirls and filming some of their practice session. Keep reading PopCult for details on where you can catch the hellcats on wheels in action. Or you can check their website for info about their tryouts.

Our first musical guest is The Scrap Iron Pickers. This all-star instrumental conglomeration features Roadblock, Johnny Sizemore and Matt Wolfe, veterans of bands like Stone Ka-Tet, Byzantine, Freak Tent, The Ghost Of Now and others. Musically, they combine avant-garde sound collage with progressive metal riffs, reggae interludes, and complex musical equations.

The Pickers deliver “William S. Burroughs” and “Coal Bucket” during the body of the show, and you get to hear a snippet of “Too Pissed Off To Sleep” during the end credits, as we watch the Chemical Valley Rollergirls practice.

We recorded the band at The Sound Factory last month, which is coming back to life as a live venue, and thankfully, is observing the smoking ban this time. Thanks to Andy Park for manning the soundboard that night.


Our other musical guest is the dynamic metal powerhouse, Whitechapel District. With the recent addition of the amazing Johnny Compton on guitar and backing vocals, this band has reached new heights. They were already overstocked with talent, with lead vocals from Tim Simon, Keef Mack on guitar and backing vocals, Tim Burford on drums, and Jimmie Barker on bass and backing vocals. The scary thing is that I’ve known Jimmie for nearly 30 years.

We recorded Whitechapel District at The Blue Parrot a couple of weeks ago during their Wednesday night jam session. Thanks to Nate for the great work running sound.

Whitechapel District performs the epic song, “How Heavy Is Thy Crown.” This is a killer original tune that shows off Tim’s vocals, but also the backing vocals from Keef, Jimmie and Johnny and lethal twin-guitar assault. You can catch Whitechapel District June 20 as part of the second annual Boone County Bash along with War Creek Mafia, Voices Of Anatole and others. Check this site for details.

We also have a 90-second art show this week. “Duality” is a multi-artist exhibit of high-contrast work that you can see at The Convenience Store, at 172 Summers Street. We just shot host segments there a few weeks ago. A meet-and-greet with the artists will be held this Friday from 5PM to 11PM. This is a great chance to meet some of the area’s most interesting younger artists.

The Chemical Valley Rollergirls were kind enough to introduce our animation this time. “Porklips” is an apocolyptic biblical epic by Frank Panucci, who was somewhat mortified that I use it, since he did it twelve years ago and forgot that he’d given it to me for the show.

That’s our show this week. Next week we return with the debut of OVADA, plus a Plant-Ro-Duction Mini Movie and another musical guest yet to be determined.

1 Comment

  1. Bella Dona

    I’m normally not that much of a metal fan but man! That Whitechapel District tune RAWKS!

    Almost 75 shows? Wow.

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