RFC 194, “Hasa Diga Shirt,” is our Christmas spectacular, with music from The Bob Thompson Unit and Frenchy and The Punk, plus a message from Santa, and new animation from Jake Fertig, which opens our show with a commercial for The Bearded Axe.

Our host segments were shot around the Mound in South Charleston, a location which was chosen because it had a big tree that was lit in the daytime, and all the other places we tried first were either too crowded or just dreary-looking. Luckily we managed to find a place that was infused with the Holiday Spirit!

Animation by Jake Fertig

Animation by Jake Fertig

We open the show with an animated faux commercial by our newest contributor, animater and artist, Jake Fertig. We will be bringing you more work from Jake in the coming episodes of the show and it’s a real kick to bring in some new blood. Jake will be featured in an “After ArtWalk” art show at Rival Cards and Games in Kanawha City on Thursday, December 19. You can also check out Jake’s studio website for more of his diverse talents.

Doug Payne, Timothy Courts, John Inghram, Bob Thompson, Ryan Kennedy

Doug Payne, Timothy Courts, John Inghram, Bob Thompson, Ryan Kennedy

Bob Thompson is one of the true treasures of the Charleston music scene. His anuual Christmas concerts are one of the most-anticipated parts of the holiday season for music lovers. This year we are proud to bring you The Bob Thompson Unit, recorded just last week at the Boulevard Tavern, filled with a jazzy Christmas spirit. This episode of RFC offers up Bob Thompson, Ryan Kennedy, John Inghram, Tim Courts and Doug Payne with “Sing we now of Christmas” and “Festival.”

The Bob Thompson Unit

The Bob Thompson Unit

People often ask me why we don’t record more music at The Boulevard Tavern. It’s a great venue, and we really like the folks who work there, but it’s not the most video-friendly location in town. It’s very dark and the inexpensive guerilla-filmmaking cameras we use for RFC don’t work well with that, and bringing in outside lights would risk upsetting the terrific musical vibe at the Tavern. So we don’t shoot there very often. When we do, it’s for a very special occasion, like recording Bob Thompson.

The Bob Thompson Unit just wrapped up their Christmas Concert tour over the weekend, but we were lucky to record them last Tuesday as they kicked off this annual tradition. Because the footage was so dark, I resorted to some heavy post-production, which lent our recordings a bit of a painterly look, so I pulled a frame out, went full-tilt digital painter on it, and made it PopCult’s Monday Morning Art this week.

John Johnson as The Man In Red

John Johnson as The Man In Red

After the first song from The Bob Thompson Unit, Santa Claus joins us to tell us about a play, “The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus,” being performed at The Alban Arts Center. This was a fun clip to produce, with Saint Albans’ own Santa, John Johnson, addressing the camera to tell us about the show, which is a lot of fun and runs three more times at The Alban Arts Center this weekend.

Frenchy and The Punk with a Christmas...or maybe a Halloween, song

Frenchy and The Punk with a Christmas…or maybe a Halloween, song

Fancy kazoo solo

Fancy kazoo solo

Between Santa and the return to The Bob Thompson Unit, New York’s Frenchy and The Punk treat us to a very special holiday song, “All I Want For Christmas Is A Time Machine.” ┬áSamantha and Scott are old friends who bring their gothic cabaret stylings to RFC on a regular basis and have been on many episodes of RFC.

Last month they popped into The Empty Glass, and treated us to a holiday song…sorta. This was a real blast and you will see Frenchy and The Punk again soon on an upcoming RFC MINI SHOW.

That’s about it for this Christmassy edition of RFC. Our title shirt sports a Ugandan message that means “No worries for the rest of your life,” kinda.

Santa walks into a bar...

Santa walks into a bar…

Here at Radio Free Charleston, we hope you have all had a good year and fare even better in the new one. In the new year you can look forward to our march to episode 200, and lots more installments of the RFC MINI SHOW, and also in the new year…radiofreecharleston.com is coming! More on that later.