PopCult

Rudy Panucci On Pop Culture

First Look At The 2024 Marx Toy Show, Plus Hot-and-Cold Running Disco

The PopCulteer
June 21, 2024

Last weekend saw your humble blogger head to Wheeling for The 2024 Marx Toy Show at The Kruger Street Toy & Train Museum.  A wonderful time was had by all, and today I have the first batch of photos to prove it.

I have to warn you, I didn’t take nearly as many photos as I usually do. I wanted to take a year and enjoy the show as a civilian, but I do have plenty of pics for a photo essay today, and one to accompany the video I’m working on for the event on Sunday. Our local heat wave factored a bit in my smaller selection of photos, too.

The guest of honor this year was Jay Horowitz, the toy executive and author who is the custodian of the Marx Toy molds (among many others). That’s him at the right, beginning his discussion of how he came to own so many incredible toy assets.

There will indeed be a fast-paced video in PopCult this Sunday, so you can get a taste of how much fun this show is. I also found out on this trip that I’ll be heading back to Kruger Street next month for a special MEGO event, about which you will read in the coming weeks.

But now, it’s the Marx Toy Show, in photos…

An aerial view of the registration table, courtesy of a well-placed staircase.

Folks were pouring into the train room to check out the vintage tin-train goodness.

Johnny West collector and wheeler-dealer Dave Roth in the foreground, toy designer Greg Autore in the background.

Tom Heaton’s display after I bought one of his custom figures with custom box.

Jay Horowitz catching up with Francis Turner, the man behind the (late, lamented) Marx Toy Musuem

Jay and Francis posing for the camera (I need to email this photo to those guys).

Part of Jay’s table, filled with product samples and vintage glossies.

A closer look at those glossies.

Jay during the Q&A following his very entertaining talk about how he acquired the Marx molds.

Mark Hegeman had this amazing one-of-a-kind item, the actual sculpted figures from which the molds were struck.

More cool Marx items were lurking in the lobby upstairs.

There were cool playsets everywhere you turned.

I’m not kidding about the playsets.

A small herd of Pancho ponies.

Even more playset coolness.

At the risk of repeating myself…

A wide shot of the “Johnny Room.”

Not only horses, but also some doggies got along.

We will have a few more photos plus video from the Marx show Sunday, so prepare for more fun.

Melting MIRRORBALL And Revisiting A Milestone On The AIR

Friday afternoon Mel Larch returns with a brand-new MIRRORBALL! You can hear this and more cool music Friday on The AIR. The AIR is PopCult‘s sister radio station. You can hear our shows on The AIR website, or just click on the embedded player found elsewhere on this page.

Friday at 2 PM on The AIR, inspired by this week’s weather, Mel Larch devotes her hour of Disco to songs and artists who start out hot, but then cool down, way down, by the end of the show.

It’s a cool(ing) collection of Disco goodies, to get MIRRORBALL’s listeners moving, grooving and staying out of the heat .

Check out the playlist…

MIRRORBALL 102

Bill Summer & Summers Heat “Straight to The Bank”
JB’s “Hot Pants Road”
Mary Wilson “Red Hot”
Jimmy “Bo” Horne “You Get Me Hot”
Johnny & Michael Hill “Too Hot To Stop”
SOFTTOUCH “She’s Hot (Cool Cat)”
Frankie Knuckles “It’s A Cold World”
Boney M “Daddy Cool”
Jerry Butler “(I’m Just Thinking About) Cooling Out”
Earth Wind & Fire “Snow”
Black Ice “Shakedown”

You can hear MIRRORBALL every Friday at 2 PM, with replays throughout the following week Monday at 9 AM and Tuesday at 1 PM and a mini-marathon Saturday nights at 9 PM

At 3 PM, it’s encore time on the Big Electric Cat time as Sydney Fileen revisits her 100th episode from a year-and-a-half ago.

After opening show with her namesake song, Adrian Belew’s “Big Electric Cat,” Sydney assembles a playlist of “Quintessential New Wave Music” for her listeners.

As Sydney explains, “Some of these songs were major hits that defined the era, while others are deep album cuts by the artists who defined the genre. Either way, it’s going to be very New Wave-y here.”

Sydney don’t lie, as you can see from this playlist…

BEC 100

Adrian Belew “Big Electric Cat”
Toyah “Good Morning Universe”
XTC “Sgt. Rock (Is Going To Help Me)”
The Police “Spirits In The Material World”
Madness “Tomorrow’s (Just Another Day)”
Eurythmics “Right By Your Side”
Bronski Beat “Hit That Perfect Beat (12” Mix)”
Thompson Twins “Sister of Mercy”
Elvis Costello “Busy Bodies”
DEVO “Girl U Want”
Lene Lovich “Angels”
Klaus Nomi “Total Eclipse”
Mike Batt “Love Makes You Crazy”
Hazel O’Connor “Decadent Days”
The B-52s “Party Out Of Bounds”
Joe Jackson “Steppin’ Out”
Kate Bush “Army Dreamers”
ABC “Poison Arrow”
Ultravox “We Stand Alone”
Nina Hagen “Blood In The Streets”
Adam & The Ants “Killer In The House”
Pretenders “Birds of Paradise”
New Musik “Science”
Missing Persons “Tears”
Split Enz “I Got You”
Siouxsie and The Banshees “Take Me Back”
The Clash “Death Or Glory”
The Stranglers “Mean To Me”
Gary Numan “Music For Chameleons”
Blondie “Living In The Real World”
The Art of Noise “Close To The Edit”

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. Classic episodes can be heard Sunday morning at 10 AM.

That’s what’s new on The AIR Friday, and that is this week’s PopCulteer. Check back for our regular features every day and be sure to check us out Sunday for the Marx Toy Show video and more photos.

 

 

WAY TOO MUCH STUFF TO DO

I thought there was a lot of  STUFF TO DO last week, but this week it’s even crazier! Charleston’s ArtWalk returns Thursday night, bigger than ever. FestivALL is still happening.  The Summer Solstice has solsticed all over the place. Juneteenth just happened, WV Day is happening Thursday and State Workers are taking off Friday so they can have a five-day weekend. We have a potentially lethal heat wave going on and Kroger is giving away free ice cream.

What I’m saying is, there’s still plenty of STUFF TO DO in Charleston and all over the Mountain State and beyond as we plunge headfirst into the Summer of Excess!

FestivALL, complete with a zillion related events, continues this weekend. You can find the full schedule of FestivALL STUFF TO DO HERE.

ArtWalk returns to Charleston Thursday night. Here’s a freakin’ map…

As I have been copying and pasting of late, this a good time to remind you that THIS IS NOT A COMPLETE LIST OF EVENTS.  It’s just a starting point, so don’t expect anything comprehensive, and if you feel strongly about me leaving anything out, feel free to mention it in the comments. There’s like, a helluva lotta stuff happening.

Live Music is on tap at Taylor Books. There is no cover charge, and shows start at 7:30 PM.  Friday it’s Maddie Starcher & Riley Inlay. Saturday Minor Swing take the stage at the beloved bookstore/cafe/art gallery.

The World Famous Empty Glass Cafe has some great stuff this week  to tell you about.  Thursday at 5:30 PM Swingstein and Robin return with music for a cause. Later Thursday, at 10 PM, Will Payne Harrison and Rebecca Porter w/Sea Scout take the stage, as you can see below. Friday, Tim Courts plays during happy hour.  Friday at 9;30 PM Sting Chiefs play for you.  Saturday there’s a really cool show by The East End Ghouls that has a grahic below. Sunday the post Mountain Stage Jam, hosted by the Carpenter Ants, happens at 10 PM.

Please remember that the pandemic is still not entirely over yet. It’s a going concern with the ‘rona still lurking about. And now there are nasty seasonal allergies, melting sidewalks, obnoxious sports fans from Boston, loose emu and other damned good reasons to be careful. Many people who have very good reasons are still wearing masks, and many of us, understandably, are still nervous about being in crowds, masked or not. Be kind and understanding  while you’re out.

Keep in mind that all shows are subject to change or be cancelled at the last minute.

Here we go, roughly in order…

 

 

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Curtain Call Stays Gold With Highlights From The Tony-winning Best Musical of 2024

As has become custom, this week Mel Larch shines her Curtain Call spotlight on the winner of the Tony Award for best musical, and this year it’s The Outsiders.

Wednesday afternoon’s Curtain Call on The AIR follows an encore of a recent Beatles Blast (which airs at 2PM).

Adapted from S.E. Hinton’s seminal book and Francis Ford Coppola’s iconic film, The Outsiders features a book by Adam Rapp with Justin Levine, and music and lyrics by Jamestown Revival (Jonathan Clay & Zach Chance) and Justin Levine. Mel will present highlights of the original Broadway cast album on this week’s show.

Set in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1967, Ponyboy Curtis, his best friend Johnny Cade and their Greaser family of “outsiders” battle with their affluent rivals, the Socs. This new Broadway musical navigates the complexities of self-discovery as the Greasers dream about who they want to become in a world that may never accept them.

Not everybody watching the Tony Awards felt that The Outsiders was really the best musical, but being the underdog is sort of the theme of the show. To be honest, both Mel and I found the music to be lackluster, and neither of us had any emotional connection to the book or the movie. We were both rooting for Water For Elephants, which blows The Outsiders out of the water, musically.  Most “experts” believed that the Alicia Keys musical, Hell’s Kitchen, was a shoe-in. Such is the ways of the awards shows.

Next week Mel plans to look at the winner for best play, Stereophonic, which wouldn’t normally be featured on Curtain Call, but this particular play has lots of great songs in it. The week after that, she’ll present highlights from the Tony Award winner for best revival of a musical, Merrily We Roll Along.

But this Wednesday at 3 PMCurtain Call will let you sample The Outsiders.  You can tune in at the website, or you could just stay right here and  listen to the convenient embedded radio player lurking elsewhere on this page.

Curtain Call can be heard on The AIR Wednesday at 3 PM, with replays Thursday at 8 AM, Friday at 10 AM, Saturday at 8 PM and Monday at 9 AM. A 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.

Hearing Double On RFC

We offer up a lazy new episode of RFC today on The AIR.   Radio Free Charleston, is three hours of great local, independent free-form radio every week, and this week we’re pulling double duty…or slacking off, depending on your perspective.  To listen to The AIR, you simply have to point your cursor over and tune in at the website, or you could just stay here, and  listen to the cool embedded player found elsewhere on this page.  

You can hear Radio Free Charleston Tuesdays at 10 AM and 10 PM, with tons of replays throughout the week.

This week we’re doing double-shots. That means you’ll hear two songs in a row from our large local archives, with a dash of indie artists mixed in, just to keep you on your toes.

This is largely archive music from the last two years, but we do slip in a few new or previously unheard tracks from The Aquabats, Mediogres, The Settlement, Well Tempered Madness and Nixon Black.

Because your humble blogger and radio host just got back from a fun trip up North, and has to edit video and photo essays about said trip, this week our playlist does not contain links to the artists we’re playing. They are all mainstays of RFC from the last few years, so if you’re curious, just go to the search window over in the right column, type in their name, and you should be transported to one of the many previous episodes that includes links to their music.

With holidays, medical stuff, potential further trips, a giant stack of comic books and other time-invasive things happening, this seemed to be the best thing to sacrifice. Otherwise I wouldn’t have time to record this show, or produce this week’s new Curtain Call and MIRRORBALL.

So check out this playlist, which does not have links this week.

RFC V5 181

hour one
Jerks “Ok New Wave””Nowhere”
Unmanned “Leave That Girl Alone” “Aliens”
Aquabats “Spider Love!” “Dr. Space Mummy!”
Buni Muni “Caitlin Clark” “Battle Pass”
Scarlet Revolt “Casualty of You” “Vengeance”
Matt Mullins & The Bringdowns “Elastic” Lucky Man”
Mediogres “Hushpuppy” “Hot Car”
Speedsuit “Elephant Gun”

hour two
Speedsuit “Hush”
Clownhole “Get A Grip” “Aqua”
Frenchy & The Punk “Like In A Dream” “Cities In Dust”
Ginger Wixx “Arcade” “Here, Take My Ice Cream”
The Settlement “Lizard On The Run” “Take It In Stride-Space”

hour three
Well Tempered Madness “DFUNKD” “”Line Change”
Massing “Moving Out (Anthony’s Song)” “Waffles & Pancakes (Rejuiced)”
Emmalea Deal & The Hot Mess “Does She Have You” “Chasing You”
Golden “Smokers” “I Want To Run”
Nixon Black “Sad Delilah” “Don’t Dream It’s Over”
Lady D “Karma Is A Bitch” “Disturbing My Peace”
Corduroy Brown “Better On The Ground” “On and On (featuring Massing)”

You can hear this episode of Radio Free Charleston Tuesday at 10 AM and 10 PM on The AIR, with replays Wednesday at 9 AM,  Thursday at 2 PM, Friday at 9 AM, Saturday at Noon and Midnight,  and  Monday at 11 AM, exclusively on The AIR. Now you can also hear a different classic episode of RFC every weekday at 5 PM, and we bring you a marathon all night long Saturday night/Sunday morning.

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 RFC, stick around for encores of last week’s episodes of  MIRRORBALL at 1 PM and Curtain Call at 2 PM.

At 3 PM we give you an encore of two recent episodes of The Swing Shift.

 You can hear The Swing Shift Tuesday at 3 PM, with replays Wednesday at 8 AM, Friday at 10 AM and 8 PM and Saturday afternoon, only on The AIR . You can also hear all-night marathons, seven hours each, starting at Midnight Thursday and Sunday evenings.

Monday Morning Art: Blockhouse

This week I’m bringing you a painting that’s based on a composite of about a dozen images I took out the window of The Amtrak Cardinal back in January  I sort of tossed them all together, then based this painting on the end result. I was going for a subtle surrealism.  Might be too subtle.

I was going for the feel of an abandoned utility building on the fringe of an industrial area. Nobody can remember what purpose it was supposed to serve…or who owns it.

This was done using spent watercolor pens with Winsor & Newton inks, plus some acrylics and a lot of cheap black markers from Five Below. I used some textured tan watercolor paper for my canvas. I’m trying to take some of the light, shade and composition lessons I’ve learned by studying Hopper, but finishing them with totally different approaches.

To see it bigger try clicking HERE.

Over in radioland, Monday at 2 PM on The AIR, we bring you encores of a classic episode of Psychedelic Shack, and then at 3 PM a recent edition of Herman Linte’s weekly showcase of the Progressive Rock of the past half-century, Prognosis.  You can listen to The AIR at the website, or on the embedded radio player elsewhere on this page.

Psychedelic Shack can be heard every Monday at 2 PM, with replays Tuesday at 9 AM, Wednesday at 10 PM, Friday at 1 PM,  and Saturday at 9 AM. You can hear Prognosis on The AIR Monday at 3 PM, with replays Tuesday at 7 AM, Wednesday at 8 PM, Thursday at Noon, and Saturday at 10 AM. You can hear two classic episodes of the show Sunday at 2 PM. All times listed are Eastern, so if you’re in another timezone, adjust accordingly.

At 8 PM you can hear an hour of classic Richard Pryor on a vintage episode of The Comedy Vault.

Tonight at 9 PM for the Monday Marathon We bring you ten hours of Herman Linte’s Prognosis, since we told you two weeks ago that we’d run this last week, then we replaced it at the last minute with Mel Larch’s Curtain Call Tony Awards Specials. So Monday at 9 PM tune in for ten hours of the greats of Prog Rock performing live.

Sunday Evening Video: The Stranglers Live Again

It’s time to revisit a Sunday Evening Video from ten years ago because the links on the original post have been stricken down by evil YouTube Copyright Hounds. Luckily, this concert has been posted again, and so now you can enjoy the holy hell out of it onced again. The text below is from June 29, 2014. Since that time, sadly, David Greenfield and Jet Black have departed this plane of existence. However, the band is still touring the UK with a new line-up. 

One of my favorite bands, The Stranglers, hardly ever tour in America any more. That’s not good because more than thirty-five years in, and over twenty-four years since the exit of their original frontman, Hugh Cornwell, The Stranglers are as vital and creative as ever.

Still anchored by J.J. Burnel’s epic basslines and David Greenfield’s keyboards, the band is producing progressive punk-influenced rock and roll that can blow most of today’s rock bands off the stage. Drummer Jet Black, now 75, still plays at least part of each UK show, but doesn’t travel due to health issues. Baz Warne has been handling guitar duites since 2000, and lead vocals since 2006.

This concert was recorded April 7, at L’Olympia,Paris, and shows the band running through classic songs as well as more recent fare from their more recent albums, “Suite XVI” and “Giants.” It’s some pretty meaty stuff.

SETLIST: Show Intro Toiler On The Sea No More Heroes Was It You ? Threatened Summat Outanowt Peasant In The Big Shitty Peaches La Folie Midnight Summer Dream Golden Brown Always The Sun Thrown Away Never To Look Back Nuclear Device Skin Deep Time To Die Lowlands Nice N Sleazy Walk On By Freedom Is Insane Duchess 5 Minutes Hanging Around Norfolk Coast Something Better Change All Day And All Of The Night Tank

The RFC Flashback: Episode Eighty-Seven

This week we go back to late November, 2009, for what, up until about two years ago, had been sort of be the missing Radio Free Charleston Christmas episode from that year. This was part of a block of shows that has been offline for close to a decade. Now that they’re back online, these shows can be part of the nearly-chronological presentation of the RFC video show.  Because of that chronological presentation, we’re having Christmas in June now. We didn’t go all-out for a holiday episode that year because we devoted most of a show to The Contemporary Youth Arts Company’s production of MARY instead.

This edition of RFC is comprised primarily of music from the CYAC Rock Opera, “Mary.” We also have a really cool “120 Second Art Show” from a Habitat Restore Relics show set to piano music by artist Sharon Lyn Stackpole.

You can find the full production notes for this show HERE.

A Kickstarter Plug, Radio Notes, More STUFF TO DO and WonderFest Leftovers

The PopCulteer
June 14, 2024

We have a mixed bag this week for The PopCulteer, which is being cranked out Wednesday night so that your humble blogger can go off on a Marx Toy/FiestaWare adventure this weekend. With a totally unrelated vintage postcard header image up above, let us just launch into things, shall we?

First, we have a Kickstarter plug for a project I meant to tell you about last week.

Charleston native, Paul Rashid, who did the Red Ram comic I told you about last year, has allowed his love of the sitcom Seinfeld to manifest itself as a 48 page parody/tribute comic book.

DEFROSTED #1: A Del Boca Visit-A! is a fair-use parody of the beloved sitcom, telling a new story while poking fun of the tropes of the original. Paul, who in his secret identity is a board-certified psychiatrist, created this 48-page comic both as a tribute to his favorite sitcom, but also as a helpful stress reliever, to help folks escape the pressures of everyday life by spending some time with what are, to them, old friends.

It’s a Mad Magazine-styled parody of Seinfeld, telling a fun new story and putting an original (and transformative) spin on it for new and old audiences. There are twists One major character meets his demise but is replaced by a minature doppleganger. You’ll have to read the book to find out what the deal is with that.

Here’s a short film/trailer…

There’s two weeks to go in the Kickstarter Campaign, so you want to act fast if you want to get in on the action.

Radio Notes

Sunday evening the Tony Awards happen on CBS and Paramount+. In fact,they’re on at the usual time that we run a mini-marathon of Mel Larch’s musical theatre show, Curtain Call on The AIR. Since it’d be rather pointless to run Curtain Call while the Tonys are on, we are switching up the schedule this week.

Sunday morning at 9 AM, and running until 6 PM you can tune in to The AIR and hear nine hours of Mel’s previous Curtain Call Tony Nominations specials, and a few extra Tony-riffic shows. Then at 6 PM, if you are not interested in award shows, you can dance like nobody’s watching as we bring you six hours of Mel’s Disco Showcase, MIRRORBALL.

You can tune in at the website, or just stay right here and  listen to the convenient embedded radio player lurking elsewhere on this page.

Curtain Call can be heard on The AIR Wednesday at 3 PM, with replays Thursday at 8 AM, Friday at 10 AM, Saturday at 8 PM and Monday at 9 AM.  You can hear MIRRORBALL every Friday at 2 PM, with replays throughout the following week Monday at 9 AM and Tuesday at 1 PM and a mini-marathon Saturday nights at 9 PM

Mo STUFF TO DO

I’m working on PopCult in a bit of a non-linear fashion this week, and I missed a few things when I put together STUFF TO Do on Wednesday. Here’s a few events I missed…

More WonderFest Photos

Finally this week, how about I run a dozen or some more pictures from the WonderFest Model Room? These are from almost two weeks ago, but the creativity is so strong that I will resist the urge to stay up all night and write captions.  Just look at this cool stuff!

 

That is this week’s PopCulteer. Check back for our regular features every day, even when I’m off gawking at cool toys and running around up North.

 

Major Matt Mason at WonderFest USA

One big surprise treat for me at WonderFest a couple of weeks ago was when I turned a corner in the second dealer’s room, maybe fifteen feet from William Stout, and found a display of almost every single Major Matt Mason toy from the 1960s, laid out on a cool Moonish backdrop.  I think the only thing missing was the alien, Scorpio, the Moon exploration suit and a few of the smaller accessory packs. There was lots of stuff here that I’d never seen in person before.

Major Matt Mason was Mattel’s Man In Space, released to cash in on the Space Craze from the success of the Mercury and Apollo missions by NASA, and the cool thing was that most of the toys were based on real NASA prototypes that had been published a couple of years earlier in Life Magazine.  The figures were six inches tall, and were wire-frame bendie figures, like Gumby, and unfortunately this made them very fragile.

But the accessories more than made up for it.  The Mooncrawler and Space Station are epic and iconic space toys, and it was great to get to see such a huge collection in one place. The only problem was that it was tucked in a corner behind a giant diorama of the Starship Enterprise’s Shuttle Bay, so I couldn’t get a decent shot of the whole thing.

But here’s a batch of photos showing off close-ups of the MMM delights at WonderFest.

An assortment of figures and vehicles, some of which I’d only seen in books before.

The Space Station. Man, I really wanted this when I was a kid. I never got one. My cousin did. He got everything. I wonder if I could 3D print one of these big enough for a GI Joe Joe?

Another angle with more stuff I only saw in catalogs and books.

This one I’d seen at Where The Toys Are in Canonsburg, PA a decade or so ago.

I’ve seen this at a friend’s house. This was a carrying case that talked, and it’s damned near impossible to repair without destroying it.

These were new to my eyes. Makes me wonder if the parents wised up and were removing pages from the Sears catalog.

Close up of that Space Station. This might sell me a 3D printer, seriously. It’s got me thinking.

A group shot of cool stuff.

Captain Lazer was Major Matt Mason’s giant alien friend. For some reason, he was twice as tall and made completely differently. It is widely assumed that Mattel just bought the rights to an existing toy from another country and crowbarred him into the MMM line. The body and light-up mechanism were later used for Battlestar Galactica figures.

Oh, there are times when I wish I had a space cannon. Not a toy. A real one.

The classic Lunar Crawler

“I’d like you to meet my leetle fren.”

We leave you with assorted paperwork and a vintage Christmas photo of the Space Station.

 

The Marx Toy Show, YakFest, FestivALL And More STUFF TO DO

It’s Crazy Time STUFF TO DO this weekend as your humble blogger will be out of town just as FestivALL and YakFest and a bunch of other things are happening.  First I’ll tell you where I’ll be…

This blog will once again be running on autopilot for a few days because the Marx Toy and Train Collector’s Show is happening again this year, and the dates are this Friday and Saturday at  The Kruger Street Toy & Train Museum in Wheeling.  Your PopCulteer is thrilled to be going back to this toy show, which is one of the most enjoyable in the country and something your humble blogger and his lovely wife look forward to every year. This is the 25th year for the big show, and it will be a blast!

This year, we’re running up for the first day of the show (and the evening before), and then we’re bypassing the second day so we can go have some kind of retail misadventures involving FiestaWare and Sir Troy’s Toy Kingdom.

I’ve been covering the Marx Toy Convention for almost fifteen years, and you can find an index to most of that coverage HERE. You can see our coverage of 2021’s show HERE and HERE. 2022’s coverage was spread across a few posts, HERE, HER E, HERE, and HERE.  Last year’s photo essays on The 2023 Marx Toy & Train Show can be seen  HERE and HERE.

You can expect a lot of photos and video next week in PopCult.

Anybody who grew up with Marx Toys, or anybody interested in West Virginia industries, or just folks who love toys, should make it a point to go to this show and check out the wonders of The Kruger Street Toy & Train Museum. It’s a real gem.

Here’s the video from last year’s show…

For those of you interested in less toyetic types of fun, there’s still plenty of STUFF TO DO in Charleston and all over the Mountain State and beyond as we plunge headfirst into festival season.

FestivALL, complete with a zillion related events, begins this weekend. You can find the full schedule of FestivALL STUFF TO DO HERE.

YakFest happens in Saint Albans. I had no idea that Yak were indigenous to West Virginia, but there is an entire festival devoted to these mighty domesticated wild Oxen. Details are here…

As I have been copying and pasting of late, this a good time to remind you that THIS IS NOT A COMPLETE LIST OF EVENTS.  It’s just a starting point, so don’t expect anything comprehensive, and if you feel strongly about me leaving anything out, feel free to mention it in the comments. There’s like, a helluva lotta stuff happening.

Live Music is on tap at Taylor Books. There is no cover charge, and shows start at 7:30 PM.  Friday it’s Woodbine. Saturday Real Fake Flowers take the stage at the beloved bookstore/cafe/art gallery.

The World Famous Empty Glass Cafe has some great stuff this week  to tell you about.  Thursday at 5:30 PM Swingstein and Robin return with music for a cause. Later Thursday, at 9:30 PM, Johnny Spolarich takes the stage, Friday, Tim Courts plays during happy hour.  Friday at 9 PM The Vans host an open jam.  Saturday there’s a really cool show that has a grahic below. Sunday the post Mountain Stage Jam, hosted by the Carpenter Ants, happens at 10 PM.

Please remember that the pandemic is still not entirely over yet. It’s a going concern with the ‘rona still lurking about. And now there are nasty seasonal allergies, Yaks visiting from all over the country, stalking corn, electrified shark and other damned good reasons to be careful. Many people who have very good reasons are still wearing masks, and many of us, understandably, are still nervous about being in crowds, masked or not. Be kind and understanding  while you’re out.

Keep in mind that all shows are subject to change or be cancelled at the last minute.

Here we go, roughly in order…

 

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