Rudy Panucci On Pop Culture

Month: November 2010 (Page 1 of 2)

PopCult Gift Guide Day One: Hellblinki

Today we kick off the 2010 PopCult gift guide.  This year we’re going to bring you twenty days of holiday gift suggestions, incorporating our regular featrues.  Sunday will see recommended videos, while Monday will be Art and Wednesday will be comics.  Our first gift idea is the brand-new CD by Asheville North Carolina’s Hellblinki (also known as The Hellblinki Sextet), “These Bubbles Come From Ants.”

This is the band’s fourth release, and it captures their unique gothic cabaret sound in a studio setting.  Andrew, Valerie, Jon Paul and Brad are in primo form on this collection of ten of Hellblinki’s infectous, yet indescribable music.  You’ll hear bass drum and guitar, plus accordian, toy piano, key-tar, and a variety of other offbeat instruments.

You’ll also get to hear two songs that we featured on Radio Free Charleston, “Sanjula’s Junk,” which was part of our big 100th episode, and “Don’t Go Down To The Woods,” which you can see right here.

This is a mail-order item.  You can visit the Hellblinki store and purchase a download, CD or Vinyl edition of the album. Hard copies come with a free download, so you can give the CD or LP as a gift and keep the download for yourself.

One other cool track on the album is “Row.” This is a ten-minute version of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat,” constructed by Hellblinki out of hundreds of fan-recorded versions that were submitted via email.  You might even hear RFC’s resident diva, Melanie Larch, in the mix.  You also hear Hurricane’s Rodney Crihfield, who is an occasional member of the band.  “These Bubbles Come From Ants” will run you between ten and twenty dollars, depending on the format you choose, with additional shipping charges for the CD and LP.

Tomorrow the PopCult Gift Guide brings you a very good book about some very bad comic books.

Monday Morning Art: Hunter Gatherer

Today’s Monday Morning Art is a digital painting I did while getting constantly interrupted on the phone Sunday afternoon.  It’s called “Hunter Gatherer.”  It’s an exercise in doodling on the computer when people are calling you non-stop, which keeps you from writing because you need both hands to type. Click it to see a bigger version.

Sunday Evening Video: Sita Sings The Blues (Again)

You may remember that I posted Nina Paley’s feature film, “Sita Sings The Blues” here in PopCult about a year and a half ago.  At the time, I could only post YouTube clips here, and had to put it up in ten chunks.

Now, thanks to the wonders of technology, I can post the entire movie right there above this text in one piece with higher quality.It’s well worth a second, third and fourth look.

Continue reading

Preview “MARY” and ArtWalk

The PopCulteer
November 26, 2010

The Contemporary Youth Arts Company production of Dan Kehde and Mark Scarpelli’s “MARY,” which has become a Christmas tradition here in Charleston, opens tonight at The WVSU Capitol Center Theater. The show runs November 26 and 27 at 8 PM, November 28 at 2 PM, and December 2,3 and 4 at 8 PM. If you haven’t seen the show, below you’ll find two preview videos recorded during a dress rehearsal earlier this week.

This year’s cast includes CYAC veterans Maddy Gourevitch as Gabriel, Donnie Smith as Joseph, Craig Auge as Zechariaih, Katrina Scarpelli Mulyono as Elizabeth, Jonathan Tucker as Herod, and talented newcomber Brynna Horswell as Mary.
Other returning veterans include April Richardson Morgan, Nik Tidquist, and Austin Thomas.

This is a wonderful, original show that tells the story of the brith of Christ in a fun way, and it’s appropriate for the whole family. Tickets are $10 ($6 for students).

After the jump, we have a quick photo essay previewing two of today’s Black Friday ArtWalk galleries. Continue reading

Cool Comics: Two From Gilbert Hernandez

Gilbert Hernandez (photo by Luigi Novi)

This week we’re going to look at two recent graphic novels by one of the masters of the form, Gilbert Hernandez. Gilbert, along with his brother Jaime, and occasionally his other brother, Mario, has been churning out mind-blowing comics for three decades under the “Love And Rockets” banner.

Gilbert is the mastermind behind the acclaimed “Palomar” and “Luba” stories, which are not your usual comic book fare. Hernandez has woven a grand tapestry that tells the story of multiple generations of a family of strong-willed Mexican women, who go through surreal tribulations with tinges of science fiction and hard-boiled crime drama mixed in with Latino soap-opera pacing.

Fritz, the B-Movie Goddess

One of the characters in these stories is Fritz, the pale-skinned, well-endowed sister of Luba, who before becoming a psychoanalyst, was a B-Movie star.

In 2007, Hernandez embarked on a series of graphic novels based on the movies that Fritz starred in (these were referred to in Love And Rockets over the years).

in 2007, Hernandez told The Comics Journal, “I’m doing manga-sized
books featuring sleazy, violent sex stories with no redeeming social value whatsoever.” Continue reading

Sunday Evening Videos: Giving Thanks

We’re getting in the spirit of the Thanksgiving holiday this week here in PopCult. Tonight we bring you 9 videos of things for which we are grateful.

First up is….

…The Marx Brothers.  We give thanks for those who teach us to mock authority and laugh at the absurdity in life.

To see eight more things for which we should be grateful, read the rest of this entry. Continue reading

How MySpace Committed Suicide

The PopCulteer
November 19, 2010

The week MySpace lost its will to live

This week we gather to mourn the loss of a friend. Well, more than a friend, at one point, it was “A Place For Friends.” I’m speaking of MySpace, which tragically took its own life a few days ago, gutting the site and removing the last vestiges of functionality from what had once been a vibrant, revolutionary cultural force.

Visiting MySpace had become not unlike making visits to a loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s. A series of debilitating redesigns had made the poor thing less and less like the website that we knew and loved, and more like a soulless husk, just waiting to die.

Continue reading

Cool Comics: A Tale Of Two Superman Books

To kick off what I hope is the inaugural edition of PopCult’s weekly look into the world of comic books I’m going to take a look at two recent hardcover Superman books, from DC Comics. One is a facsimile edition of one of the greatest comic book stories of all time, while the other is a fresh take on the Last Son of Krypton.

“Superman vs. Muhammad Ali” Facsimile Edition

First up is the over-sized hardcover reprint of the comic book event of 1978, “Superman Vs. Muhammad Ali.” Back when the book was announced, it was widely mocked. The idea of the fictional Superman taking on the real-life “Greatest,” Ali seemed ridiculous. In lesser hands, it might have simply been a silly cross-over comic, a pointless sports tie-in.

However, this book was not left to lesser hands. The superstar team of writer, Denny O’Neil and artist Neal Adams had set the comic book industry on fire in the early 1970s with legendary runs on Batman (where they created Ra’s Al Ghul, and told the story that was largely adapted into “Batman Begins”) and Green Lantern/Green Arrow. The latter title brought relevant social issues into the comic book world in a way that even exceeded what Stan Lee had done at Marvel Comics. Continue reading

Monday Morning Art: Super Fancy Dancing

This week’s artistic kick in the pants is a naked attempt at promoting Radio Free Charleston’s, latest episode, which was posted yesterday (follow this link, or just scroll down one post). “Super Fancy Dancing” is a digitally-assaulted frame-grab from the Super Fancy Dancing sequence in RFC 114.  You can see the original frame-grab at the end of the production notes for the show, and you can see this image larger just by clicking on it.

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