Rudy Panucci On Pop Culture

Month: October 2014 (Page 1 of 5)

RIP Roots Town Radio

The PopCulteer
October 31, 2014

Roots Town Radio, which we wrote about and were rooting for here in PopCult, is no more. The low-powered FM station lasted about six weeks and will go down as yet another noble failure in the pantheon of Charleston’s music scene.

Charleston’s other newspaper published a one-sided account of how things went down, and I’d link to it if I didn’t feel that it was unnecessarily lurid and slanted. It’s enough to say that the owners had a personal relationship, and when that relationship collapsed, so did any chance of Roots Town Radio becoming a lasting institution.

Weird things were happening on Facebook about a week after the station started broadcasting, with odd announcements about one of the founders leaving being posted, then deleted twenty minutes later. When I saw that happening, I knew the clock was ticking.

ROOTS RIP 01It’s a shame, because there was so much excitment about WXDB here in town. Unfortunately, most of the people who wanted to listen to the station were volunteering as on-air talent. I couldn’t pick up the signal where I live, and I only listen to CDs in the car, so I only heard snippets of the streaming signal over the internet. It was a nice alternative to what fills Charleston’s airwaves, but the broadcast signal was simply too weak to make much of an impact. Continue reading

Stuff To Do Halloween

That’s the latest Radio Free Charleston Halloween show at the top of this post, just to get you in the spirit of the holiday. There’s a metric ton of stuff to do Halloween night, so we’re going to dive in with a couple of hot picks that you might not have heard about. The big show in town will be at The Empty Glass with their 16th annual Halloween Hootenanny. I told you all about it HERE.  However, there are a couple of alternatives if you don’t want to make the drive in to Charleston, or if you want a quieter evening of macabre reflection.


First up, we have HarraH, whom you can see closing the show in the above episode of RFC, performing with the reunited Under The Radar at The Bowling Alley-Dunbar, which is turning into one of the area’s most fun music venues. The party starts at 8 PM with games prizes and a costume party. Under the Radar kicks off the music at 9 PM with Harrah picking up and taking the show to midnight. Five bucks gets you in the door, and if the spirit moves you, you can bowl a few frames while rocking out.

There will be a screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show at The Alban Arts Center in Saint Albans, starting at 8 PM. Details in this poster…


If you want something a little quieter, then head out to The Electric Sky Theater at The Clay Center for a free screening of the silent vampire classic, Nosferatu. Directed by F.W. Murnau and starring Max Schreck as vampire Count Orlok, this is the earliest screen adaptation of Bram Stoker’s “Dracula,” and what many film critics consider to be a “masterpiece of silent cinema.” The film begins at 11:30 PM, and as I mentioned, it’s FREE. You can’t beat that with a stake. 


The PopCult Bookshelf will return next week. This week we were too scared to read anything.


“Fiddler” Opens Friday!

Joe Romangoli is Tevye

Joe Romangoli is Tevye

The Charleston Light Opera Guild will present Fiddler on the Roof as a co-production with The Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences of West Virginia in the Maier Performance Hall on October 31, November 1, 7 and 8, 2014 at 7:30 PM with matinees on Sunday November 2 and 9, 2014 at 2:00 PM. Your PopCulteer and his wife were lucky enough to bring our cameras to a dress rehearsale so we could bring you this quick video preview.

10633134_10154951599550107_6973701302605028493_oFiddler on the Roof is the legendary musical with music by Jerry Bock, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, and book by Joseph Stein, set in the Pale of Imperial Russia in 1905. It is based on the short story “Tevye and his Daughters” by Sholem Aleichem. This year marks a half-century since this landmark musical debuted on Broadway, and this is the fifth time that The Guild has produced this musical locally.

The story centers on Tevye, the father of five daughters, and his attempts to maintain his family and Jewish religious traditions while outside influences encroach upon their lives. He must cope both with the strong-willed actions of his three older daughters—each one’s choice of husband moves further away from the customs of his faith—and with the edict of the Tsar that evicts the Jews from their village.

Fiddler on the Roof opens this Friday at The Clay Center, and you can expect the usual excellence from The Guild. The cast list can be found after the jump.

Continue reading

The PopCult ToyBox: The GI Joe That You Never Knew

The Commando Sgt Savage, who came with the video you see above, and apparently no underwear

The Commando Sgt Savage, who came with the video you see above, and apparently no underwear

When you think of “GI Joe,” the first thing that pops into your mind is not “Sgt.Savage and his Screaming Eagles.” He’s the Joe that never really got his due.

One of the quirks of the hobby of collecting GI Joe is that there’s more than one hobby there. You have the collectors of the original 1964 12″ tall action figure, and you have collectors of the 1982 reboot, which shrunk America’s movable fighting man to 3 3/4″ and gave him more individual identities.

The original GI Joe from 1964

The original GI Joe from 1964

There are actually way more divisions than that, but we’ll take the basic route here. Each line had a healthy twelve-year run, and during that run spent time as the top-selling toy in the country.

The collectors of each line have been so numerous and enthusiastic that, at times, they have convinced Hasbro to revive their beloved childhood toy so that a new generation can enjoy their favorite plaything. Continue reading

Spirits Right In Your Face on RFC 202

Image6The 2014 Radio Free Charleston Halloween Special is here, and you can see it above. This year we decided to go back to our roots and do a more elaborate set of host segments. As you may remember, for the last two years we just recorded stuff at ShockaCon and used it for our Halloween programs (you can see those shows HERE).

While those made for great Halloween episodes, they were also a bit of an easy out for us. We just had to point our cameras and record the cool stuff, then sit on it a month before we brought it to you. This year we didn’t want to make you wait for our ShockaCon coverage, and we wanted to do something a little more special. Although we do bring you a couple of tunes from The Jasons, recorded at West Virginia’s premiere horror/sci fi convention.

This year I had the idea of gathering together some friends and using a Ouija board to summon spirits for the show. I thought it would be hilarious. My wife and co-producer thought differently and chose not to be involved with shooting the host segments. Luckily, I had an ace up my sleeve.

Mic, Penny, Mark, Kitty and Rudy plot to kae over the world

Mic, Penny, Mark, Kitty and Rudy plot to take over the world

Mark Wolfe, in addition to being one of my best friends, has offered his services to Radio Free Charleston many times. He made a cameo appearance on episode 85, one of our previous Halloween specials and he’s the perfect person to call on for this sort of show, since he also created HallowEast and ArtMares. Continue reading

Monday Morning Art: Alien Overlord


Img_207302Last Friday I posted a photo essay of the HallowEast ArtMares exhibit, which I was happy to have two new paintings in. You can see me posing next to one of them, “Alien Overlord,” to the right. Above you see a new digital version I did, painting over a photograph of the painting. I used silver paint, which did not photograph well, so I decided to just digitally paint the crap out of it for our Monday Morning Art. Click to enlarge.

And check back later Monday for the full production notes on the 2014 Radio Free Charleston Halloween Special.

Sunday Evening Video: GORGO

Last year I reviewed a very nice collection of comics by Steve Ditko that were based on the 1961 monster move, Gorgo. The consensus is that the comics are way better than the movie, which was a British-made cheesy knockoff of Godzilla. Now you can see for yourself as we present the entire movie, here in PopCult. It’s a good way to kick off Halloween week, and it’s a nice little tease for the Radio Free Charleston Halloween show, coming to PopCult Monday morning, which includes a musical tribute to the original “Big G.”

RFC Flashback: Halloween, The ShockaCon Years

Wrapping up our look at Radio Free Charleston’s ghosts of Halloweens past, we go back to the last two years. In 2012 and again last year, we simply shot our Halloween shows at ShockaCon, West Virginia’s premiere horror/sci fi convention. It worked out great with tons of cool stuff and performances by HarraH, The Nanker Phelge, The Renfields, The Big Bad, Foz Rotton, The Wayward Girls School of Burlesque and more. Last year I even interviewed people, which I never do on RFC.

The 2012 show was shot at The Mound in South Charleston. Last year we shot at The Haunted Barn. Last year also included the infamous Twerking Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man.

This year we decided to shake things up a bit. Rather than make everyone wait a month to see the ShockaCon footage, we starting posting it right after the event.  I came up with a really cool idea for this year’s Halloween show, which you will see here in PopCult on Monday.We have music from HarraH, The Jasons, Radio Cult and The Possum Kingdom Ramblers, and very special host segments with very special guests.

Hopefully after that I’ll get around to posting the rest of this year’s ShockaCon panels and performances, because I still have about five hours worth of those left.

But for now, here’s our three Halloween episodes from the past two years (Last year we did a two-parter)…




ArtMares 2014

Img_2034The PopCulteer
October 24, 2014

Buried deep in the bowels of what may well be the busiest entertainment weekend in Charleston in years, HallowEast will present the sixth annual edition of ArtMares, a horror-themed art show. If you are not caught up in the hoopla over Ian Anderson, Dennis Miller, Bill O’Reilly, Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, Evil Dead: The Musical, Venus in Fur, then this art show is probably right up your alley.

It is a bit of a bummer that the date for this show has been carved in stone for a year, and slowly more and more competing events were announced, leading to the point where we have high-profile events happening at The Clay Center, The Municipal Auditorium, The Civic Center Little Theater, The Scottish Rites Temple, Kanawha Players Theater, and The Alban Arts Center all at the same time. It’s an embarrassment of riches, and it might hurt attendance at ArtMares.

However, ArtMares, which takes place on the third floor of Contemporary Galleries, located right behind Appalachian Power Park, starts at 6 PM and runs until 11 Pm, so you have the chance to dash in before or after any other events that you may be goint to this evening. It would be really cool if everybody in the front row at the Dennis Miller/Bill O’Reilly live sex show joint blather fest showed up carrying an oversized painting of severed heads or monsters.

The reception will feature music by the amazing Ryan Kennedy, along with fine edibles provided by Bluegrass Kitchen, The Empty Glass and Kelly Bryant. Admission is free, but a five-dollar donation will not be turned down. This year we’re presenting a preview of ArtMares, so you can get an early look which will hopefully convince you to attend the show and buy artwork and just throw tons of money at all the artists.

Here, with minimal captions, is our look at ArtMares 2014…

More by Glen

cool stuff by GlenBrogan

Continue reading

Capsule Comics Reviews

The PopCult Bookshelf

We’re going to play catch up again this week with three capsule reviews of recently released comic books and graphic novels.

Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland
STK645617Number 1
Written by Eric Shanower
Drawn by Gabriel Rodriguez
Colored by Nelson Daniel
Published bi-monthly by IDW

This comic book is a revival of sorts of Winsor McCay’s legendary comic strip, which ran over a hundred years ago in newspapers across the country. McCay’s work is still hailed today as among the finest in the comic strip medium. It takes a lot of guts for anyone to try and follow in his footsteps. Happily, Shanower and Rodriguez do an amazing job capturing the spirit of McCay’s work, without creating a slavish imitation.

Return to Slumberland updates the original story by having the Princess of Slumberland in need of a new playmate, many years after Nemo has grown up. King Morpheus of Slumberland sends emissaries to bring a new young boy into Slumberland to be his daughter’s companion. They choose a young boy named James, whose middle name is Nemo, and at this point, the story continues along the lines of the original strip. By the end of the first issue, Nemo has just barely made it to Slumberland and has yet to meet the Princess. Continue reading

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