After accidentally discovering a toy museum in Vermont in 2013, Filmmaker Ben Churchill decided to make a documentary about who’s behind the collection of nearly 100,000 toys and why some people still enjoy them as an adult. It’s a terrific short film loaded with insight into the minds of adults who still like playing with toys. It’d be cool to see what he could do with The Kruger Street Toy and Train Museum in Wheeling. Check it out…
Episode 56 of Radio Free Charleston, “DEVOBAMA Shirt” hail from November, 2008. This episode features searing hot rock from Dog Soldier, a really cool music video from The Button Flies, encore animation from Frank Panucci, and a trailer for the film “The Bride & The Grooms,” which was written and directed by Charleston native, Butch Maier.
It’s hard to believe that it’s been more six years since we put this show together. Time flies, y’know. Check PopCult each week as we fill in the gaps of the missing episodes from Radio Free Charleston’s past. You can read the original production notes HERE.
If you’ve been reading PopCult since last November, then you probably know that we’re very proud to have been part of the relaunch of New Appalachian Radio at Voices of Appalachia. The new streaming audio version of Radio Free Charleston has been a big hit with listeners of the station and it’s motivated me to dig deep into my archives for some audio gems, like this week’s show, which devoted an hour to The Music of Stark Raven.
There are other terrific shows on New Appalachian Radio as well, It’s cool to share the streaming airwaves with Amy Van Gogh, Eric Douglas’ Writer’s Block, The Working Class and recent additions like The Anthony Hoey Show, the Bill Gardner and Eric Douglas hosted Reboot It and starting Monday, Chris Higgins with O’er The Moor To Maggie, featuring the best in Appalachian music influenced by the region’s Scottish and Irish heritage. I hope my readers check out all the offerings at New Appalachian Radio.
It’s been a load of fun being part of Voices of Appalachia, and I hope that New Appalachian Radio grows and adds even more listeners in the coming months. I feel like we’re really creating something special here. Continue reading
New Life and New Civilizations: Exploring Star Trek Comics edited by Joseph F. Berenato
New Life and New Civilizations: Exploring Star Trek Comics is a collection of essays about all the various comic books based on the classic television and movie empire published over the last forty-eight years. It’s a long-overdue look at the underappreciated comic book incarnations of Star Trek, and the essays are informative and entertaining for the most part. While some chapters are in-depth and informative first-person accounts, written by folks who actually worked on some of the comic books, there are a few instances of sloppy research and questionable editing that were disappointing to encounter.
The best parts of the book are the essays by Robert Greenberger and Tom Mason, and the introduction by David Gerrold. They speak authoritatively, yet in a humble manner, about what working on Star Trek was like for them. Greenberger was the editor of the Star Trek comic books published by DC Comics starting in the 1980s, and his insights are informative and fascinating. Mason was the editor of the Deep Space Nine and other Star Trek comics at Malibu, and his point of view is very entertaining. Gerrold, of course, has been an expert on all things Star Trek since he made the leap from being a fan to writing the classic original series episode “The Trouble with Tribbles.” His participation elevates any book on Star Trek.
This week the PopCult Toybox brings you some short items along with updated graphics. The International Toy Fair in New York City is less than three weeks away, and lots of companies are jumping the gun with new toy announcements.
Scooby Doo Hits The Bricks
Scooby-Doo, Shaggy, Fred, Velma and Daphne will drive The Mystery Machine straight into the world of construction toys with a series of new Lego sets headed to toy stores, thanks to an extension of the partnership between the Lego Group and Warner Bros.
The new Lego sets include Mummy Museum Mystery, Mystery Plane Adventures, the Haunted Lighthouse and the big-ticket set, The Mystery Mansion (seen below). They’ll range in price from $15 to $90.
This week Radio Free Charleston on New Appalachian Radio celebrates the music of Stark Raven in our second hour. Update: You can listen to this show in the Voices of Appalachia archive HERE.
Stark Raven was one of the top bands in town back in the late 1980s and into the early 90s, and they were also the house band for Mountain Stage. Some of them still are.
You can listen to Radio Free Charleston’s streaming radio incarnation at 10 AM and 10 PM on Tuesdays (and again at midnight Thursday) at New Appalachian Radio, part of Voices of Appalachia. If you miss it, check our the archives for previously-aired shows.
We now have a cool lead-in program on Tuesday night. Live At The Empty Glass airs from 8 PM to 10 PM, playing some of the coolest stuff recorded at the legendary bar and music venue over the years. We’re really happy to see The Empty Glass and Jason “Roadblock” Robinson join the VOA team. Also, beginning this weekend, Midnight Saturday/Sunday morning will see the premiere of an all-night block of Radio Free Charleston programming, as we bring you this week’s show, followed by two other previously-aired editions of the Radio Free Charleston New Appalachian Radio program.
Back to this week’s show, our first hour, as usual, is a mix of brand-new and classic local and regional music culled from the RFC archives.
Sheldon Vance “Strength To Let It Go”
The Laser Beams “Everybody Knows”
Slate Dump “Blues Grows On Trees”
Stephen Beckner “Cracker Blues”
This week The RFC MINI SHOW presents two songs by Todd Burge, one of the most respected singer/songwriters in West Virgina. We recorded Todd last June in a performance on Capitol Street in Charleston during FestivALL. With a nasty cold spell coming, we thought it might be nice to remember a hot summer day.
Todd performs his original tunes, “Our New Day” and “Change (For Clean Water).” It’s always a treat to feature Todd on any of the Radio Free Charleston programs, video or audio, and fans of Todd should be on the lookout for a Todd Burge themed hour on our streaming radio show coming up in February. Check out his website for information on how you can buy Todd’s music.
Next week, if all goes according to plan, Radio Free Charleston will return with its first full-length episode of 2015.
This week’s art is yet another version of that lame abstract that I’ve been doing variations of for ten years now. It’s an exercise in color theory, juxtaposition and laziness. Click to see it bigger, and come back to PopCult later Monday morning for the new RFC MINI SHOW starring Todd Burge.
The Giants in a photo swiped from American Songwriter
They Might Be Giants has been one of my favorite bands for nearly thirty years, but I haven’t featured them much here in PopCult. To rectify this oversight, here’s the band in concert at The Kennedy Center. This show was recorded October 2, 2010, and captures Johns, Flansburgh and Linnel, with their full back-up band.
One of the most prolific bands on the face of the Earth, in 2015 they will be releasing 52 original recordings at www.dialasong.com. One of the coolest things about the original radio incarnation of Radio Free Charleston was that, alongside the great local music, I also played alternative and progressive music. One night I played TMBG doing their song “Youth Culture Killed My Dog,” which may have led to the band being booked on Mountain Stage a year later.
On February 7, The Classic Plastic Toy and Comic Expo comes to The Parkersburg Art Center, 725 Market Street in Parkersburg. This is a toy and comic show being held to raise money for ARC West Virginia Region disaster relief. This kid-friendly event runs from 10 AM to 6 PM. Admission is a mere five dollars.