Rudy Panucci On Pop Culture

Month: August 2018 (Page 1 of 4)

The First Year of PopCult

The PopCulteer
August 31, 2018

As I mentioned on Tuesday, this is a bit of an anniversary week for me and this blog. Last Sunday was my wedding anniversary. Tuesday was the thirteenth anniversary of the first post in PopCult, and I neglected to mention it, but this weekend marks 29 years since the very first broadcast of Radio Free Charleston, on WVNS, 96.1 FM, right here in Charleston. To mark that, Labor Day will see a 24-hour marathon of Radio Free Charleston and Radio Free Charleston International, alternating on The AIR.

Since we’re looking back at things a bit. Today’s PopCulteer will link to some memorable firsts and important posts from the debut year of PopCult.  The first month, especially, really set the tone.


September 1 saw the first post about toys. It’s also the first really snarky thing I wrote in this blog.

On that same day, I posted a joke item that isn’t quite so funny anymore, now that this sort of thing happens in real life.

September 3 saw the first mention of The Charleston Playhouse, and later that day, the first mention of Jesco White.

September 6 was the first time I really pissed off somebody by posting the truth.

September 7 was first mention of local wrestling fed, IWA East Coast. I still write about them. Soon I’ll tell you about the Woody Numbers Memorial Show they’re having in October.

September 8 was when I published my sketchy bio. Things have changed quite a bit since then.

September 9 saw the first mention of The Beatles and Jack Kirby in PopCult, and the first appearance of the “Scape” series of not-really-that-good digital art.

September 14 saw the first long post about one of my favorite childhood toys, in this case Captain Action and the elusive Dr. Evil.

October 2 saw me bitching about Marquee Cinema at Southridge. I have not been back since. On those rare occasions when I do go to see a movie in a theater these days, I do it at Great Escape, which is now owned by Regal.

October 4 marked the first mention of Kate Bush in PopCult.

For some unfathomable reason, October 6 found me complaining about TiVo. Somebody must’ve really been doing a hard sell on it, because I seemed really worked up.

October 18 had me indulging in TV criticism and looking back fondly at Radio Free Charleston.  We all know where the latter eventually led.

October 21 was the day I first included multiple items in a single post, including a quick theater review, a promise of special Halloween music (which all disappeared from the servers during one of the moves) and an insult hurled at Charleston Mayor Danny Jones.

November 7 Mel Larch and I tried to revive our old Animated Discussions print column in this blog, but the animation glut and our schedules didn’t allow for this to happen often enough. We managed to keep it up on a weekly basis for a few months, but eventually it fell by the wayside.

On November 13 I wrote about falling and smashing my face. Nobody seems too upset that all the graphics that accompanied this post have vanished.

November 14 saw Mel and me writing about the premieres of Squidibillies and The Boondocks.

I was going to post a link to the first ever PopCult Gift Guide, but it seems to have disappeared from the archives. From December 7, here’s Day Three of the first year’s Gift Guide.

December 27 saw my first rant about local idiocy. Specifically, this was me stating my opposition to a plan to destroy Kanawha Boulevard so that all the imaginary people in Charleston who like to hang out on the riverfront can get there without having to dodge traffic. Of late the enemies of the Boulevard have succeeded in ruining the West end of this once-glorious parkway to install a multi-million dollar bike lane, which one year after its opening I still have yet to see a single bicyclist using. That bike lane has turned Kanawha Boulevard into a bottleneck that backs up from Patrick Street almost to Elk River every day during rush hour, and the people who stopped going that way have crowded the other ways out of town, causing everybody’s commutes to take way longer. See what happens when people don’t listen to me?

December 28 saw day two of Rant Week, wherein I explain why smoking in public should never be legal. Three years later the county health department agreed, and the quality of my life improved dramatically.  Day three was a harsh criticism of the WHCP Newscast, which irritated the station manager in a delightful manner.


January 24 saw me and Mel writing about the Disney takeover of Pixar. Little did we know that eventually Disney would also own Star Wars and Marvel.

The very next day saw the first prolonged mention of GI Joe in this blog.

On February 4, a bit irritated by a review that David Williams wrote of a West Virginia Symphony performance in which my now-wife, Mel Larch, was a guest soloist, I reviewed David’s review. I got a tiny lecture from my editor, who couldn’t quit laughing while admonishing me. Apparently all the musicians in the Symphony loved it. David seemed to get the humorous tone I was trying to strike with this post…sort of.

February 13 was the first time I covered the happenings at the International Toy Fair in New York. This was just habit. I’d been writing about Toy Fair for magazines for years. I still cover it here in PopCult, and even got to go there in person a couple of times.

February 21 saw PopCult gain national attention for the first time when super-blogger Mark Evanier linked to my piece about Radio Shack. More than twelve years later, people still ask “What was Radio Shack?”

On February 27, the WHCP Newscast failed, as I had predicted. Because their station manager had been a jerk to me in the comments, I rubbed salt in the wounds.

March 17 saw the first mention of The Aquabats in PopCult, although I had earlier reviewed their “Charge” album in the now-defunct “New Music” blog here at what was then the Gazz.  I wish I had access to those archives. I think I lost some of my best writing when they pulled the plug on that. I’m still talking about The Aquabats, as recently as yesterday.

On March 20, I really hated the V For Vendetta movie.

On April 13 I wrote about a Blogger meeting.  Two days later my mother passed away. I had been acting as her primary caregiver since 1997, and this was a major life-changing event for me.

May 1 saw the beginning of Monday Morning Art as a regular feature. Sadly, the first couple of month’s worth of these fell victim to the great blog-interface switch, and I cannot for the life of me remember what this one even looks like.

May 2 saw the first book review posted in PopCult as part of “Andy Prieboy Week.”

On May 10 I bitched about robocalls for the first time.

June 2 saw my first non-parental obituary, as Ian Copeland, Alex Toth and Desmond Dekker all passed away on the same day.

On June 23 I praised FestivALL for the first time, and also snuck in the announcement that Radio Free Charleston would be returning as part of The Gazz (and later PopCult).

On July 4, Radio Free Charleston officially debuted as a video program. Since we couldn’t embed video in the blog back then, you’ll have to go HERE to watch it.

August 28 saw me mark the first anniversary of PopCult by revisiting the previous December’s RANT WEEK.

And that’s enough navel-gazing for this week. It’s almost as if I just dashed-off a column full of links real quick on Tuesday so I could write it ahead of time and get out of town quick. I’ll tell you about the trip to NYC next week.

Sydney’s Big Electric Cat

Today we offer up yet another new episode of Sydney’s Big Electric Cat to plug on The AIR.  This is our two-hour, weekly New Wave Music showcase, presented from London by legendary pirate radio broadcaster, Sydney Fileen.

You can tune in today at 3 PM to hear Sydney’s Big Electric Cate at The AIR website, or just click on this cool little embedded player…

This week Sydney brings you another two-hour booster shot of the best music of the New Wave era. Check out this playlist:

BEC 037

Men At Work “Who Can It Be Now”
Men Without Hats “I Got The Message”
The Flirts “Passion (Special Maxi Version”
M “Moonlight and Muzak”
ABC “The Look of Love (Remix)”
Klaus Nomi “Wasting My Time”
Missing Persons “Destination Unknown”
New Musik “Misssing Persons”
Pretenders “The Wait”
Joe Jackson “Do The Instant Mash”
Joan Jett & The Blachearts “Cherry Bomb”
The Stanglers “Hey (Rise of the Robots)”
Klark Kent “Don’t Care”
Adam Ant “Dog Eat Dog”
Magazine “Parade”
Kate Bush “The Big Sky”
Wang chung “Don’t Let Go”
The Staff “Shut Up Tango”
Lost Loved Ones “Raise The Flag”
U2 “Out of Control”
Thomas Dolby “One of Our Submarines”
Vanity Fair “Lips Are Silent”
The The “This Is The Day”
Play “Red Movies”
Kissing The Pink “No One’s On The Same Side”
Thompson Twins “We Are Detective”

That is it for this week’s PopCulteer. Check back for all our regular features.


The Aquabats Escape The Dreaded Deadline Doom

In recent weeks I’ve been telling you about The Aquabats and their quest to revive their Aquabats Super Show (HERE and HERE), and I’ve also posted the video chapters of their quest to reunite the band. Well, the Kickstarter campaign has been rebooted so that it can be extended to September 29. All previous pledges were cancelled and new pledges are being made.

The band has also adjusted the goals and rewards, so that you can get REAL OBJECTS™ at lower levels, and now they don’t have to raise a million dollars to make anything happen.

The previous campaign was in its last week, and had just topped $600,000. That was impressive, but they’d set their sights too high.  In less than a day, the new campaign has already brought in nearly a quarter million, so this seems like a really wise move. They’ve already raised enough to record a new album and make six more mini-episodes of the show, just in the first eight hours (as your PopCulteer writes this).

Today I’m going to bring you the latest three (or four) installments of their reunion adventure, and you just saw the new Kickstarter widget above this to bring you up to date on how much money they’ve raised. Click the links in the first paragraph to see all the previous chapters of this gripping saga.

Watch MC Bat Commander skillfully reboot the campaign while cracking an in-joke about how much the previous one raised. See how the band tracks down Eaglebones and fights Powdered Milk Man, and then find Ricky selling fruit at the beach.  Will they find Crash, and can he save the day? The Aquabats Super Show was the best show in the history of the world, so you should sell your house and car and send all your money to The Aquabats now!

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The Great Comic Book Implosion of 1978

The PopCult Bookshelf

Comic Book Implosion
by Keith Dallas and John Wells
TwoMorrows Publishing
ISBN-13: 978-1605490854

Forty years ago this summer one of the most traumatic events in the lives of young comic book readers occurred. DC Comics, just a couple of months after launching a bold initiative that saw their books expanded to include more story pages at a higher price was ordered by the corporate execs at Warner Communications to slash their publishing output by 40%, cut their regular books back to the standard 32-page size and lay off several members of their editorial staff.

This was a major punch in the gut of every DC Comics fan, who thought that DC had finally found a way to counter the plunging newsstand sales that had plagued the entire comic book industry for the previous ten years. Retailers were put off by the low profit and hassle of selling comics, which still sold for very low prices, as opposed to magazines like Time and Newsweek, which cost a dollar or more, and therefore meant that the retailers made much more money per book.

For years, comic book publishers had held the line at keeping the cover price of their books low, at first by cutting the overall page count from 64 pages to 32, then by raising the cover price in tiny increments–from ten cents to twelve cents to fifteen, and then in the 1970s, the industry as a whole quickly had to raise the price of a basic 32 page comic to twenty, twenty-five, thirty, and by 1977, thirty-five cents, and this was as the pages of actual story dropped to 17, barely half the book was comics, with ads and text pages taking up the rest.

In 1978, DC, under the leadership of their still-new publisher, Jeanette Kahn, came up with the idea of leapfrogging the next inevitable price increase by adding pages. DC’s books would contain 25 pages of new comics in each issue, plus they’d have eight more pages to sell as advertising, and the price would jump from thirty-five to fifty cents, which would make the books more attractive to retailers.

Billed as “The DC Explosion,” this was one of the most exciting things to happen to mainstream comics in years. Every regular DC comic would add eight pages of extra comics, with some getting exciting new back-up strips, and others expanding their lead story to take up the full page count. It was a great time to read comics. DC had hired new editors like Larry Hama and Al Milgrom, and they brought great new talents with them.

Then, before the first books had even hit the stands, the axe fell. Panicked by horrible winter sales (which had been the result of a massive East Coast blizzard), Warners ordered massive cutbacks in DC’s publishing output. Before it had a chance to prove itself, DC had to cancel almost twenty titles. All of their bi-monthly books were either promoted to monthly status or shut down. All of their experimental Dollar Comics line were made bi-monthly and ad-free, with the page-count reduced.

Freelancers lost their assignments as DC had to move their contracted writers and artists to new books as theirs were cancelled. Hama and Milgrom were both let go (and went on to have distinguished careers at Marvel Comics in the 1980s). Overnight the “DC Explosion” had become “The DC Implosion,” and the comics industry was never quite the same again. Many believe that this was the tipping point that made both DC and Marvel commit to expanding the direct market, since newsstand sales had become so unpredictable.

In Comic Book Implosion, Dallas and Wells have assembled an oral history using new interviews, combined with contemporaneous news reports and interviews from the comics fan press (which was quite vital at the time), and sales reports and house ads from the comics involved. They have done a tremendous job creating a definitive record of what was a major turning point in the history of the American comic book.

What makes this book so important is that the “DC Implosion” is not just a major point in comic book history, but the reporting on it was a major event in sloppy online journalism.

About ten years ago one of the many comic book news sites ran a very long article to commemorate the thirtieth anniversary of The DC Implosion, and it was a remarkable piece in that it was so filled with errors, misiniformation and even a basic misunderstanding of when the event happened, that it took years to correct all the errors in fact that had arisen from it.  Folks who were ignorant of the true history cited this online article and spread a wealth of wrong info around the web in record time. The piece in question turned out to have been written by someone who hadn’t even been born when all this took place…and it showed.

That’s a major reason that this book is so important. Another is that it reveals hard facts about a time when the comics industry was in great peril. In the 1970s we lost several major comic book publishers as Dell and Gilberton shut down completely, Charlton, Harvey and Gold Key went through periods of using all reprints, and eventually all shut down, Atlas Comics came and went in the space of a year and DC and Marvel watched sales plummet to the point where both companies undertook massive reductions in the amount of titles they published in 1978. Marvel actually cancelled more books that DC did, but they didn’t do it all at once, so it wasn’t as noticeable.

Eventually this is what led to the creation of the direct-sales comic book market and the rise (with subsequent falls and rises) of the Comic Book Store. Had DC and Marvel not made the leap to the direct market, it’s entirely possible that both companies would have been reduced to printing nothing but reprints and collections, and the comic book as we know it may well have been a thing of the past.

Comic Book Implosion is highly-recommended for anyone interested in comic book history. It’s a great read, filled with tons of information and detail and even has side-chapters on DC’s infamous “Cancelled Comics Cavalcade,” a couple of limited-run xeroxed collections of stories that DC had commissioned during the 1970s which had never been published (they also have a handy guide to the stories from these collections that did eventually see print). Dallas and Wells do a tremendous job of establishing the context and consequences of this fateful and drastic business move. It’s also lavishly-illustrated with photos of the key players and plenty of examples of the comics in question, including eight pages in full color.

You can order the book directly from the publisher, or at a hefty discount, from Amazon. You can also order it from any local bookseller by using the ISBN code listed above.

Tuesday Means New Music On The AIR

I’ve been telling you that Tuesday is our most-listened-to day on The AIR and how we try to load it up with new episodes of our most popular shows, and wouldn’t you know it,  that’s exactly what we did this week as we bring you more great local music and other goodies like Swing and Psychedelica. This week all three of our music programs feature new episodes, and they’re all pretty gosh-darned delightful.  You can tune in at The AIR website, or listen in on this scientist-approved embedded radio player…

Today at 10 AM we are bringing you yet another brand-new episode of Radio Free Charleston, opening with great poppy-rock from the likes of QiET, Jordan Andrews Jefferson and Gof Van Gogh, and continuing with a great mix of new music and stuff from our archives before wind up with progressive Jazz and experimental electronic. See the playlist below the jump.

Radio Free Charleston can be heard Tuesday at 10 AM and 10 PM, with replays Thursday at 2 PM, Friday at 8 PM and Saturday at 11 AM and Midnight, exclusively on The AIR.

At 2 PM it’s time for Nigel Pye and his psychedelic mixtape program, Psychedelic Shack. This week we get yet another new episode of Psychedelic Shack in its new one-hour format, bringing you Nigel and his weekly hour-long mix of mind-blowing psychedelic music. In this week’s show you’ll hear vintage Rolling Stones, Small Faces, Syd Barret and more mind-altering music. See the playlist below the jump.

Psychedelic Shack can be heard Tuesday’s at 2 PM, with replays Wednesday at 11 AM, Thursday at 5 PM and Saturday at 7 AM.

At 3 PM The Swing Shift brings you another new hour that mixes all types of Swing Music from the last one hundred years into an eminently danceable, cohesive whole. From Count Basie and Glenn Miller to Wynton Marselis and The Royal Crown Revue to new music from Seal and Jack’s Cats, this is one swingin’ affair.

You can hear The Swing Shift Tuesday at 3 PM, with replays Wednesday at 7 AM, Thursday at 7 PM and Saturday at 9 AM, only on The AIR. You can also hear all-night marathons, seven hours each, starting at Midnight Thursday and Sunday evenings.

Remember, you can tune in to The AIR at all hours of the day and night for a variety and quality of programming that you will not find anywhere else.

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Anniversary Week


Without quite planning it, the last week of August has become an anniversary week for me. Sunday, August 26, Mel Larch and I marked four years of marriage. It’s easily the greatest thing that’s ever happened to me, and we will be celebrating later this week in an undiclosed location.

However, August 28 is  the anniversary of my very first two posts here in PopCult. I was just testing the waters, so they’re short and somewhat silly, but to save you the trouble of scrolling all the way to the bottom of the page to find the link, here they are:

First I posted, under the headline “Buy An Ebow on Ebay,” “Then write emo songs. Maybe you can get Brian Eno to produce your album.”

Had I known that I’d still be doing this thirteen years later, I might have come up with something more profound. My second post is a bit laughable because my tastes in food have changed dramatically since I wrote it. Under the headline “Feeling A Bit Crabby…” I wrote the following:

“I’m notoriously seafood-phobic. Can’t stand the stuff. I can’t even eat at a table where somebody else is eating shrimp–it just grosses me out. But there is one execption. I love crabmeat Won Tons. So the question I put forth is this–just exactly where in Charleston can a person find a decent crabmeat Won Ton?

Back in the 80s, I used to be able to get them at the mall, but now it seems that every place that sells Won Tons either fills them with nothing, or they fill them with some sort of sick, twisted cream cheese concoction (surely a creation of the Debbil!).

Has all the crab meat been hi-jacked for use in Krabby Patties or something?”

Not exactly Pulitzer material, I know. What’s funny about this post is that, two years later, I decided to start trying food and drink that I’d previously avoided, and discovered that I really like a lot of seafood. I regularly eat fish. I enjoy lobster on occasion. I have found the missing Crab Rangoon (the artist formerly known as Won Ton), and have even tried a variety of other seafood thingys that I found to be less desirable. I can’t really say I’m seafood-phobic any more. I did discover during this time of discovery that I still hate the taste of all beer, coffee, and anything with alcohol in it.

When I really started blogging in earnest, in September, 2005, I covered topics like IWA East Coast Wrestling, the comics art of Jack Kirby, Captain Action and Dr. Evil and Spinach, and posted the first Monday Morning Art (which wasn’t yet a regular feature at that point), a digital painting of my kid sister, who is now the Chief Public Defender of Kanawha County.

The image at the top of this post is the very first piece of digital art that I ever posted for public consumption (or rejection).  It’s called “Out The Window” and it was posted on August 31, 2005. Below you see a new version I just did yesterday of this painting, which proves that in thirteen years I have become somewhat more smeary as an artiste.

About a year later I started posting my art every Monday instead of randomly on any day of the week.  A lot of the early photos and art, and all of the music that I posted here fell between the cracks during some of the several server moves that PopCult has experienced.  That’s also why the first two years of this blog are credited to my original editor, Douglas Imbrogno, because of a glitch during the switch from Blogger to WordPress.

Aside from this post, I don’t see any need to call any attention to PopCult’s 13th anniversary. It’s not really a milestone, and some folks get squeamish around that number.  I do want to take a moment to thank all of you who have stuck by me since day one, through deaths, weddings, several hundred videos (including Radio Free Charleston), lost of posts about toys, comics, movies, books and gift guides, plus an internet radio station or two. I plan to keep doing this until the Gazette-Mail remembers I’m here and pulls the plug.


Monday Morning Art: Queen of Soul


Last week my lovely wife of four years and one day, Mel Larch, produced a tribute to Aretha Franklin on her radio show, Curtain Call (heard on The AIR). The late legend was a big fan of musical theater, and performed many memorable show tunes during her career. She even made plans to have her life story turned into a stage musical, and we hope those plans are realized. Mel played the Queen of Soul interpreting many classic showtunes, and tossed in a few of her biggest hits, too.

To accompany the PopCult post where I plugged Mel’s show, I tossed together a quick digital painting based on my favorite Aretha moment, a scene from The Blues Brothers. People were so happy with that small graphic that I decided to use it, in an easier-to-see form without the text, for this week’s Monday Morning Art. So that’s why we have this week’s digital painting, my tribute to The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin. You can hear special replays of Mel’s tribute to Ms. Franklin on Curtain Call Tuesday morning at 9 AM, and Wednesday afternoon at 4 PM. You can also click on the image for an even bigger version.

Our Monday Marathon continues on The AIR, which you can listen to at The Website, or on the embedded player at the bottom of this post. This week it’s all live, local music, for 24 hours, starting Monday morning at 7 AM. We’ve grouped the performances together, so you can hear every one of the dozens of local artists in our live music library in extended sets (where we have more than one live tune, that is). Some of the recordings are national acts who were recorded locally. Groups that only have a few live recordings in our archives will be sprinkled throughout the schedule all day.

The schedule roughly includes C2JC at 8:10 AM, Christopher “Qiet” Harris at 9:30 AM, Groove Heavy at 10: 20 AM, Hybrid Sould Project at 11 AM, Go Van Gogh at Noon, John Lancaster at 1: 30 PM, Low Cut Connie at 2: 30 PM, Mark McGuire at 3:20 PM, Mojomatic at 4:40 PM, The Fat And Sassy Band at 6: 25 PM, The Scrap Iron Pickers at 7:30 PM, The Sprugie Hankins Band a 8 PM, Travis Stephens at 8:45 PM, Time Lancaster at 10: 50 PM, The Contrarians at 11 :40 PM, Sothern Culture on the Skids at 1 AM, Rye Baby at 2 AM, Unkown Hinson at 2:40 AM, We’ll wrap up this full day of local tunes with three hours of Rubber Soul, from the Beatles marathon concert last February. All times listed are approximate, so give or take five or ten minutes, and they are Eastern Daylight time.

Sunday Evening Videos: Will Vinton

Will Vinton (right) is a pioneering independent animator who learned stop motion techniques using clay from Bill Gardiner, and then went on to create Oscar-winning animated shorts, commercials, TV shows and features films, after coining the term “Claymation” to identify his work.

Of course, clay animation was a thing long before Vinton got in the game, with Gumby being the most prominent clay-animated star years before Vinton got into the game. Even my brother, Frank, made clay-animated films as a youngster before Vinton learned his craft. But Vinton certainly popularized the technique, and made his trademark name for it famous with The California Raisins, The PJs and several sequences for movies.

Vinton was forced out of his company shortly after the turn of the century, and that studio continues under the name “Laika” (Coraline, Paranorman, Kubo and the Two Strings), while Vinton has moved on to found Will Vinton’s Freewill Entertainment, where he develops features films, graphic novels and gallery exhibitions.

This week PopCult’s Sunday Evening Videos brings you a documentary (apologies for the irritating narrator) about Will Vinton (above) and two of his classic shorts below.

The RFC Flashback: Episode 149

From December, 2011, we have a psuedo-holiday episode of Radio Free Charleston. That’s episode 149, “Shredd’s Pizzeria Shirt,” at the top of this post, and it was an early Christmas present, that we tired to load with special gifts for our loyal viewers.

We were proud to present a World Premiere music video by Sasha Colette, “Rock of Ages,” plus we had a music video by Huntington’s master of pop music, Jordan Andrew Jefferson, the RFC debut of a new band, Trielement, and we dipped into our archives for a special Christmas tune performed by RFC’s resident Diva, Melanie Larch and The Diablo Blues Band. We also had two trailers for special projects and we met Hasbro, in a vintage commercial.

Our first music video was directed by the Apartment 2B crew, Toby Moore, Molly Tilly and David Smith. Huntington’s Jordan Andrew Jefferson seranaded us with “Coconuts For You (Yes You).”  Trielement was then a new progressive supergroup. Kenny Booth from HarraH and Dave Roberts from The Nanker Phelge have teamed up with bassist Joey Lafferty to form a new instrumental power trio. We caught their first performance with this line up, and with additional camera by Ally Green, we created a cool performance clip of  “Soular Flare” by the band.

Our big surprise this week was a world premiere music video by Sasha Collette. (left) Directed by Leah Connelly Felton, with puppet work by Patrick Felton, this was one of the coolest surprises that we ever sprang on our viewers.

Our plans to offer some new holiday music in this episode sort of fell through, but we didn’t want to let the Yule go by unnoticed, so we tossed in a heaping helping of X Mas Interstitials handmade by Frank Panucci, and on the way out, under the end credits, we jumped back a couple of years to bring you, once again, RFC’s resident Diva, Melanie Larch backed by The Diablo Blues Band with “Please Come Home For Christmas.”

You can find the original production notes HERE.


Ramones-Mania on Sydney’s Big Electric Cat

The PopCulteer
August 24, 2018

It’s time for another very brief PopCulteer.We fell behind a bit here at the blog because of the technical issues earlier in the week, so today we just have the one item for you. Rest assured that there will be another extra post later this weekend, as we play catch-up with a new edition of The PopCult Bookshelf.

Today we have a new episode of Sydney’s Big Electric Cat to plug on The AIR.  This is our two-hour, weekly New Wave Music showcase, presented from London by legendary pirate radio broadcaster, Sydney Fileen.

You can tune in today at 3 PM to hear Sydney’s Big Electric Cate at The AIR website, or just click on this cool little embedded player…

On today’s debut show, in addition to a healthy smattering of New Wave hits and misses, Sydney salutes the movie, Rock ‘N’ Roll High School, the Roger Corman musical about a girl who wants The Ramones to perform at her high school. In the second hour of this week’s Big Electric Cat, Sydney plays several tracks from the soundtrack LP, including cuts by Nick Lowe and DEVO, as well as six songs by The Ramones.

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, Tuesday at 7 AM, Wednesday at 8 PM and Thursday at Noon, exclusively on The AIR.

Here’s this week’s playlist…

BEC 036

XTC “Are You Receiving Me”
Frankie Goes To Hollywood “Welcome To The Pleasuredome”
Payolas “I Am A City”
Madness “Driving In My Car”
Siouxsie and the Banshees “Dear Prudence”
Elvis Costello and the Attractions “High Fidelity”
The Cars “Good Times Roll”
Gary Numan “Conversation (live)”
The Hitmen “Eyes Open”
Auckland Walk “Instant Pictures”
The Dickies “She Loves Me Not”
The Beat “Mirror In The Bathroom”
Ramones “Rock N Roll High School”
The Plaey Brothers “Come On Let’s Go”
Nick Lowe “So It Goes”
DEVO “Come Back Johnee”
Eddie and the Hot Rods “Teenage Depression”
Ramones “Ramones Medley”
Ultravox “Someone Else’s Clothes”
The Producers “Dear John”
Jane Weildin and Sparks “Cool Places”
The Teardrop Expolodes “When I Dream”
Oingo Boingo “You Really Got Me”
The Clash “I’m Not Down”

That is our sole item this week. Later this weekend we plan to post a book review, and you can come back for all our regular features as we do our best to provide fresh content every day (when the servers are working, that is).

Your Thursday AIR Programming Guide

Thursday brings you a new episode of one of our most popular shows on The AIR, plus two episodes of shows that debuted Tuesday, when PopCult had gone out askew on treddle.  We have replays of Radio Free Charleston and The Swing Shift, and then it’s a brand-new edition of Prognosis, our guide to Progressive Rock, that you can tune in at the website, or on this nifty little player…

While PopCult was cut off from the rest of the world Tuesday, we debuted a great new episode of Radio Free Charleston that opened with a vintage Rockabilly-era single from The Eddie Harris Trio. We also had tons of other great stuff, and you can see the playlist after the jump at the bottom of this post. The reston for that is that this show will be replayed Thursday at 2 PM, so you can tune in and hear what all the buzz was about.  You can also hear Radio Free Charleston Friday at 8 PM, Saturday at 11 AM and Midnight and Sunday at 5 PM.

Thursday at 3 PM yours truly hosts two hours of a fantastic mix of new and classic progressive rock on Prognosis. This week the plan is to open with Carl Palmer’s ELP Legacy, but as we write this, there is something weird going on with The AIR. I’m posting the playlist below, but you might hear a different episode instead. Prognosis can be heard every Thursday at 3 PM, with replays Friday at 7 AM, Saturday at 8 AM, Tuesday at 8 PM and Wednesday at 10 PM, exclusively on The AIR.

At 7 PM you can catch this week’s edition of The Swing Shift, which opens with Lee Presson and The Nails doing a Swing cover of a Van Halen tune, and after that it gets a little weird (see the playlist after the jump). Following The Swing Shift, at 8 PM, we replay Mel Larch’s salute to Aretha Franklin on Curtain Call.

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