Rudy Panucci On Pop Culture

Month: June 2019 (Page 1 of 4)

Sunday Evening Video: Nightmare Music From Hell

We just have a short video this week, but it’s pretty striking. It’s also pretty disturbing and may well permanently scar the psyche of all but the most hardened of humans.

YouTube guy, Look Mum No Computer, has created something that manages to be cute, creepy, hideous, enthralling and repugnant, all at the same time.

He has created a musical organ using 44 Furbys (I’m not quite sure about the pluralization here. It may be “Furbies” or it may be “Furby.” It could possibly even be “Furbatim”). You may remember Furbys from the late 1990s as a hot toy that looked a lot like a pre-conversion Gremlin, but had the unique feature of interactivity and a sort of speech.

The truth is that the little electronic critters sold spectacularly well, then flamed out as their inherent creepiness and great ability to annoy became apparent. For a few years now Hasbro has attempted to revive this toy, an effort which seems to have been met with a collective “HELL NO” by anyone who remembers the little battery-eating buggers from their first go-round. One Furby can drive a normal adult insane in less than 24 minutes. Imagine what an unholy chorus of 44 of the evil little robots can do.

Anyway, this video shows the guy yammering about his creation in some bizarre accent, then he fires up the hellish machine and plays some music as we see him assemble this obscene musical instrument, acting like some kind of cross between Dr. Frankenstein, Joseph Mengele and Nikola Tesla.  It is grotesquely beautiful, in its own horrifying way.

I suppose the weirdest thing about this video is that I found it while looking for videos on a completely different topic for today’s post. You might see those next week.

The RFC Flashback: Episode 190

From September, 2013 we have a loaded edition of Radio Free Charleston called “Shark Shirt.” This show featured music from The Renfields, Decomposing in Paris, The Dread Crew of Oddwood and Snakebox. There was also a new Prelinger film by Frank Panucci. Our host sgements once again were designed to plug the then-upcoming second year of ShockaCon.

Speaking of ShockaCon, that year the musical headliners on Saturday were The Renfields. This episode of RFC just happens to have then-previously-unseen footage of The Renfields from the previous year’s ShockaCon. The band that occupies that special Venn Diagram where The Ramones overlap with The Groovie Ghoulies were represented here with their original song, “Killer Klowns From Outer Space.”

Decomposing In Paris was a band from Ireland that found their way to The Empty Glass via Kentucky. Their music is ethereal, trippy and it has a beat. It was unlike anything we’ve had on the show before. Two Irish natives and one fairy-winged expatriate from Ashland, Kentucky, currently living in Belfast, made up this band.

The show then took time out for a dance break, which included famed pin-up model, Bettie Page. This is from Frank Panucci’s clip compilation, “Dance, Dance, Prelinger” It’s made of public domain video, set to Frank’s music. It’s also part of this complete breakfast!

The Dread Crew of Oddwood is a band of pirates from San Diego who sing of their adventures on the high seas using their own style of music that they call “Heavy Mahogany.” The RFC crew recorded The Dread Crew of Oddwood as they plundered The Empty Glass and in this show you’ll hear them performing “Meat, Bread and Wine.”

You will be hearing more from The Dread Crew in the coming weeks in The RFC Flashback.

Playing over the end credits this week was Snakebox, who returned after their debut in the previous episode of Radio Free Charleston. This eclectic band performs lead singer, Kevin Crump’s, original song, “Dead Planet.”



It’s Time For Candy And Soda!

The PopCulteer
June 28, 2019

A couple of weeks ago your PopCulteer was busy making the drive from Wheeling to Moundsville to Columbus for some serious toy business. Mrs. PopCulteer and myself had decided at one point to stop at the Ohio Valley Mall in Saint Clairsville Ohio where we discovered a new store that had just opened earlier this year. C.J. Bucket’s Candy Shop sells candy, ice cream and soda, and they have a pretty amazing selection all crammed into a pretty compact space right off of the food court. We stocked up on exotic regional candy and a six-pack of mixed sodas (buy five, get the sixth for free), and decided that we’d have to make a return visit.

We were so struck by the coolness of this store that we made a return visit the following week, since we were sort of up that way again for a family visit. This time I brought my camera. As luck would have it we happened by as the regional manager was doing inventory, and she explained that this was one of nine stores (some with different names) and that the flagship location, which brews its own sodas, is called “Grandpa Joe’s,” and is located in Pittsburgh’s Strip District. She even had photos on her phone, and told us that they offered a much, much bigger selection.

That store may well be the topic of another PopCult photo essay someday.

Today we’re going to show you some photos of this treasure that you can find right off of Interstate 70, not far from the Ohio/West Virginia border. This was a real treat because I’ve been ordering weird regional candy bars for years. This was my first time seeing many of them in the wild.

They even had the Idaho Spud, which I wrote about four years ago here in PopCult, and they had several candy bars that I’d tried via mail-order over fifteen years ago. CJ Bucket’s also carries international candy bars, including the elusive Curly Wurly Bar from Britain (it’s pretty much what we used to call a Marathon Bar in the US), and they had Hershey’s Ice Cream and private chocolates as well.

It’s a really fun place to visit, unless you have blood sugar issues (actually it’s still fun then, but it can be dangerous). If you fid yourself up that way it’s well worth a visit. Plus it makes for a fun photo essay.

Check out their Facebook page, and feast your eyes on the following images.

When we walked into the mall looking for a quick lunch, we had no idea of the wonders that lay within.


They had us right when we set foot in the store. The first thing we saw was candy from around the world.

Continue reading

Prognosis Switches Days Next Week

Herman Linte bids farewell to Thursdays with a new episode of our Progressive Rock showcase, Prognosis Thursday at 3 PM on  The AIR. You can listen at the website, or on this embedded radio player…

Our Thursday morning  line up sees this week’s Psychedelic Shack replayed at 9 AM, followed by a replay of the previous week’s edition of Sydney’s Big Electric Cat at 10 AM and Radio Free Charleston International at Noon. Then at 2 PM we replay this week’s new Radio Free Charleston, before kicking into a brand-new Prognosis at 3 PM. Starting next week, Prognosis moves back to Monday at 3 PM, as we shake up our schedule again when The AIR hits it’s third anniversary as “The AIR.” Our trip down the internet radio rabbit hole actually began with a different station name back in November, 2014, but that’s a story for next week.

This week Herman Linte presents two hours of great progressive rock on Prognosis at 3 PM, with a new show featuring a small number of very long songs from the likes of Ad Infinitum, Big Big Train, Martin Barre, Neal Morse, Camel and more. The show opens with a new song by Jon Anderson, which features guitar work by Steve Howe, marking the first time these two YES stalwarts have collaborated on new music in over eighteen years. Then at 5 PM, for one last time on Thursday, we follow that with a classic episode of Prognosis, giving you four solid hours of challenging and progressive music.

This week’s episode sports this well-crafted playlist:

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John Anderson “Now and Again”
Ad Infinitum “Waterline”
Neal Morse “Jesus’ Temptation”
Big Big Train “Roman Stone”
Camel “Nimrodel/The Procsession/The White Rider”
Gil Steinbacher Project “Free As The Wind (Raindance)
King Crimson “FraKctured”
Utopia “Another Life (live)”
Cosmograf “A Million Choices”
The Dave Foster Band “Ghosts”
Martin Barre “Thick As A Brick (excerpt)”
Yes “Soon”

Starting next week Prognosis can be heard every Monday at 3 PM, with replays Tuesday at 7 AM and 8 PM, Wednesday at 10 PM, Thursday at 1 PM and Saturday at 10 AM, exclusively on The AIR. Also tune in Mondays at 11 PM for a weekly eight-hour marathon of the best of Prognosis. Keep your fingers crossed, because the plan is to have a brand-new episode of Prognosis next Monday, but if that becomes impossible, we’ll run this one in that spot. It never hurts to have a back-up plan.

Our Thursday evenings continues to let our listeners play catch-up with the week’s new episodes of The Swing Shift, Curtain Call, Beatles Blast and Psychedelic Shack, beginning at 7 PM. At 11 PM we bring you an hour of comedy, then we kick into the all-night marathon of The Swing Shift. That may all change next week. Check back to see.

Wednesday Afternoon Brings Beatles and Broadway On The AIR

Wednesday afternoon on The AIR, you can tune in to new episodes of Beatles Blast and Curtain Call.  You can listen at the website, or on this embedded radio player…

At 2 PM on Beatles Blast, yours truly hosts the fourth of a ten-part look at rare and unreleased music by The Beatles. For most of the summer, Beatles Blast will follow this format and bring you The Lost Beatles Project. This will be a treat for the die-hard fans as we mine the best of the recently-released archive projects by the band, and mix in rare releases and wild remixes from their band and solo years. We won’t be posting playlists for these shows because the whole point is that each of these programs will be a revelatory surprise.

Beatles Blast can be heard every Wednesday at 2 PM, with replays Thursday at 9 PM, Friday at 11 AM, Sunday at 5 PM and Tuesdays at 9 AM, exclusively on The AIR.

At 3 PM Mel Larch presents a new hour of great musical theater on Curtain Call.  This week Mel brings you performances by folks like Lin Manuel Miranda, Laura Benanti, Angela Lansbury, and even Huntington’s own Tony-winner, Michael Cervaris. You’ll hear songs from classic shows like My Fair Lady and A Little Night Music, tunes from modern classics like Fun Home and In The Heights and brand-new off-Broadway shows like Renascence. It truly is an hour of the best of musical theatre.

Check out the playlist:

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“When You’re Home” From In The Heights (2007 Studio Cast)
“Sex Is In The Heel” From Kinky Boots (Live West End recording)
“I Think I Got You Beat” from Shrek The Musical OBC
“Please Come To Our House, Jason” From Falsettos Broadway Cast (revival)
“The Ballad of The Harp-Weaver” from Renascence off-Broadway cast
“Stonger” From Hands On A Hardbody OBC
“King of Sin” From Leap of Faith
“I Could Have Danced All Night” by Laura Benanti (from “Songs from My Fair Lady”)
“So In Love” From Kiss Me Kate (Kelli O’Hara)
“Send In The Clowns” Angela Lansbury From A Sondheim Evening Concert Cast Recording
“Telephone Wire” From Fun Home Off-Broadway (Beth Malone, Michael Cervaris)

After the new hour of Curtain Call, stick around for two additional episodes from the Curtain Call archives. Curtain Call can be heard Wednesday at 3 PM, with replays Thursday at 8 AM and Saturday at 6 PM. An all-night marathon of Curtain Call episodes can be heard Wednesday nights, beginning at Midnight, and an additional marathon can be heard Sunday evenings from 6 PM to midnight..

New RFC Loaded With New Local Music, Plus New Psychedelic Shack and The Swing Shift Tuesday On The AIR

Once again, we have an all-new-programming Tuesday on The AIR as we deliver new episodes of Radio Free Charleston, Psychedelic Shack and The Swing Shift to our loyal listeners. Why don’t you become one and tune in at the website, or on this embedded radio player…

It all kicks off at 10 AM (with a replay at 10 PM– all times EDT) with a brand-new edition of Radio Free Charleston. This week’s show is loaded with great new music from John Radcliff, Spencer Elliott, Todd Burge, The Mediogres and more, plus we dig into the archives for some hidden gems, as we are doing with every show this year.

I’m also going to experiment with something new this week. If my experiment works, you will be able to click on the episode number above the playlist that follows, and go to a page where you can download a low-res version of this week’s show.  I’m trying this to see if it’s feasible to do every week. We may have to take them down after a while to conserve server space or there may be technical issues since this is new thing. Give it a shot if you don’t have time to tune in to our live stream, why don’cha?

Links in the playlist should take you to the artist’s websites, where possible.

Check out the playlist:


John Radcliff “Come Back Down”
Spencer Elliott “The Last Two People On Earth”
Todd Burge “Ask Them To”
Cast of Paradise Park “What Do You Think About”
Fletcher’s Grove “The Thugger”
Beneath “Poultice”
Beggars Clan “Divide and Conquer”
Mediogres “The Ballad of Marla Singer”
The Heavy Editors “On TV”
Emmalea Deal “Sacred”
Gypsy Rhythm “Missing (live)”
Rasta Rafiki “Apathy of the World”
Under The Radar “All Along The Watchtower”

Radio Free Charleston can be heard Tuesday at 10 AM and 10 PM, with replays Thursday at 2 PM, Friday at 8 PM, Saturday at 11 AM and Midnight and Sunday at 1 PM, exclusively on The AIR.

At 2 PM on Psychedelic Shack Nigel Pye checks in from Haversham Recording Institute with a 60-minute mixtape of groovy Psychedelic Rock. Our friend, the Hippie Gnome, Nigel Pye, has cheerfully decided to provide us with a playlist for this new episodem so tune in turn on and check out the playlist…

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Psychedelic Porn Crumpets “Social Candy”
Dr. John “Peace, Brother, Peace”
The Residents “Cry For The Fire”
Ian McDonald “You Are A Part of Me”
Harry Nilsson “One”
Janis Joplin “A Woman Left Lonely”
Bubble Puppy “Todd’s Tune”
Writing On The Wall “Boogeyman”
Chess For Breakfast “Ambulance”
Dizzy Mystics “The Scythe Penduluum Swings”
Adrian Below “Hypocrites and Lobsters”
Jimi Hendrix “Sunshine of Your Love”
Ringo Starr “Blindman”

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 as well as the following Tuesday at 9 AM.

At 3 PM your PopCulteer returns to host a new hour of The Swing Shift as we continue to bring you the best Swing Music of the last century. This week we take bring you a broad assortment of new Swing, Retro Swing and vintage original Swing, and even a couple of tunes by closet swingers, Joe Jackson and George Harrison. Pop your peepers at this list of hep cats…

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The Hungry Williams “Get Your Hat”
Dr. John “Boxcar Boogie”
The Jive Aces “Sunny Side of the Street”
The Dorsey Brothers “Boogie Woogie”
Big Papi and The TCB “A Day Late And A Dollar Short”
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy “Ain’t Nobody Here But Us Chickens”
The Swingin’ Sisters “Tanav, Kus So Elad”
Chris Grant Company “So Hard”
Hetty and the Jazzato Band “Mambo Italiano”
Susan Arioli “I Cover The Waterfront”
Frank Sinatra ‘My Kind of Girl”
Kansas City Jazz Orchestra “Take The A Train”
The Four Vagabonds “Hit That Jive Jack”
The Ray Ellington Orchestra “Taint What You Do”
George Harrison “Zig Zag”
Joe Jackson “(He’s A) Shape In a Drape”

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. Check PopCult regularly for details on our new episodes.

Monday Morning Art: Up In The Sky


Still in a New York State of mind this week we have a quick pen drawing, using Sharpies (Ultra Fine and Fine) and a ruler. It’s based on a view of the World Trade Center complex that I saw from the TopView bus. That’s WTC One in the background. After laying this down on printer paper, I scanned it and added the teal color for the sky, just to tip the hat to Myasthenia Gravis Awareness month. You can click the image to see it bigger.

Meanwhile, Monday on The AIR, this week we bring you a Monday Marathon of live music, including concerts by The Police, and Alan Parsons Project, plus four hours of local music, featuring Go Van Gogh and C2J2, among others.  . That starts at 7 AM. At 3 PM we bring you eight hours of Sydney’s Big Electric Cat, filling The AIR with crunchy New Wave goodness. Then at 11 PM we kick it over to Prognosis, with eight hours of great progressive rock.

You can listen to The AIR at the website, or on this embedded radio player…

Sunday Evening Videos: FestivALL 2012

Charleston’s FestivALL is in full swing, and due to other commitments, I don’t think I’ll be able to attend any of the cool events this year. To be honest, my diagnosis with Myasthenia Gravis has put a major damper on attending any outdoor events, and those were the things I really enjoyed the most about FestivALL. Anybody who is willing and able and enjoys art, music, dance and theatre should be taking part in the festivities.

For several years, before it was a paying gig, I was one of the few people shooting and posting video of the events. Luckily, there are plenty of people in town now to record and post all the cool stuff I’ll miss, and if they let me, I’ll re-post their videos here.

This week we look at episodes 161 and 162 of Radio Free Charleston, including music by Red Audio, The Bob Thompson Unit, Andy Park, Emily Burdette, Paul Calicoat, The Boatmen, Ritchie Collins and more. all recorded at FestivAll 2012. You’ll also see the Art Parade, RJ Haddy doing a make-up demo, Ian Bode, Jude Binder and all kinds of other cool stuff. Between both shows there’s over one hour and fifty minutes of fine FestivAll entertainment. So enjoy and expect more next week.

The RFC Flashback: MINI SHOW Episode One

This week we go back to September, 2013 for the very first RFC MINI SHOW featuring Jabberwocky, a Huntington-based dance band that we recorded a couple of weeks earlier at The Blue Parrot. We captured the band performing Eddie Floyd’s “Knock On Wood,” and Stevie Wonder’s “Uptight (Everything’s All Right).”  I don’t believe the band has performed since 2015. At least they haven’t updated their Facebook page since then.

Jabberwocky’s special blend of styles included blues, soul and rock & roll, along with a little southern rock and country. A hint of classical training makes their sound something you won’t hear anywhere else. Ace musicians with great singers and a horn section more powerful than a locomotive,  If anybody has an update on what they’re doing now, please leave a comment.

The RFC MINI SHOW was a spin-off of Radio Free Charleston. It’s little bite-sized bits of musical video goodness to help soothe the pain of the long wait between full-length episodes of Radio Free Charleston. The official story was that it was a way to fill the spaces between full-length episodes of its parent show, but now I can admit that it was actually a way to delay our 200th episode while I came up with something special for our milestone (spoiler alert: I didn’t). The RFC Flashback will present these tiny, single-artist versions of our show in the order in which they appeared, alternating with the full-length shows.

BatCon In Nitro Saturday

One of the coolest things happening locally is sadly, something your PopCulteer will have to miss due to a family commitment. BatCon, a pop culture convention inspired by, but not exclusively devoted to, Batman, takes place at Kingsway Church (the former Nitro High School).

There will be local artists, vendors selling cool toys and stuff and cosplayers galore. One of the guest artists is Glen Brogan, whose tribute to the 1989 Batman movie is seen at the head of this post.

I’m hoping that this is a huge success, because I’d love to be able to go next year.

You can find more info at the Facebook Page, or just scroll down for the handy graphics…


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