Rudy Panucci On Pop Culture

Month: June 2019 (Page 3 of 4)

New RFC, 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’ show is devoted to instrumental music and opens with a brand-new track from Fayetteville’s Black Garlic. We dig back in the archives a bit, and mix up the old and new.

Check out the playlist:


Black Garlic “Blound Brears”
Fletcher’s Grove “Log Jam”
Socio Turmoil and The Dynamic Brain “Her Name Is Elana”
Karma To Burn “Nineteen”
John Inghram “The Gospel”
A Flying Fortress “Umami”
Neostra “Passage to the Eternal”
Todd Tamenend Clark “Dark Matter/Dark Energy”
Scrap Iron Pickers “Swamp Thing”
Rudy Panucci “Spring Piano Sketch”
Mel Larch “Fishtune”

I want to mention that it would have made perfect sense to include new music from Spencer Elliott in this show, but I put this show together last week, before his new CD was released, so we’ll have to play catch-up and bring you new music from Spencer over the coming weeks.

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 once again neglected to provide us with a playlist for this new episode, but he tells me that it opens with Blues Magoo, and that the rest of the show is filled with “really heavy, trippy stuff, man.”

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 that mission to heart and devote the entire show to the music of Glenn Miller, 115 years after his birth, and 75 years after his unfortunate passing.

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: A Trip In New York


We’re still in New York City again this week, in terms of our weekly dose of art, and this time our art is back in a psychedelic vein.  This is a digital trippy take on some of the many buildings that I took photos of during that early May trip to New York City that you might be getting sick of by now. This one’s a bit of a tibute to Heinz Edelmann and Milton Glaser, with my own digital touches added.  That’s what you have here. I think it looks pretty cool. You can click the image to see it bigger.

Meanwhile, Monday on The AIR, this week we bring you a Monday Marathon of Curtain Call, since you may still be in a Broadway mood following last night’s Tony Awards. Mel Larch is your host for a weekly hour of the best of musical theater, and this marathon will present episodes of her show that focus on Tony nominees and Tony Winners.  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 Video: The Marx Toy Convention

The annual Marx Toy Show, which has been held at The Kruger Street Toy & Train Museum in Wheeling since 1998, kicks off Friday with early events and dealer set-ups, and runs through Saturday. Your PopCulteer has lost count of how many times he’s gone to this toy show, which is one of the most enjoyable in the country.

This year, we’re only going to be around for the first day, then we’ll make a brief stop in Moundsville where Francis Turner has promised to re-open the Marx Toy Musuem for one night only to show off more cool new acquisitions, and maybe sell off some of his excess stock. After that, Mr. and Mrs. PopCulteer will make our way to Columbus for the first MEGO Meet that we’ve been able to attend for five years. I’ll tell you all about the MEGO Meet later this week, but tonight we’re going to look back at a few videos we’ve made of previous Marx Toy Shows.

Above you see our quick-hit music video of last year’s show. Below you can find a couple of videos of previous Marx Toy Shows, as well as a couple of videos I made last year about Francis Turner’s Ballad of Big Loo. The Marx Toy Show happens June 14 and 15 at the Kruger Street Toy and Train Museum, and you can my photo essay on last year’s show HERE, and an index to our coverage from previous years HERE.

The RFC Flashback: Episode 188

This week we go back to late July, 2013, for an edition of Radio Free Charleston that was intended to promote that year’s ShockaCon, which happened two months later. Radio Free Charleston 188, “NU-TRA Shirt,” welcomed back two old friends to the show, but also showcased them in two venues which hadn’t been on our show before. We also had the first of a new batch of Frank Panucci’s compilations of public domain footage. The main thrust of this episode was to raise awareness of ShockaCon, which was coming up in less than two months for its second-go round.

Among the bands who performed at ShockaCon that year were our musical guests, The Nanker Phelge and HarraH. We recorded The Nanker Phelge at the still-being-built performance space at Dunbar Lanes. We got a cool punk vibe capturing the band in a venue that was far from renovated, and it’s a real shame that Dunbar Lanes didn’t get a fair chance to continue, since the completed venue was such a great place to catch live music. We recorded HARRAH at the ECMC “Kick Cancer For Kids” benefit show at the Eagles Club on Charleston’s West Side.

You can find the full production notes for this episode HERE.

The NYC Tour Diary: The Long-lost Part Six

The PopCulteer
June 7, 2019

Hey, remember how I was doing a tour diary of my trip to New York City early last month? Remember how I kept promising the photo essay of random stuff that would make up part six?

Well, I’ve finally gotten around to sorting through and editing the photos and writing the captions and stuff, so that’s what you’re getting for this week’s PopCulteer, exactly one month and two days after I got back from this trip. It’s been a bit hectic, and I apologize for the delay.

We had a lot of fun during our brief stay, despite the debacle that was our ill-fated attempt at booking a room at The Element Hotel, on West 38th Street, the worst hotel on the planet. Today’s photo essay will present some images from Rockefeller Center, a few from Times Square (like the shot at right), some iconic buildings, plus a few other cool things we saw. Instead of linking captions to the photos, we just put them in blocks of text below. Our blogging interface won’t let us have nice things.

You will be seeing more images from New York in altered, painted, or drawn form, in Monday Morning Art for the next few weeks. If you are so inclined, you can read my previous NYC tour diary entries at the following links:  Our horrible expeirence with the Element hotel can be found HERE; My review of King Lear can be found HERE; A photo essay about the new FAO Schwarz can be found HERE; Photos from our trip on the TopView bus can be found HERE; And my review of All My Sons can be found HERE.

But these, this is just photos…


Among many other things, Times Square is just one huge, surreal photo op.


There’s just something majestic about Coca Cola ads that are hundreds of feet tall.


In front of the Port Authority Bus Terminal we found a life-size statue of Ralph Kramden.  A matching statue of Alice Kramden is located on the moon.

Continue reading

A Weekend Filled With Stuff To Do

We are semi-officially into the summer rush season, where every weekend will have multitudes of cool things in which Kanawha Countians may choose to indulge. This week you have everything from live music, to food on wheels, choppers galore, dance, theatre auditions, cake, women’s clothing and wrestling–not all at once, though.  It all starts Thursday night and runs through Saturday. Just check out the graphics…









Reminder: Tony Awards Preview On The AIR Wednesday

The 2019 Tony Awards Ceremony will be broadcast live on CBS This Sunday, June 9, at 8 PM. A few weeks ago Mel Larch presented a couple of shows devoted to the Tony Awards. You can listen at the website, or on this embedded radio player…

At 3 PM Mel Larch presents a replay of an hour of great musical theater on Curtain Call. It’s our third annual Tony Awards preview, with songs from each of the nominated musicals, presented just one day after they were announced.

In this show you will hear multiple songs from each of the nominees for Best Musical: Hadestown, The Myth, The Musical; Beetlejuice The Musical, The Musical, The Musical; Tootsie; Ain’t Too Proud To Beg: The Life and Times of The Temptations; and The Prom. We also have one song each from the revivals of Kiss Me Kate and Oklahoma.

Wednesday afternoon on The AIR, you can hear samples of the nominees for this year’s Tony Awards for Best Musical and Best Revival of a Musical.

After the new hour of Curtain Call, stick around for two additional episodes from the Curtain Call archives: an hours of music from past Tony Winners, and in the third hour of our weekly Curtain Call block you can hear an encore of the show that featured nominees for 2017.  Curtain Call can be heard Wednesday at 3 PM, with replays Thursday at 7 AM and Saturday at 6 PM. An all-night marathon of Curtain Call episodes can be heard Wednesday nights, beginning at Midnight.

This all follows a new episode of Beatles Blast, at 2 PM. At 2 PM on Beatles Blast, yours truly hosts the second 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.

Encore Classics On The AIR

If that headline looks to you like yet another euphemism for reruns, you are correct. It’s also an old name for a brand of TV dinners.  Your PopCulteer’s dilated eye exam from last Friday, which wears off for most people in a couple of hours, took me out of commission for most of three days.

That’ll happen when you have Myasthenia Gravis and a paralyzing agent is administered directly to one of your affected areas. I was back at work yesterday, but had so much stuff to dig my way out from under that I did not have time to record new radio shows for today. Add to that planned repeats of Curtain Call tomorrow, and a scheduled repeat week for the Haversham shows, and it looks like the only new programs we’ll have for you on The AIR this week are Beatles Blast on Wednesday and RFC International on Friday.

You can still tune in at the website, or on this embedded radio player…

As for our reruns, I can assure you that we will only use the finest, USDA Grade-A repeats of our musical programs this week. Hey, if I’m going to rerun shows, I can rerun the jokes I make about them.

Tuesday, you can hear the four most recent episodes of Radio Free Charleston at 10 AM and at 10 PM we’ll replay episode 107. These shows are loaded with new music from Fletcher’s Grove, Beggars Clan, Kevin Scarbrough, The Heavy Editors and more.  The Swing Shift will replay two great recent episodes from a couple of months ago at 3 PM.

On Wednesday at 3 PM Curtain Call will present an encore of recent shows devoted to The Tony Awards. The lead off show features an hour showcase of this year’s nominees for best musical  That follows a new Beatles Blast, which is part two of The Lost Beatles Project and is a new show that runs at 2 PM.

Your PopCulteer should be back in regular work mode next week, and we plan to bring you new editions of all of our shows.


Monday Morning Art: A Short Tall Building


We’re still in New York City, in terms of our weekly dose of art, and this week I bring you a digital painting that was sort o slopped out on Saturday, when I was still recovering from having my eyes dilated, and couldn’t look at my computer screen for more than a couple of minutes at a time. While I was standing in Rockefeller Plaza, I looked over past the NBC studios across West 49th Street, and saw an impressive tall building, that was dwarfed framed between two even taller buildings  I took a quick photo for reference, and decided to do my digital painting on a new layer over top of it.  That’s what you have here. I think it looks pretty cool. You can click the image to see it bigger.

Meanwhile, Monday on The AIR, this week we bring you four episodes of Six Degrees of Separation, an interview program that was recorded at The Empty Glass, hosted by Tim Starkey and Jason Robinson. The guests on these four shows, which spotlight local musicians are Aaron Fisher, Lee Harrah, Chris Ojeda and John Inghram.  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 Video: Fernwood 2 Night

A couple of weeks ago ABC paid tribute to 96-year-old Norman Lear by producing karaoke versions of two of the television shows he created, All In The Family and The Jeffersons. Lear was responsible for many innovative TV shows, but one of his more obscure works was a talk/variety show parody that was created in 1977 so that his syndicated daily soap opera parody, Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman could take the summer off. A spin-off/summer replacement program is odd enough, but for it to be a different format too makes Fernwood 2 Night a true television oddball.

Fernwood 2 Night was a fake talk show hosted by fictional characters from a soap opera parody, and that might seem like a bizarre premise for a TV show. Hosted by Martin Mull as “Barth Gimble,” the twin brother of the character “Garth Gimble,” who had been killed off earlier on Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, his sidekick was Jerry Hubbard, played by Fred Willard, another regular character from the Mary Hartman show.  Set in the fictional hometown of Mary Hartman, Fernwood, the show featured guests who were played by regulars on Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, as well as other recurring characters created for Fernwood 2 Night, usually played by improv comedians, many of whom went on to greater fame afterward.

Although the show was created by Norman Lear, it was developed and produced by Alan Thicke, years before he had a real talk show, and listed Harry Shearer (Spinal Tap, The Simpsons) and Pat Proft (Police Squad, Police Academy) among its creative consultants. Fernwood 2 Night only ran for 65 episodes. The following year, when it was time for a summer replacement for Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, a storyline was created that saw the show moved to Southern California (they claimed to be broadcasting from “Alta Coma, the unfinished furniture capital of the world!”) and became America 2 Night. This move allowed them to have more celebrities on the show as themselves, instead of playing characters from Fernwood.

Decades before The Larry Sanders Show and The Colbert Report, Fernwood 2 Night showed that a fake talk show could be very entertaining. Today it’s an odd curio of 1970s comedic timing, filled with recognizable faces (the episode above has Dabney Coleman, playing his character from Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman), with large amounts of improv comedy sprinkled throughout. With only 65 episodes (and 65 more, for America 2 Night), Fernwood 2 Night does not get shown regularly, nor is it currently available on any streaming service. It’s not even available as a legal DVD release. Maybe that can change in the future. For now all we have is low-quality video dubs of one complete episode, and a few clips on YouTube.

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