Rudy Panucci On Pop Culture

Month: September 2019 (Page 1 of 4)

Monday Morning Art: Rural Twilight


Today’s art is a digital painting/doodle inspired by the sights of my last trip. However, I didn’t base this on any image in particular, and just wanted to make an impressionistic imaginary landscape of a rural scene at twilight. We saw lots of stuff like this while driving the back roads of Pennsylvania, but this just sprang forth from my head. I painted the sky and land first using a variety of digital brushes and canvas effects, then added the silhouettes and shadows afterward. I was trying to create the feel of the time just after sunset, where you can’t see the sun anymore, but you can still see the shadows cast from it in the distance.

If you wish, you can click this image to see it bigger.

Meanwhile, over in radio-land, Monday on The AIR, our Monday Marathon presents  eight of the “Lost Beatles Project” episodes of Beatles Blast. Inspired to drop this hear by the 50th anniversary edition of Abbey Road, I thought it’d be a fun audio trip to bring you eight hours of alternate takes, studio chatter and unreleased tracks from the only serious contender for the title, “Most Important Band In History.”

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

In other news on The AIR, we have just been informed that, due to server upgrades, there will likely be intermittent periods this week of disrupted service. Because of this, we have decided to dip into our vast pool of high-quality re-runs for our afternoon specialty music programs this week, rather than have new episodes potentially interrupted. We should be back with all-new programming next week when all bright, shiny new servers are in place and running smoothly.

Sunday Evening Video: The Return Of The Aquabats!

Last year we told you about the big Kickstarter Campaign to bring The Aquabats Super Show back from oblivion. Well, the campaign was a success. The ‘Bats raised enough cash to make 12 new webisodes of The Aquabats Super Show, and the first new show debuted yesterday. That’s it at the head of this post. We’re also going to get two new albums, plus we already have the soundtrack album to the first two seasons of the show.

Watch and enjoy The Aquabats and their encounter with Horsebeard Man, then go to their YouTube channel and subscribe so you can watch a new episode every two weeks.

The RFC Flashback: Episode 194

This week we take you back to our 2013 Christmas episode of Radio Free Charleston.

RFC 194, “Hasa Diga Shirt,” is our Christmas spectacular, with music from The Bob Thompson Unit and Frenchy and The Punk, plus a message from Santa, and new animation from Jake Fertig, which opens our show with a commercial for The Bearded Axe.

It’s our way of brnging you Christmas in late September. You can read the original production notes HERE.

Music, Books, Drama, Food and Subtle Badassery

The PopCulteer
September 27, 2019

Last night your PopCulteer got to do something he hadn’t done in a while. I went out to The Bluegrass Kitchen with my wife, heard and shot video of a great band, saw tons of old friends and had a great time.

This was actually the first time this year that I’d done any of that. It’s a far cry from my pre-Myasthenia Gravis days, when I used to catch live music in Charleston three or four times a week.

Part of the reason we went out last night was that Electro Biscuit, a band of dear friends who used to be partners in LiveMix Studios, were playing out for the first time in, I think, nine years. I’m still compiling guests for the next video episode of RFC, and since they were playing at The Bluegrass Kitchen, they were going to be done by 9 PM. Which was an important point, since my current medicine regmine usually has me falling asleep around 10 PM.

It was really cool to get Electro Biscuit recorded because they first appeared on RFC 66, which is one of the “missing” episodes that I’m still trying to track down.

But I had a great time going out (and enjoying the Bourbon-glazed trout), and that’s what I was doing instead of writing a lengthy, in-depth piece for this week’s PopCulteer, so instead, you’re going to get a whole bunch of short items filled with varying degrees of way-coolishness.

Abbey Road Repaved

Today is the day that The Beatles release their remixed and expanded 50th anniversary edition of Abbey Road, their final album, recorded as a band (Let It Be came out after, but was recorded first).

This new collection sees the familiar classic tracks remixed by Giles Martin, along with a bounty of bonus tracks with outtakes and alternate versions of the songs, plus there’s a deluxe edition with a Blu Ray and book.

That one’s due to be delivered today via UPS, which is why I’m writing this with one ear cocked toward the front door.

Yesterday the band released a new video for “Here Comes The Sun.” Check it out…

Slugs and Fairies

Genius musical producer/composer Mike Batt, who is far more famous in the UK (The USA, sadly, continues to suffer from a serious Womble deficiency), has a lushly-illustrated book coming out.

The Chronicles of Don’t Be So Ridiculous Valley is sort of a fairy tale for messed-up adults. It’s the tale of a slug who has dreams of becoming a piano player, and the beautiful fairy that he falls in love with.

It looks like a fun project, and if you act fast you can pre–order the book and get a signed, numbered copy of the hardback edition by going HERE. The book will be published Monday, September 30, so you only have a few days.

Here’s a trailer with Mike telling you all about it…

Ann Sighting

Charleston’s own Ann Magnuson turns up in this week’s new episode of Titans on DC Universe. It’s a fun cameo with some subtle baddassery from Ms. Magnuson.

New Kehde Play

Avon-by-the-Sea opened last night at the Elk City Playhouse, and continues this weekend and next. (But not this Saturday because of beer).

When 16 yr old Jennifer Morton and her family arrived at her grandparents beach house on the Jersey shore for their annual week at the beach, little did Jennifer know that her life and her love for her grandparents would never be the same.

The dark secret that her grandfather Ezra has hidden since his war hero days in the European Theater was about to send their idyllic family into a chaos that neither love nor forgiveness could cure. A must see for this theater season, this new Dan Kehde drama reminds all of us of the frailty of the human condition, the power of love, and the unforgettable pain of war. Adult situation and deep drama make this play more suitable for ages 12 and older.

You can see it at the Elk City Playhouse, 218 Washington St W, Charleston WV.  Performances are  7 PM – Fri. Sep.27, and Thurs.Oct.3, Fri. Oct 5, Sat. Oct.5, with tickets available at the door on day of performance, or online.
$15 adults, $8 students and seniors

Dan Kehde’s plays are always well worth seeing. For more information visit the Facebook Page for the show.

New Ringo On The Way

Not to be outdone by his bandmates, Sir Richard Starkey has a new album due out next month. “What’s My Name” features a load of guest musicians, including Joe Walsh, Dave Stewart, Benmont Tench, Edgar Winter, Steve Lukather and more.

One of those “more” is Sir Paul McCartney who contributes bass and vocals to a cover of John Lennon’s “Grow Old Along With Me,” which marks the first time Paul and Ringo have played on a song written by John in twenty-five years (at least in the studio).

The title track was written by occasional Mountain Stage guest, Colin Hay, and you can here it in the video below…

And with that, we wrap up this week’s PopCulteer. Abbey Road just got here. Check back for our regular features and tune in to The AIR, our sister internet station, for a mix of the coolest music on the planet.

Pinpricks Blue Should Be Read

The PopCult Bookshelf

Last year we told you about Jason Pell’s Kickstarter campaign for the book Pinpricks, which presented 101 very short, clever and slightly twisted stories, each accompanied by an illustration.

The book was a real gem. He easily made his goal and successfuly funded the project, and Pinpricks was, to date, the only Kickstarter project I’ve backed where the rewards were not only delivered on time, but actually arrived a month ahead of schedule.

Now the campaign has begun for the follow-up. Pinpricks Blue presents 101 more clever, twisted short stories, presented in the same classy manner with a small hardcover book, hand-wrapped in a bundle, tied with string, with a gift tag written by Robert Burgess.

In the book, Jason channels the troubled storyteller, Robert Burgess, who would rather you not peer at the tales woven by his disturbed mind. You can read what Robert has to say, and explore the rewards for this campaign HERE, or just follow the widget…

Pinpricks was a sublimely entertaining creation, and Pinpricks Blue promises to double your macabre pleasure with more wildly entertaining tales of mystery and imagination.

Judy Garland On The AIR

In advance of the opening this weekend of the movie, JUDY, Wednesday at 3 PM, Curtain Call pays tribute to Tony honoree, Judy Garland. You can listen at the website, or on this embedded radio player…

Just before our tribute to Judy Garland, at 2 PM on Beatles Blast, we replay the eighth part of our look at rare and unreleased music by The Beatles. For most of the summer, Beatles Blast followed this format and brought you ten parts of 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. New episodes will pop up soon, and this may just whet your appetite for the expanded, remixed release of Abbey Road that’s coming out this Friday.

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 special hour of performances by and interviews with Judy Garland. With a new biopic opening this weekend, people want to hear the real thing, and that’s what you’ll get in this show.

Judy Garland began her career on the stage in vaudeville before being discovered performing with her sisters and finding herself signed to Metro Goldwyn Mayer, where she found fame and fortune in movies. Later in her career, Ms. Garland returned to the stage as a concert performer and had several memorable runs at Broadway’s legendary Palace Theater.

In this show, you will hear Judy Garland performing live at several different points in her career, singing standards and show tunes. You will also hear an interview with Ms. Garland, conducted at the King Frederick Hotel in Copenhagen. The interview was conducted by Hans Vangkilde for Danmarks Radio, just three months before her untimely passing.

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 8 PM, Friday at 10 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..

Wordless Local Music and Seamless Swing Tuesday On The AIR

As is custom when we get to Tuesday on The AIR we shall deliver new episodes of Radio Free Charleston, and The Swing Shift to our loyal listeners. You may tune in at the website, or you could just stay on this page, and  listen to this happy little 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 opens with a song from David Synn’s new album, The Mirror, and continues with a full hour of wordless local music. Where possible we will link to the artists in the playlist below.

We broke our non-existant protocol and brought you the title cut from David’s album last week on RFC International, but I wanted to open an episode of our local showcase with another tune. You’ll hear more in the coming weeks.

As is our new custom, here’s a YouTube version of the show so you can listen on demand. If more people don’t start listening to these, I’ll probably drop the idea in a few weeks. Thus far the copyright strikes seem to outnumber the viewers.

So now, check out the playlist:


David Synn “Echoes of Nirab”
Chuck Biel “A Line Of Fools”
Radarhill and Nick Weckman “Dream-The End”
C2J2 “V.S.O.P.”
Untitled Piano Piece
Neostra “Ancient Forms of Movement”
Black Garlic “Blound Brears”
Stark Raven “Lonesome Fiddle”

Radio Free Charleston can be heard Tuesday at 10 AM and 10 PM, with replays Thursday at 2 PM, Friday at 9 AM and 7 PM, Saturday at 11 AM and Midnight, Sunday at 1 PM and the next Monday at 8PM, exclusively on The AIR.

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. Again this week, in order to conserve his voice, your humble host (and PopCulteer) presents another mixtape show, which means you sort of have to come here to see a list of the music we play this week. I sort of hate to do this, but as longtime readers probably know, as my treatment for Myasthenia Gravis, I’m taking meds that suppress my immune system, and sometimes that means that a routine cold that would normally take a few days to get over might linger with me for a month.

That isn’t going to stop me swinging, though. Especially when I find a Swing number by Elvis Costello. Check out the playlist…

The Swing Shift 081

Elvis Costello and The Metropole Okestra “That’s How You Got Killed Before”
Joe Jackson’s Jumpin’ Jive “Minnie The Moocher”
Kansas City Jaxx Orchestra “One O’Clock Jump”
The Atomic Fireballs “Swing, Sweet Pussycat”
Casey McGill “Swing Brother Swing”
Lavay Smith and Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers “Voo-it”
Louis Prima Jr. “Jump, Jive and Wail”
Indigo Swing “I’m Glad I’m Not Dead”
Lily Wilde and Her Jumpin’ Jubilee Orchestra “Work, Baby, Work”
The Mighty Blue Kings “Long Distance Lover”
Steve Lucky “Wall-to-Wall Sax”
Lillian Briggs “It Could’ve Been Me”
Dem Brooklyn Bums “One Good Reason”
Dave’s True Story “Ned’s Big Dutch Wife”
Royal Crown Revue “Walkin’ Blues”

You can hear The Swing Shift Tuesday at 3 PM, with replays Wednesday at 7 AM and 6 PM, Thursday at 7 PM and Saturday at 5 PM, 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: Addison


Today we have a digital watercolor inspired by photos I took last July while riding on the “L” in Chicago. I managed to grab a succession of blurry pictures while we were at the Brown Line stop called “Addison.” This is the stop that always makes me think of Elvis Costello, perhaps when he’s afflicted with a cold (much like your PopCulteer is at the moment). Taking my cue from the photos and their weird interplay of light, darkness and reflection, I came up with this digital painting. I decided to go with less detail and more sweepy-swoopy brushstrokes because that style was more compatible with the various medications I’m taking right now.

If you wish, you can click this image to see it bigger.

Meanwhile, over in radio-land, Monday on The AIR, our Monday Marathon presents the first four episodes of Herman Linte’s Prognosis.. This will lead us to Herman’s regular timeslot, Monday at 3 PM, when you can hear Herman Linte with an encore of a recent episode of Prognosis. Herman tells me that we can expect new programs from the gang at Haversham next week.

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

Sunday Evening Videos: EnterTrainment Junction

Originally the plan for this week was to bring you a short video of our visit to Entertrainment Junction. We didn’t get to shoot much, and intend to go back before the end of the year to shoot a much more elaborate video, but if you’ve been reading PopCult the last few days you know that your humble correspondent is dealing with a late-summer cold and other minor ailments, and has not been firing on all cylindars. So I didn’t feel up to editing the short video that we’d shot. I’m hoping to bring it to you next week.

Luckily, Entertrainment Junction, the way-cool Railway-based attraction in Cinncinnati, has their own YouTube channel, and we’re going to pull a few videos off of that to give you an idea of how much fun this facility, which opened over eleven years ago, is. You’ll get a glimpse of what makes this place so special, and probably understand why we want to go back and spend more time there.

The RFC Flashback: MINI SHOW number Eight

This week we go back to December, 2013, for an RFC MINI SHOW with a bit of an international flavor. Decomposing In Paris is a band from Ireland that found their way to The Empty Glass in the summer of 2013. Their music is ethereal, trippy and it has a beat. It was unlike anything we’d had on the show before. Two Irish natives and one fairy-winged expatriate from Ashland, Kentucky, currently living in Belfast, made up this band.

Radio Free Charleston was fortunate to bring you their song “The Way It Is” back on episode 190. Now, from the same session we present the band with “Personal Ad” and “He Loves Me.” Currently the band is working on new music in Ireland, and also working in music education.

Before the music starts, we had a brief promotional announcement for a special After ArtWalk Art Show by RFC contributor, Jake Fertig. Jake is still making art and teaching while he’s completing his magnum opus, an animated feature.

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