Our art this week is a tiny mixed media painting of a building. It’s not an actual building, but one based on photos of many around Charleston. I wanted to mix architectural features into one image, then obscure the detail with the iffy technique.
This was done with a variety of paint markers, watercolor markers, colored pencil and a little bit of ballpoint pen. I was trying to create the illusion of a large painting done with oils, but in truth this was done on the back of an index card. Depending on the size of your screen, you’re probably seeing it bigger than the size of the finished art.
You can click the image if you want to see an even bigger, some would say “magnified,” version.
Meanwhile, over in radio-land, Monday on The AIR, our Monday Marathon runs from 7 AM to 3 PM , and brings you eight hours of talk shows, with Life Speaks to Michele Zirkle, Word Association with Lee & Rudy and The Best of The Real with Mark Wolfe. At noon, we bring you the three (so far) episodes of The Shut-In Show, with Rudy & Mel. Then 3 PM should see a new episode of Prognosis with Herman Linte, but we can’t tell you what’s on it because we don’t have it yet as we write this. We do have an idea that it will focus on a single artist.
You can listen to The AIR at the website, or on this embedded radio player…
This week we go back to June, 2014 for an RFC MINI SHOW starring Jenna Brooke Swanson that was actually recorded a year earlier.
For this show we dove back into our vaults for some Bellydancing by Jenna Brooke Swanson. The idea was to promote the then-upcoming FestivAll, where Jenna was returning for another incredible performance.
It’s all a bit bittersweet at the moment because it is increasingly doubtful that FestivAll will happen this year due to the stay-at-home orders and the Coronavirus crisis. While the organizers have not officially pulled the plug, and are keeping up a brave face with a page of suggestions of ways to inject art into our quarantined lives, many of the related events (Wine & Jazz Music Festival, The Charleston Light Opera Guild productions and “Three Things”) have been canceled or postponed, and FestivAll does not seem likely to happen in June, if at all this year.
You can keep up with the latest information, plus a wealth of posts that support other arts organizations by checking out the FestivAll Facebook Page.
Meawhile, we can look forward to better times once this mess is all over by looking at the past, when the sounds of art, music, dance and theater turned Charleston into a work of art, as they will once again.
Friday afternoon The AIR brings you a third installment of Rudy & Mel’s Shut-in Show plus a new and very American episode of Sydney’s Big Electric Cat. It all starts at 2 PM, and you can listen at The AIR website, or just hit the “play” button on this nifty virtual player…
At 2 PM you can hear the third episode of The Rudy & Mel Shut-In Show. This is one hour of your PopCulteer and his wife talking–often in a not safe for work manner–about whatever pops into our heads. It’s unrehearsed, unplanned, spontaneous talk, presented with minimal editing.
This week the rambling conversation starts out with yours truly and his lovely wife talking about TV shows to watch during the quarantine, then we veer off into a history of British alternative comedy since the 1980s, before going off the rails in a discussion about how Rudy usually hates the most popular shows on TV, and how some stand-up comedians have ulterior motives for constantly dumping on West Virginia.
And like the first two installments, it’s not really safe for work.
It looks like we’ll be doing this show for a while, so keep listening as the topics grow thin and we have to vamp more to fill the air time.
By 3 PM Friday, this show, and all of this week’s other new programming on The AIR will be available at the Podcast tab on the left side of the screen at The AIR website.
Also at 3 PM on The AIR, we bring you the new episode of our weekly salute to New Wave Music, Sydney’s Big Electric Cat. This is the one that should have debuted last Friday, but didn’t because of internet gremlins who were chewing at the wires inside my router.
This week Sydney brings us an All-American Mixtape, with two solid hours of great American New Wave Music. In her introduction, Sydney explains that she doesn’t want it to seem like she’s downplaying America’s contributions to New Wave, so she put together a show that collects the New World’s musical pioneers of the 1970s and 80s, with artists like The Cars, Blondie, DEVO, Wall of Voodoo, Missing Persons, Berlin and more.
Sydney tells me that she may revisit this topic in a few months, and when that happens she’ll devote one show to the East Coast, and one to the West Coast.
Check out the playlist…
The Cars “My Best Friend’s Girl”
The Ramones “Blitzkrieg Bop”
Mink Deville and Cabretta “Venus of Avenue D”
Missing Persons “Waiting For A Million Years”
Peter Ivers “Even Steven Foster”
Tom Tom Club “Genius Of Love”
The Dickies “Nights In White Satin”
The Dead Kennedys “Holiday In Cambodia”
Romeo Void “Never For Ever”
Johnathan Richman and The Modern Lovers “Roadrunner”
R.E.M. “Radio Free Europe (Live)”
Red Hot Chili Peppers “True Men Don’t Kill Coyotes”
Wall of Voodoo “Call Of The West”
Berlin “The Metro (extended mix)”
Talking Heads “Psycho Killer”
DEVO “Gut Feeling/(Slap Your Mammy)”
Television “Marquee Moon”
Cyndi Lauper “Money Changes Everything”
Tommy Tutone “Jenny (867-5309)”
The B 52s “Rock Lobster”
Moon Martin “Bad Case Of Lovin’ You”
Jane Weidlin “I Will Wait For You”
The Humans “I Live In The City”
Marshall Crenshaw “Someday Someway”
Blondie “One Way Or Another”
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. You can also hear select episodes of Sydney’s Big Electric Cat as part of the overnight Haversham Recording Institute marathon that starts every Monday at 11 PM.
That’s this week’s PopCulteer. Your humble correspondent is a bit written-out this week. But you should still check back every day for all our regular features.
Pirates: A Treasure of Comics to Plunder, Arrr!
edited by Ed Catto and Craig Yoe
Yoe Books/ Clover Press, LLC
Pirates: A Treasure of Comics to Plunder, Arrr! is a slim, inexpensive collection of great Pirate comic book stories from the 1940s and 50s, curated by Ed Catto (of Captain Action Enterprises fame) and Craig Yoe (of Yoe Books fame). It’s loaded with fun stories and some terrific art. This is the good kind of comic book piracy!
Pirate stories, as a comic book genre, were never a dominant form, largely disappearing from comics until Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons created Tales of the Black Freighter as a comic-within-a-comic in Watchmen, in 1985. The idea behind that was that, in a world where superheroes are real, the comic book publishers there would turn toward other types of adventure stories to fill their pages, and Pirates ruled the comics world for decades.
But in our universe there were some great Pirate comics produced during the Golden Age of comics, and this is a great sampler of four-color swashbuckling adventures on the high seas.
The art on display here is practically a “who’s who” of great artists. We get full stories with art by Reed Crandall, Will Eisner, R.H. Webb (Who drew Sheena of the Jungle and other great features), Norm Saunders (Seen at left. Saunders painted the original Mars Attacks trading cards, as well as the 1966 Batman cards) and a very young Frank Frazetta, who has two stories printed here…one in his recognizable style, and one Pirate funny animal story drawn in an animated cartoon style that may shock the heck out of die-hard Frazetta fans.
In additon to the full stories, we are also treated to a cover gallery with work by Wallace Wood, George Woodbridge, Carl Burgos and others, some of it reproduced from the original art.
Or should I say, “Arrrrrrt?”
The book is lacking a text page to give us some historical context, but the main attraction is the comics, so it’s not a major point. Pirates: A Treasure of Comics to Plunder, Arrr! is a great introduction to an almost-forgotten hidden treasure of comics. I’m really glad that Catto and Yoe dug these stories up.
A nice touch is that the indicia/credits page is written entirely in Pirate speak.
This is a fun collection of great adventure stories, and is a wonderful addition to any Golden Age bookshelf in your library. Pirates: A Treasure of Comics to Plunder, Arrr! can be ordered from any bookseller by using the ISBN code, or if you hurry, you can pick up a hardcover limited edition with with an alternate cover by Howard Pyle directly from Clover Press.
Above you see a re-rendered version of a video I originally posted in December, 2019. A few minor mistakes have been corrected, and it has been rendered at a much higher bit rate to reduce the blockiness in the original clip. Sadly, I couldn’t do anything about the slow auto-focus on my phone. I didn’t really push this much when I originally posted it because the blockiness annoyed me.
This is a collection of footage shot out the window of Chicago’s Elevated Train as it barrels through town in December of last year. The speed of the video is manipulated, with time compressed or extended, depending on the view. Most of the film is shot on The Brown Line, in The Loop. You’ll get fleeting glimpses of some pretty cool landmarks.
This video starts on the Red Line of the famed CTA “L” train, but but quickly transistions to the Brown Line for a trip through The Loop.
I could have left out the Red Line footage, but then you wouldn’t get to see that cool shot of Wrigley Field.
This is all set to some spacey/relaxing YouTube library music, and the entire video is intended to be something you can just watch and zone out during it’s sixteen-minute running time. I figured now would be a good time to re-do this, since so many folks have more spare time to fill.
We offer up brand new episode of Radio Free Charleston Tuesday morning and evening on The AIR. You can leap over and tune in at the website, or you could just stay on this page, and listen to this swell little embedded radio player…
Tune into this week’s Radio Free Charleston at 10 AM and 10 PM Tuesday for a show opens with a mini-tribute to the late John Prine, and the offers up the remainder of its first hour to mostly-new music from local and international artists.
I first discovered John Prine in a comic strip. Before I got into music, I was obsessive about comedy and comic books, and in the mid-1970s I found a bizarre magazine that was published by Marvel, but which printed most of the greats of underground comics (except for Crumb, who wouldn’t have anything to do with it). It was here where I first saw Art Speigleman’s MAUS, and it was where I discovered folks like Howard Cruse, Jay Lynch and Skip Williamson.
It was Skip Williamson who did a two-page comic strip based on John Prine’s song, “Aw Heck,” and it made me an instant fan of both men. So I opened this week’s show with that song because it still cracks me up more than forty-five years later.
I’d post the whole comic here, but it’s got cartoon nudity, so you have to settle for the second page at left (and maybe if you wish hard and click on it, you can see the whole thing).
Among the newness is a great new recording by The Scribblers of a tune by PopCult’s original editor, Douglas Imbrogno. “Bring Sunshine When You Come” is part of “SONGS of COMFORT, SONGS of HOME: Music for a Pandemic.” a project that you can read about at Doug’s blog, The Story Is The Thing. There is a video to accompany this song, and you can see it at Doug’s blog, or scroll down to the bottom of this post.
The first hour of RFC also has new tunes from Mark Beckner Group, Missing Persons, The Pixies, Nina Hagen, Tower of Power and The Strokes. The second and third hours of the show are recycled from one-hour versions of RFC that originally ran in 2017 and 2018, and they are loaded with spectacular local music of many different genre. We reached into our sack of archives shows for these because of the fear of a power outage interrupting us while we put the show together. But it’s a pretty impressive three-hour block of great music.
Check out the playlist…
John Prine “Aw Heck”
The Scribblers “Bring Sunshine When You Come”
Todd Burge “Comic Book Sleeve”
Captain Catfeesh “Plastic Pictures, Painted Pavement”
Jordan Searls “Equally Insane”
John Lilly “Tore Up From The Floor Up”
Paige Dalporto “Wreckless”
Mark Beckner Group “Winter In Kashmir”
Nina Hagen “Mama”
Slade “We’ll Bring The House Down”
Tower of Power “The Story of You and I”
Missing Persons “Love Will Tear Us Apart”
The Strokes “Eternal Summer”
The Pixies “In The Arms Of Mrs. Mark of Cain”
INXS/Queen/Pink Floyd Mash-up
Scarlet Revolt “Bleed”
Bon Air “Cloaking Device”
Wren Allen Band “Before Hello”
Christopher QiET Vincent “Ain’t No Man Gonna Change”
Fabulous Head “C U Move”
CHUM “Angels In The Snow”
Year Long Disaster “Names of God”
Byzantine “Ancestry of the Antirchrist”
HARRAH “Blood Moon”
Chuck Biel “Turtles All The Way Down”
Mark Beckner “Human Satellite (ode to Doris Day)”
Feast of Stephen “No Vaccination”
Poor Man’s Gravy “Victim of Myself”
Farnsworth “Free Me”
John Radcliff “Company Song”
Emmalea Deal “Ghost”
Hawthorne Heights “Hope”
In The Company of Wolves “The UpsideDown”
Membrane Cell “Architects of Reassimiliation”
Speedsuit “The Dawn”
The Science Fair Explosion “Demon Burger”
Johnny Compton “Pistol Whipped”
Stark Raven “16 Tons”
Creek Don’t Rise “Sometimes It Rains”
Crazy Jane “Frica”
Feast of Stephen “Mystery Hole”
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 8 PM, exclusively on The AIR.
Because of the potential of a power outage, this post is just about Radio Free Charleston. If we’re able to pull off new episodes of our other Tuesday programs, we’ll post about them later today.
Our art this week is a digital painting over top of a collage of six photos taken underneath the Fort Hill Bridge from Magic Island back around 2008. I found some old photos buried in a folder on a rarely-accessed drive, and after trying to figure out why I took six pictures of the underside of the bridge, I decided to throw them all together and paint over them to see how it came out.
I’m happy with the results. Also, with all the dark news going around these days, I thought it might be nice to run a picture of things looking up.
Ha ha, you can’t throw anything at me over the internet. Now that I think about it, I believe that I did another piece on the underside of this bridge four or six years ago, but that was based on a photo that I took at that time.
You can click the image if you want to see a bigger version.
Meanwhile, over in radio-land, Monday on The AIR, our Monday Marathon runs from 7 AM to 3 PM , and brings you eight hours of Nigel Pye and Psychedelic Shack. Then 3 PM sees an encore of a recent episode of Prognosis with Herman Linte, because we’re still trying to work out our transmission bugs from London.
You can listen to The AIR at the website, or on this embedded radio player…
Because the news has gotten so depressing of late, this week and next we are going to bring you some animated cartoons from the vast National Film Board of Canada collection, just to help take your mind off the real world for a few moments.
This week our flashback takes us to a an episode of The RFC MINI SHOW from June, 2014. This particular show delivered footage of the band StychNTyme that had been recorded a year earlier at the ECMC Kick Cancer for Kids benefit show at The Eagles Club in Charleston.
StychNTyme performed a “farewell” concert in Charleston shortly before we originally posted this show, so we decided to go back and revive this previously unseen footage. We’d shelved this because, shortly after we recorded this performance, the band underwent a line-up change.
Our intention was to record StychNTyme again, when their line-up stabilized, but that didn’t happen, so we presentied these two killer songs to mark the passing of one of the area’s top metal bands.