Rudy Panucci On Pop Culture

Month: April 2022 (Page 1 of 4)

The RFC Flashback: Episode 95

Radio Free Charleston’s ninety-fifth episode, “Glen Brogan’s Visible Grimace Shirt,” is this week’s Flashback to March, 2010.

This episode of RFC showcases new music from Eva Elution and vintage music from Mother Nang. We also had our usual animation and mind-hurting weirdness. Plus we revisited the very first 60 Second Art Show, featuring the art of Felix Krasyk, on the occasion of his passing.

Of the contributors to this show, Eva Elution has disbanded, but their spirit lives on in Farnsworth, who seem to be gearing up for a return to the music scene. The members of Mother Nang: Spencer Elliott, Brian Young, Deron Sodaro and Jay Lukens are all still making new music in different bands. And the artist of our namesake shirt, Glen Brogan, has just seen the publication of the second edition of his book of art, which you can find HERE.

Read the original production notes HERE.


The PopCulteer
April 29, 2022

We’ve hit a bit of an unexpected milestone, so this weekend we’re bringing you more than two days of a marathon of The AIR’s Disco showcase, MIRRORBALL, hosted by Mel Larch.

Friday evening we kick off 51 hours of MIRRORBALL in a marathon that begins and ends with this week’s new show.  You can hear these shows on The AIR website, or just click on the embedded player at the top right column of this blog, if you’re reading on a computer.

Friday afternoon we offer up eminently danceable music with an brand-new fiftieth edition of MIRRORBALL and then we run an encore episode of Sydney’s Big Electric Cat. The AIR is PopCult’s sister radio station.

May 1 marks two full years since MIRRORBALL, Mel Larch’s Disco Mixtape program debuted on The AIR as a one-off music special, and became such a runaway hit that we decided to put it on our weekly schedule full-time.

It was during the late summer of 2019 when Mr. and Mrs. PopCulteer were careenig through Eastern Pennsylvania, listening to The Rialto Report podcast about Andrea True, when Mel remarked on how much she loved classic Disco music, and we began to talk about doing a Disco show for The AIR. The show didn’t happen until the pandemic shut everything down and gave us more free time, and the first MIRRORBALL debuted as an AIR Music Special on May 1, 2020.

Two years later and Mel still manages to do a fresh episode of the show almost every other week. For the second anniversary of MIRRORBALL, which quickly became one of the most-listened-to shows on The AIR,  we are going to run 51 hours of MIRRORBALL beginning April 29 at 9 PM (that’s Friday night if you’re keeping track at home). We will play every episode (except for holiday specials) and we will begin and end with Mel’s big 50th episode, which debuts Friday at 2 PM.

To mark 50 episodes of MIRRORBALL, Mel put together an hour of some of her absolute favorites from the Disco era. Tune in at 2 PM Friday, and check out this playlist…


Peaches & Herb “Shake Your Groove Thing”
KC & The Sunshine Band “Get Down Tonight”
Donna Summer “Bad Girl”
T-Connection “At Midnight”
Blondie “Call Me”
Mcfadden & Whitehead “Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now”
Dan Hartman “Relight My Fire”
Sister Sledge “We Are Family”
Chic “I Want Your Love”
Bee Gees “Night Fever”
Meco “Star Wars Theme/Cantina Band”
Michael Zager Band “Let’s All Chant”

You can hear MIRRORBALL every Friday at 2 PM, with replays most weeks Saturday at  9 PM (kicking off a mini-marathon), Sunday at 11 PM, Monday at 9 AM, and Tuesday at 1 PM  exclusively on The AIR.

This week, of course, you can tune in at 9 PM Friday night and dance your pants off the whole weekend, until Midnight, Sunday, when Mel wraps up just in time for the usual overnight Sunday/Monday marathon of The Swing Shift.

That’s not all we have planned for MIRRORBALL, as we have something very special lined up for an episode coming your way in a couple of months.

In fact, your humble blogger is on his way to an undisclosed location to work on that as you’re probably reading this. If your curiosity is piqued, just be patient and keep reading PopCult. All will be revealed when the timing is perfect.

That’s our PopCulteer and it’s also what’s on The AIR this weekend. Check back because we have a fresh post every day.

Help Crowdfund A New Movie

Two Steps Back Pitch from Taylor Napier on Vimeo.

Above you see an intro video for a proposed new movie by a friend of mine, David Smith, of Huntington. David had me do a bit part in an earlier film of his, Ladybeard, and lately he’s been active in the Huntington comedy scene.

Now the writer/director is ready to make another movie, Two Steps Back, a WV-based feature length comedy film about trying to get ahead and accepting where you come from

You can find more information about Two Steps Back HERE. Below I’m going to swipe a little of what David writes, just to give you an idea what this film is about.

Two Steps Back is a feature-length comedy/drama about a community theater actor named Bobbi who lives in Huntington, the second largest city in West Virginia, but has always dreamed of moving to New York. Six months before her 30th birthday, after some vehicle and landlord problems remind her how little she has progressed toward her goals, she decides to quit her job and take everything she has to try to move as soon as possible. She quickly fails and is forced to move back in with her parents in the small town where she grew up

Most of us can at least kind of relate to that, right?!

This movie is inspired by my own experiences, but I know a lot of people who have gone through similar things. I think it’s a universal story, but in writing it, I was specifically interested in the struggle that Appalachians and West Virginians in the arts deal with in terms of whether to move away or to use your gifts and talents at home. It’s a complicated issue when it comes to personal values as well as how you view your level of success and self-worth. My hope is that the movie will make you laugh as it explores that stuff.

Two Steps Back will star Abbey Miskowiec. The Director of Photography is Taylor Napier. Director of Photography is Taylor Napier.

You can find out more about the movie and the crew, and how to donate HERE. There’s three weeks left in this Indie GoGo campaign, so don’t put it off.

We leave you with one more plea from David (seen left, with Tiny Dog)…

By contributing to this film, you get to help West Virginians tell a story about themselves and their home–something that sadly isn’t done enough. You can also, depending on how much you donate, get an exclusive look at the process through access to exclusive social media, read the script, be among the first to see the finished film, and get your name in the credits!

April/May Stuff To Do

As the month turns, it’s once again time for your guide to things you can do in and around Charleston this week in our latest edition of STUFF TO DO.

This time, since things are sort of back to normal here in the PopCult office and I have some spare time, we’re going to mention a few things that are happening that don’t have handy graphics for me to swipe. Links will take you to their Facebook events pages.

Live Music is back at Taylor Books. There is no cover charge, and shows start at 7:30 PM. Friday it’s Key to Adam with their Special Guest (and old RFC buddy) Spencer Elliott. Saturday is another old RFC buddy, Alan Griffith, with The Madison 2. The Davisson Brothers will be in Dunbar at The Bucket on Saturday.

Also, even though we have a cool graphic for it below, note that Wednesday night The Empty Glass is bringing in You Bred Raptors, a band I’ve been a fan of since I saw them performing at The International Toy Fair in New York City six years ago.

Theater fans should note that Dan Kehde’s award-winning hour-long drama, “Love Is Not An Angry Thing”, comes to the stage of the Elk City Playhouse, 128 Wahington St. W, for a two night run, April 29 and 30. Curtain rises at 7 PM for this two person play about a young teenager’s battle to save her best friend from an abusive boyfriend and their progressively obsessive relationship. Love Is Not An Angry Thing features the talents of local actors Sophia Mallory and Sara Jo Bender and, due to obvious adult themes, is rated PG 13. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for students/seniors and are available at the door prior to each performance as well as online at

Please remember that the pandemic is not over yet, and now only the stupidest of people are going without vaccinations if they’re eligible. Despite some recent dubious legal rulings, many people are still wearing masks, and many of us, understandably, are still nervous about being in crowds, masked or not. Be kind and understanding  while you’re out.

If you wanna hear something funny,  tune in to The AIR Wednesday night at 11 PM where we will offer up a new episode of The Comedy Vault, this time featuring an hour of Rik Mayall’s last project.

In the meantime, if you’re up for going out, here are some suggestions from folks who were kind enough to provide graphics and make my job easier…







Heat-Induced Reruns On The AIR Tuesday

Tuesday on The AIR  your blogger and radio show host once again dives into the vast RFC Archives and comes up with a “new” patchwork edition of Radio Free Charleston. This time our excuse is HVAC issues that have left the office/studio for RFC at a balmy 80 degrees, which is right about the temperature where yours truly really starts to feel his Myasthenia Gravis.

This week I decided to go back to April, 2019, and splice together a wonderful episode of Radio Free Charleston Volume 4, with a lovely episode of Radio Free Charleston International.  To hear all this cool three-years-old music you simply have to point your cursor over and tune in at the website, or you could just stay on this page, and  listen to the cool embedded player over at the top of the right column.

At 10 AM and 10 PM you can hear this special compilation of RFC volume 4, episode 104 and RFC International episode 65.

The first hour is a all local, while the last two are non-local. This was a few months before I combined the programs into the three-hour audio assault you know and love today.

These shows haven’t been heard in almost three years, so I thought it was a good idea to bring them back and plop them into the RFC V5 rotation. I do apologize for not having live links for the bands in the playlist this week.  It’s too hot to sit in front of the PC.

Check out the playlist:

RFC V 5 086

hour one
Beggars Clan “Beautiful World”
Poor Man’s Gravy “For The Hell Of It”
William Matheny “Moon Over Kenova (live)”
Mark Beckner “Sweet Addiction”
Beneath “The Shining Truth”
The Science Fair Explosion “The Plan”
The Company Stores “Optimistic”
The Scrap Iron Pickers “Junkyard Jesus”
Feast of Stephen “Mystery Hole”
Rasta Rafiki “Never Go Away Again”

hour two
The Beat “Maniac”
Claypool Lennon Delirium “Cricket Chronicles Revisted”
Gryphon “Sailor V”
David Bowie “Never Let Me Down (dub/accapella)”
Camel “Earthrise”
Pink Floyd “Shine On You Crazy Diamond”

hour three
10 CC “Rubber Bullets”
The Specials “BLM”
Peter Gabriel “Sledgehammer (live)”
YES featuring ARW “Make It Easy/Owner of a Lonely Heart”
The Cure “The Kiss”
Frank Zappa “The Complete Saga of Nanook”
Belle and Sebastian “Mornington Crescent”
XTC “Scissor Man”

You can hear this episode of Radio Free Charleston Tuesday at 10 AM and 10 PM on The AIR, with replays Wednesday at 9 AM,  Thursday at 3 PM, Friday at 9 AM, Saturday at Noon and Midnight,  and  Monday at 11 AM, exclusively on The AIR. Now you can also hear a different episode of RFC every weekday at 5 PM, and we bring you a marathon all night long Saturday night/Sunday morning.

(Update: Thanks to the fine folks at JP Mechanical, the AC at Stately Radio Free Charleston Manor was restored, and the blog will be back to normal in time for Wednesday’s STUFF TO DO post)

I’m also going to  embed a low-fi, mono version of this show right in this post, right here so you can listen on demand.


After RFC, stick around for encores of MIRRORBALL at 1 PM, and NOISE BRIGADE at 2 PM. At 3 PM we have two recent episodes of The Swing Shift.

Monday Morning Art: Sky

This week our art is a bit compromised by an AC failure. This is a quick watercolor and acrylic study of the sky, which I hadn’t really intended to use here, but since it’s over 80 degrees in my office/studio, and high temps aggravate my Myasthenia Gravis….well, beggars can’t be choosers.

This was done in watercolor on airbrush paper a few weeks ago, then abandoned because I didn’t think it looked like much of anything.  The shocking white highlights were done in acrylic a day or so later, and then I abandoned it again. I’m not often happy with my attempts to paint clouds. Your milage may vary.

If, for some reason,  you want to see this one a bit bigger, just click on it.

Meanwhile, Monday at 2 PM on The AIR, we bring you a new episode of  Psychedelic Shack, followed at 3 PM by a Herman Linte’s weekly showcase of the Progressive Rock of the past half-century, Prognosis.  You can listen to The AIR at the website, or on the embedded radio player at the top of the right-hand column of this blog.

Nigel Pye has assembled a particular swell edition of Psychedelic Shack, which, for the second week in a row, I cannot describe to you because I’m writing this before I receive it through the internets. There’s no holiday excuse this week. I’m just rushing through these notes quick so I can go back to my basement where the temperature is livable. I think he’s opening this one with The 13th Floor Elevators.

Psychedelic Shack can be heard every Monday at 2 PM, with replays Tuesday at 9 AM, Wednesday at 10 PM, Friday at 1 PM,  and Saturday at 9 AM. Classic episodes can be heard Sunday at 9 AM as part of our Sunday Haversham Recording Institute collection.

Following that hour of  Psychedelic joy, at 3 PM Herman Linte’s Prognosis will bring us two-hours of the underrated prog-rock supergroup, UK, performing live. UK was, for most of this live special, Eddie Jobson, Terry Bozzio and the late John Wetton. Near the end of the program Herman has dropped in a few live cuts that feature the original line-up of Jobson, Wetton, Bill Bruford and Allan Holdsworth.

I’m not running the playlist for this one because…I’m melting while I type this.

You can hear Prognosis on The AIR Monday at 3 PM, with replays Tuesday at 7 AM, Wednesday at 8 PM, Thursday at Noon, and Saturday at 10 AM. You can hear two classic episodes of the show Sunday at 2 PM.

At 8 PM, we bring you an episode of The Comedy Vault filled with an hour of Shakesperian comedy from Firesign Theater.  Wednesday evening at 10 PM, we’ll have another new episode of our comedy showcase, this time bringing you an hour of rare material from Rik Mayall.

Then, at 9 PM we bring you an overnight marathon of Beatles Blast, 21 days ago we missed the 58th anniversary of the day the Fab Four held the top five spot on the Hot 100 singles chart, so we’re running a marathon of recents shows now. Better late than never!

Sunday Evening Video: Forgotten Bond

This week we are devoting this space to an episode of Radio Free Charleston from ten years ago. With this being the last Sunday in April, I thought it was fitting to go back to a show that debuted on April 1, 2012, featuring the work of our much-missed friend, Johnny Rock, and his friends. Below we bring you the original production notes for this depature episode of our show, which holds a unique place in cinematic history.

“Adventure Comics Shirt” is a special episode of Radio Free Charleston, dedicated to presenting once-thought-lost scenes from The Lower West Virginia Contemporary Light Opera Stage Players film production of the James Bond film, “Coalfinger.” All prints of this film were destroyed after MGM,  EON Productions  and the Ian Fleming estate won a permanent injunction against the tiny, Southern West Virginia theater company Luckily, a few scenes were preserved in filmmaker Johnny Rock’s long-supressed documentary on the making of “Coalfinger.”

Audiences have been waiting nearly 20 years to see this title sequence.

Continue reading

The RFC Flashback: Episode 93

From February, 2010, it’s the 93rd video episode of Radio Free Charleston, “Tofujitsu Shirt.” This edition of the show featured a vintage video of Strawfyssh, from 1991, a music video for The Scrap Iron Pickers set to 95-year-old animation by pioneering cartoonist, Winsor McCay, and a moody video of Melanie Larch singing an acapella version of the classic tune, “Summertime.”

You’ll also believe that a pig can cuss, and you’ll get to see an animated re-telling of Andy Dick’s nearly-forgotten misadventures in Huntington.

You can read the original production notes HERE.

Twelve Inches Of Fury!

The PopCulteer
April 22, 2022

Not a lot to write about this week, but thankfully we do have a brand-new episode of Sydney’s Big Electric Cat, so I don’t have to post random photos or anything silly in this space.

Friday afternoon we offer up eminently danceable music with an encore edition of MIRRORBALL and and brand-new episode of Sydney’s Big Electric Cat. The AIR is PopCult’s sister radio station. You can hear these shows on The AIR website, or just click on the embedded player at the top right column of this blog.

At 2 PM, Mel Larch Takes a week off to get ready for next Friday’s second anniversary/50th episode of MIRRORBALL! The AIR’s showcase of classic Disco music mark both milestones next Friday afternoon, then later that night,  The AIR will kick-off a fifty-hour marathon of every episode. In the meantime, you can see the playlist for the show we’re running this Friday right HERE.

You can hear MIRRORBALL every Friday at 2 PM, with replays Saturday at  9 PM (kicking off a mini-marathon), Sunday at 11 PM, Monday at 9 AM, and Tuesday at 1 PM  exclusively on The AIR.

At 3 PM, Sydney Fileen graces us with a terrific new episode of Sydney’s Big Electric Cat which is also the sixth Big Electric Cat mixtape of New Wave 12″ extended remixes.  This time Sydney introduced the show and then presents almost two full hours of dance-remixed New Wave classics.

Back in the day, all the top New Wave artists released special extended mixes of their hits so that they could get extra club play and confound the collectors of today, who can’t keep track of all the wild versions of these tunes.  This show has lots of great New Wave hits, some of which are barely recognizable.

Peruse this here playlist for a preview…

BEC 089

A-Ha “Take On Me”
Thompson Twins “In The Name Of Love”
Duran Duran “Wild Boys”
Visage “The Damned Don’t Cry”
Human League “(Keep Feeling) Fascination”
Adam Ant “Apollo 9”
Eurythmics “Sexcrime (1984)”
Red Box “For America”
Malcolm McLaren “Double Dutch”
Tears For Fears “Everybody Wants To Rule The World”
Bronski Beat w/Marc Almond “I Feel Love”
New Order “True Faith”
Eighth Wonder “I’m Not Scared”
Haircut 100 “Love Plus One”
Bananarama “Cruel Summer”
Frankie Goes To Hollywood “Rage Hard”
Alison Moyet “Love Resurrection”
Kim Wilde “Never Trust A Stranger”

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, Monday at 7 AM, Tuesday at 8 PM, Wednesday at Noon and Thursday at 10 AM, exclusively on The AIR.

That’s what’s on The AIR Friday, and that is this week’s PopCulteer. Check back because we have a fresh post every day. Really, even if it’s sorta lame.

Opening Day For Startling Lineup

Just a couple of months ago I told you about a Kickstarter campaign for a fun set of trading cards from artist, Robert Jiminez.  Earlier this week Startling Lineup landed in my mailbox, and you can now order this cool set of card directly from Jiminez at his webstore.

Startling Lineup is a 36 card baseball player parody set written and illustrated by Jiménez. A companion set of sorts to the Fearsome Weirdos sets, it features 24 bizarre ball players along with a collection of MVPs, Most Vile Products. Card backs feature conceptual sketches of the design on the front, and these are printed on old-school cards, not that fancy bright-white stuff that lacks the charm of vintage cards.

Included with each set is a wrapper card with checklist, a sticker and two different authentic, unfolded wax wrappers!

Nowhere else can you thrill to the ballpark exploits of Joe Formaggio, Veggie Jackson, Babe Tooth and other Wacky Hall of Famers.

Since it’s opening day for the unfortunately-named Charleston Dirty Birds, and Major League Baseball is back and early enough in the season that the Baltimore Orioles have yet to be mathmatically eliminated from the playoffs, I thought it’d be fun to show off this cool, fun card set and point you to Robert’s store, Zerostreet, where you can find Startling Lineup and several other cool card sets, apparel, wall decor, books and tons more cool stuff.  If you like clever parody art, Tiki art or cool fantasy illustration, this is the place to go.

And now a quick look at the set, without giving too much away.

Everything that comes in the tuck box. The base set, the MVP cards, two promos, a checklist and a sticker.

A couple of cool extra postcard prints and the unfolded old-school wax packs for the set.

I’m not going to post every card in the set, but here are two cool ones.

And here are two more.

We wrap up this photo essay with a look at one of the card backs, which feature Jiminez’s rough sketches for the character on the front of the card.

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