Rudy Panucci On Pop Culture

Month: December 2022 (Page 1 of 4)

Radio Free Charleston 219 “Ape Boy Shirt”

We don’t have an RFC Flashback for you this week here in PopCult. Instead, what you see at the top of this post is “Ape Boy Shirt,” a new episode of the Radio Free Charleston video show for 2022.

It’s a bit of a procrastinator’s special, considering that it’s the first new video episode this year, and I’m dropping it on December 31, but hey, I wanted to keep my streak going, and we have now had at least one video RFC every year since 2006.

Because I spent a big chunk of the year dealing with complications from Myasthenia Gravis, I did not get out to shoot any new video. However, I have a stockpile of great video projects I’ve made over the years that never made it into an episode of the show, until now.

On top of those hidden gems, I decided at the last minute to use videocraft to make a video for David Synn’s song “The Island of Gorgo” last Wednesday, and I’m really happy with the way it came out. It’s our first video on this episode of RFC.

Our host segments were shot really quick at the new City Center at Slack Plaza in Charleston. It was actually the first time Mel and I have been able to check out the new space, and it’s really cool. Maybe in 2023 we can record some bands there. This show was shot and edited so quickly that you can even hear Mel say “Rolling” at one point because I was rushing the edit.

Our title shirt is “Ape Boy,” by Robert Jimenez. I’ve been plugging Robert’s trading cards and books and stuff for years, and something about this shirt just clicked with me. I think it might’ve been the ape wearing a fez and Big Boy-like coveralls. You can find this shirt and many other cool designs by Robert HERE.

After a brief appearance by The Potato Girl Singers, we jump right into the video for “The Island of Gorgo.” This is off of David’s lastest album, the very proggy “A New Dawn,” which you can purchase at Bandcamp.

The song is an instrumental prog-rock tour-de-force, with David trading keyboard licks with Jamie Skeen’s wild guitar. The video combines some psychedelic light show footage with scenes from the British Kaiju classic, Gorgo.

I think it came together pretty well.

Next up we went back to 2017 for the last video I shot before I had cataract surgery. Recorded live at The Blue Parrot, it’s Lee Harrah with Bad Blood, performing the Beatles classic, “Helter Skelter.” It’s a one-camera shoot, using camera audio, but the raw energy of the performance makes it worthwhile.

Following that, we have animation. In the grand tradition of Radio Free Charleston, it’s computer animation by my brother, Frank…depicting DEVO energy domes.

Following that we have what was previously a top-secret video I produced for Chuck Biel back in 2010. I produced two “bootleg” videos of Chuck’s band, Doctor Curmudgeon, which I posted in PopCult before the band’s official debut. This progressive metal trio included Chuck Biel, Vince Biel and Zack Shawkins, and I went to their secret lab and set up three cameras on tripods, with me running handheld, and came up with these videos.

In this episode of RFC, you get to see “From The Ridiculous To The Sublime,” which, if you pay close attention during the introduction, I totally forgot was the name of the song. So I made up the part about it being a secret. However, the part about Chuck’s secret music lab being bulldozed and replaced with a Starbucks…that part’s all true.

Playing us out in this edition of our video show we have The Sierra and Mo show, recorded live in Dunbar at what was then The Pour House (and is now The Bucket). Introducting this one, I misremembered the year we recorded it. This was actually filmed in 2011.

Now, of course, Sierra Ferrell is internationally recognized and is a Rounder Records recording artist. And she’ll still turn up performing in Dunbar, like she did a couple of weeks ago at The Shop.

And that is why we don’t have an RFC Flashback this week. We brought you a new show instead.

Terry Hall and Giorgio Moroder On The AIR

The PopCulteer
December 30, 2022

We have reached the last Friday of2022, and this afternoon on The AIR we offer up our last two new musical specialty shows of the year.  Mel Larch brings you the second part of her Giorgio Moroder tribute on a new episode of MIRRORBALL, While Syndey Fileen delivers a two-hour tribute to the late Terry Hall on Sydney’s Big Electric CatThe AIR is PopCult‘s sister radio station. You can hear these shows on The AIR website, or just click on the embedded player found elsewhere on this page.

At 2 PM, Mel Larch uncorks a new MIRRORBALL! The AIR’s showcase of classic Disco music presents a second collection songs produced and composed by Giorgio Moroder.

Moroder changed the landscape of Disco music with his sonic creations like Donna Summer’s hypnotic “I Feel Love.” Widely regarded as a founding father of disco and also an electronic music trailblazer, Moroder made his mark as an influential Italian producer, songwriter, performer and DJ.

Over the course of his career, Mr. Moroder has worked with some of the most famous names in music including Barbra Streisand, Elton John, Cher, Janet Jackson and David Bowie. He is heavily noted for being the key player in the Queen of Disco Donna Summer‘s rise to fame throughout the 1970s, collaborating with her on her biggest hits including “Love To Love You Baby,” “Hot Stuff” and “I Feel Love.” In 1997, Moroder and Summer won the Grammy Award for “Best Dance Recording” for the song “Carry On.”

Giorgio Moroder’s music charted success everywhere the disco craze touched down but he is also responsible for some of the most classic film scores to date including Scarface and Midnight Express, as well as timeless soundtrack numbers like Berlin’s “Take My Breath Away” (Top Gun), Irene Cara’s “Flashdance,” Blondie’s “Call Me” (American Gigolo), as well as compositions on films such as The NeverEnding Story, Superman III, Rambo III and Beverly Hills Cop II. From these, Moroder has accumulated three Academy Awards, four Golden Globes, four Grammys and more than 100 gold and platinum records. Giorgio Moroder was inducted into the Dance Music Hall of Fame in 2004.

We’ll hear more Disco classics created by Mororder and his Munich Machine cohorts, Pete Bellotte and Keith Forsey, and this is, as promised, the second MIRRORBALL devoted to this Disco icon.

Check out the playlist…


Speed Limit “The Disco Twist”
Donna Summer “Denver Dreams”
Chris Bennett “Disco Man”
Giorgio Moroder “Love Now, Hurt Later”
Madeline Kane “Playing For Time”
Munich Machine “Space Warrior”
Giorgio Mororder “Moroder Medley”
Melissa Manchester “Thief of Hearts”

You can hear MIRRORBALL every Friday at 2 PM, with replays throughout the following week.

At 3 PM, on Sydney’s Big Electric Cat, Sydney Fileen graces us with the a tribute to Terry Hall, the former frontman for The Specials, Fun Boy Three and Colourfield, who died last week after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.  Hall joined the first incarnation of the Specials – then called the Automatics – shortly after the Coventry band formed in 1977, replacing vocalist Tim Strickland. After a stint as the Coventry Automatics, they became Special AKA, known as the Specials. The pioneering 2 Tone band rose thanks to the support of Joe Strummer, who invited them to support the Clash live, and of BBC Radio 1 DJ John Peel.

Hall formed Fun Boy Three with his Specials bandmates Staple and Lynval Golding. They also enjoyed chart success for several years, collaborating twice with girl band Bananarama, on It Ain’t What You Do (It’s the Way That You Do It) and Really Saying Something. Hall would also land a Top 10 single with Our Lips Are Sealed, a song he co-wrote with his then romantic partner,  Jane Wiedlin for her band the Go-Go’s.

Still in the New Wave era, Hall would form another band, the Colourfield, in 1984, which had a hit with Thinking of You. Syndey has assembled a tribute with music from all three of Hall’s New Wave era bands, and the show kicks off with The Specials performing live, at The Colchester Institute.

Here’s the full playlist for what you’ll hear on this week’s show…

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The Specials

“Do The Dog”
“Monkey Man”
“Rat Race”
“Blank Expression”
“Concrete Jungle”
“Too Much Too Young”
“Guns of Navarone”
“Nite Klub”
“Longshot Kick The Bucket”
“A Message To You, Rudy”
“It’s Up To You”
“Doesn’t Make It Alright”
“(Dawning of A) New Era”
“Little Bitch”
“Enjoy Yourself”
“Hey Little Rich Girl”
“International Jet Set”
“Friday Night, Saturday Morning”
“Ghost Town”

Fun Boy Three
“Way On Down”
“The Lunatics Have Taken Over The Asylum”
“It Ain’t What You Do” (with Bananarama”
“Our Lips Are Sealed”
“The More I See The Less I Believe”
“We’re Having All The Fun”
“Things We Do”

Colourfield “Running Away”
“Monkey In Winter” (with Sinead O’Connor)

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 new on The AIR Friday, and that is this week’s PopCulteer and our next to last post for 2022.   Check back Saturday for a last-minute surprise, and we’ll head into the new year with all our regular features, and hopefully more book, comic, music, toy and DVD reviews.

New Year’s Eve STUFF TO DO!

This weekend is a big party occasion as New Year’s Eve falls on a Saturday night, when all the alky-hol aficianados can imbibe to their heart’s content without worrying about being hungover on a weekday. We have a ton of events from all over West Virginia to tell you about on Friday and Saturday, and there’s even an event Sunday for people who, for some bizarre reason, like to hike.

And we also have regular free events to tell you about.

Live Music is back at Taylor Books. There is no cover charge, and shows start at 7:30 PM. Friday it’s Spencer Elliott with Christopher Vincent.

On Saturday Ronald & the Raygunz are at the beloved Charleston bookstore/art gallery/coffeehouse.

The Empty Glass has some great stuff through the week to tell you about. Thursday from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM, Swingstein and Robin play fiddle and piano and sing swing and early jazz standards. Each week they donate their tips to a local nonprofit.  Taking over at 9:30 PM Thursday, Four Chill brings the funk and smooth grooves. Friday from 5 PM to 8 PM Timmy “Courts and Friends hold down the fort at the Glass. Monday there will be an open mic night with loads of local talent.

Please remember that the pandemic is not over yet. Many people who have very good reasons 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’re up for going out into the year-ending madness, here are a few suggestions for the rest of this week, roughly in order.




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New Beatles Blast and Curtain Call to Wrap Up 2022

Wednesday afternoon The AIR brings you a special new episodes of Curtain Call and Beatles Blast.  You can tune in at the website, or if you’re on a laptop or desktop, you could just stay right here and  listen to the convenient embedded radio player lurking elsewhere on this page.

At 2 PM Beatles Blast brings you an hour of covers of Beatles tunes from a wide variety of artists. It’s a pretty wild mix, just check out the playlist…

Beatles Blast 087

Bobby McFerrin “From Me To You”
Paul Weller “Birthday”
Elvis Costello “Step Inside Love”
Profiterolis “I Me Mine”
Tinta Preta “I’ve Got A Feeling”
Rick Wakeman “Help/Eleanor Rigby”
Ringo Starr “Don’t Pass Me By”
Wills Jackson “A Hard Days Night”
Mystery Track
Elvis Costello & The Imposters “Let Me Roll It/Here, There and Everywhere”
Robert Palmer “Not A Second Tiime”
Joel Peterson “All My Loving”
YES “Every Little Thing”
Benefit Single “Let It Be”

Beatles Blast can be heard every Wednesday at 2 PM, with replays Thursday at 11 PM, Friday at 1 PM,  and Saturday afternoon.

At 3 PM on Curtain Call, Mel Larch brings you samples of three new musicals that you might be hearing about in the new year. She also wraps up the show with a musical about Mexican Pizza. Mel will tell you about the new musicals in the shows, so we’ll just give you the playlist as a teaser…

Curtain Call 119

From Crush Hour “London’s The Town,” “Keep Up,” “Stars,” “Another Bike”
From Catching Fireflies: A New Queer Musical–“Have We Left The Waffle House Yet,” “Coffee Samples,” “Blood Orange,” “”Waffle House of Our Dreams and Despair”
From KIN-“Anything, Everything,” “We Are Awake,””I Promise You,” “Falling”
From Taco Bell’s Mexican Pizza The Musical–“Slice of Our Hearts,” “Rest in Pizza,” “Just One Slice”

Curtain Call can be heard on The AIR Wednesday at 3 PM, with replays Thursday at 8 AM, Friday at 10 AM, Saturday at 8 PM and Monday at 9 AM. A six-hour marathon of classic episodes can be heard Sunday evening starting at 6 PM, and an all-night marathon of Curtain Call episodes can be heard Wednesday nights, beginning at Midnight.


Radio Free Charleston and The Swing Shift Are NEW To Close Out 2022

It’s Tuesday on The AIR  and that means it’s Radio Free Charleston time, and we also have a new edition of The Swing Shift for you enjoy. You simply have to point your cursor over and tune in at the website, or you could just stay here, and  listen to the cool embedded player found elsewhere on this page.

We have a fun hybrid show, with one mostly-local all-new hour, followed by a classic two-hour Radio Free Charleston International, at 10 AM and 10 PM Tuesday.   This week our latest Radio Free Charleston has killer new tunes from loads of artists, and I’m going to tell you all about them now.

We open the show with a new release from Nixon Black, which includes our old friend, Mark Beckner out in front, and we continue with a first hour filled with new tunes from All Torches Lit, Byzantine, Bottle and Bride, Payback’s A Bitch, Frenchy and The Punk and more. We also have the RFC debuts by The Red Book, and Blue Twisted Steel.

Our send and third hours resurrect an episode of RFC International from May, 2019, and it’s a mixtape presentation that celebrates the concept of free-format radio.

Check out the playlist below to see all the goodies we have in store. Live links will take you to the artist’s page…

RFC V5 112

hour one
Nixon Black “Winter In Kashmir”
All Torches Lit “Crown of Ash”
The Red Book “Behind The Stars”
Byzantine “Unhook Me”
John Radcliff “When We Were Gods”
Bottle and Bride “Snake Oil”
Blue Twisted Steel “The Carpenter”
The Long Lost Somethins “Sobriquet”
Novelty Island “Bees”
Payback’s a Bitch “No Reason”
Buni Muni “Strawberry Rose”
Frenchy And The Punk “Come In And Play”
The Company Stores “Castles and Cain”
Heavy Set Paw Paws “Grand Place”
Tyler Childers “Way of the Triune God (Jubilee Version)”

hour two
Jon Anderson “Ramalama”
Adrian Belew “Take Five Deep Breaths”
Harry Nilsson “Coconut”
Chess At Breakfast “The Senate Needs A Nightcap”
Dizzy Mystics “Jaunter”
David Byrne “Lazy”
Norah Jones “It Was You”
Eveline’s Dust “Rain Over Gentle Travellers”
Ringo Starr “Without Understanding”
Manfred Mann’s Earth Band “Blinded By The Light”

hour three
Camel “Lady Fantasy”
John Wetton “Be Careful What You Wish For”
The Wrong Object “Mr. Green Genes/King Kong”
Claypool Lennon Delirium “Blood and Rockets”
Greenslade “Sundance”
The Beat “Dangerous”
Gryphon “Haddock’s Eyes”
Fantasy “Widow”

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.

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 Curtain Call at 2 PM.

At 3 PM we have a new hour of The Swing Shift that’s loaded with classic Big Band Era artists, spiced up with some new European Swing Bands.  Check out this playlist…

The Swing Shift 135

Buddy Rich “Winding Way”
Louis Jordan “Knock Me A Kiss”
Glenn Miller “American Patrol”
Lombard “Deja Vu”
Sergio Caputo “Chewing Gum Blues”
Frank Sinatra “Just One of Those Things”
Benny Goodman “Sing, Sing, Sing (live)”
Lester Young “Bugle Call Rag”
Sugarpie & The Candymen “Are You Gonna Go My Way”
Peggy Lee “I See A Million People”
Duke Ellington “I Got It Bad and That Ain’t Good”
Phil Harris “Potato Chips”
Roy Hawkins “Highway 59”
Sheila Jordan “It Don’t Mean A Thing, If It Aint Got That Swing”

You can hear The Swing Shift Tuesday at 3 PM, with replays Wednesday at 8 AM, Friday at 10 AM and 8 PM and Saturday afternoon, only on The AIR . You can also hear all-night marathons, seven hours each, starting at Midnight Thursday and Sunday evenings.

Monday Morning Art: Road Closed

I was in Chicago a couple of weeks ago and I took lots of photos around Daley Plaza, the site of the famed Christkindlmarket. In abut half of the photos, in one corner, I could capture this, or a similar clusterfudge of traffic barriers. There’d just be tons of them, all crammed into one spot. After cropping them out of, or in one case painting over them, several times…I came to like them.

I liked the way they looked, so on Christmas Even I used half a dozen of the raw photos for reference and did a small watercolor, which you see above, that pays tribute to the silent sentinels of trafficdom, huddled together on State Street, just to confound and bedevil innocent drivers.

To see it bigger try clicking HERE.

Meanwhile, Monday at 2 PM on The AIR, we bring you a special new episode of Psychedelic Shack, and then at 3 PM a specialp new edition of 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 elsewhere on this page.

I didn’t actually get these shows until Christmas Day, and neither of them came with a playlist, but they are certainly both worthy of a Boxing Day premiere.

On Psychedelic Shack, Nigel Pye offers up an hour-long collection of the solo music of one Syd Barrett, a proud, if overwhelmed father of Psychedelic Music.

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.

On a classic Prognosis, Herman Linte presents two hours of highlights from the new boxed set In The Court of the Crimson King–King Crimson at 50.  In addition to  the recent highly-acclaimed documentary, the box set includes an alternate cut of the film, tons of raw footage and four CDs worth of audio, recorded during the band’s 2019 an 2021 tours.

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.

A 9 PM we bring you an overnight marathon of our Christmas decorations, before we take them all off the server and put them in the attic until next year.

Sunday Evening Video: Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and whatever good tidings fill your bill from PopCult and the Larch-Panucci household.

2022 has been an improvement over recent years, but we still have pandemics, climate change and domestic terrorists to worry about, so let’s just repeat last year’s wish:

‘I hope that everybody can find some peace and well-being on this special day, and that the new year brings us all new happiness, joy, good health, and justice for the Democracy.”

As is our tradition on Christmas Day, we bring you Melanie Larch singing “Ave Maria” from the very first Christmas episode of Radio Free Charleston.

Let’s follow that up with the 2014 Christmas treat that saw Melanie backed by the late and much-loved and missed, Mark Scarpelli…

And we’ll continue with Mel’s 2009 Christmas song with Diablo Blues Band…

Let’s go back to Chicago, in 2019, for one more…

Wishing you and yours the best-

Rudy Panucci and Melanie Larch

The RFC Flashback: Christmas Concluded

PopCult wraps up out Flashback to Christmas Editions of Radio Free Charleston with three more holiday gems from the RFC video show. Enjoy and I hope this gets everyone in the mood for celebrating and not argung politics or other nonsense.

Check out The AIR  on the embeded player elsewhere on this page or at that link for more holiday cheer, as we plunge headlong into Christmas for the next week.  PopCult‘s going to be all Christmas-y, too.

Brief Pre-Holiday Musings

The PopCulteer
December 23, 2022

Regular readers of PopCult may have noticed that I’ve been slacking off this week. Christmas and the Arctic Vortex seem to be racing to see who can get here first, and to be honest, I wasn’t quite ready for either.

So I’m going to knock out a quick PopCulteer and be on my way. I did promise you fresh content every day (even if some of it isn’t as fresh as it ought to be). So we will have our regular features all weekend long. Today it’s short notes and a few leftover photos.

We also have holiday programming all weekend on our internet radio station, The AIR. This will include several replays of our new, three-hour AIR Christmas Special that just premiered Tuesday.

Next week I plan to bring you a newish video episode of Radio Free Charleston. I’m not sure what day it will debut, or what’s exactly going to be in it, but since I haven’t shot video of any bands recently I think it’s safe to assume it’ll be vintage video from the RFC vaults.

I also wanted to mention that PopCult has officially left The Charleston Gazette-Mail.  I actually took the blog independent over two years ago, but I had continued to post my content at the old location to take advantage of the Google searches and Wikipedia entries that still wind up there, and also to point those new readers to this new version of the blog.

However I’ve noticed a disturbing trend over the past couple of years, even before I left their friendly confines, and to be honest, while I once considered it an honor to be associated with The Charleston Gazette,  for some time now their endorsements and op-ed editorials have been puzzling, if not embarrassing.  From printing carefully prepared think tank propaganda pieces as op-eds to welcoming one of the great villains of our time on a video show so they could soft-peddle his crimes and let him spout nonsense unchallenged, it’s been increasingly difficult to defend whatever the hell it is that’s going on there.

I mean, my fear when the paper was up for auction was that they’d be bought by the soulless and far-right-wing Ogden Newspaper chain. I was thrilled when The Huntington Herald-Dispatch swooped in at the last minute. However, over the last four or five years, it seems that the only difference is that Ogden would have destroyed the paper overnight, while HD Media has let it suffer a slow death of creeping corruption and political gamesmanship.

The last straw for me was when they fired four of the best reporters they had, because they dared to criticize the man who seems to be single-handedly ruining the paper. If you want to read the whole story, Kyle Vass, at Dragline, has an excellent account of what happened HERE.

So last week I stopped updating PopCult at The Gazette-Mail, and just put up one final post pointing readers here. My readership levels here at the new location have already matched what I was doing as part of the GM.  While the old blog still gets a couple or three dozen hits a day, it’s just not worth the extra effort to duplicate my efforts to keep a blog updated at a site that, to be frank, has become a bit of an embarrassment.

So that’s what happened there.

I hope you all have a very happy holiday season, and to fill up the rest of this post, here’s a few random photos…

Another look at the Pioneer Zephyr, at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry.

A classic Golden Age Christmas cover from the original Captain Marvel. Don’t call him “Shazam,” dammit.

More cool plastic at Rotofugi.

Recently uncovered in the Panucci family photo archives: The first-ever photo, from May 1989, of your PopCulteer wearing a fedora.

Finally, we go back to MSI for one of the millions of decorated trees they had on display. Actually, there are two of them in this picture. One is being bashful.


The 2022 PopCult Christmas Tree

Don’t panic, folks, we are doing a photo essay of the Panucci/Larch Christmas Tree this year.  I’m just posting it later than usual because I wanted to save the easy stuff for me to post in the blog this week.

As with last year, we decided to go a bit low-key this Christmas, and not bury the tree under the many year’s worth of ornaments that we’ve accumulated.  So we gave the Batman, Walking Dead and most of the Beatles ornaments the year off, and stuck with new stuff that we got this year, and some of the classier ornaments we’ve acquired in our travels. We figure we’ll be rotating ornaments from now on, unless we add another tree…or trees…to the mix in the future.

In the captions below the photos, I’ll tell you a bit about what you’re looking at, and in some cases explain where we got the featured ornaments.  It’s a pop culture-heavy tree, which is what makes it a natural for coverage in PopCult.

I didn’t do a video this year because I’ve got too much other pre-holiday stuff to do. If you’d like to see what video would look like, call up this post on your phone, and move it around a bit.

Giving credit where it’s due, Mel did almost all of the decorating. I just brought the tree down from the attic.

Now, onto the pics…

In this photo you see our new alien ornament, an old astronaut and a rocket, Mel’s picks from The Walking Dead and SpongeBob Squarepants, a Beatles ornament and new to our tree is a star-shaped plush Santa that was used on my mother’s DayCare center Christmas tree, which had been packed away for over 25 years.

Here you get a better view of the new alien, plus a brontosaurus, Buc ee Beaver, a Mold-A-Rama choir angel, and at the bottom, three Chicago ornaments–the Bean, Christkindlmarket 2021 and The Water Tower.

More SpongeBobbery, plus disco balls, a rubber duck and two tiny ornaments that came in Kinder Surprise chocolate eggs.

Here you see our old alien, Santa, a wooden Knight with reflex action, a Trader Vic’s Pineapple Mug and an accordian.

Another Trader Vic’s ornament shows up here. This time it’s the rum barrel. Also, our Aquabats ornament and an L train.

Mel became enamoured of the Santa Fe “Warbonnet” Diesel engine, so I found her an ornament of it made by Lionel. You can also see one of our robots and that new alien again.

Mel found this cool, translucent Peacock on our trip to Chicago a couple of weeks ago. It echoes our topper this year.

As seen in our feature image, three new additions are front and center our the tree: Betty Page (from Retro A Go Go), Trader Vic’s Orchid Island canoe, and Buc ee. Another, much heavier, Buc ee ornament was added after I took these photos. Mel will continue rearranging, adding and subtracting ornaments until we take the tree down, sometime next year. Maybe as late as March, if things dont slow down around here. 🙂

Here we see our Moai, plus more SpongeBobbery and a little Pusheen stuff.

This year’s Christkindlemarket ornament is shaped like a pretzel haus. Plus theres the L again.

Some small, random ornements, all returning from years past.

A view of the middle of the tree, showing off the new alien and peacock again. Plus that’s a new SpongeBob.

Birds and squirrels, plus a cool tiny hot air baloon that I picked out.

Another look at our tree-topper, which I painted for you in Monday Morning Art this week. As with many of the glass ornaments on the tree, this came from Frank’s Ornament Haus at Christkindlmarket, which has already wrapped for this year, due to the arctic blast heading our way.

And there is our tree, head to toe, with the background blurred so you’re not distracted by the clutter.

And with that, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from PopCult. 



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