Rudy Panucci On Pop Culture

Month: March 2024 (Page 1 of 4)

Sunday Evening Video: Easter Tradition!

Four in a row makes it a tradition, right?

As I may have mentioned three previous times in this space, hardly anybody is going to read the blog today due to it being Easter. So I’m just going to drop a fifty-plus-year-old Rankin-Bass stop-motion animated special here for you. “Here Comes Peter Cottontail” is based on a song that was written by Keyser native, and WVMHOF Class of 2011 indutee, Jack Rollins.  This is the fourth year in a row that I’m doing this. Traditionally Easter Sunday is the least-viewed day of this blog, and has been for a long time. It’s like people think they have more important things to do or something. So if you did come here today, thanks.

Enjoy, and Happy Easter!


The RFC Flashback: Episode Seventy-Four

Radio Free Charleston’s seventy-fourth episode, “RFC Trax shirt” is from June, 2009. This show featured music from former Morgantonians, J Marinelli and Slate Dump, plus special announcements from Mad Man Pondo and Tofujitsu, as well as a Plant Ro Duction Mini Movie.

We also continued the First Great Guitar Giveaway with Route 60 Music, which has now been over for quite some time. Don’t bother trying to enter. But please do visit Route 60 Music and tell them you heard about it on RFC.

Host segments and our end credit bed were shot during FestivALL 2009 in Davis Park, during the “Art On A Stick” sale and open stage. You’ll hear RFC’s old and much-missed buddy, Jerry Fugate, singing and playing Mandolin as we show you some of the sights of the day.

This show makes many references to our big third-anniversary show, which was posted the following week. You’ll get to see it in this space next week.  You can read the original production notes for this show HERE.

Transphilogyny And Radio Notes

Pella Felton

The PopCulteer
March 29, 2024

Easter Sunday is also Trans Visibility Day this year, and in advance of that (because hardly anybody reads this blog on Easter), I decided to remind you of that fact today.

I haven’t addressed much in the way of Trans issues here in PopCult because…well…this is not a political blog, and I haven’t really explored the pop culture aspects of Trans culture, at least not yet.

Not being a Trans person, I’m hardly an expert on the issue. All I know is that I have several friends who have, or are, transitioning, and since I love my friends and want them to be happy and healthy, I want to do whatever’s in my power to support them.  I am horrified that the far-right have politicized what is a very serious and delicate personal issue. I am disgusted by the people who, in a most un-Christian manner, attack and villify people who are already vulnerable and in need of sympathy and understanding.

One way I can support my friends is to help boost their visibility on their designated day, and the best way to do that, rather than attempt to be an expert on the subject, is to turn the blog over to someone who is. Below you will read a brief introduction and see a Ted Talk by my friend, Pella Felton, who is a Transwoman, and who coined the term you see at the head of this post:

From Pella Felton

Hi. Many of you reading this post remember me from my days as Patrick Felton, the irrepressible gadfly which haunted Charleston for years with his perverse and often baffling performances and art projects including the podcast “That Conversation” My 1997 performance as Templeton the Rat in “Charlotte’s Web” and various Stand-up Comedy, Film Exhibition, and Theatre events. About 5 years ago, I discovered that I didn’t want to live under the identity I was assigned when I lived in the Kanawha Valley. I discovered that a lot of the things I thought I was and thought I wanted weren’t at all who I was or who I wanted to be. Earlier today, I signed documents to legally change my name to Pella Felton. Pella comes from the Italian “Pellagrina” meaning “pilgrim,” because I’m on a journey.

Because I want to bring as many people on my journey with me as I can, I’m sharing this video of my 2023 TEDx Talk at Bowling Green State University to honor National Week of Trans Visibility and Action. To be visibly trans in 2024 is to be objected and slandered online by people who will never know and understand me. Visibility represents being disowned by humans I used to break bread with on Sunday mornings. However, Visibility is also hope. Visibility is looking in the mirror and recognizing myself. It’s finally feeling in control of my body in a way that I never knew before. This is why I have created Transphilogyny as a term to express my hopes and fears for myself. Cheers. Pella (She/They)

Sunday, please try to see the Trans men and women in your life, and see them as fellow humans, deserving of love and mercy and dignity and respect.

Friday Afternoon On The AIR

Friday at 2 PM on The AIR, Mel Larch devotes her hour of Disco to more club hits of the late 1970s, as MIRRORBALL shines its multicolored spotlight on the songs that were moving butts on the dancefloor and creating a huge club scene.

It’s a short list of long songs designed to make you want to sweat and groove. You’ll get everything from slow, sexy grooves to explosive dancefloor beatfests. Nearly four years in, Mel still finds fresh music from the classic Disco era.

Take an hour and dance like nobody’s looking.

And maybe hope that’s really the case.

Check out the playlist…


The Silver Convention “Fly Robin Fly”
B.T. Express “Do It (‘Til You’re Satisfied)”
Cerrone “Love In C Minor”
Sylvia “Pillow Talk”
Barry White “Love Serenade”
King Floyd “Groove Me”
Doris Troy “It’s All In The Game”
The Brothers Johnson “Welcome To The Club”
The Meters “Disco Is The Thing Today”
The Players Association “Turn The Music Up”
Leon Haywood “I Want’a Do Something Freaky To You”

You can hear MIRRORBALL every Friday at 2 PM, with replays throughout the following week Monday at 9 AM and Tuesday at 1 PM and a mini-marathon Saturday nights at 9 PM

At 3 PM we bring you a two-hour salute to the pioneering New Wave band, Ultravox.  In this edition of Sydney’s Big Electric Cat, Sydney presents a mixtape retrospective of Ultravox, in both of their best-known incarnations.

With an exclamation point at the end of their name, the original line-up of Ultravox was John Foxx, Stevie Shears, Chris Cross, Billie Curie and Warren Cann. After three albums that failed to chart  with roughly this line up, front man John Foxx exited for a solo career. Instead of disbanding, as was expected, the group recruited Midge Ure and went on to find commercial success in the 1980s.

While the original version of the band did not figure out how to sell records, they remain one of the most influential bands in New Wave, having blended Krautrock with punk and somehow making it all work. With the addition of Ure in 1980, they became a record-selling behemoth for a short time.

This week Sydney will present music from both incarnations of the band, with the first 45 minutes of the show devoted to the John Foxx lineup, and the remainder bringing you highlights of the band’s output from 1980 to 1984 featuring Midge Ure.

Check out the playlist…

BEC 114


“Dangerous Rhythm”
“Saturday Night In The City of the Dead”
“Wide Boys”
“The Wild, The Beautiful and The Damned”
“Fear In The Western World”
“Hiroshima Mon Amour”
“I Can’t Stay Long”
“Blue Light”
“Some of Them”
“Maximum Accelration”
“Mr. X”
“The Voice”
“Rage In Eden”
“The Ascent”
“The Thin Wall”
“Reap The Wild Wind”
“Visions In Blue”
“When The Scream Subsides”
“White China”
“One Small Day”
“Dancing With Tears In My Eyes”

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. Classic episodes can be heard Sunday morning at 10 AM.

That’s what’s new on The AIR Friday, and that is this week’s PopCulteer. Check back for our regular features every day.

“I Wanna Eastah Yegg” STUFF TO DO

This weekend there’s tons of Easter events for you to get into. Kids can go to egg hunts. Adults have a couple of those, too. In fact, there’s way too many of those to list here, but…they’re out there if egg hunts are your thing.  Besides that, there’s plenty of other STUFF TO DO in Charleston and all over the Mountain State as we celebrate the third three-day weekend of the year.

As I have been copying and pasting of late, this a good time to remind you that THIS IS NOT A COMPLETE LIST OF EVENTS.  It’s just a starting point, so don’t expect anything comprehensive, and if you feel strongly about me leaving anything out, feel free to mention it in the comments.

Live Music is back at Taylor Books. There is no cover charge, and shows start at 7:30 PM. As in the last few of weeks, they ain’t saying who’s playing.

The World Famous Empty Glass Cafe has some great stuff this week  to tell you about. Thursday at 5:30 PM the Helping Hour with Swingstein & Robin makes the world a better place with music.   Friday, Tim Courts plays during happy hour.  Friday night at 10 PM, Space Freq returns to the Glass.  Sunday at 9 PM South Carolina’s Kenny George Band pulls into town and plays at the Empty Glass. You can check below for the graphics for other cool weekend shows at The Empty Glass.

Please remember that the pandemic is still not entirely over yet. It’s a going concern with the ‘rona surging again. And now there are seasonal allergies, the flu, giant anthropomorphic rabbits, magnets, con men selling Bibles and other damned good reasons to be careful. 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.

Keep in mind that all shows are subject to change or be cancelled at the last minute.

If you’re up for going out, here are a few suggestions for the weekend, roughly in order…

Delve Into The World Of Apple Records

We take a trip into rare Beatles songwriting credits Wednesday as The AIR brings you another very special episode of Beatles Blast.  You can tune in at the website, or just stay right here and  listen to the convenient embedded radio player lurking elsewhere on this page.

At 2 PM (EST) Beatles Blast brings you an hour of music that A) was composed by one or more of The Beatles and B) was released on the band’s own Apple Records.

It’s a mixtape show that includes tracks by Badfinger, Jackie Lomax, Billy Preston, Ronnie Spector and many more, plus I’ve tossed in a few rarely-heard B-sides by the solo Beatles.

Many of these are songs that the members of the band wrote to jump-start the careers of their fellow Apple artists.  Paul wrote songs for Badfinger and Mary Hopkin. George wrote or produced tunes for Lomax, Spector and Doris Troy.  John created a benefit single for OZ Magazine that’s included here.  There are also covers of Beatles and solo tunes by other artists, like Hot Chocolate Band, who were a Reggae band before dropping “band” and becoming a Disco powerhouse.  Trash, who never acheived fame, released their version of “Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight” a week before The Beatles put out their Abbey Road album. Likewise, Billy Preston’s version of “My Sweet Lord” was released two month’s before George’s mega-hit recording.

It’s a nice slice of Beatles obscurities.

Here’s the playlist…

Beatles Blast 107

Badfinger “Come And Get It”
Jackie Lomax “Sour Milk Sea”
Black Dyke Mills Band “Yellow Submarine”
Mary Hopkin “Goodbye”
Trash “Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight”
Hot Chocolate Band “Give Peace A Chance”
Doris Troy “Get Back”
Ronnie Spector “Try Some, Buy Some”
Bill Elliott & The Elastic Oz Band “God Save Us”
Billy Preston “My Sweet Lord”
Black Dyke Mills Band “Thingumybob”
Elastic Oz Band “Do The Oz”
Ronnie Spector “Tandoori Chicken”
Ringo Starr “Blindman”
George Harrison “Deep Blue”
Wings “Little Woman Love”
John Lennon “Move Over Ms. L”
Paul McCartney & Wings “Zoo Gang”
George Harrison “I Don’t Care Anymore”

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 (EST) on Curtain Call, Mel Larch brings you two encore episode from just a few months ago.  Curtain Call will return with a new episode next week.

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.

Also on The AIR, Wednesday at 11 PM,  The Comedy Vault brings you the wacky-assed music of Barnes & Barnes.

RFC Is NEW, So Is The Swing Shift! Yay!

Tuesday is still “New Show Day” on The AIR.  As such, we have new episodes of  Radio Free Charleston and The Swing Shift for you. To listen to The AIR, 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.  

You can hear Radio Free Charleston Tuesdays at 10 AM and 10 PM, with boatloads of replays throughout the week.

Our first hour is our usual collection of cool local, independent and brand-new music. We open with brand new music from Sierra Ferrell. It’s a track off of her new album, Trial By Flowers, which was just released (to much acclaim) a few days ago.

The rest of our new first hour is loaded with new goodies from Mediogres, Unmanned, Wild Pink, Novelty Island and more.

We also bring you a tune, via our Chicago pipeline, by Mark Lofgren, who will be releasing this as a single on April 12, with the album, Black Moon Book 3, due out on Friday, May 3.

Mark Lofgren, is a founding member of the bands The Luck of Eden Hall and The Thin Cherries, and he recorded this new album in his home studio and then enlisted Mike Hagler at Chicago’s Kingsize SoundLabs for the mastering. Most of the songs on Black Moon Book 3 are built around acoustic guitars and vocals. The first single, “Ne’er Do Wells,” is about the ups and downs of living in a big city.

For our second and third hours, we go back to an episode of Radio Free Charleston International from 2017.  This one hasn’t been heard for nearly seven years, so it’ll be new to most of you.  It’s loaded with a collection of then-new, plus classic tracks by national and international artists.  On paper, the lineup doesn’t seem to make any sense, but when you listen, it really flows.

At least I think it does.

The links in the first hour of the playlist will take you to the pages where you can learn more about each artist and buy their music or find out where to see them (where available)…

RFC V5 169

hour one
Sierra Ferrell “Dollar Bill Bar”
Mark Lofgren “Ne’er Do Wells”
Mediogres “Outta Town”
Unmanned “Arrested”
Wild Pink “Air Drumming For You”
Novelty Island “Heaton”
Velez Manifesto “Baby Goes To The Zoo”
The Settlement “Linger (Live at Sam’s Uptown Cafe)”
The Paranoid Style “Print The Legend”

hour two
Ray Davies “The Deal”
Triumvirat “Spartacus”
Magenta “Colours”
Epica “Tear Down Your Walls”
All That Remains “River City”
Blink 182 “68”
Rancid “Ghost of a Chance”
Willie Nelson “Still Not Dead”
Reverand Peyton’s Big Damn Band “Clap Your Hands”
Feist “I’m Not Running Away”
The Cranberries “Linger” (acoustic)

hour three
Trombone Shorty “Here Come The Girls”
Fallout Boy “Young and Menace”
Mew “The Wake of Your Life”
Sheryl Crow “Long Way Back”
Julian Cope “Drink Me Under The Table”
New Found Glory “Your Jokes Aren’t Funny”
Styx “Gone, Gone, Gone”
Big Big Train “Experimental Gentlemen”
Dubioza Kolectiv “Balkan Funk”
Alphaville “Enigma”
The Meters “Thinking”

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 2 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 classic 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 last week’s episodes of  MIRRORBALL at 1 PM and Curtain Call at 2 PM.

At 3 PM we offer up the concluding part fourof our Boogie Woogie primer on The Swing Shift.  This is the grand finale of what has been expanded to become a four-week dive into Boogie Woogie and its essential contribution to the success of Swing Music.  This week, as we did last week,  I do all the proper back-announcing and talk just a little about the importance of Boogie Woogie, which sprung out of The Blues and became the backbone of Swing, and the launching pad for Rock and Roll.

Note that, due to a timing error on my part, I had to fade Keely Smith’s tune out partway through. I will correct this by including the full song in the next new episode of The Swing Shift.

It’s the kind of music that just makes you want to move.  Check out the playlist…

The Swing Shift 157

The Rosenberg Trio “Guitar Boogie” (Arthur Smith)
Mabel Scott “Boogie Woogie Choo Choo Train”
Duke Henderson “Leona’s Boogie”
Clarence Samuels “Boogie Woogie Blues”
Billy Wright “Billy’s Boogie Blues”
Steve Gibson & The Red Caps “Boogie Woogie on a Saturday Night”
Sax Man Brown “Sax-Only Boogie”
The Andrews Sisters “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy”
Tommy Dorsey “Boogie Woogie”
Count Basie “Red Bank Boogie”
Louis Prima “Brooklyn Boogie”
Lionel Hampton “Hamp’s Walking Boogie”
Earl Hines Orchestra “Boogie Woogie On St Louis Blues”
Indigo Swing “Blue Suit Boogie”
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy “The Boogie Bumper”
The Jive Aces “Choo Choo Ch’Boogie”
Lavay Smith & Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers -“Roll the Boogie”
Brian Setzer Orechestra “The Dirty Boogie”
Swing ‘N’ Jive “Step Stomp ‘N’ Boogie”
Keely Smith “Keely’s Boogie”

 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: Green Spaces

This week’s art is a very rough study for an imaginary city scene I saw in a dream. I knocked this out a few months ago while the image was clear in my head, but I didn’t try to capture the exact colors or anything. It was early in the morning and I was in too big a hurry to mix paint or anything.

In my dream I was sort of floating above a building, looking down a street. The street had vibrant green spaces, but not as green as they are in this rough. I knocked this out with pastel crayons and acrylic paint just to get an inkling of the composition and color on paper before I forgot it. As I mentioned, this was first thing in the morning, and I could barely hold a crayon or brush thanks to my MG.

Once I had it on paper, I put it away and promptly forgot all the fine details I’d intended to fill in later. When I pulled it out of the pile last week, aside from the vibrant and somewhat hideously overbearing green, I liked what I had, even though I couldn’t remember exactly what was missing. It sort of works better as an abstract, with tiny bits of detail peeking through.

This was scanned, had minor color correction, and was cropped for this blog.

To see it bigger try clicking HERE.

Over in radioland, Monday at 2 PM and 3 PM on The AIR, we bring you brand-new episodes of both Psychedelic Shack  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.

Unfortunately, as I write this, I have not received the playlist info for the programs, or the programs themselves. Herman tells me that Prognosis is a compilation of the music of Frank Zappa, while Nigel Pye says that Psychedelic Shack opens with Apple Recording artist, Jackie Lomax, and then continues with “really groovy mind-smacking 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. 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. All times listed are Eastern, so if you’re in another timezone, adjust accordingly.

At 8 PM you can hear an hour of bawdy songs by Rusty Warren on a recent episode of The Comedy Vault.

Tonight at 9 PM the Monday Marathon it’s time to boogie all night with ten hours of recent episodes of Mel Larch’s MIRRORBALL.

Sunday Evening Video: Commercial Psychedelica

This week we are going to revisit a Sunday Evening Video entry from almost exactly ten years ago because so many of the videos originally included here are “no longer available.”  So let’s clean this mess up a little.

It may be hard to believe now, but back in the 1960s and 70s the scary and subversive counter-culture had so permeated the mainstream that advertisers hoping to reach the “youth market” jumped at the chance to incorporate drug-influenced graphics, swiped from underground comics and cutting-edge designers like Milton Glazer and Heinz Edelmann.

The end result now seems quaint, but it’s pretty to look at, so here’s an assortment of animated commercials from the era. It’s pretty hilarious when you consider how subversive this imagery was considered at the time. You can probably blame the success of The Beatles’ “Yellow Submarine” for most of these. Still, there’s nothing wrong with trying to peddle your wares to those damn dirty hippies.

There’s more mind-expanding commercialism after the jump. Tune in, turn on and follow the link…

Continue reading

The RFC Flashback: Episode Seventy-Three

This week we bring back one of the most powerful musical episodes of Radio Free Charleston. From June, 2009, RFC’s 73rd episode, “Aqua Teen Hunger Force: The Movie Shirt” was shot around downtown Charleston with street art in the background, and it featured music from OVADA and The Limbs. We also have a Plant Ro Duction Mini Movie.

In the background of this show, you will see part of the “Coming And Going” art installation by Mark Wolfe, and “Celebrate,” by Amy Williams with Chris Dutch. Mark’s work featured life-sized black-and-white photos of some of Charleston’s most notable people (and one schlub you could see at Taylor Books). “Celebrate” was an evolution of Amy’s “Press 2 For Spanish” street work from 2008, expanded now to include Italian and Arabic. You’ll see those peeking over my shoulder and around my back in the host segments for this pre-FestivAll show.

The dynamic music is from Ovada, a collection of great musicians from Parkersburg that included our pal John Radcliff and our late friend, Joseph Hale, and from The Limbs, a one-man-band from Denver. This show is considered by many to be a high point from our first 100 episodes. You can read the original production notes HERE.

A Bunch Of Stuff, Some Of It Weird

The PopCulteer
March 22, 2024

We have a bunch of random items this week, so let us dive into the PopCulteer pile, shall we?

Tomorrow’s Gonna Be Pretty Weird For Me

Tomorrow is March 23, and to most people that date doesn’t hold much meaning.  To me, it’s a bit of lore from my past that I prefer not to dwell on, but I will do anything to share a funny story with my readers.

Tomorrow is the fortieth anniversary of the day that I secretly married my first wife while in Florida for spring break.

I don’t talk about the first marriage a lot because, let’s face it, I’ve been with Mel for more than half my life, and that’s like hitting the “best wife in the world” lottery, so why dwell on a mistake of my youth?  I wrote about the ex when she passed away in the summer of 2022, and later that year I shared details of the darker days of our marriage for Mental Health Awareness.

The short story is that I had PTSD when we got married, and her bi-polar disorder and subsequent refusal to accept that diagnosis only exacerbated my issues. It hurt like hell when she dumped me for husband number two (of four) but that was actually the most positive thing that could have happened to me.

Our relationship, as I have written here, was marked by me missing the red flags. There were lots of red flags.

There were more red flags than a Soviet military parade.

In my defense, I was young, dumb and horny, and was severely lacking in real life experience.

But in honor of this cursed anniversary, I shall share, for your amusement, one of those red flags. You may have heard this before on a local podcast, but don’t spoil it for anybody else.

I’ve mentioned how we got engaged over the phone at Christmas, and eventually (via our weekly exchange of audio tapes), we agreed that we would get married in secret when I would visit her in Florida over spring break.

She had to make all the arrangements since she lived there and I didn’t.

I don’t know if this is still the case, but in 1984 in Florida, if you were a Notary Public, you could officiate a wedding.  This came in handy since she was a militant Atheist at the time, and I had no desire then to ever set foot in a church.

She told me that she found the perfect person for the job. Just across the country line (so it wouldn’t make her local paper) she found a realtor who was prepared to do the job. She said she wanted to surprise me with his name.

On the appointed day, we got up and told her folks that we were just going to run around and maybe go to the beach.  We actually drove along a long and desolate stretch of highway to a nice little Realtor’s office.  When she pulled up in front of the place, I saw the name on the door, and busted out laughing. She did too.

I told you, at this point I was missing red flags left and right.

Tomorrow is the fortieth anniversary of the day I was married by Satan.

Eddie Satan, to be exact. At the time I thought it was hilarious. We joked about it often. Of course, it turned out to have been apt and prophetic.

If you’ll allow me to get fictional for a moment, after we pulled out and drove out of sight down the highway, Eddie Satan exited his office and made sure we were gone. Then he sprouted horns and turned red and began laughing maniacally.  He stopped, snapped his fingers, and then he and his office vanished in a puff of smoke.

The Lesson Of That Story

I’m old. I don’t act old. Kind people tell me I don’t look old. Except for the occasional knee pain, I don’t feel old. I don’t do old people stuff like watch Matlock or eat tapioca pudding.

But if I got married for the first time forty years ago, and that particular wife has already shuffled off this mortal coil, and I’ve managed to live happily ever after with a wonderful woman in my life for over thirty-four years since then…I think a reasonable argument can be made that I’m old.

When you’re young, nobody explains to you that as you get older, you don’t change that much, at least not inside…unless you get radicalized by the internet or join a cult…or both.  Essentially, I’m the same person I was after I recovered from that first marriage.

I feel younger now than I did when I was in that first marriage.

So it’s really weird realizing things that prove that, chronologically, I’m old.  I saw Star Wars in a movie theater in the summer of 1977 when it was on its first run. That was 47 years ago.  In 1977 movies that were 47 years old were made in 1930.  When I saw Star Wars, The Wizard of Oz was a newer movie than Star Wars is now.

That’s a little freaky.

I started writing PopCult in 2005.  I’m coming up on nineteen years of writing this blog. I heard from a reader last week who wasn’t born yet when I started this blog. Oddly enough, I’m still writing about many of the same things that I covered in my first few months of writing PopCult. For some reason Jack Kirby, The Beatles, action figures and comic books are still relevant (some more than others).

I don’t feel old, like I said. I do a few things to resist feeling old. I still haven’t joined AARP, even though they started sending me invites when I was 30. I do color the beard, but I’ve done that since before I was 30. For some reason it would come in blond.

But I will take advantage of every senior citizen discount I can get. I mean, age does have its advantages.

ToyLanta Is This Weekend

And we’re not going.  Basically, our dance card for trips is filled up this year, and since they split JoeLanta off, and since it’s happening at a much better time for us in October, we chose that cool toy show over this other cool toy show. I wish we could hit both of them, but alas, we have not yet hit the lottery.

A lot of my friends will be there, and I hope they have a fantastic time.  You can find out more about this weekend’s show HERE, and check out our past coverage of (and the intertwined history of) both shows at my index to past coverage HERE.

If you’re within easy driving distance, you might just want to get yer butts down there.

On The AIR Friday

Let us move on to the playlist for today’s new episode of MIRRORBALL on The AIR. The AIR is PopCult‘s sister radio station. You can hear our shows on The AIR website, or just click on the embedded player found elsewhere on this page.

Friday at 2 PM on The AIR, Mel Larch devotes her hour of Disco to the Divas of Disco. For the second time (so far) Mel has put together a show filled to the brim with the ladies who lurch about the dance floor (admittedly, not my most poetic line, but Mel will like it because it’s a Sondheim reference).  You’ll hear the classic Disco Divas Rose Royce, Chaka Khan, Norma Jean Wright and Gloria Gaynor, but you’ll also get to hear Disco turns by Doris Troy and Tina Turner.

It’s an estrogen-tastic orgy of esoteric and enigmatic inamorata who beckon you to dance, dance, and then dance some more.

Check out the playlist…


Doris Troy “You Got Me Baby”
Rose Royce “Do Your Dance”
Tamiko Jones “Can’t Live Without Your Love”
Bumblbee Unlimited “Lady Bug”
Chaka Khan “I’m Every Woman”
Tasha Thomas “Shoot Me With Your Love”
Margie Joseph “Discover Me (And You Will Discover Love)”
The Staples Singers “Showdown”
Norma Jean Wright “Saturday”
Tina Turner “Love Explosion”
Gloria Gaynor “Anybody Wanna Party”

You can hear MIRRORBALL every Friday at 2 PM, with replays throughout the following week Monday at 9 AM and Tuesday at 1 PM and a mini-marathon Saturday nights at 9 PM

At 3 PM we bring you  an encore of  a special mixtape edition of Sydney’s Big Electric Cat that, rather than flowing smoothly, attempts to be as jarring and disconnected as possible. It’s all designed to jar your senses with the type of random diversity that you’d have experienced at the time.

It’s all in the spirit of fun, so check out this playlist…

BEC 090

Adam & The Ants “Kings of the Wild Frontier”
B 52s “Dance This Mess Around”
Duran Duran “Planet Earth”
Pretenders “I Go To Sleep”
Godley & Creme “Under Your Thumb”
Aneka “Japanese Boy”
Bad Manners “Can Can”
The Look “I Am The Beat”
The Police “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic”
Visage “Fade To Grey”
Toyah “It’s A Mystery”
Madness ‘It Must Be Love”
Altered Images “Happy Birthday”
The Human League “Love Action”
ABC “Tears Are Not Enough”
Human Switchboard “Who’s Landing In My Hangar”
Siouxsie And The Banshees “Spellbound”
Fun Boy Three “The Lunatics (Have Taken Over The Asylum)”
Department S “Is Vic There”
The Teardrop Explodes “Reward”
Gary Numan “She’s Got Claws”
Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark “Souvenir”
Kim Wilde “Kids In America”
Ultravox “Vienna”
Japan “Quiet Life”
Hazel O’Connor “Will You”
Modern Romance “Everybody Salsa”
Spandau Ballet “Chant No. 1”
The Passions “I’m In Love With A German Film Star”
U2 “Fire”
UB40 “One In Ten”
The Jam “That’s Entertainment”

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. Classic episodes can be heard Sunday morning at 10 AM.

That’s what’s new on The AIR Friday, and that is this week’s PopCulteer. Check back for our regular features every day, even the weird ones.


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