mzl.xdtxxgllThe PopCulteer
August 1, 2014

It’s time for another random batch of stuff for you to muck about in. This column incorporates the weekend’s “Stuff To Do” stuff, which, in case you were wondering, doesn’t include all the stuff in town that you already know about.

Direct TV Update

It’s been eight months since I made the switch from Suddenlink to Direct TV for pay television, and I am still quite happy that I made the switch. It hasn’t been 100% smooth sailing, but I’m still saving a sizable amount of money each month and the quality of the signal is far superior.

I did get hit with a couple of hidden discounts that expired, so I’m not saving as much money as before, but I’m still paying about forty dollars less per month, and I’m getting around eighty more channels, plus all the premium channels with HBO, Starz and Showtime are in full HD, as opposed to Suddenlink, where you get fewer of those channels and more than half are still standard definition.

My new friend, The Genie remote

My new friend, The Genie remote

I recently spent some time at a house that still had Suddenlink, and the difference in quality was amazing. Going from a Direct TV signal to Suddenlink is like going from High Definition back to Standard Definition. The compression on their signal is ridiculous.

I have had some momentary outages due to severe weather. They usually last about five-to-twenty minutes, then everything is fine. During the time that I’ve had Direct TV, Suddenlink, which I kept for my internet, has been down twice as often for no reason, one time for more than six hours.

Thus far, it’s looking like all those ads that Suddenlink runs trying to get folks to switch from satellite to cable are outright, bald-faced lies. I don’t mean the standard advertising-hype fibbing, but brazen, possibly actionable, falsehoods. I still see their ads because they run them on the local channels, and it’s remarkable how wrong they are.

There are some drawbacks to Direct TV. You have to watch your monthly bill like a hawk to make sure they aren’t cramming extra services on there. As of yet, we don’t get the local digital sub-channels like MyZ. They still don’t offer The HUB or Esquire in HD.

However, I get way more channels than Suddenlink offers, some of which I would not want to give up. There’s more stuff on there than I can watch. Early next year I’ll probably drop my premium channels because I just don’t have enough time to watch everything on them. If there’s a series on one of them, I’ll just sign up for a week after the series ends and binge-watch it on demand. That will reduce my bill greatly.

The end result, after eight months of Direct TV, I am still deleriously happy that I dumped Suddenlink and made the switch.

Brazillians of Reasons To Go To The Clay Center


brazil-poster-art-2The Electric Sky Theater at The Clay Center continues on August 15 and 16 with Terry Gilliam’s classic film, “Brazil.” The film shows at 7 PM each night and admission is a mere six bucks.

“When a bureaucrat in a retro-future world attempts to correct an administrative error, he becomes an enemy of the state in director Terry Gilliam’s Orwellian vision of the future. Starring Robert De Niro, Jonathan Pryce and Kim Griest, this science fiction fantasy is a double Oscar nominee and multiple award winner for its original screenplay, stunning visuals, acting and directing.”


Mr. Mike, at least the headaches are gone

Michael O’Donoghue

Reportedly, nearly twenty years after his death, Michael O’Donoghue, the influential comedy writer who made his mark writing dark comedy for The National Lampoon and Saturday Night Live in the 1970s, and later on in movies like “Scrooged,” has let go of his last grudge.

Comedy in Elkins

Who knew that Elkins had a comic book store? Well, they do, at least for now. Counter Culture Concepts is facing a rough spot, and to help out with this type of comics, the other type of comics will be performing stand-up as a benefit. Five bucks gets you in to a place where you may well see comics reading comics while comics perform in front of racks of comics. It happens Saturday night at 8 PM at Counter Culture Concepts 114 Third Street, Elkins.

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Free Music Friday

Free music tonight sees Steve Wandling and David McGuire (of The January Dolls) at Taylor Books at 7:30 PM; The Carpenter Ants with Mark Cline Bates at Bruno’s at 9 PM and Renegade Mary at The Village Cafe on Sissonville Drive, also at 9 PM.


Charleston’s premiere horror/sci fi event returns next month. Video trailers are coming soon, but for now here’s some teasers of a couple of guests.

mel-larch Rudy-Panucci-



This week stars The Diablo Blues Band. Watch it now…

Jeff Ellis and Travis Egnor

A mere seven bucks is all it takes to get you in to The Empty Glass tonight at 11 PM to see Jeff Ellis and Travis Egnor and the Horsetraders. These are two of Charleston’s favorite musical acts, so you really need to go listen to them.



If your vibe is more mellow, head over to The Boulevard Tavern at 10 PM for the reggae sounds of I-vibe. Five bucks gets you in, mon.


Talented young folks performing thought-provoking monologues can be found at the WVSU Capitol Center Theater. Look HEFE for details.

Free Music Saturday

Cover-free tunes on Saturday include a live five-hour show, starting at 4 PM, at Ritter Park in Huntington, with No Pretty Pictures and a bunch more musical acts. Closer to home you’ll find 21 Funk Street at Bluegrass Kitchen at 7 PM, Tofujitsu with Spencer Elliott at Taylor Books at 7:30 PM and Will Jones at Crumbpecker’s in Saint Albans at 9 PM.


1333551754_Comparsa_pic_2012Just last week we brought you a remastered version of RFC 27, with Comparsa. We are very glad to see the band reassemble Saturday for Mulitfest in the afternoon, and later a live show at The Empty Glass.

The Mulitifest set happens at 3:30 PM, while the Empty Glass show (with a bargain-priced seven dollar cover) starts at 11 PM. You really want to get out to catch this band and their wild Appalachian Latin music.

Check ’em on on RFC 27…

That’s it for this week’s PopCulteer. Remember to check back with PopCult regularly for all our varied features.