Radio Free Charleston 115, “Frank Sinatra Sbirt” is the video you see right up there above this text. This episode features a wide variety of music: a Metal classic by HARRAH, a Progressive-Alternative jolt from Linfinity, an operatic waltz from Hellblinki, Blues from Crossroads and a great rocked-up ballad from The Nanker Phelge.
Host segments were shot in Davis Park during lunch on Tuesday, and were recorded in record time due to the bitter cold. The namesake shirt for this installment is a Frank Sinatra T-shirt that I pulled out to wear in honor of what would have been the 95th birthday of The Chairman of the Board earlier this week.
First up in this jam-packed show is HARRAH. You may have seen his take on the Ozzy Osbourne classic, “Crazy Train” before, but I was so enamoured of it that I wanted to bring it to my RFC viewers. Lee Harrah is embarking on a quest to get noticed by the Madman himself, and I’m helping him along the way. The resemblance is uncanny, you must admit. Look for more Ozzy tributes from Lee in the future.
Next up we bring you Linfinity, a band from New York that played The Empty Glass just last week. I have to confess to not knowing much about the band when we showed up. I was there to record The Nanker Phelge, who were opening, and figured I’d stick around to see what Linfinity sounded like.
I’m glad I did. I knew I was in for a treat when they ran through The Talking Heads “Road To Nowhere” as a sound-check. I was blown away by their music. This six-piece consists of Dylan Von Wagner, Russ Lemkin, Grant Zubritsky, Al Paxton, Megan Berson and Omer Shemesh, and they have a wild progressive-alternative sound. They perform the raucus “Choo Choo Train To Venice,” but you’ll be hearing more from their performance at The Glass in future shows.
Our animation this week is a clip from the Russian (public domain) claasic, “The Snow Queen,” set to music from our North Carolina friends (and PopCult Gift Guide pick), Hellblinki. I’ve wanted to use some of “The Snow Queen” on the show for some time, and “Happy Wake Up,” a song off of Hellblinki’s new CD, fit the bill perfectly.
We are glad to be featuring the next band under happy circumstances. Crossroads is back in action following the open heart surgery that the band’s leader, Jeff Mangus, underwent just a few weeks ago.You can catch the band this Friday at 9 PM at Tomahawks Smokehouse and Saloon.
Jeff suffered a heart attack just days after we recorded this performance at the Dunbar Fall Festival back in September. You’ll get to hear the band tear through the Allman Brother’s version of Blind Willie McTell’s “Statesboro Blues.” Crossroads’ new CD is another PopCult Gift Guide pick.
The Nanker Phelge closes the show this week. This is a collection of some of my favorite friends and local artists. They’re something of a supergroup, made up of four folks who have been on the show so many times that, combined, they appear on over 30 episodes of RFC, solo and in other bands like Go Van Gogh, Hitchcock Circus, Punk Jazz, Eva Elution, The Clementines, and Beckner, Young, Beckner and Young.
This time we feature a song that has Casi Null singing a song written by Mark Beckner, “Baby.” Steve Beckner and Dave Roberts round out the group, and this is a killer line-up of singers and songwriters. The cool thing about “Baby” is that it was very nearly discarded by the band. Mark wasn’t happy with the direction the song was taking, but when Casi took a shot at singing it, they knew they had a winner on their hands.
You can see The Nanker Phelge as part of a fantastic line-up of Radio Free Charleston favorites next Thursday, December 23, at The Empty Glass. This is Covenant House Food Drive Show, so you can bring a non-perishable food item to donate to the food pantry and enjoy Ovada, Josh Buskirk and Tofujitsu, along with the Nankers. If we can swing it, the RFC cameras will be on hand to record parts of the evening. You should be there too.
That’s it for this episode of RFC. If all goes well, we will return in one week with our Christmas show. Be sure to check out PopCult for updates, and for the rreally cool 2010 PopCult Gift Guide that is winding down. In all, we will precent 20 days of cool gift suggestions, ranging from CDs to graphic novels to breakfast cereal and all kinds of other cool stuff.