Rudy Panucci On Pop Culture

Author: Rudy Panucci (Page 1 of 544)

The RFC Flashback: MINI SHOW number 69

This week we take you back six years to an RFC MINI SHOW recorded at ShockaCon 2015. This was the Saturday night performance by Hurl Brickbat.  This was one of the first performances by the band, who have become mainstays of the Charleston music scene, and actually performed at The Empty Glass just last night (as this post is being published).  The band has developed some great original tunes, but in this RFC MINI SHOW we brought you a couple of Alice in Chains covers that they’d worked up.

The Last “Stuff To Do” For A While

The PopCulteer
September 17, 2021

I’m a bit torn over this, but I have decided that this week will be the final “Stuff To Do” column I post until after the pandemic has subsided a bit. I’ve mentioned it in the past, but while I really want to see our local scene thrive here in Charleston, at the moment I do not feel safe attending any live, in-person events. We are seeing new case and hospitalization records being set in West Virginia every day. Our sad excuse for leadership in this state is doing nothing to mitigate the situation, and even though I’m vaccinated, I don’t want to be one of the rare cases of a breakthrough infection.

At the moment I plan to stay home and focus on staying healthy enough so that I don’t have any other non-Covid reason to go to the hospital. There is no room at the inn, as it is, so I’m just hoping that everybody’s appendices and hearts and other organs behave themselves until things calm down. There is no good reason for healthy people to forego vaccinations at any time, but in the case of Covid, it’s really the most important thing you can do to stay healthy.

By all means, if any of my readers think that this means I think that you have to be an idiot to go without the vaccine, let me assure you that you are correct in thinking that I feel that way. Please don’t take it upon yourself to prove my assumption correct by trying to argue the point.

So, for the last time for a while, there are tons of things in and around Charleston to keep you busy this during this last weekend of summer.  Here are a few.  I am suspending this feature after this week.

You should know the drill by now. The pandemic is still not over.  In fact, it’s been getting  way worse again. If you are fully vaccinated and ready to do your best to stay safe, you should go check this stuff out. Outdoor shows might be okay for vaccinated folks to go maskless, but maybe not at the moment. Indoor shows leave you at the mercy of your fellow patrons, and with the Delta variant surging, why risk any exposure? I know there are folks who hate the idea of wearing masks, even if they’re not vaccinated. Those people are why you should wear a mask.

If anybody gives you grief over wearing a mask…get the hell out of there. It’s not safe. Nobody wants to be the last person to die of COVID.

So use your common sense and stay safe…and support the local scene. Here are a few select shows happening in Charleston this weekend…

 

 

 

 

That is this week’s PopCulteer. Check back because we have a fresh post every day. STUFF TO DO will return when it’s safe.

The Return Of The Stranglers

The PopCult Listening Room

Dark Matters
by The Stranglers
Available as Vinyl LP, CD or Download

I did not expect to be reviewing a new album by The Stranglers in 2021. I’ve been a fan of the band for over 40 years, and was very sad last year when their keyboardist, Dave Greenfield, died from Covid early in the pandemic. I was not aware that they’d been working on a new batch of songs since 2018, and it was a pleasant surprise when I got a pre-release notice from them earlier in the summer.

Dark Matters is the first Stranglers album since the retirement of their founding drummer, Jet Black, and it includes eight tracks with keyboards recorded by Greenfield before his death. Its actually their first full album since 2012.

The Stranglers are survivors of the original 1970s UK punk scene, and they survived by evolving. They always had prog-rock leanings due to the keyboard artistry of Greenfield, and and as the 80s progressed, they grew musically to the point where, at times, they sounded more like Pink Floyd than Pink Floyd did.

The band survived the exit of their frontman, Hugh Cornwell, in 1990, and the 2006 departure of his replacement, Paul Roberts, and through all of it they managed to release reliably excellent albums every few years. Dark Matters is the latest, and it is stunning work.

Musically, the album ranges from pure, classic Stranglers on the songs “Water,” “This Song,” If Something’s Gonna KIll Me (It Might As Well Be Love),” and “No Man’s Land.” That style melds smart lyrics with thumping basslines and catchy elements of pop music with a harder edge.

The gut-wrenching song on the album is “And If You Should See Dave,” a tribute to the band’s late keyboard player. It’s a mellow groove with trademark Stranglers’ riffs and achingly poignant lyrics. You can see the video here…

Another standout is the brief and lovely, “Lines,” which in another reflection on aging and mortality.

There is no “bum track” on the album, as every song is remarkable in its own way. “White Stallion” sounds like pure, vintage New Wave, with a bizarre auto-tuned vocal break that could almost be a contribution from the blue Diva in “The Fifth Element.”

LP and CD copies of Dark Matters include a bonus CD tribute to Greenfield, with 8 live recordings from the last seven years, including two songs from this album, recorded in 2019. The Download version has four bonus cuts, which are acoustive versions of songs from the album.

Dark Matters is an excellent album, a must-have for any Stranglers fan, and well worth listening for anybody who wants to hear sophisticated and powerful music with roots in punk and prog-rock.

Become A Scale Real Estate Baron

The PopCult Toybox

This is a bit of a first for The PopCult Toybox. Today I’m looking at two HO Scale structures, intended for the dominant scale of model railroading. Several companies make pre-built buildings that hobbyists can use to make their train layouts more realistic and interesting. Technically, these are not toys, but are marketed as “model-making products” because these have parts that are way too small to be considered toys.

Since I don’t want to start a new sub-heading, these are going in The PopCult Toybox, with the above disclaimer.

There are different levels of detail among these items, and today we’re going to look at one fairly inexpensive, less-detailed building, and another, more expensive building that comes complete with finished interiors and LED lights.

I do not currently have a train layout, but I’ve been stockpiling some of the more interesting-looking structures for when I finally have enough time and space to build one. My enjoyment of the hobby comes more from building a realistic-looking scene than from actually running the railroad, so when the day comes, I’ll be spending more time creating streets than running trains on time and keeping manifests.

First up we have 10th World Comics, a fully-assembled three-story structure, pre-painted and with decals applied. Made by Walthers with a list price of $24.98. It’s available from many hobby shops, local and online.

This s a 1/87th scale building, so it doesn’t take up a lot of space. It’s about three inches wide, four inches high and four and a half inches deep. That’s not a bad size if all you want to do is build a bookshelf street scene instead of a full-blown layout.

Of course, I picked this one because it’s a comic book store. There are decals in the windows that look right, and there are black and white copies of four vintage comics in the window (you don’t put actual comics in the window because they fade in the sun, so this is a nice touch).

The inside of the building is unfinished. There are windows (with blinds) and the structure is fairly complete, but at this price you’re not going to get interiors, drains, electrical hook ups or weathering.

For some folks, applying their own details is a big part of the fun, so this is not a problem. It’s a nice piece for a layout, as you can see in the photos…

Here we see a nicely-detailed storefront, plus we get a look at the brick and window detail and some molded-on roof vents.

Continue reading

RFC Revisits 2014 on The AIR

Tuesday on The AIR  your blogger and radio show host takes a bit of a sick day with a patchwork edition of Radio Free Charleston. A late summer sinus infection has wrecked my voice, so I’m bringing you three hours of the first internet radio edition of RFC from 2014.

It’s an interesting artifact, and it’s still jam-packed with three hours of great local and regional 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 compilation of RFC volume 3, episodes 3 and 4. In addition, you can hear most of what was left out this Thursday night on Live and Local, since I excised an hour of music that was all recorded at The Empty Glass, and didn’t want it to go to waste. These shows were produced for the predecessor of The AIR,  Voices of Appalachia, which I called New Appalachian Radio half the time for reasons I cannot remember. These shows haven’t been heard anywhere for more than six years, so they sort of capture a freeze-frame of the Charleston music scene, along with lots of classic tracks. Check out the playlist:

RFCV5 061

hour one
Kevin Scarborough “Birthright”
Anthony Hoey “So So”
Crazy Jane “Silver”
Since We Set Fire “The Stone I Was Cut From”
Renaissance(featuringing Stephanie Adlinton) “Star of the Show”
John Radcliff “My Plastic Lover”
Ouralias “Can’t Fight Love”
B.A. Fielder “Ode To Jim”
Hellblinki “Don’t go Down To The Woods Tonight”
Travis Egnor and the Horse Traders “World Stands Still”
Hasil Adkins “The Hunch”
The Nanker Phelge “Scream”
InFormation “She’s Like Poison”
Under Surveillance “City Boy”

Hour Two- Instrumental Music:
Chuck Biel “Theory of Mind”
J.B. Lee “Johansen’s Testament”
Frank Panucci “Testicamel”
C2J2 “Bop Bottle”
Josh Buskirk “Dust”
Duo Divertido “Blue Afro”
Karma To Burn “Thirteen”
Trielement “Loose Fuse”
Scrap Iron Pickers “Swamp Thing”
Raymond Wallace “I’ve Anchored My Soul to a Haven of Rest”

hour three
The Big Bad “Shine The Signal”
Time And Distance “Little Disaster”
The Science Fair Explosion “Cosmic Girls”
Joe Vallina “Suzy Said So”
Marcie Bullock “Maybe Just Crazy”
Granny’s 12-Gauge “Dear Devil”
The Boatmen “Another New Year’s Alone”
Ouralias “Daydream”
Scooter Scudieri “Ancient Rituals”
Mother Nang “Fade”
John Radcliff “It’s Not The End”
69 Fingers “Faster and Stronger”
Sarah Schlies “Child, My Child”
Sasha Collete “You Had Me”
Crack The Sky “We Want Mine”

You can hear this episode of Radio Free Charleston Tuesday at 10 AM and 10 PM on The AIR, with replays Thursday at 3 PM, Friday at 9 AM and 7 PM, Saturday at Noon and Midnight,  and  Monday at 11 AM, exclusively on The AIR. Now you can 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 NOISE BRIGADE at 2 PM. At three we have two recent episodes of The Swing Shift.

My voice should be back later this week so I can record my parts for what looks to be an epic, all-new three-hour RFC for next week.

Monday Morning Art: Tower

This week’s art is a small watercolor, based on photos I took in New York City a couple of years ago. While I did not see fit to participate in the fetishistic wallowing of the milestone anniversary of a certain horrible day this weekend, I did want to salute a city to which I hope to be able to return for a visit someday.  That was an event I remember every day, and I choose not to observe the almost celebratory anniversary day the way many other folks do. To each their own.

This was done Saturday afternoon with cheap watercolor markers over pencils on the back of a large index card. I goosed the colors a little after I scanned it.

If you want to see it bigger, just click on the image.

Meanwhile, Monday on The AIR, our Haversham shows will be presenting encores of recent episodes this week, but they will return with fresh shows next week.  Our Monday Marathon, starting at 8 PM, will be an eleven-hour blast of talk show and comedy weirdness, scooped up from our archives.    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.

Sunday Evening Videos: Internet Nostalgia Nostalgia

I first posted the playlist you see above over eleven years ago. Coding issues caused by YouTube being a jerk have caused it to be unviewable for a long time, but after smacking the computer for an hour or so, I finally made it give up the goods, and now you can see these thrilling videos onced again.

An entire generation or two has grown up with the internet as a major presence in their lives. That means that the time is ripe for INTERNET NOSTALGIA! Above you see a series of video clips of such classic internet fads as The Numa Numa Guy, Salad Fingers, The Hampster Dance, Banana Phone, Diet Coke and Mentos, Xiao Xiao, The Star Wars Kid and kicking it off, The Creepy Dancing Baby animation.

These things were passé over a decade ago, and now they’re practically adorably quaint and seem like artifacts from a prehistoric time.

Just in case you think that TikTok invented stupid, vapid, goofy videos, go back and revisit the primal goop of what has become a new, vaster wasteland than Newton Minnow could have ever imagined.

The RFC Flashback: MINI SHOW number 68

This week we go back to September, 2015, for the second RFC MINI SHOW to feature Sheldon Vance. This show captured Sheldon performing at two locations, The Empty Glass and The Cartref. You’ll hear his songs, “Strength To Let It Go,” “Turn It Back Around” and “Play On.”

It’s some great Appalachian Punk, by an unsung talent. I hope we get some new music from Sheldon soon.

A Double Shot Of Dance Music On The AIR

The PopCulteer
September 10, 2021

Friday afternoon we offer up eminently danceable new episodes of MIRRORBALL and 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 uncorks a new MIRRORBALL! The AIR’s showcase of classic Disco music presents a collection of regional and club hits which may be lesser-known that the top ten hits of the Disco era, but which are impressively groove-tastic anyway. Check out this playlist…

MIRRORBALL 032

Deodato “Keep On Movin'”
Goody Goody “It Looks Like Love”
Five Special “Why Leave Us Alone”
Foxy “Let’s Love”
Peter Brown “Do You Want To Get Funky”
Kleeer “Tonight’s The Night”
Faze Action “Turn The Point”
Miami “Disco Weekend”

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 turned out to be the fourth Big Electric Cat mixtape of New Wave 12″ extended remixes.  This time Sydney decided to , um…mix…things up a bit and this show includes some recent dance remixes of New Wave classics, alongside classic 12″ sides from the 1980s.  Also, Sydney wanted it to be known that, while some of these songs may have appeared on earlier dance mix episodes of Sydney’s Big Electric Cat, the versions included here are all different.  Peruse this here playlist for a preview…

BEC 076

Scritti Politti “Wood Beez”
Kim Wilde “Kids In America”
ABC “How To Be A Zillionaire”
Dead Or Alive “Something In My House”
Heaven 17 “We Don’t Need This Fascist Groove Thing”
Simple Minds “Waterfront”
Depeche Mode “Personal Jesus”
Spandau Ballet “Everybody’s Laughing”
Eurythmics “Sweet Dreams”
OMD “Joan of Arc”
Fun Boy Three “The Telephone Always Rings”
DEVO “Peek A Boo”
Sniff ‘n’ the Tears “Drivers Seat”
Yazoo “Don’t Go”
Duran Duran “Wild Boys”
Kate Bush “Cloudbusting”
Aha “The Sun Always Shines On TV”
Talk Talk “Today”
Bronski Beat “Smalltown Boy”

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.

Scary and Fun Stuff To Do

STUFF TO DO

I know I’m starting to sound like a broken record, but aside from what I’m posting below, there are tons of things in and around Charleston to keep you busy this late-summer weekend.  I am still considering suspending this feature during the surge in the pandemic. I have really mixed feelings about this. At the moment, I do not feel safe going out anywhere. That’s just me. I’m immunocompromised, and I’ve been pushing my luck recently, so I’m personally going back into hermit mode for the time being.

However, there are some really cool things happening in Charleston. Foremost is the Charleston Ghost Tour, which is a wonderful thing to have in the city, even if I can’t even consider doing a walking tour until the temps drop about twenty degrees around here. That doesn’t mean that those of you who are made of heartier stock shouldn’t partake, so check out their website, or look them up on social media for more details than you get in this neat graphic…

If you are interested in The Charleston Ghost Tour, check with them quick. The available spots are filling up very fast.

As for the rest of the weekend, you should know the drill by now. The pandemic is still not over.  In fact, it’s beengetting  way worse again. If you are fully vaccinated and ready to do your best to stay safe, you should go check this stuff out. Outdoor shows might be okay for vaccinated folks to go maskless, but maybe not at the moment. Indoor shows leave you at the mercy of your fellow patrons, and with the Delta variant surging, why risk any exposure? I know there are folks who hate the idea of wearing masks, even if they’re not vaccinated. Those people are why you should wear a mask.

If anybody gives you grief over wearing a mask…get the hell out of there. It’s not safe. Nobody wants to be the last person to die of COVID.

So use your common sense and stay safe…and support the local scene. Here are a few select shows happening in Charleston this weekend…

« Older posts

© 2021 PopCult

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑