Rudy Panucci On Pop Culture

Big Money, Lil Guy on RFC’s Halloween Show!

Radio Free Charleston episode 29 is online now! This is “Pirate Outfit,” our Halloween 2007 show. We’ve got appropriately scary music from legendary Charleston band Big Money (featuring Michael Lipton) and local rapper Lil Guy from South Park Enterprise. Plus, we have scenes from the Radio Free Charleston Halloween party at Capitol Roasters Cafe, where we hijacked a Whistlepunk show.

Our host segments were taped that night, and we get just a taste of Whistlepunk during the end credits. On top of that, we have our usual mind-hurting weirdness and animation, with a sinister holiday bent.

As I mentioned, we shot our host segments at Capitol Roasters Cafe during a Whistlepunk show, and it was a blast! We couldn’t have asked for a more hospitable host, and the crowd was loud and enthusiastic all night long. They were so loud that you might have to strain to hear a couple of my introductions, even though I used a microphone this time. It’s all good, though. One other note: because we shot the host segments so far in advance, I didn’t have all the information I needed to fit in all the details, like the exact identity of the first band.

Our first musical treat is the theme song to Danny Boyd’s first movie, “Chillers,” performed by Big Money, a legendary Charleston band led by Michael Lipton. Big Money was also the very first local band whose music I purchased back in my younger days. I remember picking up their singles at Elkins Record Shop on the West Side. It was a kick to get to meet Michael years later and play his music on the old radio version of RFC.

Big Money was Michael Lipton(guitar); Stan Lynch (bass); Roger Bush (drums/vox); Bobby Vaughn (guitar/vox); Dwayne McCormick (vox) and Rick Magly (keyboards/vox). The song “Chillers” was written by Lipton and Stan Lynch. Lipton, as most PopCult readers should know, is currently in both The Carpenter Ants and The Bark O Loungers, both of whom we’re trying to schedule on future episodes of Radio Free Charleston.

The video for “Chillers” was directed by Danny Boyd, and features scenes from the movie cut in with a performance by the band. Several noted area thespians are seen throughout the clip, including David Wohl, Guy Nelson, Gary Brown, one-time gubernatorial candidate Jesse Johnson and Jim Wolfe, whose voice can be heard singing along on the theme song for Radio Free Charleston. Eagle-eyed viewers may also notice a cameo appearance by issue number two of the CODA comic book, which contained work by obscure local misfits, Frank and Rudy Panucci. Frank also designed the logo for “Chillers” as well as the logo for RFC, which are briefly on screen at the same time in this episode.

Our second song is a video specifically recorded for the show: South Park Enterprise, featuring Lil Guy with “Horror Movie Gangsta.” I’m not sure if this is a horror movie spin on Gangsta Rap, or a Gangsta Rap spin on horror movies, but it’s darned clever. We shot this video last Friday in a cemetery which shall remain nameless. Lil Guy rapped along with a backing track which was played on a boom box. His microphone was plugged directly into the camera, and I produced the vocals and the final mix of the song.

What was amazing was that we shot two takes. I planned to only use one, or possibly cut together the best of the two, but when I got the footage loaded in the computer, I decided to see what would happen If I tried to sync them up. They matched perfectly. I was stunned. I was also impressed as hell with Lil Guy’s professionalism. He managed to perfectly double-track his vocals without the benefit of a playback or headphones. I was able to cut back and forth between the video takes and the lip sync was dead on.

I applied “monster” effects to the vocals, like on Lil Guy’s original version, and edited the video, cutting on the orchestral sting (except where it was creepier not to do so). I also knocked the footage down to grainy high-contrast black-and-white, so it’d look like the original “Night Of The Living Dead.”

I have to say, I’m really proud of this video. It was guerrilla film-making at its finest. The video was shot (without getting permission) at 1 p.m. By 10 p.m. that same night, I had the audio mixed and the video directed and rendering. I ducked out to catch Whistlepunk at the Vandalia Lounge, and the whole thing was finished by the time I got back. Even cooler is the fact that, when I cut the introduction to this video, it didn’t exist yet. Thanks to Lil Guy for allowing me to add “rap music producer” to the list of cool things I get to do for RFC.

Of course, we also have a snippet of Whistlepunk during the end credits, too. We did hi-jack their show and turn it into the RFC Halloween party, so we couldn’t very well leave them off the show. You’ll hear them doing the song “Lost.” I’m hoping we get to hear that song again on the upcoming Whistlepunk CD, which they plan to record in the coming months.

Aw heck. Go ahead and take a look at “Lost” without the end credits running all over it:

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/Ou9o7jcEjeY" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

There’s more than just music on the show. You’ll also get to see a commercial that loudly promises “Shrunken Heads for all occasions!” A lovely Geisha and a Japanese robot introduce our animation, which was created by mystery men. An evil puppet turns me into Jared Leto. Right at the beginning of the show Raymond Wallace nearly destroys me and RFC camera-person Melanie Larch by delivering a two-word ad lib that we had to try desperately to ignore. A Gladiator and a Ghostbuster are in a coffee shop. Subtitles take on a life of their own.

And I’m dressed up for Halloween for the first time since I was ten.

You can catch all that on the Halloween 2007 episode of Radio Free Charleston. Be sure to visit the RFC MySpace page, too.

20 Comments

  1. Smythe

    Great show. Spooky. Love the Geisha.

  2. Fred Martin

    Rudy, you ROCK man! Great show. That party looked like hella fun. I remember Big Money from my time back toiling in Chemical City. That rap video scared the CRAP out of me. The party looked like a real hoot. IS THE GEISHA SINGLE?

  3. Mountain Woman Phd.

    I love it when you get your show on a biweekly schedule. It is always nice to have a regular treat such as this. I wish I had made it out to the party. Whistlepunk sounded great. Seeing Big Money brought back memories that are older than they should be. The rap song was not quite my cup of tea, but it was still impressive.

    Oh, who was that you morphed into?

  4. Pope Henry

    Aren’t you the guy who did the “Ave Maria” video?

    I mean, you did that, and you did the rap video on this show?

    Diverse, dude, diverse.

  5. Anonymous

    Funner than hell show! I like it when you take the time to do more involved videos on location and stuff. Good music, weird-assed cartoons, that shrunken head thing cracked me up. But I gotta agree with Fred, the best thing is the Geisha. Is she single?

  6. Teenaged Lesbian Spitfire

    This show speaks to me. Congrats on finally getting some cute females on the show. Nice bit o’ flesh in the “Chillers” song, too.

    Major Kudos!

  7. Mexican Romeo

    Horror Movie Gangsta was genius. The song is remarkable. Lil Guy turned in a perfect performance. And the video was great. Without showing any gore or blood, it was chilling.

    Mr. Panucci, you could give Mr. Hitchcock a run for his money.

    The rest of the show was good, too. That Chillers video was very well done. Whistlepunk always delivers. And since Mrs. Romeo reads this blog, I won\’t comment on the Geisha.

  8. Matt Salazar

    Epic. Not as epic as last year’s two-parter (where the heck did your old shows go, anyway?) but still epic. However, you spelled “cemetery” wrong. Great tunes this time. I’m glad to see you finally branching out into rap and hip hop.

    I wonder if I can get a shrunken head for a Bar Mitzvah?

  9. Charleston Marley

    Chillers…now that’s a blast from the past. It’s good to see Lipton on the show, finally. Those were some wild times.

    Happy Halloween!

  10. Elvis Capone

    I watched this show.

  11. Bandero

    You’re doing a great job with this show. Keep up the good work.

    The Geisha should be a regular feature.

  12. Fresh Air Required

    Love it, love it, love it. Is that Aurora in the cheerleader and date get-up?

  13. Strident Weiner

    This show was remarkable.

    Therefore, I remarked about it.

  14. The Dude

    Whatever they’re paying you, it aint enough. Radio Free kicks major butt. I wish you could jump to cable or something so you could do a longer show with more cool stuff.

  15. Frosty Freezin'

    A gladiator and a Ghostbuster are in a coffee shop…..what’s the punchline?

    Chillers and Big Money. Fun to see and brings back a lot of good memories of a lot of cool people. Now I feel officially old (LOL).

    Any chance of seeing “Official RFC Shrunken Head Kits”? Just think of the merchandising potential!

    BTW, what happened to your Fairy Ghostmother from last year’s show? Is she stuck in another dimension?

  16. Frosty Freezin'

    Chillers and Big Money…brought back a lotta good memories with that one. Now I really feel old (LOL).

    I want the Great Pumpkin to rise up outta the pumpkin patch and bring me one of those shrunken head kits!!

    Lil Guy’s performance was great and so was the video. Hope we haven’t seen the last of him on the show.

  17. Van Martin

    Quaint little thing you have going on here. The 80s music was a nice example of the period. The rap thing was surprisingly catchy. I liked that last band best. They have a cute singer and the music was more to my tastes. The rest of the show was strangely fun. I don’t remember those toys from my childhood. That Geisha was so adorable it almost made me choke.

    Good stuff. Got a kick out of it.

  18. Rudy Panucci

    Wow. What a response!

    To answer some of your questions:

    Yes, I believe our Geisha, Chelsea, is single.

    We are going to do our best to maintain a bi-weekly or better schedule for the foreseeable future.

    That was Jared Leto that I was morphed into. He’s an actor or something. One of the show’s fans sent that in.

    Yes, I did direct “Ave Maria.” I also directed “I Hate Your God” for Fanatomy, and “Requiem For Pepperland” for Go Van Gogh, among many other clips for the show. I’m a genre-hopping fool.

    Thanks for the comparison to Hitchcock. We share a birthday, and I’m a big fan of his rap videos.

    The old shows are offline for the moment. In our zeal to bring you the finest local music, animation and video, we accidentally filled up the internets. A solution is forthcoming.

    The commercial did promise “Shrunken Heads for ALL occasions,” but I’m not sure if they’re kosher.

    That was indeed Laura and Jonathon from Aurora as the Dead Cheerleader and her prom date.

    The Punchline is playing at the La Belle Theater Friday November 2, with The Concept, Drop Dead Phred and T Shirt Factory. Read the “Best Bets” in the Gazz on Thursday for more details.

    The Fairy Ghostmother mutated into a Busty Pirate Wench, and was behind the camera most of the evening.

    We do aim to be “quaint.” Thanks for digging the show.

    Later, Rudy

  19. Chris Tic

    You’ve got a good thing going on there. Lots of fun for the holiday.

    More Geisha, please.

  20. Maria Sansone

    Hi there…Man i just love your blog, keep the cool posts comin

    Great way to pass the time on the road

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