Rudy Panucci On Pop Culture

Blue Haze, Christmas, Mingling With Art And The Blues: RFC 46 Production Notes

The 46th episode of Radio Free Charleston is online now! Rush on over to watch it.  This installment features full songs from Casi Null (singing about the infamous Blue Haze) and Dog Soldier (singing about the infamous Christmas).  We also have parts of songs from future RFC guests The Buttonflies (in the 120 Second Art Show) and The Diablo Blues Band (over the end credits).

The host segments were shot in and around the Hansford Art House just last Friday, and I’ll tell you why my performance was so inept on the other side of the jump, along with photos and more details on the production of RFC 46, “Charleston The Opera Shirt.”

Our first musical guest this time is Dog Soldier with “The Christmas Song.”  We captured them on tape the same night that we recorded Quick and Dirty for episode 44.  We will have them on again in the future.  This dynamic group has a unique sound and they put on one hell of a show.  The next time we record them, we want to bring in extra cameras.  Dog Soldier has a busy week this week. On July 17 they’ll be at Mulberry’s in Ravenswood.  On the 18th they’ll be part of the tribute to Randy Lee Walden at The Blue Parrot and the next night they’re at The Fairplain Yacht Club in Ripley.

It looks like I’m failing to resist the urge to make a “Christmas in July” remark.  Sorry.

Casi Null is one of the most versatile and irresistible performers in town.  Whether she’s playing percussion or acoustic guitar as half of The Clementines, ripping out progressive electric riffs as part of Punk Jazz, or doing her own thing or jamming with someone new, Casi just exudes pure bliss when she’s making music.  We have her in a somber mood on this show, with a song she co-wrote with her dad, Ed Null, “Blue Haze.”

This tune is, of course, inspired by the blue haze which has become a frequent visitor to the Kanawha valley in recent months.  It first showed up the day we taped the Sojourner’s Benefit episodes of RFC back in January, but just to keep our show topical, it made a return visit just last Friday, the day we shot our host segments.  You can catch Casi as part of Chuck Biel’s Punk Jazz one last time this Thursday at The Empty Glass.  It’s their final show, since their bassist Eli Namay is leaving to ascend to virtuoso Heaven in Chicago. We will be featuring Punk Jazz on a future RFC.

We recorded Casi at LiveMix Studio on July 8, with sound engineering by RFC Big Shot Brian Young and camera-work by your loyal blogger.

We feature the music of The Buttonflies in the 120 Second Art Show segment of RFC.  I posted this last week here in PopCult, but since we shot the host segments at the Hansford Art House I thought it’d be cool to show it again.  I’m not going to write in depth about The Buttonflies, because they’re going to be on episode 49 of Radio Free Charleston.  But if you want to hear more of them, you can check them out on July 19 at Taylor Books, and on July 25 at The Blue Parrot, with Doctor Senator and The Hellbinki Sextet.  Our cameras will be on hand July 25 to record them for episode 49.  Don’t you just love it when a plan comes together?

Over the end credits you’ll hear part of a song by The Diablo Blues Band.  “The Price Of A Broken Heart” is a song that Johnny “Hurricane” Compton wrote on the anniversary of his mother’s death. I heard this song for the first time back at the Empty Glass Top 100 Bars party, and I’ve wanted it on the show ever since.  The version you hear on this episode was recorded July 3 at the Empty Glass.  I only had one camera on hand, but I decided to record this tune for the heck of it.  I didn’t know that Johnny was going to dedicate the song to the late Randy Lee Walden.

Randy was found dead June 30, as readers of this blog probably know.  He was the lead singer and bassist for Quick and Dirty, who had just appeared on RFC 44 a couple of weeks earlier.  Friday night at the Blue Parrot, Randy’s friends will gather to play music and pay tribute to the man, and episode 48 of RFC will be dedicated to Randy’s musical legacy.  Episode 48 of RFC will be a special tribute to Randy. We presented this snippet of this song when we thought that we’d do the tribute for episode 47.

We’ll have more on The Diablo Blues Band next week, when you can hear the entire song,  as performed last Friday night at The Blues Summit at The Empty Glass.

Our animation this time is an old classic, familiar to viewers of Night Flight back in the 1980s, it’s the first part of “The Mascot” by Wladislaw Starewicz.  This was made in 1934 and to quote Wikipedia, it’s ” a long and strange story about a loving dog puppet who practically goes through Hell to get an orange to a girl dying of scurvy.”  The remainder of this classic will be brought to you in the Radio Free Charleston TV Archive project.  Longtime viewers of RFC may have noticed that our first 26 shows are no longer online here at The  We were simply taking up too much server space.

Since there’s been demand for the early shows (from all the way back in 2006) we’ve launched the RFC TV Archive page at MySpace, which will bring back from weblivion the first installments of our little music, animation and weird stuff program.  However, we’re not bringing them back unchanged.   Since the early shows went up, we have parted ways with some of the contributors, notably Third Mind Incarnation and the cartoon “Pentagram Flowerbox.”  Essentially, neither of us were happy working with each other, and because of that, I didn’t feel right leaving their work in the old episodes of the show.  So those segments will be cut out and replaced by “The Mascot.” If you want to see Pentagram Flowerbox the way it’s creator intended, visit their webpage.  The first RFC Archive Show featuring The Mascot will appear This Friday.

Finally, we have my performance as host.  It stinks. The show is great, one of our best, but I was really off that night. Part of the reason was that Melanie and I had a wonderful dinner at The Bluegrass Kitchen right before we headed over to Hansford Street for the exhibit.  Normally a great meal is not a problem, but this dinner was so good that I wanted to crawl off and take a nap.  Couple that with the fact that, not only did I not have a script for this show, but I didn’t even have an outline, and you can see why I had to do a hatchet job on my segments while editing the show.  We also decided, after shooting the host bits, to switch the contents of episodes 47 and 48.  I sort of explain that during the show.

But the reason I come across like Max Headroom at times was that I kept losing my train of thought and saying “Damn, that was some good catfish!”

So that’s the dirt on RFC 46, “Charleston The Opera Shirt.” In one week we’ll smack you upside the head with episode 47, featuring Mark Bates and The Vacancies and The Diablo Blues Band.  One week after that, come back for our tribute to Randy.


  1. Elvis Capone

    Ha, ha. “Butt on flies”.

  2. Bill Gardner

    Rudy you are the Tony Wilson of Charleston.

  3. Elvis Capone

    Tony Wilson? What does college football have to do with Radio Free Charleston?

  4. Longtime Listener

    Tony Wilson? Would that make Quick and Dirty Charleston’s Joy Division?

    Sorry, first thought that popped into the mind.

    Great show, by the way. I got out my magnifying glass to read about it in the paper this morning.

  5. Mexican Romeo

    Ooh, cold remark LL. A bit soon for that, don’t you think? I’m catching up with PopCult after three weeks off (yay, seniority!) and it looks like Rudy went nuts with the posts and the new Radio Frees this summer. Killer job. I love the artsy thing. Casi ia a real cutie, and her song is very spooky-cool. Dog Soldier is astounding. That voice is incredible, coming out of someone who looks like the missing fourth Hanson brother from “Slap Shot.”

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