At the head of this post, you see our brand new Halloween treat, Radio Free Charleston 172, “Nightmare In Wax shirt.” The bulk of this special episode was recorded on September 29 at the first Shocka-Con horror/science fiction convention. Our musical guests are The Tom McGees, The Nanker Phelge, and The Renfields. Plus, we have a short film by convention guest, Appalachian horror author Frank Larnerd.
Shocka-Con is the brainchild of Mike and Rose Winland, of Mike Winland Studios fame, and it was a spectacular success, drawing over 2500 people. It was an all day convention, with vendors and special guests set up in tents around the Indian Mound in South Charleston while seminars were held at the South Charleston Public Library and movies were screened at the LaBelle Theater. The evening ended with a Monster Parade up D Street and a free concert at the Mound Stage.
This one day event was quite an achivement, considering that it was conceived and executed in only a few short months. Normally, this type of convention takes at least a year of planning. We have no doubt that this will be just the first of many editions of Shocka-Con. Kudos again to Mike and Rose and all the Shocka-Con crew for putting on such an incredible event.
Our title shirt this week comes to us courtesy of Dutch Streetwear, coincidentally also located on D Street in South Charleston, who provided us with the really cool “Nightmare In Wax” shirt. Dutch has recently added longboards and skateboard accessories to their lineup of Kustom Kulture apparel and other goodies. And a quick apology to Walt Woods at Dutch for the ‘W’ in his first name which went missing in our credits.
Our host segments were shot at the crack of dawn on a Sunday morning at the Mound in South Charleston. It gave us a really cool looking sky and the next time we do this, we promise we’ll bring fill lights.
We open the show with footage of the Monster Parade, shot by our trusty production assistant, Lee Harrah. At different points in the show, you will see more Shocka-Con footage, some of it captured by our Resident Diva, Melanie Larch. Yours truly joined in as all three of us manned cameras for the band sequences.
Our first musical guest is The Tom McGees. This ska powerhouse has become a Radio Free Charleston favorite and they have just returned from an East Coast tour. Your next chance to catch The Tom McGees locally is Friday, October 26, as they open the Live On The Levee Encore as part of FestivFall. This will be a great chance to catch The Tom McGees in action, along with the eclectic conglomoration known as Qiet. It’s a double bill not to be missed.
Departing from the Shocka-Con coverage somewhat, we bring you a horror film, written and directed by Frank Larnerd, author of the upcoming book, “Hills Of Fire: Bare-Knuckle Yarns of Appalachia.” We don’t want to spoil any of the shocking suspense in this film, so we’re not even going to tell you the title. Just run out right now and get some popcorn, even if you’re watching the show at work! Those of you who are particularly squeamish might want to brace yourself for the introduction, where I brutally mangle Frank’s last name.
Next up we have our old friends, The Nanker Phelge. As you can see in the footage, Stephen Beckner dressed in a really cool Grim Reaper/Undertaker/Slash outfit. Mark, Dave, and Joey, in a very clever twist, all dressed as each other. The Nanker Phelge performs the song “Scream.” You can next catch the Nanker boys with Deadbeats and Barkers and The Suede Brothers on November 10 at The Empty Glass.
Our headliners for the show are The Renfields. Direct from Transylvania, we bring you two songs from Vincent, Professor Herbert, Dick Ramses, and The Fiend, “Transylvania Fight Song” and “Machete A-Go-Go.” If you haven’t seen The Renfields in action, just imagine if The Groovy Ghoulies had eaten the brains and hearts of The Ramones and absorbed their superpowers. The Renfields will be featured along with The Big Bad at the Halloween Hootenany on October 27 at The Empty Glass and our friendly Transylvanians will also be playing on October 31, the actual Halloween night as God intended, at The Blue Parrot.
During our end credits, you will hear snippets of The Dead Ringers, rumored to be the re-animated corpses of members of The Kanawha Kordsmen and Sweet Adelines, plus “Do The Necronomicon,” performed by the cast of Kanawha Players “Evil Dead: The Musical.”
Since we skipped our Halloween show last year, it was a real treat to basically have a ready made show fall right into our laps with Shocka-Con. Once again, we want to thank Mike and Rose Winland and their crew for all the hard work they put into this event. On a personal note, hot on the heels of our nostalgic look back at our previous Halloween shows last week, it’s really cool that we have so many ties to our previous Halloween episodes. Our first Halloween show, way back on Episode 7, featured The Concept. Every member of The Concept is on this episode of Radio Free Charleston, some of them having undergone changes. Stephen and Mark Beckner from The Nanker Phelge appeared on our “Radio Free Charleston Horror Theater” episodes, both as members of Go Van Gogh and Hitchcock Circus. Keep that in mind as we start working toward our next Halloween compilation show in 2017.
That’s the dirt on our freshly dug Halloween episode. Radio Free Charleston will return in November. Meanwhile, be sure to check out Rudy’s artwork at the ArtMares exhibit during HallowEast and enjoy all the lovely HallowEast festivities, including the Murder Mystery, the Zombie Walk, the Costume Crawl, and the Halloween Hootenany.