The PopCulteer
January 11, 2013

We are still enjoying the “new car smell” of 2013, and there’s lots of cool and exciting things to tell you about for the new year. While The Charleston Gazette is moving behind a paywall, PopCult and the other Gazette blogs will remain free, to frolic and play among the internet meadow. Let’s see what the coming year will bring, shall we?

Charleston Underground

It’s been awhile since Charleston has had a good independent entertainment and arts website. The Gazette is great, and I do what I can here in PopCult, but it’s always good to have a diverse assortment of voices, not to mention extra eyes and ears.

WVRockscene is still keeping the faith and covering the music scene in depth, but Shouts and Hollers faded away due to attrition and KVLive crashed and burned in a spectacular and hilarious manner. Now, we get to welcome Charleston Underground to the scene. This new website, staffed by a dedicated group of patrons of the arts, will cover music, theater, art and loads of other cool stuff. We are enthusiastic fans and suggest you check out their website and Facebook page.

Charleston Underground also joins PopCult and WVRockscene at the aggregate site at The Empty Chances are, we’ll be linking to them plenty in the coming year.

Live At Trackside

We will also be linking more to Live At Trackside. Run out of Bud Carroll’s studio in Barboursville, this group of musicians and filmmakers has filled the void left by LiveMix Studio’s untimely exit due to the evil Monsignor back in 2010. They’ve been capturing the best local and touring musicians that they can lure to their studio, and putting them online. Check out their YouTube and Facebook pages, and look at some of the things they’ve been up to.

The PopCult Bookshelf

Something I’ve been mulling over for some time is how to get more coverage of print–pop culture-related books as well as comics and graphic novels–into PopCult. Starting soon, we will introduce a weekly feature, The PopCult Bookshelf. This will be the place where you can find the best of the dying print medium, as well as all the Cool Comics.

We will also cover news about comics and interesting magazines in this section of the blog, which will probably be a regular Thursday feature. Look for it to start before February.

Tuesday Toybox

Another new feature in PopCult will be the Tuesday Toybox. I’ve been writing about toys and action figures for nearly two decades, and of late, when I’ve covered toy topics in The PopCulteer, the response has been very encouraging. I’m already lining up a variety of topics and plan to bring you photo essays as well as detailed essays and news. I expect to have a lot of fun with this weekly feature, and I hope you folks enjoy it too.

What’s On Tap For RFC?

Of course Radio Free Charleston will continue to call PopCult its home in 2013. We’re going to try and strike a balance between our regular genre-busting variety format and the occassional themed episode. We still have a long list of local artists that we want to get on the show, and we also have episode 200 to plan before the end of the year.

Collaborations with Live At Trackside and Third Eye Cabaret are definitely going to be pursued, and we will have an exclusive music video, a collaboration between local artists and a major international recording artist, coming up sometime in the next month.

We will be skipping FestivAll this year. There’s no big controversy. I just wanted to take one year away so that, if I’m in town, I can enjoy the FestivAll events pressure-free. I also wanted to have the option to travel a bit this summer. Right now it looks like we’re going to be taking RFC on the road at least a couple of times this year.

Among the theme shows in the works are a new “Show Without Words,” another tribute to The Beatles and a couple of other surprise tribute shows to be announced. We might also get around to the all-animation show and the “Not Safe For Work” special this year, too. We’ve been threatening to do those for a long time.

Most episodes of RFC will be posted on Mondays, just because that works best with our production schedule. It also enables us to get the word out in the Thursday Gazz section of the Charleston Gazette. Fans of the Radio Free Charleston Facebook page will still get sneak peeks and previews.

…And The PopCulteer?

Our weekly Friday column/blog post will continue into its fourth year as a hybrid blog/print-style collection of thoughts, essays, photos and video. I plan to beef up our rundown of weekend events, and this will still be the most unpredictable part of the blog. I’m hoping to lure my fellow RFC Big Shot, Melanie Larch, out of retirement so we can revive “Animated Discussions” as a monthly blog post that covers the world of cartoons.

Some topics are being spun off into their own weekly features, but Friday will still be the weekly dumpage of excess verbiage and imagery. And in cases where I don’t have any cool photos or anything major to write about, you can expect more columns like this one, where all I do is tell you what I’m going to do in this blog later.

Lest you worry, Sunday Evening Videos and Monday Morning Art will also stick around. That’ll leave Wednesday and Saturday open, if I come up with any other new features. I hope you keep reading the blog to see what else happens.