1908313_10152441709216974_730008612934308676_nThe PopCulteer
May 16, 2014

Top O Rock Update

The news this week is that there is no news since we wrote last week about Top O Rock, the historic home of architect Henry Elden that is in imminent danger of being demolished. Rumors are flying, but nothing solid has been confirmed.

One company has publicly made what I consider to be unprofessional comments, hinting that they have a contract to demolish the structure (why would anyone want to claim that job?), but nothing has been announced. The only development is the cool design for a possible fundraising T Shirt by Mark Wolfe Design (seen at the top of this post).

The issue is that, if anyone would take on the task of saving Top O Rock, they are instantly going to have to cough up huge amounts of money to secure the structure. The owners, Dr. and Mrs, Rashid, seem to want to find some entity to whom they could donate the building, but they have to find someone who can afford to take it.

If the Rashids can stop the bleeding–and they have hired 24 hour security to prevent any further vandalism–then maybe we can plead with the city to delay any demolition so we buy some extra time to find a way to rescue this architectural treasure from the wrecking ball.

If Charleston can’t save something as precious as Top O Rock, then maybe we really do deserve the “most miserable city in America” label.

Dr Sketchy’s Anti-Art School

Dr. Sketchy’s returns to Uncork and Create Sunday at 6 PM for a second try at presenting The Laserbeams (Pepper Fandango, Cat Schrodinger and Leo Tuxedo) in a tribute to Cowboy Bebop. When they first attempted this theme in March, snow acted in a bastardly manner and made the roads impassable.

As always, with Dr. Sketchys, it’s 18+ and bring your own art supplies. 21+ BYOB. $10 at the door.Come on out and make some art.


Coal River Film Festival

Logo-1A new film festival in Madison, W. Va. is calling for entries from filmmakers with a significant connection to West Virginia. The Coal River Film Festival, presented by the Madison-Danville Jaycess, feels it is important to honor those close to home.

“We have such great talent here and it makes sense to showcase it with this new festival,” said Terry Bartley, chair of the festival.

The Coal River Film Festival separates itself from other local film fests by offering awards not just for the Best Film, but also for individual elements of filmmaking.

“Filmmaking is so much more then just the overall quality of a film,” Bartley said, “it makes sense to give awards to outstanding performances across all the very different aspects of film.”

Categories available for entry are Best Film, Best Short Film, Best Student Film, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Screenplay, Best Music and Best Production Design. These categories may be expanded into multiple categories if there are enough submissions for a specific element (i.e. Best Costuming and Best Make-Up instead of Best Production Design).

In addition to these awards, the Coal River Film Festival will be featuring a 72 Hour Film Contest. Local filmmakers will remember that FestivALL featured a similar contest in 2012, but it has been absent the past two years. This is a competition in which filmmakers receive prompts for a short film just 72 hours before the deadline. The Coal River Film Festival is very excited to be bring this back to the Mountain State.

Entries must be postmarked by July 15th, complete with application, payment and film. Entry into the 72 Hour Film Contest simply requires payment and contact information.

Instructions and additional information can be found at the Madison-Danville Jaycees website,  and at the Coal River Film Festival’s Facebook page.

The Coal River Film Festival is scheduled to be held on August 8th and 9th at the Coal Heritage and Arts Center located at 343 Main St., Madison,WV.

2013 rfc logo shot 001RFC Archives

A project that I’ve been working on for several months, just caught a break. MySpace, which last year unceremoniously cut off access to the Radio Free Charleston Archive videos, has discovered that, if they put the videos back, people might actually return to visit their site.

This is going to make my job of restoring the RFC Archives much easier. Now I can embed the MySpace versions of the first 100 episodes of Radio Free Charleston as placeholders while I upgrade them and upload them to YouTube.

What this means to you is that, by next week, there will be one place where you can see every episode of Radio Free Charleston, sorted by date, and including all The RFC MINI SHOWs and the related videos that aren’t officially part of the show. As I write this, you can follow the archives back to the beginning of 2010. You can see more than half our shows while the site is under construction.

Stuff To Do

It’s another packed weekend here in Greater Charleston. Free music Friday includes The Dread Pirate Roberts at Taylor Books at 7:30 PM, Duggan Carter and friends at Bruno’s at 9 PM, and also at 9 PM, at the 13th Lane Taproom at Dunbar Lanes, Johnny Compton performing solo and acoustic. The RFC cameras will be on hand to capture Johnny for the next RFC MINI SHOW. Free music Saturday sees Jeffrey Thomasson bringing his jazz guitar to The Bluegrass Kitchen at 7 PM.

Non Music Events



Friday Music

The Colesmouth Concert Series strings up a show by just fiddling around.


The Boulevard Tavern welcomes a local supergroup, Super Double Buzz to the stage at 10 PM with a five-dollar cover.


At 11 PM, The Empty Glass plays host to Mickey and The Bonepickers, with a seven-dollar cover.

Mickey and The Bonepickers

Mickey and The Bonepickers

Saturday Music

It’s a day of dueling pediatric medical benefits.

The Empty Glass hosts their annual Juvenile Diabetes Concert starting at 8 PM. There will be a silent auction throughout the night, while we listen to some extremely talented musicians. those performing will be: Smith and Co., The Needful Things, Spurgie Hankins Band, The Super Heroes, No Pretty Pictures and By the Wayside. There will be a minimum donation of $7 at the door. But before that…


Meanwhile, starting at noon, it’s ECMC’s annual “Kick Cancer For Kids” show at the Eagles Club. This show wraps up at 8 PM, so if you really want to, you can shoot across town after kicking cancer and make it to the Empty Glass, and wind up helping a buttload of sickly children.

Or you can go to the After show show at the Blue Parrot at 9 PM. All proceeds go to pediatric cancer research.

If that’s not your cup of tea, Fletcher’s Grove and Beggar’s Clan will be presented as this month’s “D Street Concert” at The LaBelle Theater at 6:30 PM.


That’s it for this week. Keep checking PopCult for all you pop cultural needs. And remember, next week the Bookshelf and Toybox will trade days so I can present my review of Danny Boyd’s graphic novel, “Carbon,” a day before the big book signing.