Rudy Panucci On Pop Culture

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Sunday Evening Video: Return To Kentuckiana!

It’s time to plug a great toy show that’s within easy driving distance of Charleston,  The PopCult crew will make its triumphant return to The Kentuckiana GI Joe Toy Expo!

The Eighth Kentuckiana GI Joe Toy Expo happens next weekend in Louisville, Kentucky after taking a year off due to the pandemic. It’s Saturday at the Hilton Garden Inn Louisville Airport, with an early preview package available for Friday night. This is a great show. I’ve been to a few in the past, and above and below you’ll see videos I made to document the visits. Up top it’s our clip from 2018. At the bottom of this post you’ll see our clip for 2017,

There will be dozens of dealers with great vintage GI Joes, plus GI Joe from the Real American Hero era and brand-new custom uniform sets and figures for 12″ and 3 3/4″ GI Joes. Plus there will be tons of other action figures and toys for sale. You might find MEGO, Big Jim, Super Joe, Johnny West, Major Matt Mason and many other great toys from the past.

This year the convention special is a box/uniform combo wih a focus on the paranormal. Collectors will also be able to enjoy the custom figure and diorama contests.

Convention-goers can also expect other new sets from folks like Cotswold Collectibles, Mark Cole and Mattsquatch Customs. This is some terrific stuff that is keeping the 1/6 scale hobby alive. I believe that there will also be some exclusive 3 3/4″ GI Joe-style figures and items for sale at the show.

There won’t just be dealers on hand. Representatives from other GI Joe shows, like ToyLanta, The Hershey Action Figure and Toy Show and The DFW GI Joe and Action Figure Show will be on hand to show their support.

Visit the Kentuckiana GI Joe Toy Expo Facebook event page for more information. It should be a great time, and your PopCulteer will be there for the first time in three years!

The RFC Flashback: MINI SHOW number 64

This week we go back to August, 2015 for an RFC MINI SHOW starring The Fabulous Brother’s Steele. We recorded the band at The Empty Glass in July performing “Top of the World” and “Drag The River.”

An extra note: This episode of The RFC MINI SHOW features my nephew, Gino, co-hosting. Gino will be starting college in a few weeks. Amazing how times flies.

Scheisse Dammerung…but you can dance to it

The PopCulteer
July 23, 2021

We have a new episode of our Disco Music showcase on The AIR, but first I’d like to kvetch a bit about my less-than-stellar week.

As I have mentioned countless times here in PopCult, your humble blogger has an auto-immune disorder called Myasthenia Gravis.  It sucks, but it could be a lot worse. It mainly affects my fingers and eyes. Unfortunately, the heat amplifies its affects, and it’s been pretty hot here lately. I’ve been having a very rough time with my fingers and eyes for a couple of weeks. That means that typing is a chore. I pretty much have to stop every couple of words to fix a typo or missed letter.  Reading is also difficult because my eyes don’t want to point in the same direction.

I’ve got a three-foot stack of comics and books to review. I feel like I’m falling behind on things.

On top of that, this week saw this blog crash for the first time since I moved it out from under the auspices of The Charleston Gazette-Mail. It was only down for about forty minutes, but it happened right as I was about to publish a post, and I wasn’t sure if I would be able to get it published that day .  I realized that I had nobody to contact for help. Luckily, as with cars and odd rashes, it fixed itself. But there was a brief panic on my end.

It hasn’t just been the heat that’s been keeping your PopCulteer indoors. The air quality has sucked thanks to the West Coast wildfires. This is exactly what all the scientists who warned us about global warming and climate change told us was going to happen, but professional idiots are still disputing the facts.

And this world has more than enough idiots disputing facts these days.

All of this bitching and moaning is my way of apologizing for slacking off a bit in the blog. I still have at least one fresh post every day,  you may notice that some of them are shorter and have more pictures these days. I’d also say it’s a safe bet that next week’s Monday Morning Art will be something digital.

Anyway, in case you’ve been wondering that the deal was, that was it.

Friday afternoon we offer up a new episode of MIRRORBALL and encore a recent Sydney’s Big Electric Cat. The AIR is PopCult‘s sister radio shation. You can hear these shows on The AIR website, or just click on the embedded player at the top right column of this blog.

At 2 PM, Mel Larch uncorks a new MIRRORBALL! The AIR’s showcase of classic Disco music presents solid hour of some of the best club hits of the classic disco era. It’s a great show, and I’m just going to drop the playlist right here…


Raw Silk “Do It To The Music”
Shalamar “A Night To Remember”
George McCrae “Rock Your Baby”
Bettye Swann “When The Game Is Played On You”
Al Hudson and The Soul Partners “I’m About Loving You”
Loletta Holloway “Love Sensation”
Chic “Good Times”
The Salsoul Orchestra “Run Away”
Aurra “Checking You Out”
Coffee “Casanova”
Starguard “Wear It Out”
Larry Graham “Sooner Or Later”
Retta Young “Sending Out An SOS”
Instant Funk “I Got My Mind Made Up”

You can hear MIRRORBALL every Friday at 2 PM, with replays Saturday at  8 PM, Sunday at 11 PM, Tuesday at 1 PM and Wednesday at 7 PM, exclusively on The AIR.  This week’s new MIRRORBALL will kick off a Disco Marathon Saturday night until Midnight.

At 3 PM, Sydney Fileen graces us with an encore of an episode of Sydney’s Big Electric Cat loaded with New Wave 12″ dance mixes, which you can read about HERE .

Sydney’s Big Electric Cat is produced at Haversham Recording Institute in London, and can be heard every Friday at 3 PM, with replays Saturday afternoon, Monday at 7 AM, Tuesday at 8 PM, Wednesday at Noon and Thursday at 10 AM, exclusively on The AIR. The Haversham shows are in reruns while the crew there handles translation services for The Olympics.

You can also hear select episodes of Sydney’s Big Electric Cat as part of the overnight Haversham Recording Institute marathon that starts every Monday at 11 PM.

That’s what’s up with me, what’s on The AIR Friday, and that is this week’s PopCulteer. Check back because we have a fresh post every day, wonky eyes and fingers be damned!

Oh yeah, the headline for this post…

Sometimes when I’m alone in the house working on this blog, I will in a moment of frustration utter a random assortment of satisfying consonent and vowel sounds rather than a curse word (don’t wanna use up my quota of those when there’s nobody around to benefit from it). The other day, I spat out the word in the headline. Those you with a cursory understanding of German will be able to figure out why it cracked me up.

Stuff To Do: Four Nights In July

There’s a lot of cool stuff happening in and around Charleston this weekend, and as usual, I am bringing you a selection of the coolest shows that have cool accompanying graphics.

Remember that the stuff I’m telling you about are the cool shows by folks who are kind enough to make cool graphics and leave them scattered around social media so that I may easily find them. There’s all kinds of other cool things you can get into, if you know where to look.

You should know the drill by now. The pandemic is still not over. If you are fully vaccinated and ready to do your best to stay safe, you should go check this stuff out. Outdoor shows are okay for reasonable and vaccinated people to go maskless. Indoor shows leave you at the mercy of your fellow patrons, and be honest…you don’t know where they’ve been. So use your common sense and stay safe…and support the local scene.





Black, Gifted and West Virginian

O, Mountaineers! Volume II: Noted (or Notorious) African-American West Virginians
by Danny Kuhn
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1737295303

Danny Kuhn has just released the follow-up to O, Mountaineers, his 2019 book that collected quick biographical sketches of notable West Virginians. O, Mountaineers! Volume II: Noted (or Notorious) African-American West Virginians, as the title proclaims, points its focus as Black West Virginians from history, entertainment, folklore and politics.

As with his first book, this is a lively read, and one that doesn’t need to be consumed in one sitting. In addition to pulling back the covers on the many contributions that West Virginia has made to the world, this book uncovers the often-overlooked stories among the overlooked, as Black folks don’t usually get their due in American culture, and West Virginia is no different.

This book tells you about Katherine Johnson, who was barely known before the movie Hidden Figures showed how vital her contributions and calculations were in getting us to the moon. You can read about Bill Withers and Steve Harvey, and John Hardy and John Henry.

Kuhn has really done his research, and this book manages to take a deep dive into the African-Appalachian experience in a brisk, episodic format that drives home the heroic and the tragic aspects of the tapestry of Black West Virginia.

We’ll go to the publisher’s blurb for more details,

African-American West Virginians, whether by birth, residence, or death, have reached the pinnacle of success in almost every field, including entertainment, business, the military, medicine, and sports. They include generals and aviators, an artificial heart pioneer, the world’s most prolific jewel thief, a victim of John Brown’s infamous raid, the builder of Mother Emmanuel Church, and the actual inspiration for Johnny B. Goode. There were inspired educators born into bondage, and dark tales of discrimination and mob violence. Some are everyday names, while some you will meet here for the first time. These seventy stories, told with the ease of back-porch conversation, remind us that, from John Henry to Steve Harvey, Mountaineers are Always Free! Exhaustively researched and filled with hard-to-obtain genealogical information, O, Mountaineers! Volume IIis a must-read for West Virginians or anyone who loves true tales of tragedy or triumph, well told.

As with the first volume, O, Mountaineers! Volume II: Noted (or Notorious) African-American West Virginians is a brisk and engaging treat for anyone with any interest in West Virginia. With our current political landscape it’s really easy to feel down and depressed about the state of our state. O, Mountaineers! Volume II: Noted (or Notorious) African-American West Virginians reminds us that greatness can spring forth from the most dire of circumstances, and that’s a message that we really need right now.

O, Mountaineers! Volume II: Noted (or Notorious) African-American West Virginians should be available to order from any bookseller, using the ISBN number above, or you can take the path of least resistance and get it from Amazon.

New RFC and The Swing Shift. It Must Be Tuesday!

Tuesday on The AIR  we deliver new episodes of Radio Free Charleston and The Swing Shift. It’s a block of programs that let you support the local scene, chill out and respect the women who Swing.  You simply have to point your cursor over and tune in at the website, or you could just stay on this page, and  listen to the cool embedded player over at the top of the right column.

We have a newish Radio Free Charleston at 10 AM and 10 PM Tuesday.  This week we open with one all-new hour of RFC, and we include one special theme episode of Radio Free Charleston International from over five years ago.   We open the show with a new track by Tyler Pedersen, and we continue with a special remix of a classic tune by the legendary Chicago Ska band, Heavy Manners.  You can check out two new books that include Heavy Manners HERE and HERE.  Plus we mix in some great local stuff and some new music from artists you didn’t know were still alive.

After the first hour of RFC, stick around because the second hour revives an old Radio Free Charleston International from February 2016, which hasn’t been heard by human ears in over five years. This was the show I recorded the week after my second visit to Toy Fair in New York, and I took the path of least resistance and assembled a two-hour show that asked the question, “How many really, really long songs can you fit in a two-hour program?”

The answer is five, and you’ll hear those in our second and third hours this week.

Check out the playlist to see all the goodies we have in store (live links will take you to the artist’s pages)…

RFC V5 056

hour one
Tyler Pedersen “Area 53”
Heavy Manners “Flaming First (remastered)”
The Science Fair Explosion “TSFE!”
69 Fingers “Average Joe”
The English Beat “Ranking Full Stop”
Rasta Rafkiki “Today’s Slop”
Selector “Missing Words”
John Radcliff “Give It Away”
James Townsend “Ring of Holy Fire”
The B-Shakers “I Wanna Boogie”
Modest Mouse “Walking and Running”
Peter Murphy “The Light Pours Out of Me”
Peter Schilling “Metal”
Boldly Go “Trekkie Punx” “Starfleet Out”
mediogres “Daze”
The Rubinoos “All Excited”
Paul Weller “Fat Pop”

hours two and three
Nektar “Recycled”
Genesis “Supper’s Ready”
Kraftwerk “Autobahn”
YES “The Gates of Delirium”
Emerson Lake and Palmer “Karn Evil 9”

You can hear this episode of Radio Free Charleston Tuesday at 10 AM and 10 PM on The AIR, with replays Thursday at 3 PM, Friday at 9 AM and 7 PM, Saturday at Noon and Midnight,  and  Monday at 11 AM, exclusively on The AIR.

I’m also going to  embed a low-fi, mono version of this show right in this post, right here so you can listen on demand.


After RFC, stick around for encores of MIRRORBALL at 1 PM, and NOISE BRIGADE at 2 PM.

At 3 PM we have a brand-new episode of The Swing Shift. This week our show salutes the Women who Swing in a special mixtape format. Check out the playlist that gives the ladies their due…

The Swing Shift 115

Lavay Smith and her Red Hot Skillet Lickers “I Want A Little Boy”
Janet Klein and her Parlor Boys “Doin’ The Uptown Lowdown”
Lily Wilde and her Jumpin’ Jubilee Orchestra “Onion”
Julie London “Camptown Races”
Maria Muldaur “Here’s A Little Girl From Jacksonville”
Linda Rondstadt “Can’t We Be Friends”
Keely Smith “Robin Hood/Oh Babe”
Maureen & The Mercury 5 “Mambo Joe”
Lady J and her Bada Bing Band “Side Dish”
Devil Doll “You Are The Best Thing And The Worst Thing”
Rosie & The Riveters “Gotta Get Paid”
Sugarpie & The Candymen “Break On Through”
Squirrel Nut Zippers “Put A Lid On It”
Ella Fitzgerald “I’ve Got The World On A String”
Candye Kane “Coming Out Swinging”
Peggy Lee “On The Sunny Side Of The Street”
The Puppini Sisters “It Don’t Mean A Thing”

You can hear The Swing Shift Tuesdays at 3 PM, with replays Wednesday at 7 AM and 6 PM, Thursday at 2 PM,  and Saturday afternoon only on The AIR. You can also hear all-night marathons, seven hours each, starting at Midnight Thursday and Sunday evenings.

Monday Morning Art: Legs

This week’s artistic kick-start is really just a paint doodle. A few weeks ago I was working on a real-world painting and I was using small ceramic tile as my palette. After I finished I noticed that the image on the palette looked pretty cool, so I went back to that and applied more paint and came up with a doodle that looks like a lovely woman showing off her legs. Then I photographed it with the phone and you see the results above.

It’s pretty much actual size if you’re looking at it on your computer, but If you want to see it even bigger, just click on the image.

Meanwhile, Monday at on The AIR, this week our Haversham Recording Institute friends are busy providing translation services for The Olympics. We will be running encore plays of recent episodes of Prognosis, Psychedelic Shack and Sydney’s Big Electric Cat for the next few weeks. This afternoon you can hear Nigel Pye’s Psychedelic Shack at 2 PM and Herman Linte with Prognosis at 3 PM.

At 7 PM tune in for 12 hours of the best of Psychedelic Shack.

You can listen to The AIR at the website, or on the embedded radio player at the top of the right-hand column of this blog.

Sunday Evening Video: Oingo Boingo Live in 1987

I’ve been thinking about Oingo Boingo, one of my favorite bands, a lot of late. The band’s frontman, Danny Elfman, has released an amazing new album, and I just got a colored vinyl reissue of Only A Lad, their first full-length album…which I still have on regular vinyl from when I got it forty years ago.

Sine I’m in an Oingostalgic mood, tonight we bring you the full 1987 Halloween concert from Oingo Boingo, which includes the song “Insects,” which Elfman just re-recorded on his new album, Big Mess.

Here’s the setlist…

1. Dead Man’s Party
2. Home Again
3. Dead Or Alive
4. Who Do You Want To Be
5. Private Life
6. Help Me
7. We Close Our Eyes
8. My Life
9. Sweat
10. Grey Matter
11. Gratitude
12. Stay
13. It Only Makes Me Laugh
14. No One Lives Forever
15. Just Another Day
16. New Generation
17. Not My Slave
18. Insects
19. Elevator Man
20. Wild Sex
21. Capitalism
22. Nothing To Fear
23. On The Outside
24. Goodbye, Goodbye
25. Weird Science
26. Little Girls
27. Violent Love
28. Nasty Habits
29. No Spill Blood
30. Only A Lad
31. Ain’t This The Life


The RFC Flashback: MINI SHOW number 63

This week we reach back to July, 2015 for the second RFC MINI SHOW starring Farnsworth.  This time aroound Chris Vance and Jason Reese were joined by Aaron Fisher on bass. This was a performance captured July 18, 2015 at The Empty Glass, and it was the first repeat performance by an artist on The RFC MINI SHOW.  However, the first time Chris and Jason were a duo, so it’s sort of a different band.

We are getting to a point in our chronological presentation of RFC where we will catch up to our current episode by the end of this year.  Before that happens, I may jump back and start bringing you a big chunk of shows I skipped over. You’ll just have to keep checking to find out when that happens.

Print Media Still Lives!

The PopCulteer
July 16, 2021

Today we are going to update you about what’s happening wth some of the print magazines we’ve told you about in PopCult in the past, but we’re going to kick it off with a belated look at an important new newspaper.

Black By God

Black By God The West Virginian is a new Black-focused newspaper that made its official debut on Juneteenth, and I am very late to the party when it comes to mentioning it here in PopCult.

I wanted to wait until I had a copy in my hands, but I don’t venture out much in Charleston in hot weather, and it was just this week when I was able to grab a copy at Taylor Books.

This is the brainchild of Poet/Activist/Author Crystal Good, and this first issue is basically a proof of concept that a newspaper centered around issues important to the Black community can be addressed in a print format.

Of course they can, and Black By God does a pretty spectacular job of it. The Black community in Appalachia has been overlooked and under-represented by local and national media, really forever. Black By God proves that Black-owned media can indeed be a thing, and it needs the support of everyone.

As an old White guy, my job here is to shut and listen and learn from the Black community. Black By God is a good starting point. The articles cover important issues and they’re written and researched with a higher level of professionalism than much of our locally-owned print media.

I look forward to their fall issue. You can find Black By God (It’s free by the way) in many local businesses around West Virginia, or you can read it online HERE. You can also subscribe to their Substack and follow them on Twitter.

The Creeps Becomes Shudder

I’ve been telling you about The Creeps Magazine since their first issue, over six years ago, and sadly, The Creeps Magazine is coming to an end.

However, the book will be reborn as Shudder Magazine, with exactly the same format and creators. The magazine’s host, The Old Creep, will be retired, and his place will be taken by Old Aunt Shudder.

The reason for this change is pretty simple. The Creeps paid tribute to the classic Warren Horror Comic Magazines like Creepy and Eerie, replicating their format, layout, even the paperstock and fonts, and they did with a combination of Warren vets and talented newcomers.

And they were so good at it that, The New Comics Company, who bought the rights to Warren’s Creepy and Eerie out of bankruptcy back in the 1980s, took offense.

After prolonged discussions, and to avoid a costly legal battle, The folks at Warrant decided to change the title of their flagship publication and replace their mascot. Everything else will stay the same. Shudder will still have the look and feel of a vintage Warren publication, and they’ll continue to hire creators who worked on Creepy and Eerie back in the day.

The Creeps Magazine will be going away, and they will even stop selling back issues next May, so you might want to head over to their website to complete your collection now.

The first issue of Shudder will hit the stands in September, and the cover should amuse and possibly delight fans of Creepy and Eerie. You can also pre-order Shudder #1 and catch up with their companion magazine, Carmilla The Vampiress.

Toy Ventures Into Comics Shops

Toy Ventures, the new toy collecting magazine from the folks at Plaid Stallions, has made the leap into comic shops via Diamond Distribution. Well-run comic shops got issue #4 just this week, and you can pre-order issue #5 now.

The collecting world needed a print magazine since the adzine, Toy Shop was cancelled in 2008 and Tomart’s Action Figure Digest folded seven years later.

PopCult congratulates Brian and the Toy Ventures crew and suggests you contact your local comics shop to order their next issue (or you could visit the Toy Ventures website).

Bachelor Pad’s Little Black Book

We have plugged Bachelor Pad Magazine in the past. This digest-sized compendium of Burlesque, Tiki, Lounge and Cool Culture is still delivering four regular issues a year, along with numerous special editions, and now a print-exclusve “Little Black Book.”

As their publisher, Java, explains…

We now have a collection of some of our favorite Bachelor Pad Gals and all their vital information! It’s the Bachelor Pad Magazine Little Black Book!

When we say “little” we aren’t kidding! This booklet is a whopping 4 inches wide, 5 inches tall and checks in at a pocket-straining 160 pages! Within those pages, we profile 75 Bachelor Pad Magazine pin-ups! We are featuring classic photo sets (both from our regular and Nightcap Editions) as well as tons of previously unpublished photos. Some models even took photos especially for this project! This is a must for any fan of Bachelor Pad Magazine!

This special edition has nudie-cutie images and is meant for sophisticated readers. Please allow three weeks for shipping. This issue is available ONLY IN PRINT.

You can order Bachelor Pad’s Little Black Book HERE, and you can also get the latest issue of Bachelor Pad Magazine HERE.

And that is our update from the magazine rack in this week’s PopCulteer. Remember to listen to The AIR (find the player on this page) and check back for fresh content every day.

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