Rudy Panucci On Pop Culture

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Monday Morning Art: Lone Flagpole

We are still inspired by the sights we saw in Chicago back in July this week, but for a change of pace I did not try to emulate the work of Edward Hopper for this mixed media study.

Based on a very blurry photo I took from an L platform in the Loop, this was created using pastel crayons on black illustration board, then after a week or so, I went back and painted over much of it with thick acrylics.  I deliberately avoided using Hopper’s painting techniques, going for a slightly more expressionistic style that’s closer to my natural way of painting (at the moment).

The idea was to capture the colors of the flag, which stood out to me because of the way the sunlight was selectively piercing the clouds on an overcast day, creating a bit of a juxtaposition of color and gray. I was happy enough with the result to share it here.

To see it bigger try clicking HERE.

Over in radioland, Monday at 2 PM on The AIR, we bring you a brand-new episode of Psychedelic Shack, and then at 3 PM a brand-new edition of Herman Linte’s weekly showcase of the Progressive Rock of the past half-century, Prognosis.  You can listen to The AIR at the website, or on the embedded radio player elsewhere on this page.

Happily, I have playlists for these shows.  At 2 PM Nigel Pye brings you an hour of Psychedelic Shack, and this week he has some more contemporary mind-expanding aura chex mix for you, along with some vintage goodies. Check out the playlist…

Psychedelic Shack 081

Nektar “The Nine Lifeless Daughters of the Sun”
Eloy “Dillus Roady”
Fanny Adams “Ain’t No Loving Left”
Farmyard “All In Your Mind”
Freedom “Dusty Track”
Fuzzy Duck “In Our Time”
Gong “Fohat Digs Holes In Space”
Kraayeveld “Hound is on the Run”
Juicy Lucy “Slow Down”
Light of Darkness “Freedom Fight”

Psychedelic Shack can be heard every Monday at 2 PM, with replays Tuesday at 9 AM, Wednesday at 10 PM, Friday at 1 PM,  and Saturday at 9 AM.

At 3 PM Herman Linte takes over with a two-hour mixtape edition of Prognosis.  This episode puts the lie to the idea that Progressive Rock died off in the 1980s. It’s two solid hours of prog-rock from the Me Decade.  You’ll hear bands that formed in the 80s, supergroups that sprung from the ashes of prog’s greatest bands and prog-rock warriors who revitalized their sound and kept marching forward.  Check out the playlist…

Prognosis 108

Marillion “Incubus
Pallas “Crown of Thorns”
Jon and Vangelis “The Friends of Mr. Cairo”
Pink Floyd “Not Now John”
PFM “Josephine Baker”
Jethro Tull “Budapest”
Genesis “Mama”
YES “Owner of a Lonely Heart”
Dream Theater “A Vision”
Emerson Lake and Powell “Learning To Fly”
Kate Bush “Leave It Open”
King Crimson “Three of a Perfect Pair”
Mike Batt “Whispering Fools”
ASIA “Wildest Dreams”
GTR “Sketches In The Sun”
Frank Zappa “Baby Snakes”
Eddie Jobson’s ZINC “Through The Glass”
3 “Chains”
ABWH “Brother Of Mine”

You can hear Prognosis on The AIR Monday at 3 PM, with replays Tuesday at 7 AM, Wednesday at 8 PM, Thursday at Noon, and Saturday at 10 AM. You can hear two classic episodes of the show Sunday at 2 PM.

At 8 PM you can hear an encore of last Wednesday’s episode of The Comedy Vault, which featured Stand Up Comedy from Steve Harvey.

Monday at 9 PM the Monday Marathon presents ten more hours of funny damn stuff from The Comedy Vault .

We are still working out some bugs with our stream at The AIR, so please let me know in the comments if the station is not playing smoothly for you.

Sunday Evening Video: PowerCon 2023 Raw Footage

For the die-hard fan, here’s more of the raw video we shot for our PopCult Road Trip clip. The audio has been replaced with stock music from the YouTube library for the most part because we don’t want to accidently broadcast anybody’s private conversations that might have been picked up by our microphones. This week we’re sharing the raw video from PowerCon, the huge toy convention in Columbus, Ohio, devoted to cool toys of all kinds, with lots of the wildest manufacturers on hand to show off their stuff.

What you have here is random shots of cool toys, featuring a big chunk of the main floor of PowerCon, plus the folks walking around looking at and buying toys. It’s just under 24 minutes of toy show immerssion. Of extra note is that the main attraction for me was that MEGO Meet was a part of PowerCon and you’ll see lots of cool MEGO stuff in this video, in addition to all the other stuff that was mostly caught on video by Mel.

We had a blast at the show, but it was part of an exhausting weekend as we attended two major toy collector conventions on the same weekend, some five-hundred miles apart. I’ve been writing about that trip since we got back, several weeks ago, and I’m still not fully recovered from all the intense fun.

We covered JoeLanta with our Raw Footage a couple of weeks ago, HERE.

Believe it on not, more than six weeks removed from our trip, we still have a couple of short videos from PowerCon yet to edit, and we still have one more video in the pipeline from Kentuckiana. The video editing takes up a lot of time, and your PopCulteer can no longer get by on four hours of sleep a night, so we’ll get those to you when our schedule allows.  In the meantime, enjoy the video above.

The RFC Flashback: Episode Forty-Five

From June, 2008 we have Radio Free Charleston’s forty-fifth episode, “Hot Wheels Shirt.” This show promoted the then-upcoming Derick Kirk Memorial Stage Show at Davis Park in Charleston.  We featured Doctor Senator, performing at said park, and we had a touching song by T.J. King, about his friend, the late Derick Kirk.  We even shot the host segments around the park.

In addition to that, we had a movie trailer for an indie film out of Huntington, “The Comic Book Lady,” which starred Kathleen Jackson and featured cameos from Harvey Pekar, Genuine Nerd Toby Radloff, and Kitten Natividad.  Plus we offered up animation from Frank Panucci.  It’s all wrapped up in a tight little 16-minute package, for your viewing enjoyment.

Original production notes can be found HERE.

Self-Horn-Tootery, Great New Music and Disco Redux

The PopCulteer
September 22, 2023

We crash into Friday with a new PopCulteer loaded with coolness, so let’s just dive right the heck in.

What We Do In A Magazine

What you see at the top right of this post is the newest issue of Non Sport Update Magazine. Longtime readers of this blog may remember that I’ve been writing for NSU longer than I’ve been writing PopCult.

This latest issue will be hitting newsstands all across the country over the next week or so, and not only is it a Halloween-themed issue, but yours truly wrote the cover feature that you’ll find inside.

Even cooler is that it’s about a new trading card set from Cryptozoic Entertainment based on one of my favorite TV Shows, What We Do In The Shadows. So not only did I score the cover, but it’s about a really, really funny show that I happen to love.

So seek it out and read up on the trading card debut of Lazlo, Nadja, Nandor, Colin Robinson and Guillermo and you’ll be ready to testify before The Vampiric Council. It was a blast to write about WWDITS, even though the SAG strike not only kept me from interviewing any of the cast, it made it a little weird to get info about the set. It’s still a fun article and writing it made me want to buy the cards, so imagine what reading it will do to you!

Lending Some Art

Also of note on the Rudy front, I am proud to have provided the artwork for David Synn’s new single, “Running Backwards.” It’s a killer tune, just released this week, and it features backing vocals from De’Ana May-Parsons and guitars, production and more by Jamie Skeen.

It’s a great song that sure sounds like prog to me, and you can buy it now at Bandcamp. I’m also going to play in next week’s jam-packed new episode of Radio Free Charleston, on The AIR. The art is modified from an installment of Monday Morning Art from a few months ago.

Even More Cool New Music

We’re going to preview a couple of other new tunes that you can hear next week on RFC. First up we have a really cool animated video by Hello June for “Sometimes,” the third single from their upcoming new album, Artifacts.

The video premiered at Under The Radar magazine just a couple of days ago and we’re happy to share it here…

Just released yesterday, and currently slated to open next Tuesday’s episode of RFC, is a new song by Kenny Booth (HARRAH, TriElement, Membrane Cell, Disarm The Fallen). “Big Brain” is a terrific piece of music with Kenny playing all instruments and singing, and it’s unlike anything he’s ever done before.  Probably not safe for work, so be discreet if you’re blasting it.  This song is so cool that I’m sharing it here, even though the video is just his (very cool) single cover…

Doing That Disco All Over

Finally this week we are going to re-present last week’s new episode of MIRRORBALL on The AIR .

Last week we had the culmination of some major technical issues at The AIR that disrupted the stream and didn’t get worked out until we were about three-fourths of the way through this show. Now that the internet gremlins have been located and exterminated with extreme prejudice, you’ll get a second chance to hear this gem of a show.

Friday at 2 PM on The AIR, Mel Larch devotes a full hour to extended mixes of classics of the Disco era.  The AIR is PopCult‘s sister radio station. You can hear these shows on The AIR website, or just click on the embedded player found elsewhere on this page.

One of the most creative things to come out of the Disco-era club scene was the extended 12″ Disco Mix of songs, so that the folks enjoying the joyful noise could stay on the dance floor just a little longer, and the DJ’s could have more time between spinning the records.

This week we are going to bring you Disco Mixes of Disco Classics. It’s Disco squared on a full hour that goes twelve inches to heaven on this epic and eminently danceble music specialty program. Mel will likely revisit this topic soon.

Check out the playlist…


D-Train “You’re The One For Me”
The Crusaders featuring Randy Crawford “Street Life”
Gloria Gaynor “I Will Survive”
Real Thing “Can You Feel The Force”
Shalamar “Uptown Festival Medley”
Anita Ward “Ring My Bell”
Chic “Everybody Dance”

You can hear MIRRORBALL every Friday at 2 PM, with replays throughout the following week Monday at 9 AM and Tuesday at 1 PM and a mini-marathon Saturday nights at 9 PM.

Next week the plan is to have new episodes of all of our music specialty programs all week long, and we’ll have details here on every one of them. That is our PopCulteer this week. Check back every day for fresh content and the occasional air fryer tip.


Last Sunday I was privileged to be at the World Premiere of HOUSE IN THE CLOUDS: The Artistic Life of Robert Singleton at the Clay Center in Charleston. This AmpMediaProject documentary told the life story of noted artist, Robert Singleton, and it packs quite a punch.

Filmakers Douglas Imbrogno (an old friend who is responsible for me writing this blog) and Bobby Lee Messer have crafted a truly compelling work with this film.

While I knew the name, I was not familiar with Singleton’s work or story, and I was not expecting such an emotional roller-coaster to be packed into a brisk, 60-minute film. Based on interviews with Singleton, and using several effective techniques, HOUSE IN THE CLOUDS tells a life story that includes a violent and traumatic childhood, a closeted existence as a gay man in the intolerant 1950s, his stunning success as an artist, coming to grips with his own sexuality just as AIDS was devastating his social circle, and a spiritual awakening that saw him giving end-of-life care to many people who had been shunned by their families. Throw in a 20-year dry spell where he couldn’t paint and the fact that, at 85 he’s still with us and producing incredible art once again, and you have a record of an amazing human being.

It’s a powerful film about overcoming great adversity and living an epic life.

Imbrogno and Messer tell this story through narration, Singleton’s own words, archival photographs and the ethical and judicious use of computer animation to recreate moments from his youth. HOUSE IN THE CLOUDS is brilliantly done, and my only criticism is that I think they had enough material to make a longer film…and maybe that’s a goal for the future.

There are a few other showings scheduled with more in the planning stages. There will be screenings at Gradient Projects in Thomas. W.Va. SATURDAY, OCT 14, 7 PM and SUNDAY, Oct. 15, PM. These are limited-seating shows and tickets ($15) will go on sale online and also be available in Thomas shortly.

To keep up with more screenings as they are scheduled, you can subscribe to the free newsletter and Substack site HERE.

It took me a few days to digest this powerful and beautiful film before I could write about it, and I can’t recommend it highly enough.

You can see the trailer here…

The Last STUFF TO DO of Summer

It’s beginning to seem a lot like Autumn, and there are loads and loads of cool things happening all over the area this weekend, icluding a whole lot of beer stuff about which your humble blogger is blissfully ignorant, so this is probably a good time to remind you that THIS IS NOT A COMPLETE LIST OF EVENTS.  It’s just a starting point, so don’t expect anything comprehensive, and if you feel strongly about me leaving anything out, feel free to mention it in the comments.

A last-minute addition here is Charleston’s ArtWalk, which I nearly forgot to mention. It happens Thursday from 5 PM to 8 PM at all the Downtown Charleston galleries and art spaces that you’ve come to know and love.

Live Music is back at Taylor Books. There is no cover charge, and shows start at 7:30 PM.  Friday RFC faves, Verdeant, take the stage. Saturday That High Copuntry Revival brings theirold time music to the beloved bookstore/cafe/art gallery.

The World Famous Empty Glass Cafe has some great stuff this week  to tell you about.  Wednesday Talent On Tap with Damienne Dibble happens from 6 PM until  9 PM and the details are in the graphics below.  At 9 PM Joe’s Cousin One Man Band puts on a Rockabilly/Honky Tonk show. Thursday at 5:30 PM, Swingstein and Robin return with Swing for a good cause. Later Thursday, it’s Justin’s Birthday Bash (graphic below).  Friday Tim Courts plays during happy hour.  Later on Friday at 9 PM, Razorblade and guests take over (graphic below). Saturday check out the graphic below for The East End Ghouls. Sunday, at 8 PM it’s time for The Bo Show, then at 10 PM it’s Empty Glass Got Talent. Next Monday it’s Open Mic Night at 9 PM.

Please remember that the pandemic is not over yet. It’s still a going concern with the ‘rona surging again. And now there are seasonal allergies, the flu, missing fighter jets, horny congresswomen, distraught victims of Gordon Gee and other damned good reasons to be careful. Many people who have very good reasons are still wearing masks, and many of us, understandably, are still nervous about being in crowds, masked or not. Be kind and understanding  while you’re out.

Keep in mind that all shows are subject to change or be cancelled at the last minute.

If you’re up for going out, here are a few suggestions for the weekend, roughly in order…

Astrodot, Sgt Van and the Highway Dogs and The Pretenders Are NEW on RFC This Week

Tuesday afternoon happens again this week, and on The AIR that means it’s time for a new  Radio Free Charleston. You simply have to point your cursor over and tune in at the website, or you could just stay here, and  listen to the cool embedded player found elsewhere on this page.  

You can hear Radio Free Charleston Tuesdays at 10 AM and 10 PM, with tons of replays throughout the week.  This week we have one all-new hour, and two hours of a 2019 episode of RFC International that hasn’t been heard since the week it originally aired.

Kicking off this cool edition of our show is a new song from Astrodot, which is the musical brainchild of an old friend, Stephen Schmidt. I ran into Stephen Sunday night at the premiere of Douglas Imbrogno’s A House In The Clouds documentary about the artist, Robert Singleton (and you’ll read more about that later this week), and he told me that he’d been releasing music through Bandcamp, so I rushed to get it to bring to you. It does indeed, kick the ass.

Also leaving asses kicked is Sgt. Van and the Highway Dogs, a musical project from Chuck Van Voorhis, a buddy from the GI Joe collecting community.  He was going for an 80s vibe with this track, and I think he pretty much nailed it.

The remainder of our first hour is filled with killer stuff like new music from The Pretenders, Buni Muni, William Matheny and Jerks, plus a mini set of strange cover tunes and other goodies.  In the set of cover tunes, I mistakenly say that the group, Pink Turtle, are Italian. They are actually French. I’m sorry. I have a cold.

Our second and third hours go back to early 2017 for an episode Radio Free Charleston International that runs the free-format gamut from Chuck Berry to DEVO, with stops at Prog, Blues, Swing and even The Beatles along the way. It is cool to have such a vast library of old shows that have been offline for years to dip back into, since it’s not always easy to find the time to do a three-hour show every week.

Check out the playlist below to see all the goodies we have in store. Where possible in the first hour, live links will take you to the artist’s pages so you can find out more about them, buy their music and find out where to see them perform live…

RFC V5 146

hour one
Astrodot “The Victor”
Sgt. Van and the Highway Dogs “Nothing Can Hold Me Down”
The Pretenders “Domestic Silence”
Spurgy Hankins Band “Nature’s Rhythm”
Brian Diller “To Win Her”
Buni Muni “Wild Boys”
William Matheny “Grand Old Feeling”
The Cleverlys “Blue (Da Ba Dee)”
Pink Turtle “Don’t Stop”
Me First and the Gimme Gimmes “Natural Woman”
Big Daddy “Addicted To Love”
Jerks “Nowhere”
Rasta Rafiki “Mistaken Man”

hour two
Chuck Berry “Big Boys”
Bob Dylan “Stardust”
Jamiroquai “Dr. Buzz”
Mastadon “Roots Remain”
Body Count “This Is Why We Ride”
Blink 182 “Misery”
Goldfrapp “Everything Is Never Enough”
The Blues Swingers “By Friday”
Aimee Mann “Good For Me”
Postmodern Jukebox “Roxanne”
The Jesus and Mary Chain “Los Feliz (Blue and Green)
Depeche Mode “Going Backwards”

hour three
UK “Carry The Cross”
The Beatles “I’m Only Sleeping (Mono)”
The Beach Boys “God Only Knows”
Ruby Dee and The Snakehandlers “Who Do You Think I Am”
Delta 88 “Boppin’ Little Witch”
Mike Oldfield “Return To Ommadawn part one”
Todd Rundgren “Bang On The Drum All Day”
The B-52s “Party Out of Bounds”
DEVO “Mechanical Man”

You can hear this episode of Radio Free Charleston Tuesday at 10 AM and 10 PM on The AIR, with replays Wednesday at 9 AM,  Thursday at 2 PM, Friday at 9 AM, Saturday at Noon and Midnight,  and  Monday at 11 AM, exclusively on The AIR. Now you can also hear a different classic episode of RFC every weekday at 5 PM, and we bring you a marathon all night long Saturday night/Sunday morning.

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 last week’s episodes of  MIRRORBALL at 1 PM and Curtain Call at 2 PM.

At 3 PM we offer up two recent episodes of The Swing Shift.  You can hear The Swing Shift Tuesday at 3 PM, with replays Wednesday at 8 AM, Friday at 10 AM and 8 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: Unfinished Building

This week’s art is a detail from an attempted sketch of a buiding in Chicago that I abandoned part-way through. Most of what was cropped out was blank.  I did this with wax pencil on paper for pens, and wasn’t happy with it so I just stopped. A few weeks later I scanned it anyway and cropped it to the point where I was happy enough with it to share here.

I don’t think I’ll revisit it or do anything in color like it. Sometimes you have false starts, and it’s a good economy of time to recognize them and move on.

I sort of like it this way, but it’s not one of my favorites.

To see it bigger try clicking HERE.

Over in radioland, Monday at 2 PM on The AIR, we were hoping to have new Haversham shows this week, but our friends overseas are buried under paying work, so instead we are going to offer up the most recent episode of Psychedelic Shack, and then at 3 PM we do the same with Herman Linte’s weekly showcase of the Progressive Rock of the past half-century, Prognosis.  You can listen to The AIR at the website, or on the embedded radio player elsewhere on this page.

Psychedelic Shack can be heard every Monday at 2 PM, with replays Tuesday at 9 AM, Wednesday at 10 PM, Friday at 1 PM,  and Saturday at 9 AM. You can hear Prognosis on The AIR Monday at 3 PM, with replays Tuesday at 7 AM, Wednesday at 8 PM, Thursday at Noon, and Saturday at 10 AM. You can hear two classic episodes of the show Sunday at 2 PM.

We are anticipating new episodes of Prognosis, Psychedelic Shack and Sydney’s Big Electric Cat next week.

At 8 PM you can hear an hour of classic Stand Up Comedy by Richard Pryor on The Comedy Vault.

Tonight at 9 PM the Monday Marathon presents ten hours of Disco-era dance classic with Mel Larch’s MIRRORBALL.


Sunday Evening Video: Armadillo Alert

Above you see an exceedingly fun new short film created under the direction of our local Maestro, Chuck Biel. It’s called, “Armadillo In The Neighborhood” and it’s actually fairly self explanatory.

Well, except that the Armadillo plays bass, and by most objective measures, is particularly funky. Chuck describes it as “A silly video about a Bass Playing Armadillo and how he found love in the burbs!”

It was written and directed by Chuck and features new music by the man, himself.  His co-producer and director of photography was Sam Myers, and there are a host of local actors involved. Stick around for the cute ending after the credits.

We will get back to catching up with leftover video projects from our summer toy convention travels next week.

The RFC Flashback: Episode Forty-Four

This week, from June, 2008, comes Radio Free Charleston episode 44, “Social Distortion Shirt,” the second of two episodes that I hosted without wearing a hat.

This episode features music from Lady D and Quick and Dirty, plus footage from the Pandora’s Toy Box custom toy exhibit. Of special interest in this episode is our exclusive apology to the people of West Virginia from the then-Vice President of these United States, dick Cheney.

Host segments were shot at Good News Mountaineer Gallery, which later moved to the West Side. The bittersweet part of this show is that it marks the debut of Quick and Dirty and the band’s bassist and lead singer, Randy Lee Walden, who would die of a drug overdose less than three weeks after this show debuted. It was a terrible waste of a talented life. You can get just a hint of what we’re missing by watching this show.

Original production notes are here.

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