Rudy Panucci On Pop Culture

Radio Free Charleston: A Look Back At 2006


Wooden Rudy Puppet

The special year-end edition of Radio Free Charlestonis online now.  This is your chance to sample the meaty pleasures of our humble little internet show in one 18-minute chunk.  The highlight is a 9-minute megamix featuring every musical artist that has appeared on the show!  We also present some of the memorable bits of mind-hurting weirdness that makes RFC the best thing since sliced steam-powered birth control pills.  Once we hook you with this taste of the best music and film that Charleston has to offer, bop on over to our archives so you can check out full episodes from the past six months.


Originally, the year-end RFC was going to be a special jam-session show that would have been shot at LiveMix Studio on December 26, edited overnight, and online the next day.   Unfortunately, various sinus and stomach ailments are wreaking havoc on the Charleston music scene this week.  Combined with bad timing on my part, and the fact that it was on a weeknight after a huge holiday, the “jam session” turned out to be a very subdued, nearly music-free, party.  It was still fun, but it caused the plans for the show to be changed.


And so, I decided that a “best-of” clip show would be the way to go with our farewell to 2006.  I spent all of Wednesday editing together highlights of the first eleven episodes of RFC, and to be honest, it wasn’t until I dived headlong into the project that I realized what an impressive body of work we’ve produced over the last six months: over three hours of content; over twenty musical performances in a variety of styles; dozens of short films and comedy bits; loads of locally-produced animation; and host segments that are filmed off-the-cuff with no scripts.  In fact, the Christmas show, shot at the Purple Moon, was the first episode where we actually got permission to shoot the host segments.


It was pointed out to me, after I’d spent many hours assembling the show, that it’s rather redundant to do a clip show when all the existing episodes are still available online.  However, it is nice to have a sampler of our show, and as far as being redundant, the show is called “Radio Free Charleston Shirt, ” so at least it works in that context.  If you’d like a Radio Free Charleston Shirt of your own, go to the RFC store and buy one.  Aside from me, you’d be the first.


Of course, I couldn’t do Radio Free Charleston myself.  One other cool thing about doing a retrospective is that it gives me a chance to thank the people who are key members of the RFC team.  With this episode, we now list the four “RFC Big Shots” (I stole the title from Spumco), Brian Young, Frank Panucci, Melanie Larch, and me, Rudy Panucci.

Brian is the co-owner of LiveMix Studio, and the show wouldn’t have happened if we hadn’t rekindled our friendship at just the right time.  He had a killer rehearsal space that he was wiring for video, and I had the itch to revive Radio Free Charleston.  It’s been a real kick working with Brian again, and I feel like we’re back at the peak we hit in the early 90s when we were the “A Team” of guerrilla filmmaking.  Brian has also played drums for approximately fifteen percent of the musical acts that we’ve had on the show.

Frank Panucci, aside from being my brother, is the area’s top CGI artist and animator, and a whiz at audio and video mastering.  Without his sizable contribution of time and animation, we wouldn’t have all the cool interstitials and cartoons.  Plus, the show wouldn’t be edited at anywhere near the level of competence it is now.

Melanie Larch is my main squeeze and source of moral support, and she’s also proven to be quite adept at running the camera and directing, as well.  She also sings the RFC jingle and appeared on camera with her kick-ass rendition of “Ave Maria” in our Christmas show.

If you’re reading this, you know who I am.  I’m Rudy, the guy who hosts the show and writes PopCult.  I’m also the guy who spelled Greg Wegmann’s name wrong in the credits for episode 12.  Sorry, Greg.

Of course the bands are the other key element of the show.  The music scene in town is our driving force.    The local filmmakers are also a huge part of the show.   Without the bands and films, the show would just be me standing in different parts of town, wearing my hats and T shirts and mumbling.


2007 will be even more exciting, as we seek out new bands and bring back some of our favorites from 2006.  In the coming months you can look forward to music from A Place Of Solace, Stone Ka Tet, Go Van Gogh, Fanatomy, The Amazing Delores, and many others.  We’ll also be bringing you more short films from folks like Danny Boyd, Stephen Beckner, Joe Justice and other area creative types.

So keep reading PopCult and keep watching Radio Free Charleston here at GazzTV.  2007 will be the year we conquer the world, really. But don’t worry, we vow to keep our egos in check and remain as humble as we’ve always been.


  1. Longtime Listener

    You guys have really done an amazing job. Pat yourself on the back. Now get back to work! I want to see what you have from Delores and Go Van Gogh.

  2. Ace Haal

    Cool weird shit. Gotta love it.

  3. Dobbs Loyalist

    Whoa cool. Muchly weird and delightening. The enjoyment oozes like a freshly-squoze wound. For the light of Bob doth shineth down upon you. There does seem to be too much work involved, but you are to be forgiven, or at least tolerated. Somebody has to do it. This is an amazing body of work, but for that too, you shall be forgiven.

    Your resolution for 2007–keep up the good work, but do it with more slack.

  4. Rev. Slackington

    Pretty impressive thing you got going here. You can tell that tons of work goes into it. I hope you guys are getting paid buttloads of money. I haven’t seen anything quite like this–with this standard of quality–anywhere else on the internet. Looks like you have a vital music and arts scene.

    I look forward to next year. Thanks for posting this in alt.slack

  5. Rev. Peter Paul and Mary

    Your show, sir, rawks! Please be advised that it is indeed being enjoyed by academia.

    Will be watching future episodes. Your slogan is rather pithy, as well.

    A good New Year to all you fine peoples.

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