At the head of this post, you see our bloated and self-indulgent fifth anniversary episode of Radio Free Charleston. When we first started doing Radio Free Charleston as a video web show, there was no guarantee that we would even make it to the end of our first year. So it’s gratifying to have hit this milestone, because on the Internet, five years is an eternity.
However, I have to level with you. I almost didn’t see this milestone coming. The previous three weeks have seen me consumed with recording and producing our special FestivALL episodes of RFC. This didn’t leave me any time at all to plan an anniversary show. I really wanted to take July off.
Radio Free Charleston has not always observed our anniversary. The first anniversary of the show fell in the middle of a hiatus we took due to a family health crisis. I don’t think we really paid any attention until episode 75, which coincided with our third anniversary in 2009.
I considered blowing off the anniversary show this year, simply ignoring it, because we did just produce eight episodes in two weeks for FestivALL, and hardly anybody’s gotten around to watching those shows yet. After producing three hours of content in two weeks, the idea of taking the month of July off looked mighty appealing. But this is our big number “five” and we had a golden opportunity plop into our lap.
The official birthday of Radio Free Charleston is the Fourth of July and this year, we had two big outdoor music festivals scheduled for the second and third of July. Jammin’ On The River was a day long music fest held at the giant replica Stargate in Haddad Riverfront Park. Tribute To The Troops was a day long hard rock/heavy metal festival held at the Schoenbaum Ampitheatre in Coonskin Park.
Since the first episode of Radio Free Charleston, I wondered how plausible it would be to do a one hour episode. The idea sort of defies all Internet logic. People go online because they have short attention spans and RFC, which usually runs fifteen to twenty minutes, already tries the patience of the wired generation.
Like I did with the FestivALL 2011 shows, I decided to put the personal challenge of creating a long-form music video show ahead of the petty concerns of the potential audience. The result is Radio Free Charleston 141, “Dudes With Cameras For Heads Shirt,” our longest episode, featuring thirteen songs by twelve artists, along with two short films, two pieces of animation, a music video, and a movie trailer. This behemoth of an episode clocks in at one hour, eight minutes long. It’s four and a half times the size of a normal, human episode of Radio Free Charleston and it has the strength of ten bull elephants.
Our music video features Pepper Fandango and was directed by Eamon Hardiman. One of our short films is “Celebritol,” directed by Scott Elkins and starring Kitty Killton and Jack Dent, Jr. We also have the movie trailer for Diana Curry’s film, “Creature Of The Night.” A second short film and two pieces of animation come to us courtesy of RFC Big Shot, Frank Panucci.
This is a pretty epic mix of talent that shows off some of the diversity of the area musical offerings we’ve featured on our show over the past five years. Some of the artists, such as Mother Nang, Lee Harrah, Andy Park, Jeff Ellis, and Pepper Fandango have been on the show numerous times. Others, including Line Work, Disturbing The
Peace, Stacee Lawson, and Remains Un Named are making their very first appearance on the show. We didn’t really plan it like that. It just sort of happened that way.
Lee Harrah, of HARRAH, first appeared on RFC years ago as a member of The Ghosts Of Now. In recent months, Lee has become an invaluable addition to the RFC crew as a cameraman and production assistant.
During the end credits, you’ll see Lee join up with the members of Disturbing The Peace to do a cover of Pantera’s classic, “Walk.” One of the reasons I decided to include this heavy metal treat in our anniversary show is that “Walk” was the entrance theme of wrestler, Rob Van Dam. Our second episode, back in the summer of 2006, was “Rob Van Dam Shirt.” Stick around after the end credits for an Easter Egg that just might feature Lee again.
We’d like to thank Adam Harris for organizing Jammin’ On The River and Brad Wood and Wood Boys Productions for putting together the Tribute To The Troops.
We also have another special buried treat in this episode, a contest! Our friends at IWA East Coast Wrestling are getting ready to make a triumphant return to Nitro on July 12th and we’re giving away two sets of two tickets. The rules for the contest are simple. Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Two winners will be selected randomly and you’ll be able to pick up your tickets at the event. The cut off date is 11:59 PM, Sunday, July 10th. You can expect to read much more about this contest several more times this week in PopCult.
When we decided to do this special episode of Radio Free Charleston, I hadn’t really taken into consideration the wisdom of shooting two eight hour concerts in ninety degree weather on consecutive days. In case any of you are contemplating doing this, let me point out that there was actually no wisdom involved. I would like to announce at this point that Radio Free Charleston is taking an indefinite hiatus from recording eight hour concerts outdoors in ninety degree weather. Fear not, however, our hiatus from doing the show will only last about a month. We expect to be back with episode 142 the first week of August.
So there you have it, we took the anniversary show that almost wasn’t and turned it into a loping behemoth, clumsily wandering along the cityscape of the Internet like a drunken Godzilla, demolishing innocent blogs and websites with its humongous tail. If the thought of not having any fresh episodes of Radio Free Charleston to get you through the rest of July seems daunting, don’t worry. There’s very little chance you’ll make it through this episode in one sitting anyway. We feel like the person who made the ten foot tall birthday cake. It’s quite an accomplishment, but then you look at it and think to yourself, “Oh, crap! Who’s gonna eat this thing?”