At the head of this post you see the latest episode of Radio Free Charleston. This is our third “show without words,” where we showcase instrumental music and films and animation without dialogue.
Our music this time comes from David Synn and D.T. Stephenson, who coincidentally teamed up to form the band after they agreed to became part of this show. You can look for thier new join project, Frequency Down, playing at local venues soon, and on RFC in the future. We also have RFC faves, Blue Million, ripping through an instrumental blues jam during a sound check at Bruno’s last May.
Our animation comes courtesy of Frank Panucci and we also feature the oldest surviving Plant Ro Duction Mini Movie. We also get a quick, photographic tour of LiveMix Studio, our longtime production partner.
Host segments are presented in the style of a comic book. This way I was able to not speak on this episode. This little experiment in graphics worked pretty well, except for one intro where the lettering might have been too small. We’ll correct that below.
David Synn is no stranger to Radio Free Charleston. You’ve seen him on episode 98, and he provided the soundtrack for the first installment of “Stark Charleston, ” the animated project which debuted on episode 100.
David is a synth wizard, and it’s a kick to have someone working in this style here in Charleston. We recorded this performance at The Empty Glass last spring. A few weeks later, I helped David connect with our next musical guest, and they formed Frequency Down, a new band that will be performing in the area soon.
The song you hear on this episode is called “Apathy,” and the video employs three cameras, each with a unique effect.
Our animation this time is “Car Pooptoon,” by Frank Panucci. This short film was nominated for the vaunted “Squidgie” award by the Aviary Fecal Society of Lower Cleveland, and placed third in the annual film competition by the World Society of Automotive Befoulment, held in Pinch.
I’ve been in touch with D.T. Stephenson about being on Radio Free Cbarleston for years, but his work ate up most of his schedule and we weren’t able to make it happen. Earlier this year, things settled down, and D.T. was able to create an amazing piece of music, and an incredible, surreal film to go along with it.
“My Decision,” features moody, evocative music, written and peformed by D.T., and the video is a mini-masterpiece of photography and editing.
Even more cool was that, when I met D.T. to pick up a copy of this film, we spoke about the possibility of him hooking up with David Synn to form a group. The two hit it off and have been practicing (and hitting the occasional open mic) over the last few months. From what I hear, Frequency Down will be a major leap forward for both of these guys, who are no slouches to begin with.
We have a rare archival treat for this episode: The oldest surviving Plant Ro Duction Mini Movie. “Impact Of Great Peril” was created by Buckle Henry Johanasport, the enigmatic co-founder of Plant Ro Duction, who was ousted in the 1930’s after rumors of a sex scandal proved to be untrue. When this film was made, The Plant Ro Duction Mini Movies were credited to “The Plantro Buckle Company,” which was a dummy corporation set up to launder money made from the bootlegging of rubbing alcohol, which Johanasport mistakenly thought had been made illegal during prohibition.
This film was recently discovered buried inside an early Fridigaire, which had been encased inside a railroad car secreted inside an abandoned mine at the Plant Ro Duction Moile Refinery Compound in Mollusk County, in the Eastern panhandle. It is being seen here for the first time since 1934.
Wrapping up our show is a bit of instrumental blues from Blue Million. I recorded this last May at Bruno’s on Leon Sullivan Way, while Alan Griffith and his band were plugging through a sound check. You might recognize a snippets of a few of the tunes (like “Hideaway”) that these guys were having fun with that night. I included it in this show because it is instrumental, and I’ll take any excuse to have Blue Million on the show.
That’s it for this week. We will return in a week or two with an unexpected surprise edition of Radio Free Charleston. Until then, check (and “like”) the Facebook page for exclusive previews and an upcoming contest. The prizes will be worthless trinkets. You won’t want to miss it!