Radio Free Charleston’s sixty-sixth episode, “Yankees Jersey,” is online now. This installment of the longest-running local music and animation show at TheGazz.com features a song from the CYAC musical “Norman Rockwell’s American Paradise,” written by Dan Kehde and Mark Scarpelli, plus a tune from Electro Biscuit, a band consisting of Kai Haynes, Greg Wegmann and RFC Big Shot Brian Young, who coincidentally happen to be the owners of LiveMix Studio, Charleston’s coolest intimate venue and the home base of Radio Free Charleston.
We’ll also see the exciting debut of Charleston’s newest teen sensation, Young Bradley Wilkerson! That’s him to the left of this text.
Our animation features a glimpse into the evil mirror universe, as we see how the Anti-Rudy would introduce a song on the evil version of Radio Free Charleston.
Host segments were shot in a hurry on the East side of the State Capitol late Monday afternoon. I decided on the location while driving to pick up my cameraperson, RFC Big Shot Melanie Larch. We pulled up, popped a dime in the parking meter, and went to work. We shot all the host segments in one take (without a script again) and made it back to the car with two minutes left on the meter. Guerilla filmmaking at its finest!
After we had the host segments in the can, we grabbed a quick dinner at Graziano’s, then made our way to the Capitol Center Theater, where we recorded the song “The Right To Know.” This song is from the musical “Norman Rockwell’s American Paradise,” with music by Mark Scarpelli and lyrics by Dan Kehde. You can see the whole show, which cleverly brings several paintings by Rockwell to life through song, starting Thursday, April 16 at 8p.m. You can also catch it at the same time this Friday and Saturday, and next week, Thursday through Saturday. A 2 p.m. matinee will be held this Sunday.
This is a great song, based on Rockwell’s controversial (at the time) Look Magazine cover, seen left, which was published at the height of the counter-culture clash of the 1960s. Featured in “The Right To Know” are solo turns by Eli Chambers, Alicia Lewis, Evan Wilson, Kat Johnson and Abbey Rhodes. They are supported by a huge ensemble, many of whom get to shine in solo spots in other songs in the show. This is another quality, locally-written and produced, show from the Contemporary Youth Arts Company, and you really ought to check it out. I’m going Friday.
I do have one technical glitch to apologize for: we apparently got hold of a bad tape, and the stationary camera shot has lots of weird blockiness things going on in it. That made editing tricky, since it was our cover camera. So please excuse the odd shot selection and video glitchiness. It’s still a great song, and we got it online less than 48 hours after it was recorded.
Our animation this week is pure evil. There’s a frame-grab of it to the left, but don’t stare too long, it may contaminate your soul.
What can I say about Young Bradley Wilkerson? Well, I don’t want to ruin the surprise, but rest assured, you’ll get to hear him sing next week!
The RFC jingle ID that was used in the montage graphic at the top of this column was shot with a six-dollar toy camcorder at the Pizza Hut in Spring Hill, which was unfortunately featured recently on “Behind The Kitchen Door” on WCHS-TV. That blurry face you can almost make out is none other than Kris Westfall, AKA “The Bad Kitty,” the star referee from IWA East Coast. We’ll be writing about IWA East Coast in the PopCulteer this Friday. Word to the wise.
Wrapping up the show, we have Electro Biscuit, the de-facto house band at LiveMix Studio, populated by the legendary Kai Haynes, the mythical Greg Wegmann and the imaginary Brian Young. I’ve been after these guys to let me put them on the show for years, and we finally were able to stalk and capture this performance of “Crawfish Boogie” at the LiveMix pre-Valentine’s party, which we have been mining for several episodes now.
Kai Haynes has played bass with almost every major musician living in or passing through Charleston, and is a mainstay of The VooDoo Katz. Greg Wegmann weilded his mighty guitar in The Ride and is currently reviving his long-time project, The Velvet Brothers. Brian Young, in addition to being one of the RFC co-conspirators, is the drummer for Whistlepunk, and in the past has played with Three Bodies, Atomic Cafe, Mother Nang and The Todd Who Project.
Together, they be Electro Biscuit. And they close RFC 66.
Next week’s show will contain surprise music and animation from the vault. Check back to see what skeletons we’ve been hiding.