Rudy Panucci On Pop Culture

So Little Time, So Much To Do: The PopCult MEGA-WEEKEND!!

Punk Jazz bassist Eli Namay literally knocked out the audience with his virtuosity at the Empty Glass last night.

There are so many cool things happening this weekend that we had to start early.  Last night at the Sound Factory, people came out to pay tribute to the late Derick Kirk, with music from Comparsa, The VooDoo Katz, Ryan Kennedy and others.  Across town at The Empty Glass, your loyal PopCulter and his Diva, Melanie, were in attendance at the final performance by Chuck Biel’s Punk Jazz, which is disbanding on the exit of virtuoso bassist Eli Namay, who’s winging off to Musical Super-Hero Academy in the fall. 

It was an evening of incredible music, the likes of which we simply do not get enough of here in town.  Chuck Biel was tearing off progressive riffs like a madman while Eli was channeling Jaco Pastorius and Casi Null filled the air with inventive chords.  Drummer Jimmy Holly kept the beat even though he was dealing with time signatures that looked like algebraic equations.  Chuck will be taking a year off from performing following his final gig with the Underdog Blues Revue next Saturday, and it’s going to be a long wait to see what he cooks up in his musical lab during his time away from prying public ears. 

And that was just Thursday! Full details on the rest of this busy weekend follow after the jump.

Tonight and Saturday, the No Pants Playersare at The La Belle Theater (dig the cool poster designed by Jeff Pierson). Admission is six bucks and they start at 8 PM, with RFC faves Captain Crash and The Beauty Queen performing at 7:30 PM.

Also tonight, The Blue Parrot plays host to the Randy Lee Walden tribute show with Dog Soldier, members of Quick and Dirty and many other area musicians.  The show kicks off at 10 PM, and I still haven’t heard what the cover is, so bring money.  It’ll go to Randy’s son, so don’t be stingy.  

Saturday there’s free music and food at Davis Park all day long. The Bridge, a hip New Wave ministry, presents a day of music to raise awareness for The Covenant House.  The day is headlined by The Spurgie Hankins Band and The Synergy Collective, and earlier in the day Government Overdose and half-a-dozen other bands will perform.  Attendance is free, but donations are welcome, not just monetary, but also clothes and supplies, and they will feed you just for showing up.

At 7 PM Sunday, Future RFC Guests (and the folks who provided the soundtrack for last week’s “120 Second Art Show”) The Buttonflies, will be performing at Taylor Books. There’s no cover to hear this unique band that features acoustic guitar, bass, drums, banjo and trumpet.

Stretching the definition of “weekend” even further, next Tuesday night you can catch a rare performance by Radio Free Charleston’s Resident Diva Melanie Larch, as she sings The National Anthem before the game by The West Virginia Power. Mel sings around 7 PM, then the game will start, unless a lot of people demand an encore, so that Mel will get to do “Freebird” acapella. 

We’ll leave you with a couple of parting glimpses of Punk Jazz.


  1. Elliot

    Baddest band in town. Hate to see them end. Blessings to Eli in his travels.

  2. tina

    Progressive excellence. Charleston will miss this music!

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