If all goes according to plan, immediately above this text you will see the first Radio Free Charleston of 2010. “Bettie Page Shirt” features music from Highway Jones, Ryan Hardiman, and Blue Million. (If it’s not there, follow this link) There’s also animation by Frank Panucci, a Plant Ro-Duction Mini-Movie, and a cameo by professional wrestler Daizee Haze.

Host segments were shot during the lunch hour Tuesday afternoon at The Charleston Town Center. We are happy to report that we were not accosted by security, nor were we beaten or detained by the Charleston Police Department. This was largely due to our clever strategy of hiding the cameras in our coats every time the security dudes looked our way. Special thanks to Walt at The Salvage Yard, who hooked us up with the cool Bettie Page shirt from which the show takes its name. The Salvage Yard is a neat little custom culture emporium with clothing and accessories showcasing the best of West Coast custom car/pin-up/retro hipster iconography. All the cool kids will be shopping there.

Kicking off the show this week, we have even more DEVO Hat computer animation courtesy of Frank Panucci. This time, the animation is introduced by the lovely professional wrestler, Daizee Haze (left). We shot this intro nearly a year ago, and we held it back for just the right moment. Special thanks to Daizee and to IWA East Coast Wrestling.

Highway Jones is Scott McCracken, Phil Perry, Darren Kirk, and Tom Kirk. They’ve been crafting their roots based rock and roll since 1997 and they’re gearing up for the release of their third album, “Unclean,” which is due out in just a few weeks. We recorded the band at The Boulevard Tavern last Saturday night and it was the first time we caught their act live. These guys put on a hell of a show and are just immensely likeable fellows. And their music is great too, after we wrapped shooting, we stuck around for the entire set and got a real kick out of their very original music that hinted at influences as diverse as The Band and Badfinger.

Highway Jones will be holding a special show to celebrate the release of their third CD, probably next month. And we’ll have all the details on that show here in PopCult. The song we feature in this episode, “Shimmer To Fade,” is the title cut of their second CD.

“The Crimson Blossom” comes to us courtesy of The Plant Ro-Duction Hari Kari Traveling Menstrual Show. This is a touching adaptation of the classic young adult novel “Are You There God? Why The Hell Am I Bleeding?” by Judy Plath. This international co-production won many awards in the countries where it was screened, including the prestigious Togo OSCAR for Best Performance By An Arrow.

Our next musical guest is Ryan Hardiman, a friend of Radio Free Charleston who has turned up a couple of times in “Jack The Ripper” related appearances. In addition to his role as the title character in the CYAC production “Jack The Ripper”, Ryan has thrilled local audiences in the last year with his performances in “Man Of LaMancha” and “RENT”. Ryan of course is also the winner of “Symphony Idol.” We recorded him on New Year’s Eve at Trinity Lutheran Church where, accompanied by Mark Scarpelli, Ryan turned crooner on us and presented a wonderful evening of standards.

Our pick for the show is the George and Ira Gershwin classic “Someone To Watch Over Me”. We bring you this song in glorious black and white because a) it’s classy looking and b) there was such a low level of light that when we brightened up the picture, the color was mostly washed out anyway. Still, we think you’ll get a kick out of Ryan’s performance of this classic tune.

We also hope you get a kick out of hearing Blue Million‘s “Lazy Days, Lazy Bones” one more time. We wanted to give you a taste of Blue Million since they’re playing Bruno’s Friday night at 9:00 PM. The plan was to bring you a song we hadn’t used on the show yet, but unfortunately, one of our hard drives decided to go to computer hardware heaven and we were unable to retrieve the footage in time for this episode. But if you want to hear more from Blue Million in this setting, go listen to them Friday night. And get some food while you’re there too. Bruno’s is a pretty nice place to eat.

That wraps up the behind the scenes dirt on the first Radio Free Charleston of 2010. Keep checking PopCult, as we re-present the missing episodes from our archives on Sunday evenings. And be sure to check back in a couple of weeks for episode 92.