rfcappFor our final day of the 2016 PopCult Gift Guide we are going to turn to one of my speicalities, local music. As the host of Radio Free Charleston, I sort of keep my finger on the pulse of the local music scene here in Charleston.

In fact, you can listen to the radio version of Radio Free Charleston for three hours today at 3 PM on The AIR, our internet radio station, at the website or on this cool embedded player…


This has been a bit of an odd year for your PopCulteer in terms of covering local music. After my diagnosis of Myasthenia Gravis in April, I had to curtail my activities on the local scene quite a bit. I haven’t made it out to many shows this year and the Radio Free Charleston video show, which has been running since 2006, is on an extended hiatus due to eyestrain issues that make editing video a bit of a burden (that will change soon and RFC will return).

The following list is recently-released music by local artists whom I respect greatly. It is not a “best of” list. It’s just music that I think would make a great gift for the music-lover on your holiday shopping list. Links to order are included, but you may also find some of these releases in local music stores or at gigs by the artists. A few of these releases are only available as downloads, which makes them hard to wrap, but that’s what the kids today seem to like. Go figure.

productimage-aspUnder Surveillance
This four-song EP was just released a couple of weeks ago and it finds Under Surveillance revitalized. Their sound is firmly rooted in the New Wave era, but their music has evolved with a contemporary edge.

This very reasonably-priced EP is a great introduction to the band, which will be touring extensively in 2017. You can order the new EP from Factory Fast Records HERE.

a2194342474_16Todd Burge
“Live on Mountain Stage 2006-2015”
The CD collects ten year’s worth of Todd’s performances on Mountain Stage, the legendary radio show that originates from right here in Charleston. Todd, of course, is West Virginia’s troubadour, an amazing songwriter and an engaging performer.

These songs were recorded live on Mountain Stage and used by permission of Mountain Stage, West Virginia Public Broadcasting – Francis Fisher (engineer), Larry Groce/ Andy Ridenour/Adam Harris (producers) Patrick Stevens (additional mixing on “Nuts” and technical assistance). You can order this CD right HERE.

albumart_larrygroce1_200x200Larry Groce
“Live Forever”
Speaking of Mountain Stage, Larry Groce, the show’s host, producer and proud pappy, has released his first solo album in years. With his feet planted firmly in Americana, Groce has delivered a remarkable CD.

“Live Forever” is a terrific collection of originals and covers and it’s a strong, mature, musical statement. This is perfect, contemplative Sunday Morning Music. You can order it HERE.

imagegen-ashxSpencer Elliott
My old pal, geetar wunderkind Spencer Elliott, has released a new collection six pieces of intricate fingerstyle guitar music. Once again with Antoine Dufour at the controls, Spencer’s second Candyrat release contains six unique and dynamic pieces that forge new territory and display Spencer’s continuing progression in composition and careful attention to melody.

From the bombastic “Torque” to the delicate “Unspoken,” each composition paints a diverse and vivid sonic landscape. Order it HERE and be amazed.

Speaking of old friends, if you’re into heavier rock, this is the release for you. The Self Titled Harrah Release is a powerhouse from the Capitol City of West Virginia. Veterans and Pioneers of the Rock and Metal scene they mix genres of Rock, Metal, Blues, and Soul.

I produced a couple of videos for this CD before my medical exile, and I wish I could have made more. This is a striking and powerful collection of heartfelt songs. You can order it HERE.

“Maximum Penetration (Live)”
Equal parts Negativeland, The Church of Subgenius, Kraftwerk and The Beatles “Revolution 9,” Superfetch is experimental music taken to the extreme.

These electronic avant-garde artistes recommend that you “Play this album during daily activities.”  All songs are lifted from their live stream shows on YouTube, which can now be heard on The AIR, Saturdays at 9 PM. Order the CD HERE.

a3984940514_16Hurl Brickbat
“The Stamp EP”
Five new songs from one of the brightest bands to emerge in Charleston in 2015. Hurl Brickbat treads the lines between alternative, grunge and Americana with style and wit. Well worth checking out and with an exciting future.I believe the band plans a full album and tour in 2017. They’ve come a long way since we discovered them at ShockaCon in 2015.

You can buy the EP HERE.

a1010364450_16Crazy Jane
“(the green disc)”
A new collection of tunes from one of West Virginia’s most intriguing bands. With a history going back more than a quarter-century, it’s rereshing to find the reunited Crazy Jane sounding as vital as ever, with great songwriting and wonderful musicianship and vocals.

It’s cool to see veterans showing that they still have it, and can remain as vibrant and relevant as ever. Order the CD HERE.

a3161978516_16Miniature Giant
“Terrible People”
This new six-song release from one of my favorite punky bands is a terrific musical kick in the ass. With songs like “Not My Way” and “Jerk in a Nissan,” the band continues to amuse and amaze with a wiseguy attitude and driving punk music with first-class chops.

This is one of the bands I really want to have as guests on the RFC video show, once it’s up and running again. Download the album HERE, and check for special deals on their other releases.

a2704089952_16Kerry Hughes
“Battleground’s Theater”
A great new solo release from Charleston-based Kerry Hughes, “Battleground’s Theater” includes ten mostly acoustic songs recorded from 2015-2016. Newer songs make up the first half, while the second half is made up of older songs.

This is acoustic music with a punk edge, and extremely clever songwriting. Order it HERE.

That wraps up our 2016 PopCult Gift Guide. Please keep in mind that I didnt have room to list every local music release that came out this year…but you are welcome to post comments to tell me about the cool stuff I might have missed.

Tomorrow we will present the final Master List of all the entries in the 2016 PopCult Gift Guide. Check back and get our there and buy some of this stuff. You only have a few days left!