It’s Thanksgiving Day and hardly anybody is going to be reading the blog until tomorrow, so today, instead of suggesting material things you can buy, The 2022 PopCult Gift Guide presents five things that folks local to Charleston, WV, can do on Friday and Saturday.

Black Friday Artwalk
Downtown Charleston

From 5 PM to 8 PM Friday, Charleston’s downtown galleries and art-friendly spaces will play host to artists selling their wares. Art makes a great gift, and this is a great way to support the local scene.

Highlights include Jake Fertig’s work at Stray Dog Antiques; The work of Appalachian Gothic at WV Market; Blacklight ArtWalk at Aronfield will have art by folks at Hole in the Wall and live music by Emmalea Deal; There will also be Holly Jolly Brawley set up in the Brawley Walkway and downtown stores will stay open late so you can shop local, support the local scene and keep your holiday dollars in the community.

Record Store Day
Budget Tapes & Records and Sullivan’s Records

A great place to find gifts for the music lover on your list is this year’s Black Friday Record Store Day, the national movement to get people into records shops by offering hundreds of exclusive releases on one day each year, has expanded to a second day in recent years with a smaller, but still impressive slate of exclusive limited edition vinyl releases on Black Friday.

Locally, Budget Tapes and Records (3708 MacCorkle Ave SE, in Kanawha City) and Sullivan’s Records (1588-A Washington Street East on Charleston’s Historic East End) are participating, with special vinyl releases from Ringo Starr, David Bowie, Duran Duran, Ultravox and dozens of other great artists, and new and unreleased music from history’s greatest musicians. You can find a full list of available records HERE. Sullivan’s opens at 8 AM and Budget opens at 9:30.

Black Friday & Small Business Saturday at Eclectic Goods Market

The area’s newest cool shopping destination, located in the teeming Metropolis of Dunbar, will be open Friday and Saturday with tons of discounts and specials. This very large antique and artisan mall will be open 11 AM to 6 PM both days, and they’re promising all kinds of holiday shopping specials as vendors will have discounts up to 50% off and are stocked up on loads of new inventory.

Among the weekends specials there will be:  Gift card giveaways up to $100 (Saturday only);  Gift Wrapping prices starting at $3;  Free kids craft kits;  Curated gifts under $20.

Eclectic Goods Market is located at 1401 Charles Ave, Dunbar, WV. If you’re old enough to remember, it’s the former location of FAD Furniture.

Scarpelli & Kehde’s MARY: A Rock Opera
Elk City Playhouse

Mark Scarpelli and Dan Kehde’s rock opera, MARY,a Charleston tradition, opens this coming Friday. This is the first production of the show following the death of its composer, Mark Scarpelli, earlier this year, and while it’s bittersweet, it is good to see the tradition carry on.

Let me repeat myself from a few days ago and remind you that, to get in the mood for this production by Charleston Youth Arts Company, you can sample a Radio Free Charleston playlist of clips from previous  productions in Sunday Evening Video from a few days ago. This year MARY happens at the Elk City Playhouse at 218 W Washington St, Charleston, on the city’s historic West Side.

MARY: A Rock Opera returns for its 26th season on Friday, November 25th and runs through December 4th. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students and seniors. The story follows Mary, the young girl destined to be the mother of Jesus, through the 9 months prior to the birth of Christ. MARY paints a poignant picture of an ordinary girl thrown into the ultimate of extraordinary circumstances.

Seating is limited, so we suggest you purchase tickets ahead of time HERE.

Live Music at The Shop (Dunbar) Sam’s Uptown Cafe (Charleston)

John Inghram Band and The Settlement will be at The Shop Friday, November 25th 2022. Doors open at 8 PM and the show begins at 9 PM. Admission is $12 at the door.

Born and raised in Charleston, West Virginia, John Inghram was steeped in the historic music of the region. His mother’s side of the family were church musicians, and he was exposed to bluegrass, country, gospel, and old-time music as a kid. On his self-titled debut album, John Inghram, the accomplished bass player seizes the present moment to step into the spotlight as a front man. With a collection of 60’s and 70’s psychedelic rock tunes, Inghram sets modern experiences to vintage sounds, allowing his listeners to feel time as circular in nature, hitting on the right now with both nostalgia and innovation.

The Settlement is a funk-fusion jam band from Huntington, WV. Cleverly combining rowdy rock riffs, complex jazz harmonies, funky bass lines, dreamy pop melodies, jammin’ reggae grooves and a multitude of diverse world music influences, the eclectic ensemble truly offers something for everyone. Each member has their own unique flavor and contributes to the bands’ vast array of sounds. Each set is different from the last, offering an original live performance that thrives on energy, improvisation, communication and creativity.

Both bands are heard often on Radio Free Charleston, on The AIR.

BYZANTINE’s CD RELEASE show happens at Sam’s Uptown Cafe Friday night. Join BYZANTINE and POTTERA (Pantera Tribute Band) for the official release of BYZANTINE’S new EP, BLACK SEA CODEX. This show is sponsored by Blackened Whiskey. Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door. The show is general admission and doors open at 8 PM.

There are also VIP tickets that allow fans to hang out with the band at the merch booth, get pics and autographs along with finger foods and complimentary beverages until showtime.

BYZANTINE are internationally acclaimed Metal Gods, based here in Charleston, and getting the chance to see them in an intimate setting is a rare treat. They are also heard frequently on Radio Free Charleston.

That is our Thanksgiving Day sort of gift guide entry. Check back tomorrow for new radio shows and another edition of The 2022 PopCult Gift Guide. And Happy Thanksgiving from PopCult!