This week we bring you The RFC MINI SHOW from the middle of May, 2015. While it’s cool to go back six or so years, as we do with most RFC Flashbacks, this time we’re bringing you a special edition of the MINI SHOW that celebrated the ninth anniversary of the very first recording sessions for the Radio Free Charleston video program.
And if you’re good at doing the math in your head, that means that the footage you see above is now FIFTEEN YEARS OLD. I’m still trying to wrap my head around that.
Let me quote liberally from the original production notes:
Nine years ago this week four guys gathered together in a very cool fifth-floor makeshift television studio to make obscure local music history. I was one of them. The other three were Brian Young, Dan Jordan and Spencer Elliott, the band known as Whistlepunk.
It all started with a phone call. Out of the blue, Brian called me in February, 2006. We hadn’t talked in years. There was no falling out. We simply had life happen and lost touch. Brian had a daughter. I’d spent over eight years taking care of my bedridden mother. A few months earlier I’d begun writing the PopCult blog, which put my name back in circulation.
Brian had taken a rehearsal space in the Quarrier Building and turned it into a recording studio that was prime for the addition of video cameras. I was able to get away and meet with Brian and check out the space, and we cooked up the idea of reviving my old radio show, Radio Free Charleston, as a video show that would be part of The Gazz. Doug Imbrogno was happy at the prospect of having some regular video content for GazzTV, so we started making plans.
Those plans were interrupted in April, when my mother passed away almost nine years after suffering a major stroke. We pushed back our plans so I could deal with the major life changes, but in May I was ready, and we headed into the studio to record Whistlepunk. It was easy to get them in the studio since Brian was their drummer, and I’d known Spencer and Dan since 1989 and the old RFC radio show when they were in the band Some Forgotten color together.
To mark the ninth anniversary of the first recording session for Radio Free Charleston, this week The RFC MINI SHOW brings you the results of that session. Two songs performed by Whistlepunk– “Reflection (Spy Song)” and “Vampire Love Song.”
These songs originally appeared on episodes one and seven of Radio Free Charleston, and are newly-remastered. The original videos sport audio mixes by Brian Young and editing by Frank Panucci. I’ve cropped the videos into widescreen and bumped them up to HD.
It’s remarkable in the way that this all seems like yesterday to me, but there have been many changes since. Radio Free Charleston is now independent of the Gazette (though we still call PopCult one of our home bases). GazzTV is history. Whistlepunk expanded to five members, then split up as Brian and Spencer re-joined Mother Nang. Spencer has become a major player on the fingerstyle guitar circuit as a solo artist. LiveMix Studio was shut down when Monsignor Landgrab got his mitts on the Quarrier Building. And of course, RFC has grown into three programs–the original full-length Radio Free Charleston, The RFC MINI SHOW and the weekly streaming audio version of RFC at New Appalachian Radio.
I feel that one of the reasons we’ve come so far is because we had such a strong beginning. it’s good to pause once in a while to remember that.
And of course, in the ensuing six years, we’ve seen more changes: PopCult has exited stage right from the Charleston Gazette-Mail, which was the two-headed beast born when Charleston’s two daily newspapers merged; Yours truly has been diagnosed with a chronic illness (Myasthenia Gravis) that has sharply curtailed my video production; The RFC radio show has become the flagship program of The AIR, and there was also ths whole pandemic/lockdown thing you might have heard about.
Yet, it’s still cool to look back fifteen years now, and see the band that helped revive Radio Free Charleston and make it the best locally-produced guerilla video music program hosted on the internet and edited by a toy collector. Many thanks again to my good friends in Whistlepunk.