The PopCulteer
March 1, 2013

Today we pull out a heaping pile of factoids and infobits, stuff them into the PopCulteer blunderbuss and blast them across your face. It’s time for thrity random items.

1. You still have three chances to see the critically-acclaimed Alban Arts Center production of William Shakespeare’s “Richard III.” Friday and Saturday night at 8 PM, and Sunday at 2 PM. You should rush out to see Jeff Bukovinsky as the man under the car park, and an ultra-talented cast of local performers as they bring the words of the Bard to life in a thrilling piece of theater. Check the Alban Arts Center website for ticket information.

2. Zeroking and Whitechapel District set fire to the Blue Parrot Saturday night with their combustible metal riffs.The RFC cameras will be on hand to capture these two metal titans for future editions of Radio Free Charleston. The cover charge is five bucks and the show kicks of at 10 PM.

The Renfields

3. Just around the corner, at The Sound Factory, you can see The Renfields with Miniature Giant, also for five bucks, and also at 10 PM. Be sure to check out the cool article on The Renfields by Nick Harrah in this week’s Gazz.

4. NBC is going to air a drama series based on a modern-day update of the Hatfields and McCoys. Virginia Madsen will star. It’s expected to be announced for the fall, or midseason of the 2013/14 year.

Captain Action

5. Basic Captain Action and Dr. Evil action figures are on sale for half price at Toys R Us until March 9. You can read my reviews here and here. You’ll probably want to order them online because the Charleston TRU is one of the worst in the country and never got any of these in. They were sold at every other Toys R Us in the state.

6. The No Pants Players return to the Alban Arts Center next Saturday at 7 PM with a family-friendly show. Tickets are ten bucks, seven for young ‘uns. Check out this video.

7. Governor Tomblin wants to start charging a tax on all internet sales, thus driving home the fact that he was the lesser of two evils by just a hair.

8. Kathy Bates joins American Horror Story with season three, which has been teased with the subtitle “Salem,” suggesting ties to the witch-hunting town of the 1600s. Bates will play the best friend-turned-enemy of Lange’s new character in the series, which reboots itself every season. Plot details are again being kept under wraps, but co-creator Ryan Murphy (Glee) has said the third season will be more upbeat than the recently concluded Asylum chapter. See more at The Hollywood Reporter. 

“Last days of Coney Island”

9. Ralph Bakshi, the legendary animator behind “Fritz the Cat,” “Heavy Traffic,” “American Pop,” “Cool World,” and “The New Adventures of Mighty Mouse” is working on a new animated short, “Last Days of Coney Island,” and he’s using Kickstarter to fund it. There’s a ton of available sponsorship levels and a ridiculous amount of rewards, from digital downloads to original animation cels and paintings. Check it out. They’ve got a couple of days left and they’re within five thousand dollars of their goal.

10. Dead Leaves, with Tim Browning and the Widowmakers will be performing at The Empty Glass Friday night at 1o PM. Cover charge is seven dollars.

11. Free Comic Book Day is coming May 4. Comic Book Resources has a preview.

12. An old friend of mine whom I haven’t seen in more than thirty years, Garvis Reed II, has a great new blog that will probably appeal to a lot of PopCult fans. Ain’t the interwebs wonderful for letting people reconnect?

13. Christina Ricci is filming a comedy pilot for NBC called “Girlfriend in a Coma.” No word if they’re going to use the Smiths’ song as the theme.

14. The Stereofidelics will be performing at The Empty Glass Saturday night at 11 PM. Cover charge is seven bucks, five if you show up before 11.

15. Tonight Steve Clever and Friends will try a new format for the Friday night open mic at The Sound Factory. One-hour sets of live music will alternate with half-hour sets of dance music provided by a DJ. It kicks off at 11 PM.

16. RFC 180 is still out latest episode, at least until Monday. Watch the bejesus out of it.

17. Yesterday I reviewed the book, Rack Toys. In case you were wondering, this is where you can order it.

18. Jerry Beck’s Cartoon Research blog is back! Nine years ago Beck put this blog on ice so he could team up with Amid Amidi at Cartoon Brew. Now Beck and Amidi have parted ways. Cartoon Brew will still dish the dirt on the animation industry, but Beck is back at what he does best, celebrating the grand history of cartoons.

19. Julie Adams and Steve Hill will be performing Friday night at Taylor Books at 7 PM. No cover charge.

20. The Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi explains sequestration.

21. Jadco Contemporary Dance Company will present “Chasing Butterflies: Captured” an original ballet by January Wolfe with music by Mark Scarpelli, next week. The info is in this poster.

22. Razor Sharp Studios will celebrate the 10th anniversary of Eamon Hardiman’s first magnum-opus, “Catholic Ghoulgirls,” with a limted edition DVD and Blu Ray release. Act fast, they’ll sell out soon.

23. Dunbar Lanes is offering Buck day on Thursdays. All shoe rentals and games will be just a dollar each.

24. “The Vagina Monologues: Reading” will take place tonight and Saturday at Kanawha Players Theater. Sponsored by the Starlena Prat Foundation, benefitting the Kanawha County Victim Services Center. Tickets are fifteen dollars. Performances start at 8 PM at 309 Beauregard Street on Charleston’s East End. Call (304) 206-8108 for more information.

25. A fan made this trailer for a Wonder Woman movie that doesn’t exist.

26. Showtime has a pilot in the works called “The Vatican.”

27. Lately the word “Geek” has become a buzzword to describe fans of comic books, science fiction, role-playing games, video games and Anime. There’s even a magazine called “Geek” on the stands now. I cannot begin to describe how offensive this is to those of us who have spent our lives enjoying such pleasures. It’s bad enough that the mainstream steals our culture, but now they have to rename it so that they can keep insulting us?

When the mainstream stole black culture they didn’t call it the “N” word. When they co-opted gay culture, they didn’t label it the “F” word. What is it about the intelligent purveyors of genre and cult fandom that makes it okay to abuse us?

Personally, I blame the role-playing gamers.

28. PopCult is saddened by the passing of Van Cliburn, even though we never forgave him for replacing David Lee Roth with Sammy Hagar.

29. White Molassess will perform, free of charge, at Bruno’s on Leon Sullivan Way, Friday night at 9 PM.

30. The West Virginia Symphony Orchestra has announced the schedule for their 75th anniversary season, and it’s a bit underwhelming. It seems like the symphony has lost a lot of the momentum they had a few years ago when they were programming imaginative works by the likes of Philip Glass or the wonderful productions of the operas that they used to put on.

The choices just don’t seem very daring, and many of them have been performed by the WVSO quite recently. We have a world-class symphony orchestra, and it’s a shame to see them reduced to playing “Classical music’s greatest hits.”

I suppose it’s a sign of how spoiled we are having such a great orchestra around when we’re whining “Carmina Burana, again?” but it would be nice to have just one weekend out of the season where the symphony would get a little weird and maybe do some Zappa or Stockhausen.

Bonus Item: Coming in two weeks, it’s the show of the year! Well keep reminding you.

That’s it for this week’s PopCulteer. Keep your browser pointed our way for all our regular features plus a special new Radio Free Charleston next week.

Special Update Bonus Item: