The PopCulteer
May 25, 2012

This week, your PopCulteer has been pullled in a million different directions, and has seen his writing time eaten away like one of Ed Wood’s cashmere sweaters under siege by an army of moths. This means that you will get a greatly-truncated version of the weekly blog-column. Once things slow down we will bring you the long-promised IWA East Coast photo essay, the review of the new Popeye comic book from IDW, more comic book news and a photo essay showing how I came up with my design for the East End Main Street Streetworks project for this year.

But we only have time for a half-assed PopCulteer right now. Hopefully, in a day or two, we will be able to return to our normal, completely-assed status. For now, we have two big weekend events that you need to know about…

One Soldier, One Grave

Tonight at The Alban Arts Center in St. Albans, Dennis Strom’s much-anticipated short film, “One Soldier, One Grave,” makes its offical debut. The evening kicks off at 7:30 PM. The Facebbok invite promises an evening for the family that will begin with two short films by Dennis Strom: “Martha and Me,” (how Martha Stewart’s 5-month incarceration affected the small town of Alderson WV) and “Magic In the Valley” (a behind the scenes look at Children’s Theatre’s production of “Hansel and Gretel”).

Next, there will be an introduction by Dennis Strom of the cast and crew of “One Soldier,” followed by the 15 minute film, “One Soldier, One Grave,” starring Ripley native (and singer/songwriter amd RFC guest) Justin Johnson, and narrated by Parkersburg native, Paul Dooley.

After the film, there will be a reception until 10 PM. There is no charge for the event, but donations will be accepted.

The Nanker Phelge CD Release Party

Saturday night everybody should rush over to The Empty Glass for the CD release party for the debut CD, “Thru Thick and Thin,” by The Nanker Phelge. I’m lucky enough to call every member of this band a friend (I’ve known Stephen and Mark for more than twenty years), but I’m also a fan, and this CD is sure to be one of the best West Virginia releases of the year.

Mark and Stephen Beckner have been part of the Radio Free Charleston family since our radio incarnation, as members of Go Van Gogh and The Tunesmiths. I’ve always been a fan of their songwriting. Bassist, Casi Null, appeared on RFC as a solo performer and as a member of The Clementines and Punk Jazz before hooking up with The Nanker Phelge, and drumer, Dave Roberts has been on the show with his other band, Trielement, and pulled double-duty on episode 100, appearing with The Nanker Phelge and filling in with Eva Elution.

Episode 100 of Radio Free Charleston was a little over two years ago, and it was the official public debut of The Nanker Phelge, who first performed in public about a month later, during FestivAll. Dave will also be pulling double-duty Saturday night, as he plays with Pepper Fandango, who is also on the bill Saturday night at The Empty Glass.

Monica Orosz did a great profile on the band over at The Daily Mail this week. The show kicks off at 10 PM, and the cover will probably be seven bucks.

That’s it for this week’s shortened PopCulteer. With luck, things will get back to normal soon. Oh, and all of this week’s graphics were swiped from Facebook.