The PopCulteer
December 2, 2011

A Monster Weekend Approacheth

I always hear people complain about how there’s nothing to do in Charleston. I think my new stock reaction to that statement will be a swift punch in the face. This weekend in particular, there are so many cool things going on in and around town that it would take a team of bloggers just to make a token appearance at all of them.

This is truly an embarrassment of riches for our smallish metropolis. This week’s PopCulteer is devoted to detailing three whirlwind days in Charleston, West Virginia.


The Contemporary Youth Arts Company will present the final weekend of its 15th annual production of the Scarpelli-Kehde rock opera MARY at 8 pm Friday and Saturday at the WVSU Capitol Center, 123 Summers Street, Charleston.

This is the story of the nine months prior to the birth of Jesus Christ through the eyes of a young girl destined to be the most important woman in the Christian tradition, MARY has become a family friendly holiday tradition throughout the greater Charleston area. Drawing talent from all over the greater Kanawha Valley, this year’s cast includes Sara Schlies in the title role, with Jonathan Tucker as Joseph, Maddy Gourevitch as the Archangel Gabriel, Taylor Henderson as Elizabeth, Nik Tidquist as Zechariah, Donnie Smith as Herod along with a twenty member chorus and eighteen piece orchestra.You may have read about it here in PopCult, or seen clips from this year’s production on RFC 148. If not, take a quick look at Sarah Schlies singing “Child, My Child” from the show…

Tickets are $10.00 for adults, $6.00 for students and seniors and are available at the door prior to each performance. Call the WVSU Capitol Center Theater office at 342-6522 for advance ticket sales and group rates.

River Arts: Fine Arts and Crafts Sale and Showcase takes place Friday from 6:30 – 9:30 PM and Saturday from 10 PM – 5 PM at Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 520 Kanawha Boulevard W. Charleston. A Gourmet Lunch will be served from 11 AM to 2 PM on Saturday.

UUC promises “TRADITIONAL AND UNIQUE ARTS & CRAFTS BY OVER 30 LOCAL ARTISANS!” This will include Quilting, Basket Making, Pottery, Sculpture, Drawing, Hand made/poured Candles, Collage, Jewelry Making, Calligraphy Art, Embroidery, Wreaths, Photography, Stained Glass, Painting, Crochet, Hand Made Soaps, Lotions and Healing Products, Metal Work, Digital Art, Note Cards, Miniatures, Curios and more.

Artists involved include Don Ashworth, Holly Becker, Rose Bettis, Jess Blalock, Robert Branson, Sheila Caim, Christina Dolin, Trisha Fox, Anna Toler Frazier, Jan Griffin, Lynn Gundry, Deborah D. Herndon, Traci Higgenbotham, Chris Higgins, Andrea Hoglund, Jo Anne Jacobs, Kathryn F. Jewell, Paula Kaufman, Patty Link, Connie McColley, Tia Mosley, Laura Moul, Martha Osborn, Reed Family Baskets, Randy Selbe, Karen Shreve, Regina Swim, Mary Lou Wiegand, Patty Wolford, Janice Summers Young, and Sherry Zachwieja

The Empty Glass features Sasha Collete and The Magnolias and Fifth On The Floor Friday night, starting at 10 PM. You can come hear the dulcet tone of Sasha, who will have a world premiere music video on RFC 149, and check out the Honky Tonk sound of Fifth on the Floor for an $8 cover.

Across Town at The Boulevard Tavern, The Kenneth Brian Band will appear with area native Travis Stevens in the line up. The cover charge is four bucks, and their album, “Welcome To Alabama” has been called “a “straight-forward, take-no-prisoners, Southern Rock tour de force”!!!”

With no cover charge, Rick Perdue will bring his guitar wizardry to Taylor Books.

This just in: 600 Lbs Of Sin at Grumpy’s (formerly Tomahawk’s) Friday ans Saturday…


Both the River Arts Sale and Showcase and “MARY” continue.

The second annual NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS hosted by DISTURBING THE PEACE– 13 bands have donated their time to help Homeless Teens in the Charleston Area have a better Christmas. This show is at The Eagles Club, 404 Virginia Street West, on Charleston’s West Side.

Admission is 8 bucks at the door, Food and drinks for sale. This is an ALL AGES EVENT. There will be craft tables for the kids with help from Jenny Totten. Free parking is available.

The line up…

Strain The Wicked 12pm
ROFS 1pm
Miniature Giant 2pm
Black Lung Prophecies 3pm
Elysium 4pm
Born Of Conviction 5pm
Remains Unnamed 6pm
Fall Before your Creator 7pm
War Torn Angel 8pm
Disturbing The Peace 10pm
War Creek Mafia 11pm
Saprogen 12am

There will be Stand-Up Comedy at 9pm with Brian Thompson and an Acoustic set from Christopher Carter. Aso expect Karate Demonstrations provided by Dueling Dragons DoJo.

There will be a Special Holiday Open House ArtWalk as Downtown Charleston’s Christmas Parade leads into a reprise of the Black Friday ArtWalk that takes place from Noon to 4 PM. Galleries participating include Art Emporium Gallery, Gallery Eleven, House of Luxe, Modern by Design, Stray Dog Antiques, Taylor Books – Annex Gallery, The Purple Moon and White Oak Photography. For more information visit the ArtWalk website at

At Tamarack Saturday, Becky Park will tell the story of Colonel Ruby Bradley, the most decorated woman in U.S. military history. Colonel Bradley was a survivor of two wars, a prison camp and near starvation. This happens Saturday at 1 PM.

Saturday night, a benefit for Tim Starkey will kick off at 9 M at The Blue Parrot. Here’s the update from the organizers, “Tim is doing much better! He is walking a little and his progress is good. We are having one last benefit for him before Christmas…we hope you all make this one! Bands include MOTHER BLUES,GHOST FLEET,SPECIAL PERFORMANCE FROM THE MOJOS AND FREAK TENT!!!


Big thanks to everyone who has supported Tim and all that he has been through in the last four months! This one is on a Saturday night so NO EXCUSES! ”

In St. Albans Saturday night it’s time for the No Pants Players Annual “Joytacular”. This year’s show is a benefit for The American Heart Association. The show kicks off at 8 PM at The Alban Theater. Tickets are $10 each. Let’s go to the NPP themselves for more details, “Big news to share about the No Pants Players “Joytacular”. This year the show is again sponsored by The UPS Store of Kanawha City. They have been the Official “Joytacular” sponsor for the past 5 years now, and we thank them whole-heartedly! Please use their services for all your Christmas gift delivery needs! Also, we have gained another major sponsor, Value City Furniture of St Albans!

They have donated a brand new recliner that will be raffled at the beginning of the show on Dec. 3rd! Its being billed as the “Best seat in the house”! Not only will someone win a brand new recliner, they will also get a Season Pass to the No Pants Players 2012 Season at The Alban, a case of microwave popcorn, an awesome universal remote, a case of Red Bull energy drink, and many other prizes!
Raffle tickets are $5 each and can be bought before the show, but you have to be present to win. (Afterall, it is the best seat in the house) The great news is, 50% of the raffle will go to The American Heart Association, along with $4 from every admission sold! Make sure you are at Joytacular this year to help ring in the holiday season, and help support the American Heart Association!”

At The Boulevard Tavern, InFromation and Farnsworth Drive take the stage at 9 PM for a measly five-dollar cover. That’s virtually nothing to hear two of Charleston’s most exciting bands.

Tofujitsu will be appearing at Taylor Books at 7:30 PM with no cover.

At Timothy’s (below the Quarrier Diner) Rick Perdue brings his guitar to entertain the patrons starting at 8 PM with no cover


Sunday is Soup Day at The Red Carpet Lounge. They will have 20 different soups, corn bread and deviled eggs for your enjoyment. All proceeds benefit the Living AIDS Memorial Garden. I hope you will join us! That’s Sunday from 2 PM to 6 PM at The Red Carpet Lounge, 300 Elizabeth Street, Charleston.

The West Virginia Youth Symphony will present its winter concert featuring performances by the Cadet Strings, the Youth Strings, the Wind Ensemble and the Youth Orchestra. Tickets are $10 for adults, children are free. Reception immediately following the concert. It kicks off Sunday at 3 PM at The Scottish Rite Temple, 406 Capitol Street, Charleston.

The Charleston Civic Chorus, in Charleston West Virginia, will be performing its Winter Concert on Sunday, December 4, 2011, at the Baptist Temple in Charleston West Virginia. The concert will begin at 5 PM. Admission is FREE.Dancers from the Academy of Arts will also be performing with the Chorus. The Charleston Baptist Temple is located at the corner of Quarrier and Morris Streets in Downtown Charleston.

Mountain Stage sounds pretty epic this week. The show kicks off at 7 PM at The WV Culture Center. Tickets are $15. Check out the PR, “Billy Joe Shaver – Texas singer/songwriter Billy Joe Shaver’s music is imbued with a timeless Texas honky-tonk and the rich journeyman style of poetry that transforms life into a series of songs. Year’s ago, Shaver distinguished himself by penning every song on Waylon Jennings’ classic “Honky Tonk Heroes” LP. To date, he’s released 23 albums and his songs have been recorded by Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, the Allman Brothers and Elvis Presley. Bob Dylan, who rarely covers other writers, often plays Shaver’s “Old Five And Dimers Like Me” in concert, and Johnny Cash called him “my favorite songwriter.” Shaver recently served as “spiritual advisor” to Texas independent gubernatorial candidate Kinky Friedman and the Americana Music Association awarded him their Lifetime Achievement Award in Songwriting.

“Matraca Berg – Before becoming a recording artist in her own right, Matraca Berg was an in-demand writer whose songs were recorded by Linda Ronstadt, Reba McEntire, Dusty Springfield, Patty Loveless, Trisha Yearwood, Suzy Bogguss, Pam Tillis, Deana Carter and Martina McBride. The Hall of Fame songwriter earned her first No. 1 song at 18, her first Grammy nomination at 22 and, in 1997, won the Country Music Association’s “Song of the Year” for “Strawberry Wine.” That same year, her “Sunday Morning to Saturday Night” CD was heralded as one of the Top 10 Albums in any genre by “TIME,” “People,” “Entertainment Weekly” and “USA Today.” This year, her song “You And Tequila” was nominated for the CMA’s “Song Of The Year.” Her current release is titled “The Dreaming Fields.”

“Noam Pikelny & Friends featuring: Gabe Witcher, Chris Eldridge & Mark Schatz – A charter member of the Punch Brothers, in 2010, actor-banjo player-author Steve Martin awarded Noam Pikelny the first “Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass,” describing Pikelny as “a player of unlimited range and astonishing precision.” On his new release, “Beat The Devil and Carry A Rail,” Pikelny is backed by an all-star band of old friends and long-time heroes, including fellow Punch Brothers Gabe Witcher and Chris Eldridge, bassist Mark Schatz, fiddle player Stuart Duncan, vocalist-mandolinist Tim O’Brien, and dobro player Jerry Douglas.

“Caleb Klauder Country Band – “Western Country,” the latest from the CKCB, is a tall glass of American roots music. Made up of veteran Portland musicians, the band includes Stephen ‘Sammy’ Lind (of Foghorn Stringband) on fiddle/guitar, Ned Folkerth on drums, Paul Brainard (of Richmond Fontaine) on electric and pedal steel guitar, fiddle prodigy Sophie Vitells (formerly of the Crooked Jades), and bassist Jesse Emerson (formerly of The Decemberists). Building on Caleb’s intense love of honky-tonk, rockabilly, outlaw and early country, and infusing the songs with Caleb’s dry-dusty voice and mature songwriting, the
Caleb Klauder Country Band is a rising star in today’s Americana pantheon.

“April Verch Band- The internationally renowned Canadian fiddler, singer, songwriter and stepdancer has a passion for performing. Roots music luminary Dirk Powell said “She is a rare mix of all the technique and super-flashy things, along with the deep soul and tradition that comes from having grown up with the music.” On her eighth CD, That’s How We Run, April explores the Southern mountain traditions known as old time music, but always brings her Northern roots with her. Plucky, straight-backed Canadian tunes fit so snugly beside ancient Appalachian airs that you’d think they’d been neighbors for centuries.”

Of course, after the show who knows what performers from Mountain Stage will make their way to The Empty Glass for the post-show jam, hosted by The Carpenter Ants. A token cover charge will get you in the door where you may get to hear Billy Joe Shaver sing the theme song for “Squidbillies.”

That’s it for this week’s PopCulteer. The next time somebody says that there’s nothing ever happens in Charleston, dial up this blog post and shove their face into the computer screen. PopCult gets back to normal next week, and the PopCult Gift Guide is returning soon!