Joe and Wiley Sonic are coming to town this weekend!

Joe and Wiley Sonic are coming to town this weekend!

At the top of this post, you see the embedded video of Radio Free Charleston 131, “Thenewno2 Shirt.”  This special episode of RFC is devoted to promoting a great triple bill of live, original music.  Saturday, June 4, local favorites Tofujitsu and Mother Nang will be opening for Washington DC’s, Wiley Sonic.

Wiley Sonic is a new band fronted by Joe Vallina, who was last seen on RFC back on The Feast of Stephen Reunion Episode 23, four years ago.

Joe has a long history with Radio Free Charleston, having appeared as the one of the first in-studio guests on the radio version of RFC back in 1989.  Back then, Joe was half of the punk duo Blind Blue Leper Society.  The other half of that duo was local bartending and jam band legend, Washboard Dave.

A few months ago, Joe contacted me about finding a venue where his band could play in town.  I hooked him up with Roadblock and the date was set for Wiley Sonic to make their Charleston debut at The Empty Glass.

Wiley Sonic

Joe then got back in touch with me and offered to produce a video of the band so that we could give Charleston area music lovers an advance taste of what they could expect.  I jumped at the chance and was thrilled when I first got to see the video for “Streamline Flow”.

Note to bands who want to be on Radio Free Charleston:  If you want to create your own video and submit it for inclusion in the show, this is the standard to which you should aspire, with great audio, lighting, and editing, plus a fantastic original song.

In support of Wiley Sonic, Joe called in some old friends from the Charleston music scene.  Mother Nang is no stranger to Radio Free Charleston, having appeared on the show many times over the years, most recently on Episode 127.

Mother Nang

You may recall their appearance on this year’s April Fool’s show, where the band debuted their new song, “Peel,” in a video featuring motionless action figure stand-ins.  In this episode of the show, we bring you a live performance of “Peel,” this time, with the band members actually moving around and playing their instruments.  This was recorded at The Blue Parrot a few weeks ago.


Closing out the show, we have Tofujitsu, featuring our old friends Sean and Karen.  Tofujitsu can be seen performing every month during ArtWalk at The Purple Moon and they have just wrapped up the recording of a new CD.  I hear that several ultra-talented local filmmakers are creating videos for this project and I hope they’ll let us show some of them to you here on Radio Free Charleston.

You’ll get to hear Tofujitsu performing their song, “Darjeeling.” I guessed the name of the song wrong for the end credits, but I wasn’t too far off.

Rings and Balls

Our animation this time is the third or fourth appearance of Frank Panucci’s animation test of floating rings and balls.  This time, it has a green background and is set to music by yours truly.

Host segments for this episode may look a little unfamiliar to you.  We shot them at the Grove City Outlet Mall about an hour North of Pittsburgh.  This is a gigantic outlet mall built in the middle of nowhere, with the shops integrated into a local wetlands area.  We thought the wetlands made a great backdrop for the host segments.  At least it looked much better than our original idea of shooting the host segments at different rest areas up and down Interstate 79. The reason that I don’t mention the song titles during the show is that we weren’t completely sure which tunes would wind up in the line-up.  Apparently ad-libbing the entire show over 300 miles away from home after seven hours of intensive retail therapy does not make Rudy the sharpest knife in the drawer.

The show’s namesake shirt is a band tee for Thenewno2.  This is one of the musical projects of Dhani Harrison someone who has had kind words for Radio Free Charleston in the past.

That’s it for this episode of Radio Free Charleston.  Hope to see everybody packed into The Empty Glass like sardines on Saturday night to see Wiley Sonic, Mother Nang, and Tofujitsu.  Radio Free Charleston will return with Episode 132 in a week or two and it will be jam-packed with a buttload of new music.