Local Scene News

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Leno praised for humor while receiving Twain award 

By HELENA ANDREWS and EMILY HEILThe Washington Post

WASHINGTON - For a moment there, it seemed as if the red-carpet procession was going to be a serious affair - not quite what you'd expect at a gathering of some of comedy's heaviest hitters for an evening of mirth at the ceremony for the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

At first, the celebs, who were chatting up reporters along the velvet ropes leading to the Kennedy Center's Concert Hall on Sunday night, were so eager to heap praise on Jay Leno, the longtime "Tonight Show" host and the event's honoree, that things were getting a wee bit ... sincere.

"Jay showed everybody how important the monologue is," said Seth Meyers, who inherited his "Late Night" hosting duties on NBC from Jimmy Fallon, who replaced Leno earlier this year on "The Tonight Show."

Jerry Seinfeld said that Leno played a big role in his own comedic career. "He showed me the way of what I wanted to be - to let your inner crankiness out," Seinfeld said. "That can make good comedy. Entertaining complaining is a lot of what stand-up comedy is about."

Leno himself was in a reflective mood. "Comedy's a bit like golf," said Leno, who just announced that he is heading back to the airwaves to host a car-centric prime-time show on CNBC. "You can do it until you're 80, if you pace yourself and play it right."

But the cutting-up eventually commenced. The funny folks walking the carpet - including Wanda Sykes, Chelsea Handler, J.B. Smoove, Kristin Chenoweth and Ross Mathews, who got his start as "Ross the Intern" on Leno's "Tonight" - could hold out only so long.

While being interviewed on camera, Fallon became so distracted by Seinfeld, who was talking to a reporter just a few feet away, that Fallon launched into an amped-up impression of the elder comedian. "I can't hear myself think!" Fallon yelled as he ran a safe distance away.

Smoove showed off his best Leno impersonation. He noted that while hosting "The Tonight Show" for two decades, Leno had a habit of pointing at guests as he broke for commercials. Smoove mimicked the move in a contortion akin to the Heisman Trophy pose.

Amid all the praise, Mathews threw a playful barb at Leno, mocking his former boss's penchant for wearing what's known as a Canadian tuxedo. "I'm a man who takes a bold fashion risk," he said, motioning to his own silver-brocade tuxedo jacket. "I'm not bold enough to do denim-on-denim. God bless you, but I can't pull that off."

Proposed Civic Center renovation features airy corridors, outdoor plaza 

By Matt Murphy

A renovated Charleston Civic Center could include new glassed-in corridors, an expanded convention center space and an outdoor plaza along the Elk River, according to concept renderings presented to city council's Finance Committee Monday night.

Produced by consultants O'Dell Associates, the renderings are meant to give the public an idea of what the Civic Center could resemble, or what the consultants "want this building to aspire to," said O'Dell architect Gaurav Gupte.

"This is a great concept," he said.

A final design by a to-be-determined design-build firm is expected by the spring.

O'Dell will assist the city with the selection of the design-build firm and will oversee the construction process.

- - -

This is a developing story. Check back at www.charlestondailymail.com for updates.

The RFC MINI SHOW with The Jasons 

Image702This week The RFC MINI SHOW brings you The Jasons, recorded live at ShockaCon, just last month. The Jasons just marked their first year of performing and this horror-punk outfit from Crystal Lake, New Jersey (by way of the Mountain State) are hotter than ever. With a sound not unlike their fierce rivals, The Renfields, The Jasons slash their way through three chords and a quick beat, leaving few survivors.

The rivalry with The Renfields is so intense that The Jasons’ frontman, Jason V refuses to be seen in the same room as Vincent Renfield.

The RFC MINI SHOW captures The Jasons performing one original tune and one cover of song by a legendary punk band. We also get to witness some of the witty stage banter between the members of the band. You never really get to see the humorous side of Jason Vorhees in the Friday the 13th movies, but on stage, his comedy just kills.

This episode of The RFC MINI SHOW is a preview of sorts for this year’s epic Radio Free Charleston Halloween Special, featuring more music by The Jasons as well as songs from HarraH, Radio Cult and The Possum Kingdom Ramblers. You can see the Radio Free Charleston Halloween Special next week.

Monday Morning Art: CSI Whitechapel 

Img_1871Last night saw another stellar edition of Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art Show at Uncork and Create, and the theme was Jack The Ripper. Appropriate for the Halloween season, and timely thanks to the “Now we got him. Now we don’t” DNA tango currently being danced in the UK, this session presented Luna L’Enfant and Ruby Rouge as two of the most unfortunate ladies of the Whitechapel District’s evening, while Chase Henderson, the guru of Dr. Sketchy’s himself, took on the role of Saucy Jack, London’s most famous anonymous cut-up.

Since we don’t want PopCult to be slashed out of the belly of The Charleston Gazette, we will avoid any of the gorier images from last night, but suffice to say, it took a lot of guts for the Wayward Girls to pose like that. We will bring you digital paintings of the knife behind the back, the ladies courting death and Jack, polishing his weapon. Click to enlarge the images.

Next month Dr. Sketchy’s will peek inside the dressing room of Jessica Rabbit.

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Early Civic Center plans to be revealed tonight 

By Matt Murphy

Members of the public will get their first look at what a renovated Charleston Civic Center could look like today.

Plans for the renovations will be unveiled at Charleston City Council's Finance Committee meeting tonight.

Representatives of O'Dell Associates, the company providing consulting services for the renovations, will provide an update on the project and unveil a concept rendering of the renovated facility - though it won't be the final design.

"Our consultant will be in town and they will review everything they've done up to this point," City Manager David Molgaard said. "There's been quite a bit accomplished."

Molgaard said he couldn't reveal specifics before tonight's meeting, but said the plans will incorporate research gained from market studies.

City officials expect the overhaul to cost about $50 million when all is said and done, though Molgaard said Friday that number could change.

O'Dell Associates is being paid $1.16 million as lead consultant for the project. The company will oversee the renovations as the city moves forward.

After tonight's presentation by O'Dell Associates, the city will solicit proposals from design-build firms that will be responsible for architectural renderings and arranging for construction of the Civic Center.

Once proposals are received, Molgaard said the city will narrow the field to three firms that will each present a design. The city will then pick the winner.

"We're excited to see three different iterations of what this could be," he said.

Molgaard said he hopes to have a design-build firm under contract by May 2015.

Renovations to the Charleston Civic Center will be funded from a half-cent city sales tax and a tax increment finance district that covers part of downtown.

The Civic Center was first opened in 1959 and was later expanded. The convention hall was dedicated on Oct. 23, 1983.

Charleston Convention and Visitors' Bureau President Alisa Bailey said she's excited about the changes, noting the new space will allow the facility to host more events, thereby attracting more visitors.

Bailey said she hadn't seen the latest renderings as of Friday, but was hoping for expanded floorspace, a bigger kitchen and expanded meeting areas. Such improvements will allow the Civic Center to attract bigger events and host more than one event at a time, she said.

"The competition is fierce," she said. "There are shinier, newer convention centers in a lot of places."

Bailey said Charleston and the Civic Center are attractive to meeting and event planners because of the center's is within walking distance to a variety of hotels in different price ranges and shopping at the Charleston Town Center Mall and Capitol Street.

"What they like most about the Civic Center is location," she said.

In addition, Bailey said the layout of the Civic Center is a plus, as the exhibition hall doesn't have support pillars, thereby allowing planners to have more options in arranging the space.

She's also received positive feedback from event planners on the number of entertainment options Charleston provides.

"We need to sell ourselves as a destination," she said.

However, the facility's virtues can still be trumped by its age.

"That is the No. 1 reason we need it is competition," she said. "We can't expect to keep bringing meetings in if ... all these other places have better space."

Sunday Evening Videos: The Big Bad 

10658597_10152559088139261_8532332990244851300_oThis week we bring you The Big Bad, hot off an amazing Zombie Prom at the Boulevard Tavern last night The band premiered two videos this week off their new CD. Above you see “Lover’s Lane Murders.” Below you see ‘Out of The Morgue.”

Soon you will be able to order the CD HERE, or buy it from them in person at The Empty Glass’ Halloween Hootenanny on October 31, where they will be playing with The Renfields, Super Heavy Duty and Time And Distance. This is the sixteenth year that The Empty Glass has pulled out all the stops for an insane Halloween experience. Just check out the cool flyer, painted by Chris Woodall, who coincidentally is a member of Super Heavy Duty, in addition to being a great artist.

As a bonus, after the jump, we bring you last February’s RFC MINI SHOW starring The Big Bad.

RFC Flashback: More Halloween Shows 

Mandy Petrie and Jeff Bukovinsky of the No Pants Players with Rudy in 2009

We continue our look back at Radio Free Charleston’s Halloween shows with our 2009 episode, considered by many to be our best episode with tons of guests ranging from The No Pants Players to Mark Wolfe, and music by Unknown Hinson and Flare Baroshi, among others.

In 2010 we brought you an extended preview of my still-unfinished Zombie-Noir epic, “Jazz From Hell.”

In 2011, we didn’t do a Halloween show, and for the life of me, I can’t remember why. However, we did post video of the second HallowEast Zombie Walk, so there’s that. We made up for it the next year with a bonus “Best of Halloween” show that we’re including here.

Next week we’ll get you all caught up, just in time for our 2014 Halloween show, which harkens back to our 2009 show.

2009

2010

RFC 113 "Jazz From Hell Preview" from Rudy Panucci on Vimeo.

2011

“Best of Halloween”

Major Stuff To Do 

61MvIVaurSLThe PopCulteer
October 17, 2014

It’s another weekend crammed with more stuff than one human could possibly attend here in Charleston.

So we’re going to try to provide you with the highlights so that you can realize what your missing while you’re going to other cool stuff.

Farenheit 451

Fahrenheit451BThe Science Fiction Movie Series continues at The Electric Sky Theater at The Clay Center this weekend, as they present Francois Truffaut’s 1966 film adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s cautionary tale about a dystopian government in the future where books are banned and everybody is forced to watch FOX News.

Julie Christie and Oscar Werner star in this speculative fiction classic.You can see it Friday and Saturday at 7:30 PM at The Electric Sky Theater at The Clay Center. Tickets are six dollars and for more information, you can call 304-561-3570, or visit the Clay Center’s website.

Venus in Fur

1924842_10152752085744400_439154948365960325_nRob Boone and Marlette Carter dance the mindgame tango in David Ives’ “Venus in Fur” at The Alban Arts Center.This two-person play depicts a power struggle between a director and an actress as the reverse roles and try to figure out which one has the upper hand.

Boone plays Playwright Thomas Novachek, a panicked director who can’t find any actress who can bring his character to life. Carter plays Vanda, a mysterious muse who is perfect for the role.

The audition quickly escalates into a seductive power play. With loads of cheek and a hint of the erotic, Venus in Fur keeps you on the edge of your seat as you question “who is really in charge here?”

This is a sexy, provocative play, with a lot of adult language and a little skin shown, so blue-nosed censor types and impressionable children should probably stay at home.

This behind the scenes play-within-a-play is directed by Greg Morris, and promises to be yet another impressive and challenging productions put on at The Alban. Show dates are October 17, 18 & 24, 25 at 8 PM and October 19 & 26 at 2 PM. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students and they can be ordered in advance HERE.

Evil Dead

Evil Dead: The Musical opens tonight and runs the next three weekends and you can read all about it HERE.

Dr. Sketchy

10517306_10101114715303813_4711180868365730615_oSunday evening at 7 PM Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School returns to Uncork and Create (across from the Quarrier Diner) for an evening of ripping fun with Saucy Jack and his lady friends.

It’s a Jack The Ripper-themed figure drawing session, CSI: Whitechapel, and ten bucks gets adults in the door, with their own bottle, if they wish to imbibe and draw. Read more about it HERE.

Shake Your Pants Off

The No Pants Players say they are gladly performing a benefit show for The Michael J. Fox Foundation and Parkinson’s Research Saturday, October 18. The truth is that they are scared to death. They have been asked by the organizers to do as many jokes in poor taste about the disease as possible, but they fear offending the audience. Making matters more dire is that, to make sure that they do plenty of jokes about Parkinson’s, a sniper, himself suffering from Parkinson’s, will be in the rear of the auditorium, ready to pick off any troupe member who doesn’t crack enough jokes about the disease.

The chances of said sniper actually hitting anyone are slim, but the troupe is still worried about coming up with material that is in absolutely horrible, nasty, mean-spirited and vile taste, without crossing the line. Actually, I made up the bit about the sniper, but I’m trying to lead by example here.

You can join the troupe for a night of interactive improv comedy. This will be a “PG-13″ performance. Your favorite alcoholic beverages will be provided by Embassy Suites. Tickets are $25 for adults, and $20 for children of irresponsible parents. They can be ordered in advance, or purchased at the door before the show, which begins at 7 PM.

Music

Friday

The Brothers Sisters

The Brothers Sisters

Free Music Friday includes The Brothers Sisters, performing at Taylor Books starting at 7:30 PM. This eclectic trio includes Albert Perrone, Marylin McKeown and Douglas Imbrogno, the instigator behind The Gazz and the man responsible for your PopCulteer beginning to PopCult in the first place, back in 2005.

More free music Friday sees Marshall Petty and The Groove at 5 Corners Cafe at 5 PM, at the corner of Delaware avenue and Virginia Street on Charleston’s West Side. White Mollasses will be a Bruno’s on Leon Sullivan Way at 9 PM and Renegade Mary will be the Village, 7004 Sissonvile Drive, also at 9 PM.

Music with a cover and cool graphics on Friday are seen below…

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It’s super-charged jam rock at The Empty Glass tonight with From The Future, featuring Stuart Hill guitar/vocals, Chris Allen / Bass and Chris Hudson. Drums. The show starts at 10 PM, Empty Glass Standard Time, and the cover charge is seven dollars.

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Saturday

Free music Saturday is packed with Born Old kicking it off at 7 PM at Bluegrass Kitchen, on Charleston’s East End. Mike Bennet holds court at Taylor Books at 7:30 PM. At 8 PM, our old friend Spencer Elliott is joined by Rus Reppert at Black Sheep Burrito, 702 Quarrier Street.Danielle and Steve will perform at Wine Valley at Liberty Square in Hurricane at 8:30 PM.

Blue Million and Stephen Beckner at Dunbar Lanes

Blue Million and Stephen Beckner at Dunbar Lanes

Wrapping up the free music are two RFC faves, Stephen Beckner and Blue Million, who will bring their latest tunes to the area’s hippest new venue, Dunbar Lane’s 13th Lane Taproom at The Bowling Alley in Dunbar 1212 Ohio Street, right around the corner from the Library.

Music with a cover includes all the following cool-looking shows by bands who were nice enough to make graphics for me to use.

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That’s about it for this week’s PopCulteer. We have more cool stuff winging your way, plus all our regular features, so stay tuned to Charleston’s original Pop Culture blog, with with 200% more content than our nearest competitor. Also, we now have Retsin!

Rock, gem, jewelry event scheduled 

The 41st Annual Kanawha Rock, Gem, Mineral, Fossil and Jewelry Show and Sale, sponsored by the Kanawha Rock and Gem Club Inc. and the South Charleston Lions Club, will be held Saturday and Sunday at the South Charleston Community Center, 601 Jefferson Road.

The event will feature 18 dealers in gems, minerals, fossils and jewelry offering items from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission to the show is $3.50 per person, but there are discount coupons for $1.50 off show admission attached to ads in Charleston Newspapers that can be clipped and presented at the show. There is plenty of free parking at the South Charleston Community Center.

Three grand door prizes will be drawn and you do not have to be present to win. First prize is a $1,000 gift certificate from Broyles Jewelers in Spring Hill; second prize is a $500 savings bond; third prize is a $200 gift certificate for next year's show. There will also be hourly door prizes provided by the dealers and you must be present to win.

Some of the items for sale and on display will include stone carvings, fossils, faceted gemstones, one-of-a-kind pieces of jewelry, rare gemstones, cabochons, wire-wrapping, custom made jewelry items, individual stones, minerals, geodes, fused glass, crystals, and strings of beads for those who like to make their own jewelry.

There will also be an exhibit at the show featuring slabs cut from a 244-pound piece of native copper ore found this year in northern Michigan by one of our members. Members of the Kanawha Rock and Gem Club will be at the show to help people identify minerals, rocks or crystals that they've discovered.

Jim Hird, a member of the Kanawha Rock and Gem Club, will be demonstrating how to make cabochons, which is a type of gemstone cut that has no facets, but is rounded and polished. Cabochons are usually dome-shaped and are either round or oval with a flat polished base.

"We will also have plenty of items for the kids to touch and feel and look at and identify," Hird said. "There will be free craft projects for the children to do and parents are encouraged to help their child or just be there to give them encouragement."

Free again this year will be the carving of soapstone, a soft stone that can easily be worked with simple hand tools. Resident carver Ken Valko will be there to help the children create carvings of their own. Another popular part of the show is the "sandpit," fun for kids and the young-at-heart. Purchase a bag of sand that contains not only sand, but some of earth's treasures as well. Some of the bags contain fossilized shark teeth as well as special minerals from around the world. Rock and Gem Club members will be on hand to help identify what is found.

There will be geodes available for children and adults to open using the Rock and Gem Club's special "Geode Cracker." New this year will be gold panning for kids of all ages.

The Kanawha Rock and Gem Club holds monthly meetings at the South Charleston Community Center and takes field trips to museums. Membership for an individual is $10 and only $15 for the entire family. Members' children are always welcome. For more information, see Kurtis Canterbury at the show in the club booth.

Museum of Radio and Technology channels memories of a bygone era 

By Charlotte Ferrell Smith

HUNTINGTON ­- Touring the Museum of Radio and Technology is like stepping back in time to the beginning of radio, television, and computers.

It opened in 1991 in the old Harveytown Elementary School, 1640 Florence Ave., on Huntington's West End and is touted as the largest radio museum in the nation and attracts visitors from throughout the world.

However, many locals are unaware of the rooms filled with history and treasures.

"We are trying to create a time capsule," said curator Geoff Bourne, who is aware of the historical significance of the collection as well as how much of it works.

The museum was once located on Charleston's West Side but outgrew its space. The old school offered a lot more space but the rooms are still filled with an impressive collection that spills out into the hallways. The building was purchased for $22,500 and grants were acquired over the years for fixing it up with things like a new roof as well as a new heating system.

Bourne said various groups as well as information technology students enjoy touring the facility, and yet many locals are not aware of its existence.

Organizers are hoping an event scheduled for Saturday will draw a large crowd.

The Museum of Radio and Technology will present the 24th annual Fall Radio Show beginning 9 a.m. Saturday and continuing throughout the afternoon. Whoever brings in the oldest radio to display will win $100 with the prize to be awarded at 1 p.m. Museum members are not eligible to win since the idea of the contest is to encourage visitors to enjoy the event and tour the facility.

Other events on Saturday include an antique electronics auction and an electronics flea market. Also, visitors will be able to see the museum's exhibits, including more than 400 antique radios, a wide variety of television sets, a radio broadcasting station, short wave radio receivers and transmitters, military communications displays, a room devoted to the history of the computer, a ham radio station, a CB radio exhibit and much more.

Bourne travels throughout the country, logging 4,000 to 5,000 miles a year, in search of more exhibits that tell the history of technology. Sometimes, the trips are made to pick up specific items that have been offered to the museum such as RCA Radiola in a large cabinet that cost $895 in 1927. The piece once belonged to the Wrigley family; yes, Bourne points out, the one with the chewing gum empire.

Among numerous interesting pieces - a 1931 Crosley grandfather clock radio, a radio built into a refrigerator in 1953 by Bernard F. Clark, a 1939 television camera used at the New York World's Fair, a 1923 bread board radio, an RCA record cutter, walkie talkies from World War II, a World War I telegraph system, a World War II Japanese field radio, and the first color camera from WSAZ.

There are also phonographs and vinyl records as well as shelves lined with tubes, components, batteries and various paraphernalia.

"We are in the process of beginning to teach classes here on basic radio repair and safety," Bourne said. "Some have grandma's old radio and it has lethal voltage."

There is a separate area where meetings are held for the Tri-State Amateur Radio Association. The room is filled with new and vintage stations.

After touring the facility, guest may want to stop by the museum's gift shop where items to be sold range from T-shirts and hats to books and vinyl records.

Also, stop by the West Virginia Broadcasting Hall of Fame with 175 people now included.

In addition to the special hours for the big event on Saturday, the museum is open every Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m. Admission is always free as a service to the community. For more information or group reservations, call 304-525-8890.

Contact writer Charlotte Ferrell Smith at charlotte@dailymailwv.com or 304-348-1246.

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