Local Scene News

We have new feeds added From Charleston Underground and The Defintley Loud Podcast!!

These two cover much of the local art and music scene and if you are from out of town this will give you a great heads up on what goes on in Charleston and the Rest of WV.
You can Read it here on the Empty Glass site or click on the Links and read if on the on the original Site.

The RFC MINI SHOW starring The Diablo Blues Band 

Image6This week’s RFC MINI SHOW presents The Diablo Blues Band. Newly signed to Arm The Pit Records, this band is a long-time Radio Free Charleston mainstay, newly reborn with a new vocalist and the addition of a great horn section. We’ve been bringing you great music from this band for over five years, and it’s great to see them revitalized with new energy and a new line up.

We recorded them at The Empty Glass last May performing two originals, “Loud Mouth Woman” and “How D’You Like Me Now?” The members of DBB are Johnny “Hurricane” Compton,John ” The Mud Cat” Chickogee, Tommy Fountaine, Jessica Lowe, Kevin Kidd, Terry Lowry, Billy Hambleton and Morris Hambleton.

You can catch The Diablo Blues Band August 10 at The Empty Glass, where they will be recording a live album, their debut on Arm The Pit Records.

Monday Morning Art: Monument 


Today’s art is a digital painting based on several photographs I took almost a year ago on a trip to our nation’s capitol. This was when The Washington Monument was still sheathed in a prophylactic covering to prevent any further damage from the fracking-induced Earthquakes that struck Washington DC earlier. Rather than simply run a photograph through a filter, this one is a straight digital painting, which looks a lot like a photo run through a filter, but took, way, way, way longer. Click to see it larger.

Sunday Evening Videos: Bugs Bunny 


446264Bugs Bunny, the iconic wise-cracking rabbit, made his official film debut seventy-four years ago today in the cartoon that you see above (in a weirdly-cropped form). To celebrate his cinematic birthday, we’re bringing you the above cartoon, plus a couple of other goodies below.

Despite suffering such indignities as “Space Jam,” Bugs is still plugging away as both an animated comedic presence and a corporate mascot. You’ll see him next in a new “Looney Tunes” series being made for Cartoon Network.

RFC Flashback: Three more from 2007 

rfc27montageaThis week, as promised, we’re going to bring you three more classic episodes of Radio Free Charleston. These three originate from the late summer/ early autumn of 2007, and showcase some of our most memorable performances.  Also interesting is that, while many of the performers on these shows are still active in the area, all but one of the groups featured on these three shows are no longer together.

First up, in episode 26, your host was knocked unconcious by then-twelve-year-old Cadance Young, who took over the show and introduced music by Whistlepunk and Sean Richardson, plus a short film by Audrey and Mia Beckner, animation by Rudy Panucci and a cameo by Mad Man Pondo. Tofujitsu fans should take note that Sean and Karen are both in this episode, peforming separately. From September, 2007, it’s “Back To School.”

RFC 26 from RFC Archives on Myspace.

Also from September, 2007, comes RFC 27 “Trust Me I’m A Doctor Shirt.” Highlighted by music from Comparsa, Doctor Senator and Stephanie Deskins, this show also features animation by Stephen Beckner and a creepy toy commercial.

Wrapping up this week’s trio of of early RFCs is “John Lennon Shirt,” our first attempt at a Beatles tribute, despite the fact that we could not then use cover songs on the show. Our music is “Thanks John, I Can Imagine,” by Seven Minutes Til Mdnight and “Requiem For Pepperland” by Go Van Gogh. We also have Sir Paul speaking about cannibus, and the end credit audio is an excerpt from the original Radio Free Charleston radio show, with Rudy Panucci talking Beatles with Clownhole’s John Estep and Go Van Gogh’s Johnny Rock.

Crowd Funding Live At The Empty Glass Vinyl and Plenty of Stuff To Do 

The PopCulteer
July 25, 2014

The Empty Glass, Charleston’s venerable hot spot for music, turns thrity years old in 2015, and they want to do something really special to mark that milestone. You have a chance to pitch in and get a pretty cool artifact in the process. If you’ve been reading PopCult for the last couple of years, you know what that means…crowdfunding!

This time the goal is to raise money to press a vinyl album containing live music recorded at The Empty Glass over the last eight years. I’ll turn it over to a huge quote from the IndieGoGo page

“The Empty Glass opened in 1985. 2015 will be the Empty Glass’s 30th Anniversary. In celebration of this momentous occasion Empty Glass Records is releasing a Limited Edition vinyl record of some of the best performances we have recorded at the venue over the past 8 years.

Some of the acts included in this compilation will be: Unknown Hinson, Freekbass, Jubal Kane, The David Mayfield Parade, The Big Bad, The Carpenter Ants. C2J2, John the Conqueror and a couple more big names on which I’m waiting for clearance. (Band list will be updated as clearance is received)

This will be a one time limited Edition Hand numbered vinyl of 100 copies. CD’s and digital Downloads will also be available of the Release. (CD release will have Bonus Tracks that will be available for anyone who purchased the Record)

Vinyl is much more expensive than CD’s. The Cost of producing this run of Vinyl will be $1100 plus $500 for licensing fees to all of the Published Artists.

Presales will help out Tremendously with covering the cost of this Project.

Perks will be: Digital Downloads, CD’s, Vinyl, Credit for any Empty Glass Records Future Releases. Free Passes to shows at the Empty Glass and more!

The 30th Anniversary is a Momentous Occasion for any local business. The Empty Glass has been an Icon the East Coast music scene for all of that time and still is. support this Project and get some great music!”

How can you pass this up? It’s vinyl. It’s recorded at The Empty Glass. You get really cool stuff in return, so this is really more of a pre-sale than a donation.

If you’re a longtime PopCult reader I shouldn’t have to tell you how cool The Empty Glass is. They’ve been a big supporter of Radio Free Charleston and have welcomed us in to record more bands than any other location in town. Empty Glass Records is now a production partner for Radio Free Charleston and The RFC MINI SHOW whenever we record there. Heck, Melanie and I even had our first kiss there. It’s a magic place and this album will be a great keepsake.

So don’t be chintzy. Spring for one of the cooler vinyl packages and enjoy the fruits of your contribution. You won’t regret it.

A Benefit at The Monkey Barrel

Sadly, this benefit, originally planned to help pay medical expenses for Miranda Sullivan, will now be held to help with funeral expenses. Still, it’s a chance to hear some great music and celebrate a life lost too soon.


Adult Humor Sans Pants

The No Pants Players are back at it at The Alban Arts Center in Saint Albans Saturday night at 7 PM with a dirty, nasty, filthy adult-oriented improv comedy show. Here’s what they have to say about it…

“Comedy so hot we can’t expose it to minors! With the summer heating up, The No Pants Players invite Adults Only to enjoy a night of refreshing adult beverages and a generous sack full of laughter at The Alban Arts Center. It’s a show you won’t want to miss. Invite the neighbors and make it a group night out. Lots of audience participation is needed as the troupe turns your suggestions into insanely ridiculous comedy scenes right before your eyes! 

A cash bar will be available serving all your favorite alcoholic beverages thanks to Rivers Edge Cafe!

Tickets are $12 at the door, but only $10 online!”

Check out the video trailer for the show…

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KP’s Movie Night

It’s a Roger Corman classic, voted on by fans…


Friday Night Music

Free music kicks off with Marshall Petty and The Groove at 5 Corners Cafe, from 5 to 8 PM. The Wilhelm Brothers bring their Cello Rock to The Bluegrass Kitchen at 7 PM. 1937 Flood washes up at Taylor Books at 7:30 PM. Of course, Live at the Levee also happens tonight, with Fletcher’s Gove and Donna The Buffalo, starting at 6:30 PM.

On the cover charge front, Elephant in The Room, Brandi Good and RFC faves, The Laser Beams hit the stage at The Blue Parrot at 10 PM with a seven-dollar admission.


Soul Slaw, Hillbilly Carnival, and The Rusty Warlocks will be at the Boulevard Tavern at 10 PM with a five-dollar entrance fee. Luna and The Mountain Jets take off at The Empty Glass at 11 PM, with a seven-dollar cover.

We will cover the Saturday musical offerings in a separate post later today. Be sure to check PopCult all week long for all our regular features.


All You need Is Weird Love 

The PopCult Bookshelf


Currently in cooler comic books shops, issue two of Weird Love

Many times I’ve sung the praises of Yoe Books here in PopCult, and it’s time to do it once again. I’ve previously raved over Yoe’s terrific collections of pre-code horror comics, Steve Ditko’s monster comics from Charlton and his ongoing reprinting of Bud Sagendorf’s classic Popeye comic books.

Now Craig Yoe and Clizia Gussoni have launched a new bi-monthly title in conjunction with IDW, “Weird Love.” This book dredges up the best of the worst of romance comics which have fallen into the public domain. At one time, romance comics were among the best-sellers in the industry, but that time is long gone. The last of the mainstream romance comics fell by the wayside in the late 1970s, and the genre is pretty much forgotten now.

The first issue sold out nationwide, but will soon undergo a second printing

The first issue sold out nationwide, but will soon undergo a second printing

That’s what makes “Weird Love” such a treat. These are stories intended for young females. Many of the pre-date the comics code, so attempts to shock are plentiful. Many of the stories were cranked out by the same folks who were producing Z-Grade horror stories, and the tone of many of these stories is hilariously similar. The stories in “Weird Love” are like the best exploitation films. They try to shock, often failing in the most amusing manner. The unintentional humor, aided by the dated nature of the settings and dialogue, make “Weird Love” one of the funniest comic books on the market.

WeirdLove-01-pr-3-033beTwo issues have been published so far, and they are well worth seeking out (if you can find them, the first issue was an unexpected hit). I’m sure that these will be collected in hardcovers, but you may not want to wait that long, and these stories might just work better in smaller doses.

The first issue opens with “I Fell For A Commie,” a sweet revolutionary meets girl tale that includes, in a thought bubble, the line, “I must tolerate Tom’s political opinions…even though I can’t accept them!” A sentiment held by many women who date guys who watch FOX News.


This story is followed by what seems like a one-page PSA for Men’s Rights Activists, reprinted from a 1971 Charlton comic. Then we find the cover story, “Love of a Lunatic.” It’s a heart-warming tale about how love can overcome anything, even inherited mental illness, abusive parents and forced institutionalization.

MiniMustGo_11The rest of the stories, seen through modern eyes, have the same camp value as watching old educational films like “Duck and Cover.” The Charlton Comics stories, most likely written by Joe Gill, seem to indicate a less-than-enlightened attitude toward women. The fact that most of these stories were probably written by middle-aged men trying to cater to a pre-teen girl audience makes a lot of them fall-down-laughing funny.

If a woman tries to “tame” a man, it’s okay for him to beat her. A guy can snore, skip shaving and ogle other women, but that’s all balanced out by his prowess at kissing.

The second issue brings us tales of Escort Girls, the sensitively-titled “Too Fat To Love,” a girl falling in with the wrong crowd and getting hooked on pills, a bear that acts as a match-maker, a businessman distracted by his secretary’s mini-skirt, an unconventional beauty and a one-page profile of that handsome young actor, Ronald Reagan.

“Weird Love” is a great comic for fans of Mystery Science Theater 3000-style bad movies. These are just hugely entertaining, bad weird comics, and it’s cool that we can have them served up in such a delightful package.


Stuff To Do Thursday 

Todd Burge, photo by Amos Perrone

Todd Burge, photo by Amos Perrone

Thursday at 7 PM at Parkersburg City Park, it’s a state treasure, singer/songwriter Todd Burge, live in concert. We  just featured Todd on RFC 199, from FestivALL, but here’s a nice chance to catch him live, if you’re up in the Parkersburg area. I’m guessing this is free (guys, you need to mention details like this on your event pages). It’s at the bandshell, but in case of rain, the show moves to the horseshoe pit.

At the Empty Glass it’s Throwback Thursday with a night of retro stuff, including an acoustic set from Pantry and DJ-ing by Chroma. No cover charge. It all goes down at 10 PM.


The PopCult Toybox: They Don’t Make Them Like They Used To 

santas-workshopYour Popculteer is off on a secret mission, so instead of cool toy reviews or neat breaking news, we’re bringing you vintage video of three titans of the toy world. You will see how Lionel Trains were made in the 1950s. Then you will see how Mattel made their Jack-in-the-Box toys around the same time. Finally, we answer the question that has haunted mankind for decades…Just exactly how did they make the Betsy Wetsy doll?

The RFC MINI SHOW Starring Dina Hornbaker 

Image3This week the RFC MINI SHOW shines its spotlight on Dina Hornbaker, who made her Radio Free Charleston debut back on episode 196, last March. Dina is a very talented singer/songwriter who just moved back to Charleston last year and has become a star of the open mic scene in town.

This week’s RFC MINI SHOW brings you three songs performed by Dina just last week at the Early Open Mic at Taylor Books. The RFC Crew just happened to be there armed with cameras and we decided to snag Dina’s first three-song set before deadline duties forced us to make a hasty retreat.This was true guerilla filmmaking because we forgot to tell anyone we were recording and had to ask permission afterward.

You’ll hear Dina doing a Summertime song with nods to Sam Cooke and George Gershwin, as well as the song that she performed on RFC 196, “Mountain Mama.” We wrap up the show with a lovely song that does not yet have a title. We’d like to thank Dina for allowing us to bring you this terrific little work-in-progress.

The Taylor Books Early Open Mic is developing into quite an eclectic scene. Keep checking PopCult for details on when the next one is coming up. The video in this episode may seem a little blocky, but that’s entirely due to your producer/director/host screwing up something while rendering it. So pretend it was done on purpose.

Monday Morning Art: Sunny Tower Day 

sky 003

This week’s art is a digital painting composed of fragments of other digital paintings that I had laying around on the hard drive. It’s an exercise in throwing a few random components together to make a piece of art because Monday Morning rolled around too fast while I was recovering from a week of heavy deadline juggling and didn’t have enough time to put much effort into it. I’ve been posting a new piece of original art almost every Monday since March, 2006. They can’t all be winners.

Click to enlarge!