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.

Marvel Statues Return From Diamond Select 

Wolverine 01The PopCult Toybox

After a seven-year break, Diamond Select Toys has announced that they are re-launching their Marvel Comics resin statue line. The Marvel Premier Collection, a line of high-end statues that completed its original run in 2008, will return in early 2016, and will spotlight the many stars of the Marvel Universe through regular releases.

Additionally, DST’s Femme Fatales line of PVC statues will introduce an all-new series, focusing on Marvel’s many powerful female characters, with a male-focused PVC statue line to follow.

Both the Marvel Premier Collection and the Marvel Femme Fatales lines will operate under the auspices of DST’s new Art Director, Clayburn Moore. The original sculptor of the Marvel Premier Collection when it began in 2004, Moore himself will handle lead sculpting duties on the revived line, and will oversee development on the Femme Fatales series, working with some of the top sculptors in the industry. Moore is a legend in the toy-sculpting world, and under his direction this line should look incredible.

The Wolverine statue, seen from above

The Wolverine statue, seen from above

The first Premier Collection piece, recently on display at Comic-Con International in San Diego, will feature Wolverine, stalking through a snowy landscape in his classic brown costume; he will be followed by a statue of the classic Thor, and then Gamora, of the Guardians of the Galaxy.

The Femme Fatales line will start off with modern heroines such as Captain Marvel, Spider-Gwen and the new Thor, all in a 9-inch scale. They will eventually be joined by a companion line of male Marvel characters, including the Hulk and Spider-Man.

“It feels good to be getting back to Marvel statues again,” said Diamond Select Toys President Chuck Terceira. “They were a big part of our line-up for several years, and while we’ve revisited that world occasionally with our Spider-Man movie product, I’m excited for us to be diving back into the more expansive comic universe. With so many different areas of the MU being explored in new and exciting ways on the print side, I see a lot of opportunities to do the same thing in 3D!”

Pre-ordering is open now at comic shops and specialty stores.

RFC’s Streaming Show 

It’s not streaming at the moment. We are still working out technical bugs and trying to get everything sorted out for a big Voices of Appalachia relaunch, but right now it’s like playing Whack-A-Mole. So we hope to be up and running again very soon.

In the meantime, you can still enjoy our archives. Might we suggest episode 21, where we roared out of March like a lion, with an hour of hard rock and heavy metal? You can listen to it HERE, right now!

Or perhaps you’d prefer our Headache Show, episode 30, where we mix local greats like Mother Nang, Sheldon Vance, J Marinelli and InFormation with regional greats like DEVO and GWAR. You can listen to it HERE.

We thank you for being patient. When we finally get this worked out, you’ll hear more Radio Free Charleston than ever!

Farnsworth On The RFC MINI SHOW 

Image5The first-ever repeat guest on The RFC MINI SHOW, Farnsworth has recently added bassist extraordinaire, Aaron Fisher to their line-up. Aaron joins Chris Vance and Jason Reese in a performance captured July 18, 2015 at The Empty Glass.

When I first started The RFC MINI SHOW back in 2013 as a way to post fresh music in the weeks when we didn’t do a full episode of Radio Free Charleston, my goal was to do fifty shows without repeating a single guest. We managed to hold out until episode 63. We chose a band that has a solid sound and keeps evolving musically. No doubt about it, Farnsworth Rocks!

Recording engineering was by Jason “Roadblock” Robinson, while the audio mix was by yours truly. Our three-camera shoot employed Lee Harrah, Melanie Larch,  and Rudy Panucci. Jamie Skeen was on hand with two additional camera angles that will probably show up in a future episode of Radio Free Charleston. Our host segment was shot in front of the as-yet-uncompleted bridge to Coonskin Park in Mink Shoals.

Monday Morning Art: Friendly Robots 

Friendly Robots

Today’s art is one of the pieces that was included in Ann Magnuson’s show, SurRURALism, last month. It’s a photo, taken from a moving car, of one of the coal processing facilities around Marmet. They looked sort of like robots to me. I ran it through some filters and did some digital surgery to it. Click to see it bigger.

Check PopCult later Monday morning for The RFC MINI SHOW starring Farnsworth!

Festival marks 50th anniversary of Bob Dylan going electric 


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — On the night of July 25, 1965, Bob Dylan strode onto a stage at the Newport Folk Festival, plugged in an electric guitar and gave the music world a shock.

Wearing a black leather jacket, the darling of the folk movement and singer of protest songs launched into a searing, distortion-filled, three-song electric set that brought boos from folk purists but thrilled others.

Fifty years later, it's considered one of the most important events in rock history, the high-voltage moment when Dylan broke away from folk and helped show fellow musicians the poetic possibilities of rock.

The Fender Stratocaster that Dylan played that night sold for nearly $1 million, the highest price ever paid for a guitar at auction. A new book out this month, "Dylan Goes Electric! Newport, Seeger, Dylan, and the Night that Split the Sixties," by Elijah Wald, takes a deep look at the event. And the three-day festival, which starts Friday, is marking the anniversary with a closing-night tribute to be performed by a still-secret lineup of artists.

Musicians today still take inspiration from Dylan's performance and talk about what it means.

"It's the true American spirit to rebel against the establishment," says Joey Burns of the indie rock band Calexico, which is performing at the festival on Friday. He calls it a "moment of turning things upside down and questioning and rebelling and being true to oneself. Dylan being true to oneself as an artist. And also reinventing oneself."

Peter Yarrow of the folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary, who introduced Dylan that night, agrees Dylan was a poet pursuing his artistic vision. But he says Dylan's going electric had a different meaning back then for those in the folk world, which was deeply concerned with social causes such as civil rights. Until then, they thought Dylan, who wrote "Blowin' in the Wind," and "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall," was, too.

"The audience cared so much about his music and its meaning in the world of that time," Yarrow says. "To them it was a breach of faith." Listeners wondered whether Dylan had become a sellout, he says, someone who had decided to "go commercial and let the suits determine what you're going to sound like." 

Dylan's performance was not the first time someone had played an electric guitar at the festival. And many in the audience had already heard one of the electric songs he played that night, "Like a Rolling Stone," which had been released the previous week and was on the radio. But this was a poke in the eye from Dylan, who had played twice before at Newport, in 1963 and 1964.

Yarrow says Dylan was insulted by his position in the lineup: in the middle of the evening, rather than at the end, like a traditional headliner.
Before his set, Dylan told Yarrow he planned to play three songs and would not sing acoustic. Yarrow suggested he begin with a couple of acoustic songs, then tell the crowd he had something new he was working on that he wanted to share. Dylan ignored him.

Yarrow recalls he did a scrupulous sound check before Dylan played. But as Wald points out, rock 'n' roll at an outdoor festival was a novel concept at the time.

Dylan took the stage and launched into a howling version of "Maggie's Farm." Guitarist Mike Bloomfield turned his instrument up as loud as it could go. The now-familiar sound of distortion was new back then.

"The sheer volume, no one had ever heard anything that loud," Wald says. "A lot of people just thought it sounded horrible. The band was overwhelming Dylan. The people who loved it were as shocked by it as the people who hated it."

In addition, the band was under-rehearsed. Some members had learned the songs just a few hours before, Wald says. They followed with "Like a Rolling Stone" and a third song that they struggled through.

Legend has it that festival organizer and folk music elder statesman Pete Seeger threatened to take an ax to the power cord, though Wald says those stories probably stem from Yarrow telling the crowd Dylan was going to get his "ax," slang for guitar.

While some who booed were upset over Dylan's embrace of rock or the lousy sound, others did so because Dylan's set was so short and they wanted to hear more.

In any case, Yarrow took the stage again and coaxed Dylan back up for two more songs, both acoustic — "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue" and "Mr. Tambourine Man" — before he left for good.

Yarrow says Dylan knew the response was "horrific."

"He was aghast by the response and said to me, and this is a quote, `What have you done to me?"' Yarrow recalls.

Dylan's publicist did not return an email seeking comment for this story.

But in the 2005 Martin Scorsese documentary "No Direction Home," Dylan said that at the time, he didn't know why people booed, but that he didn't think it had to do with the songs themselves. He said that later he heard Seeger was upset.

"It didn't make sense to me, Pete Seeger, someone whose music I cherish, someone who I highly respect, is going to cut the cable" Dylan said. "It was like a dagger. ... Just the thought of it, you know, made me go out and get drunk."

Boos continued in the months that followed, with one fan even shouting "Judas!" at a show in England.

Dylan returned to play at the festival only once, in 2002. Festival organizers say there is a standing invitation for him to play whenever he wants, but he will not be coming this year.

These days, the story is often told as a generational split, a case of a 24-year-old Dylan rebelling against straight-laced older folks, but Yarrow and Wald say there was more to it than that.

At this year's festival, "if Katy Perry was invited, a lot of people would go, `Oh, my god, no.' That's the same split that was going on then," Wald says. "It wasn't that people hated electric guitars. It's that they hated stupid pop music."

Sunday Evening Videos: Saturday Morning Nostalgia 

446671433_ee57b55d06_oTonight it’s a nifty half-hour compilation of brief clips from Saturday Morning Cartoons and Commercials of the 1960s and 70s.  Just think of it as the TV equivalent of sucking down a bag of sugar, all at once.

This is pretty much the quintessential PopCult post.

7288900206_059a690d9a_zIf you’re old enough to get every reference in PopCult, you’ll enjoy the heck out of this rapid-fire array of clips. If you’re too young, this is a sample of what you were missing. Kids today have an almost endless supply of high-quality animated programs available on demand. Back then we had to wait until the one weekend morning when we were able to tune into cartoons–many of which were delightfully unwatchable dreck. And we liked it!

RFC Flashback: Episode 108 

RFC 108 "To The Batmobile Shirt" from Rudy Panucci on Vimeo.

RFC-108-AM-01This week we go back just a little less than five years ago for episode 108 of Radio Free Charleston, “To The Batmobile Shirt.” Note that this shirt depicts the Batmobile that George Barris created for the Batman TV show, and not some cheesy knockoff that might be failing to meet its reserve on eBay right now.

Aside from our title shirt, this is one of our strongest shows, with great live music, a killer animated music video and two really cool short films. It’s also one of our last shows before we switched to HD Widescreen.

The music on this show is by InFormation, Volt 9000 and The AK40 Sexuals.  We also have short films from K.D. Lett and Scott Elkins. This was our first show after producing six episodes devoted to FestivALL. You can read the production notes HERE. You can see the latest collaboration between Volt 9000 and Frank Panucci in episode 209.

High School Confidential 

hqdefaultThe PopCulteer
July 17, 2015

After a week of chaotic computer craziness, all is back to normal at sprawling PopCult Manor.  This week, we have a little essay and some items for you along with highlights of Stuff To Do this weekend and some news on upcoming Radio Free Charleston stuff.  But first, we’ll kick it off with some wordiness.

Reunion Time Blues

We are smack dab in the middle of summer and it’s high school reunion season.  This year, for the first time in a long time, I enjoyed a pleasant, blissful ignorance of my own high school reunion, which apparently took place a week or two ago.  I am one of those people who will never attend a high school reunion.

People ask me why.  Was high school such a horrible time for me that I never want to revisit those years?

school_hellMy answer is an emphatic yes.  High school was the worst time of my life.  Worse than the cancellation of the Radio Free Charleston radio show, worse than the breakup of my first marriage, worse than the years spent as an end-of-life caregiver for my parents and uncle…high school was worse for me than that, and it lasted three years…but it felt like thirty.

I have some good friends from high school and to be honest, thanks to Facebook I’m probably more social with people with whom I attended high school now than I was when I was actually attending high school.  But the point is, high school was a hellish time for me and the thought of revisiting it is a nightmare scenario to me.

d43cf5bfe5f4621e6254c98e67ceb9f4In previous years, I have been hassled, some might even say harassed, by people who “really wanted to see me” for some unfathomable reason.  My take is, if you really want to see me, see me.  Don’t do it in the construct of some asinine re-gathering of many, many people that I couldn’t wait to get away from all those years ago.

This year, for whatever reason, nobody asked me to go to my high school reunion.  This marks my first truly fond memory related to high school.  I want to thank whomever it was who finally got the message that I was not going to go to a high school reunion and decided not to waste their time asking me. Maybe putting this message in my “About Me” section on Facebook finally worked: “Please note that I do not plan to attend any high school reunions…ever. If you ask me, I will block you.

I hope that other people who are planning other high school reunions follow the example of my former classmates and refrain from pestering people who say they don’t want to go to a high school reunion.

High School daydreams

High School daydreams

Many people have perfectly valid and deservedly private reasons for not wanting to attend a high school reunion.  Without prying, reunion planners should respect that fact and not press or pry or harangue or harass.  If somebody doesn’t want to go to your party that’s their business, not yours.  You should realize that not everybody had the same happy experience as you.

For some people, high school is the best time of their lives.  They long to recapture that brief period. I feel really bad for these people because if you’re lucky, life is a long, long journey, and it must really suck to peak that early.

Anyone who’s read this blog for any length of time knows that I am heavily afflicted with nostalgia.  I love the idea of recapturing the fun moments of my life.  I enjoy the toys of my youth; the classic TV shows, comic books, and movies that gave me so much pleasure through the years.  I would go to a Charleston Playhouse Reunion in a heartbeat.  I just had a blast digging into my tape archives from a quarter century ago for the Radio Free Charleston streaming audio show.

Next month, I’m probably going to wallow in even more nostalgia a little bit as we mark the tenth anniversary of this very blog.  But high school?  I’ll pass on that one. Some memories are best left forgotten.

Finding Our Voice

NAR log 015You may have noticed that New Appalachian Radio at Voices of Appalachia has been silent for nearly two weeks.  With any luck, the streaming internet radio station will be back up and running in time for next Tuesday’s episode of Radio Free Charleston.

What has happened has been a case of bad timing.  Some technical issues crept up, largely due to the station’s rapid growth, and that necessitated a switch to new servers.  Unfortunately this happened right in the middle of an extremely busy period for folks at the station mixed with vacation time for others.  With all this going on,  the important repairs to VOA had to be back-burnered, but with any luck we will be up and running again soon.  I hope we can do this next week because we’ve got a lot of announcements to make about expanding Radio Free Charleston and adding two and possibly three new programs which will be produced under the auspices of General Substances.

So keep your fingers crossed and in the meantime, catch up with the Radio Free Charleston archives so that you don’t miss any cool stuff.  Of special note are our recent shows that featured the music of  Hasil Adkins and The Amazing Delores.

About Radio Free Charleston

RFC-logoRemember our video program?  We took the week off from producing it this week because we had major computer issues of our own.  Those are now resolved.  The plan is to give you a new RFC MINI SHOW Monday morning and then bring you another full episode a week after that.  Now that our computer issues are ironed out, we think we can get back on schedule and hopefully alternate between full episodes and episodes of the MINI SHOW for the foreseeable future.

Meanwhile, watch our ninth-anniversary show again…

Stuff To Do

We’re just going with graphic highlights this week. Get out and support the local scene!







This will be a Radio Free Charleston taping!






That’s it for this week’s PopCulteer. Check back for all our regular features, with fresh content every day.

'Game of Thrones' leads Emmy nominations 

By LYNN ELBERThe Associated Press

WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. - The elaborate fantasy saga "Game of Thrones" received a leading 24 Emmy Awards nominations Thursday, its stature apparently untouched by backlash over a female character's rape scene.

The series is a contender again for top drama honors, an award that has eluded it since it debuted in 2011. TV academy voters rarely give shows in the sci-fi or other genres the ultimate accolade, with "Lost" among the rare exceptions.

The TV academy took a modest step toward recognizing TV's increasing embrace of diverse TV talent, giving best actress nods to black stars Taraji P. Henson for "Empire" and Viola Davis for "How to Get Away with Murder."

"This is what it's supposed to be like. You should recognize actors and creative people in this industry from every level of all colors who do great work," Queen Latifah said.

The nominations set up the possibility of a history-making win: An African-American actress has never won the top drama acting award. However, two-time nominee Kerry Washington of "Scandal" was left out this year.

"I gotta win! I gotta win for history!" an exuberant Henson said in May when asked about the prospect during an "Empire" panel.

However, two-time nominee Kerry Washington, the black star of "Scandal," was left out this year.

Family comedy "black-ish" earned an acting bid for star Anthony Anderson, but failed to gain a best series nomination.

Also snubbed: freshman hit hip-hop-family drama "Empire," which was left out of the best drama series category, and series star Terrence Howard, who failed to get a best drama actor bid.

Instead, voters gave nods to favorites such as "Mad Men" star Jon Hamm, Spacey of "House of Cards" and newcomer Bob Odenkirk for "Better Call Saul." The prequel to the now-concluded "Breaking Bad" earned a best drama bid in its first season out.

Gina Rodriguez, the standout Latina star of "Jane the Virgin," failed to get a comedy acting nod despite winning a Golden Globe award for her performance.

The relatively expansive ethnic diversity that TV offers - compared to movies, which honored only white actors this year - also is in play when it comes to sexuality. "Transparent" and Jeffrey Tambor's portrayal of a transsexual's life received best comedy series and acting bids.

Other top awards are "American Horror Story: Freak Show," with 19 nominations; TV movies "Olive Kittridge" and "Bessie," with 13 and 12 bids, respectively; and "House of Cards," "Mad Men" and "Transparent" with 11 nominations.

The nominations reflect the steadily rising tide of cord-cutting networks. No commercial broadcast network drama made the cut for best series, with cable, streaming service Netflix and non-commercial PBS dividing up the spoils instead.

"The Good Wife" was the last broadcast nominee in the category, in 2011.

Programs getting a last chance for Emmy glory include best drama series nominee "Mad Men," a four-time winner in the category that would be the most-honored drama ever with a fifth trophy. For star Hamm's portrayal of Don Draper, it's a final shot after seven previous nominations.

David Letterman, who retired from "Late Show," and Stephen Colbert, who left "The Colbert Report" to succeed Letterman this fall, both received variety talk show nominations for their former shows.

"Late Show" was last nominated in 2009 as best variety, music or comedy series and last won in 2002. Colbert's show won in 2014.

They're both getting a break: the TV academy split the variety series category into two, one for variety talk shows and one for variety or sketch series like "Saturday Night Live," making space for more contenders in each.

Joining "Game of Thrones," "Mad Men" and "Better Call Saul" in the best drama category are "Downton Abbey," "Homeland," House of Cards" and "Orange is the New Black," which switched over from comedy series contention because of an Emmy rules change.

On the comedy series side, perennial TV academy favorite "Modern Family" is nominated again, along with "Louie," "Silicon Valley," "Transparent," "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" and "Veep."

"Modern Family" has won in the category a record-tying (with "Frasier") five times.

Besides Hamm and Odenkirk, others vying for best drama actors are Kyle Chandler of "Bloodline," Spacey in "House of Cards," Jeff Daniels from "The Newsroom" and Liev Schreiber in "Ray Donovan."

In the drama actress field, Henson and Davis will compete with Robin Wright of "House of Cards," Claire Danes in "Homeland," Elisabeth Moss from "Mad Men," and Tatiana Maslany of "Orphan Black."

Besides Tambor and Anderson, lead comedy acting nominees are Matt LeBlanc in "Episodes," Don Cheadle from "House of Lies," Louis C.K. in "Louie" and William H. Macy from "Shameless."

Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who's won as best comedy actress for "Veep" three consecutive times, is competing with current movie and TV's It-Woman Amy Schumer for "Inside Amy Schumer," Lily Tomlin for "Grace and Frankie," Lisa Kudrow in "The Comeback," Edie Falco of "Nurse Jackie" and Amy Poehler from "Parks and Recreation."

There’s Still Time To Pass The Salt 

The PopCult Bookshelf

Your PopCulteer is neck-deep in computer repair and production of the upcoming audio and video episodes of Radio Free Charleston today, and we barely had time to compose a PopCult post for today. However, we are in the home stretch for Danny Boyd’s fundraising campaign for SALT, his follow-up to CARBON, the eco-thriller/sci-fi graphic novel that we told you about last year. We didn’t want to let that pass without a last-minute reminder.

Danny Boyd is an old friend, and he has started an IndieGoGo campaign to finish work on SALT, his sequel to last year’s graphic novel, CARBON. This book will, like CARBON, combine elements of science fiction, fantasy, political commentary and adventure to create a cautionary tale about the cavalier attitudes that Mountain State politicians have toward the environment. There are less than three days left to contribute to this campaign.

There are some great rewards with this campaign. If you want a pre-publication copy of the graphic novel, it’s only twenty-five bucks. Higher levels include other rewards like copies of CARBON, Danny’s films that he made for Troma, a “thank you” in print, Boyd’s Documentary on DVD about salt production in the Kanawha Valley, tickets to a Landau Eugene Murphy show, a chance to be a character in the book and if you kick in two grand, Danny will come to you, personally to speak, do a book signing, and screen his movies,  In case you forgot, you still have time to help make this happen.

And you can thank me for refraining from making all the “salt” puns that I thought of while writing this. Except for the headline, that is.