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!

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.

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.

Tiny Cities Come To Life via 3D Printing 

1The PopCult Toybox

Train lovers have model railroads, car fans have Dinky Toys, and now architecture fanatics have Ittyblox. Often described as “SimCity in real life,” the 1/1000 scale miniatures of Ittyblox allow everyone in the world to compose their own miniature city using houses, offices, hotels, street blocks, waterways, parks and much more.

A tiny cityscape

A tiny cityscape

Just as fascinating as the highly detailed miniatures themselves is their production process: the buildings are produced on an on-demand basis using a 3D printing partner (Shapeways) which produces and ships the buildings all over the world.

Just snap your buildings into their base and you're set

Just snap your buildings into their base and you’re set

Once you get your custom buildings or other features, they can be assembled and rearranged in their own modular bases. This is the perfect desktop toy for any office worker, and it’s also educational for kids and can foster an appreciation of architecture.

Because a large production volume is not required, many unique buildings have been added to the Ittyblox collection.

This allows everyone to not only use famous architectural landmarks such as the Flatiron building in New York but also more anonymous buildings like general office towers from Chicago or historical monuments from London.

Tiny, yet with intricate detail

Tiny, yet with intricate detail

The company recently started to use Kickstarter projects to launch new buildings. After a successful campaign to build the Flatiron building, it just successfully completed a new Kickstarter campaign to fund a set of Amsterdam buildings.

The company is based in The Netherlands, and they offer a wide range of international landmarks, as well as everyday buildings from different nations.

You gotta admit, these things look realy cool

You gotta admit, these things look realy cool

3The business model of Ittyblox seems to be the modern day answer to problems that face traditional miniature hobby companies that still rely too heavy on traditional production with factories, large volumes and retailers. Also appealing: collecting these dense cities don’t require an entire basement or attic.

With a collection growing this fast, you can expect your personal favourite building to sit on your own mantelpiece in no time. This could be the next step in the evolution of the building toy.

The coolest thing may be how little space these occupy

The coolest thing may be how little space these occupy

You can follow Ittyblox on Facebook to keep up with all their future releases. Using technology you can build and rule your own world.

Technical Difficulties 

NAR log 002New Appalachian Radio at Voices of Appalachia is still working out some lingering computer bugs, so it’s looking doubtful that this week’s episode of Radio Free Charleston will make it on the air this morning. If things get straightened out by this evening, we will post the playlist here and give you plenty of time to get ready to listen.

In the meantime, you can get your Radio Free Charleston audio fix by listening to our archives. Once we get back up and running you are in for a real treat, as we’ve uncovered more rare archival recordings and added tons of great new music from local and regional artists.