Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Horror + confusion = hilarity. 

Our first post-marathon Castle show was a gas! Mask req'd. I rode the hard 'n' heavy train for a straight three hours, seeing as I had so much great new music to share, and last week's mid-marathon selections dipped heartily into the Kosmische. So much more I didn't get to, but that's what next week is for.

Huge thanks to everyone who pledged, helped WFMU reach our goal, and made 2015 perhaps the best My Castle of Quiet marathon to date, both in earnings, and good times.

Our comments board never ceases to amaze me, with digressions aplenty, praise, criticism, lively discourse on toilet-seat "courtesy," homemade pickles and the like. I will say that sometimes my expressions of frustration / agitation are often misconstrued, in that I'm never actually that mad—just putting the "pedal to the metal" of my radio persona, as it were, and I hope and understand that some people grok my intent to inspire laughs / entertainment; as much as I can be genuinely cheesed off, I'm playing this mostly in jest, with a big helping of self-satire, and to inspire and stir the pot of discussion, and rarely am I disappointed with the reactions and comments that subsequently filter in. Ultimately, it's all good fun, even if I seem to be breathing fire.

So much great new material last night, much of it plucked from the mighty backlog of new releases that landed in WFMU's new bin this week; new releases by TRTRKMMR, Anasazi, Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments [reissue], and Monarch. Highlights from my own personal backlog of excellent new acquisitions included selections from Necrovulva, Two Million Tons of Shit, Night, Order of the White Hand, and Volahn (deluxe 2LP released by Ajna / Iron Bonehead.)

Thanks, as always, for listening, appreciating, and joining in on the social melée.

Click above, on the face of heartbreak, courtesy of Eric Wareheim, from the Tim and Eric short film, Father and Son, to reach the archived audio, playlist, and comment board for this week's heli-horrorcast™. Don't forget the shrimp!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

I'm coming back next week for sure. Creamed corn all the way.

You rang? Yes you did, indeed, and many thanks! Some quite-sizable pledges to My Castle of Quiet, this week and last. The support and enthusiasm shown for our program, and for WFMU at large, is always appreciated and deeply humbling to me. My personal thanks to all the pledgers, and to Jeff Conklin, and Jonathan Herweg, for being the finest "Igors" this horror-host could wish for.

Contemplating a mic-break / back-announce FREE program next week, as sheer reward to all the very generous pledgers who've supported, and continue to support My Castle of Quiet this year. ...a reward to myself as well, in a way, as the musical dam is currently and ridiculously backed up, and my acquisition demon is rattling his chains in frustration. So much great music has come my way, via one means or another, just in the past 2-3 weeks, that I'll have premium show content straight through mid-May, at the very least. New releases to spotlight on Vanguard Productions, Haare's Heavy Meditation label, Caligari Records, new releases by Svffer, Volahn, a split single by Necrovulva / Chaos Cascade, and some not-terribly-old recent excitements by Ashencult, Silva Negra, Barad Dur ... so very much more.

Managed to slap on a bit more music this week than last, The Castle's flesh and body after all,  and playlist-comment appreciation went out to Deaf Kids | a music bed from Queen of Black Magic | kimchi | boobs (a perennial; big "naturals" preferred) | WOLD | ...and the rare Krautrock purveyed on this year's MCoQ premium CDr, Raritäten Krautspieler. There's still time to pledge, both to our show and to WFMU; the 2015 marathon ends this Sunday eve, with our raucous, in-house Karaoke party, The Hoof 'n' Mouth Sinfonia (where I'll be performing the most-inappropriate of songs, considering my program and tastes; you'll have to tune in to hear [live streaming video @])

...and please remember, a pledge made directly to our program of $75 of more (see the white, rectangular pledge widget above this post) automatically earns you a copy of Raritäten Krautspieler, chock full of rare German rock tracks (1968-1988), with a dazzling photo sleeve custom-designed by Mr. Ken Weaver, and featuring model / scream-queen Hannah Rose Fierman.

This week's screen capture comes from the 1973 Yugoslavian film Leptirica (thanks to Matt Minter of Wretched Worst for steering me towards this odd, engaging gem.) [Wretched Worst on My Castle of Quiet 2012 March] Click on the pic above to reach the archived audio, playlist and comments for this week's fundraising-mode horrorcast™. Looking forward, both to Sunday's marathon wrap-party, and to a return, in spades, to Castle-business-as-usual next week.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015


First of all HUGE THANKS to everyone who pledged to last week's wild radio excursion, with my co-host Jonathan Herweg. Tonight at midnight ET will be your FINAL CHANCE to participate in the live, on-air fundraising Castle shenanigans for our show, with my good pal Jeff Conklin manning the co-pilot's duties (Jeff has co-hosted The Castle before, during regular programming.)

Again, we have great prizes to give away, every one a deadly delight, and a pledge of $20 or more will get you in the per-shift drawings for those. Any pledge of $75 or more automatically earns you a copy of our show-exclusive CDr, Raritäten Krautspieler, a collection of the rarest Krautrock gems from my personal collection (rare / live tracks by Duka Bass Band, Can, Dorian Gray, Kraftwerk, AR & Machines, Torilla Flat, Tangerine Dream, and Didaktischeinheit; roughly 1968-1988.)

Last week's on-air romp included intense, laugh-out-loud discussion, a quite lively comments board, and your generous pledges. Looking very much forward to more of the same TONIGHT!


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

I really missed the tug and rub boat. ... Wm. Berger's Castle of Quiet is the best show on WFMU

One of the truly great things about WFMU, which Jonathan and I touched on last night in our broad-reaching discussions, is that every single broadcaster on WFMU has their own, rare voice and taste filter, "putting the pedal to the metal" of their singular character and taste. I have to imagine that every show on our schedule has its ardent listeners who believe their favorite show to be "the best."

Mr. Herweg (host of the brilliant Blurred and Obscured program) and I hit it off quite instantly in person a while back, and that rapport was carried over to the air quite naturally. Great times, with shared beefs and laughs aplenty! Listener Osvi noted, "what a dastardly bastardly pair"—true enough! ...and listener Ike wrote, "Cool DJ coupling. Youse guys are something." Mutual mental notes were made to take our show "on the road" at some future time.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR GENEROUS PLEDGES! You made our job easier and moved the good times forward. Congratulations to those of you who also came away with a prize, and / or a copy of this year's Castle premium CD, Raritäten Krautspieler. Huge thanks also must go to all the artists and labels that donated prizes, both through WFMU's music department, and directly from artist to program. Very much obliged!

I managed, amongst the lively / lengthy chatter, to maintain a beefy playlist, and tracks by Lard, The Birthday Party ("Mutiny In Heaven"; brash live version at that link, by the post-BP, pre-Bad Seeds Cavemen, ca. 1984), Planning For Burial, and Wolvhammer, all received notice on our comments board. Newer selections by Ashencult (part of our 4-cassette grand prize, donated by Broken Limbs Recordings) and Svffer (on Halo of Flies) made our fundraising program's climax rewarding for me, as sharing my newest musical excitements is unquestionably what makes the show consistently rewarding for me personally, and for the listeners as well, who tune in in great part to be inspired by the constant influx of new material on MCoQ.


This week's Castle-playlist screen capture comes from Seijun Suzuki's moody gangster epic Branded To Kill—one really needs to see that particular scene in the film, to get the full experience of the fingernails-on-glass agony! Click on the pic to reach the archived audio, playlist and comments for last night's horrorcast™. My Castle of Quiet returns next week, in marathon fundraising / pitch mode again, this time with stellar co-host Jeff Conklin of WFMU's The Avant Ghetto.

To pledge to My Castle of Quiet directly, click here, or simply use the white, rectangular widget above this post.

Click here for WFMU Marathon Central

Tuesday, March 10, 2015


A reminder to all our group members / Castleheads / fans of our show that TONIGHT @ midnight ET will be the first of two chances you'll have to participate in our live, annual fundraising event.

My co-host will be Jonathan Herweg, of the excellent Blurred and Obscured WFMU program. We'll be rattling your chains, playing some great, heavy sounds as always, giving away some "Castle-appropriate" prizes, and thanking pledgers live on the air.

In addition, for pledges of $75 or more, we're giving away as part of our thanks for your donation, a copy of Raritäten Krautspieler, a custom compilation of rare German rock tracks (see the post on the group page for more info.)

Tune in for the fleshtivities, thanks in advance!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015 make insomnia a kick...

I'm sure that those of you in other parts of the world / country are well tired of hearing many in the Northeast and Midwest US bitch about what a horrible Winter we're having, understood, but it needs to be said that last night's ice storm was perfectly timed to fuck with me on my weekly drive to WFMU. Proof then, of your host's sheer dedication and fortitude to present the My Castle of Quiet program, and that of many others, like my compatriot Matt Warwick, who hosts the excellent Garbage Time program, Wednesday mornings 3-6 a.m. I'm "sneaking" this statement in, because yes, the WFMU 2015 Marathon is upon us, starting this Sunday. Time again for our appreciated and dedicated listeners to pony up pledges, those which make up most, basically all, of WFMU's yearly operating budget. Unlike so many other independent broadcast entities, it's been a source of pride for me, as long as I've been involved with the station, that we make our marathon FUN, one big party on the air—pairing up our broadcasters like comedy teams, giving away great prizes that apply most specifically to each and every program, and offering unique CDr compilations for a premium pledge, each one compiled by the DJs themselves with their core audience in mind. For more on this year's DJ premiums, see here.

On that last topic, this year's My Castle of Quiet companion is entitled Raritäten Krautspieler, a collection of live-and-studio Krautrock rarities from my home collection, with an eye toward tracks that have not been reissued officially, or otherwise made available in the wealth of Kraut-mania that has swept the marketplace, especially over the last 20 years. I hope you'll like it and be enticed to make that premium pledge for it, especially as it comes with a custom sleeve, photographed and designed by supreme Castlehead Ken Weaver, and featuring the stunning Hannah Fierman, well known for her unforgettable role as the "I Like You" girl in the "Amateur Night" segment of the movie V/H/S. ...Tune in next week, join myself and my co-host Jonathan Herweg, to pledge your support for our program, and claim a copy.

Last night's show was grind and black heavy, even more so than usual; we were in dark, swirling territory, with too many artists / tracks / new and older releases to parse out individually in print, but the playlist is there, for your streaming and perusal. I will say that playlist-comment notices went to the outstanding, and lately ever-present Bretwaldas of Heathen Doom (this time a great song from 2003's Droner), and a new track by Sewer Goddess. It was also gratifying to witness a mini-flood of praise in our final 1/2 hour for a mid-1990s cassette track by Anal Drill (stream the full track on YouTube), and I too often forget how often appreciated the Castle's long-form, harsh noise selections are grasped and held; what puts some listeners off at first will sneak up on you with its sheer mass of sonic envelopment, and I think, after the marathon, it will be high time that I present another "Noise Bliss-Out." Even on exceptional broadcasting oases like WFMU and KFJC, long-form noise is too often underrepresented, and I consider it part of my mission to keep that music alive, outside the private sanctity of our bedrooms, tape collections, headphones and boomboxes.

Click on this week's crudded-up VHS screen capture (again we return to Chester Novell Turner's Tales From the Quadead Zone, this time, a lurid hand-illustration from the title sequence) to access the archived audio, playlist, and listener comments for last night's horrorcast™.  I hope to touch base with all of you for our next two broadcasts, where we'll be in funtime marathon / fundraising mode. Be there, and thanks in advance!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015


Blistering show last night, good times! ...WFMU's 2015 fundraiser is only two weeks away, so get ready, Castleheads. We'll have some great prize giveaways, sterling co-hosts, and a premium CDr collection of some of the rarest Krautrock gems from my personal collection, entitled Raritäten Krautspieler (see a brief description, cover art, and other WFMU DJ premiums for 2015 at this page; our cover model is the stunning Hannah Fierman, famed for her role in the "Amateur Night" segment of V/H/S, thanks to Castle super-listener Ken Weaver, who photographed and designed the cover.)

Shown above, one of my heroes—Michael Findlay—the prolific, oddball, talented and tragic auteur behind such films as Shriek of the Mutilated, the Flesh trilogy, Satan's Bed, and The Ultimate Degenerate (from which our capture comes.) Findlay's films, made in close collaboration with his wife Roberta, represent a vaunted obsession for me. For the unique consumer of cine-exploitation, once you've seen a "Findlay" or two, you're hooked, on their distinctive darkness, moody post-Bergman photography, meandering plots and irresistible sleaze. Ultimate Degenerate is one of his more readily digestible features; a great place to start for the uninitiated. Considering especially that Findlay's works were made for the cheap-and-cheerful Times Square circuit of the 60s and 70s, they represent considerable vision, and the boldness and craft to try and tell strange and "real" stories, and to make "art," for what were essentially brown-overcoat, paper bag jack-off emporiums.

On to last night's musical selections, there was much appreciation for a vintage Siouxsie hit, one of my favorites, as well as a full tape side from Heavydeath, ace doom purveyors whose recorded works are seeing the light of day thanks to Caligari Records. Much dank and ominous groove from WFMU favorites Cadaver Eyes, followed by an ongoing discussion (my bad, I think I started it) of maggots,  and their unique talent / virtue for consuming necrotic flesh. Praise also for GIDIM, who were not even part of last night's playlist, but have been so in weeks prior—a great, one-man Midwestern black metal monolith, with a new split on Broken Limbs Recordings with Leather Chalice, and we did hear a staggeringly good track from the Leather Chalice side of the tape.

Also, heavy praise for our last set, which included red fish blue fish's new, clamorous rendering of Stockhausen's "Mikrophonie," a live cassette track by our old friends Caldera Lakes (the first artist ever to contribute exclusive music for our show, and our first-ever entry at the My Castle of Quiet portal on WFMU's Free Music Archive; -hi Eva and Brittany, hope you are doing stellar!), and a phantasmagorical selection by Head Dress, from Frozen In Time II, the second three-cassette collection of various-artist Ingmar Berman-inspired sound works released by Black Horizons.

Click on the spat-faced Spencer above, one of M. Finlday's many twisted characterizations, to reach the accuplaylist, audio archive and listener comments for last night's horrocast™, and thanks for tuning in.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Necro pages

Castlehead / comment love this week for GIDIM (new split w Leather Chalice coming on Broken Limbs  Feb. 17; we premiered a track from each last week) | early Summoning | Vorde (our live guests, coming 4.28, just shy of Walpurgisnacht.)

Personal highs included tracks from Bretwaldas of Heathen Doom (new cs reissue on Caligari Records) | Nekromantiker (a steal @ $10!) | Electric Funeral | Vilkacis | Bog Oak | Bludded Head | Arvo Zylo (great new tape!) | Mood Organ (on the excellent, new MOTOR label, out of Seattle) | Contact | ...and a new track from Faust.

Our eerily comic screen capture this week comes from Chester Novell Turner's Tales From the Quadead Zone. Turner, more well known for the wild and sensational Black Devil Doll From Hell, is without question a most-unique, bizarro voice in no-budget American cinema; his films look cheap, but have a quality of vision that far exceeds any production value.

Click on the zoned-out Mom, "living high," to reach the playlist, comments, and audio archive for this week's horrorcast™, and thanks for tuning in.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Thanks for the RAT ! ! !

I remember when I learned the difference between "lunch" and "luncheon"—lunch just happens, it's the midday meal, for many of us, while luncheons are "held." Ladies hold luncheons—women attend, sometimes girls, sometimes men—but luncheons are held, by ladies, and usually in someone's honor. My fantasy is that Jezebel mag holds a luncheon in Nightbitch's honor—it'll be then that I know we are all truly equal, and fearlessly so, and mere words will cease to have the power we imbue them with, when neo-feminists can celebrate (and they should) such a testosterone-laden TRUE METAL combo as our guests last night. For anyone who ever wore a chain wallet, and / or held up the horns in earnest, Nightbitch are your band, and I joke, as there are plenty of chicks who can raise up music like Nightbitch, and are perhaps even more devoted, true metalheads than many a dude who finds himself swimming in the metal gene pool.

My point? We lost one such woman this week—Katherine Ludwig, founding editor of Metal Maniacs magazine (remember print media, kids?)—a Mom, a generous friend, a straight shooter, and as true as true metal enthusiasts get. She shall be missed, by many. R.I.P., Katherine—your suffering is over, and now you have all the time to fly by night, and soak up all the great metal music the universe has to offer, watch over your son, and carry your righteous nature into the misty afterlife.

Getting back to our special, live guests, rarely if ever has My Castle of Quiet been in more solid, classic-metal territory—with swirling lead guitar (Ryan Adams, also with former Castle guests One Master, their 2013 live set subsequently published on CS by NoVisible Scars), chunky Hammond organ, and the most-solid of solid back lines. Starting with the theme from Phantasm, then launching into a set of their simply great original songs, that also included choice covers from Iron Maiden and Deep Purple, Nightbitch laid it down for all to hear, and their outstanding, new, self-titled 10" releases on The Ajna Offensive on March 15 (beware!)

Last night's horrorcast™ also featured the exclusive premiere of two tracks from the upcoming Leather Chalice / GIDIM split tape on Broken Limbs Recordings, both bands fitting right in to the Castle pantheon—filthy, idiosyncratic, one-man black metal projects that are worthy of your extreme focus—cassette edition of 100 releases on Feb. 17.

Also new last night, another Castle premiere of sorts, by the one-of-a-kind Bretwaldas of Heathen Doom, the 2010 album by this mighty, Pagan, Motörhead-inspired Birmingham combo, to be reissued on tape by the mighty Caligari Records.

Also of note on our playlist, new selections by former Castle guests IDES | the great Vorde | Kyle Eyre Clyd (2014 live Castle collab with Rodger Stella just posted!; Kyle Eyre Clyd on SoundCloud) | well as a track by the ever-present R. Nikolaenko, and some dark dynamite on cassette from México's Horrendus. Our opening set also featured a much-appreciated (see our headline, above) classic track from Deep Purple In Rock.

Thanks for listening, and for your many effusive comments aimed at our special guests. Click above on the translucently pale, alluring Tilda Swinton (having just sampled "the good stuff"), from Jim Jarmusch's Only Lovers Left Alive, an uncommon, landmark vampire saga—to reach the playlist, listener comments and audio stream of last night's horrorcast.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015


The media frenzy over Snowpocalypse 2015 resulted in a whole lot of nothing, unless you work or invest in the supermarket industry, as is most often the case; the ever-susceptible, with a will to embrace the panic, will say, "but hey, Hurricane Sandy!" and that being the singular exception, aren't you even a bit tired of being manipulated? I performed my habitual, bi-weekly round of grocery shopping, even grabbing a few extra things to drink and snack upon Sunday night, but in my gut, I knew the resulting 1/4-to-1/3 of what was predicted for snowfall would be what would likely happen.
Stop being so READY for disaster! People in Canada are laughing at us....

THAT SAID, due to the predictions and warnings, my brain was very much in hibernation mode, and I thought it possible that instead of a live Castle program, you'd all be treated to this, my special with director Frank Henenlotter from 2011 (a great show to stream if you've not yet heard it, and more than a bit removed from "standard" Castle fare.) Alas, my interview / discussion with the Basket Case / Brain Damage / Bad Biology auteur will have to wait until the next regional disaster for a possible on-air repeat.

Personal highlights from last night's horrocast™ included new selections from new releases by Caïna (new on BLR) | Vorde (great album!) | Nekromantiker | and NightBitch, who we'll be hosting for a live set NEXT WEEK. The Shaved Women > Night Bitch span got a "Brilliant set!" from listener Frito Puente, many thanks!

Listeners seemed to really groove to our last set / hour, typically where "dark" meets "esoteric," with great selections from Edgar Froese (R.I.P.) | Spettro Family | M Dwinell, and others.

Click on the over-helmeted, murderous knight, above, from the first scene of Michele Soavi's The Church (a long time personal favorite) to reach the audio archive, playlist and comments for last night's program. Thanks for listening.

NIGHT BITCH live next week, Facebook event here