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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

what's with all the turtle jokes in snow white?

http://wfmu.org/playlists/shows/58269
EONS! ...or is it AEONS? That's how it feels when I take even one week off from My Castle of Quiet; an unplanned and unwanted vacation, though it does sort of guarantee a "fresh" return. New corpse on the slab, only been in the river about a day.

I had my own little blast with the opening few tracks—John the Postman mumbling about "the wrath of Astaroth," and Nick Cave howling, "come my executioner, come my bounty hunter, come my county killers, I cannot run no more!!" -all seemed very relevant in light of national and local events, with both the FDR and Lincoln Tunnel closed by street protests as the show began. And "The Return of Darkness and Evil," well, trouble is it never really went away! ...I'm no activist, certainly not a soapbox-stander, but if our courts keep telling our Black citizens that our police can shoot them dead with absolute impunity, that sets a horrible standard on both ends; cops will never think "de-escalation, or 'shoot to apprehend'" and Black people, quite honestly, how could they NOT think, "I am a target. My family will be left alone, with only Civil retribution / compensation to pursue"; NEVER vindication, never for the Black man, and it makes me ill just thinking about it, because it promotes ongoing unrest and disharmony, amd tells our Black citizens that their lives are worth less. ...I hope people stay PISSED OFF for a long time, long enough that actual change and awareness seeps into the thick American skull.

Back to the safe environs of The Castle,  playlist notices went to John the Postman's Black Widow rendition, from the highly underrated (and woefully un-reissued) The Disparate Cogscienti, a 1988 compilation rolled together by The Fall's Mark E. Smith, with a solid representation of all types of gleefully bent, smart, wholly-unheard-up-to-that-moment UK and American pop. (We heard from the collection again later in the show; God with "Sounds Like Thunder.")

Also "trending" on our playlist were our live guest(s), rescheduled from last week, Thomas Carnacki—a simply excellent live set, wholly Castle-appropriate, with much haunt and much gloom; I only wish that I had been there to experience it in person. Thanks to Jean Paul G. for making the session recording happen—he's a dedicated, enthused, talented engineer, who goes the extra mile, in our impressive roster of extra-mile-going WFMU audio engineers.

Also of much discussion, a film that's come up before in our playlist chats—1979's Tourist Trap, a bizarre, B-budget affair, with effective dread and a wealth of eerie, deadpan scenes that prove Soylent Green's Chuck Connors could really do something in front of a camera. Must remember to load this one up, and scout for a few choice captures.


Also of note, a track I liked so much I ripped it from YouTube by R. Nikolaenko. I highly recommend that you check out his YouTube channel and subscribe to it; his music, the keyboard-based pieces especially, are PURE CASTLE HEAVEN.

More playlist notices went to: Of Blood and Oak; a howling, caterwauling cassette of Vinlandic harsh noise, wholly infectious, from Vanguard Productions; and that curious, hypnotic, and right brilliant Black Hat album, Thought of Two, more wholesome, colorful elec.-noise-improv goodness from Hausu Mountain, who have also released our good friends' Grasshoppers' monumental new LP, Dark Sabbath: Symbols of Evil. Both records, quite honestly, are musts-to-own for the fully tuned-in Castlehead. [Ghop's second MCoQ live session, from this past August]


Maria's luminous dolls, up at the top, will take you to our lengthy, schizophrenic comments board, our playlist, and archived audio for last night's horrorcast™.

Coming soon, my end-of-year 2014 music and movies list; thoughtfully stewing now.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

thank you for saving the radio

http://wfmu.org/playlists/shows/58072

Every once in a while, the My Castle of Quiet radio program gets away from me, becomes sentient, and doesn't need my help to achieve its aims. Last night was such a night; and an analogy that might make sense to many of you...it's like hitting that "sweet spot" during an improvised music session, and you suddenly find yourself dancing just a few inches off the ground, and the "art," regardless of your hands-on participation, is much like Israel, in that it can well handle things itself. Ha!

Perhaps this had more than a bit to do with the fact that opening with "Reek of Putrefaction" (just one example, from a three-hour broadcast) chose itself, the idea-to-airwaves process temporarily airlifting me out of the situation, and as I type, I'm realizing that this is all just a long-winded way of saying I was "in the zone," but I do dislike falling back on clichés!

Playlist notices for vintage, live Black Sabbath, and once again, that phantasmagorical new LP by York Factory Complaint, Lost in the Spectacle.

Personal highs included a 2006 track by Swedish legends Unleashed | a track from the all-new Raspberry Bulbs album (!) | new Laster, on Broken Limbs cassette | an 11-min. compilation track by Hivelords (thanks, Dan!) | another song from the great, Zavod full-length | something from the Old Forest 1998 EPs, compiled and released on tape by Tour de Garde | a selection by terror-soundtrack-style maestros Mega Drive | Highgate, from the split with Venowl on Tartarus Recs. | and something from The Viewer cassette by Puce Mary.

Our still this week comes from Noboru Iguchi's colorfully absurd and bloody comic-book of a movie, Mutant Girls Squad, keeping the Japanese film tradition of "heavy flow" intact. Click on the unfortunate baker, to reach the audio archive and playlist for last night's horrorcast™

NEXT WEEK: MCoQ KICKS OFF THE NEW WFMU SCHEDULE, WITH LIVE MUSIC FROM THOMAS CARNACKI! (Facebook event)

See you then!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Newfoundland is half off.

http://wfmu.org/playlists/shows/57977

Deep discussion last night, of time zones, gas-mask fetish, and Rob Zombie movies. Newfoundland is half off. Dollar drafts every Tuesday from 5-7. Castle fun! One never knows what arcane, or pop-culture tangents WFMU's message boards will take!

Straightaway, I love the new Laster—it's everything a modern, black metal album should be—with song craft, ambient / piano diversions, some slower tempos to balance the always-present blast beats, and a hearty dipping into the shoegazer-gloom past. Highly recommended!

Praise on our playlist also for: One Dark Eye | A Pregnant Light (we heard an older track, though a new release looms as well) | 80s collage / concréte icons P16.D4 | Primitive Man, from the split 10" with Hexis, on Halo of Flies.

Not much more to add @ present, except to say thanks again for your pledges / support last month! The Castle forges ahead, blades drawn!

Click on Sheri Moon Zombie, atop a pile of sister-witches, in the climactic scene from Lords of Salem, to reach the playlist and audio archive for this week's horrorcast™.

In two weeks: LIVE PSYCH-SOUND CREATIONS FROM THOMAS CARNACKI!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Blanket Fort Of Cacophony ... It's celery, don't worry

http://wfmu.org/playlists/shows/57881

My Castle of Quiet now 57% toward our modest shift goal for WFMU's October Fundraiser; thanks to ALL who have pledged to MCoQ thus far. Still a way to go, in less than three days. ...

HUGE THANKS to Rodger Stella and Kyle Eyre Clyd for their monumental, mind-bogglingly good live collaboration; Castleheads lapped it up with fervor, myself too! As listener SiHV put it, "Looking out at the hellscape of north Dallas. This is good accompaniment." Hoping Kyle and Rodger had a great rest of tour...I know they had some vehicle issues. Hope you turned out to your local venue to catch their live energies!

Much praise on our playlist for our live guests; also, TRTRKMMR (split LP with Dead Times), the outstanding new album by York Factory Complaint, Energy Vampires (s/t CD), and John Lennon's "Mind Games," haha!

Personal highlights included new tracks by Ahna (new 12"), Nocnitsa (tape on Blutie Magie), Master's Voice (Nederland), Rodger Stella's Kosmische Dub, and a track by Casio-noise artist R.B.Z. (aka longtime supporter Ray Brazen.)

Thanks for listening as always, and thanks to listener Meatfucker for the lively discourse!

Our bloodied hand-grab up top comes from Brian De Palma's Sisters; click there to reach the archived audio etc. for last night's horrorcast™. Revisiting that film has been one of the highlights of my week thus far, it had been years.... Also enjoyed re-watching Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry, another harrowing 70s gem—that Susan George and her wonky teeth, utterly adorable!

Until next time...

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Damned!

http://wfmu.org/playlists/shows/57790

Damned Damned Damned was my first UK-punk record purchase. I brought it over to Mike Craig's house, ripped off the shrinkwrap, said something like, "look! punk rock!" 'Twas all very new at that time, you see.

Everything about the album sung the heady promise of something we were very ready for—songs that energized, going straight for the gut, deftly written and executed, complemented by Nick Lowe's very "you are there" Basher production. The whole record felt so alive, and easily transferred that feeling on first listen. And that cover—with the band all licking pie off each other's faces and hair—it was a little bit disgusting, so bold, and unlike anything Mike and I had ever seen before. Who were these disaffected Brits? A new plateau of cool for us to aspire to.

My long way of saying that the post-theme opener of "Born To Kill" curried a quick flood of comments on our playlist, and yes The Damned have proven to be timeless good music, with contemporaries of course, but without peer.

Also noted on our relatively "quiet" playlist was an excellent, new track from Planning For Burial, from the split 7" with Liar in Wait on Broken Limbs Recordings. With a monumental Laster album soon to drop (on 11.4; fulfilling and exceeding the promise of their EP), and a new Caïna LP coming soon as well, plus loads of other great releases, BLR is without question a label to watch. In a post-Lifelover world, it's gratifying to see that (for serious lack of a better term), post-shoegaze black metal has found an extraordinary voice in bands such as these.

I was personally pleased to give Venowl's "Vacant Cellar" its WFMU debut (from a new split tape with the also-outstanding Highgate; sold out from the band, but still available from Tartarus Records), as well as new tracks from Cara Neir (Venowl split!, also on BLR), The Gate (new quintet LP), Side B of the amazing Uniform 12", a new track from FRKSE (Husere Grav split LP, on Divergent Series), and a song from the great, new 12" EP by Ahna.

Please remember that WFMU is fundraising until the end of October; you can support the station's effort to fully equip our new, ground-level performance space, Monty Hall, get swag, and nominate your pet for WFMU Mascot status. To pledge directly in support of My Castle of Quiet, see the white, rectangular widget above this post, it's sooooo easy, and huge thanks to those who have pledged thus far.

NEXT WEEK: Live jams from Rodger Stella & Kyle Clyde!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

We See Each Other...


Greetings Castleheads, friends, foes, sometime listeners, bands and labels,

My Castle of Quiet and WFMU have been "silently" fundraising since the 1st of October—this as opposed to our two-week, very loud, annual on-air marathon in Feb.-Mar.

We do run completely on donations, for all maintenance / improvements to our offices and studio site in Jersey City, as well as our transmitter site in West Orange, NJ.

We're working on getting our ground-floor performance space, Monty Hall, up to working standard, such that no gear or facilities need be shared with our on-air studios for live performance and music. You can also nominate your beloved pet to be named the WFMU Mascot for the year! (simply enter your pet's info in the "comments" field when pledging.)

So, if you can spare some coin, any coin, to support the station and the most-unique creative alliance we have forged over the years with the My Castle of Quiet radio show, please do so before the month is out.

Earlier this week, we presented Kraut-Out, nummer drei [archive here], the third in a series of much-in-demand / well-liked, full 3-hour broadcasts of wildly diverse 70s music from Deutschland. Week after next, our last show for the month brings a live collaboration from Rodger Stella (Macronympha) and Kyle Clyde (aka Penny Royale), Facebook event here.

To donate (and yes there is swag aplenty offered, depending on your pledge amount, see this page at WFMU's Web site for info), visit the My Castle of Quiet playlist page and use the handy white rectangle atop left to make your pledge.

At this moment, MCoQ is 33% of the way toward our modest pledge goal for the month. Thanks for your consideration, and your support!

Yours in darkness,
Wm. Berger

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Ihre Mutter säugt Schweine? Geschwindigkeitsbegrenzung?

http://wfmu.org/playlists/shows/57702

As meme legend Doge might say, "much Teutonic!" ...And as I might say, "a Teu-tonic for the soul." Don't all groan at once....

Made a conscious effort last night, though Castle shows are often an equal mix of meticulous planning, and mood, to include the broadest-possible spectrum of all the Krautrock music I've collected and enthused over for three-plus decades now—the hard blues-rock, the "kraut-jazz," the Teuton folk, and the genres that fit more decidedly within the MCoQ format—the left-field electronic, the improvised, the dark, obscure, hypnotic "experiments." All subgenres of Deutsche-wildness were on the table.

Playlist comments lauded: the amped-up, ferociously riffing Guru Guru stylings of Franz K. | Thirsty Moon, their "departure" album, Blitz | the mystic-tinged Germanic-chamber-folk of Emma Myldenberger (@ Discogs) | and Popol Vuh, one of the many fine SPV reissues / remasters, most with bonus material.

To cite personal highs would just bracket the entire show, though I did enjoy slipping in an excerpt from Stockhausen's Sternklang, from the gloriously high-end 2CD reissue on Stockhausen Verlag, and the closing, with a longer selection from the first Krautrock record I ever bought [excluding the more-obvious, universal faves like Neu!, Faust, Can and Kraftwerk], Gilles Zeitschiff, one of R-U Kaiser's successful, albeit appropriated, Cosmic Jokers-releases of tapes culled from a massive jam session between Klaus Schulze, Ash Ra Tempel and Wallenstein members. Who could resist Gille, offering up her 1/4-inch headphone end for your cosmic injection?

Please remember that WFMU is fundraising for the month of October, in large part to fully vitalize our Monty Hall ground-floor performance / public space; you can also nominate your beloved pet to be this year's WFMU Mascot!

Please see the white "widget" above this post to directly support the My Castle of Quiet show; we're 33% toward our pledge total for the month, thanks!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Jed Hershon 1964-2014

I could ruminate for weeks to months over what to say about Jed Hershon. Everyone whose life Jed touched in one way or another surely never forgot the experience. He was a true, full-blooded NYC character—cantankerous bookstore clerk, prankster, outrageous grump, loving-generous friend, true artist, and nasty S.O.B. all rolled into one.

Jed was the only NYC-based friend I've ever had who made the NJ-transit ride out to Essex County (the horror!), met my son and visited my home, more than once. I've had Manhattanite / Brooklynite friends who I've known a lot longer who never made that trip, so I'll always remember Jed for that consideration.

We became fast friends in '08 or '09. Born three days apart in 1964, both raised in the NY area in semi-secular, Jewish families, both music freaks, with a shared interest in the occult, a lot was simply understood between us, and that friendship quickly led to Jed co-hosting the My Castle of Quiet program on WFMU with me several times over 2009-2010. Archives of those shows can be cherry-picked and listened to near the bottom of this page.

I thought Jed and I had a great, natural-if-somewhat-crusty rapport; we were one another's ideal foil for a time, though my practice of being 100% real on mic, "bringing the outside in," as Jed called it, caused some friction but also made for some great radio. ...I won't go into the details of our subsequent "breakup," as that's our business, and all was forgiven several months ago. We were talking again, and I'm glad, especially in light of his passing, that the guy knew I loved him and that our fences were mended.

Finally, to epitomize my friendship with Jed Hershon, it's probably best to say this:  I created the outline of a screenplay, back in 2010, for a film to be called Disposal, where characters based on Jed and myself "decide" to become killers, fed up with the many and constant challenges of NYC life. In a filthy, noisy Brooklyn brownstone, the characters first fall into, and then delineate, however crudely, a plan to be the 21st-century Leopold and Loeb, on a mass scale. ...Eventually, the bodies start to pile up, basement-burial space runs low, and "we" spend much of the film arguing about body disposal, whose turn it is to do what, etc. Eventually, one of those arguments crests to a head, and the character based on Jed ends up killing me, burying me along with rest, and moving on, with the police slowly closing in. ...

We shared equally the joys of lives lived with no holds barred, and the gnashing jaws of frustration, misanthropy and isolationism. Jed lives on in all our memories; I for one will never forget him, and I recall our friendship without the slightest regret.

Below are two collections, albums of Jed's sound art, shared on the Free Music Archive via the My Castle of Quiet curator portal.  I had a lot of fun designing the cover for Nine Rings of Hell, grafting the head of an odd photo-potrait of Jed onto the body of legendary conjurer Eliphas Levi.

Below also is our one collaboration, a piece I've always been proud of, called "Hitler Is Dead."

If there is an afterlife, Jed is there, stoned out of his mind, and laughing at all of us.


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The sun is about to rise.....the castle of quiet is here. Get in if you can.

http://wfmu.org/playlists/shows/57607

Good times last night! ...Even if I'm sometimes feeling like life is weighing me down, leaden weight on my chest, I can always "give good show," and it emboldens my week.

A blazing hour+ of black metal, breaking gradually into trails of dark, heavy noise and psychedelia. ...It was cool to see a bunch of late-breaking comments hit on the playlist; The Castle is often TOO QUIET from 1:30-3.

You liked: Ghast (new album!) | Recreant (awesome new album, and I can't thank Jillian enough for turning me on to this amazing band) (Btw, you can see Ides tonight live at The Meatlocker in Montclair; Ides live on MCoQ, 2012 Dec.) | Skullflower (previously unreleased track, from this.)

Personal highs included the aforementioned, as well as a song from the new Mayhem on Season of Mist, the Wolvhammer / Krieg split 7" on Broken Limbs, the outstanding debut 12" by Uniform, tracks from the Szamanka OST by Andrzej Korzyński, and a looming, brooding track from the Husere Grav / FRKSE split on Divergent Series [link @ aQuarius Records.]

Thanks for listening, as always, and please remember that WFMU is silently fundraising, and holding a mascot contest, all this month.

NEXT WEEK: KRAUT-OUT #3!  (v.1 / v.2)

Click on this week's screen capture, from Strip Nude For Your Killer, to reach the playlist, archived audio, and comments from last night's horrorcast™.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

don't threaten me with a good time, william

http://wfmu.org/playlists/shows/57517

Forced to hold back a load last week by sudden illness, I was left with a vision of a perfect MCoQ show, which played out last night almost perfectly. ...Ideally, lots of rousing, careering black metal and punk the first 90 mins. or so, to be followed by scores & OST-type music and a hearty Krautrock blast at the finale. I pat myself on the back, which is not something I do every week, most certainly.

Apart from the music, my prevailing thought these past two weeks has been "people." Why is it so difficult for some to communicate, openly and freely? I've never felt like I had any time to do anything but, it comes perhaps too easily to me to just say how I'm feeling in any given situation, so when others cannot, when they veil and obfuscate, and approach their expression in a winding, snaky fashion, I don't understand. The time I may have "wasted" sleeping, is the time others have wasted not expressing themselves fully and without fear. I'll say this, it makes me deeply appreciate the people in my life who can just talk. Never, ever hold out on me!

Playlist-comment praise went to Motörhead's "Stay Clean," always a personal favorite; Заводь [Zavod], from Ukraine, their excellent album available here from Freak Friendly Diy; a 2012 Krieg track [from a 4-way split; we hope to host the USBM legends live, here at The Castle, very soon!]; and "Katmandu," a soundtrack cut from the always-good Piero Piccioni.

Personal highs included tracks by Cloud Rat, Hexis, Veranear, and Vintage Flesh (aka Reverend John Hex, also of Nostalgic Darkness, who we've heard on the show before.)

NOW THE BIG IMPORTANT NEWS: WFMU and My Castle of Quiet are now officially fundraising, more information at that link, but one thing we WON'T be doing is hawking our value ON THE AIR. This is our yearly, all-October, "silent" fundraiser, where we utilize our Web presence, and the collective Web homes of all our on-air personalities, to implore you to give us the financial support we need and rely on.

Special Castle events for the month include: Kraut-Out #3, coming much sooner than planned, as you all enjoyed Kraut-Outs #1 and #2 so much...I'm almost ready with a schön playlist; a live broadcast on our Oct. 28-29 show, from Kyle Clyde and Rodger Stella; Kyle has graced us with live music before [see link], and if you listen to WFMU/MCoQ, you know well Rodger Stella's many fine musical works. Lastly, a live visit from USBM legends Krieg is in the works, though that may come post-fundraiser.

SO PLEDGE, FRIENDS! Show your love for WFMU / My Castle of Quiet, and get swag. See the white, rectangular "widget" above this post to make a donation.

Our still this week comes from the very fine Nikkatsu "Roman Porno" / Pinku film, Tattooed Flower Vase, featuring, among many other great scenes, an excruciatingly long pussy-tattooing scene [no electric tools!.] She's one badass bitch, s'all I can say. Click on Michiyo to reach the streaming audio, playlist and comments for last night's horrorcast™.