Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Pass me some of that dumbass!

I'm going to try and keep this one brief, for two reasons...working on my year-end "best of" film and music list, trying to put writing energies there, and...if I get going with "thoughts and feelings," I'll be hitting the everything-is-shit buffet hard, and nobody needs to hear more of THAT. ...The world is currently in a horrible state, I've got my own mini-mess going over here, too, and don't want to add to the rampant negativity, nor do I have any solutions to offer. ...

Playlist faves included:  "classic" Birthday Party, Butthole Surfers, bed music from The Queen of Black Magic, and the films of Michael Findlay, always a worthy topic in The Castle.

Personal highs included, but not limited to:  Swallowed | Doomsday Student | Couch Slut (live set coming on our 1.20-21 show!) | Axnaar | Death Factory

Our screen capture this week comes from the almost-final scene of the UK series Broadchurch, a downer, but a very-well-done downer. The hatch on a cell door, seemed appropriate. Click there for audio archives, playlist and comments for last night's horrorcast™.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

here comes the honey

Swans' "Cop," -brutal, and plainly stated, and 30 years on, it's sad but not surprising to observe that it still applies. Not much has changed in the good ol' NYPD in all that time. They still shoot to kill, rarely if ever to apprehend, they murder with guaranteed impunity. I view the police, in their way, as even more oppressed than the rest of us, perhaps because of their universal blindness to their lot. As the street army of the wealthy establishment, they are given a job, a pension, some power - but economically, they are kept in check, and are only of value to their masters as long as they continue to suppress, brutalize and murder the restless horde. Will there be room for them in the bunker? I think not.

People are finally getting angry in the US, angry enough to act, to tear down, if not literally at least philosophically, the fix that's been in for decades now. It all has to go, ultimately - the two-party system, the rule of the wealthy and their institutions, the squeezing out / sucking dry fiscal oppression of the middle class and working poor. These ideas need to be spread constantly and with regularity, and no punches pulled, like advertising - let's use one of their most-foul means of hypnosis and oppression against them. One great thing about social media is that it puts a great potential power in the hands of the public; so don't waste that opportunity making "let's play" videos, playing pranks, regurgitating information culled from Wikipedia, or vlogging about your day. There should be plenty of time for fun, once the icons of power in this nation have toppled, so stop navel gazing and fight the fucking power. (We can all find a way to contribute; taking to the streets in outrage is one excellent option, but far from the only one.)

Chatting about my radio program feels a bit frivolous at this moment, but I / we all need some enjoyment, some reveling in art, or we'd all go mad; I know music is one of the few, significant things in my life that keeps me from ending up behind bars. that spirit, Castleheads REALLY enjoyed our selection from Sale Freux, fiercely spirited and singular underground, crow-obsessed black metal from France. A great artist, worthy of much deeper exploration on my part. Thanks to Castle live-session engineer and obsessive black-metal enthusiast Jean Paul for contributing.

The murky, homemade grim musings of Zarach 'Baal' Tharagh also grabbed some attention on our playlist; ultra-personal, men-in-a-room black metal always being one of my favorite subsets of the genre. The music of NYC's Couch Slut also made its WFMU premiere, and we look forward to a live visit from the band on our show in January.

Other than what I've already said, I can tell you that my 2014 list of films, etc. will be a mighty one, still in the works, as I keeping adding and reshuffling things, as well as pulling in some great recent views, like the Canadian series Darknet, for example.

Our screen capture this week comes from perhaps the worst / least-worthy "horror" film ever committed to DVD - metal muscle-dork Thor's Rock and Roll Nightmare, a true piece of cine-garbage that I think even Joel Hodgson would have trouble framing as "bad for good." Still, it gave us that one great image of a demon arm reaching over to turn off the tape deck. Click there to reach the accu-playlist, archived audio, etc. for last night's horrorcast™.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

EyeHateEmoji ... Now this is how to start a freakin' show.

"Lies, Placidils..." I don't kick off The Castle with The Jesus Lizard nearly often enough; they're one of those bands that never fail to get the heart pumpingsort of the perfect combination of decadence, underachiever wisdom, killer riffs, and testicular fortitude that define My Castle of Quiet—hell, define ME.

I remember that in their day TJL were impressive to me, but not overtly so...they weren't a personal favorite then, in the early 1990s, when every popular indie band was screaming at me already; I had to live, endure, suffer a bit more, gain some traction, accumulate more failures, and give less of a shit in general, to embrace a deeper appreciation of The Jesus Lizard, and they've endured, where so many of the celebrated bands of that time have faded nearly into ash. Honestly, who talks about Surgery anymore?

...and Dope Body, who take up the shirtless gauntlet that David Yow laid down? They make damn-fine records, a band on the constant rise or so it seems, and are a real goddamn treat; they write great songs, and more than fill the sloppy plate of someone who has no new Jesus Lizard records to look forward to.

The new Laster album, De Verste Verte Is Hier, is excellent, flawless—firmly footed in great black metal, while redefining and challenging genre convention all at once—a late-breaking favorite of my year. (cassette on Broken Limbs Recordings; vinyl on Dunkelheit Produktionen)

New / 2014 releases by Grasshopper, EyeHateGod, Alraune, Raspberry Bulbs, the 12" by Ahna, and the cassette by Nocnitsa have all made my year's end a good one, shining brightly in the bluish light that reflects off the Castle moat.

Thanks for listening, and for your color commentary. My Castle of Quiet is, among other things, a radio show about film, and I always enjoy our discussions / debates on the playlist.

Our still this week is culled from the opening of Brian DePalma's classic Sisters—click there to reach the archived audio, playlist and comments for this week's horrorcast™. ...And I must add:  "I HATE football on TV, shots of Gena Lee..." ...hanging with my friends, and twins, both ok.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

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

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'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™


See you then!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Newfoundland is half off.

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™.


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

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

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 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?

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!