Friday, November 26, 2010

a tribute to my appetite for destruction...

This was the night I wore the hat,
Wore that hat for the longest time,

Was filled to the brim with shame it was,

But someone else's shame, not mine

Feed the Dragon may eat the hat, having earned it with their "Bromide Romance." You can buy that there record, and many other great releases, from the buffet over at Anarchymoon Recordings.

I can rest now, calmly assured, that my colleagues at WFMU hardly, if ever, listen to my show or read my playlists or give a damn what I do or say. They've got the general idea, and that serves.

(Not into "stunts," "pranks" or motherfucking "tributes.") Remember when things used to be either corny or cool? Now, it's all good, simply a social masala. "Down with those frowns," yeh?

There is great comfort in being the ugly, retarded cousin.

Ah, you're all out shopping anyway. "diggin' the grave tonight!", dw? Seething spittle into a maelstrom is more like it. The more one screams, the more one is generally ignored.

Friday, November 19, 2010


I lost a day in there somewhere; blame NY/NJ, and the region's insistence on always "fixin' stuff." I think I spent the last day lost on Rtes. 3 west and east, but I'm far from sure. Somehow, I was also plagued by disturbing dreams throughout this time as well. Creepy trysts with ex-girlfriends I haven't thought about that way in ages, impromptu sets with old bands I used to be in (now surrounded by bad vibes aplenty, in the dreamscape at least.) So strange, this lost time. I could posit that Jon Nicholson's SSPS performance diddled with my time/space reality, but it must surely have been me, or my inability to cope with its largess, as Jon's whole sound and vibe is permeated with positive energies. I felt foolish for being negative about ANYTHING during the broadcast hours.

The entire show was for Jon, really; I'd been waiting long enough to book SSPS on the show, that without consciously choosing, I wove a Kosmische tapestry around his performance, and all the pre-recorded selections reflected this reality unmistakably. Jon's set, which incorporated some dozen or more songs in its 75-80 minutes' running time, will post next week to WFMU's Beware of The Blog and Free Music Archive (via my curator portal there.) In the meantime, one can hear the archive of the entire broadcast—Jon's and my sit-down, goofy banter incorporate—by clicking on the crew (above Jon's kustom flyer for the event), laden with fear and doubt as they are.

As I listen and listen again, I swell with pride that it was indeed I who provided the conduit through which this magnificent cosmic opus (all rendered live and in the moment, no do-overs, mind thee) was brought to the public. Catch SSPS in person whenever you can; even better, book Jon at your venue by contacting

It's also worth noting that another few selections from the K.P. Archaeological boxed set turned heads on the playlist (someday, someday....), as did Travis Johnson's "Undressed Skull" from OWL V. Otherwise, it was a quiet night, while some of us danced on our floors, and a great many danced in their minds. Thanks again to Jon, Diane and Sarah.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

KOSMISCHE-DUB-FREAKOUT PARTY; and Be Prepared to Dance! SSPS LIVE tonight on My Castle of Quiet.

Jon Nicholson, aka Porkchop Central, is the bubbling cosmic nucleus at the center of Excepter's intricate, weblike operation. He presents as a warm-hearted and wise, light-powered deacon in a 70s science-fiction film, with a personal and musical aesthetic to match, and I was bound to be swept up in his many-colored undertow.

Jon seems to DJ and play shows like an unstoppable machine, mixing cyborg energy with Ancient Egyptian tenacity, and if I had the time, I'd probably be seeing Jon do *something* at least 2-3 nights a week. After one perhaps slightly attended SSPS gig, I turned to Todd Pendu and wondered aloud, "was that real? Did you see and hear that?" I thought it possible that I was just in a really, really good movie. I'm paraphrasing myself, but the point is, the genius of SSPS need be experienced only once for the conversion to begin.

Check out the video below, to experience a full set of Jon's psycho-Krauto-noiseo-dubbo continuum, recorded live by yours truly last April, and you'll understand why I feel I've already waited much, much too long to give Jon the opportunity to dance on The Castle airwaves. The "highly anticipated" bit goes without saying. Oops, too late! SSPS are an experience to be experienced.

"Berger, we know you're in there! Give it up!" @ midnight.
SSPS @ 12:30 approx.
WFMU 91.1 FM (NY/NJ)
WMFU 90.1 FM (Hudson Valley) live on the Web

SSPS live @ Outer Spaceways Inc. from My Castle of Quiet on Vimeo.

Monday, November 15, 2010


So, after a good half-life in the creative-person's universe, I went and did a fool-ass thing, with no excuses, no cheeky, childlike enthusiasm to blame, and all better judgment weighed heavily against it—I started a record label ("...a joke, that started the whole world laughing.")

Prison Tatt Records joined the marketplace officially late last week, with its first release available for order; "Calling All Creeps," a single-sided LP by Brooklyn duo Grasshopper. (Ltd. to 100 pcs.; $17 postpaid within the U.S.A.; $21 North America; $25 world. Contact by private message for wholesale/distro pricing.) paypal i.d.

I'm proud to say, among other feats, that I hit the street with Grasshopper's first release on vinyl, thanks to my own thoughtful planning,* the poor decision-making of another, once-visionary recording imprint, and most of all the teeming talents of Josh and Jesse, who, upon my initial approach (to release a monophonic live recording of them made on my phone), said, "oh, you like that, well check out THIS!"—and "...Creeps" was born.

There was, in all honesty, some heartfelt, spontaneous, not-so-calculated elements to this move as well. Through my good friend Steven (you may know him as Witchbeam, the visionary/designer, driving human force of the Temple of Pei, or as 1/2 of the electronic music duo Telecult Powers, who also have a Prison Tatt release in the works) I started spending hang time in Brooklyn again after a good 10-year break, meeting musicians, and getting hip to an extremely vibrant and deep musical universe, one that bubbled just under the surface of Williamsburg/Greenpoint/Bushwick's taco-truck matted-coiffure coolness. These were real talents, with amazing innovations to offer, and Steven was my spirit guide on this musical vision quest, and I'm eternally grateful to him for opening that door, and pointing me, ever so gently, like an Albert Hofman of enjoyable sounds.

After several months of listening and observing (and presenting some of these artists live on my WFMU radio program, which had been named after a solo CDr I released in 2007; that name also adorns this blog), my passion extended to a real need to be someone who would bring some of this great music to the public, my original intent being to release on single-sided LP vinyl only (a format I love), though the release schedule now includes some 300-run silver CD titles as well.

Back to the planning* bit, I thought, "what is my personal aesthetic, what am I trying to convey, and who are the artists that will enable me to project this vision effectively, and also sell more than a handful of pieces in the process?" I like things inky, obscured, thought-provoking—I don't ever want to spoon-feed the "message" to anyone. I wanted Prison Tatt Records (the name of which is meant to convey many things btw, including a sizeable lampooning of faux tough-guy, too-cool-for-school hipsterdom so prevalent in underground music, as well as more serious notions, like an enhanced awareness and support of the plight of the American prisoner) to express my tastes in a similar fashion to this blog, and the My Castle of Quiet radio show, but honed down to an even finer point, if that's possible. Horror films, anger and nihilism, notions of self-destruction and despair, and the mind-fuck that is escapism by way of one's most-favored musical sounds, were all on the table.

And so, a long story made relatively short, Grasshopper seemed the natural choice to help bring Prison Tatt Records' initial blast to the world. They brought the scary, the enveloping darkness, but they also had a healthy sense of humor about themselves and their art, and seemed to make no uncertainty that their aim (one of them, at least) was to create choice head-music, trance you out, take you away, and maybe even screw with your notions of aesthetics and general music-scene propriety a little bit in the process.

Other artists with whom I've made verbal or written commitments, and who probably won't mind my leaking the info that Prison Tatt releases loom in their future, include T.O.M.B., Telecult Powers, OPPONENTS, KILT, and Husere Grav. There are other releases in the works as well, but I'm too superstitious to even breathe the names at this point.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Turn off the camera.

A good rule many serial killers forget, SiHV. But they just can't resist those home-vid "trophies" of their artistic endeavors, their work. Nobody dwells on the down sides of murder—the body disposal, first and foremost, to say nothing of all the hackneyed whining and pleading, the calling out to God, etc., etc., etc. Bloody tedium. Much like European-vacation memories, serial-killer mementos are all about the good times—no freezing your ass off, no waiting in impossibly long customs lines, no overpriced, disappointing meals, and no multilingual beggars harshing your buzz.

Our special live guests, Heavy Medical, despite coitus interruptus by way of still-mysterious technical snafus, played it hard and confident, and by golly were they loud. Don't miss an opportunity to see these two Daves live and in person. The Daves of Heavy Medical also received some love by way of the Castlehead comments board, which was otherwise reasonably quiet; the boys gave good interview as well, especially when one considers some of the, um, théâtre d'intoxication we've experienced in the past.

Castleheads do love Bowl Hits Vol. 1 on Baked Tapes, our latest talkover-bed obsession. Personal highlights of the program for your host (though I'm passionate about it ALL) were the Sick Llama cassette Over Sleep, the Prowls CD, and the High School Confidential live recording.

Last year on 11/11, I was hosting a duo of a very different musical stripe, Ghost Moth (Daniel Carter and Todd Pendu); perhaps one would care to revisit that session here, lest we forget the breadth of unusual music that flows through the "Castle filter."

I've tooted my horn, and it's time to go. Heavy Medical's set will post as mp3s next week to WFMU's Beware of The Blog and Free Music Archive. Until then, you can hear the full Castle broadcast, and view the playlist, by clicking on girl arms above. "Patrick Bateman," indeed! Your first date will be also your last (and isn't that true of most men, serial killers notwithstanding?)

Next week --- SSPS live!
Poor bedazzled mortals know not what we are in for.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Flamtastic! --- Heavy Medical LIVE on The Castle --- TOMORROW NIGHT!

I've realized all too late that doing a radio show for no compensation whatsoever just happens to be what I do best. Sorry, world. I know you had plans for me as a captain of industry, a good father, a breadwinner, someone sober. What can I say?

My Castle of Quiet radio charges ahead this week with live guests Heavy Medical. Been liking these guys since I heard them first (as Nervous Sex) on a split tape with Drums Like Machine Guns on Abandon Ship. As these Philadelphians blast through our area on tour, with shows at Death by Audio (11/10) and Party Expo (or is it Silent Barn??) (11/18), and the Nyack Village Theatre (12/3), they pay a visit to The Castle in the same wide swing.

Where all of us have seen more than a few bands take the metal/punk-to-noise/experimental route, Heavy Medical have done the opposite, releasing a few enigmatic, high-caliber recordings under the name Nervous Sex, and now arriving at a sound more akin to Melvins by way of prime Lightning Bolt, or to drop an even more obscure reference, mid-80s SoCal legends Blue Daisies—without brakes, that is—saying what needs to be said in violent, catchy, two-minute bursts. You can download the combo's excellent Threats e.p. for a mere $2 at the group's bandcamp page.

Here they come, live and bloody to this week's broadcast.

Police shoot off the lock @ midnight.
HM @ 12:30 approx.
WFMU 91.1 FM (NY/NJ)
WMFU 90.1 FM (Hudson Valley) live on the Web

Friday, November 5, 2010

puissant hail

Yes, Incapacitants have names. Toshiji Mikawa and Fumio Kosakai. Truth be told, my foul attempt at pronunciation would have caused an "international incident." The ecstatic nature of their performances and recordings speaks for itself (take a look here.)

Despite my best efforts, I find myself giving in to being stupid, like the majority of Americans. Before you know it, I will start actually caring when Oscar night is, I'll like a "good old cover tune," and finally be proudly sporting blue and pink wigs with a keg cup in my hand on social networking Web sites. Any day now, I will become PALATABLE. Not long after, MEDIOCRE.

Castleheads grooved to Penetration Camp, our exclusive live Incapacitants set from the LAFMS Fest (again, thanks to all involved for making that one happen!), the Kuxan Suum tape, and Kakerlak/The Heat of the Hole. (Did I say "The Heat of the Hole"? 'Cos I really LOVE that title, base-minded Yank that I am.

I like a girl who's not afraid to make out with a severed head on the forest floor. Yummy-yum-yum-yum. Show me what you're made of, ladies. Sugar? Spice? Herbal tea and Yoga class? Kiss a CORPSE for CHRIST! He who maketh all things, and done a right shit job of it, too. Click on the deranged and blood-hungry fuck machine (at least she gets right to the point) to access the playlist and audio archives of last night's horrorcast.

NEXT WEEK --- Heavy -fucking- Medical, LIVE!