SUPPORT!

Saturday, December 31, 2011

PRISON TATT JANUARY RIOT SALE!

All our vinyl releases, for the month of January ONLY, will be available at the low, low price of $12. CDs are $7. All prices are post-paid. And, if you buy five items or more, I'll throw in one of our CD titles (my choice) absolutely FREE!

Here's how it works—since my drop-down menus on the main site are not set for sale prices, simply PayPal funds directly to wmmberger@comcast.net, making sure to indicate in the PayPal "comments" area the code "MCoQ blog" and what you're buying. Browse for your selections at our main site >>> http://prisontatt.com/

I'd love to see some of our excellent catalog titles sell out, as well as create space at P-Tatt headquarters for the 15-or-so releases that I have planned for 2012. Supplies of T.O.M.B.'s Xesse (25 pcs. remaining) and Sesso Violento's Pacificador (~35 pcs.) are especially low, and due to sell out. Our releases have never been available for less, so act now!

WET HANK YOUF OR YOURP AT RON AGE!

Friday, December 30, 2011

another outstanding year in the Castle!

Year's end; no more a time for reflection than any other calendar parcel, really. But I'll look back anyway, and see that it's been a year when the My Castle of Quiet radio show has really hit its stride. I thought the show was great right from the start, personally, but then I'd better, I suppose, otherwise why do it? In the last year, I've witnessed an exponential rise in appreciative comments and emails, and a growing membership in both our Facebook group as well as this blog. For a show that was designed to be difficult, to challenge the sonic palette of all who tuned in, this is somewhat more of an achievement, compared to programming that aims to please the most people as often as possible, and even in the fringe universe of WFMU, most folks are still generally looking for a good time, whereas my goal was to make those who tuned in have a rough time and enjoy it, and I think in the past year, it's become plainly evident that I've done so.

At the same time I found my tribe, ever-growing one hopes, those of you who I knew for sure were out there, and would understand how horror films and their soundtracks, black metal, sludge/doom, noise, eerie soundscapes, occult electronics, creepy prog and psych, all fit together and please the same mindset.

In addition, the live performances that I was able to arrange for MCoQ this year surprised even myself, a definitive who's who of the genres I attempt to coalesce and harmonize every week. On the hard side, of metal, punk and beyond, remarkable, timeless performances were rendered by Castevet, Raspberry Bulbs (in their first-ever live performance!), Baltimore heavies Lady Piss, and naught but the entire touring lineup of the Black Twilight Circle graced WFMU's Studio B with thoroughly inspired and inspiring sets. Whilst in the realm of contemporary electronics, noise, and sound-scapery, the year began magnificently with the dark, cinematic world of Lussuria, followed in short order by pure, heady dynamite, in the form of sets by Kyle Clyde, Instinct Control, a conceptual colaboration between myself and Long Distance Poison, a wonderful, long-form head trip by Rust Worship, two sets of deadly neo-concréte by J. Soliday, a psych-improv opus by Decimus, the triumphant, solo return of champion electronicist Mister Matthews, and finally, a patriotic, free-form, scrambling escapade in the equally triumphant return of FUN ("proper" set archiving on mp3 and blog post t/c.)

Many thanks as well for the enhanced programming provided by the guest DJing and co-hosting contributions of Jeff Conklin of EVR's Just Music, RB of Seed Stock, Bob Bellerue, and C. Lavender.

Again, much to my own surprise, I actually managed to get a genius from the world of horror and cult film to drop by the Castle, director Frank Henenlotter of Basket Case and Bad Biology fame, with his friend Mike Hunchback in tow. We all discussed Frank's films, as well as the work of Herschell Gordon Lewis. We laughed, oh how we laughed, and it was probably one of the most memorable radio programs of my personal history.

Then of course, there's YOU—the listener-reader-Castleheads, who each week, tune in live or in the archives, comment, participate, and generally prop up what's happening. It's wouldn't be much of a show without all of you.

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As to this week (link to the archive options and playlist by clicking on the charming young man in the horrifying mask, above), I had the usual fucking blast, and am at the point where the show almost seems to play itself, as I am, guided by some gentle but sure hand of the creative gods—it's no less informed and entertaining, but happens even more automatically than it has in the past. Set two, in particular, which started with L'Exorcisme and ended with Sadistic Bliss was one of those "perfect" sets I always strive for, the ideal mix tape for that special her or him that you're trying to impress. Special playlist notices also went out to Thou and Oaks of Bethel. And my first comment of the night, from listener Justin Mc, went, "I love this show. It's music that I know little to nothing about, but through this show I'm introduced to the best of it. Thank you Wm."

And so the tribe continues to grow. Much more to come, a great marathon-premium CDr, surprises and special programming aplenty, in 2012.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Keep it murderous.

WILD show last night. I was deeply distressed about some matters relating to Prison Tatt Records, to be completely frank, it boiled down to a second set of lousy test pressings from Rainbo in L.A., on a record I've been trying to release for months now. My mood of combined disappointment, frustration and anger was provoking all kinds of emotions, prompting "last show" threats, "I will die tonight" promises, and other assorted anger-turned-inward emanations. Regardless, I soldiered on, and thanks to FUN providing some excellent special programming, some devoted listeners in PDX and elsewhere, and my own unstoppable passion for doing the My Castle of Quiet radio show, it turned out to be one of the more intense, roaring Castle broadcasts in recent memory. Fuck it, you know, I GO ON, and if I can't let it all loose on the Castle, where then?

Major praise went to our special guests FUN, and their endlessly inspired and creative approach to their music-making. Their two sets will post to the Free Music Archive within a fortnight, via my curator portal there, and maybe on Beware of The Blog as well—still unsure, though, as the new "two paragraphs and then fold" rule has me a bit bugged. I'm a big advocate of quality over quantity in all things, and don't really like working as hard as I do on my posts, only to have them truncate on the home page, after the now-requisite 2/3rds of a page maximum, before providing a continuation link. My personal feeling is that many a great post will get lost in the Bloomberg-TV-like clutter; hell, I almost missed Steve Witchbeam's GREAT post this week on Technicolor Skull. Gotta look hard and careful now, folks, though the powers that be @ BoTB seem to love the new format. I've also got a "10 horror films and year-end music list" post brewing, which I know are much-anticipated by our reader-listeners; remains to be seen where that will land. Beware of The Blog is so heavily trafficked, that it's tempting to post everything one writes there; as an author, one knows the greatest amount of possible readers will in theory see it. As followers of WFMU in general, I'd be really interested to know YOUR thoughts on this general topic.

In addition to FUN's two raucous and sonorific sets, major praise was extended via the playlist comments to a great many selections. They were: Moondog's mournful "All Is Loneliness," perfect for the season, and of which we heard two versions; Two tracks from Hæðenfolc by the mysterious Satanhartalt, pricked up ears, and came to the Castle thanks to our good friend Todd Watson; two selections by Ov, another great project brought to us exclusively on cassette by the Primal Vomit Records label, man that tape kills (two copies available, by the way, though not yet listed, from the Prison Tatt Records distro, which carries most of PVR's releases, including five copies of the deluxe new Pest tape, all titles are $7 ppd in the continental U.S.); and lastly, a seasonally apropos piece of mid-60s improvisation from Angus & Hetty Maclise, truly stunning, from a new LP of old recordings, Dreamweapon II (sold out, of course.)

Most gratifying to me personally, on a night when I really needed some good cheer, was the suggestion by some Portland, OR-based listeners that some My Castle of Quiet listening parties be held at a venue in their area. Wow! I'm deeply honored, I hope it happens, and it goes a long way toward proving that many devoted listeners really do get a lot out of this show, look forward to it every week, and would miss it if it were gone. I can only hope, that in addition, the powers that be at WFMU are picking up on the continual and cumulative appreciations for the show, and that I have a long life to look forward to on their airwaves.

Surely, I will see you, or more precisely, you will hear me, next week. My death threats were empty, as per usual. In the meantime, you are cordially invited to join our Facebook group.

Fun, fun, FUN!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

FUN's Go! America! Performance Series on My Castle of Quiet, TONIGHT!

Above we see Kevin, sometime member of the Philadelphia-based combo FUN. A man of quiet majesty—a man, watching a phone! Tune in to My Castle of Quiet tonight, and you'll understand why.

FUN, a name so simple, and yet so indicative of the project's inventive and whimsical approach to experimental, improvised music. And why shouldn't experimental music be FUN? Out of the conservatory and into the street, please! The Philadelphia-based ensemble's first, very enjoyable session from My Castle of Quiet, almost exactly a year old, was then followed by an engaging selection of remixes that following February, which, in addition to being one of the MCoQ live sets with the most hits on Google, also speaks to the band's seemingly irresistible proclivity to mess around with stuff, their sound creations being an endlessly malleable piece of clay that's constantly under attack. As part of their Go! America! Performance Series, FUN returns to WFMU's My Castle of Quiet, for a session recorded on the very day that the great state of New Jersey entered the Union, December 18. This is the third year and third performance in this series. For NJ's 224th anniversary, FUN paid sonic tribute to the Garden State on the 18th, not only in our Studio B, but also on the very streets of the Jersey City waterfront, and the sets will be broadcast tonight.

I pull the stake out of the impossibly hot female vampire, and say "oops," at midnight.
FUN @ 12:30 approx.
WFMU 91.1 FM (NY/NJ)
WMFU 90.1 FM (Hudson Valley)
wfmu.org live on the Web

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Doomed! ... a Prison Tatt records update, and MCoQ horrorcast™ review.

Doomed because listeners and I were envisioning mushroom clouds Friday a.m., when the EAS issued a "Civil Emergency from a Civil Authority." Sounds scary, right?!?! Although serious, it turned out to be an almost-state-wide Amber Alert, another disgruntled Dad nabbing his kid and driving off, leaving a hysterical wife, girlfriend or ex-wife behind. Why not SAY "Amber Alert," EAS, instead of potentially causing widespread panic? Testing the system, they were, yeah that's right, getting us prepared for an "actual emergency." I imagine the flood of expletives covering the state that night, as apparently these non-specific warnings were also forcing their way through people's DVRs as well. Nice. Do I even have to say "God Bless America," anymore? What could be the country with the best standard of living in the world continues its rapid, vapid decline. Enough! By clicking on everyone's favorite miner, above, you can check the My Castle of Quiet playlist for listeners' responses, and some of my own craaaaaazy ideas about what's really wrong and how to fix it, also known as "shit that will never happen."

Behind me on the Garden State Parkway this morning, another driver was going ballistic, gesticulating wildly, so much so that I thought my own car was on fire. He looked like Cheswick from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, and he was sure going cuckoo about something. I wish I had a rear camera on my car, as his wild motions were the perfect soundtrack to what was playing on the stereo, the forthcoming Prison Tatt record by The Communion, A Desired Level of Unease. The Communion are a band that I felt the energetic importance of the very first time I saw them play, and make no mistake, this one is the recording that they were meant to make, and I say humbly, that Prison Tatt was meant to release. It's an absolute mass murder of a record, with their now-trademark excellent songwriting, and stylistic hybrid of blast beats, hardcore flights, and sludge anthems. Fuck yeah, I'm bragging. Hope to have this one out by early next year, though finding the right pressing plant to meet PT's relatively high standard has been difficult. Silly me, I want records to come from the factory without what sounds like several years of usage-oriented surface noise. Silly me.

Since I've been tending to release things in twos, up next are two great records, Haare's Rautapilvi, a magnificent, atmospheric, ritualistic, occult-mood record, with some source material culled (with permission) from Circle's Forest LP. Almost simultaneously, should be coming the one-sider from Josh Lay's Glass Coffin, Haunted By The Ghosts of the Damned, a murky, chilling exercise in slow-kill black metal. Rarely has a record sounded so cobweb-laden, as though it were recorded in the most fetid of basement torture-dungeons. Bravo, Josh! Can't wait for these to hit the street.

All other titles, excepting PT 001, Grasshopper's Calling All Creeps, remain in print, though supplies are dwindling on some. Our most-recent twosome, Husere Grav's Myths, comprising four slabs of thoroughly haunting funereal drone, and Ives' Abandon, the best black-metal demo tape of 2010, quite gloriously reissued on vinyl, continue to sell, but the rate of consumption could always be better (especially on the Ives—what is with you people??) I believe in these records so much, and I simply don't put out anything that provokes naught but a white-hot emotional reaction within myself, that I am sometimes mystified at the dragging nature of sales. Fuck the economy, these are records you need to have! Big sellers in recent history include Sesso Violento's Pacificador, absolutely one of the best raw black metal records of the past year, and T.O.M.B.'s Xesse—the hardest, scariest, most-nightmarish blackened-occult-noise record I've ever heard; both of these titles are still available, though not for much longer.

Also keep an eye out for our arresting new print ad in the latest issue of Yeti, due to hit the stands very soon. Coming later in 2012, The Bog Nebula by Long Distance Poison will likely accompany The Communion, as to relative street date, records by EID/Anthony Saunders (Non-Conformance and Corrective Action o/s LP), Demonologists (as-yet-untitled, though fucking GREAT o/s LP; some of their best work that I've heard), in all probability the CD by Chaos*Majik will see the light of day, records by Rust Worship, Isa Christ, C. Lavender, Tomhet, Kavra and many, many more tba—I ought not get too ahead of myself. Suffice it to say, 2012 will be the Year of the Prison Tatt. We also have a great distro, always growing. Visit our online store and primary site, here.

This week's horrorcast proved conclusively that I can't do any better than my best, and I'm having a great time, and it would seem that the listeners are as well. So much great new music from so many great labels and artists makes my job easy, and again, you can check out the playlist by clicking on the MBV miner, above. Some favorites this week were a 1999 track by Mortiis, the now ever-present Cult of Daath, and the equally can't-get-quite-enough-of-them Demonologists.

Coming up next Thursday night/Friday morning, a New Jersey-themed performance by returning heroes FUN, to be taped this Sunday, as part of their ongoing, year-by-year FUN Go! America! performance series. More details about that later this week; for now, you can view the Facebook event announcement here.

As always, thanks to all Castleheads, the old die-hards and new converts, for listening and for your endless and viable support. Back soon.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Maybe Gandr just needs a hug.

Perhaps, perhaps he does, but only from a white person would such a display of physical comfort be accepted, I fear. More of my thoughts on the topic of NSBM here. And for an informational overview of the black-metal subgenre that, somewhat frustratingly, combines Pagan idealism and black-metal energy with neo-fascist messages and separatist "values," see this Wikipedia entry. Here's hoping Gandr gets that hug, from a person of color, and likes it, though it's not bloody likely. For the record, he's not officially listed as an NSBM artist, and equal-opportunity haters are alright by me. It's when one starts to blame individual races for the world's many problems, parsing out responsibility by cultural i.d., that I have to scoff at the ignorance so nakedly on display.

Enough of THAT. Tree-trimmers from my city woke me up promptly at 8 a.m. today, unnecessarily cruel, as that mini-auto saw they use sounds like a giant insect being slowly strangled, and fills every vacant sonic parcel of my home. If all they'd needed to do was slice up an unfortunate co-ed, their work would be done by now, and I'd be cat-napping instead of writing. Anything, though, to push down the page that shot of me speaking no evil, like a silenced monkey saying "oops!"

I wanted to like Pieces (from which was taken the above still), and I kind of did, if only for its clearly Giallo-inspired inserts into the heartwarmingly standard 80s American-slasher-film template—bad dubbing, Goblin-esque music, and a marginally comprehensible plot, that abuses that reliable equation of childhood trauma + sexual perversion = grandiose serial killer. Genre fans will surely get a kick out of Pieces, revived on DVD (and in public screenings) by those three, lovable trash-cinéaste millionaires, Eli Roth, Robert Rodriguez and Quentin T.

On to this week's horrorcast™, there was a lot to be thankful for, all these weeks after the Thanksgiving holiday, and though I've moved away from live performances for the moment, not to worry. In 2012, My Castle of Quiet's live schedule will return with a vengeance. For the meantime, newer listeners and devoted Castleheads seem pleased with music-heavy, talk-light programming, and I'm only too happy to deliver, as there is simply so much good new stuff out there.

Endless thanks to C. Lavender for tipping me off to Cult of Daath, who combine thrash and black with some great songwriting; we heard this week from their most-recent release, a powerful cassette issue called Doomed by the Witch. Welfare State & White Noise's "Silence Is Requested..." is always a crowd-pleaser, a hard-driving, psych-collage terror piece that I pull out once every two years or so. Castle favorites Villains, Nuit Noire (new full-length!) and Demonologists continue to enthrall the minions, and deservedly so. (Look for a Demonologists one-sided LP on the Prison Tatt label in the near future; it's some of their best material yet!)

And "The sound of rodents eating my face, while a helicopter circles overhead!" - I can't help but think that that description applies to the track we heard by NRIII, so perfectly rendered to that piece it is, called "Suffering," from the new Solus Patoir CD, a shoo-in for my end-of-year favorites list. And, as always, a track by Hex Breaker Quartet closed out the program with haunting beauty, as music from that camp of performers has and always will, define and encompass the My Castle of Quiet sound and aesthetic to some major degree.

Thanks for listening in, week after week; you may click on that mess of a girl up top to reach the playlist and audio archive for this week's show.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Satan Baby, advocate my devils tonight.

As I carried on a conversation, again on Facebook, that dreaded vessel of loose lips, with my friend and long-time supporter Ray Brazen, it occurred to me that perhaps some clarification was in order. I've been riffin' negative for the past two weeks, as I will do, and it's important to me that some critical distinctions are made.

WFMU is, and in all likelihood, shall continue to be, one of the best, if not the best, radio station on the planet, and there's a big reason for that—the sheer and ultimate freedom that it affords its broadcasters. Nowhere else could I do a weekly program quite like My Castle of Quiet. And as with any arts-based, idiosyncratic organization, it's the staff members, as well as the organization's most-devoted advocates, who are going to have the most-broiling criticisms. The very nature of the beast is that it's the insiders who will be the most impassioned about how things are done and run.

If my posts the last two weeks were decidedly absent of gratitude, it's only because that was not the issue at hand. I assume WFMU to be a democratic organization, where I've spent several decades, both on the deep inside as well as the periphery, and I assume that I can express myself freely as regards that organization of which I consider myself to be a part. Let's hope so, anyway.

Here's what I wrote to Ray, as I think it warrants re-posting here, for those who may not be privy, or may not be paying attention to—or may not give a shit, let's be honest—about my semi-private, semi-public, Facebook conversations—

"Well, there are many factors in play, not least of all my own persecution complex, but I did feel that I had some legitimate beefs that needed to be expressed. At the same time, a self-fulfilling prophecy, one that leads to my being simply off the air, does not serve my listening community, nor myself. I still enjoy doing MCoQ week-to-week, and would hope that I am able to express myself as I have, in a mature and educated manner, without "repercussions." I'm not backpedaling, not at all, but like any system, the one [already] in place at WFMU must be lived with. I am grateful for the fact that I have a show, as well as almost 100% programming freedom, and this should be noted, above all."

That pretty much covers it, and to all Castle listeners, my continued gratitude for your continued support. Whatever time the show is on the air, it's still ON, and I'm not blind to the fact that it's a rare and amazing opportunity.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Listening from the soup line. ... I gotta do Illegal.

So much to say. The accolades for the My Castle of Quiet show* continue to flow in, from new converts as well as long-time listeners. I swear I get at least three emails per week, mostly through Facebook, in addition to a weekly avalanche of positive playlist comments. Which reminds me, if you haven't already, please join us at the MCoQ Facebook Group, for additional commentary from your host, notices on upcoming events, and ridiculous photo uploads. Members are more than welcome to participate as well, provided that the material is "Castle-friendly," i.e., not the same crappy forwards you see everywhere else—and please keep it relevant to the show's content, if I may be so bold. (I will remove impertinent and/or irrelevant posts.) And * by the way, I'm not bragging, but per some of the statements I made in last week's post, which continues to inspire a flow of support (thanks!), it's a wonderful feeling to have ever-growing listener support, especially when the very station that fosters the show's existence seems hell bent, again and again, on denying MCoQ admittance to the "prime-time" club. In my view, the focus should be on quality of programming, not whose turn it is. I work LAMF on my show, I can tell just by listening who does and who doesn't, and that should be the criteria, not how many times a staffer has racked up volunteer brownie points, and/or waited patiently to be on after work and not too late. Even more important than getting to sleep at a decent hour, which is what everyone wants, I want to be on when folks in the NY area can hear me in real time. I'd be napping right now, if they weren't digging up my neighbor's sidewalk with a backhoe. I'll back off of this topic, at least until the next time Crap Rap with Shmoopie and Moopie gets a prime-time slot, and I don't.

The world is designed against sleeping during the day, by the way, and by the very attempt of such an act (as I do every Friday), one is immediately ostracized from society (all the GOOD folks are at work!) There's also a lot of fucking NOISE going on in the world, and not good noise like Demonologists, either. Even in Suburbia, there's infrastructure development (read: the result of corrupt real-estate deals), trucks, loud cars, and a lotta guys just yellin', 'cause it's the middle of the fuckin' day over here. So, instead of sleeping, I usually end up doing battle with the elderly in a variety of scenarios—the pharmacy line, which exists only to serve their whimsy of imagined prescriptions that may or may not be waiting there, shopping-cart attacks aplenty (I say "EXCUSE ME" so loud that even their feeble ears can hear), and the worst of all—the phantom farting (when you can no longer control your sphincter release, stay the fuck home, please.) My 98-year-old Grandma, dare I say, was an exception, she had 100% of her wits about her right to the end, and also had people to do stuff for her. What's with all these lousy adult children who stick Gradmama on the bus to go and get all confused and flustered at the Mini-Mart? Oh right. Those GOOD people are at work, so their elderly (and potentially deadly, at the wheel) parents are on their own. Workity-workity-work. Makes the world go 'round, so our "progressive" President can think of more things to ask God to bless in his speeches. "Religious vomit," indeed. I'm not even that mad, you see, just indignant at the lack of justice everywhere I look, in every situation. It makes me do what I'm doing right now, which is, I acknowledge, kind of firing in a spray formation at the whole money-God-football bogus propriety of our ridiculous social norms.

When I'm really mad, I can't even think or speak, much less type. I'm white hot and I want blood. What you witness here is merely "mildly irked."

The juxtaposition of her soft, malleable flesh, against the cold immobility of the sheet metal-covered walls, was a striking contrast. She begged for her life, they all do, and it strikes me that serial killers are a cowardly lot for the most part, never giving their captives a fighting chance, and often plucking the same from the world of street prostitutes, easy prey to say the least, and the least likely to be missed (though some of them have a good fight in them, IF they are able to see what's coming.) As the oh-so-quotable Jello Biafra once said, "trash a bank if you've got real balls." And there are so few out there with real balls, people who will look you in the eye and tell you the truth, and all of it at that. Don't Go in the House, for which I had high hopes, as an "undiscovered" gem from the golden era of trash filmmaking, turned out to be not much more than a lesser Maniac, and instead of the great Joe Spinell, an actor of immense range and versatility, we get a perpetrator who could have been an extra on Welcome Back, Kotter.

On to the show, accolades for the second week in a row went almost solely to NRIII, a band that has reached a striking plateau in their work, and their new CD (that's right, kids, noise CAN work on one of those dreaded compact-disk thingys, despite aggressive scenester insistence to the contrary) is a visionary, innovative work, that largely defies categorization. I cannot stress strongly enough that you support the band and pick up a copy (if you love The Castle, you're damn sure gonna love NRIII.)

We opened this week with two new tracks from Nuit Noire, one of the bands that in my mind best defines the MCoQ aesthetic, and I've played their stuff constantly since the show went on the air. They're punk, they're black metal, but most importantly NN is a band that will outlive the trendiness of any genre, and make music that crosses many barriers, and they certainly get a lot of play in general from the diverse programmers of WFMU. They're ambassadors of the dark, but also of the gentleness of the night, and their "message" is idiosyncratic, phantasmagorical but also ultimately positive—a potential no-no in black metal, but who cares? The songs are pounding, catchy, and almost always hit the right note with their ever-growing group of listeners. Their new full-length CD (there's that pesky, ostracized format again), The Gigantic Hideout, is available by writing directly to the band (tenebras795@msn.com) for a mere 7€ postpaid, worldwide.

Thanks as always for listening, and for reading my diffuse, rambling scribble. You may click on the bound and burning wrists of misguided love, to access the playlist and audio archive of last night's horrorcast™.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

putting the BLACK in Black Friday!

Two listener-friends of the My Castle of Quiet program were discussing the show, and myself in specific, yesterday on Facebook. (I was privy to the conversation because I was tagged in it.) One of the two posited that I was perhaps "put through the ringer" by WFMU over my program, the things I dare to say, the music I dare to play, etc. The truth, however, is far, far worse—I am almost completely ignored! The occasional or frequent greatness of the show (depending on one's perspective), its challenging programming, contributions to the ever-expanding MCoQ curator page at the Free Music Archive, and the unique, devoted and highly specialized listener base that I serve, are mostly, sadly, non-existent in the eyes and minds of the WFMU powers that be. This then, is my "punishment," not to be "put through the ringer," which would lend the show some significance, at least, but to be a distant blip on the station's radar, like Pluto—maybe not even a planet.

No, the next step for me is likely, and eventually, off the air completely, either by determination of the powers that be, finally swatting that pest off their shoulder, who keeps asking, undeservedly so, to be back broadcasting in east-coast prime time, or, by my own very choosing. Show-i-cide, because one can only continue in this situation for so long. Instead of being between a rock and a hard place, I am sandwiched instead between my loyal and appreciative listenership (who, let's not forget, raised all of my $1,000 goal for WFMU's stealth fundraiser in the month of October; so at least in the case of MCoQ, the station's fundraising "experiment" was a complete success), and you reading this, and tuning in, either live or in the archives, are a BIG part of why I continue to do the show, make no mistake, and then there's the other piece of bread, an almost complete lack of appreciation, significance lent, or sincere acknowledgement by the program's parent organization.

One needs only to view my weekly comments board to witness that I must be doing something right. And these comments get fairly specific, and it's clear that I have to a large extent reached my public by what they say, so in this I am satisfied, because when the show itself is long gone, replaced no doubt by a safer, more "WFMU-type" show, styled almost solely using materials from the station's new bin, (and sorry, but if you're doing this, you are barely trying, dear colleague) I am satisfied that this show will be remembered by all of those who truly enjoyed it, supported it, and nurtured its existence over the years. And it's largely for them, and my own personal enjoyment, obviously, that I am not packing things up just yet, as there is still more work to do, and more great music to represent that inasmuch has no other voice on radio, terrestrial or otherwise.

Aside from the grousing session, I must note that much appreciation was given this week to the new CD by NRIII, Solus Patoir, a magnificent full-length from a band that I knew from the first time I heard them would reach such a plateau. And this is part of the joy of My Castle of Quiet, sharing a real camaraderie with upcoming artists of a rare stripe, and feeling as though I give a voice to the fringe, where such a focused and urgent voice would not otherwise exist.

Thanks as always for listening. I'm quite proud of this week's screen capture, from the film The Sister of Ursula, a quick, bizarre and unexplained insert that itself lasts only 1-3 seconds, and required some pause-button mastery to ensnare. Click on it, to access the audio archives and playlist for this week's horrorcast™.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Ahhh, yesterday.

They can use tools, and ironic, iconic ones at that. ...The county was encouraging us here, via the EAS ticker, to make sounds that would counterbalance what their little truck-mounted gadget was doing—making insect colonies fight 'til death like Crips and Bloods. Authorities thought that by playing Hive Mind I could get them back on track, as it were. Too bad bugs like da killin'. Also too bad that their gadgetry had the unfortunate consequence of rousing all the recently dead back to functioning, enough at least to inquire as to "what's for tea?" Me thought, though, and I ain't done told them yet, is that there be some sooopa-natural forces at work, such that my sets gonna have no bearing, yah? And human flesh and blood gonna still be on the menu. Still, I tried. Do ya see any walking dead around now? Yeah, I know, same here—it's kinda hard to tell.
Unwashed, matted hair and a rumpled dress suit could just be Williamsburg chic. Then again, if they pick up a stone cross, pull it straight outta the ground, and start chasin' your ass, it's probably time to go.

Thanks to Jeff Mullan for filling in for The Castle last week. It doesn't happen too often that I miss a show, but it's nice, and preferred, as Pseu would say, to have "quality coverage" in one's absence. So how did he do? ... "Betta," you say? Fuck all y'all. He he he. This week, back to business as usual, with viciousness and a vengeance, for no particular reason other than that when I do miss a week, I really miss it, feeling it in body and mind. Plannin' and plannin' I was. Then, mid-week, a surprise—an excellent packet of materials from the mighty, mighty Universal Consciousness label, which ended up dominating the weekly horrorcast™, with more yet to come next week. Also in the mix, some odd and engaging contributions from the No Visible Scars label, oh hell yeah. More of those next week as well.

So, the notices, and aplenty they were; Cult of Daath, Akitsa, the new Hive Mind long player on Spectrum Spools, Glass Coffin, and the Moonknight tape (one of the UC releases.) I have to assume, though, that you liked it all, as I did for sure, and me with a week off between shows is some serious fuel to the fire. Fuel to the fire, young men and ladies. And still, like most weeks, I could have easily gone another hour. I blame (read: attribute) the show's sonic success to this being perhaps the best time in history for underground music, metal and noise, etc. It's a great time, and all I need to do is have my antennae set on high/receive. It's that easy, America. My filter, applied to the wealth of great, new sounds, and bang!—it's another Castle to remember. And if this reeks of arrogance, I sort of apologize, though not really, as I can feel the radio show experiencing positive growth by the week, and you,the listeners, are a huge part of this, otherwise I'd be able to voluntarily dislocate my shoulder from constantly patting myself on the back.

You spread praise like soft butter on a hot bagel, and you keep me humble when necessary. You are the zombies in my purgatory, just hangin' out. When I transition from metal to noise, or back, however abruptly or gradually, you are there. I salute you, the music makers and the music listeners (sometimes one in the same), for helping me to continue to build My Castle of Quiet into something of note, and value.

Click on that very able-bodied undead, up at the top, to reach the playlist and audio archives of this week's program.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Prison Tatt Showcase #1, in review.

Songs with discernible lyrics got you down? The latest paeans to love, loss, heartache and the human condition leaving you in a pool of your own tears? You can always escape into the world of mystery, horror and enchantment that is the Prison Tatt catalog.

So far, we've had eight releases (one, Grasshopper's Calling All Creeps, is out of print, with a repress being contemplated; the band themselves have a few copies remaining), with two more coming very soon, and a veritable avalanche of releases (for a small, independent company, anyway) coming next year.

In local terms, we held our first showcase in the physical world, on the eve of November 10/11, 2011. Attendance was modest, but not too thin, with good friends, true believers, and actually more than a few people whom I didn't know personally, in the room.

The sights and sounds were excellent, as I knew they would be, though even my high expectations were exceeded by the four, standout performances. That's right—I said four, as I wasn't looking to pack the house with performers, each one doing a quick on/off, like some modern version of a Motown review—blast through your "hit," and then off. In many ways, Prison Tatt just has to be different, and as I always say, we're a "hard" label and a "head" label, and I want for our artists to have room to breathe, room to express, and I'll break convention for sure with the noise-scene standard of quickie sets for this reason alone, among others.

So, starting things off, we had NY's The Communion, whose one-sided LP, A Desired Level of Unease, will be out early next year, and in fact, their set was made up mostly of songs from that forthcoming P-Tatt release. It was really important to me that The Communion play this event, they were on my mind from the earliest planning stages, firstly because they're a great band that gets better every time I see them, and secondly because metal is huge part of Prison Tatt, and most of our metal artists are not local. It was critical to me that this aspect of our catalog be represented. Here's "Marble Husk," slated for release on their Prison Tatt record.



Second on the bill, and visiting from San Antonio, TX, was an artist that effectively bridges the noise-metal gap, sonically as well as in spirit—Husere Grav. Todd W's set was phenomenal, with layers of dense, rumbling graveyard action surging about the room. A bit like Roland Kayn, after a year in a cave with the Burzum discography. Husere Grav's Myths is one of Prison Tatt's newest releases, we're proud as fuck about it, and we hope you'll all buy yourselves a copy. Here's an excerpt from Husere Grav's brief-but-astounding performance.



Third came the majestic, mind-expanding, electronic worlds of Long Distance Poison. It was a personal thrill to witness time stopping, even and especially for many of the metalheads in the room, while LDP plied their very unique approach to modern synthesizer music. They're too melodic and long-form to be noise scenesters, and too engaging, and interesting, with layers of dissonance and constantly shifting interplay, to be Emeralds. (Sorry, if only as a contemporary touchpoint of comparison it needs to be said.) Unlike so many others, LDP do this sound right and with innovation, such that notions of "retro" never, ever come to mind. Their Bog Nebula one-sided LP is coming soon on Prison Tatt. Here's most, but not all, of their thoroughly absorbing set.



Closing out the evening, a performance by Chaos*Majik, for this performance the duo of Todd Pendu and Jesse Gelaznik. From the very beginning, I've employed Klaus Schulze as an easy and appropriate reference point for Todd's sound, though as Sarzan noted after seeing this clip, "Irrlicht, with big, hairy balls on it." CM makes a huge sound, whipping and swirling about the room, low and high frequencies set on assault, while subtle, melodic lines make a calming appearance and then just as quickly shuffle off, with the gait of Lovecraft's Old Ones. Engulfing, occult electronics of the highest order. CM's Telestic Madness—Magickal Music will mark Prison Tatt's fourth release on compact disk, coming very soon.



All in all, our evening was a creative and social success. It felt especially good to hear Bianca Ala Muerte say, "YOU did this!," as we looked around the room at the collective gathering. I tend to naturally want to hang back, not be the "star," and not take credit in person (though I'm happy to do it here in this article), and I still feel that the label has a long way to go towards being what I truly want it to be—financially successful, critically and creatively respected, and banging out at least two releases a month. My personal standard will be met when it's my filter that's the star, and the records really start to sell in large numbers, thereby paying for Prison Tatt's continued and productive existence.

Tremendous thanks to all who played (for, as it happens, not a dime in remuneration—so much for the Cameo Gallery and their "expenses"), and, played extremely well at that, as these video clips evidence. What I learned here will be beard-stroke fodder, as I contemplate PT showcase #2.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Title Sequence of the Day - The Mephisto Waltz (1971)

Alan Alda in pre-Hawkeye-Pierce mode, as a classical-music journalist who's charmed into the company of a wealthy, acerbic pianist and his foxy-but-glacial daughter. They've got plans for ol' Hawk, all because of his "wonderful hands." Haunting in a way that films so rarely are anymore, fugue states and nightmare sequences abounding, The Mephisto Waltz also ties in wonderfully with David Lynch's more modern and abstract meditations on identity, and goddamn if it isn't a Quinn Martin production, too! Enjoy this lovely opening sequence, with music by horror-score pro, Jerry "The Omen" Goldsmith.

video

Thursday, November 10, 2011

BREASTS!!! ...and The Prison Tatt Showcase #1, TONIGHT.

I keep hanging these up around the radio station, and they keep disappearing, by the following week. Perhaps I started posting too early, though it seems that someone there is always promoting something, or perhaps, and more likely, a woman's bare breasts make more than a few people uncomfortable, in a variety of ways. Unfortunate, as breasts are one of nature's great aesthetic gifts. Here, our model has a wonderful pair of medium-to-small softies, with the coveted "puffy" nipples and areolas. She's a Prison Tatt girl, all the way, with that sleazy grin—you know that if there had been black metal in her day, it would have been spinning on her close'n'play. "I dunno, I just like it," she'd say. "The guys are cool." My flyer was and is intended as an act of exhaltation, never exploitation.

So, tonight is Prison Tatt Records' first live showcase, featuring a great selection and cross-section of artists. Doors open at 9 at the Cameo Gallery, which I'm told is a good place to see a show, and The Communion go on as close to 9:30 as possible—we are starting early, for real. Details below, and I hope to meet you all there.

Time
Today at 9:00pm - Tomorrow at 1:30am
Location
The Cameo Gallery, 93 N.6th St., Brooklyn, NY, USA
Created By
Prison Tatt Records

We're proud to present Prison Tatt's first public event, ever, as it's high time, and we bring an excellent line up that represents both the "head" and "hard" aspects of the P-Tatt experience, as follows >>>

9:30 The Communion
Their one-sided LP, A Desired Level of Unease, is forthcoming on Prison Tatt. One of the best bands in NY right now. "No-faking, gut-churning angst, great songwriting, and an obvious interest in creating something of quality ... Dramatic, hooky sludge-metal, classic hardcore/thrash, and hi-speed black metal are all easily referenced in The Communion's repertoire, these styles employed naturally and with the apparent ease of just doing what they do, without sounding at all forced or postmodern. "

10:30 Husere Grav
The Myths one-sided LP is OUT NOW on Prison Tatt. "...soundtracks to pain, frustration, and ill intentions—the "music" of haunted evil. ... a maelstrom ... thunderingly loud, it was swirling, and it felt dangerous; nothing less than a genuine conjuration." "Low rumbles and sub-strata murmurs that conceal much more than is evident on a first listen. Otherworldly, Lovecraftian music that represents a new plateau in cohesiveness for this Texas-based, one-man monster project by black metal and noise veteran Todd W."

11:30 Long Distance Poison
Bog Nebula one-sided LP out soon on Prison Tatt. Brooklyn's finest post-Kraut, post-Carpenter, meditative, expressive electronic pulsators. "...an irresistible concoction of convergent psychedelic and analog electronic energies, everything from a love of nature, and Rothko-like visual aesthetics, to musical influences like Sky Records, John Carpenter soundtracks, minimalism, and a less-hyper Mother Mallard or post-Phaedra Tangerine Dream."

12:30 Chaos*Majik
The Chaos*Majik CD, Telestic Madness - Magickal Musick, is coming soon on Prison Tatt. ""Klaus Schulze in a suitcase! I can dig this!" No longer does the performer need to be buried in impossibly tall racks of heavy keyboard gear, that which obscure his very view, to be able to touch other worlds, to taste the unseen, and to take the listener on a significant journey. ... arcing and shifting dynamics; there is tension, resolution, warnings of danger, absolute peace, contemplation aplenty."

The above times are REAL SET TIMES, as we want for every artist to have the chance to play a full set. Besides, your resident mogul is an older man, and I don't keep Acheron hours!

All in-print Prison Tatt merch will be available at the show.

Friday, November 4, 2011

ATTACK! ... You and C. Lavender are cracking me up.

What great fun it was to have C. Lavender make a rare return as co-host, engage in some hilarious banter with me, and perhaps most importantly share some of her wonderfully concomitant musical selections with myself and Castle listeners. As with all of the guest DJs I've had on recently, a buying jag on my own part has already ensued.

C. Lavender especially makes a great co-host for the Castle, as we share many common interests in film, music and culture, and both have no need for popular culture whatsoever. We became fast friends back in the early days of the radio show (Summer '09), and I've always felt that these and other factors bring a natural, easy humor to our rapport, and I only wish that she lived closer to WFMU, so that co-hosting on her part could be an option more often. It's rare that a natural outcast such as myself, full of opinions and bile, should find the perfect foil in a radio co-host, but in Lavender I seem to have found just that. You can keep track of Lavender's artistic activities at her Web site, right here. "Meet Me at the Station, buddy."

There was only one playlist shout-out for a specific piece of music this week, a track by the excellent NY band Occultation, reminding me that I must contact the band tout suite about an on-air appearance. In the meantime, here's a live clip of Occultation by (((unartig))), featuring one of the the tracks from their absolutely excellent 3-song CDr demo.
In other, non-Castle-related matters, the Prison Tatt label presents our first showcase this week, at Brooklyn's Cameo Gallery, featuring artists that have, or are soon to have, releases on the label—The Communion, Husere Grav (you can buy HG's Myths one-sided LP right now at the Prison Tatt site—it's a gloomy, Lovecraftian winner, comprised of four tracks of great, graveyard soundtracks), Long Distance Poison (their Bog Nebula one-sider is coming soon), and Todd Pendu's Chaos*Majik, whose CD, Telestic Madness—Magickal Music is an outright masterpiece (the release has experienced some artwork-related delays, so we won't have them for sale at the show, but not to fear—it'll be well worth the wait!)

This all happens Thursday night @ 93 N. 6th St., with The Communion opening the evening at 9:30 sharp (these are real times, as we want all the artists to have the chance to play a full set.) Please note that all in-print P-Tatt titles (and as many distro items as I can carry with a somewhat f-dup hand) will be available at the show.

Hope to see you all there.

So, this means that WFMU's bright new(-ish) star Jeff Mullan hosts My Castle of Quiet this week on the radio, as I'm still working on being in two places at once. I have no idea what Jeff has planned, but I also have no doubt that it will be good. Not just anyone gets asked to fill-in for The Castle.
Thanks, Jeff!

I'll shoot out a reminder about the Prison Tatt event later this week. As always, thanks for your support, your ears, your eyes and minds. I return them, hopefully in somewhat-electrified condition....

Click on the image of that nasty, shape-shifting seductress up top, to access the playlist and audio archives of this week's horrorcast™.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

TONIGHT on The Castle—The Return of C. Lavender!

Sounds ominous. Like a sequel that's going to be better than the original. She's going to rip out my esophagus, and tie off her pretty hair with it. One can hope.

One of the earliest friends and most consistent supporters of My Castle of Quiet, sound artist C. Lavender returns tonight, not to perform—though you can hear her magnificent set from the show last year at this link—but to co-host with yours truly, as she's done before, bringing her dour wit, casual charm, and some musical selections of her own for y'all Castleheads. Perhaps we'll also premiere a track from her new tape on Spectral Evidence, Meet Me at the Station. I'd say definitely. Don't miss it; C. Lav is bestowed the dubious honor of being the most complimentary co-host the show has ever known, which is to say that she digs the music (though not ALL of it), "gets" the show's reason for being and has from day one, and tends to give me scolding and praise in just about even measure.

Don't miss it; we start at the witching hour.

Also, tremendous, hearty HAILS, my goblet overrunning with mead, to all the devoted Castleheads who were able to contribute to the show during last month's WFMU "stealth" Web-only fundraiser, putting MCoQ's individual show-total at 100-fucking-percent. You've all done me proud, and I dive in this week with renewed vitality (though I always give my absolute best.)

Seriously, thanks! We'll see you tonight on the playlist.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Darkly simmering. ...Last night's horrorcast™ in review, and Prison Tatt joins the Festival Circuit.

Our præ-Hallowe'en broadcast last night opened with the megalithic gloomscape "Supplication," by Akhlys, one of my favorites of recent discovery. Released in 2009, the single-track CDr is packaged in a minimally adorned DVD case, and is a steal at $8 from Hells Headbangers (though I don't see one doing much headbanging to this one.) The piece's truly frightening, ominous textures brought several notices on our playlist.

What else received honors? A track from the new LP by Barghest, black metal from Baton Rouge; the I Am EP by Swedish greats Armagedda (now split-up); a track from the excellent new full-length by Maledicere (thx, Todd!); another song from the flawless new Tukaaria tape on Rhinocervs, coming out on CD later this year from Profound Lore; and, lastly, two lengthy pieces of noise-brut that I've been meaning to play for weeks, from Peele & McGee, and Andrew Quitter, respectively. That was the show. Click on the souls in torment, above, to stream the full three-hour horrorcast, and/or view the playlist and comments.

In addition, enormous, hearty HAILS to all who have pledged this month as part of WFMU's stealth fundraiser to show your love for My Castle of Quiet. We're currently at 85% of our goal for the month-long drive, and I'm already pleased as a life-affirming punch; if we make that 100% goal of a solid grand within the few remaining days of October, it's icing on the proverbial, jaw-dislocating cake. Thanks again!

Onto new business, my label, Prison Tatt Records, hits the festival circuit this Saturday, for one day only, as part of WFMU's grand 2011 Record Fair. We'll be at table F-4; look for us next to the midget horse, the bearded lady (actually, she looks more like Scott Weiland with breasts), and the wax statue I got cheap of the great Vincent Price (was left too close to heater; now looks more like Victor Buono.) Doors open Saturday at 10 a.m., at The Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 West 18th Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues.

What will I have for sale? A staggering overview of musics new and old, domestic and foreign, rock collectibles, and that dusty old LP you've been looking for since you were 10? Uh, no. I market to the niche, baby. So comfortable in the niche have I become, in fact, that I've unfolded a lawn chair, mixed up a jug of piña coladas, and gingerly placed cucumber slices on my eyelids.

What I will have, is 20-25 copies of every in-print Prison Tatt title, $1 stickers, and all PT distro items, everything discounted from our Web-store prices. You may also see our pal Bob Bellerue signing KILT CDs, maaaaaybe.

Now I must sleep; the sleep of the damned, until tomorrow's event takes over my consciousness fully and irreversibly. See you there, fuckers. Come on up say high.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Stones in the hands!

...and you're gonna get it! Being "in the gang," does not necessarily ensure one's position amongst the living; in fact, it can often enhance the openings for one to wind up dead in one's boots.

Last night's show was a horrorcast™ of horrorcasts, and we've been having a lot of those lately. As my personal self steadily declines, my propensity to make good art rises exponentially. "Rise, William, Rise" in-deed. It would be a "bummer" to suggest the inverse, but what goes up....

Our good friends Bobby B., and Mister Matthews, at this point regular Castle residents (I pass them in the morning, in their tattered, stained terrycloth robes, dunking a teabag in one of our massive skull-and-crossbone teacups, leaning against the marble, as woozy "hey"'s are exchanged across the massive kitchen) helped to make it a program to be reckoned with, an extra special of specials. MM's solo sets, strikingly diverse from one another, delivered and then some, and Bob's programming choices made for a crowd-pleasing (and host pleasing) middle set.

>>> THIS JUST IN—My Castle of Quiet's individual pledge total for WFMU's October 2011 "stealth" fundraiser just today leapt to 81% of our goal. Someone(s) out there likes us. Apparently, it IS important to have a regular radio home for "[b]lack metal, dark hardcore, modern "noise," occult-kosmische electronics, soundtracks, and horrorscapes™ galore." Seriously chuffed. Thanks a million, Castleheads! <<<

In comments-board accolades, our special guest, Mister Matthews, reaped the lion's share (and rightly so.) From Bob's excellent array, Night Burger, Black Leather Jesus, Concern and Crank Sturgeon all received tips of the hat, on and off the air. Kudos, Bob. Come back any time. Back to my final horrorcast set, both Kavra (one of my favorite bands of the moment) and Portugal's Vetala (whom I "discovered" via Seed Stock's guest-DJ stint a few weeks ago, both pleased the horde.

Can't thank you all enough for listening, and to those of you who were also able to contribute, thanks for bringing us so perilously close to full, tumescent goalhood. Only 19% to go for our show to meet its goal total, and since the world is ending, and you can't take it with you—well, tra la la! Have at it!

Next week—the show as usual, what you mostly come to the decks for, though all the special programming and live performances obviously add their own zazz and pizazz, not to mention that I fuckin' love it. Mister Matthews' sets will be shared on mp3, within two weeks' time, by way of WFMU's Web portals.

For now, you can hear the full, three-hour horrorcast, by clicking on that damned member of Kakihara's gang, askance in a world of white feathers though he is. The head through the TV comes later.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

TONIGHT on The Castle >Mr. Matthews' True Color of Venus Revue, with High School Confidential, and special guest Bob Bellerue

Mister Matthews has been a friend, cohort and "responsible party" for the My Castle of Quiet program nearly since its inception. As a member of Telecult Powers, The Hex Breaker Quintet, and a performer of The Modern Rites of Pei with Telecult Powers and Lala Ryan (during WFMU's 2010 fundraiser), MM is one of players who's made our Studio B a second home, and it's high time that he was invited back to The Castle to put forth his remarkable solo work as High School Confidential. Stretching his legs a bit (as all good friends of the show are invited to do), he also brings Mr. Matthews' True Color of Venus Revue, in the artist's words, "another kind of thing I have been working on, caustic tripped out new age music"—which promises by its very definition to be appropriate to the usual, meta-occult electronics that are an indelible and near-constant parcel of Castle programming. Also on hand the same evening, another good friend—composer, improvisor, and Anarchymoon Recordings label head Bob Bellerue (Diablo, KILT) who, in addition to engineering the live session, will be co-hosting and co-DJ'ing with your regular, weekly Bastard of Ceremonies.

Three friends, raising a different kind of hell; don't miss it.

Angry villagers attempt to carry me off to my fate on the Judas Cradle @ 12 midnight.
Fun begins almost immediately.
WFMU 91.1 FM (NY/NJ)
WMFU 90.1 FM (Hudson Valley)
wfmu.org live on the Web, with live accu-playlist, message board and pledge "widget" for WFMU's Web-only October fundraiser (see below.)


Friday, October 14, 2011

Rise em well.

Above-depicted is the she-creature, the spreader of the demonic-possession/homicidal/blood virus from the [REC] movies, and well, I have a few things to say. I know you don't get out much, okay not at all, but still, put a bra on those floppers, honey! They're more horrifying than your ability to spread baby-arm-size infectious "control" larvae by mouth. As we say here in Jersey, "just sayin'." Second, it was ultimately a nice touch by the writer-producers working in the demonic-possession angle in the sequel, as otherwise, there would have been no reason for a sequel—The Crazies, set in a Barcelona tenement once, was once enough. Other than these items, carry on. More than a few "YAHHHH!" moments in [REC]².

So much shit going on; but busy is good, don't get me wrong....

First of all, WFMU's "stealth" fundraiser marches on, and this week, The Castle officially hit 35% of the way to our goal for the month of $1,000, though that's still ultimately a long way off. If you've ever got your jollies listening to the show, and/or feel that there should be a reliable radio home for black metal, contemporary noise, horror-film soundtracks, and all the other "bad vibes" we spread, please consider pledging whatever you're able to give. You can do that right here, or at any one of our playlist pages. Black candles burning (you can smell the wax) aplenty to all those who have pledged thus far.

On to Prison Tatt Records business, we have two great, new titles for sale at the site, Myths by Husere Grav, and the Abandon 2010 demo vinyl reissue by Ives. Available reasonably priced and postpaid at $15 in the continental U.S. If you live in the NY area, or are planning to visit for the WFMU record fair, I'll be running a Prison Tatt table (Sat. 10/29 ONLY), where most label and distro items will be available, further discounted from the Web prices. These discs are so hot, and I'm so fucking proud, I kind of thought they would surely sell themselves, but here I am, making an effort! For further convincing, see our site yet again for song samples, and .png files of the LP-insert art.

We'll also be holding our first live event, a Prison Tatt Records showcase of sorts, featuring released and soon-to-be-released artists The Communion, Husere Grav, Long Distance Poison and Todd Pendu's Chaos*Majik (whose Telestic Madness - Magickal Musick CD releases on 11/11.) This event takes over The Cameo Gallery, @ 93 N.6th St., in the Northside neighborhood of Williamsburg/Greenpoint, Brooklyn, on the eve of Thursday, November 10th. See fleshed-out details at this Facebook event page for the show. Please note that WFMU-FM has nothing whatsoever to do with the Prison Tatt label, financial or otherwise—it's only that I work at both places, and that several of the artists originally celebrated on the My Castle of Quiet program quite naturally came to be Prison Tatt artists.

Back to radio business, next week we present Mister Matthews' True Color of Venus Revue, featuring High School Confidential, and special guest co-host and co-DJ, longtime Castle friend Bob Bellerue. More special programming to separate your webbed toes and get the blood flowing. And speaking of special programming, the Black Twilight Circle sets from last week's horrorcast™ will post within the week, as downloadable mp3s, to WFMU's Web portals; this is seriously some of the best music I have ever had the pleasure to present on our airwaves.

This week, or last night to be most precise, it was I who was "Stained, Tainted"—in too many ways to reasonably or thoroughly discuss in a single blog post. But on I go, fearless. A cracked mirror, that which reflects a distorted image, is my life. Not surfing. And what did you like? Castleheads chimed in unison for the Vesicus tape, one of the best left-field black metal tapes I've heard in a while, and I hear quite a few. Buy that one from Graceless Recordings. Also—the new Grasshopper LP on Baked Tapes, a stunner, and the Wulkanaz 7" on Seed Stock (I called it; black metal single of the year!)

For now, I leave you with miss femininity; click on that too-close-for-comfort portrait to access the playlist and streaming-audio archive of last night's horrorcast. I got a saw troat from awl dis typing.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Dark Hallucinogenic Black Metal!

I envisioned a dusty parking lot, not here, perhaps in the part of N.J. where things are a bit more spread out, where they actually have fields and forests—where the name "Garden State" was earned. And in that wheezy lot, a pickup truck, parked strategically for maximum highway view, and slung over the bed a banner, made with maximum care out of a white bedsheet and a can of Krylon, a banner that reads, "Welcome Black Twilight Circle."

Of course, it didn't happen that way; it happened with hastily texted PATH directions, and a mass of hearty-looking, black-clad musicians appearing at WFMU's door in downtown Jersey City some time later. Wary smiles and hearty handshakes, it became slowly clear to me that these guys had immense humility to match their immense talent. Who would think of forming a collective of black-metal musicians, consequently strengthened by their unity, and a certain quality standard that you knew was being brought to the table? Artist collectives were a thing of the 60s and 70s, right? Well, the music was never like this.

This was, without doubt, one of the most historic radio events I have ever been parcel to presenting, creativity and artistry abounding around the room and onto the airwaves. Immense and powerful sets by Arizmena, Volahn, Shataan, The Haunting Presence (a personal favorite; unholy, dark guitar!), Kuxan Suum, Kallathon, and Dolorvotre (who were able to blast out only one, earth's-crust-shattering song, as three hours does eventually run out, remarkably so.)

I'll save my deeper observations and musings, perhaps, for the larger post, on WFMU's Beware of The Blog and Free Music Archive, where these historical sets will be shared on mp3 for all to download and enjoy (an idea, by the way, that I did not at all have to oversell to the BTC, their notions of collectivism and community again coming into play, exemplifying their honor.)

So listen, for now by clicking on the voodoo priestess above, because I still can't wrap my head around what happened, and I was there! These sets awe me in their greatness, and in the extraordinary diversity and range of human expression presented from group to group. Though many projects in the BTC share members in common, depending on who is driving the bus, the musical context and feel represented by each project is totally different. They call this black metal? It's great American music, based in metal, but with no boundary not worthy of knocking down.

Two people outside of the BTC deserve huge thanks—RB from Seed Stock Records and Raspberry Bulbs, for setting up the event in the first, and Diane"Kamikaze" Farris, for translating the brilliance with her own expertise, and the help of WFMU's mighty mixing desk.

In the regular order of business, playlist notices also went out to the Phantasm Theme by Fred Myrow, newly released 1992 recordings by Christoph Heemann and Jim O'Rourke, and Sleep of Ages (thanks, Travis J.!)

One week from Thursday, My Castle of Quiet presents ""Mr Matthews' True Color of Venus Revue featuring High School Confidential" as the show, now deeply energized, goes on and on. Special guest Bob Bellerue also engineers that evening, and co-hosts and co-DJs with yours truly.

My thanks seem meager in light of what's presented here, but I give them nonetheless, to Eddie and the rest of the Black Twilight Circle, for sharing with WFMU and The Castle their incredible gifts. This show was one for the ages, and I'll proudly present it to my grandkids, or anyone else who asserts that I "don't do anything." Fucking great, beyond all measure.

The BTC is, I'm sure, in no small part responsible, for our program being 23% of the way to our pledge total / goal of $1,000 for the month of October, as it's only the 8th, and WFMU's stealth fundraiser is largely a Web-only, non-intrusive affair. Thanks to everyone who's pledged so far! You too can participate, by employing the pledge widget atop any Castle playlist page.

We move on, from the horrorcast™ to end all horrorcasts, it seems, forever ready to wage war with the future, strengthened by our experiences here. Listen, and be truly amazed.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

TONIGHT - The Black Twilight Circle invades MCoQ!

Without question, the most innovative black metal coming out of the U.S. today is created by the mysterious collective known as the Black Twilight Circle. Based in Southern California, the grouping of ~a dozen bands release their material for the most part, though not exclusively, on their own Crepusculo Negro records, representing a nearly self-sufficient creative organization. The many, talented bands in the BTC run the gamut from hardcore punk to more traditionally inspired bm, at the same time weaving in elements of psychedelia, Mayan folk music and lore, and new, expansive powers so fresh as to defy description (for example, how does one pin down with words the magnetic and mighty essence of a band like Arizmenda?) As part of their first-ever East Coast tour as a collective, the Black Twilight Circle visit WFMU's My Castle of Quiet, where each of five (or perhaps more?) bands will give a brief but salient representation of their material. Expect to hear short, surging sets by Kallathon, Arizmenda, Dolorvotre, The Haunting Presence, and Volahn.

Altar technicians give the thumbs-up @ midnight.
Bands go on a.s.a.p.
By 3 a.m., we are all knee-deep in Christian blood.
WFMU 91.1 FM (NY/NJ)
WMFU 90.1 FM (Hudson Valley)
wfmu.org live on the Web, with live accu-playlist, message board and pledge "widget" for WFMU's Web-only October fundraiser (i.e., no awkward, heavy-handed pitching.)

My Castle of Quiet is, at this point, 7% of the way to our pledge goal for WFMU's show-specific October fundraiser. You can pledge right from the top of our playlist page, easy as Archaeopteryx pie. Let WFMU know that programs like our special with the BTC are appreciated, and are something you'd like to hear more of.

Friday, September 30, 2011

stay frosty

Ahh, October.

She rise, she rise. Her skin is pale white, and cold. Our Miss October—Ingrid Pitt...to submerge in her tresses! And my invocation is answered, and all women's fashion, hair and makeup comes to an abrupt halt sometime in the late 1960s, generously 1971. No Jordache jeans, no disco tits. No flattened perms, no satin dresses. All is go-go boots, cleavage, mini-dresses, pointy little fangs, and hair, hair, HAIR!—thick and bouncy, rich and shakeable.

The Castle marches on. With every horrorcast™, a few more celebrants join the party. And I was thinking...why this music? No discernable lyrics, melody only in the sense of our beloved film soundtracks, and in the frantically strummed baroque figures of "depressive" or "symphonic" black metal. This music is for us, those who know that things are definitely not all right, and that it's O.K. The ones who desperately cling to their pop and other "nostalgic" music are unwilling to admit that we are at the end of the road, and the view, the view actually isn't half bad. I've set up my chair, the autumn breeze cools my scalp, and no other music will any longer be suitable. The soundtrack to the apocalypse is damn GOOD, and you can get it from The Castle every week. Chaos is bliss.

Two big thoughts for you to ponder, if you wish. Lust (a perennial), and a kind of aesthetically based social elitism. Onto the music.

Comments-board notices this week for Brisbane's Lustration, the great Tukaaria, that crazy-ass Wretched Worst tape on Chondritic, Century Plants, Zombie Zombie, and the *new* out-fucking-standing Wulkanaz 7" on Seed Stock (RB mused last week that it's his best release yet.)

A wealth of special programming assaults us this month, both on The Castle and on WFMU proper. Next week, next Thursday, the Black Twilight Circle tour tromps through our heavy doors, to present sets by Dolorvotre, Arizmenda, The Haunting Presence, Volahn, and Kallathon. Will BHL and Kuxan Suum perform as well, as the tour poster would seem to suggest? Tune in and see. The tour hits our area for live performances as well, with shows on Monday, 10/3 @ Brooklyn's Acheron, and Friday, 10/7, the night after the My Castle of Quiet broadcast, at one of my favorite grimy hot-spots (perhaps because I used to live across the street), The Charleston, on Bedford Ave., in Brooklyn's Northside.

AND...Coming up on the eve of 10/20-21, our friend Mister Matthews, of both Telecult Powers and the Hex Breaker Quintet/Quartet, brings his solo project High School Confidential to the show, along with special guest co-host and co-DJ Bob Bellerue.

The month of October also brings you a unique way to support WFMU and show your specific appreciation for the My Castle of Quiet show, by participating in our non-invasive, Web-only fundraiser (we're trying something new.) There's a new t-shirt design, as well as limited CDr of Sun Ra remixes, to which many staff members contributed, myself included. Perhaps most of all, this is the first time in WFMU history when each individual show has its own pledge-total goal for the month, establishing a make-no-mistake scenario, wherein each listener can individually support the show or shows that they like. It's as easy as few clicks, and you can view the mighty "widget," and contribute NOW by visiting The Castle's main playlist page.

Now have at it, do me proud, and make sure to check http://wfmu.org/ to see what special programs my colleagues at the station have to offer this month as well.

For the moment, lovely, icy Ingrid will take you with a click to the playlist and audio archives of this week's horrorcast. Stay tuned.