Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Lately, this seems to be the header on my cineast's dance card—films that engage, even entrance, through all-too-believable depictions of human frailty and psychoses. These are far from horror films, in the traditional genre sense at least, the horror in these stories being all too potentially real. As the self-appointed chronicler of "bad news," My Castle of Quiet presents these recently viewed recommendations, though I say without jest that one should watch these films at one's own risk and discretion.

The Free Will (2006) - Visually unadorned, like the films of the Dogme 95 school, The Free Will is a bleak tale of love on the fringes, that between a serial rapist, a repeat offender in and out of prison, and a woman he meets through his work, the daughter of a print-shop owner who has quietly endured years of sexual abuse at the hand of her own father. The pair are drawn together, amounting to the most "normal" love the other has and likely ever will know, though inevitable tragedy hovers throughout even the most hopeful moments of this film like a patient buzzard.

The Living and the Dead (2006) - Through a series of coincidental mishaps, a very ill woman must spend several days in the care of her adult son, who is himself plagued, by complex mental retardation, with hallucinations and severe OCD. Though he tries his best to look after "mummy," while the statesman father of the family is off on an emergency, desperately trying to save his crumbling career, James the son is simply too ill-equipped and medication-dependent to manage his own life, much less that of a severely ailing woman. A devastating story, nonetheless extremely well done.

The War Game (1965) - Deemed too intense and disturbing in its day to air on the BBC, this 45-minute docu-drama depicts the potential effects on London and the surrounding areas in a nuclear air strike. Done in newsreel style, with minimal indication that it's actors we're watching, The War Game is an unflinching, blatant horror, guaranteed to stir your anti-nuke sentiments to a boil, more even than a listen to the entire Napalm Death discography. You can view The War Game in its entirety on Google video by clicking here.

Troubled Water (2008) - An understated, earnest and powerful performance by the lead actor, and a grand style of almost Kubrickian photography, make this perhaps the most readily palatable of this particular quintet of films. At the very least, there is something "full" or "complete" about Troubled Water, though one would be hard pressed to call it uplifting. A soft-spoken man of about 30 is released from Norwegian prison, and pursues his only possible career direction—one established before his incarceration—as a Church organist. Though he's quite talented, most in his little home town would just assume not have him back, considering the nature of his past crime, albeit committed when he was still an adolescent. It's a small story about big problems, in a way an interesting companion piece to The Free Will, as both films deal with the desperate attempts of individuals to reintegrate into straight society despite the aberrant psychotic behavior of their past.

Primo Amore (2004) - A rigid and solitary goldsmith initiates a romance with a lonely but charming woman he meets on a blind date. There's just one problem, she needs to be "about 10 kilos thinner" in his view, and through subtle manipulation that evolves insidiously over the months into torture and self-denial, the need for love and companionship locks both parties in an eventually explosive cycle of abuse. It's one of those films you'll feel bad saying you "liked," but it's nonetheless strikingly human and effective.

For lighter fare also viewed recently, might I also suggest Roger Corman's The Tomb of Ligeia, yet another one of Corman's stylish Poe adaptations from the middle 60s, starring Vincent Price at his grooviest, in stovepipe hat and light-sensitivity shades. If this lushly photographed tale of death, obsession, haunting and witchcraft can be considered "lighter fare" to the titles above, it speaks first to the stark neo-realism of those films, as well as the "warm-fuzzy" that can now be achieved by some of us through watching these older, more straightforward genre tales.

For extra credit throw on the pile Salvation's DVD of the little-known Bloody New Year (1987), a UK production, directed by Norman J. Warren, more well known himself for British B classics like Alien Prey, Terror, Satan's Slave and Horror Planet. Bloody New Year would appear at first to be an imitation of the American slasher films of that era, but quickly evolves into a wildly supernatural tale of old ghosts and the living dead in a seaside hotel. Bloody New Year borrows from both The Evil Dead and The Redeemer, but Salvation almost never serves us up crap, and this one has enough original ideas to keep horror diggers pleased and engaged, with some extremely oddball makeup and several thrilling kill scenes.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Entirely prime realms of the unreal THANK YOU!!

OH, YOU'RE WELCOME! Take the pa-aison now, do so. It has traveled a long distance, after all. Go all sleepy bye-byes.

Praise aplenty for this week's musicians in the Castle court! Long Distance Poison! Dare to stand close to them, and listen, as did your host and author, and did your session engineer. (Of course, we loaded up on antidote, just to be safe.) You can hear the full, three-hour archive of this week's My Castle of Quiet show by simply clicking on the most-devoted lovers above, and um, choosing your poison of streamed audio. A succinct but enthusiastic playlist-comments board showed naught but love for the live sounds, interwoven with somnambulic apologies - "SO SORRY WE MUST GO NOW, OF ALL TIMES TO LEAVE." —which session will post as one giant mp3 to WFMU's Beware of The Blog and Free Music Archive next week.

Also noted seemingly every time they grace the Castle airwaves were left-coast brethren Physical Demon (this time from their CD Hyperdrift) as well as Sixes, Pulse Emitter and The Cherry Point.

Love can be a little cold sometimes. This post was delayed due to internal problems with blogger; my apologies to anyone who might wait upon these things. 'Twas a very enjoyable episode in the Castle canon, with great music and painless banter (even funny!) All my best to the band; more praises a' comin' as I become gradually one with the recording of Sisu, which I myself did get to collaborate upon with said LDP. Many thanks!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Killing You Softly, and from Some Measured Interval; Long Distance Poison on My Castle of Quiet radio on WFMU, Tonight.

I like the way the picture above assigned different color schemes, or "tones," to each member of Long Distance Poison; very appropriate. It came about by complete accident, in Photoshop, as I stumbled about, with one of the photos the band has up online in my twisted hand.

Long Distance Poison present an irresistible concoction of convergent psychedelic and 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. They've released some excellent tapes, on Life Like and Cryptic Carousel, releases that capitalize on the band's strength in long-form electronic composition with a wealth of improvisational wiggle-room. (Yet more can be heard at the band's soundcloud page.) There's a "ground" concept for each section of each piece, but that merely serves as a taking-off point for LDP's pulsating extrapolations, typically about 30 minutes in length total, or longer. They've been wowing local Brooklyn audiences for some time now, and part of the fun of their shows is the opportunity to experience the band finding their way in the moment, watching the clay of their ideas take on form and urgency as they go.

Long Distance Poison now bring their live power to My Castle of Quiet in a performance that's not to be missed; I'm honored to say that it's a collaboration of sorts between myself and the band, inasmuch as their live set will be a score to an imagined film, one I conceived at their suggestion—a Nordic romance entitled Sisu ( see, there was this Finnish exchange student in sixth grade...I never really got over it.)

Don't miss the premiere.

With my last decrepit reach, my hand bloodied and shredded, I turn the latch that flings open the Castle door @ midnight.
LDP @ 12:30 approx.
WFMU 91.1 FM (NY/NJ)
WMFU 90.1 FM (Hudson Valley) live on the Web

Friday, March 18, 2011

I am pleased

And this means that I too am pleased, for here at MCoQ, LLC, we live to please the dour. Among all the countless reasons why The Castle lives and persists, another day for your host to not power-serve the straight razor, and/or take a megabucks hot-shit shot, one HUGE reason is that we make the glum a little less so. Temporarily pacifying sounds for troubled minds, not least of all that of the DJ.

Wanna see a list of all the things I didn't get to, but so sorely intended to play? Just for laughs? I'm gonna do it anyway..... new Decoy Jews tracks, a pre-release burn of the new Decapitated Hed on tanzprocesz (kudos, Tim!), as-yet-unreleased album side by Darvulia from a forthcoming split, new Cthulhu Youth full-length (the grind hat for members of Sesso Violento and Coprophagic Substratum), a new Lussuria tape on Hospital Productions, and a 4-way split tape from Ives, Hot Graves, Nak'ay, and Cellgraft. That's what I DIDN'T get to, and this is one of those things where I just need to write it all down, and it makes me feel a little less bad to rub the belly of the OCD kitty in the brain.

Still, something happened in those three hours. Arvo Zylo's 333, new to compact disc ("this is the craziest song i've ever heard" ... "what genre is this???") boxed some ears, as did a Kakerlak cassette selection from 2007. And...NEXT WEEK'S VERY-SPECIAL LIVE GUESTS, Long Distance Poison, got a positive reaction from Castle playlisters, as they most often do. Looking forward to that. Sisu!

To hear last night's horrorcast™ in all its seedy glory, simply click on the blood-soaked traveler above. It's the only way to go.

Friday, March 11, 2011

In the labyrinth of amazement that is WFMU; The Castle is my black acid!

We did alright, considering last year's relocation of the show into late nights (which in some ways has been a boon—make no mistake—but the playlist action and marathon-pledge activity has been quite obviously minimized—not complaining, it's just a fact.) The faithful checked in, Pseu and I hung tight, and some great prizes were given away, and more than a few of you got copies of my Demo Hell collection.

I invented a voice to accompany the character of an elder colostomy-bag wearer, quite spontaneously at that. Some new friends (Os) and some old friends (GC) checked in with pledges, and that was uplifting, not to mention those giggly girl fellow staffers who popped over and made the Castle slightly less of a gloomy place than usual. (Understand, the gloom is my environment, I welcome it, I nurture it and grow it like a beloved seed. It is much of the reason the show exists.) I am, that said, not immune to giggly girl charms.

In these days where the whole marathon/fundraising experience puts me somewhat uncomfortably in the hot seat (as I've always expected and hoped to just be noticed for doing stuff, rather than make a whole lot of exaggerated effort to get the show, or anything I do recognized (textbook underachiever, I acknowledge)), it was cool to riff with Pseu, and laugh, and do my Oliver Reed voice. Thanks for tuning in and for pledging! Every dime and dollar is appreciated! Hope it made for entertaining radio. Wanna hear it all? Click on Kinski's Nosferatu above; screen cap borrowed from The Lightning Bug's Lair review of the film.

As always, there was some playlist recognition for the rarer sounds; Physical Demon, a band whose praises I sing again and again, contributors to the Demo Hell, A My Castle of Quiet Companion #2 premium CDr, wowed WFMU's own Jeff M. with their uniquely psychedelicized horror/jam/noise.

Looking forward to things getting back to normal as far as the Castle radio show goes, with Long Distance Poison in two weeks (creating a live score for a film I imagined!), Castevet in April, Rust Worship in May, and Richard Ramirez/Black Leather Jesus in June.

Also looking forward to tomorrow night's An evening of: Metal / Noise / Horror, at Baltimore's Hexagon, 1825 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD; see you there maybe. I'll try to remember to wear my Old Wainds shirt; otherwise, I'll be the guy in black. I'll also have an extremely modest Prison Tatt table set up (two releases, and a $3 bin.) Please click the link above for more info on the event.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

We Need To Carry It Off.

My Castle of Quiet Marathon Show #2 "Monumental" with Pseu Braun

That's A. And because I hate to cannibalize myself. Suffice it to say tune in and pledge, if you haven't already. Win cool shit. Get my premium for a pledge of $75 or more. Thursday night at midnight ET.

B is this great show I'm excited to be a part of this Saturday in Baltimore—An evening of: Metal / Noise / Horror. The night brings together a lot of people who share certain aesthetic visions and approach; without sounding too pretentious, I think we're all sort of excited to work together. Images speak louder than words, so see the image down below for the event info (click to make larger, like most things.) The folks whose work I know are some of my favorites around, and those who will be new to me I'm excited to see, especially based on the taste and aims of the event's organizers. Lussuria, Malkuth and T.O.M.B. have all played on the Castle radio show, and Decapitated Hed played on Nat Roe's program, all on WFMU (again, see My Castle of Quiet Marathon Show #2 "Monumental" with Pseu Braun above.) Kakerlak and Putrid Servant are also Castle favorites.

So hope to find you in some form of corporeal or non-corporeal attendance, at one or both of these events, at this week's end. Bring your soul.

Friday, March 4, 2011

This is my favorite show to listen to while reading comic books.

Last night, I actually coined the phrase, "down to the goat's chin hair." What resourcefulness the human brain demonstrates when forced! And though the first of two 2011 Castle broadcasts was not quite the bloodletting I'd hoped for, what's proven time and again is that My Castle of Quiet listeners are intensely devoted and righteous to the cause. You all give what you can (some very generous, indeed!), and throughout my time doing the show, I've connected to an incredibly labyrinthine community of lovable noise heads, not-for-nothing raw-metal freaks, seemingly reg.-joe horror-film fans and cosmic-consciousness circuit-benders armed with soldering irons.

The young, articulate and *handsome* Nat Roe, clapped with co-hosting duties for my shift, noted that the show "coheres," and well, that is what I'm going for week after week, presenting music that may be challenging or difficult, or what some would even call "non-music," in a palatable context, expanding listener horizons one head at a time, and as painlessly as possible.

Castlehead love flowed as per usual; this time the board lit up for what's probably my favorite Ash Pool song, "Vices Triumph Over Wisdom." Classic Sabbath, Brown's Lepidoptera LP, the new York Factory Complaint tape, and Liturgy's "Beyond the Magic Forest" also sparked flares. And perhaps most importantly, Skulleraser's track, "Enter/Land," available only on their self-issued CDr, as well as this year's My Castle of Quiet companion CDr, earned itself a "HOLY HELL."

Thanks SO MUCH to listener Alexandra Kogan for adopting me from WFMU's Flickr adoption gallery. Way great and totally unexpected. The WFMU 2011 Marathon continues through March 13th, where it will culminate in a massive DJ-karaoke and pledge-goal-total-reaching party at Maxwell's in Hoboken. My co-host next week? The illustrious Pseu Braun. Super fuckin' good times!

In the interim, I'll be bopping down to Baltimore to participate in an amazing event March 12 at The Hexagon. It's an incredible lineup, and I'm proud to have been asked to DJ, so pull up a goblet and a brazier and say "Hail!" I'll also be holding down a Prison Tatt records table, where you can purchase the new OPPONENTS CD, Together We Will End The Future, as well as one of the last-remaining copies of Grasshopper's "Calling All Creeps" one-sided LP.

Click on the skull-eclipse above to reach the audio archive and playlist of last night's fundraising and hair-raising horrorcast™.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Demo Hell, and the 2011 WFMU Marathon

The full title is Demo Hell, a My Castle of Quiet Companion 2, featuring exclusive, generously donated tracks by Bob Bellerue, Physical Demon, Skulleraser, Husere Grav, Ungoliant (Joseph Curwen of T.O.M.B.), and Explosive Improvised Device; spiced in are some of my favorite tracks from the black metal demos I've collected over the years—selections by Black Witchery, Whisper, Helvette, and Demon Sword.

The only way, the sole avenue to acquiring said item is by pledging 75 Yankee dollars (or more) tonight during the My Castle of Quiet live broadcast from midnight to 3 a.m. Eastern, or during next week's show in the same time frame. It's a doozy, I worked hard on it, and I'm hoping you'll all pony up for a copy. The Demo Hell cover artwork, in pencil and watercolor, is an original by Castle listener and close friend Sarah Zahn.

WFMU needs your pledge dollars, in order to continue dazzling the populace, as we have done since long, filthy hair and grubby beards were *first* in fashion. Either way, co-host and maniacal mixateer Nat Roe and myself will be having a great time, so please tune in. If $75 is beyond your budget, a minimum pledge of $15 still gets you in on the fun; you're a part of our unique "something," and will still be eligible for drawings for lots of terrific prizes and station swag.

My gratitude and Satanic hails in advance.