Saturday, December 31, 2011


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, 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 >>>

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!


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.


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) 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 ( 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™.