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.