Friday, December 28, 2012

It's all "sombre" ...

You guys turn my traditional grey pallor a decided shade of blush. Year's end being an inevitable time of reflection, I can say for sure that I've had my ups and my downs, my moments of shame and of great joy, personally speaking...but that most-rare opportunity of turning the giant key in the Castle door, dimming the lights (thanks, Dave the Spazz!) and playing an array of my weekly favorites for you all, that ALWAYS delivers. I'm grateful, both to WFMU, and to the ever-growing cadre that has gathered around the My Castle of Quiet program, for giving my every Thursday into Friday a decided sense of purpose and forward movement.

Onward we go, into the year 2013, with the surety of continued, weekly notes from the musical fringe, special programming and live appearances, and the added bonus of personal connections with some of the listeners, performers, and music labels that have helped make the show what it is. (Those live sets, from Yellow Eyes and Sun Splitter, and last week's hardcore fiesta with Ides, are forthcoming on WFMU's Web portals, I promise; you may have noted that sets by Lea Bertucci and K-Salvatore, originally aired live in early October, just went up this week.)

In other new MCoQ Web business, our yearly list of horror films and most-favored music posted last week to Beware of The Blog, and I swung into this week's program shamefully noting the many glaring omissions from the music list (K-Salvatore's Tsar Ova Elk, the Vetala/Black Cilice split 7" from 2011, the False s/t LP, and Sun Splitter's III come most-readily to mind, NOW.) But that's the "curse" of the music-obsessive; any list of favorites scrolls to the floor and beyond, as there are so many favorites; at least I'm lucky enough to have a radio show, so that weekly colonic exorcism can be counted upon to relieve the pressure. ...

On to this week's horrorcast™, where another still from V / H / S adorned our playlist, listener comments-board mentions included

HASIL ADKINS (on WFMU, no way! ???)
NINIKA (new on NVS)

Click on the creepy girl alien, looking on, emotionless, as Emily lies unconscious and bloodied on the floor, to reach the audio archives and playlist for this week's My Castle of Quiet.

Friday, December 21, 2012

you fill the void.







It was a trebly, punchy, showing of electric maelstrom last night; there was a lightning rod on every turret of The Castle, just to ensure that if anything did happen, it was going to happen here. The cymbals and downbeats in every selection rattled with extra chaos, the servants broke the china, and dropped every pot and pan in the house, and lightning struck; the crackles musical sky whomps. IDES broke the playlist-accolade record, for sure. Everything buzzed, like sheets of paper-thin, electrified chain mail, and a time was had by all!

Have the holiday week you were meant to have, the one you wish to have, and we'll see you after the sleighs have been through; after the last kid has opened up a sweater, and groaned slightly and pretended to like it.


Click on the "I like you"-girl from V / H / S to reach the playlist and audio archives for last night's horrorcast.™

Thursday, December 20, 2012

TONIGHT ... IDES! LIVE NJHC on My Castle of Quiet!!

There's so much great, new hardcore, especially in the last 10 years or so, that I can hardly keep up, especially with all my other assorted musical fetishes, but I try! ...And New Jersey, like Boston, being one of the places where the genre was originally born and thrived, is no slouch in modern terms.

With that in mind, MCoQ is proud to present a live set from IDES, a band just on the approach to some peak / plateau of their powers. IDES pack more variation and energy into their 40-sec. to 1.5-min. songs than most bands in punk put into songs twice or three tines as long.

And not to overemphasize the "female singer" aspect, but Jillian Keats' vocals do add an enticing element to IDES' sound, a relevance of fresh energy and (girl) power, and fans of Nausea and Crass, and other legendary female-fronted hardcore bands, will not be disappointed.

You can listen to their demo and single at the their bandcamp page (linked above and below), which will give you more than an idea of what to expect, though I also imagine IDES to be a band so fresh and so vital, that they're probably getting better and better with each show and practice session.

I climb to the top of the impossibly long spiral staircase, and toll the bell (for thee) @ midnight.
IDES go live @ 12:30 a.m. approx.
WFMU 91.1 FM (NY/NJ)
WMFU 90.1 FM (Hudson Valley) live on the Web, with real-time accuplaylist and message board.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Exploding heart, what a way to die.

Not a still from a horror movie this time, but a slice instead of real-life horror. JFK's press man, Malcolm Killduff, pointing to where the fatal shot took out the President's skull; a blast from the grassy knoll.

This image is not seen often enough; by its very existence, it tears to shreds the laughable Warren-Commission report on the assassination. And on its face, an emblem of the rapidly deteriorating faith in our government, which continues to this day. True horror, especially when compared to our usual escapist imagery culled from classic and modern films (not that I don't love the same; quite obviously, I do.) But the MEN BEHIND THE CURTAIN are still running things, and will continue to do so, unless and until we all embrace the spirit of revolution that's on continuous slow burn in our hearts.

On to last night's horrorcast™, comment-board favorites included-

Cornflakes 808 (danceable Simonetti-isms from Italy)
Wulkanaz (already oop tape on Wohrt)
Yellow Eyes (MCoQ live set here; dazzling live clip here)
Highgate (a great 2010 doom record, dropped into my lap via trade)
False Flag (2x floppy-disc release)

It's a continuous source of creative release and ultimately joy for me to do the weekly, live, My Castle of Quiet broadcasts, and knowing that there are many of you out there following along, with ears and minds open, just serves to sweeten the pot. And though I spend much of my week distracted and fretful, loneliness and despair always looming within reach, it seems to make sense that it all culminates in the weekly broadcast, where we get to commiserate on some great music, made up of feelings ominous and occasionally disturbing. We "break bread" over a meal of unusual and dark art—and don't you dare call me late to dinner!

Thanks for listening, always, and watch out! "Beware, be aware!" as Gong put it, and I'll catch you next week, with Ides live in the WFMU studio.

Friday, December 7, 2012

the lake kneels before your awesome.

Pumpkinhead—a great American horror film, beautiful in its simplicity. Stan Winston's finest hour; a tale of supernatural vengeance, with great American horror star Lance Henriksen at its centre, as grieving father "Edddd Haaaarley." An exquisitely designed monster, that's never overexposed, and all blissfully pre-CGI.

Which reminds me, the My Castle of Quiet end-of-year film and music list is coming soon. The film list is not limited to horror, nor is it limited to ten entries, and the music list gets longer every year. Never a simple, expository banging-out of plot lines, I work hard on the piece, pruning and refining it throughout the year, and the POV is most intentionally subjective and personal. I don't want you adding crap to your Netflix queues, nor do I want to tell you the whole story, ever ... just enough enticement to encourage you to see some movies (and listen to some music) that made my year, and form your own notions about it all. Just to jog your memory, here's last year's list.

This week's program flowed like milky-white android juice out of Ian Holm's mouth, and I had the usual rejuvenating slam-bang creative release of a time, three hours zipping by before I knew what was happening. ... Playlist commenters enjoyed:

EDWARD KA-SPEL'S A Pleasure Cruise Through Nine Dimensions
VETALA, from split 7"' with Black Cilice
MONARCH Sortilège
BEREFT double-CS reissue (live video)
DON PRESTON'S analog-electronic works; collection on Sub Rosa

Thanks always for your kind words, your respectful and enthusiastic appreciation of the weekly horrorcast™—it never gets old!

Back next week, and in two with live music from NJ's Ides!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Guillermo, me gusta!!!!! ... Hot damn, what a demonic sound going down.







Friday, November 23, 2012

Crepuscular. ... The mortar of sadness and hate.

Okay, so I have a healthy hatred for the holidays, Halloween aside (and Purim is kind of fun!), but also feel the need to craft that "have a good, happy time, NOW!" into something of my own. It feels shitty to be alone on Thanksgiving, or New Years, no doubt about it. I'm fully aware that I nonetheless have a great deal to be thankful/grateful for, and this radio show falls high on the list.

No matter how sick, tired or unmotivated I may feel on any given Thursday night, I always get a great charge/restart from every Castle broadcast; it's soul food. Chicken Soup for My Blackened Soul. I spared you all from any great wealth of my illness-damaged voice, and spun the black....

Playlist favorites included-

Bad News (neo-retro-fuzzy-beats-fuck-it's-just-good!, on Chondritic) | Wretched Worst (GREAT new 7" EP on Husk! ...and let me seize this opportunity to turn your attention again to their madness-inducing MCoQ live set from April) | Sixx (Von members in deathrock attire; glamorous, must-have reissue on Nuclear War Now!) | Iowa City maniacs Solid Attitude (outstanding new LP on Rotted Tooth!) | Ides (the pride of NJ's current hardcore universe!)

You've all been very generous, both with pledges and praise. And for those of you who haven't yet donated to WFMU in this time of post-storm crises, please consider clicking on the white pledge widget above this post (or on any page at and giving what you can afford, just to push us up and over that last 14% towards our recovery goal.

So much good music that will have to hold until next week, most notably the new CD by Altar of Flies, which has been providing me with much joyful immersion at home. It's shaping up to be a great winter.... As Witchdoctor put it, "every day is a holiday, anutha muthafuckin' dollar day."

Thanks for listening; tap you next week.

Friday, November 16, 2012 wet tires spinning against wet pavement ... like H. R. back flipping just ahead of a tornado of nails. ... subtle new sonic palettes, wrapped in a launched fury.

Pointed shards of cold black rained down for nearly 2.5 hours, penetrating our bodies and minds, like little psyche-needles; that is, before Attila and co. swung us into deep, contemplative territory. That said, there are a great many shades of "black," and it feels good to know that so many of you see that reality as I do. Black metal has, to me, been the most consistently fertile musical genre of the last 20 years, constantly reinventing itself and opening new doors of exhaustingly varied creative expression.

How gratifying to have reached this plateau with the My Castle of Quiet show, where listeners shower the program with positive commentary, and appreciate the assemblage of my selections. You have made the program what I always hoped it would become—a place where music that's often challenging, and still remains immediately repellent to a great many, can be thoroughly appreciated in the context of a thoughtfully crafted mélange. Thanks and thanks again, Castleheads!

Thanks also for your many generous pledges, at a time when WFMU is in dire need of financial relief and support. I'm proud and honored to do what I can to keep the great mothership of unique creativity that is WFMU afloat, while returning every week to a listenership that's beyond supportive, and always looking forward to more! I always knew that black metal, noise, and the darker side of human expression in general needed a voice on terrestrial radio, and with your help that vision has been made manifest.

Playlist favorites included "Achilles Last Stand" (great live clip here, Knebworth 1979); Altars; the excellent, new tape by Montréal's Verglas; our great backlog of live performances, most notably (this time) Occultation, The Gate, and Shaved Women; Cold Empty Universe (who this week, were not even aired!); Orcrist; White Medal (split CD w/ Caina on Legion Blotan); Marblebog; and Swansea's Ghast.

Thanks as always for listening, and for your incredible support! I'll be back next week, an anti-holiday celebration.

Click on our flexible and quite resourceful (!) playlist hottie, from Gerald Kargl and Zbigniew Rybczynski's Angst (1983) (thanks to SARZAN for the avi rip!), to reach the playlist, audio archives and comments board for last night's horrorcast™.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Prison Tatt's CDr subsidiary, PASSION AND TORMENT SERIES, is launched!

Designed to deliver great music to the public, in a more-timely and cost-effective manner than the vinyl format demands, Prison Tatt Records is proud to present the Passion and Torment Series.

No skimping on content or quality here, the label was designed quite simply to manage the great influx of excellent music that comes across our desktop at Prison Tatt. These are pro-press CDrs with d.i.y. packaging, in hand-numbered, limited editions of 50.

We begin with four CDrs, kindred in style to the releases on the mother label, but our stain is spreading, and these releases represent a more eclectic view in genres represented. 

Releases by >>>

Dreadlords (BZ of T.O.M.B. and Panther Modern; a dark, aggressive and intimate excursion)

Dope (long-form, drugged-out, psychedelic black metal art from Russia)

Goblin War Trio (free-jazz krautnoise; supergroup improv trio from Brooklyn)

Bondage (hard-driving, gloomy, neo-garage post-punk from Peru)

Music samples, full descriptions, and links to buy at the Passion and Torment site.

E N J O Y !

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Gen Ken Montgomery's LIVE CON Mix from July, up @ Free Music Archive!

In honor of the NYC-wide event, CON-MYTHOLOGY, a multi-venue celebration of the music and films of late composer Conrad Schnitzler, Gen Ken created this live, real-time collage of Schnitzler's music on WFMU's My Castle of Quiet on 7.20.2012. 

All source material © Conrad Schnitzler. Click on the CON photo, to listen and download via my curator portal at the Free Music Archive.

Very grateful to wake up to $173.83 in NEW pledges, on a week when I wasn't even one the air! Mucho thanks for the support, friends, and keep it coming; ...WFMU is a pillar of need right now, quite seriously. I'll be back spinning rare metal and noise this Thursday night, and pitching with a vengeance!

Please see the white, rectangular pledge widget above to donate to MCoQ and WFMU.

Friday, November 2, 2012

pidge and wm.......dreamteam ...Listening live as society collapses.

Impressions on last night, #1. Clay Pigeon is a top guy. Stimulating company and conversation, a true good soul, born to be on WFMU. #2. Pre-recording The Castle from home may lack the spontaneity of a live broadcast, but it sure makes for a well-thought-out, tight and entertaining show, and you all seemed to agree on that point.

Like so many individuals and businesses in New Jersey, WFMU has been thrown into pretty instant fiscal chaos by hurricane Sandy. The unfortunate, but necessary cancellation of our record fair this weekend was a huge, immediate blow to the station coffers, and being off the air put a hurting on our now-extended silent fundraiser (please see white rectangular widget above.) And YES, I have resulted to puffy areolas, boobs and sex chat in general on our playlist, in the hopes of raising the most pledges possible. That's not to say that I don't love last night's capture from Behind Convent Walls, I do, but at some point during the show it occurred to me that "sex sells," and that maybe my subconscious was motivating me to feel extra-sexy.

I am glad that I made the moderately perilous trek from my home to the station and back last night; it was a very enjoyable broadcast for me personally, and the playlist was lively, with all manner of relevant and irreverent chatter, both on my part and that of our beloved listeners—who after all ultimately make us what we are (both in terms of My Castle of Quiet in the specific, and WFMU overall.) Thanks not only for your pledges—your generosity knows no bounds, at a time when a great many are truly strapped for cash—and also for your wealth of positive feedback. I'm not so hardened by life that a simple "I love this show!" doesn't make me chuff up with both pride and gratitude. I have worked hard over the last three-plus years, to make My Castle of Quiet the most relevant and entertaining show that's comprised of some pretty "challenging" and fatally outside-the-mainstream content. Long live black metal, doom, noise, horror and beyond!

I have labored to find my tribe, to make this so-called-difficult music, which by and large expresses the darker, hidden, but no less passionate side of human expression, continually bridge outward and find an even larger audience. We're here, we're wound a bit tight, not in the greatest mood, and have some things to say you might not like—deal with it. Maybe even come to like it.

Playlist favorites last night were Bestial Summoning, Smoke, the great new NRIII CD (some nice, descriptive words and a link to purchase here), and Castle mainstay Lussuria.

Thanks again to Bill Zebub for filling in next week. I'll be back on 11/15-16. In the meantime, click on our beautiful Sister of Chirst above, crafting herself a wooden lover, to reach the playlist, archives and comments board for last night's horrorcast.™

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

BOOBS to Sandy! Special My Castle of Quiet broadcast this week ... from The Castle!

Boobs to that shitty hurricane that decimated much of WFMU's home state. This week, MCoQ will be broadcasting live from Castle HQ, in the seedy bowels of NJ. Tune in for the usual antics—goofy mic breaks, and a shit-ton of black metal and noise. Accuplaylist will be live.

The Castle takes a break next week, with Bill Zebub's Vortex of Chaos filling in. I'm headed West. Regular Castle broadcasting resumes 11/15-16.

Thank you to everyone who pledged to the show during this past month, bringing us 31% towards our perhaps through-the-ceiling goal, hehe. You people rule! Hail, Castleheads!

Please note: Due to hurricane outages of our signal, and the cancelation of our record fair, WFMU is extending our silent fundraiser to November 17, so please keep those pledges coming, thanks!!

The brimstone heats up, promptly at midnight Thu./Fri.
WFMU 91.1 FM (currently off the air)
WMFU 90.1 FM (Hudson Valley) live on the Web, with real-time accu-playlist and message board.

See you in two weeks!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Who's paying who here?

The Athens Delight, from Stella's Pizzeria in Jersey City, has become the "Castle staple" foodstuff, for bands, DJ and engineer alike. A hearty vegetarian pie, the food of the Olympian Gods, as it were, though the home-cooking of Magda and Dave is vastly preferred when available.

I think two nights, two bands, and two ADs in a row was asking a bit too much of my, er, tract, and I was up most of the night, with one of my son's freezable teething rings on my lower back, in the kidney area; holy Hell, it almost felt like another stone—"The Feta'll Get Ya"—a new saying I'm working on. The Feta'll get you, kind of like the "Rhythm," but without a newly spined Gloria Estefan signing and dancing for your pleasure.

It's a little early for year-end reflection, but I can't help feeling like a lucky duck every week, as with WFMU's help, I've crafted a forum (see continued Greek references) wherein great bands like the ones we heard this week just volunteer to show up and play. A hearty dose of blackened love, then, from those who just want to sit at home or at work or on the train and listen; love from the typical black metaler or noisehead is not love given lightly then, not like that from a pop fan, who might "love" nearly everything. Black metal started out as an "elite" thing, and by and large it remains so, though any righteous individual is welcome to apply.

The grand tetons of last night's Castle show were unquestionably our live performers, Yellow Eyes, a highly accomplished and committed black metal band (with whom I was instantly simpatico, btw) who don't need to be in your face every five minutes, or even every five days, and have worked hard to to polish their craft, and that's it, and that's art; listen if you will, listen if you dare. ...and Sun Splitter, whose III LP has been mystifying and and entrancing me for months, some of Chicago's finest; hearty blokes who carry with them the most gear I have ever seen for a single Castle session, and whose music is a deep-dish (forgive me, pizza on the brain) of dark enchantment and most definitely solid-bodied, Gibson-guitar rock (emphasized somehow by guitarist Frank's back-length hair and three-piece suit.)

It simply doesn't get much better for me than presenting powerful live music, from artists that create passionately on the very fringes of what's even considered "music." Both sessions will appear in downloadable mp3 format on WFMU's Free Music Archive, via my curator portal there, in my usual "due course" of one month+. In the meantime, there's WFMU's streaming archives (benign-but-ominous "Satanized" voices chant "all hail the archives!")

Also making a strong impression last night were NRIII, with the introductory track from their latest EP, Spat Upon., the third in a trilogy, and a meal that really needs to be taken whole, from these now-long-time Castle favorites. Available on Neon Doom Records.

And yes, dw, The Gate! I don't revisit their Destruction of Darkness CD nearly often enough, and their live Castle set was one of the highlights of an already great year in live music.

Click on the crazed, cannibalistic killer (have we had enough of those yet?), from the otherwise resoundingly mediocre Dark Ride (yes, we believe Meadow Soprano, at 31, is a college student) to reach the playlist and audio archives for last night's horrocast™. ...And please remember that you can still pledge to MCoQ and WFMU through the end of the month and the Hallowe'en holiday; your donations are much-needed and deeply appreciated. ... It's all done very easily by clicking on "PLEDGE" within the white, rectangular widget above this post.

Next week, back to business, sort of ... no back announcing; simply too much great music busting the dam and not enough time to play it, and the online accu-playlist does the annotation work anyway (for the truly curious.) I'll be jumping in with legal IDs and "witticisms," but otherwise a broad field of sound awaits thee....

Thursday, October 25, 2012


Getting the "ugly" out of the way first, I've come to realize that there is a "critical mass" as far as financial support for public radio programs goes, and in that, dollar numbers don't necessarily reflect listener-appreciator numbers, not at all in fact. These days, there is a bottom to people's pockets, perhaps especially those that like what we do at My Castle of Quiet, and believe me, I understand.

Fact remains, I'm still here, and I'm still asking, and WFMU as a whole is still seeking your donations, as October draws to its close. This is the last MCoQ show of this month of semi-silent fundraising, and with all that in mind, I've reset the perhaps-overtly-ambitious goal of $2,000 for the month, to $1,500, and we're just going to see where it lays once it's played.

To finish out October, MCoQ presents perhaps one of its most ballsy shows ever, with two, great underground metal bands in live performance. Last night, Sun Splitter recorded their set, and I have to say these guys sound HUGE; for three men, especially, there was so much going on that was arcane and mysterious, while packing a tremendous wallop—Big Black are on a plane, Steve's revisiting Physical Graffiti on his mp3 player, and well, the plane suddenly explodes, scattering debris all over a Mayan ruins site. That's what Sun Splitter bring to mind for me—individual results/dream imagery may differ. SS are a mighty, intense, metal/doom/rock combo, driven by pummeling drum-machine beats, roaring vocals, and intricate, dense guitar riffage. Their songs veer off into primordial, horror-ambient, dungeon codas, and it's these gloomy forays that especially set Sun Splitter apart from the metal pack, and demonstrate the range and emotional capabilities of this extraordinary band. Catch Sun Splitter at The Acheron tonight, and then go home and turn on your radio.

With two bands for the price of tuning in, MCoQ is also very proud and excited to present Yellow Eyes. Real, live, underground black metal from a band whose debut full-length tape Silence Threads The Evening's Cloth made a huge impression on extreme metalers worldwide, released in 2011. Their new split with Monument is of equal presence and dark power (both releases on Sol y Nieve.) Yellow Eyes are both dirty and artful, an opaque and complex black metal band, the revelry of their melodic and cunningly arranged songs wrapped in melancholic atmosphere, like a killer peeking out from behind a swatch of black lace; representative of where the black metal genre is and should be going. Of all the black metal we've presented on the show, Yellow Eyes represent yet another foreboding alley, a damned tributary, where journey by sea may lead to crushing despair and increasingly bizarre journal entries.

I drag my broken frame to edges of the city, where hopefully sanctuary awaits, at midnight.
YE @ 12:30 a.m. approx.
SS @ 1:20 approx.
WFMU 91.1 FM (NY/NJ)
WMFU 90.1 FM (Hudson Valley) live on the Web, with real-time accu-playlist and message board.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Wm. Berger, where will you be all my life? This is deeply satisfying!

Hey, many thx listener Adam! I always appreciate feedback, and always endeavor to "deeply satisfy." Every My Castle of Quiet show should ideally be an "Elton John 1972 US tour" of horror-radio.

If anything, The Sonics of Terror special made me realize that a program of this nature is an ongoing archival process, and assuming The Castle continues, "Sonics" will be a regular part of it. Attempting to annotate my favorite horror- and thriller-film soundtrack music was a more-daunting task than I expected, as there's so much "good"; and with that I'm incorporating contemporary artists who play in the style, so by the 1:30 a.m. halfway point, it had already become of a matter of regrettably setting aside what I was not going to get the minutes to play....

So, ideas are already swimming in my brain for Sonics of Terror v.2, starting with Zombi's "Spirit Animal," which I so regretted not having the time to play that I considered offering Stan eight dollars for the minutes needed to close with the track (assuming a $1-a-minute rate, haha.) But alas, it doesn't work that way, and the onus of having to pack every week's horrorcast™ into three hours is a welcome challenge.

Enough regret, heehee, as there was much enjoyment. Things like the recurring melodic theme from the original Omen, Komeda's "Rosemary's Baby," and Bruno Nicolai's All The Colors of The Dark really get my blood pumping, so we rolled those dice first.

Playlist shouts went to our steadfast Zombie theme by Fabio Frizzi, Takemitsu's The Face of Another (full film at that link!), music from Castlevania, John Carpenter, Nekromantik, and Goblin's flawless, bewitching score for Suspiria.

Click on young Damien Thorne's timeless parting gaze from The Omen, to reach the playlist, comments board, and audio-archive options for last's night's special broadcast, and thanks for listening.

Thursday, October 18, 2012


Most of us get to feeling a bit "spooky" as October rolls around; we let our darker, mischievous side rise to the surface and play for a bit as the Halloween holiday approaches. At My Castle of Quiet, it's pretty much "Halloween all year 'round"—that's the program's stock in trade—but we thought it was high time that the horror- and thriller-film soundtracks, so often peppered into the show, were paid homage to and given special attention, with a full, three-hour program.

Cinelogues ripped straight from VHS and DVD, soundtrack excerpts, themes, and dialogue; original film content, as well as that culled and modified by various contempo sound artists, plus the familiar themes we all love (Carpenter, Morricone, Goblin, Fabio Frizzi et al.) will all be represented, in addition to artists whose music is well-steeped in and heavily influenced by the genre, like Umberto, Zombi, Enslaved By Owls and Spettro Family.

Tune in for three hours of creepy envelopment.

As to our ongoing "silent" fundraiser, pledgers that have donated in the interim since last week will be thanked on air, and here's hoping many new pledges roll in as tonight's show is in progress. MCoQ is 7% towards our goal, with two shows still to come this month! Thanks all for your support thus far! (See the white, rectangular widget above to donate, whatever you can—it's that easy!)

Ritual beaheading beings promptly @ the witching hour.
WFMU 91.1 FM (NY/NJ)
WMFU 90.1 FM (Hudson Valley) live on the Web, with real-time accu-playlist and message board.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Horrendipity! ... The sounds of horror will be my lullaby tonight.

Thanks to SiHV for "Teeth clean, metal black." That really made my morning!

As I wrote in an email to a friend the other day—with me, it's always personal, never business. When an emotional (and by consequence, physical) boulder hits, it's for real, and this is not some "personae" I do on the radio; the selections of the My Castle of Quiet radio show are meant to be a strong, lurid, visceral painting of my life. The music that moves me, inspires me, and causes me to contemplate, and just happens to sound really good all together under one umbrella, is assembled, each stray raindrop, with care, and the utilization of the mood of the moment.

I feel like I should add now that my less-than-plussed reaction to last week's program had nothing at all to reflect upon the show's content—was all about me, and I'm not faking it, when I sometimes cannot even fulfill my own self-set obligation to wax positive and energetic about any given week's show. Enough. This is the time of the life of the time, etc.

This week, we were treated to no less than two sets I could die happy after presenting, live performances that were moving, and of great dynamics and improvisational strength, those of Lea Bertucci (solo) and the duo of K-Salvatore. Holy hell, ladies and gents! What a fortunate one I am to hover around such great music, and fulfill some set-by-fate purpose to bring it you. Music is my salvation and my safe haven.
J'annonce un Service de petit ami avant-dernier MCoQ. Je ne suis plus sûrement la meilleure suivant dernière que pourrait vouloir à n'importe quelle Dame. A quelques mois avec moi est un passage presque garanti à l'homme que vous êtes véritablement destiné à passer le reste de votre vie avec. résultats prouvée à 90 % ; Je suis collecte de témoignages que je tape. Pensez-y, Mesdames et communiquer avec Et oui, il doit y avoir sexe. Ajoute à la douleur.

MCoQ から 2 番目のボーイ フレンド サービスを発表しています。私は最も確かに、最高次にどんな女性がしたいこと最後。私は数ヶ月はほぼ保証の橋に男あなた本当にであなたの人生の残りの部分を費やすことを意味しています。90% の実績のある結果。私はタイプとしてお客様の声を集めています。女性は、それについて考える、 にお問い合わせください。はい、セックスする必要があります。痛みに追加します。

MCoQ Penultimate 남자 친구 서비스를 발표 해요. 내가 가장 확실 하 게는 최고의 다음 마지막 어떤 여자를 원하는 수 있습니다. 나와 함께 몇 개월은 거의 보장된 다리는 사람에 게 있어 진정으로 의미 하는 당신은 당신의 삶의 나머지 부분을 보내고 있습니다. 90% 입증 결과; 입력 사례를 수집 해요. 아가씨, 그것에 대해 생각 하 고 castle@wfmu.org에 게 연락. 그리고 네, 섹스 수 있어야 합니다. 고통에 추가합니다.

MCoQ, si réel et pourtant tellement faux !

Industrielle! Goatvargr was a nice gut-punch after distractingly eerie, painting-like live sets. Those with synaesthesia understand. You feel the color; it either touches your hair lovingly, or drives you to march. Other playlist faves were the new Aluk Todolo (which it must be said is like some kind of great, lost, 70s rock record- a double-CD of music that recalls Slint and Tortoise as much as it emulates 70s longhair bands like Guru Guru and Hawkwind.)

Dope, from Russia, have also been getting a strong and consistent reaction. At this stage, their discography pretty much consists of in-Russia-only CDrs ... it's a matter, as well, of forthcoming releases that I won't use this space to mention, but Dope's longish-form black-psych-noise is hard to ignore, and I know I LIKE IT!

Not enough can be said here about the greatness of our live sets last night, so I'll save those thoughts, which surely will expand upon further listens, for the FMA postings. Let's just say that I was thoroughly dazzled and entranced by Lea's music, while K-Salvatore simultaneously impressed me and genuinely creeped me out, like the Curse of the Demon demon, emerging from the woods.

I'll be back next week with The Sonics of Terror - a long overdue three-hour selection of horror- and thriller-film soundtrack music, as well as newer projects that it inspired.

Click on the screen capture of poor Nina, once again from Nick Philips' Satan's Black Wedding, to reach the playlist and audio archive of last night's horrorcast™. And, if you would, please help that little white rectangle up top of this page move a bit. I set the "Castle goal" a bit higher this year, as I sensed that the show, its notoriety and listenership, had grown tremendously in the last twelve months. Now no one will believe me unless I show up with money. ... huh.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


When WFMU's 31 Days of October fundraiser was approaching, I thought, "what can I do that's even more special than regular, Castle fare?" With live guests monthly or more often, resulting in a vast backlog of sessions of which I can die proud, and my head down weekly in a bottomless pit of outstanding new music in our peculiar arena, what more could be done to make listeners take notice,  and congeal their interest to the point where much-needed $ donations could be further encouraged?

I am most definitely a less-is-more guy, having worked in the real world for bosses who thought it was good, for example, to fill every available cranny on a PowerPoint slide or Web page with something to ogle—I vastly favor the strong, bold statement. Times I've traveled in Europe, I always noticed that the advertising was much more tasteful, minimal, and to the point. European commercial designers dare to use one or two colors, and large, confrontational text—the very antithesis of a Mountain Dew ad. As Americans, we are largely a crass breed, forever upwardly mobile, firm and confident in our belief that more must surely me MORE.

Not wanting to change or adapt the quality of the program in any way, I arrived at the notion of assembling two, very carefully thought-out double-bills of live music, more bang for your Castle buck as it were, but still very apropos to the general proceedings, unlike the now-standard PBS practice of broadcasting all the really good stuff when fundraising time comes around—do they imagine that we don't notice that they're shilling during the largely unseen Who concert, or the Python marathon, rather than the third rerun of a Poirot mystery? Americans can most certainly be accused of not paying attention, but we're not paying THAT LITTLE ATTENTION.

And though last week's Castle was "catch of the day" (no less meticulously prepared than any other week's show), and I and my cadre of regular listeners (for whom I am eternally grateful) enjoyed it fully (Richard Ramirez never fails to inspire!), now we're into the "really special" stuff, and for the next three weeks, it's pretty much an ongoing Hallowe'en party at MCoQ radio.

First up, two performances, in one night, that I've been eager to book for some time -

Lea Bertucci
Lea Bertucci is a sound-sculptress extraordinaire, both in her solo work and as a member of the famed Brooklyn duo Twistycat. Lea manipulates magnetic tape, voice, and woodwinds, in a creepy and contemplative style; as wide as the horizon, and blissfully organic and enveloping. Hearing Lea execute her works live is an absolute treat—a simultaneously haunting and spirit-loosening mind-trip. Her latest tape, Carillon, on Obsolete Units, is a must-have of sprawling envelopment, and her live appearance on MCoQ is much anticipated.

Since falling hard for The Zahir LP in 1995, I've been fascinated by the work of this duo. Jason Meagher and Pat Murano (Decimus, Malkuth, Key of Shame, et al.) have been creating mystery-laden soundworks since the middle '90s. Both members of the No-Neck Blues Band, K-Salvatore present similar vibes to the parent group, but as a duo, their sonic creations are even more intimate and idiosyncratic—murky, horror-chamber basement happenings of the highest order. Their latest LP on Kelippah, Tsar Ova Elk, references classic 20th-century improv (everything from Sperm to M. Kagel) and Krautrock giants like Faust and Kluster. MCoQ is proud to welcome K-Salvatore in their first-ever live WFMU appearance.

I implore all WFMU / My Castle of Quiet listeners to donate during this month, for many reasons. First, that WFMU's expenses are great and ongoing (I won't bore you with tales of air-conditioner replacement and sagging green-room floors); anyone who's been tuning in to the station for a while, perhaps through several of our yearly, two-week, labor-intense fund drives, has gotten a whiff of what it takes to keep a non-corporate, listener-supported radio station of such unique stripe on the air.

Secondly, that appreciation of the My Castle of Quiet program, serving such a unique niche audience as it does, needs very much to stand up and be counted, quite literally, as keeping a "radio home" for improvised noise, electronic/industrial music, black metal, horror soundtracks, and all forms of extreme sound has been my goal from the very beginning, and to be utterly frank, neither this program nor its parent station can subsist on "fumes."

Money does, unfortunately, talk, and even non-commercial radio, nay especially non-commercial radio, has to answer to the same norms, checks and balances of any organization. No donation is too small, every modest donation is deeply appreciated by yours truly, listeners will be thanked on-air—and the heftier donations make us all smile and breathe mini-sighs of relief.

That's my "shill," and it comes straight from the heart.

Coming up 10/19- MCoQ's first all-soundtracks special, The Sonics of Terror - more infos here.

And, leading us toward our most-grand holiday, the final Castle show of October 2012 (25/26), with exclusive, live sets both from Chicago's Sun Splitter and Brooklyn's Yellow Eyes, to more-than-represent our show's essential, underground metal content.

I couldn't be more pleased about these upcoming shows, and hope you'll all agree, and see fit to make some sort of "clunk" in the Castle coffers, however major or minor.

With love and appreciation —your dark host.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Ahhh...let it wash over.

Sorry for the late-breaker; took ill over the weekend.

It's hard to get inspired, and feel all Halloweenish when it's still °79 and humid; at least we're into some real chilly stuff now. Probably the zig-zagging, damnable Northeast climate that ultimately waylaid me.

See this week's playlist comments for listener favorites, and please remember that you can always email the show,, for more information about anything you hear during the broadcast.

WFMU is also in the midst of our 31 Days of October silent fundraiser; please see that nifty pledge widget up top to donate to the station, and to give your support directly to My Castle of Quiet.

Click on our witchy forest-walker to reach the archive for this week, from Nick Millard's Satan's Black Wedding (1980) (director aka Nick Philips.)

Special-special programming starts this week, with the outstanding double-bill of Lea Bertucci and K Salvatore, both live!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Recent MCoQ special programming now up on FMA!

Nothing to do in particular with WFMU's now-in-motion stealth fundraiser (see pledge widget, above), I assure you (more to do with my head down in running Prison Tatt Records, and general laziness), I've accumulated a backlog of divine special programming from the My Castle of Quiet radio program, in dire need of comment and thoughtful reposting (on downloadable mp3.)

First, finally up online is Philippe Petit's wonderful, exclusive contribution to the show, "Electric Psalterion Processed Live"

Second, the hot-as-nitro LIVE set from Divorce Money

Enjoy, my pretties! Ken Montgomery's CON Schnitzler mix, and LIVE Grafvolluth still to come.

Friday, September 28, 2012

I hardly ever enjoy this type of music but these last bunch of songs have all been awesome.

Overtired and emotionally overwrought, I still managed to give "good show" last night, at least according to the listeners ... and myself (he he.) Not much to say; I think I more than "blew mad wad" last week (see post below.)

Cabin in the Woods, pretty darn good. It held the interest of a 10-year-old, and was damn entertaining! Click on our doomed heroine and hero to reach the playlist, audio archives and comments board for last night's horrorcast™.

Playlist faves were:  SKULLFLOWER | BURIAL HEX (great new full-length on Cold Spring) | SMOKE | SHALOCINS | ACTUARY

Oh, and for Felix and others who might be interested, here is a direct link to the MCoQ show with director Frank Henenlotter—one of the Castle broadcasts of which I'm most proud, done around the time of the release of Bad Biology.

Lots of special programming / events coming up on the show in October; for starters:

Lea Bertucci and K Salvatore

The Sonics of Terror

Saturday, September 22, 2012

DOPE _____________

Whoa! Woke up in my usual "mood," after my usual 5 hours' sleep, and there it was:  I opened the new M.B. CD, Aeternum Aevum, on Peripheral Records; thumbed off the shrink wrap in that "guy who's worked in a record store"-way, and in one sentence Signore Bianchi had summed up my human condition (my eyes weren't even fully open yet) -

"Waiting for the eternity, in the anguish of the temporary."

The "Struggle Eternale," or some shit. But I won't be like the lead character in Paddy Chayefsky's Altered States, and say, "oh no, honey, I realize NOW my place is HERE, with YOU and the KIDSZZZZ; the ANSWER is that there is 'NO ANSWER.'" Nope, tried that, didn't work. I love my son, in fact I cherish him; he fills my life in a way that you cannot describe to someone who's never been a parent, but what I'm talking about here is something even more personal, which is to ACTUALLY FEEL OKAY in those moments that you're just staring at the ceiling, or laying there, having just come awake, or just about to go to sleep, or sitting there, kind of half-interested after working all day. I wanna feel OK in THOSE MOMENTS, and I'm holding on, until I get my "answer," William-fucking-Hurt, though something tells me that it's just one bullet and a LOT of nerve away.

Pfumpf. Onto this week's radio show (we won't talk about last night's Prison Tatt showcase; too much to say, photos to download/upload, and my thoughts are coalescing but not quite congealed, yet.) That I can actually function this depressed is pretty impressive, eh? ... Oh, I suppose many of us do it every day, in fact I know a few of you personally ...) Not having that as-intended Louise Brooks photo in place really bugged me, subtle for a My Castle of Quiet screen capture but just what I had wanted. 

Still, our "option 2" is really quite fine, and much more direct in its presentation (thanks to SARZAN!) And, if you have not seen Peter Lorre and Colin Clive in Mad Love aka The Hands of Orlac, drop whatever you are doing right now, even if you're holding a baby, and see it. Dr. Gogol loved Galatea;   "you are cruel ... but only to be kind." That is my kind of movie, put bluntly, so if you like what I write here, and/or more importantly what I do on the radio and the records I release, Mad Love is just about as good as it gets, in terms of a life unrequited; Peter Lorre's performance is crushing.


I'm taking this computer out of my hands before I do harm with it. Click on Doctor Gogol, so pleased with himself for being horrific, and for his deception, to reach the audio archives and playlist/comments board of this week's horrorcast™

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Details, details. Die Screaming, Marianne! "So Long Marianne" -cry and laugh and cry and laugh about it all....

Credit where credit is due (avoid clichés "like the plague," the managing editor in my head says, but screw it) -the above captures are taken from the short film, Fable, by Gerald Slota, for which I did the score, back when I was in that limbo of not really being sure if I wanted to "do stuff" again, haHA! Well I'm sure doing stuff now, and Prison Tatt Records has become my sort-of day job; or at least I have enough tasks related to the label that I can easily fill a 40-hour week with them. That's good, right?

With "success" comes caution and reassessment, but that's just my looking-over-the-shoulder tendencies, too well-heeled to ameliorate now. And I'm not even talking about the making-shitloads-of-money type of success; that's not what WE who are all in THIS do THIS for, but in the form of Records of the Week at Aquarius, in my beloved SF, healthy distro activity (both in the form of trades, and things like swift, no-b.s. orders from great guys like RRRon), and press and radio play aplenty (once again generating from Northern California, where my ashes will most definitely scattered to the heavy winds.) So, though I'm loathe to plan / manage live events, I thought that I should do something, if only for the bands and to further solidify the label's growing reputation, as it were—here comes Prison Tatt Showcase #2!

With performances by—

Explosive Improvised Device - Anthony Saunders has been honing and fine-tuning and ever-evolving this project since it began. This set on my WFMU show displays well how artfully EID meld harsh noise with an INA-GRM, musique concréte compositional sensibility. His Prison Tatt release, the one-sided LP Non-Conformance and Corrective Action, is soon to come, though EID has tons of releases on other labels available (and a brand-new one, on Factotum Tapes, which will in all likelihood be available at this show.) The EID record will also be the first to directly address the label's "house cause" of prisoner's rights worldwide.

OPPONENTS - These guys are on a high that just will not stop! OPPONENTS continue to work on their sound, never satisfied with doing just one thing or staying in place. Their headlining stint at the trés exclusif Prison Tatt backyard 4th-of-July BBQ was a shower of beats, a rally (not unlike Cabaret Voltaire's The Voice of America in its electric urgency), as my neighbors showered fireworks down upon my roof, in time to the music. The material for their second Prison Tatt release, this time a full-length LP, is already in the can, and what can I say, but what I always say—there is no one who quite sound like OPPONENTS. For solid proof of that energy and eclecticism, visit the sounds page of their official Web home. OPPONENTS (and EID) are playing early in the lineup, so get your asses there on time!

KILT - Fresh off of tour, where they've been playing as the somewhat rare, full trio (Bob Bellerue, Sandor Finta, and Raven Chacon), these organic, heavy-noise meisters have recorded a tour LP called Santa Muerte (very affordable download at that link; can also stream in full), which is the only KILT release I'd deem mightier than their Prison Tatt CD, Kitchen Sorcery. This night's set will be an even rarer duo of Sandor and Bob—as the Raven must fly, home to New Mexico. You can still see the KILT trio TONIGHT, at Death By Audio (49 South 2nd St., Brooklyn, NY) w/ Maria Chavez, Long Distance Poison, and Laura Ortman + Michael Garofalo.

The Communion - Coming off the milestone of their excellent Prison Tatt release, A Desired Level of Unease, The Communion are also one of those bands that just seem to get better and better. Amazing new songs, continually tighter and even-more-emotionally-charged sets are what The Communion have to offer. They are also the sole, full-lineup, guitar-based metal/grind band playing at the show; that sound being such a big part of the label, I have to thank these guys for representing at both of our showcases thus far. Check here, at their bandcamp, for a whole lot of stuff I wish I'd released as well, as there just are no "bad" Communion songs. Someday, a vinyl boxed set is definitely in order!

Long Distance Poison - I've come such a long way with LDP; grown together, truly—high points being their live set on my WFMU show (for which I was graciously invited to collaborate conceptually), writing liner notes for both their Signals to a Habitable Zone LP as well as their upcoming collection of remixes (LP & DVD), Gliese Translations (both on Fin Records), and hanging out, BBQ-ing with Nathan and Erica at Voice of the Valley (to say nothing of the silly, "stout-man" dancing.) Their Prison Tatt one-sided LP, The Bog Nebula, is simply one of my favorite Long Distance Poison tracks, though there are so many good ones. (Going fast, though still available; the record will be on sale at this show for $13.)

T.O.M.B. - The second-ever band to release on Prison Tatt, T.O.M.B. (as well as Grasshopper before them) put their faith in me, and delivered a great record to release, Xesse (last 3 sleeved copies available at this show! I have a few unsleeved for $10.) T.O.M.B.'s recordings are sometimes-overwhelming journeys into some very dark essences and emotions—not quite "industrial," not quite "metal"—and they do the sound better than anyone I can think of. T.O.M.B. are coming off the high of opening for Sunn O))) (at Philly's Union Transfer; scroll down at that link for T.O.M.B. photo gallery), and from all indications their live show has evolved/grown to match their sound in intensity—I'm a little scared! So stick around to the end of our night, as T.O.M.B. promises to leave all fully drained.

Between-band DJ sets will be presented by DJ Deep Creep, and I'm excited to see what he chooses for the membranes that will link all our artists together. You can check out some of his sets/mixes at that link.

This is all happening at The Meatlocker, in Montclair, NJ, at 8 Park Street. 8 p.m. doors. Prison Tatt is a New Jersey-based label, and I wanted to leave the hurried hassles of Brooklyn's overripe music scene aside for the night, and just have a coalition of energies in a relatively calmer, though still urban setting, closer to the label's home.

Please note that all in-print Prison Tatt vinyl titles will be available, most for a discounted price of $13 (some cheaper), and CDs for $8. Most tapes in our distro will be available for $6 (doubles $8); most distro vinyl will be $13 as well. CD/CDr pricing varies.

Most importantly, hope to see you there! Thanks for your support!; you know who you are.

Friday, September 14, 2012

...most people are NOT smart enough to discriminate, but thats another topic.

There they were, pounding heavy against the double glass—Grafvolluth, legendary, black-Pagan metal craftsmen, plying their considerable trade right in my face. I seriously cannot thank the band enough, Joe @ Regimental in particular, for the months of emailing and scheduling between us that finally made this happen. I'm personally gratified to be presenting an ever-widening variety of black metal on the show. ...

Much, much credit must go to my WFMU colleague Diane Kamikaze, always a consummate professional, for capturing Grafvolluth's frenetic mania, and Tyrinn's forceful, necrotized vocals, in a set that expanded upon the greatness of the Long Live Death! album, with two new songs, and a charged sound which added yet another layer of live power to the essence I knew from their records.

You can hear last night's archive by clicking on the image above. Our friend—he's a little wrapped up, but can still take you to your streaming options, and last night's playlist and lively discussion board.

I want to thank several friends in Germany for checking in, both on the live playlist and via email, for sharing their thoughts on some of the NS black metal that is occasionally played on the show. The issue of Neo-National Socialism is certainly no more visceral anywhere than it is in Deutschland, especially due to current, tragic events there, and the perspective of my listener-friends is always welcome and much appreciated/respected. To view the live discussion, see our playlist.

Though I am staunchly anti-censorship, I also have no wish to promote Nationalist values of any stripe, and certainly have a personal admiration and respect for all cultures. Where the Absurd track I played may be viewed by myself as a "curiosity," or more well-put, a black-metal-genre artifact, I can also appreciate that the issue is much more contemporary and passionate in Europe (sort of like 9/11 is for NY-area locals who lived through it, though admittedly that's not the strongest comparison.)

My Castle of Quiet the radio program, by its very nature courts the fringe in any number of ways, and I am always grateful to WFMU for the forum and opportunity to do my bit for a loyal and rarely-served (in radio terms) "niche" audience. It was most certainly not my intention to offend anyone, and I don't believe anyone was offended per se, though a healthy and welcome discussion certainly ensued. It's a fine line I must often tread, as at least sonically speaking, "offensive" could be viewed as one of the totems of the show.

Much love on our comments board for our special guests, as well as Final Doctrine (new tape on Primal Vomit!), Cincinnatus C, and our Russian brothers EDASI and Degenerate Slug.

Thanks again to Grafvolluth; watch for their set to post to WFMU's Web portals in the near future.

(For an extended commentary on NSBM, and the particulars and peculiarities of the subgenre, please see this post, from 2009.)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Tonight - Grafvolluth RARE, LIVE Performance on WFMU / My Castle of Quiet

Together since 1999, Grafvolluth are black-metal craftsmen, creating complex, epic material that incorporates experimental music (they have shared membership with Kama Rupa; live video here) and progressive-rock arranging. The core of their songs stays very raw and dirty, though; no less "ugly" for the sophistication of its context.

Their latest full-length, Long Live Death! on Regimental Records (a longstanding [2002] purveyor of vital black metal), is a My Castle of Quiet favorite, equal parts rough-hewn and contemplative/spiritual, like some beautiful, old-Teuton carving.

Grafvolluth rarely play live, maybe never on the radio, so their LIVE appearance on MCoQ is truly an event "against time." Don't miss it!

I break out the runes, and hang the Jesus dartboard @ 12 mid.
Grafvolluth @ 12:30 a.m. approx.
WFMU 91.1 FM (NY/NJ)
WMFU 90.1 FM (Hudson Valley) live on the Web, with real-time accu-playlist and message board.

Friday, September 7, 2012

listening in and chugging nyquil.

Coffin Joe's vision of hell—a lot of pain, a bit of pleasure, and very, very colorful. You're damned for eternity, receiving torture on a regular basis, but at least you live in the pentagram-downward version of a David Hockney painting. Could be worse! (I'll refrain from repeating any coffee-break, scatological "levels of hell" jokes here.)

Despite the lack of our scheduled guests Sutekh Hexen, I believe I did (for me) a show of great focus and selection. So there.

Though the comments board was "light," I knew the faithful were out there, engaged and listening, and some enthusiastic comments trailed in on much of the music played: Laster, Asmodee, Fuil Na Seanchoille, Aerugo, Swollen Organs, Moth Cock (check out some live video here,) Dope, Future Blondes (great new 3" CD on Robert & Leopold!), Filth and Pagan Hellfire all inspired ears to prick up, and fingers to type.

Sometimes it's good to keep things brief, and that's what I'm going to do this time.

There's a lot of amazing live music coming up very soon on My Castle of Quiet, starting with black-metal monoliths Grafvolluth, next week! two double bills scheduled for October; more infos here.

Click on our artfully lit capture of hell-in-progress to reach the audio archives and playlist for last night's horrorcast™.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Nein. Ist schwarze metal scheisse.

Since its genesis in the early 1990s, black metal is a genre that has transmogrified wildly, both informing and having been informed by the surrounding culture. As much as bm "hates," no musical style is an island, however badly it may want to be, and this cultural outflow and influx was/is inevitable. From the very beginning, there were bm bands that I loved to hate (names withheld), who commodified / slicked-up the music in a way that seemed to betray its arch, subcultural identity—with light shows, super-tight arrangements and virtuoso stylings. What impressed me, as a man already well into my 30s when I really started listening, was that bm was a genre of youthful enthusiasm, rage, frustration, and immense creativity, inspired by the darkest emotions, seemingly (to me, anyway) custom-designed for demo cassettes, 7" singles, and CDs and LPs that despite some production value, still sounded like they were recorded live to 1 or 2 microphones in some shitty basement. Black metal was my teenage eruption, the "youth" I missed out on, as I began grabbing up releases left and right, starved for inspiration.

As RB, last night's guest DJ, pointed out in our off-air conversation, the mid-1990s to early 2000s was a boom period, where black metal spread across the globe, and perhaps thousands of bands formed and released demos, and this period especially was extremely well-represented in RB's playlist. He's a deep collector, and his collection is a dazzling array of gorgeous CS-LP-CD covers that would easily fill several photography-fetish books, to say nothing of the sheer sound on these ragged musical artifacts.

Needless to say, the original, Norwegian template for the genre has morphed 1,000 times over, much to my and RB's delight (and presumably that of any deep bm fan), with each artist running down their own, unique, arterial road. In our fast-paced information age, black metal still strikes me as music that's passed hand-to-hand, ear-to-ear, individual-to-individual—a manic subcultural explosion that refuses to stop, or even rest.

Every selection from RB's pile was a gem (like a true WFMU DJ, he brought along twice the material req'd to fill the available time), and the arc of bm's history was represented thoroughly and comprehensively as his sets evolved. Noted in the playlist comments were Asmodee (pre-S.V.E.S.T.), Wulkanaz (unreleased LP preview!), Cult of the Lizard God, a track from Hardcore Devo Vol. 1 (!), and my own "noise-bridge" selection of HHL. It goes without saying that last night's selections were the mere tip of the hateful, blackened iceberg, especially when one contemplates what's potentially "out there" for the taking.

Check out last night's playlist and audio archive (with some stunning tape-cover scans embedded into the comments field!), by clicking on our Kung-Fu-cannibal fighters above—still taken from the eccentric, Chinese horror-comedy classic We're Going To Eat You.

Coming next week on My Castle of Quiet—an exclusive, live set from Sutekh Hexen! More info at the MCoQ Facebook group page > "join" the event!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Tonight on The Castle ... SEED STOCK RETURNS!

A second offering of nose-to-the-brimstone selections from RB, the creative force behind Raspberry Bulbs and Seed Stock Records, and a passionate black metal collector. RB returns to My Castle of Quiet for his second guest-DJ appearance (here's a link to Seed Stock broadcast/playlist #1.) A program of obscurities, demo cassettes, rare and out-of-print vinyl—basically, a boatload of black metal that many fans will be hard-pressed to find.

The last Seed Stock show wowed many MCoQ listeners, and inspired some (myself included) to go hard-digging for these tatty musical gems, so don't miss this second go-round of scarce and outstanding selections.


I turn all the crosses upside down @ midnight.
SS selections begin @ 12:15 a.m. approx.
WFMU 91.1 FM (NY/NJ)
WMFU 90.1 FM (Hudson Valley) live on the Web, with real-time accu-playlist and message board.

Friday, August 24, 2012

[...] one of the best radio shows on the planet!

Thanks, Schlockmaster! This morning, I need the compliment. The better the show, the harder the come down afterward I suppose, and last night's was a doozy, not only thanks to my selections, but to the vigorous, plate-shifting performance by Divorce Money! Just ... just ... Wow! Rene from DM was wearing a Joy Division t-shirt—just a logo, and Ian Curtis' "I am lost in this world" visage staring out. Some 10 hours later, I am thinking of the JD lyric, "I've been waiting for a guide to come, and take me by the hand." In that one line, which begins the first song on Joy Division's first "proper" LP, Ian Curtis summed up with such tremendous eloquence and poetry, mankind's yearning to hop a ride across the River Styx, to leave human pain and frailties behind forever. In one line, Curtis had already defined his career, made his grand statement. Some live life to the absolute fullest, jumping into its joys with a full heart and both feet—climbing mountains, white-water rafting, etc.—while a great many others, myself included, view what we have here as a "way station," a distantly familiar bahnof where we're not sure we quite belong. In fact, we're sure that we don't belong, but here we are.

Caught one member short, Divorce Money presented something far beyond the "expected"—not a reeling, live rendering of the songs from their 7" and tape—but a weighty, bottom-heavy, fit of mid-tempo gut punch; (perhaps the closest comparison I could make would be classic Flipper, or Missing Foundation) still very much a Divorce Money set though, flooded with that careening passion that I attempted to describe in the broadcast's advance promotion. DM's set will be coming soon to the Free Music Archive, by way of my curator portal there (of which I'm quite proud—could you tell?)

Noted in the playlist comments were Swollen Organs ("Sexy!" as someone remarked; Jimmy of The Communion's highgrade noise creations); Aerugo (top-shelf new black metal tape; eerie and cobwebbed in ways I'm at a loss to describe); wispy, ethereal, chamber anti-pop from DA; staggeringly great new work from KILT (US tour begins 9/4!), as well as a veritable flood of support for our live guests!

You may click on our heroine above, emerging as she is from a drop-tunnel that will set her out at The Heart of the World, to access the playlist and streaming audio of last night's horrorcast™.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Divorce Money LIVE on MCoQ radio, this Thursday night / Fri. a.m.

In our ongoing effort to ensnare the best, modern, tenebrous hardcore/punk bands, this week My Castle of Quiet presents a live set from Divorce Money.

Brooklyn's Divorce Money sound airborne, wicked and lurching—an 18-wheeler, flying off a cliff in alternating fast- and slow-motion. You can hear a few tracks from DM at their myspace page, linked above.

The band is part of a mighty, new generation of dark punk bands that have been on the rise since the turn of the millennium. With one cassette demo and a vinyl EP under their belts, Divorce Money have already established their mettle as an empowered, creative entity—ripe and ready for a My Castle of Quiet visit.

For fans of Drunkdriver, Veins, Salvation, Total Abuse, et al.

I count out my ammo (head shots only!), board up the windows, stock up on canned goods, etc. @ midnight.
DM @ 12:30 a.m. approx.
WFMU 91.1 FM (NY/NJ)
WMFU 90.1 FM (Hudson Valley) live on the Web, with real-time accu-playlist and message board.