Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Depicted Below; Harvey Glatman, NOT a My Castle of Quiet Supporter.

Mama Pajama rolled outta bed, and she ran to the po-lice station. When The Papa found out, he began to shout, and started the investigation. Not enough people were contributing to My Castle of Quiet! It wasn't exactly against the law. What dee Spapa saw. Naw. But just ask Harvey Glatman how it worked out for him.

All year 'round, your host and author got lots of love from dozens of listeners, the show grew in strength and popularity, but still, when marathon time came, MCoQ always made a fair-to-poor showing. With the acknowledgement that some listeners thus far HAVE contributed very generously, and I extend to them my heartiest thanks, a show as weird and unique as My Castle of Quiet needs an inordinately strong show of support. As a piece of the massive independent-broadcasting puzzle that is WFMU, we have proved that we are legion, that we go by many names, and that the show breeds and attracts its very own special type of bent audience. It's understood, from this chair, that underground-metal people, and "noise" people, are perhaps not the most moneyed population in WFMU's listening audience (Azazel knows, your very host fits into that category), but still, give what you can, please, as now is the time. There is not another show on FM radio quite like The Castle, and if you are in a position where you can afford to show your appreciation in terms of a pledge, this is it.

This week's show (Thursday night/Fri. a.m.) will be your last chance, for WFMU's 2012 Marathon at least, to show support specifically for MCoQ, in the form of pledge dollars, and/or to pledge for that very special marathon premium CDr, In the Dark, There Are Fingers That Grab, with exclusive, unreleased tracks by Glass Coffin, NRIII, Malkuth, Daath Valley, Lea Bertucci, Mr. Matthews, Grasshopper, Kavra, Lord Time, Harassor, Demonologists, Decimus, FUN, Moonknight, Enslaved By Owls, and Wretched Worst. It's quite the collection, I worked hard on it, and in the end, apart from the artists, there may be a dozen or fewer folks that actually own a copy. Go on, make me proud, just for the hell of it. I'm an old man, my salad days way behind me, and this radio program, and a few other significant things, are all I've got to show for 47 years of dedication to the music I love (and yes, I'm counting from DAY ONE, haha.) So listeners, friends, labels, artists, and other assorted devotees of The Castle, you know what I'm asking.

That's it, essentially. I'm done pleading, and next week, thankfully, things at The Castle go back to normal. In fact, in a mere two weeks, on the 3/15 show, you can count on a live appearance from none other than Wretched Worst (a band close to all our hearts.)

My very special co-host tomorrow night is none other than WFMU's notorious Professor Dum Dum. An hilarious time is guaranteed for all who participate, and all who listen. I hope to hear your name, with a "thanks" in front of it, read aloud tomorrow night.

Friday, February 24, 2012

1. Worship Satan. 2. Pledge. Repeat.

A gracious, monstrous, mighty sick and mighty hot THANKS to all of you who pledged to last night's My Castle of Quiet horrorcast™. About mid-way through the program, I set a shift goal of $3,000—a bit ambitious, perhaps, but I would always rather allow the patrons to show ME where the ceiling is, rather than say, "here's the ceiling." Too late, I did it, and as it was, we didn't make it, but we did do very well, for a show broadcasting after midnight in the EST block especially. My bottomless gratitude to every generous pledger who dug deep, and showed myself, the world, and WFMU what The Castle means to you. We also distributed some mighty special prizes in the process—new releases on Gilead Media, and the DVD of Mystics in Bali, to name but a few. (Mystics YT clip; prepare yourself for the most-gaudy witch laugh in contemporary film.)

A very special Castle blessing of sorts (our sort) to listener SiHV and family, who managed to survive a car wreck mere hours before we went on air. SiHV also managed to check in with a very generous pledge, despite the incident, and walked away with the new Barghest LP, not to mention WFMU and My Castle of Quiet's deepest gratitude for his contribution made under duress.

Tremendous thanks also to Diane Kamikaze Farris, for co-hosting with me in the veritable wasteland of the late night. I'll be returning the flavor by MC'ing Diane's show this coming Thursday afternoon, from Noon-3 on WFMU. Diane's premium CD is a winner, and has been dominating my car stereo for the last week or so. Make sure to tune in.

And speaking of premiums, a few of you pledged to receive a copy of MCoQ's kustom CDr compilation, In the Dark, There Are Fingers That Grab, My Castle of Quiet companion #3, a collection of all-exclusive, new material from a hearty host of Castle-favored artists. More infos here and here. Only the few, the brave, the less-broke of us, those with $75 or more to spare for WFMU and MCoQ, will be receiving a copy of this select corpus, of which I'm quite proud. Please, we need more premium-sized pledges, and I'd like (as would the artists) to see this collection get out there some more, as it really is a dazzler, and I'm extremely grateful to all the artists who donated their talents to make this disc something more than a mere gathering of my personal favorites, but instead, a tome of Castle who's who of this moment in historical time.

So, on to next week, when my co-host will be the outrageous and sharp-witted Professor Dum Dum, sure to keep myself and Castleheads on our collective toes. I'm looking forward to it, and I hope to hear of thee there.

All in all, Diane and I managed to entertain, in the midst of rousing the faithful, and pulled off an entertaining broadcast in the process, if I say so myself, and I do. Click on the image of the evil forest ranger Asmosdeus, and the doomed Susan, up above, to hear the archive, and view the playlist and comments for this week's special-fundraising-edition horrorcast.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Rinse the Blood Off That Money, and Send It to WFMU and My Castle of Quiet!

Notice I said "rinse." No need to go overboard.
Starting tomorrow night at midnight, you'll be treated to a "spit-shined" version of My Castle of Quiet radio, with shorter, punchier selections, and more frequent (but briefer) mic breaks. These are the most obvious ways in which I modify the program, ever-so-slightly, to accommodate the atmosphere required for fundraising. It's an enjoyable test, to modify a ridiculously uncommercial program for a slightly "easier feed," such that myself and co-host Diane "Kamikaze" Farris can rapport and illicit chuckles, as we implore you for your contributions, and do drawings for show-appropriate prizes and such. Diane has contributed to My Castle of Quiet in immeasurable ways, in terms of our live-music broadcasts; her recent live sound for Lady Piss, Castevet, Raspberry Bulbs, and the Black Twilight Circle tour made those appearances special recorded documents, ones we'll be revisiting on the show over the next two weeks.

Now, onto the MCoQ premium for this year, yours for a pledge (during this week or next week's broadcast, or at any time during our marathon) of $75 or over to My Castle of Quiet, you automatically receive a copy of the limited CDr, tracks rare or completely unavailable elsewhere, all donated by the bands themselves. It has been this way for the last three years; I create compilations (or "mixes") for friends often enough that I just figured, "I know these bands/artists, why not just ask if they have an unreleased track to spare for the station?" It made it enjoyable for me, pulling the donated tracks together, considering their sequence, and generally fashioning a collection of various artists in the way those preparing something for mass-market, commercial purposes would do. But this one is only available to WFMU and My Castle of Quiet's listener/contributors.

I'm pleased that this companion CD for the show (which is what these things are meant to be, I believe, and I imagine many of my colleagues at the station would say the same of their premiums) is the most black-metal yet of all the Castle's collections, with tracks from Lord Time (Epileptic Onset Delirium); Harassor (Devoured By Time); Kavra (Cleanse); Malkuth (Mors Irruens Hic Extremas Instru); Moonknight (Supernal Dew); and Glass Coffin (Antichrist Enthroned.)

The "noise" contributions are all unbelievably strong, dynamite donations from every artist - Daath Valley (Hospital Music For Queen Sebastian); Grasshopper (Demonic Tutelage); Lea Bertucci (Rods and Cones); Mr. Matthews (I Walk Down City Streets of an Unsuspecting Human World); FUN (Dedicated to My Castle of Quiet); Decimus (Vittorio Veneto); and Demonologists (Vile Prey (Religious Fluids)), and when I use the term noise, it's hopefully with the understanding that the term has been rendered obsolete by most of what gets shoved under its banner these days.

Then, there are the oddballs, the artists that more than passing the Castle filter, manage to in perhaps the strongest way define it - Wretched Worst (Women In Jeans); Enslaved By Owls (Frozen Basement); and NRIII (Bonedust.)

A tremendous thanks to all the bands and artists who contributed this year. We could never do any of what we do without you.

The amazing front and back cover paintings for the collection were done by Sarah Zahn, a freelance painter, frequent voice on our playlists, and a personal friend. Click the thumbnail of the back cover, up top, to see it in greater detail. The amazing front cover you're just going to have to pledge to see. (Actually, I think WFMU may have a small thumbnail up somewhere.)

So, I hope to hear your names read aloud tomorrow night, and I also want to thank those who have already pledged pre-program, the noble few. The pummeling begins tomorrow night at midnight.

Monday, February 20, 2012

The WFMU 2012 Marathon Has Begun!; Your Chance(s) to Support The Castle Come This Thu./Fri. and Next!

WFMU is essentially about fun. Good times, good music, laughs, and personalities our listeners can relate to. In my 28 years on-and-off with this most-unique broadcast entity, I have been continually amazed that a radio station with no particular regional or political focus continues to garner the support from our listeners that it does. Back in the 1980s, when the marathon goals were much more modest, only in the tens on thousands, our listeners supported us then as they do now, with a goal set at 1.3 million. This means that WFMU has grown with the culture, grown with the economy, and most importantly, the populace. In the face of do-it-yourself music stations like Pandora, and Clear-Channel homogenization of nearly everything else, YOU want us to keep going, and that just about brings a tear to these hardened old eyes.

It's early Spring again, already time for the 2012 WFMU marathon (we began officially at 9 a.m. this morning), and I look forward to WFMU's fundraiser, as the most listenable, party-atmosphere, good-time shilling in public broadcasting. As opposed to dreading the pumping and the pitching, I dearly look forward to it, and every time that phone rings during one of my shifts, it's true excitement. I'm negative, dreary, and dour about most things in life, but the WFMU marathon is one happening that finds me earnestly pumped. We make a great time of it, the staff at large, broken off into pairs as we are for the occasion, and this year promises to be the height of entertainment.

In terms of my show specifically, I have watched this show's community grow greatly over the last year. Tremendous numbers, new faces and names are in the My Castle of Quiet family since Spring 2011, and the more I stumble upon new members of my tribe, by doing this show every week, well, the merrier. I'm finding that there are a lot of people out there who "get" The Castle's cinematic concoction of modern noise and sound art, horror soundtracks, and black metal music and doom, more and more, the longer the show is in existence.

So, what do I specifically have for you this year? The Castle premium to end all, perhaps, (though, in my view, they've all been pretty damn good); for the third year in a row, I have solicited, unreleased, original rare tracks from the artists themselves, artists that have in one way or another, through live appearance or simply through constant airplay, have been favorites, "house bands" of the My Castle of Quiet program. The collection is a very-limited CDr (as all WFMU marathon premiums are) available to anyone who pledges $75 or more specifically to my program. It's entitled In the Dark, There Are Fingers That Grab, My Castle of Quiet companion #3, and here's what you get—all new, previously unreleased tracks by Wretched Worst, NRIII, Enslaved By Owls, Daath Valley (Steve Witchbeam & Steve Kenney), Lea Bertucci (of Twistycat), Kavra, Malkuth, Moonknight, FUN, Grasshopper, Decimus, Lord Time, Glass Coffin, Harassor, Demonologists, and Mr. Matthews. Original artwork, front and back-cover paintings by Sarah Zahn. As Krusty the Clown would say, "Hah? Hah?!"

You can pledge to the show at any time by using the digital "widget" at our main playlist page (click on "PLEDGE"), or by visiting this page, which neatly displays the station-oriented swag your pledge can earn you.

Or, simply wait for The Castle's real-time fundraising broadcasts, this week, at midnight, Thu./Fri., Feb. 23/24 (with co-host Diane Kamikaze), and the following week, March 1/2, (with co-host Professor Dum Dum.) Please, join in the fun, which is to the greatest extent what WFMU is really about, though even fun costs money, and must face the reality of a yearly operating budget. You can win prizes specifically geared to our programming, drawings are for anyone who pledges $15 or more, and don't forget that doozy of a premium CDr.

I'll say thanks in advance, or as Ozzy might put it, "I LOVE YOU ALL!!!" I truly hope to connect with you during these next two weeks. Make an old, horror-obsessed freak proud, and remember that it's the gooey, hard-to-define ectoplasm between the larger chunks, the misty aether of commonality, that ultimately holds our community together.

Your host and author,
Wm. M. Berger

Friday, February 17, 2012

Pure tongue gnashing pleasure.

Somehow that sounds like a cigarette ad, two young couples on a catamaran; it's an unbelievably beautiful day. That's not my life, probably not yours, either, though I do gnash my tongue.

So, howABOUT that Volkl tape? Really pretty goddamn special. Lussuria + Husere Grav = I tremble and hoard my breath, as though in a trap, but the air is open all around me. I know at this moment what it is to suffocate—and it's horrible. Musically, enjoyable. That about sums it up.

The Nihilobstat (on Rhinocervs) and Satanhartalt (Legion Blotan) tapes can be endlessly explored, it seems. Californians DARGAR also seem to have joined that club, with one single play from their s/t record. A very unique sound indeed. And well Custodian harrrrsh noise is pretty fuckin' unbelievable; the set they shared with Volkl, Absum et al. was rip-roaring, and I'm happy to know that listeners got happily lost in the crush as well.

NRIII's full-length from last year, Solus Patior, continues to be a source for new discoveries, and the more I listen the more I realize that there really is no one making music quite NRIII. The Lego Feet reissue inspired a positive discourse, which I didn't expect, as the last time I tried to play something vaguely Skam-ish there was a fairly heavy "techno sucks" cotillion on the playlist. Ah, but we've grown, together, haven't we? All at once, I was taken back to the exciting days of waiting for the new Skam 12" to hit the street. I still have all mine! They did not go the way of drug money! Last but never least on the appreciation list (because we all love the entire show, don't we?) was Jesse DeRosa's Shingles project from an all-around great new split release on Tranquility Tapes; expect to hear the Spectrum Tickets side soon.

So, that was the horrorcast™. Our title suggested that one be on one's guard, "always," but our screen capture seemed to encourage willful bondage. Contradictions, always contradictions. So click on the couple, above, to reach the playlist and audio archive from last night.

Next week, it's big marathon show #1, with the always-amazing Diane Kamikaze co-hosting, running the phone room, and generally keeping the energy moving. We make good team, yes? Also watch this space for more info on my premium CDr (for anyone who pledges $75 or more during either of my marathon shifts, or to my show in general); I don't mind saying I'm really pleased with all of the exclusive, new material I was able to shake out of some of MCoQ's favorite artists.

Friday, February 10, 2012

...something to do with all the sandstone and hills I think.

Some people might protest this screen capture—it's blurry, you can see some digital pixels being smeared—but I love it. It captures a certain Euro-"B"-film-faux-period-gloom-psychedelic undead-chick thing that really grabs me; very resonant. Love the face makeup especially.

Anyway that was a wild show last night; I felt like I was barely managing, but the show was nonetheless neatly playing itself. No worries.

A fair amount of praise this week for our post-theme opener, Spectres Over Transylvania, by Cultes Des Ghoules, a 2011 EP by the Polish band that really amounts to a five-song epic continuum, and is already becoming hard to find, though the label has recently re-stocked. (And in the interim, I managed to scare up a copy at Dark Descent Records. This is one you'll want to own, as the old TV commercial says.)

As is becoming customary, Wretched Worst made a smashing impression, that particular tape-side Can-like in its breadth and abandon, as did the Nihilobstat demo on Rhinocervs (that homepage-featured Odz Manouk / Absum split 7" is well-worth owning too, but then I repeat myself.)

Also dropping jaws were the Bizarre Uproar album side, from the split with Will Over Matter, and the vinyl reissue of Pete Shelley's pre-Buzzcocks' Sky Yen LP, a hypnotic and energized exercise in youthful Krautrock fandom.

Also, always welcome and appreciated, a discussion of H.P. Lovecraft and Arthur Machen evolved on the Comments board. This (Lovecraft more than Machen, a later discovery) was my formative literature, a huge part of why I am who I am and have the tastes that I do. Not everyone reads Lovecraft at age 8 or 9, but it would seem that myself and listener slugluv1313 are not alone. Perhaps Lovecraft-weaning is a Castlehead personality trait, or partial prerequisite, at least.

And, to round out our review, our post-game blogging, SiHV's comment, which usually comes to us from transit, as he goes over the archive the following morning, came instead to us live, always a treat. I'm glad someone had something to say about that Unkerd Wood tape, as I was left pretty speechless; is it black metal? is it people demolishing a room? I just know I like it. New-ish from Legion Blotan, and already sold out from Seed Stock. I like it better than the new Wold, dare I say. SiHV may disagree.

For now, please click on the focus-and-zoom-challenged lovely undead woman, to access the playlist and audio archive of this week's horrorcast™.
Horns up! (sorry, heard that this week, just had to use it....)

Monday, February 6, 2012

What I Would Have Played...

Some great music has been coloring my last few weeks, so in the absence of a Castle broadcast last Thu./Fri. (though Jeff Mullan did a fantabulous job filling in!), I'll bring you up to date.

A few new purchases from the Seed Stock store turned out to all be relatively new Legion Blotan releases, to my naïve surprise; they're all exceptional and will receive airplay on the show in the coming weeks. They are: a new cassette, "Demo I," by Unkerd Wood, a split 7" by Myrrdin and Instinct, and perhaps my favorite of the lot, a new 7" by Styggmr, both sides wholly original and thoroughly amazing. See here for a list of upcoming releases on LB, which has emerged as one of the premier labels for truly underground black metal (that Satanhartalt LP looks particularly tasty!)

New releases from Regimental Records (geographically close to the MCoQ / Prison Tatt HQ in nearby Clifton, NJ) make up a fairly flawless batch as well, including the new, not-to-be-missed 3-song epic by N.i.l. (also NJ natives), and a new CD of throbbing, dark black by Grafvolluth, featuring members of Lussuria and Regimental staff, which leads us to an appearance by the band on The Castle this coming Spring. Also new on Regimental, the new CD by Kama Rupa, a wild, mass-collage, of orchestral proportions; a new CD and LP by Pestis (from the Netherlands) of hammering, catchy, full-throttle black (the vinyl being well worth it, both for that warm sonic quality that the format provides, as well as the orange/red/yellow swirl-colored vinyl); all this, and a double-A-sided single by Nordafrost.

Also dazzling are two new releases from Rhinocervs, the debut demo CS by Nihilobstat (first run already sold out), a crushing black/doom/basement charge, falling somewhere between Defuntos, and a heady dose of Apocalypse Rock à la German Oak. Also on the label, and well worth owning, is a split 7" by two of the most-watched SoCal black metal projects of now, both bands enthralling, unique and challenging for completely different reasons, Odz Manouk and Absum.

What else? Some things that I've touched upon in previous weeks, with only more to come, like the two new releases on No Visible ScarsDeath Factory's Machinen Unter Kontrolle, brain-boggling, high-volume power collage; and M. Todd and L. Kerr's CD of insidious, quietly powered instrumental pieces, not a drone record, more a haunting build of dissonant layers of eerie sound.

The split LP between Will Over Matter (a solo side-project of Harald from Ride for Revenge) and Bizarre Uproar (click to their homepage—a real treat) is the finest slab of intense, lingering hard-noise-improv I've yet heard this year (thanks to Todd W. for sharing.) (Bestial Burst/Filth and Violence.)

Oneiric Rings on Grey Velvet by Philippe Petit (see up top) is an amazing work, we've heard a few tracks in weeks previous; it somehow pays noticeable sonic homage to the giallo film soundtracks, while still being a work of great originality and power all its own. (Aagoo Records.) Look for Philippe to also visit The Castle this Spring.

Last but never least, two releases from the metal stalwart Paragon Records; the 2009 masterpiece by Aetherius Obscuritas, Black Medicine / Fekete Orvosság, an accomplished and sophisticated black-metal opus, in a manner similar to the best works of Horna and Deathspell Omega; and From Glory to Infinity (also 2009), another complex-yet-brutal work from Faust, the not-often-heard-from death metal outfit from Italy. These last two releases will be heard soon on the show, though I cannot place special emphasis upon them for the moment, as far as the radio show goes, as they are available in very limited supply (4 pcs. each title) from the Prison Tatt distro, as well as from Paragon.

Thanks for reading; I'll be back this week with a new My Castle of Quiet radio program.