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.