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.

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