Friday, June 29, 2012

Show #150 no less!

First, a few words about our screen capture for this week's show, from Devil Dog, The Hound of Hell. Devil Dog is one of those essentially ho-hum pictures that can still be watched and enjoyed, say on a rainy Saturday afternoon. A mother and her two children become overtaken, changed, "possessed" if you will, by a demon named Barghest, housed inside the family pet at birth (Barghest fans take note), as its bitch-mother was infested with the demon, in a ritual we see mostly during the opening credit sequence.

There's a whole litter of 10 puppies, but we're left with the story of one family that adopted a single damned pup, from a neighborhood weirdo, some guy I wouldn't buy a brick from. It's left to dad Richard Crenna to hop over to Ecuador, meet with a shaman, and come back to save the fucking day, by way of a series of symbols, tattooed by the shaman onto his palm. There, I've told you the whole film, yet somehow it still took director Curtis Harrington over 90 minutes to do the same! (You may have seen the above image before, too, even if you missed out on the wonders of Devil Dog, as the image gets around, and the band Nunslaughter have used it for a 7" sleeve.)

Director Harrington himself is a notable character, and made several more successful attempts at these semi-cheesy, quasi-horror dramas, like Games (with James Caan), How Awful About Allan (starring Anthony Perkins), Who Slew Auntie Roo? (with Shelley Winters), and perhaps his masterpiece, and feature debut, Night Tide (starring a young Dennis Hopper.) All of the above-mentioned are much better than Devil Dog, needless to say, the latter most surely being an "on the way down" production for Harrington, if there indeed ever was an "up."

The director was also a Crowleyan, and Harrington and occultist/artist Marjorie Cameron were involved with Jack Parsons' Thelema group, which also included L. Ron Hubbard. Both Parsons and Hubbard believed Cameron to be the "Scarlet Woman," a conjuration of the Goddess BABALON. Red hair, green eyes. Long story, and it ends badly as I recall. Drag City published Curtis Harrington's memoir, Nice Guys Don't Work in Hollywood, just this year.

As to this week's horrorcast™, after about 1/2 show of railing and roiling, blast beats and caffeine-induced mania from yours truly, we hit the horizon and rode out the last two hours with several long-form, extended "head" trips, pieces I'd been meaning to get to for some time, including a great new track by Belgian artist Je suis Le petit chevalier (aka the talented and charming sound sculptress Felicia Atkinson, who also records under her own name; I only recently stumbled onto her work, and purchased An Age of Wonder, the album from which our last night's selection came, which led to a very friendly and genuine email exchange, and talk of a possible future Castle visit.)

The new Grasshopper tape is of course amazing, The Day America Forgot, on Sic Sic. Again, Ghop blindsides me by churning out another masterpiece of in-the-moment composition, always somewhat new and different, evolving, but always sounding like Grasshopper. There's a great Village Voice interview with the boys that can be read here (which also makes note of their Prison Tatt release, the now out-of-print "Calling All Creeps," citing it as the more "malevolent and ruthless" of their releases—heell yeah, I'm proud!; "...Creeps" is still available digitally through the band, with two copies in their cadre of the original 12" also for sale, and I've got some test pressings that I'm saving for my retirement fund, when these guys get HUGE.)

Noted on the playlist was the mysterious Satanhartalt, their new LP a bottomless pit of unreal sound—not metal, not psych, not "doom"—the sound of the spirits that haunt German Oak's bunker. It's still available from All Dead Tapes and Legion-Blotan, a co-release between the two labels. It's a  highly recommended purchase that comes close to being an "ultimate" My Castle of Quiet record, with its marriage of horror elements and wretched atmospheres, with a bit of the old lay back and just freak-out on it as well.

And our closing piece last night, Side B of the new LP by K Salvatore, Tsar Ova Elk, is one of my current can't-stop-playing-it records, as the walls fall down blissfully between psych, noise, improv, early Faust, all things I love—but who cares about these labels?! Great music it is. Available on Kelippah.

Click on the portrait of Barghest, "painted in blood" (because everyone just leaks red tempera), to access the playlist and audio archives of last night's horrorcast.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

IT'S 3:33

Dogs have room.
Corresponding to the
Good for fuck

Leave me alone
From lick all
[Let me!-Kun

I want to get back to
feeling numb.

Friday, June 22, 2012

retching out the woes...

Indeed, and Shaved Women did it so very well. Woes retched, all over the double glass in Studio B. Theirs was everything punk & hardcore should be—a sensual assault, tight, short, loud and fast; a burst of human energy that knocks you down before you know what's hit you. Hell yes, brothers and sisters. Their set will be available on mp3 via WFMU's Web portals within a few weeks. [Beware of The Blog][my curator page at the Free Music Archive]

Absolutely thrilled to be back in form, though I did enjoy my week off AND the UK Blues special. Doing this particular show just happens to be what I'm good at, my odd niche of weekly "performances" aimed right at the heart of those who would enjoy them. You know who you are.

Such a great time last night, and I accumulated so much material within my two-week absence, that next week's Castle is already fairly set to go as well. There's simply so much amazing, vital new music, in our peculiar arena, as well as so many older recordings deserving of a revisit, that I sometimes feel that I could literally go on forever.

No clever disdain this week, no complaints about NY's wretched heat, I'll save that for next week—just glad to be back and hope you enjoyed the show. I had a blast.

NYC's Bloater was namechecked on our playlist, and I'm sure they'll be right pleased, as they just made contact earlier this month, raising and dropping those impossibly large knockers upon the Castle doors. Also namechecked, much to my personal satisfaction, was The 150 Murderous Passions, a rare recording in the Whitehouse discography, as William Bennett, for once, just set aside his fetishistic vocal wailings and made ecstatic noise (the Come recordings are great for this reason as well.)

I'll keep this brief, as it's too hot to do much of anything, even read (as Dave Attell said in Miami once, "I need a nap after I fart.") Click on the horrible, menacing eyes of Baron Blood (the film itself recommended mostly for its occasional touches of Bava visual brilliance, and the instant Elke Sommer boner you will receive gratefully, despite her ridiculous outfits) -to reach the playlist and streaming audio of last night's horrorcast™.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

SHAVED WOMEN - you will feel the spit. TONIGHT on MCoQ.

St. Louis' Shaved Women are a fierce, true-of-heart American punk rock band. Their combination of pounding bottom end, slathered with inventive, sometimes angular guitar lines, and always-personal-never-business vocals set on top, is immediately grabbing. Your attention gets got. Reminiscent of early Black Flag and Circle Jerks in the best of ways. They're right in line with a great new generation of punk-rock bands that started somewhere around Cursed, and continues with The Ropes/Repos, Drunkdriver, Vile Gash, and so many others.

Shaved Women are at the top of their class with those bands I mentioned, and their record is an instant mini-classic, first issued on vinyl by Rotted Tooth Recordings, now reissued on CD by Ektro, with bonus live material recorded at the St. Louis Apop store. Howabout that, supporting local talent!? WFMU's My Castle of Quiet was thrilled to catch Shaved Women on tour through our area, this session recorded last Friday, on 15 June.

Shaved Women on bandcamp.

Damien Thorne sweats my action @ midnight.
SW @ 12:30 approx.
WFMU 91.1 FM (NY/NJ)
WMFU 90.1 FM (Hudson Valley) live on the Web, with accu-playlist and message board.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Dante Tomaselli interview, 2005

I'd like to start reposting some of my older posts for WFMU's Beware of The Blog here.

And though all my live-music posts, and anything else that I've uploaded, will remain as always available (with accompanying blog posts) on the Free Music Archive at my curator portal, some of the other posts I've made over the years hopefully warrant reexamination.

Starting off, here's this 2005 interview with NJ-based horror director and auteur Dante Tomaselli.

Dante Tomaselli is a director of films that you, the WFMU listener, the inveterate hipster, ought to know about.  While many modern films are described by critics as homages to 70s horror/fantasy, Dante Tomaselli is a true son of creepy 1970s and 80s genre films, as well as being a son of Northeastern NJ.
His two films currently available on DVD, Desecration (1999) and Horror (2002), both stand as visually engulfing nightmares torn from the psyche of a middle-class suburban kid not unlike yours truly.  Desecration deals with religious and family archetypes via mysterious happenings at a convent school, while Horror is an LSD-tinged crazy quilt of hallucinatory occultism populated by a group of misfit adolescents, also starring The Amazing Kreskin in a lead role.
His latest release, Satan's Playground (2005), involves a vacationing family's encounter with The Jersey Devil. (Dante is currently promoting his latest feature in the works, Torture Chamber; see his name linked above to his Facebook page.)
Dante was kind enough to submit to an e-mail interview, the transcript of which follows:
Spposter_2Wm: First of all, Dante, thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions.  I believe there are a great many film fans here who would benefit from knowing about your work.
DT: Thank you. 
Wm: I own your first two films, Desecration and Horror, on DVD, and have watched both several times with great enjoyment.  Your work seems to be imbued with a vibe that is so specific to coming of age in the 1970s, watching medium-to-low budget horror/fantasy, as I did.  Films like The Sentinel, Don't Be Afraid of the Dark and Jack Woods' Equinox are deeply imprinted on my memory and personal aesthetic.  Can you speak to that influence a bit?
DT: I was 7-years-old when I saw The Sentinel at a Drive-in in 1977. It was a blasphemous film, yet stylish, gothic. And I saw Don't Look Now around that age too. It left a very deep imprint. That knife wielding grinning death dwarf has to be the most nightmarish sight — ever. There is just something about films from that time. They were no-holds-barred. Totally unhinged.

Wm: Though your stories are essentially horror/fantasy, I see an unmistakable element of the subconscious, what some would call a "psychological" element, which gives your work such a unique voice.  Would you agree?
DT: The films speak in dream language. Or at least that's what I'm attempting. They really take place inside your mind, so yes, they should be considered psychological horror movies, definitely. I'm constructing nightmares.
Wm: The IMDb lists your birthplace as Paterson, New Jersey.  Did you grow up exclusively in the Northeast?  If yes, does this mean you watched a lot of WPIX's "Chiller" and WNEW's "Creature Feature"?
DT: Yes, I grew up in north New Jersey. I watched the shows. Plus the 4:30 Movie. I was glued to the television back then. The title sequence for Chiller always scared me. That hand reaching out. Brrrr.
Wm: Who were some of your favorite directors as a youth?  George A. Romero seems an obvious influence.  (I'm especially fond of Martin, Season of the Witch, and of course the original Night of the Living Dead.)
DT: Oh I love early Romero. Night of the Living Dead. Classic. Season of the Witch is such an underrated film. I love it because it's so different, plays by no rules. Same thing with Martin, very fragmented, offbeat, individualistic. I'm influenced by Carpenter and Cronenberg who made such effective scary movies like Halloween and The Brood.  Brian De Palma is excellent too. Carrie and The Fury. Love 'em. And in my 20s, I got into Argento. I worship Suspiria. I'm definitely inspired by Dario Argento and David Lynch; I feel what I have to offer, more than anything else, is a kind of surrealism.
Wm: I've also read that it was a cousin (?) of yours, Alfred Sole, that directed the classic Alice, Sweet, Alice (aka Communion).  Was he instrumental in steering you towards directing, and/or horror in particular?
DT: Yes, that's my cousin. I'll never forget when it made its World Premiere in Paterson New Jersey. I wasn't allowed to go because I was too young. But I remember the aura of excitement around it. My father supplied all of the Communion dresses, white gloves and veils...since he owned a Bridal Shop. I remember seeing the eerie ads for Communion with the glowing Crucifix knife. My parents had a whole stack of them at home. I'd stare at the mini-posters, chilled...but drawn to the imagery. I wouldn't say Alfred steered me towards directing, because that was going to happen no matter what. But he did give me confidence just knowing that someone in our family tree could possibly achieve such cinematic success.   
Wm: Your films have been critically well received by many.  Has Europe been a more fertile audience for your work?  I know that it can be difficult to get so-called genre films screened here in the US.  What about festivals?
DT: Well, my movies tend to really polarize an audience, particularly Desecration and Horror.  Both films have already been in a lot of festivals internationally. It seems that Europeans embrace my stuff more. But then again, there is somewhat of a cult growing in America, among the horror crowd.   
Wm: Can you talk a bit about your latest feature, Satan's Playground, without giving too much away?  I'm dying to see it.  It is set in the Pine Barrens, yes?  The Jersey Devil legend is involved?
DT: The Jersey Devil is involved, but it's really more of a backdrop. Satan's Playground is a psychological monster movie that slowly seeps into your brain like ecstasy-laced serum. It starts off beautiful, bright and shiny, like a pretty postcard and then slowly takes a turn....As the film gets darker and night falls, it actually becomes increasingly colorful and vivid, like a bona-fide drug trip. The horror, the menace, the violence, is inside, outside, it's's everywhere. Overall, I wanted to harness the feeling of paranoia. Satan's Playground is a mood: you're optimistic, forward-thinking, laughing and adventurous but suddenly, shockingly, you're plunged in to a nightmare world. When you're lost in the woods at night, the Sugar Bread House with the old smiling woman sure looks like salvation. Hmmm... 
Wm: Are there any upcoming screenings of Satan's Playground?  What about a DVD release?
DT: The film made its World Premiere just last month. So it has to go through a period of promotion before it's successfully sold. I know there have been many DVD offers since my producers had a screening of the rough cut of the film, in October. But I think my producers might be holding out for some kind of a limited theatrical release. Luckily, Satan's Playground just got a positive review in Variety Magazine that even mentioned a specialized theatrical release is possible, so that should jump start things. 
Wm: Please tell us a little bit about The Ocean, your current project.
DT: Well, it's in preproduction and I'd rather not make any definitive comments — because I know from experience, things at this stage can change, plot-wise, in a flash. But it's basically a surreal, horror-filled disaster movie set in Puerto Rico. Felissa Rose stars as a woman haunted by the drowning deaths of her husband and son. Judith O' Dea, who portrayed Barbara, in the original Night of the Living Dead, will play a scuba diver. There will be demonic possessions, supernatural riptides...and a mysterious Ebola-like virus...spreading along the coast. It's an apocalyptic chiller and it takes place in the Bermuda Triangle, also known as The Devil's Triangle. 
Wm: The Ocean will be your third film with Felissa Rose (of Sleepaway Camp fame); this seems to be a blossoming director-star relationship.  How did you hook up with Felissa?  I'm fascinated, as the final scene from Sleepaway Camp is one that's burned into my brain!
DT: In 2000, when I was casting for HORROR, Felissa sent me her headshot in the mail.
I was floored, completely in awe. And her picture came with a nice personalized letter. Of course I called her immediately. That image of her at the end of Sleepaway Camp has been burned into my brain too!  We met in NYC at the office of my production company and the chemistry was electric. I think we were both attracted to each other actually, in every way. But then we realized that we should just channel all of that energy...and funnel it into the films. Shooting HORROR with her was just a delicious tease. Satan's Playground was the real deal because it was a starring role for her and we both took a ride on an exhilarating journey. I loved making the movie with her. We can't wait for the next. 
Wm: You've also done some (or all?) of the music for your films.  Is that a trend that will continue? Any plans to release any of the soundtracks on CD?
DT: Thanks. I place a heavy emphasis on music, sound. For all the opening themes of my films I've hired outside composers. But for the rest of the movie, for the most part, the music is mine. I really specialize in ambiance, creating a trancelike mood through layering noises. I admire Depeche Mode, Laurie Anderson and Brian Eno. I'm a sound collector. I have a library of fx and compositions like you wouldn't believe. I have a Roland Synthesizer...and I assign different sounds to each note on the keyboard pad and mix and experiment that way. This helps to move along the sound design of the film, because when I arrive at the Sound Mixing Studio, and I have only three or four weeks allotted, I already have a demo of what I want the entire soundtrack of the movie to be like. It's all been mapped out. So it really is like making an album. I do hope some soundtracks are released at some point. I love music. I'm a fan. I'm excited because Depeche Mode have a new album coming very soon, called Playing the Angel.    
Wm: Do you have an interest in the occult sciences and/or the supernatural, or are they more of just an aesthetic influence? If yes, who are some of your favorite authors/historical figures in the occult pantheon?
DT: Oh, I have a very strong interest in the occult. Kenneth Anger made films that were incantations, Maya Deren created trance films. Even the last film she was working on when she died, was about Haitian Voodoo. I'd like to do a movie on Carlos Casteneda. I consider his stuff a form of the occult. I'd really spotlight out-of-body experiences..and mind travel. I'm not a Satanist. I'm a Supernaturalist. 
Wm: Are there other directors working today that you would call peers?  So many films lately are said to have a 70s horror vibe, thought that label has proven to be an empty buzzword in many cases.
DT: Two young filmmakers to look out for are Christopher Garetano and Adam Barnick. 
Wm: What was the last great contemporary film you saw?  Any current favorites (in any genre)?
DT: I love The House With Laughing Windows. It's an Italian 70s horror film and the only movie that has given me nightmares as an adult. The movie paralyzed me.
Wm: Any opportunity you have to update me on current projects, screenings etc. would be greatly appreciated.  I'll happily post that information here.  I thank you again for your time, and keep up the good work!
DT: Thanks so much for your interest. I really appreciate it. Here is a site for my films
and this is official site for my latest movie, Satan's Playground...  And look out for the Satan's Playground tour. Come and play.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Came ready to stomp.

Everyone gets the blues, relative to their situation. Actually, I think I dated a girl long ago who never got the blues; either that, or she hid it extremely well. Certainly a phenomenon, that; being self-confident and positive all the time. It was unsettling.

Wanna hear my blues? You're already reading; why stop now? But hold your mind, it's a long one. I've got the Big Empty House with no Woman in it, they're building a project house 200 yards from my back fence, when I fall down the stairs, I just have to say "ahh!" and get back up, big pile of record-label work on my desk Blues. Howzzat? Please feel free to share YOUR blues in the comments.

This week's UK Heavy-Blues horrorcast™ was a roaring, rolling, wailing success, and no I did not over-publicize it. Music specials minus any unique, live guest are just that. And as it will remain forever with My Castle of Quiet, those who know, know. I'm accustomed at this point to not getting my full due for a lifetime of artistic efforts, save from the enthusiastic few. But hey, I was recognized on the street in my little New Jersey town yesterday! It comes in drips and daubs, if at all, like an old man's orgasm.

'Twas a lively playlist, with lively comments, selections noted by Groundhogs, Edgar Broughton, Black Sabbath, Cream, John Mayall, and Jimi Hendrix. For myself, every track was a standout, and the playlist was most-carefully planned for maximum footstompin' bluesosity. From the screaming solos of Martin Barre, to the Crowleyean chanting of Graham Bond, I had a terrific time.

And for those who wonder that I may have gone off the deep end, the show returns in two weeks, with the usual haywire punk, extreme metal, and dark, horror-inspired noise and electronics; you know, all those sounds that you love, those that keep our program forever on the fringes.

Most importantly, our next show will feature a live-recorded exclusive set from St. Louis' Shaved Women, to be recorded as part of their tour through our area on June 15. Watch this space for more about that event, and info on where you can catch Shaved Women in person.

I really didn't mean to offend that guy from Venezuela, btw; of course he doesn't know the one, other Venezuelan I've ever met—it was a joke! No one gets my blast-back sense of humor. It works for some guys, but never for me, still I keep trying.

I'm truly pleased that the majority of regular Castle listeners could take the UK Blues journey with me, and you can hear it all, in WFMU's well-kept archives, by clicking on that odd image montage-capture above, from Lucio Fulci's Aenigma.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Talkin' My Castle of Quiet Sold My Soul and Only Got a Lousy T-shirt Blues. Special Tonight!

The blues—not so counter in proposition to My Castle of Quiet's standard fare as I originally thought. Its players are often rumored to make deals with the dark forces, and tend to have fatal vices and live short lives. And for me personally, it has always been the players of the British Isle, the "second-generation" purists, that interpreted the blues most hypnotically—with high volume, novel interpretations, flailing hair and freaked-out drummers. They loved so deeply the music with its origins in our own deep south, they lived it, and in one way or another, it killed a lot of them.

Tune in for three hours of UK hard-rock blues artists; the "best" of Graham Bond, Rory Gallagher, Groundhogs, Black Sabbath, Pete Brown, Cream, John Mayall, Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac, Jeff Beck, and many more. None of the terribly slow, "Machine Gun"-type tracks, either; count on three hours of pounding and wailing, with maybe a breather moment from Davy Graham, or a Graham Bond occult ritual.

Not looking to roll out the meta-rarities either, or get lost in the "beat era"—this is more about '68-'75; just me showing myself a good time, and hopefully the same goes for those who relish pounding electric blues, and, one would hope, the longer shank of Castle listeners.

I reach the edge of town, hellhounds hot on my trail, @ midnight.
UKHB begins immediately.
WFMU 91.1 FM (NY/NJ)
WMFU 90.1 FM (Hudson Valley) live on the Web, with accu-playlist and message board.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

time is relative inside the Castle Of Quiet...

Listener DanO, your comment has led me to what should have been a very obvious conclusion, that indeed EVERYTHING is relative inside the Castle of Quiet. Call it metaphysics, if that term gives you comfort. 

Unable to afford a real, physical Castle, I have created a three-hour universe where even I am only partially in control. The show, the ideas, the music plays itself—I am merely the conduit strong enough to channel it, as such. Three Asia Argentos at once? Do I dare admit that I not only crave such a scenario, but also could handle it, with ease, and generosity? 

Am I ego-mad? No. My vices, my health, my psyche, my pain, wears me down with each move I make, each thought I dare to have. I am a man in trouble. I will not live a long life, but one of rabid indulgence has led me to a certain understanding; I am who I am, and if my dreams could be physically manifest, what a world we ALL would see—one where every single experience is unique and transformational, where every meal is a feast, and every orgasm is an explosion.

Mere life, like a mere radio show, is not for me. I am not so much full of myself (though many are sure to read this post that way), as I am desiring to be full, full of everything, all the time, otherwise I'd rather be asleep. I want fucking, self-expression, and daring escapes, from my mortal weaknesses and the world of the mundane, all the time. 

Some are destined to make the best of this physical life. I am perhaps destined to live the finest ünter-life possible—that of dreams, and largely un-manifest desires.

With millions, I could do a million things, live everywhere at once, and sow my energies in broad, fruitful strokes.

I want to be a superhero, after a fashion. A super antihero, perhaps—and don't you think I deserve it?

In music:  The Birthday Party, The Communion, Arch Toll, Glass Coffin, Pine Smoke Lodge, Axnaar, Demonologists, Heilig Tod. Internet research being easy as pie, loading up the post with links seems ordinary and unnecessary. If any of these artists ignite your desire, you'll find them without my help.

Click on our very tantalizing (to say the least!) weekly capture, to reach the playlist and audio archives of this week's horrorcast™, more of a "lust-cast," this week, in honor of summer.

Perhaps something I write here will resonate, or even ring true, with someone who reads it.

Thanks for listening, and for reading, as always. 
Yrs., Wm. E-pluribus Berger.