Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Something died at the Castle outpost.
Pink Floyd ... the rumor was true! (—it's a soundtrack, ed.) | Sensations' Fix reissue | Robert Beatty film score for Takeshi Murata | Paysage d'Hiver

Click on the "distressed" photo, a still from Gerald Slota's Fable, a short film for which I did the original score, to see the playlist and hear the archive for this week's Castle. (Not sure any of my sounds are in that trailer, but it does give a good, cohesive impression of the film and its many strange scenes.)

Thanks for listening! Catch you next Saturday, before The Castle takes a 1-wk break.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

the tiimes are dire
BLACK SABBATH, always (Vol 4, and tales of cocaine decay in Los Angeles) | ANDORKAPPEN (continuing our twisted-L.A. theme; live Andorkappen & Cherry Point 2005) | vintage BATHORY | PANTHER MODERN (from the never-released MASTERPIECE Satanic Logic—if Brian Z. (of T.O.M.B. / Dreadlords) is behind it, I'm on it...)

Enjoy this week's archive by clicking on the image above, from Barbet Scheroeder's Maitresse. (trailer)

Saturday, December 21, 2013

2013 in Review; Film and Music

"Top tens," in music at least, are for me impossible. We're just going to have to build a bigger island. Films, I did manage to whittle down to a neat deck, though it was purely by accident, and probably more than a bit of forgetting. At least you can be sure that these celluloid selections are all wheat, no chaff—that is, if you've followed these posts of mine for the last few years and have gleaned something positive from them, and / or have an accentuated appreciation of the My Castle of Quiet radio show, and / or didn't buy into Ozzy singing "God Is Dead" this year, because um, "we know he was never alive in the first place" is the most metal response to that proposition.

Vampire Diary - (A feature from 2007, not at all related to the post-Twilight television-teen-romance vampire series; I even had a massive hurdle online just trying to find a presentable image of the film poster.) This Vampire Diary is a video one, originally conceived by our female protagonist as a minor exposé about "weekend vampires," playtime blood-drinkers who go clubbing on weekends and occasionally drink one another's blood for sport. Into this somewhat silly aggregation steps a real vampire, an alluring, mysterious, sexy woman, who not only doesn't eat, but must take out real victims in order to survive. I'm always on the lookout for effective employs of the handheld-camera subgenre, and this is yet another clever take on the "everyone has a camera" societal shift of the last decade plus, and the immediacy of handheld is smartly used to arresting effect, proving that are always new tricks, however worn the basket of the original idea. A romantic relationship develops between our heroine-filmmaker and the vampire woman, while the former's friends disappear one by one, somewhat unmysteriously. This is a colorful, sexy, but also very bleak film, while being a modern and comparatively cohesive narrative on what happens when you take in a flatmate who films you in your sleep. The metaphor of vampirism as addiction has never been more alive than in this story as well, and as the desperation escalates, the viewer gets sucked in to the ladies'  impossible situation. Though approx. six years old, I just viewed the film this year for the first time, then watched it twice more, and it seemed more than worthy of inclusion on this list, both in that a primary criteria for inclusion here is innovation, and also because of the way "Vicki the vampire" streaks the cityscape in a desperate search for victims, reminding me of a composite of women I dated and/or knew in the 80s and 90s all around NYC, holding up a somewhat bent mirror to my own life at one particular time.

Evil_dead-poster-1Evil Dead (remake) - Everything horror coming out of Hollywood these days, barring the exceptional few, is a remake of a 70s or 80s genre title, and I find myself sore and decrying the sheer lack of anyone willing to "bank" a fresh horror concept in tinseltown. (not to say it doesn't occasionally happen.) That said, with expectations on the floor, I saw the Evil Dead remake, endorsed by the original Tapert-Raimi creative team (obviously a plus), and found myself quite pleasantly thrilled and genuinely surprised. It's not only that it stands freshly on its own, but were the "new" Evil Dead developed in a vacuum, it would be many times more appreciable, and to a generation who did NOT grow up appreciating the Evil Deads I and II, much like those who heard Bikini Kill with virgin ears never graced by an X Ray Spex record, this film delivers a pretty big boom, especially considering the utter formulaic crap that passes nowadays for a scary movie. There's a female protagonist, so the whole issue of replacing/recasting Bruce Campbell's Ash is cleverly skirted around and rendered irrelevant, and the whole piece is quite artfully shot, for maximum, colorful bursts of horror pleasure. I was impressed, and beyond the whole issue of exceeding low expectations, the new Evil Dead is actually just plain good fun, standing on its own as genuinely enjoyable, and chillingly inspired, with more than a few dynamite scenes.

John-Dies-at-the-End-posterJohn Dies at the End - After making his ultra-impressive cinematic "comeback," now over 10 years ago, with the creepy-comic Bubba Ho-Tep, Phantasm creator Don Coscarelli brings us this ever-rolling, comic-book tale that's perhaps equal parts Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure as it is the director's own classic, Phantasm. John Dies... is super-fun, and easy to watch over and over—hi-speed, surreal, druggy, violent, charming and hilarious—like those teen comedies that give you a warm fuzzy on weekend afternoons, but with a forceful wallop of sci-fi/horror action and excitement. It never takes itself too seriously, so fans of this list be warned; while not a brooding genre film, John Dies... nonetheless underscores my respect and admiration for a director who creates wild worlds of colorful adventure, extreme departures from any director's horror-world but his own. Originality and unpredictability are on display with ideas to spare, so where many genre films can be written as they roll by deep fans while watching, this one is refreshingly fat with ideas, such that even the most cynical and critical horror cinéastes can relax a bit and just enjoy themselves. Coscarelli, though he does not strike often, definitely strikes again.

The-Pack-2010-Movie-PosterThe Pack - Left off the list for the last few years, by mere oversight, is this sickening French horror thriller from 2010 that continues the French-speaking tradition of tales of terror that comically villainize the country folk, who must surely be getting up to some lurid, nefarious stuff out there in the muddy sticks (per movies like Sheitan and Calvaire.) That's certainly the case with this mother and son team, the mother played by Yolande Moreau, a veteran of some excellent French cinema that's way outside this genre. To say much at all would be to give too much away, but it's fair to say that there are some other family members who need special attention and care, feeding, as it were, and that the concept of golem (plural) is played with to truly disturbing affect. I'm always a fan of a movie that keeps you guessing right up until the very end, leaving the "triumph" of the protagonist hanging in question for as long as possible, and The Pack foots that bill will excellence. Genuinely scary, thrilling, and thoroughly icky.


22 Mei (22nd of May) - Another work of cutting-edge cinematic cleverness from the creator of the great Ex Drummer, and though this film is worlds away, it features much of the same cast, many of whom may be unrecognizable to fans of Ex D. This story will not thrill with high-impact ultra-violence, frenetic camera and sexual, punk-rock viscera the way its predecessor did, but it's in such distinction in story and essence from the director's first feature that it neatly avoids comparison, and is an excellent piece of filmmaking, cleverly skirting the issue of a "sophomore slump," as it is simply THAT different. The story centers around a bomb blast in a shopping mall, and walks several victims of the tragedy (including the bomber himself) through a dreamy, confusing after- and before-life, showing the musings, heartbreaks, and myriad roles of random strangers thrust together into sudden, arresting death by a terrorist tragedy. Some welcome death, others refuse to accept it, and in the end of course they all must, but the ride is brazenly human and dramatically laid bare.

A FIELD IN ENGLAND POSTER A3-1A Field in England - I can't say enough good things about Ben Wheatley; he's pretty much my favorite filmmaker of right now, and I eagerly await his every release. Wheatley has a particular way of pacing music, scenes and editing, that is so distinctive, it defines him like a sax player's tone and phrasing, and is besides a joy to behold. This basic style has followed the director through all the many types of film that he's made; from the ultra-black comedy of Sightseers or Down Terrace, to the discomfiting terror of Kill List, to the absurd, almost Flann-O'Brien-esque A Field in England. A Field... features as one of its leads the actor Reece Shearsmith, known worldwide for his multicharacter-roles in the BBC 4 series The League of Gentlemen (please PLEASE not to be confused AT ALL with the Sean Connery film The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen), and consequently plays out much like a classically absurd League sketch, only extended and fleshed out with the seriousness and general gravitas of any Ben Wheatley film. It's all at once historically alien, profoundly odd, gross and hilarious. The film follows the journey over land, by foot, of four deserters of various stripes (and eventually, a pivotal fifth) during the English Civil War, with all the filth and superstition of that era unflinchingly played (as far as I know, of course), and the scenes are paced with some lovely English folk songs, and it's altogether woven into quite the perfect film. Shearsmith, as well as Michael Smiley and Richard Glover, shine. I dare/need not say more, besides enjoy!

Only_god_forgives_posterOnly God Forgives - Nicolas Winding Refn is THE FILMMAKER, like Scorsese in the early 1970s—on fire, creatively speaking—the man is hot, and no one really knows exactly what he's going to do next; there are those who speculate, or like me, just wait to be bowled over. With Valhalla Rising, Refn proved that he can break hard away from any sort of genre film, or fan expectations, while still making a story of great pathos and overreaching ideas of what filmgoers had come to expect from him (most notably the Pusher series of intense, suspenseful, violent crime dramas.) The Pusher movies are exceptional, with disturbing, almost painfully realistic characterizations; the weak and the strong, endangered children and the adults available and able to rescue them from grim lives immersed in and effected by the drug world and its absentee parents (just an example; each of the four Pusher films has a life of its own and characters unique to the tale that's told) But in Only God Forgives, the child is grown, and it's a cruel, somewhat insane, oppressive, sexually dominant and downright evil mother who controls her sons, transplanted as they are in Bangkok, wildly unpredictable and running the family drug trade there. Ryan Gosling proves his versatility yet again, playing hard against type, as a weak-willed quiet type who must rise to the occasion of avenging his brother's killing while suffering a constant hailstorm of verbal abuse from Kristen Scott-Thomas as his truly horrible mother, and simultaneously ever-mounting challenges from the local psycho-sadist police chief. All in all, this is another wild-ass Refn film that will not disappoint fans of the director's other work.

RwbRed, White and Blue - The word "gritty" gets thrown around a lot these days, a dramatic subgenre whose designation is now a casual part of the Netflix vocabulary, but few modern dramas bear out the grit as brazenly as this film, set in suburban Texas amongst the hard-drinkng, hard-working, poor, sick and disillusioned. The three lives of a sullen, loosely moraled young woman, an aspiring rocker whose mother is suffering from cancer, and a somewhat frightening, mysterious war veteran, connect in the most unfortunate of ways, and where this film seems almost meditative and brooding at its outset, your "where is this all going" feeling will gradually and thoroughly be replaced with sheer terror, and an utter lack of saving, or "redemption" for all parties, as things go from generally bad to shockingly awful. That said, this story is not without meaning or purpose, though extremely harrowing, and genuinely upsetting, even to a seasoned viewer of extreme cinema such as myself. It's Red, White and Blue's depth of dramatic field that warrants its inclusion on this list, and places it miles away from what's often referred to as "torture porn." There's a story to be told here, though it's not an easy one. Serious warning; this film is not for those of weak constitution, or those on the fence about violent, harrowing cinema.

UwGsgLos Bastardos - "The Bastards" are two Mexican-immigrant men, squeezing out a meager existence just north of the border in California, socially isolated except from one another, and with seemingly no place to go in the nighttime. They roam the parks together, sleep under the Los Angeles stars, and jump into pickup trucks during the days with shady white men when duty calls for cheap, day laborers. It's a bit slow to piece together at first, but what gradually emerges is that the men have somewhat reluctantly accepted a violent crime-for-hire, and at about this time, we also start to parallel-view the victims, moving through their own, sullen daily lives. While the overall atmosphere of Los Bastardos is exceptionally bleak, it's not a story without strong purpose, nor is it a story that could be easily tossed out and never told. As it becomes clear what's likely going to happen, the drama amps up at a deceptively slow pace, utterly tense and uneasy. Los Bastardos will likely linger with you for days, a mood of unease and horrific injustice on all fronts and for all concerned; a disconcerting little movie, that will haunt the viewer like the best of 70s Herzog, or something like Wenders' The Goalie's Anxiety...; an unsettling tragedy that's not for everyone.

Europa_reptEuropa Report - An utterly different kind of science-fiction film, which when compared to its contemporary cousins in the genre, will seem very "real"—if that makes sense. The acting is remarkably understated, and the craft that serves as the centerpiece of the film, the "Europa One," is as complex as any creatively imagined spaceship, though something about not only the ship but the entire film is more tactile than the shiny, CG-laden sci-fi films we've become used to seeing. The fantasy here is much less distant; we feel all the switches and hands-on operation, and multiple cameras of varying angles and quality make for a very "believable" experience, at least as the genre goes—in other words, nothing is particularly glossy or "marvelous" in a special-effects way, making for a very "smart"-feeling, radically different kind of space-journey; a tale which uses tragic technical errors, unexpected discoveries, and a general and contagious fear of the unknown for all of its tension-building, rather than the threat of a race of CG-rendered, bloodthirsty aliens intent on human destruction. I've seen this film twice thus far, and on second viewing Europa Report had more of an emotional impact, whereas my first view was spent just taking in all the style and visuals, so radically different are they from modern genre convention. Think of Europa Report as a contemporary equivalent of moody classics of the late 60s and early 1970s, films that came in the wake of 2001: A Space Odyssey, that were as much concerned with conveying a feeling as they were with being impressive visually, features like Marooned, Countdown and Silent Running.

2013 Music List - a mere 55 entries! ...

Vein - ...Into The Vein | Hoax (multiple releases) | Akitsa / Ash Pool split LP | Wretched Worst - Funeral Burning EP | Cadaver In Drag - Raw Child; Breaking and Entering | Haare - Forward To Insanity; A Split Second In Eternity | Black Scorpio Underground-Werewolf Jerusalem split LP | Slumber Room - Slumber Room EP | Kr Grauwacke (all 3 releases) | Murano / Carter, Safityya, Les Conversions, and all Kelippah relases | Vardan (multiple releases) | Anwech (multiple releases) | Volksmorg - s/t CS | Cincinnatus C. (multiple releases) | Kuxan Suum LP | Medusa LP reissue | Hive Mind  - Like a Shallow Plague...CD issue; But Mine Own Vineyard I Have Not Kept ‎CS and digital issue; Live YouTube sets! | Ghast - Terrible Cemetery | Oppression - Silence! CS | Teatro Satanico - Rainbow Tape | Compactor - Desensitization Reprocessing | Ash Borer - Bloodlands | Nate Young - Regression Binding Confusion | Actuary - split w/ Merzbow | Agathocles - recent splits | Lord Time - Drink My Tears | Cliff Martinez - Only God Forgives OST | Raspberry Bulbs - Deformed Worship | Cadaver Eyes - Mesarveem Lihiyot Covshim | Inappropriate King Live - Datboonbat | Bran (...) Pos - Den of Ordure and Iridescence | Husere Grav - You Are Transparent | Deaf Kids - I Am The Sickness | Psychic Limb - Jamaica | The Atrocity Exhibit - What Time The Hidden Death?; Grind Over Matter (Live) | Hivesmasher - Gutter Choir | Lea Bertucci - Resonance Shapes | v/a - Buried Terror #2 (Sabbathid Recs. Japan) | Wargrinder - Erased Seeds of Ignorance | OK Putrid - God God Alabakdannagsba | Fadensonnen - PD3 | Onkunde - De Eeuwige Vrede | Castevet - Obsian | Giant Claw - Max Mutant | Spettro Family - Chi Omega 7" | Cornflakes 808 - 12" | Verglas - Excommunion 7" | Malkuth - Hathir Sakta | Death Factory - Chilling Impressions | The Throat; Netherlands-based cassette label of black metal and noise | White Medal - Guthmers Hahl LP | Andorkappen - Columbarium CS | Deafest - Through Wood and Fog EP | Cara Neir - Portals to a Better, Dead World | Yellow Eyes - Hammer of Night.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

quarter to 8 this guy emerges from a 20h hibernation to a scary world of scary music
Intention v. Action; Spanakopita Foundation v. Berger, both 2013. District court of Essexxx (dream on!) County. Insists on saying "spanakopita" instead of "spinach pie." (Not me.)

These are nerdy, predictably facial-haired 'merican guys, looking in all the wrong/right places for an Asian girlfriend, and asking "Where is MY ___ ___?" What is their secret? Or lack of one?

Anyway, I'm miserable. My life is over, as much as it continues. Death by perpetually broken heart.
My son will now go, and leave me in the mess that I'm in. To be continued, maybe.

Thanks for listening. Playlist comments favored:  Raspberry Bulbs (pretty cool that not only is the Live on MCoQ session listed there on Metal Archives, but they've also used Tracy's photo manipulation for the band entry!) | Castevet | Kavra

To listen, read the playlist and comments, click on the, um, girl, up above.

My place in history now somewhat cemented, do I have to go on? Can I die now, please? PLEASE?!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

could this be the gateway? have I arrived? 
If a monster hath been created, 'tis thee that raised the My Castle of Quiet show up on its hydraulic platform, raised it high in the midst of an electrical storm, and well, as they say the rest, is histoire.  What a great way to be received upon my return to weekly broadcasting. Castleheads rule!

I've been wondering about the state of constant peril, and why it seems to entertain us so much. The most popular and perhaps most-innovative TV programs, mostly Cable-network-based dramas, but not entirely—shows like Breaking Bad, American Horror Story; even comparatively innocuous fare like the modern-day Get Smart-type show Chuck, differ greatly from the programs I grew up watching in that story turnover is almost mercilessly fast—the main characters remain in a state of almost constant peril; the danger of murder, the discovery of their illegal activities, and lovers embrace for only a moment before tragic separations. WHY are we so entertained by this? Is it the mere speed of our "information age" dictating that everything else must move that much faster as well? Or do we just get off on observing a life and/or lifestyle that would lead any ordinary or even extraordinary person rapidly into nervous breakdown? ...Unfortunately, perhaps, I'm old enough to recall when a VERY GOOD PREMISE was enough to carry a TV show, and with that premise established, plug in different scenarios and peripheral characters every week to keep it interesting; change up the "bad guys," one adventure per week, that swirls around that core premise, but at the episode's end, arrives back at that core premise, where at least everything is basically "ok."

Imagine if Breaking Bad had been done in the 70s-80s-90s, and how different it might have been. If memory serves, in very beginning episodes, the threat of very imminent discovery and the need to kill, simply in order to keep oneself alive, presents itself almost immediately; is a school teacher, with cancer, manufacturing meth with a reckless former student not enough for us? What a great idea! Couldn't they just have rocked a successful, semi-quiet operation for a season or two, or would the show have failed miserably, by extension suggestion that the lives of most illegal drug manufacturers/dealers would be too mundane/boring to carry a television show? I thought we craved "reality," but that's not how it seems; we crave instead a beefed-up, exaggerated, manufactured reality, one that could literally blow at any second.

What's wrong with us? Not to say that these aren't entertaining shows, and in some cases great (like Breaking Bad), but what happened to building a house and just living in it for a while? In a world where 43-second YouTube clips dictate our reality, maybe constant peril is the only thing that could possibly entertain most people now. The neo-realist, human-drama-based cinema and television I was raised on (which today might be considered "mumblecore") must seem horribly draggy by comparison. Grist for the mill, but I did really love Kojak in its day. ...

In other news, your playlist comments this week were inspired by:

Malkuth (at the new Kelippah Records site, with my own promotional/review copy as accompaniment, hope you enjoy the read) (Malkuth live Castle session, 2010) | Black Cilice | Verglas (Castle session, 7.2013) | Vetëvrakh | Sale Freux | Two Years On Welfare (live Castle session 2010 and MCoQ live vimeo set)

TTHHHHHAAAANNKKKK YYYOOOUUUU for listening! Catch up with you again this Saturday, and your appreciation is much appreciated. ...

Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Night of the Return of the Already Dead
"Home to roost"

There is, quite simply put, too much great music and too much support for the My Castle of Quiet radio show for me to just allow it to wane and wither. I've built something; an aggregation, however loose, a community—and I cannot abandon it, however much my person stands in a sort of perpetual state of crisis/crises. I can keep on living as the living dead, and do a weekly radio show at the same thymme—yeah, I'm that good.... On a lighter note, not enough people are named Hume these days. You can disrespect, screw another man, do me wrong, but please let his name be Hume. I'm not a human, or a "hume," do you see? It's perfect.

"Pass me a pickel, pleash?" Espionage. You shee, it really meansh shometing elsh.

Metal, and soundtracks/scores, and stellar improvised music, goes ON, and it's one of the few joys of my life keeping up with it all. "Give me some pleasure" —Iggy Pop.

So ... Saturday nights/ Sundae mornings midnight-3 a.m.; the customary rolling of the residence for bugs and enemies a-plotting. They never find anything. But it seems sort of perfect, this time, Castle-tee. I like it, cautiously; cautiously because, I'm cautious about everything, and because the weekend can be famous for comments-board douchebaggery, but I can work with that, and have a trick-bag of ways of dealing, some of them are even downright PLAYFUL.

Already scheming, thinking about live musical guests—for example, discussed long ago, a second appearance of Hoor-paar-Kraat; Seed Stock guest-DJ blackout #3; New York's Future Death Toll. ...and I'm sure there are more, more. I'm old, and needed that brain cell for something. These are just what has been already discussed off the top of my head. ...Would love to get some local paranormal-researcher types on the show this season, not that I necessarily believe, but I want to believe, and it's all more interesting than the drivel that gets passed around at an N/A meeting; "war" stories, past drug thrills, passing for God-box reboots—anyone have a paranormal research contact? More grind, hardcore; synth people. The only thing I won't stoop to is phoners; way too awkward not having that person face to face, though hopefully some old friends and/or some new ones will visit. My crazy old drunkard Polish landlord from the 90s? hehehe

So, Operation Home-to-Roost is finished; returning to my respective corner to recoup and energize for the season to come.

Last night's fill-in was a blast; always fun, and the preceding Freitag Schwarze allowed me reign to beef up those selections, though it doesn't take much; black metal seems the SOLE genre where new things are actually happening, still happening, redefining constantly the sub-sub-sub-genres and geniuses in their own time. And I was musing out loud last night about what it might take to get One Master to return, this time as Lustrum. So, no shortage of ideas, but, any thoughts on what my marathon premium should be this yare? I'm open. Was thinking maybe "Scores Galore"? Cinelogues and musical themes, rarer than not?

Also, in re: last night's show, not one single comment on the MUSIC ITSELF, which is extremely rare, though there were comments on one of those little things I do, when the technology fails to serve, where I turn on the mic but at a distance, and act as though I'm "figuring things out"...weird that people would bother to seize upon that, and in a surly manner label it a "rookie move"—haha, if I'm a "rookie," this is as good as it gets having been on the air since 1984. It IS the Internet, after all, where one can talk smack from the safety of one's own rubber Vulcan ears, with no fear of reprisal. ...

So I'll comment upon a few things of acute interest; Bob Bellerue's Redglaer 10", a compact little record of dense metallurgy; John Cage's "A Room," which was the high point for me of the film doc New York in the Fifties, and a piece I wasn't previously familiar with, not that I really "know my Cage," far from it. New records by Lufycrem Etaf, Cultes des Ghoules, White Medal, Black Cilice, *Vasaeleth*, Ubasute; tracks by Jarboe/Jon Thoresen and Bleak; a new double tape by Death Factory, and a new single, first time on vinyl, for Verglas.

That's about it; you'll hear me next week in The Castle's new time slot—again, Saturday night. Sunday a.m., midnight-3 ET. Pushing off the moist earth, reaching for the mouldy air, NOW. ...To hear last night's program archive as well as view the playlist, etc., click on sad, doomed Eddie above, from Toshio Matsumoto's Funeral Parade of Roses.

Friday, November 15, 2013

So I'm sitting here now, listening to yesterday's archive, and I'm thinking, "what the hell IS this?!"> od Playgyooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.

Bleeps and blops, popping in and out; what's happening, Rajah???? ... and Dawn, and Dew, and You. And Hugh.

No! It was not my show, after all, and whew and thankfully. Well it was MY SHOW, technically, but the browser audio (I hope, and not the permanent archive, or HORRORS, the actual broadcast as it was aired, methodically and machinistically popping in and out, vocal mics CLEARLY AUDIBLE and OVERLAPPING WITH THE MUSIC?!?! But you tell Barrett that something was awry, and what happens? > His girl gets locked in the closet, food and water oumoked in indtanrl, slid under the door at semi-reg intervals.

What the kid is asking for is far-reaching; lt's "imtemse," in the Thames, in a tent, for Chrissakes.

So there was the old standard love; polished almonds plucked from the very rough tide, (Do my selections and their airing sequence make a kind of sense, I mean, TO YOU? They always have to me, but of this nature, unprecedented.) His big brother does not like his girl, doesn't approve of her, and THAT kiss of death can last long and hurt aplenty, certainly nothing that numbnuts over here could tell from smelling.

MASSIVE ATTACK = Not massive, not an attack. Your thoughts?

I'monna tan y'hide, I'monna tan it and tan it, gonna Dan Tan-it. Kochalka, Kochalka, Kochalka.
E maj > D-flat minor. Bah-doo-ba-doo-ba-doo-ba.

In the midst of playing all this black metal, Castleheads had NO TROUBLE instantaneously plucking out a song from the latest LP by Yellow Eyes (and there I am, quoted on the page—schwet!)—"Cabin Filled With Smoke and Flies." Great title, great song. What else? Gorduw OH HELL YES. Hydravion (a full band project (1977) by the enigmatic Philippe Besombes, of Besombes-Rizet), Klaus Schulze/Angst --[Angst trailer]-- (thanks, mighty SARZANNA!) Hive Mind, Eeuwig (late of Smoke.) --[Zwaertgevegt label]--

He must explain how he got in. His way in—what was it? Surely it was not through me, as my pockets remain empty and turned out.

...And I'll add a few favorites of my own: the new Witchbeam cassette (also of the legendary ensemble Telecult Powers, the latter, the first artist to ever perform live on My Castle of Quiet, back in 2009), Shadow Musick Vol. 1; and the incredible new White Medal full-length, Guthmers Hahl.

It's refreshing to do a show again; I get restless if I put it down too long, though this time the lengthy gap was but for terrible illness, which demanded much recovery time. My muse must be stoked, stroked, and channels must be channeled. Demons exorcised, and all this wonderful / weird / dark and aggressive music that clutters my head frequently must be LET OUT. A discovery a day, so to speak, sometimes literally.

Always at odds with the idea of an omniscient power beyond reason; the vast, vocal majority of those who espouse such a belief are ssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssnakes, liars, or worse; YET, the undeniable need in all mankind for some reason to get up in the morning, PK Dick's "Pink Light," which finally found him, or so he said, and maybe it was just a keen sense, box-cutter sharp perception, or some combination of the aforementioned with amphetamines. Where do I go? Where is my pink light? I've just now passed a dream; loosing out of my psyche as I sit here, extraordinarily sleep-deprived at the moment.

All I can say, mostly, is that it felt good, didn't feel bad, to be in Castle Country again, which feels like home, and WFMU in general has always been one of my few homes away from home; a gathering pod for the idiosyncratic, sometimes quirky, unique minds, focused tastes of the extreme diggers, the weirdos and the deep music collectors. I started listening to the station in the mid-to-late 1970s, hearing The Residents and Jandek, among others, for the first time, wondering what it was all about while simultaneously knowing that I needed to be a part of it. And though my involvement with the station has been either very on or very off (I joined in 1984, doing a weekly show straight through 1999 w/o a break; took a complete break, almost, from Feb. 1999 until June 2009, with only sporadic fill-in shows, the number very gradually increasing as I eased my way back in and sculpted the My Castle of Quiet format. Then again taking this past Summer off as some family obligations/responsibilities loomed.

If you're in NY, or planning to be, make sure to join us next weekend for our annual record fair, Fri.-Sun., more info HERE.

I hope to rejoin you on WFMU's weekly air in December; in the meantime, I'll be filling in again, Castle show #200 (!) this time, in Martha's slot on Black-Friday night, 29-30 November @ mitternacht. Thank you for your kind and enthusiastic indulgence!

Saturday, November 9, 2013


I thought it was time to post, what with some significant events upcoming, or practically happening NOW. Most timely is that My Castle of Quiet will be filling in for Diane's K. FUNMACH., this coming Thursday, noon-3, on WFMU, of course. A previous fill-in scheduled some weeks ago had to be commuted to the talented Jeff Mullan, as I was still groping for breath, more still in the recovery phase from pneumonia than I at the time realized. So, especially this past season, where I myself opted to be (at least temporarily) on fill-in only status, I was really itching to do a show—you MIGHT say I had a "hard on for love"—you might not. I cannot resist even the most circuitous opportunity to reference Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds.

So, filling in I will be, tugging along perhaps even MORE than the usual six hours' worth of material. I need a day-long opportunity to stretch out, one might say. Stretching out above is the android love companion from The Booby Hatch, a movie I pretty much fast-forwarded through, and for some reason I was more amused than annoyed by that. I'm honestly not even sure that title was in my Netflix queue, I think I was TROLLED by a Netflix shipping centre employee. ...And do you ever think about how many words have become action verbs, just within the past few years? THAT I can get behind the annoyance canon for! News items are now "trending," and there's some "girl in a box" thing going around the NY-based portion of the Internet, and I don't get it, haha, which makes me feel old, but not really—I'm sure it sucks, and the "reveal" (now a NOUN) wouldn't be worthwhile anyway.

Bandcamp continues to be a great resource for new music in general, for metal and its offshoots in specific. Just for example, Communion Nick recommended a newer grind band called Cut Your Throat; I did the now-becoming-customary "artist name + bandcamp" search and hit upon a full album, ready to download on the cheap, and it's been the star of the car for weeks and weeks now. (On the other hand, maybe Nick sent me the link; I can't recall, honestly, but welcome to the adventure that is short-term memory loss!) And even at those moments when hitting upon something recommended by a friend, spied on YouTube or elsewhere, seems at its darkest, that bandcamp search yields fruit, even if it's just a track or two featured on a label's page, rather than the artist's. If I hadn't been able to hear MORE Gorduw after stumbling upon THIS, and especially THIS (!!!!)—things were going to get ugly.

I've spent the last week plus watching Captain Jack Harkness on Torchwood make out with all manner of people, personally lusting after Gwen "Kooopuh," and feeling generally confused. There's a sci-fi nerd's monkeyspank agenda if ever there was one (but not mine—oh, come off it, I'm too lazy, and real women will come along eventually—and this bus stop looks as though Rita star Mille Dinesen may happen along any moment now.) (Better than "I coulda had a V8," is the "I'm on Danish television, a star, and a check should be arriving in due course.")

Another important point is that Prison Tatt Records will have a three-day table at the WFMU record fair, Nov. 22-24 (more info); no more of this Saturday-only dipping one's toe action!~ All in-print label titles, distro items and MORE will be available at prices reduced from our Web rates. Sales have been in a bit of a slump; sometimes a week passes by with no orders; that said, the at-the-ready, grab-it-and-walk-away having saved $2—$3 should provide some incentive, as well as two new releases DROPPED (like the proverbial puppy's balls) by Sesso Violento (Molestador; actually available NOW—$17 ppd within the USA; PayPal to and Smoke (improvised black metal from the Netherlands, both their first vinyl issue, and their swan song.) ...And as I look around the house (aka Prison Tatt HQ), I stumble upon more items acquired in limited trade; all sorts of goodies—tapes, 7"s, LPs, CDs, CD-Rs etc.—things you may think I sold out of, so you didn't even bother to ask, but you'd have been wrong.

So...salient points—fill-in this coming Thursday noon-3 p.m. ET (thanks, Diane!) and come up like the de-boned mother malicious from Ju-On and say hello at the Prison Tatt table at the Record Fair; even better buy something. (Which reminds me, I saw something that looked like a repress, or possible redo of the Uzumaki manga; unfortunately, little boy would not allow me to stop moving and actually check it out—ah...such is single parenting.)

There's been so much great new (at least to me; perhaps you as well) music come into my life during the last few weeks, I dare not even go there.) Take it down a notch, Kevin Eldon, so I can think. I was born to ramble. ...And in conclusion, I'll just add that I'm hopeful that the needs of myself and the WFMU schedule will be concomitant, such that a return of the My Castle of Quiet program to the station's weekly air will be in the offing; it remains to be seen, still weeks away, but as always and forever, thank YOU for your everlasting support!

Thursday, October 3, 2013


I've been offline, simmering, coping with illness, etc. The good news is that sometimes these lulls are necessary for one to formulate, take a step back and view the whole map.

I could not be more excited about the current and upcoming Prison Tatt Records releases, and Passion and Torment Series batch #2.

The order is rough, and there are other projects (like the Anthony Saunders one-sided LP that could come together at any time), but generally speaking this is what's happening, and it's all freaking SILVER (I don't care for gold.) -

Bob Bellerue - Butcher's Broom LP. One of Bob's heaviest works of late/to date; source material from the band Health, radically remixed/filtered/pounded out, so that the overall effect is like that Theatre of Eternal Music concert we all wish we were old enough and/or hip enough to have attended. Bob has done so much (released previously on Prison Tatt as 1/2 of KILT, with Raven Chacon, for the Kitchen Sorcery CD); he's done solo works under different names, simply legendary collabs, with Telecult Powers and a great many others ... it's almost impossible to categorize what Bob "does," and I feel pretty sure that he likes it that way. If pressed, I'd say that this album stands strong alongside Amplified Piano Duets (with Jarrett Silberman), one of the first records of his that Bob generously gave me, and still one of my favorites. Think hi-volume, bone-shattering drones, but not at all static, more "sweeping," as in you don't know where this record will attack you from next.

Nuit Noire - A Beautiful Belief one-sided LP. Long-anticipated, A Beautiful Belief is one of the first records that was discussed/planned at the Prison Tatt label's very inception. Tenebras very graciously offered to release with us, he really embraced the one-sided LP concept, and as he takes on his projects/release offers one at a time, I knew that the day would come, and now it's here! Perhaps NN's most intimate/radically romantic record to date, still with their unique crunchy catchiness, and Tenebras' gorgeously idiosyncratic vocals, more upfront than ever. Thoroughly excited for this one!

Malkuth - Tamahprabha - One of two Malkuth LPs of brand-new material that's been simmering for a good, long while. I wrote up the promotional/press-release copy for Hathir Sakta, the other new album, which is coming out on Kelippah. Originally conceived as a double-LP, IMO these records are perhaps better even than Malkuth's two exceptional full-lengths on Hospital Productions. ...That rare breed of black metal that brings the "hard" and the "head" in equivalent measure. (Malkuth live set on WFMU / My Castle of Quiet, 2010 January.)

NRIII - The Algea. I've been following the releases of NRIII pretty much since the beginning; $, their debut cassette, was released on Primal Vomit, a label that features substantially in the Prison Tatt distro. Several years and releases later, and stylistic/compositional leaps forward (the 2012 EP trilogy on Neon Doom is a personal favorite, and received heavy airplay on My Castle of Quiet) NRIII bring us nothing short of a masterwork; I like to describe The Algea as the record I always wish Coil had made (always wanting Coil to be a bit more intense, more grimy and loud.) I'd also compare The Algea to the more pounding, song-oriented works of Nurse With Wound, or perhaps a cherry-picked collection of my favorite Genocide Organ songs—it's really that good; a new high for the band and for Prison Tatt.

What else? More, more, MORE!

To be released next, Molestador, the new one-sided LP by Sesso Violento, whose crusty, sci-fi-black-metal masterpiece, Pacificador, was one of our best- and fastest-sellers to date; Seed Stock unloaded their distro copies in hardly any time at all. This record finds SV in much the same form, but forward-looking as well; tight, boom-tap high-impact songs—black metal, yes, but of the Vordr/Bone Awl-inspired stripe, and not at all conscious of subgenre categorizations or limits, mixing in odd sounds all over the place, also not afraid to pick up an acoustic guitar for a song either. These guys are happy to work with Prison Tatt, and the feeling is mutual. Our label was built on great, black-metal one-siders, and Molestador more than continues this tradition.

On that topic, following hot on the heels of Molestador will be another one-sided LP, by the much-beloved Smoke. Deep black metal heads know all about Smoke (from The Netherlands) and their consistently high-caliber cassettes of improvised (!) black metal, the overall effect like being in a wind-tunnel haunted house, riding an uneasy wave of blast beats and frightening, transient melody. The effect of Smoke is staggering, and we're sad to report that this vinyl debut also represents the band's swan song, entitled Het Laatste Oordeel (The Last Ordeal?) The record is comprised of three lurching, hypnotic songs—classic Smoke, and K.v. Hardeveld's pencil-drawn jacket is one of my favorite bm covers EVER.

Our companion releases by OPPONENTS (Telepathic Times) and Creeplings (their two-song, one-sided vinyl debut) are still very much NEW, and Prison Tatt is fiercely proud to be presenting these records/artists, on the very cut of postmodern, Brooklyn-analog-industrial, with "edge" to spare; these are such great records, there's no time for humility, and you're plain missing out if you don't pick them up. I've extended indefinitely the period for which continental-US customers can pick up both records for a flat $30—because I want you to have them. Full descriptions of these (as well as records by Wretched Worst, Moloch, Demonologists, Todd Pendu's Chaos*Majik, Long Distance Poison—all remarkably still in print, though supplies diminish weekly), song samples, basically the whole Prison Tatt catalog, can be reviewed at For NY locals, Creeplings will be performing a live score this Monday night at Silent Barn (see the link for info) to my choice of an early Clive Barker short film, The Forbidden. Event curated by Stephanie Wuertz and Millennium.

Am I done yet? No! ...Because batch #2 of the Passion and Torment Series is coming soon, somewhere in the midst of all these vinyl releases. P&T is the CDr imprint of Prison Tatt Records; a cheaper and and more-immediate way to release some great music that comes across our figurative desk. There are a lot of P&T releases in the works/being discussed; things most often don't come out when or exactly as planned, but I've whittled our second batch of four down to these:

Degenerate Slug - Garuda II - Leningrad Mon Amour - it was decided long ago that this would be the first disc of our second CDr batch, from the hyper-prolific, hyper-talented Paul von Aphid. I hesitate to put any sort of subgenre label on this, as Paul is so much more well-versed in these things—I just know I like it! Raspy vocals over collaged sounds and pounding drum machine; the audio equivalent of a severed head on a chain, as anguished dungeon cries close in around you, a full psychic meal of things to listen to and for. Includes a full, 26-min, 2011 live show.

Terrier - The Doors - My collaboration with Bob Bellerue of scary/weird improvisations finally does its impression of the MGM lion. A full-length disc of material culled from various sources, all centered around "The Doors," our favorite live-recorded performance to date (from Port d'Or.) Also included are some pieces recorded off-air in WFMU's famous Studio B live studio, and a particularly juicy live set from Corey Bauer's Brooklyn space, July 2010.

Gnus - The first physical release for this great, minimalist black metal outfit from Bosnia and Herzegovina. At that link, you can hear what Gnus are about—strong, wicked compositions, and the most cobwebbed, depressive atmospheres that will capture you in awe, but also keep the songs short enough that one ought not get too attached...hehe.

Lastly, a three-way split of black metal from the extended, prolific universe of Smoke/Profectum Iri founder K.v. Hardeveld. This is the CDr version of a cassette release on the Kaladruna label. Eeuwig presents the centerpiece of an extended, depressive epic entitled "Martelgang," a track one can get dangerously lost in, advancing ever forward, as phantom doors close and lock behind you. One track by Arjen, also from Bosnia (see Gnus, above) and two, shorter tracks from Nevelrijk, solo project from the drummer for Smoke (per Smoke, see new vinyl, above.)

More than enough to keep me on an anxiety bender through and past year's end, balanced by the fact that I know these releases will be great, and bringing great music to the public is its own reward (in addition to sales, of course) when one endeavors to keep a small, independent, "boutique" music label (as my friend Jeff Conklin has dubbed us) exciting and vital.

One final bit of "promo," as it were—new in the undershopped, SHINY, AND JUST WAITING FOR YOU Prison Tatt distro (literally just arrived in the mail today)- Gutter Choir, by Hivesmasher, one of my favorite LPs of this year, a great grind album, with progressive and artful deviations, as well as the self-titled 2009 Painkiller Recs. 7" by Failures, on clear vinyl, sort of a must-have for fans of modern, dark hardcore (and you may/should be a fan of their s/t 2009 LP on Youth Attack.) Prices tba, like I said, just arrived today. Please write to:

In addition to my role as purveyor/conduit, there's also the infinitely lower-stress universe of fan and sometime radio DJ (next Castle fill-in, 11.14.13 for Diane's Kamikaze Fun Machine.) The ongoing, ever-churning process that is the discovery of new music is one that's saved my life more than a few times, and is in my blood like NJ toxins.

On to...trolling bandcamp for great new grind, sound art and black metal... Bandcamp is the breeding ground where it's really all happening, in terms of near-instantneous music delivery; name-your-price digital downloads, often not, though sometimes happily entwined with a physical release, Deafkids, The Atrocity Exhibit, Bleak, new works by personal favorites Moonknight (Rising Beast) and Husere Grav (Crucial Blast), and the ongoing greatness perpetrated by both Greh Holger's Chondritic Sound and Justin Marc Lloyd's Rainbow Bridge have all kept my music Jones chugging along, and occasionally, there's a smartly done cassette, CD or even vinyl 7" or 12" that arrives a few weeks later in the mail to accompany one of these ultra-satisfying mini-grail downloads. In that spirit of physical releases, I want to also mention the Tunnel/Chi Omega 7", one in a relatively steady stream of superior works by Spettro Family, a one-man Italian project that waxes boldly original, while taking in part its cue from 70s-80s Giallo and thriller film soundtracks (SF's great Black Horizons cs release of last year, for example) and has in the works a one-sided LP for Prison Tatt. Stefano has been absolutely great to work with, and I know that whatever he delivers to the label to release will be beyond top-shelf—it will be some of the best Spettro Family to date. Also, as goes digital-followed-by-physical releases, a set of tracks I had privy to by Lea Bertucci last year will soon see the light of day on LP. Though now, these four selections, since last I heard them, arrive radically transformed with maximum crunch; organic, yet "factory floor," in the form of a custom-designed (by the artist) LP package, Resonance Shapes, to be released by the Obsolete Units label, of which this writer has been a long-time fan. Lea played live last October (has it been that long?) on the My Castle of Quiet radio program, and though due to that, I had some idea of the primordial stew these selections were originating from, it's this final product (pre-order the LP from OU at the link above, and receive an email link to download the digital files, while you wait for your LP) that is sure to bring home the greatness of Lea's total vision.

With this all in mind, I'm pleased to say that we're "in it," too, with some, though not all (because what fun would that be, if everything was available in every format?) of the Prison Tatt artists having agreed to let me sell their works both physically and digitally via our very own bandcamp home. Some releases will remain exclusive on vinyl, while yet others will appear for sale digitally, only when the vinyl has sold out from home base. Similar to a conversation I've had with more than one "noise friend," I don't dwell on formats so much, they are but music-delivery systems; everyone is pretty much in agreement that by and large vinyl is king, and beyond that, I just want to have the music, so a CD, CDr, or digital file does not offend me with its impermanence, and often that choice is made, by label, artist, or both, that expediency is of the essence for getting the sound to your ear, and we'll worry later about which works to preserve in which ways FOR ALL ETERNITY. There are also some damned-attractive, one-of-, or-few-of-a-kind packages being done of late with CDr; Fadensonnen's PD3 comes to mind.

This having been one mutha of a post, I'll sign off now. You can always keep your eye on the Prison Tatt Records Facebook group for the most up-to-date information on the releases mentioned in this post, distro adds, and beyond.

Friday, August 16, 2013

fantastic and weird to have the Castle at this hour. Oh happy hellfire.

Always interesting to transplant The Castle into different times of day, and see how it flies, and it flew well! ...I veered far from std. Castle territory, after a while, trying to prepare / brace you all for the show's eventual / possible return to weekly broadcasts. A person with my broad appreciation of music cannot live on "roughage" alone, though the original 195 shows remain as a solid body of work that I'm fiercely proud of, and I'm grateful to WFMU for keeping them all archived for your ongoing discovery / enjoyment.

Too many listener hails to chart here, but the playlist and comments can be viewed by simply clicking above, on the immensely talented Reece Shearsmith (of League of Gentlemen fame), stuffing his face hurriedly with hallucinatory mushrooms in director Ben Wheatley's A Field in England, one of my favorite films of this year.

Thanks, as always, for listening and appreciating!

I'll be back, I know not when. ...

Thursday, August 1, 2013

that was a whole lot of punch per minute, thanks WM!

Yesterday's Distort JxCx guest spot; hope you enjoyed! ...Tried to make it a 60-min. auto wreck, with no let-ups. ... Click on The Undertaker and His Pals, sneaking into the sauna for a piece of leg (quite literally) to reach the playlist and audio archive.

Oh, and just had to add this ... seems appropriate.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

radios stuffs and things ...

Whoa. The digital distribution of out-of-print and net releases by Rainbow Bridge / Justin Marc Lloyd is a veritable color-noiseter's field day, even if you just want to open your browser & listen. The c18 split between False Flag and Zone Tripper (orig. Forever Escaping Boredom), a scrying mirror to something truly new. The battle against mediocrity continues forever, it's an ongoing campaign that requires due diligence. DO NOT EVEN ASK FOR A SMOKE BREAK.

With that in mind, tired of everyone, no REALLY tired, of those refusing to live out loud on Internet social networks. WHY? What have thee to lose? What might your high-school friends think? ... SCREAM! Scream your freakishness from every mountaintop. (Listening right now, Neo Zelanda's vocalist sounds like she's screaming, "es Posehn," and last night in the car, Intolitarian's singer was surely saying "Mort Sahl" - it's all right there, just below the surface, and as Carlos Castañeda eventually concluded, you don't need drugs to get there.) Oh, and embedded at bottom is the music - AND ALSO, TOO...BEEN TRIPPING OUT TO "Inappropriate King Live"'s Datboonbaat - a sonic-garage-sale of Bladder Flask-caliber collage greatness.

And yes, I'll be returning to WFMU's airwaves, YET AGAIN, this time guest-DJing the great Distort Jersey City program, on Weds. 31st July, and thanks Deed Runlea for the opportunity. Nothing but a solid hour of modern punk and hardcore; my selections (7-8 p.m. ET), Reed's forum. ...And, a "proper" MCoQ fill-in for Diane's Kamikaze Fun Machine on 15 Aug., noon-3 p.m. ET. So there, you've been informed (better than being informed upon!)

And yeah, Elke. suck it. Suck it from across the atrium. You AND your little, red-bobbed hat.

Lastly, as promised, the free downloads of exceptional and/or oop music continues on this forum,  with this colorful, electronic curio—Vangelis' OST (1970; a prime, fertile era for the composer) to the film Sex Power—a powerfully engaging, BBW of an electronic score, so dig.

Vangelis - Sex Power OST

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Legendary way to go out Wm.

I feel like David Bowie—though many of you are probably too young to remember the many times that he announced that he was "quitting show business"—I need to actually spend some time away, to at least lend some legitimacy to all the goodbyes.

Last night was about as good as my relationship with radio ever gets; five bands, ones I hold in high esteem, playing live and generously donating their talents to the WFMU / Castle airwaves. Endless gratitude is due to Diane, Eddie and Dominic, and all the other band members, for helping me make the broadcast a reality.

The last four MCoQ live sessions, from Bludded Head onwards, will appear in due course over the Summer, as I get the time time to sit down and work the raw, master files and create mp3s, and scribe my impressions, memories and appreciation for each session in turn.

It was great to see many of our Castlehead regulars pop up on last night's playlist comments, and it's good to know that I can plop down occasionally on the WFMU schedule, and be reminded that the appreciation for the show will remain and still stir up the pot when it does.

Click on our screen capture above, from director Koen "Ex Drummer" Mortier's 22 Mei (more on this film in a future post) to reach the archived audio, playlist and comments for last night's Castle -in-exile 5-band black cavalcade.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

TONIGHT on MCoQ; Verglas, Volahn, Bilirubin, Arizmenda and Blue Hummingbird on the Left (BHL.) !!!

As part of the Anahuac Tour 2013 (you may recall the Black Twilight Circle's historic visit to WFMU in October 2011), Crepusculo Nergo returns to My Castle of Quiet tonight, this time with a four-band lineup of Volahn, Blue Hummingbird on the Left (BHL), Arizmenda, and Bilirubin. As luck would have it, the dark gods smiled upon us, and program favorites, the mighty Quebécois band Verglas, were also in town that same weekend, and joined us in the studio as part of the recording for broadcast. In editing / preparing the raw session files for airing, I can assure this session is a monster, and will take up most of our designated three hours this evening.

For fans of true black metal, and the wild, creative, and progressive directions it has taken in the past few years, this show is not to be missed. I'll be filling in for Evan "Funk" Davies, airing the whole, unholy mess, tonight at 9 p.m. ET. Tremendous thanks to Diane Kamikaze, without whom this massive, all-day session would not have been possible.

Tune in to reap the rewards. A more-arresting assortment of vocal stylings you'll not hear in one single session, that's for damn sure.
Facebook event.

I crawl to the console—bloodied, beaten, and clinging to life; my last, great act, to press "play" @ 9 p.m.
Live music begins promptly @ 9:05
WFMU 91.1 FM
WMFU 90.1 FM (Hudson Valley)
WNYX Montgomery
in Rockland County @ 91.9 FM live on the Web, with real-time accu-playlist and message board.

Thursday, July 4, 2013 least, I can still spit; we must have GRATITUDE.

Kris Kelvin was the man for the job.
Click, for archived audio, playlist and comments for last night's Kosmische-käste.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


First things first, My Castle of Quiet returns tonight to WFMU's airwaves, for a two-week run, starting @ 9 p.m. (6 Pacific.) Having been deserted, disappointed, or otherwise unfulfilled by all earthly pleasures (offers welcome!), I'm a crummy Satanist / Hedonist at the moment, but also smart enough to know that when the magic doesn't work, it's not the magic that's flawed, it's me, and so I look to the Cosmos, and that's what tonight's Castle is about—a deep gaze into that endlessly vast, impossibly black void of nothing—and potentially everything. Tune in at 9, for probably more than a few surprises for regular Castle listeners; not that the show will be fun, or necessarily not fun, but I would never suggest unbridled enjoyment as a way out of one's trouble—NO! EMBRACE those bad times, and bad feelings! There's entirely too much giddy colour in global media as there is. Blecch!

Now, very graciously offered here is this exclusive demo track from Italy's Vardan (Catania, Sicily.) Vardan's work has been a personal favorite of mine for the past year or so, both his solo recordings and those of the outstanding duo project Anwech. Back in 2006, Vardan created the exceptional work under the name Leaden, Monotonous Foghorns of Molesting Department, a landmark of avant/depressive black metal, one of the strangest and most uniquely engaging albums in the entire contemporary black-metal canon. At the time of its release, this was my first exposure to Vardan's works, and I've come to know it so well over the years, owning it as I do on both factory CD and cassette. Monotonous Foghorns..., like Bone Awl's Meaningless Leaning Mess, or Moloch's Depressive Black Metal Plague, has implanted itself in my basic cellular structure; search cranial HD under black metal/modern.

You can hear several tracks of Vardan, Anwech and Leaden by using the WFMU Playlist Search engine, searching on the project names, and using the "jump-to" links to those tracks within past My Castle of Quiet broadcasts, as well as a track from Leaden's debut played on Sue P.'s show in 2011.

Vardan also works with several labels in Italy—Midwinter, Last Way and WarAgainstYourself, among others, and through trades, Prison Tatt has acquired some of his finest releases, available in our distro. Three by Vardan (including the phenomenal split with Striborg), one by Anwech, and the aforementioned, unforgettable sophomore release by Leaden. For more information, and to purchase within North America, please see the Prison Tatt distro page.

This track, in its final, non-demo version, will be released on a split CD with Burial Mist on the Black Raven's Blood label, both based in Russia. We find Vardan in "mixed sensation" mode, fast-slow-fast, with excellent overlays.

Vardan  - Demo 2013 / Untitled

I'll be returning next week to WFMU at the same night and time (thanks to Evan "Funk" Davies for offering to have me sub-in) with a cavalcade of live-recorded, extreme/innovative/underground black metal—nothing less than the entire Crepusculo Negro 2013 Anahuac Tour, as well as Castle favorites Verglas. Not to be missed!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

CREEPLINGS one-sider now available! fill-ins COMING UP (like a flowa), and a promising season in film. ...

My self-imposed exile continues, not very successfully mind you! People keep showing up, making me "do stuff"—not that I'm complaining—I love it!

So much to discuss here, so my approach is to take things on chronologically.... First and foremost, Prison Tatt's long-awaited debut vinyl from Creeplings is here! Click on the LP cover above for details, a track sample, and to purchase. Here's a favorite live clip of the duo from 2009 >>> other news, My Castle of Quiet returns to WFMU's airwaves for a two-week run, filling in for Evan "Funk" Davies on July 3rd and 10th, 9-12 p.m. ET. Look for the 7.3 show to be an exemplar of things to come, should I make my intended future return to the WFMU schedule (read: Kosmische-Kosmische-Kosmische.) ...July 10th, on the other hand, will be a festival of live black-metal art, that genre-term stretched to its very limits, as the Crepusculo Negro / Anahuac Tour 2013 visits our studio (second time for both Arizmenda and Volahn), with very special guests, the oft-played and greatly anticipated Verglas, from Montréal. (See flyer above for the July 7 show at Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn.) More details on the broadcast, and Facebook event here.

On to the subject of film, a promising Summer and Fall of releases awaits us (trailers linked within)...

The combination of director Michael Winterbottom and star Steve Coogan has always been a winning one, and their The Look of Love, a Coogan star-vehicle based on the life of Paul Raymond (the UK's sort-of Hugh Hefner) seems loaded with both laughs and pathos; we'll see.

I'm all for Hollywood horror, if done right, and Insidious Chapter 2 has all the earmarks of an amped-up sequel to what made for swell, unpredictable entertainment the first time around.

On that note, James Wan's long-awaited The Conjuring, charting the early career of real-life ghost-hunter-psychic-demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren has my fingers crossed. The Warrens have always commanded respect in the field, it's high time a film about them surfaced, preferably a documentary, but again we find ourselves in the "we'll see" dept.

Luc Besson's The Family, a comedy/drama about a witness-protection family relocated to France, starring Robert DeNiro, also looks promising. From Taxi Driver, to The King of Comedy, to Jackie Brown, to the modern day, DeNiro admirably reinvents himself and to this long-time fan is typically a pure joy to watch when at his best. Again, we'll see.

Most promising of all, to this viewer, are the following three: Fruitvale Station, produced by Forest Whitaker, and based on a true story that will hit close to any current or former Bay Area resident, about a man who was shot to death by police at the eponymous Oakland BART station in 2008. Something went very wrong that day, and hopefully this film will flesh out the story in the greatest-possible detail. Trailer and main site here.  

The Act of Killing, a documentary produced by Werner Herzog and Errol Morris that looks like an amazing piece of film, where Anwar Congo, the perpetrator of Indonesian genocide in the middle 60s, said to have overseen the killing of over 1,000 people, is asked by the filmmakers to "recreate" his many acts of torture and murder for their cameras, as shocking and bizarre revelations surface. This film got the rare "100%" on Rotten Tomatoes, and looks to be a stirring, gut-wrenching, and oddly colorful documentary like no other. Trailer here.

Lastly, prepared as I am to "forgive" Adam Wingard for the cock-up of VHS 2's first segment (see last week's post), his "Quack" entry in The ABCs of Death was pretty amusing, and I'm hopeful for his new feature, You're Next—it's getting good advance reviews, which could mean nothing—but the trailer is exciting/enticing, and the film has the added bonus of starring AJ Bowen (star of The Signal and House of the Devil), a personal favorite of mine in indie horror, as well as Joe Swanberg (V/H/S), and Amy Seimetz, who starred opposite Bowen in Wingard's great A Horrible Way to Die (2010.)

Looking forward to the next chapters in our radio journey, and thanks for reading.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Metal macht frei—like the swift lash of a Samurai's blade.

Here are some free, exclusive tracks from My Castle of Quiet friends to metal-up your day; the first, an Abysmal side-project, devoted to Mercyful Fate cover versions, Etaf Lufycrem—A mix of modern, edgy death touches dress up the classic "Into the Coven" >>>

Etaf Lufycrem - Into the Coven

You can still get the hot-as-fuck 2012 LP reissue of Abysmal's two demos, from '92 and '05, in the Prison Tatt distro—an outstanding death / thrash / black collision, sounding mighty with a remaster-for-vinyl from Pirates Press, self-released by the band.

Up next, a new track from Netherlands' Smoke-madman Kenneth vH, constantly reinventing himself, rigorously active in both the noise and extreme-black universes, also running the staggeringly quality-consistent tape label The Throat. Godsamme is K's latest raw-black guise, and he brings us a cover version from Haat - "Dood Aan De Christen," with added filth >>>

 Godsamme - Dood Aan De Christen

Smoke have a roaring one-sided LP, their swan song, coming up in the not-too-distant future on Prison Tatt.


My week in film had its ups and downs, a very big "up" being Takashi Miike's 2010 Shogun-era period piece 13 Assassins. Having moved on from the intense, colorful insanity of brilliant early works like Ichi the Killer and the D.O.A. trilogy, Miike—another ultra-prolific genius who's constantly reinventing himself—brings us an epic, bloody tale of vengeance and honor, in flat, overcast hues—with lots of mud, blood, clouds and long journeys over land. Apparently a remake (orig. 1963), Miike easily claims this Samurai-Wild Bunch tale, with his own, unique intuitions of horror and the absurd, whilst keeping the overall presentation very traditional. though it's never boring or bogged-down. For more info on 13 Assassins, click on the screen capture up top.

13 Assassins rocked my week, making up for the relative disappointment of V/H/S 2.  For those who shared my enthusiasm for V/H/S (2012), that film was all about great story ideas, and a terrific over-arcing concept. Now a self-aware "franchise," V/H/S 2 generally suffers from a lack of those very smart and shocking ideas that made the first movie great. What do we have instead? (minor spoilers ahead) ...a prosthetic eye that can "see dead people," a truly tired retelling of the damned organ-transplant in film (an idea that goes all the way back to The Hands of Orlac (1924)), and audaciously featuring a little ghost-girl in pigtails, a white dress and church shoes. The very-welcome surprise of the first film was that it in essence avoided such horror clichés, "like the plague." ...And what next? Zombies. A very-predictable, rapid-spread living dead sequence. Need I say more? The producers saw fit to make the above-described the first two sequences in the film, a most-tragic proposition, especially to a jaded but always hopeful deep horror fan such as myself. The good news is that V/H/S 2 starts to pick up considerably from the midway point, with two very-impressive segments, that again remind us of how and why V/H/S the first was so dazzling: a Filipino tale that gets started in Jim Jones/Heaven's Gate territory, but rapidly moves on to pure insanity; an exploding guru, fully grown demon-birth, and some raucously hanging snot (the latter an over-the-top wink to The Blair Witch Project.) It's this Filipino short that carries V/H/S 2, and without it I would have been so restless as to not even finish watching, missing out on the truly scary, and very-cleverly-done alien abduction scenario that makes up the film's last big chunk. And here's an idea: this latter sequence, "Slumber Party Alien Abduction," is all shot on dog-cam (!), forcing the point of view to linger at human-calf height, one of those very smart touches that V/H/S 2 needs a whole hell of a lot more of. I have no doubt that if there is a V/H/S 3, it WILL be in 3-D, but hopefully will also overcome this sophomore slump of a sequel, that's generally starved for fresh, raw concepts.