Monday, February 25, 2013


It's been an exceptionally cold, brutalizing winter, both physically and emotionally. People are offing themselves by jumping in front of NYC subway cars—what is this, Japan? At least they do it with some nobility there; go to a pleasant corner of the forest, you know the rest....

The good news is, by way of the My Castle of Quiet radio show, we've gotten through (one assumes), because harsh sounds can indeed be a positive channel for our darkest emotions. I'm especially proud of the last few months of MCoQ broadcasting, with my thumb firmly on the scale of black metal, as well as some killer live performances by Ides and Arvo Zylo.

Starting a week from today, the full-on, balls-out 2013 WFMU marathon begins; our annual two weeks of good times and hardcore fundraising. The 'thon has always been very enjoyable for me personally, far from the tedium of many a public-broadcasting fundraiser, as we at WFMU tend to have a time with it—our on-air talent grouped in entertaining pairs, with banter, prizes and swag galore.
And this year, My Castle of Quiet brings you, among other great drawings on "Castle-apropos" items, a doozy of a premium—My Metal Singles, drawn from my personal collection of now-hard-to-find metal 7" records, acquired for the most part between 1999-2002, before I was a Dad, had a good-paying job, and eBay was a relatively new thing, and I was ripe 'n' ready with "disposable capital."No slow songs, no metal ballads, not even a stray doom track, but instead a ready onslaught of death, black and grind singles, carefully chosen from my smelly vinyl archives.  

My Metal Singles compiles 7" tracks from Nifelheim, Azaghal, Lucifer (Sweden; from The Dark Christ single, 1992), Nunslaughter, Purgatory (Germany; from the 1997 split with Seirim), Impiety (Singapore!; from Salve the Goat, their third release, a 1993 EP), Hellspawn (from Brazil; their one-and-only 1993 EP), Kalibas (Rochester, NY; from their first EP, 2000), Isegrim (Beherit cover!), Abhorer (also from Singapore, the A-side of their Upheaval of Blasphemy EP), "TV Addict" by Öpstand (for some hxcx variety, and so I could get at least one umlaut up in there), and France's Total Genocide (the most-recent tracks on the collection; from their 2006 split with Szron, rec. in 2002.)  

For a pledge of $75 or more, My Castle of Quiet companion #4 can be yours, attractively packaged in a folding sleeve, with some still shots of sleaze auteur Michael Findlay (see above; from his classic The Curse of Her Flesh)—one of the many dark, passionate, woebegone heroes of our program.

And you needn't wait until March 8 to pledge, either, as your pre-marathon pledge will register automatically in the opening minutes of The Castle's week #1 show, and you'll be thanked on air. It's as easy as clicking on the white pledge widget above, or visiting this link, NOW. ...hehe

Thanks as always for listening and supporting this radio program of unique, acquired-taste stripe; we may not number in the great many, but our numbers are always growing (we are legion), and there are new converts every time I check in. We're the proud, the isolationists (in some cases), the sick and the twisted—a hand reaching out from the gloom to bum a cigarette...ahh, you get it.

Once again, the WFMU 2013 Marathon begins March 4 @ 9 a.m., with Liz Berg's show.
Join us.

Friday, February 15, 2013


Ah yes, David Lynch's Rabbits, that long-eared Greek Chorus, first employed in a series of shorts, then a 45-min. short film, eventually finding their home in his staggering epic Inland Empire, complete with the intentionally ill-suited placement of a laugh track at haunting intervals. (And laugh tracks in general, aggghh, I can't believe that some sitcoms still employ them, in the wake of clever TV sitcoms like The Office, it would seem that they ought to have been put out to television pasture by now, no? To press that trigger, telling us all when to laugh, what the hell was that ever about?)

I love the Rabbits, their disarming normalcy, and their Morton Feldman-like chunks of eerie silence. And in line with the nature of Lynch's Rabbits, as listener blee noted, "[a]mazingly terrifying show tonight." Wholly unplanned. The My Castle of Quiet radio show is always assembled with a combination of advance notes, prepared throughout the preceding week by your host, and the blistering spontaneity of having an array of reliably horrorific sounds at hand. And last night, the black metal just flowed, flowed until it was 2:15 a.m., and I knew not what I had really done, and I would suspect many WFMU music programmers would agree—it just happens; we rely on our filters, and the mood of the moment, to dictate the proceedings.

So black metal it was, mostly, two and one-quarter hours' worth. By the time things were tapering off, I was a bit scared, and my nerves needed a rest; but that's how it is with most "extreme" metal. You ride that mood 'cause it feels good, and until you can't take it anymore. Hahaha....

Playlist-comment faves were: Nordland | Smiling World | Nuit Noire | Flourishing | Haare (terrific new tape, Forward to Insanity) | Hobo Sunn | an overflow of continued accolades for last week's very special live musical guest, Arvo Zylo -deservedly so! | ...and a somewhat context-free appreciation for the undeniably great-in-their-day Meat Puppets, in particular their classic Meat Puppets II, the record I first heard by them, and most days, still my favorite.

So yes, follow The Rabbits, wherever they may go. And though they seem not likely to leave that flat they're in, they will take you to the accuplaylist, audio archive and comments board for last night's horrorcast™. Thanks for listening.

Monday, February 11, 2013

I'm listening to MCoQ live? Must be unemployed again... YES, getting LOUDER and more BONE CHILLING!!!! ahhhhhh

Just got finished watching Hesher—a tearjerker for sure, but a damn fine one. Great performances by J.G. Levitt and Piper Laurie (Carrie's Mom), all to a nut-ripping thrash soundtrack. The film left me with positive feelings of acceptance and surrender.

So, Arvo Zylo ruled the day on this past week's horrorcast™, with two sets of brilliant, hypnotic experimental music, plus a radio set from a new CD, for a thoroughly rounded, three-punch beatdown, which altogether matched T.O.M.B.'s May 2010 performance for sheer terror points, with a bone-chill that perfectly accompanied the weather outside. Thanks Arvo, for playing, and also for being a damn-fine houseguest at Castle HQ, and helping me shovel out the walk, twice.

Last week's MCoQ program had all the elements of our occasional greatness, with a live performer that treated their visit like a one-of-a-kind radio event, folded into our usual selection of arresting metal, throw-it-in-the-corner-and-see-what-stinks-first noise selections, and fluffy interludes culled from horror filmdom. Thanks especially to those who made it a very-lively, real-time comments board.

Much gratitude for the circle of appreciation; you also liked—

Blut der Nacht (more sounds in addition to the 7" we heard from; free download at that link!) | Mortum (their new EP will grace Castle airwaves in the weeks to come) | Forbidden Citadel of Spirits | Satanhartalt | Insalubre | Highgate

Special thanks to Adam in Lynnwood and Portland for calling the show a "workhorse."

Arvo's sets coming soon to a WFMU Web portal near you.

Click on George Segal, from The Terminal Man, to reach the audio archive, playlist and comments board for last week's My Castle of Quiet show.

Thursday, February 7, 2013


Once again, true experimentation rears its hypothesized head on My Castle of Quiet radio.

Arvo Zylo, aka Mister Fuckhead, aka Saint Street, Delirious Insomniac etc. has an idea, one we (engineer Juan and myself) are going to try to help him execute: a feedback loop that somehow incorporates our air (or possibly our program) signal; two different things, as the former is on a long, 20-sec. approx. delay, and may not be what the artist counted on. Either way, it will be a sonic event more than worth tuning in for, and for me personally, I like when experimental music is truly experimental, i.e., when the outcome of a sonic hypothesis is wholly or partly UNKNOWN, (wooo-wooo~), and it's the idea that takes center stage.

Arvo catches up with us on tour, with a show at the new Silent Barn Friday night, 2/8.

Host of the Delirious Insomniac radio show, and sound artist collaborator / extraordinaire, Arvo brings his outstanding craft to MCoQ. Having performed and recorded under so many names, and collaborated with dozens of his fine contemporaries, Arvo never, ever does the same thing twice, and stands out as a musician and music enthusiast who really listens, and weaves that deep listening into every work.

His 333 cassette and CDr stands as a monumental work, alongside the best output of the LAFMS and Ralph Records crowd, while Arvo is just as likely to bring "pure" 80s-with-a-contemporary-bent noise to the table. His new collaborative CD with Death Factory stands out as a current favorite, representing yet another exciting stylistic leap for both artists. Arvo Zylo has been a huge supporter and friend to the My Castle of Quiet show, and its host personally, and we're battening down the hatches for what should be a huge night for radio show and performer alike.

Frankly, we at Castle HQ could not be more excited.

I remove the bandages, and check the, uh, "damage" at midnight.
AZ @ 12:30 a.m. approx.
WFMU 91.1 FM
WMFU 90.1 FM (Hudson Valley)
in Rockland County @ 91.9 FM live on the Web, with real-time accu-playlist and message board.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Wm., you work wonders with your three hour blocks each week! Always on point.

Ah, the basement, the man-cave. Welcoming and solitary, with the heat up high.

Many thanks for the generous accolades, folks—kind words from grateful ears, such that would warm the room, even if the thermostat were set to off. When I doubt myself, I need only look as far as your comments; beatific words from deep listeners, hanging in the aether, assessing and appreciating each weekly assemblage, crafted by yours truly with obsessive/compulsive care...a masala of spontaneity laid over a solidly sane outline; a skeleton that's mapped sometime during the past week in one of my lucid, or comparatively lucid, moments. THANKS! You'll never know how much it truly means, to this fucked-up, ego-decimated wraith of a man that I am. The boomerang of attentive appreciation for my efforts resonates profoundly. And though it may sometimes seem gauche, even "tacky," this is why I often extract a remark of praise, for the headline of this, the audio-archive post-show post; "tooting my horn" through your commentary, and when in doubt I always return to the "if I don't, who will?" logic, which seems sound enough.

Props to J. Slusher for this week's show title, "Dark Times," a phrase he used in a personal email that well summed up my winter, maybe yours, maybe that of many others. He went on, "...shits not the end of the world." Important to remember, and it's entirely too often that I lose sight of the cyclic nature of, well, nature, human and otherwise.

You liked: Charles Manson | Popol Vuh / Nosfersatu / Kinski | Darkthrone / Transilvainian Hunger | Ether | Enslaved (on tour now!!) | Fire in the Head (I really had one!) |  Gnarled Forest / BSBC | Creeping | Alleypisser

It's been a weird couple of weeks (months?) I've been in self-imposed digital exile, and am still kinda there; writing a lot of "please bear with me" emails. I often think I have a hibernation gene in my makeup (as may we all?), as my energy for doing anything this time of year is so terribly low. But people keep writing, calling, trying to make me DO STUFF; I guess it's good, and I'm grateful someone cares. Just excuse me if I use every free moment to sleep, as it's what my spirit draws me towards ... the grateful void.

Click on the beautiful Celia Rodriguez above, from The Blood Drinkers, to reach the audio archive, playlist, etc. for last week's horrorcast.