Friday, May 24, 2013

Chamber music for the black plague.

Subject: Wm. M. Berger
Age: Depressed 19-year-old
Actual age: Subject feels old and tired, like he has lived too long, seen too much. Somehow commands a measure of respect and admiration through his many creative projects.

Yeah, so I let it slip out last night that the My Castle of Quiet radio show on WFMU will be ending, at the very least for WFMU's next schedule, to start June 10. The last thing I want to do is make a big deal out of it, or provide a litany of reasons like it's some important plate-shifting occurrence or something. That said, MCoQ radio has meant a lot to a lot of people, myself included of course, and I feel I owe it to the listeners to at least make clear that the show as we've come to know it will NOT return, though I myself will return to WFMU, or at least that's the plan. My personal taste has changed pretty dramatically over my decades-long association with the station, so this won't come as too much of a surprise to the people and listeners who know me well.

During my initial tenure with WFMU (1984-1999), the show went from being a Barrett/Ayers/Minutemen/Meat Puppets love fest, to a deep house and dancefloor monotony show, to a hard drones and Krautrock doper-pie. Those are the big chunks, with a lot of room for variation in between.

For the last four years I have been WFMU's "black metal and noise" guy, and I've loved giving a voice to a community that has never had a huge presence on terrestrial radio (with the notable exception of some great KFJC programs), and in the NY area, no less. I've tried to make that presence HUGE, with continual live appearances by some of the genres' most important artists, and exclusive content, and then there was that great Frank Henenlotter interview that I'll never forget.

As a coda to the show, I'll be recording live sets in July with the great Québécois band Verglas (!!!!) and the Black Twilight Circle 2013 tour, their third time on the East Coast, this time with Volahn, Ashdautas, Bilirubin and Blue Hummingbird on the Left. These performances will be aired as my schedule allows, and as fill-ins are offered by my WFMU colleagues, the sets also posting on WFMU's Web portals.

Why end it, you may ask? The big answers are personal ones; family obligation, and my general state of mind, typically held together with string and chewing gum, and crying out for maintenance. I need to pull myself into the new era of being myself, YET ANOTHER "FINAL ASCENSION," a responsible adult who is not awake and entertaining people at 3 a.m. on a Thursday night/Friday morning, as sad as that may seem to some. The smaller answers are a shift in tastes, away from ultra-confrontational music into elemental / analog electronics, Krautrock, 70s progressive rock, and inspired improvised music—so really, upon its return, the reconstructed Castle, which may in fact be completely re-titled after all, will not be so much strikingly different, as much as leaning more "that way" than "this way," the new filter allowing for some other sounds and feelings to pass through, and a few to be stopped at the sieve-hole. If you've been attuned to the content of the last 3-4 weeks of Castle programming, then you have a pretty good idea already of what's to come.
Last night's horrorcast™, to which I arrived un-enthused and tired, came rapidly into lively motion as the bell tolled midnight; it's a show that at this point plays itself, with me as the medium / channeler, and I need never worry that anything's going to "suck." ...It did "suck" that one of our intended live performers, Dried Up Corpse, aka Mr. Stan Reed, an artist for whom I have logged many hours of admiration, respect and fandom, was grounded by the demon of air-travel and wasn't able to join us. We nonetheless heard some of Stan's great D U C recordings, and reveled in the crunch.

And the treat of all treats, two dramatic, enveloping sets by Tom Carter and Pat Murano, were played live, and graced us with melody and scratchy beauty; yet another MCoQ live appearance to remember, harming us with harmony. Tremendous thanks to Pat and Tom for playing their hearts out—they sure can!

In addition to the well-deserved hoopla for our live guests, you noted praise for Dried Up Corpse, who can be caught live this weekend as part of the massive, celebratory Ende Tymes Festival @ Silent Barn (Stan plays on Saturday); it's the best lineup in the festival's three-year history, with a great many rarely seen and über-special artists performing, many of whom have also graced the Castle airwaves with their presence. A now-classic track in the first set by B.A.L.L. also drew attention, and the legendary Shimmy Disc combo are also playing this weekend, a reunion of the original quartet minus David Licht, but featuring the immensely talented Bob Bert, at Bowery Electric Saturday night.

There are still two My Castle of Quiet shows remaining, including the finale in two weeks with the mighty Psychic Limb, live. ...

Click on the never-explained clawed hand, from Fritz Lang's Moonfleet (young John Mohune's fearful hallucination?) to reach the playlist, archived audio, and comments board for last night's horrorkaste.

Until next time, read books!

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