Wednesday, December 31, 2014

My reasons for not playing video games and not doing cocaine are nearly identical.

Great time last night! Confirms my feeling that it's ALWAYS a good policy to have low expectations; I went in last night, feeling like my energy was low, and the show was going to be so-so, middling. 'Twas not the case! Folks were enjoying the music, and the commentary, and that always seems to make for a lively, enthused discussion on the playlist. Last night's playlist comments scrolled to the floor like a Medieval decree. We went from pro sports, to police brutality, to Bob Clark's movies, to Barney Miller, to great teen movies in general, to Repo Man, to mall culture, George Carlin, Lenny Bruce, classic video games, on and on. At its best, The Castle feels like I'm hosting a great party.

I'm still tired, slept five hours approx., trying to gear up for festivities tonight, but I really want to thank everyone for their energetic participation! The tangents were sharp, the comments ranged from astute, to nostalgic, to very funny! Tracy - I'm still laughing about "Ferrero Rocher"! (see above.) ...And who is the mysterious "Denizen," the "rotting corpse"? Always intrigued by those who are drawn in by The Castle's dim, flickering light.

Seemed as though people were really enjoying all the music, I'd say personally that the entire playlist was a "favorite," but some that jumped out were:

Human Bodies | Raspberry Bulbs | Enbilulugugal | Cannibal Movie | music from The Legend of Zelda | Blood Rhythms | Lars Greve | Bog Oak

Wishing everyone a great, better year in 2015, Castleheads and artists alike.

Click on the ruminative, metalized face up top, from the great The Boxer's Omen, to reach the archived audio, playlist and comments for last night's horrorcast™.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

...less enforced cheer 

Bowie, Bowie, Bowie. When strangers ask me what I like in music, I state all the obvious Castle choices, but Bowie is always in there, too. At least up to and including Scary Monsters, his albums were groundbreaking, way ahead of anyone's "time," the ideal melding of rock, pop and art. As I eagerly received each new release as a lad, every one was a dazzling, innovative, cold fish slap in the face of music-industry expectations; I reveled in his "Berlin phase," Hunky Dory, Aladdin Sane, Diamond Dogs, all of it. Glad that our opening selection of "Where Have All The Good Times Gone?" made an impression.

Going to try and keep this short, been blogging my fingers off, but there was listener appreciation for many selections last night, and I wholly concur:

Doomsday Student new! | Fear (my singular nod to the holiday) | Swallowed | Couch Slut (live on our show 1.20-21) | Dope Body | ZepulkrAxnaar | Durazis | new Dhampyr | Choke Thirst Die | new Alraune | Orthank | ...and an absolutely great, new tape side from Australia's Half High.

Tracks by R. Nikolaenko, Grasshopper, and Antonius Rex were also personal highs. ...

I'm not much for the "enforced cheer" of the holidays, as listener SeanG put it, and our playlist topper (see above), by Lulu Cipher, sums up my general sentiment. Some people are nicer this time of year, kinder to one another, to strangers, while many more seem to pull inward, looking after their own interests even more than usual, stealing packages right off my porch, and driving like maniacs across our area, to secure every stocking-stuffer, and make sure Aunt Tillie has her Diet Sprite.

Take care of the ones you love, hold them close, remind them that you love them. Reach out to a lonely friend.

Click on Lulu's Darkwave Holiday Card to reach our archived audio, playlist and listener comments for last night's horrorcast™.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Women, In Power and In Peril; film highlights from my 2014 (plus a music list)

The Internet is full of lists; end-of-year, top 10s, top 20s and 25s, often just a collection of line items laid bare, sometimes hyperlinked, sometimes not, and it's often left to the reader to do their own research. The Internet is also full of opinions (and we know what gets said about those), and it's made it way too easy to surf in, say your bit, and beat a hasty retreat, without laying down any sufficient backup data.

With music, I get it, a list is a list is a list—you have the artist name, the release title, and if you like what I like in general, you may already know about it and agree, if not, you'll look it up when time allows. But with film, there's way too many "authorities" out there, who do little more than hand out a bare-bones plot description, call it a review, call it "writing," and I think it's a big part of the reason people say, "Another film list, great. Haven't seen one of those in 5 minutes!" There's a lot of crappy, tossed-off film commentary online, and in some cases it completely sidesteps what I think is the very critical element of WHY this writer liked this film. Film criticism is the place for opinion, a more-than-apropos venue to make it personal; but here in the USA, where we're used to getting a heavy slant in our news media, with maybe, if we're lucky, a side dish of factual information, it's all ass-backwards. I'll continue to work against this tide, with gratitude to those whose pay attention, read instead of skim, and have looked forward to these film lists of mine for however many years I've been doing them.

When I looked at my notes for this year, one common element became abruptly apparent—women. Almost all the films on my list featured a female protagonist, in many cases also an antagonist, and I found this striking, both for the indicated shift in cinematic storytelling (especially in genre and horror stories), as well as the impossible-to-ignore lack of a significant other in my own life, a void that becomes more gaping with time, which may have led me to "favorite" these excellent tales of the female—in power, in conflict, in subjugation and in madness.

King KellyKing Kelly (2012) - This movie gets billed as a drama, but to me it's a thriller, as horrific as any genre film, and maybe that's because I remember a time before the online world filtered, dictated, and straight-up controlled our daily existence. It's an ultimate indictment of the look-at-me generation, where more than ever, women are worshipped solely for their appearance, for "hot pics," where Instragram likes matter infinitely more than the ability to make good conversation. Whether women are more, or less empowered by these circumstances is arguable, and a topic for a whole other post. King Kelly is a webcam girl—the focus of modern, straight-male idolatry—and in her self-crafted universe, which extends into the physical world almost immediately in this harrowing piece of hand-cam cinema, she's for sure empowered, if not in control; like a steamroller with no driver, Kelly creates havoc and destruction for all who hover near her flame. She's just trying to be the hot girl, get some shit done, while engaging in some moderate-to-severe manipulation, and it all flies horribly and tragically out of control. Some may laugh as this movie; I found it to be anxiety-inducing entertainment, loaded with a mounting paranoia. In the Cold War era, we had The Manchurian Candidate, in the Internet age, standards duly lowered, we have King Kelly, and her potential for casual, callous trampling on human life; for me, more frightening, and less comprehensible, than Frank Sinatra's hypnotized assassin. King Kelly is all too real, and just a click away.

Mandy LaneAll the Boys Love Mandy Lane (2006) - A bit older, but new to Netflix, this is going to seem at first like a very standard, teens-on-holiday-getting-picked-off-one-by-one B movie, but don't be fooled. The plot thickens rapidly, like social tar, and I'm perhaps giving away a minor spoiler to say that there is no outside killer, no masked, machete-wielding antagonist preying on innocents, but that's a change for the better. Mandy Lane and her "friends" are far from blameless cannon fodder, and again we find ourselves in the midst of a bitter, no-punches-pulled indictment of American youth, twisting and perverting their entitlement into scheming, murderous intent. What seems at first like some light competition over the girl voted most crushworthy, spins rapidly into a classic tragedy, with a body count to rival Hamlet. My own son is now just entering his teenage years, making this more-than-it-appears tale of twisty teen murder all the more palpable and provocative to me personally.

Alyce KillsAlyce Kills (2011) - Get ready to leap forward a near-generation, as Alyce is Mandy Lane and King Kelly's big sister, a New York City girl of opportunity, who gets a taste for homicide. The city is unnerving, shaking to the core, even (or especially) for a pretty white girl—it's competitive, and riddled with constant temptation to bad behavior. In NYC, there are more reasons to spin deliciously and unrepentantly out of control than to maintain even the appearance of doing the right thing, and Alyce's fall is as grandiose and fascinating to watch as it is inspirational. Having not lived in the city since 1998, I'm now what film writer Thom Andersen would call a "low tourist," in that I delight in depictions of my former home's flaws and hypocrisies. Alyce kills, indeed she does, but she's also a heroine, a "fuck it" icon, for those who know firsthand how NYC can hammer any semblance of a moral code out of a person. One of my favorites on this list.

Nymph()maniacNymph()maniac (2013) - Lars Von Trier has once again made a film I can sink my teeth into, after a few films where, as a fan of his work generally, he lost me, with stories too figurative, symbolic and esoteric to have much impact. I like Von Trier at his most gritty, critical and mean-spirited, and to call his films "sexist" is an oversimplification that entirely misses the point; the men come off no better, often worse, and Von Trier at his best is holding up an unflinching mirror, saying "this is how shitty we are, look at how we treat each other." In my view, the director must worship women, because he can't keep himself from telling obsessive stories about them. Charlotte Gainsbourg absolutely shines, as does Uma Thurman (in one brief but intense scene), while the male characters in Nymph()maniac, though crucial to the story flow, are scummy, transparent wallpaper, not worthy of the complexity and gut-wrenching humanity of Von Trier's women. If anything, the director hates MEN, and I felt shame, even horror, at my own fellows, while watching this epic of human degradation. And is Gainsbourg's sex maniac a victim by chance or a victim by choice? A bit of both, provocative enough to have the film scholars flapping about what this film "means" for decades.

FluktEscape (Flukt) (2012) - The literal translation of this film's Norwegian title is Flight, and fly it does, an action / adventure depiction of the struggle between two women; one a teenage girl, grappling for survival after witnessing the barbaric slaughter of her parents and younger brother, the other a Norse warrior woman, brutal and possessed by forward movement and survival in its rawest form, with a tragic, dark past of her own. Capturing the teen, the warrior, fiercest in her band  (comprised otherwise of formidable males), intends to use the girl as breeding stock, and as one might imagine, the girl does anything and everything to escape her fate as the tribe baby maker. Such ensues a ragged pursuit through pre-industrial Norway, over land and water, arrows and rocks flying, bodies falling, and that's the movie. Simple, but not predictable, and raucously engaging.

The MachineThe Machine (2013) - All films, genre / sci-fi stories especially, should inhabit their own, idiosyncratic world of production design, and The Machine does this with stunning accomplishment—the computers, comm systems, labs, and the titular android itself—all impressive, and quite second nature to the film's character inhabitants. I think of The Machine as a sister film to Beyond the Black Rainbow, if only for their shared moody framing, and roots in 70s sci-fi classics, all achieved with a comparatively small budget to the CGI-dominated blockbusters. In brief, a team of talented AI scientists is broken apart when the woman, a new hire, is assassinated by higher ups for spying; the man, in his grief and frustration with their cruel, crooked bosses at the MOD, designs a powerful AI android, The Machine, with the likeness and basic personality profile of his dead colleague. (He hadn't time to fall in love with her, though he almost certainly would have.) A struggle between the altruistic scientist, his machine, and the evil government ensues, a familiar theme for sure, but this story is done with incredibly meticulous camera work, script, and design; not a single shot is wasted, and the film is engrossing from scene one, and never stops to breathe. A remarkable accomplishment for a first-Internationally-distributed feature, and I can't wait to see what director Caradog James does next.

Comforting SkinComforting Skin - A drifting, aimless, Vancouver hipster is frustrated with her restless life of drugs, shitty boyfriends, and partying. She's in quiet love with her asexual roommate, an impossibly repressed nerd, who loves her but isn't helping, too wrapped in his own head. In an effort to shed her past, and achieve some big catharsis, she gets a very unique tattoo from a mysterious local shop. The sunless, overcast drapery of the city perfectly shrouds this story of 30-something angst, a beautiful woman (especially on the inside, as that's the point of the character) and her search for deeper meaning and yes, love. Her tattoo begins talking to her, and an ecstatic, though perilous, symbiosis ensues, and while this might sound ridiculous, it's not played for laughs; much more like I Stand Alone, but with a delicate woman in emotional turmoil at its center, rather than Gaspar Noe's viciously misanthropic, violent Boucher. I can relate to both characters, Comforting Skin's Koffie, as well as Le Boucher; my internal dialogue is rich, and definitely not for publication, and it's the relatability of the character (a fearless, stunning performance by Victoria Bidewell) that really sold this film to me. This 2011 feature is newly streaming on Netflix, and will delight those who enjoy small-scale, women's stories, with a hefty infusion of the psychological-supernatural.

MonstersMonsters - A magnificent sleeper of a scrappy, sci-fi road movie, set in a post-alien-invasion contaminated zone between Mexico and the US. The aliens don't necessarily mean us harm, they are simply so large, and non-humanoid (the latter a favorite personal theme, as it's arrogant of us to assume that aliens would be humanoid; shades of G. Roddenberry's invention circa classic Trek.) A rough, opportunistic, press photographer is tasked with escorting his publisher's somewhat spoiled, runaway daughter through this "infected" area, where quick death is the order of the day, every day, simply by way of accidental brushes with these gigantic aliens, not to mention desperate bands of individuals who occupy the zone. Where at first, the daughter acts as though it's incumbent upon the photographer to help her survive—a rich brat who's above such dire circumstances—and for his part, the photographer responds with sardonic condescension, their struggle and necessary conciliation is experienced by the viewer in a visceral, believable, and non-episodic fashion. When we finally do see the alien invaders it's a glorious scene; I usually cringe at CGI, but these massive, colorful aliens are quite inventively rendered, and in the course of Monsters' climactic scene, we learn by seeing, that these intruders experience togetherness, even love, much like the duo whose survival we've been tracking for the entire film. Monsters never panders, dumbs down, or takes a single cheap or melodramatic shot, as bare bones as a science-fiction tale could possibly be, having quietly slipped past most of us back in 2010.

The PackThe Pack - Another film from 2010, The Pack is one of the more lurid and straight-up horror features on this list, bloody and shocking to the extreme. I've seen it twice, enjoyed it so much as to buy the DVD (which these days is really saying something), and filed it away, its previous absence from this list a mere oversight. The story centers, for the second time on this list, on the struggle between two women—a beautiful, young, mysterious traveler played by Emilie Dequenne, and her captor, simply known as La Spack, played by the excellent Yolande Moreau, more known for her starring roles in French dramas like When the Sea Rises, and Séraphine. La Spack is a loving mother, a doting one, both to her "normal" son, and his arguably less-fortunate brothers, who live underground, emerging only at night, to um, feed. The scenes of The Pack rising from the earth are striking, and this is a filthy, grimy film, with all sorts of awful things to say about human (and inhuman) nature. The Pack climaxes with a siege, where a few survivors / potential victims are holed up in a barn, trying in vain to keep the carnivorous golems at bay. Exciting, shocking, original and clever, with a "gotcha" ending to boot—all the elements of a great horror tale.

Starry EyesStarry Eyes (2014) - Hollywood is built on a foundation of evil, we all know that by now, yes? And that evil exists both in its higher ups—the execs, casting directors and producers—and its lower downs—the aspiring actors, actresses, and wannabe filmmakers, all of them ambitious, brutally competitive and hoarding a lot or a little power, whatever they can get their hands on. Starry Eyes is the story of a woman caught between these two tinseltown subsets, spending most of her time with her crummy, judgmental, backbiting "friends," when she's not working at her degrading food-service job, or weeping in a pile after blowing her latest audition. An opportunity arises, seemingly our girl's shot at the big time, but there's a hefty price to be paid, and several very difficult decisions to make, moral hurdles, each more difficult than the last. Sarah's ensuing transformational ordeal, and several brutal murder scenes, are some of the sickest splatter I've seen on screen in years, and to be honest, I'm somewhat immune at this point, but Starry Eyes had me reversing the film to see its several "money shots" again. This film shows the ugliness of L.A.'s film industry (and again, I'm "low touristing"), exaggerated to Rosemary's Baby extremes and beyond with grisly effect. The saying, "I'll do anything for this role" is taken to new, horrible heights, and Starry Eyes is a bent-back-spring of tension, building to a bizarro, 80s-style climax.

Honorable mention:

Darknet - A very well done, Canadian horror-anthology series, with plenty of clever twists, some repeating characters, blood and sex aplenty. Looking forward very much to a second season.

Shrooms - Another oversight / unintended omission, Paddy Breathnach's smartly done 2007 story mixes psychedelics, murder and the supernatural on an island off the Irish coast. A good bad trip.

Witching & Bitching - Alex de la Iglesia finally makes a new film worthy of his legacy and the excellent early features, Day of the Beast and Acción Mutante. A fast, funny, explosive thrill ride, bursting with black humor.

Acts of Random Violence - Similar to Alyce Kills above, though from a male perspective, and a bit more sardonic, cheap and cheerful. A Manhattanite hipster, a British expat, buys a gun and stops giving a shit.

Oculus - A larger-budget Hollywood horror feature, but good is good. A toxic, haunted, antique mirror, with a century of death and destruction behind its glass, a beautiful woman determined to get answers, and a family tragedy, the story played out in shifting time bursts, with subtlety and "blink, you missed it" scares.
Music list:  Top tens are not for me, voracious consumer of music that I am. Reduction to a choice ten, or even 25, would shortchange too many of the releases that made my year livable. If you don't see your release listed here, it's more likely an oversight than an intentional slight. Much gratitude to all the artists and labels. ...

Unicorn Hard-On - Weird Universe | De Hel - In De Hel | Yellow Eyes - The Desert Mourns EP | Cirrhus - s/t LP | Moonknight - Senmorta | Intolerant - all | Grue - Casualty of the Psychic Wars | Richard Youngs - Live on WFMU's Airborne Event | Korgonthurus - Ikuisuuden Arvet | Dan Peck - solo LP | Death Factory - Invisible Aggressor | One Master - Live in the Castle of Quiet | William Hutson & Jonathan Snipes - Room 237 OST | Morgirion - None Left To Worship | Vardan - all | Oppressive Light - Life Hates Me... | Triebtat - Der Weg in die Depression | Patrick Cowley - 2LP retrospective | Nostalgic Darkness - s/t | Avulse - I Am The Liquor | Venowl - all | Haat - Opgegraven en Misbruikt | Folteraar - lathe 7" & CS set | Alberich - Live on WFMU's Distort Jersey City | Vulcanus 68 / Thomas Carnacki - split LP | Hexis / Tenebris - digital split | Hexis / Primitive Man - 10" | John Carpenter - Prince of Darkness LP reissue | Spettro Family - La Famiglia Spettro 10" | Witchbeam - Tales of the Ghede Zodiac | Mister Matthews - 10 Cuba Libres | Pest - Tenebris Obortis | Cacasonica / Malveillance - split CS | Apotokia - Kathaarian Vortex | Deathstick - s/t demo | Deathcircle - all | Cave Ritual - all | Egoism - Demo I | Grasshopper - Dark Sabbath: Symbols of Evil | Black Hat - Thought of Two | Void Prayer - s/t CS | Cloud Rat - all | Recreant - Still Burn | Harassor - Into Unknown Depths | Ides - digital split w/ Inertia | Заводь [Zavod'] - Крізь коло і п'ять кутів | DiE - Vexed EP | Ghast - Dread Doom Ruin | Kreig - 7" | Bleak - EP | Black Cilice - reissues | Rodger Stella - Kosmische Dub & One Dark Eye | Josh Millrod - Seeking the Millenary Kingdom | Black Whispers - Negative Ways of Life | WOLD - Postsocial | Forgotten Spell - Opening the Skies of Sulphuric Paradise | Raspberry Bulbs - Privacy | Lussuria - Industriale Illuminato | York Factory Complaint - Lost in the SpectacleEnergy Vampires - Energy Vampires | Laster - De Verste Verte Is Hier | Uniform - 12" | Nocnitsa - Reveling of Foul Spirits | Ahna - Empire 12" | Swallowed - Lunarterial | Dope Body - Lifer | Planning For Burial / Liar in Wait - split 7" | Husere Grav / FRKSE - split LP | Couch Slut - My Life As a Woman | R. Nikolaenko - YouTube channel | Sixx - Sister Devil | Black Magic SS - Panzerwitch | Alraune - The Process of Self-Immolation

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Pass me some of that dumbass!

I'm going to try and keep this one brief, for two reasons...working on my year-end "best of" film and music list, trying to put writing energies there, and...if I get going with "thoughts and feelings," I'll be hitting the everything-is-shit buffet hard, and nobody needs to hear more of THAT. ...The world is currently in a horrible state, I've got my own mini-mess going over here, too, and don't want to add to the rampant negativity, nor do I have any solutions to offer. ...

Playlist faves included:  "classic" Birthday Party, Butthole Surfers, bed music from The Queen of Black Magic, and the films of Michael Findlay, always a worthy topic in The Castle.

Personal highs included, but not limited to:  Swallowed | Doomsday Student | Couch Slut (live set coming on our 1.20-21 show!) | Axnaar | Death Factory

Our screen capture this week comes from the almost-final scene of the UK series Broadchurch, a downer, but a very-well-done downer. The hatch on a cell door, seemed appropriate. Click there for audio archives, playlist and comments for last night's horrorcast™.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

here comes the honey

Swans' "Cop," -brutal, and plainly stated, and 30 years on, it's sad but not surprising to observe that it still applies. Not much has changed in the good ol' NYPD in all that time. They still shoot to kill, rarely if ever to apprehend, they murder with guaranteed impunity. I view the police, in their way, as even more oppressed than the rest of us, perhaps because of their universal blindness to their lot. As the street army of the wealthy establishment, they are given a job, a pension, some power - but economically, they are kept in check, and are only of value to their masters as long as they continue to suppress, brutalize and murder the restless horde. Will there be room for them in the bunker? I think not.

People are finally getting angry in the US, angry enough to act, to tear down, if not literally at least philosophically, the fix that's been in for decades now. It all has to go, ultimately - the two-party system, the rule of the wealthy and their institutions, the squeezing out / sucking dry fiscal oppression of the middle class and working poor. These ideas need to be spread constantly and with regularity, and no punches pulled, like advertising - let's use one of their most-foul means of hypnosis and oppression against them. One great thing about social media is that it puts a great potential power in the hands of the public; so don't waste that opportunity making "let's play" videos, playing pranks, regurgitating information culled from Wikipedia, or vlogging about your day. There should be plenty of time for fun, once the icons of power in this nation have toppled, so stop navel gazing and fight the fucking power. (We can all find a way to contribute; taking to the streets in outrage is one excellent option, but far from the only one.)

Chatting about my radio program feels a bit frivolous at this moment, but I / we all need some enjoyment, some reveling in art, or we'd all go mad; I know music is one of the few, significant things in my life that keeps me from ending up behind bars. that spirit, Castleheads REALLY enjoyed our selection from Sale Freux, fiercely spirited and singular underground, crow-obsessed black metal from France. A great artist, worthy of much deeper exploration on my part. Thanks to Castle live-session engineer and obsessive black-metal enthusiast Jean Paul for contributing.

The murky, homemade grim musings of Zarach 'Baal' Tharagh also grabbed some attention on our playlist; ultra-personal, men-in-a-room black metal always being one of my favorite subsets of the genre. The music of NYC's Couch Slut also made its WFMU premiere, and we look forward to a live visit from the band on our show in January.

Other than what I've already said, I can tell you that my 2014 list of films, etc. will be a mighty one, still in the works, as I keeping adding and reshuffling things, as well as pulling in some great recent views, like the Canadian series Darknet, for example.

Our screen capture this week comes from perhaps the worst / least-worthy "horror" film ever committed to DVD - metal muscle-dork Thor's Rock and Roll Nightmare, a true piece of cine-garbage that I think even Joel Hodgson would have trouble framing as "bad for good." Still, it gave us that one great image of a demon arm reaching over to turn off the tape deck. Click there to reach the accu-playlist, archived audio, etc. for last night's horrorcast™.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

EyeHateEmoji ... Now this is how to start a freakin' show.

"Lies, Placidils..." I don't kick off The Castle with The Jesus Lizard nearly often enough; they're one of those bands that never fail to get the heart pumpingsort of the perfect combination of decadence, underachiever wisdom, killer riffs, and testicular fortitude that define My Castle of Quiet—hell, define ME.

I remember that in their day TJL were impressive to me, but not overtly so...they weren't a personal favorite then, in the early 1990s, when every popular indie band was screaming at me already; I had to live, endure, suffer a bit more, gain some traction, accumulate more failures, and give less of a shit in general, to embrace a deeper appreciation of The Jesus Lizard, and they've endured, where so many of the celebrated bands of that time have faded nearly into ash. Honestly, who talks about Surgery anymore?

...and Dope Body, who take up the shirtless gauntlet that David Yow laid down? They make damn-fine records, a band on the constant rise or so it seems, and are a real goddamn treat; they write great songs, and more than fill the sloppy plate of someone who has no new Jesus Lizard records to look forward to.

The new Laster album, De Verste Verte Is Hier, is excellent, flawless—firmly footed in great black metal, while redefining and challenging genre convention all at once—a late-breaking favorite of my year. (cassette on Broken Limbs Recordings; vinyl on Dunkelheit Produktionen)

New / 2014 releases by Grasshopper, EyeHateGod, Alraune, Raspberry Bulbs, the 12" by Ahna, and the cassette by Nocnitsa have all made my year's end a good one, shining brightly in the bluish light that reflects off the Castle moat.

Thanks for listening, and for your color commentary. My Castle of Quiet is, among other things, a radio show about film, and I always enjoy our discussions / debates on the playlist.

Our still this week is culled from the opening of Brian DePalma's classic Sisters—click there to reach the archived audio, playlist and comments for this week's horrorcast™. ...And I must add:  "I HATE football on TV, shots of Gena Lee..." ...hanging with my friends, and twins, both ok.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

what's with all the turtle jokes in snow white?
EONS! ...or is it AEONS? That's how it feels when I take even one week off from My Castle of Quiet; an unplanned and unwanted vacation, though it does sort of guarantee a "fresh" return. New corpse on the slab, only been in the river about a day.

I had my own little blast with the opening few tracks—John the Postman mumbling about "the wrath of Astaroth," and Nick Cave howling, "come my executioner, come my bounty hunter, come my county killers, I cannot run no more!!" -all seemed very relevant in light of national and local events, with both the FDR and Lincoln Tunnel closed by street protests as the show began. And "The Return of Darkness and Evil," well, trouble is it never really went away! ...I'm no activist, certainly not a soapbox-stander, but if our courts keep telling our Black citizens that our police can shoot them dead with absolute impunity, that sets a horrible standard on both ends; cops will never think "de-escalation, or 'shoot to apprehend'" and Black people, quite honestly, how could they NOT think, "I am a target. My family will be left alone, with only Civil retribution / compensation to pursue"; NEVER vindication, never for the Black man, and it makes me ill just thinking about it, because it promotes ongoing unrest and disharmony, amd tells our Black citizens that their lives are worth less. ...I hope people stay PISSED OFF for a long time, long enough that actual change and awareness seeps into the thick American skull.

Back to the safe environs of The Castle,  playlist notices went to John the Postman's Black Widow rendition, from the highly underrated (and woefully un-reissued) The Disparate Cogscienti, a 1988 compilation rolled together by The Fall's Mark E. Smith, with a solid representation of all types of gleefully bent, smart, wholly-unheard-up-to-that-moment UK and American pop. (We heard from the collection again later in the show; God with "Sounds Like Thunder.")

Also "trending" on our playlist were our live guest(s), rescheduled from last week, Thomas Carnacki—a simply excellent live set, wholly Castle-appropriate, with much haunt and much gloom; I only wish that I had been there to experience it in person. Thanks to Jean Paul G. for making the session recording happen—he's a dedicated, enthused, talented engineer, who goes the extra mile, in our impressive roster of extra-mile-going WFMU audio engineers.

Also of much discussion, a film that's come up before in our playlist chats—1979's Tourist Trap, a bizarre, B-budget affair, with effective dread and a wealth of eerie, deadpan scenes that prove Soylent Green's Chuck Connors could really do something in front of a camera. Must remember to load this one up, and scout for a few choice captures.

Also of note, a track I liked so much I ripped it from YouTube by R. Nikolaenko. I highly recommend that you check out his YouTube channel and subscribe to it; his music, the keyboard-based pieces especially, are PURE CASTLE HEAVEN.

More playlist notices went to: Of Blood and Oak; a howling, caterwauling cassette of Vinlandic harsh noise, wholly infectious, from Vanguard Productions; and that curious, hypnotic, and right brilliant Black Hat album, Thought of Two, more wholesome, colorful elec.-noise-improv goodness from Hausu Mountain, who have also released our good friends' Grasshoppers' monumental new LP, Dark Sabbath: Symbols of Evil. Both records, quite honestly, are musts-to-own for the fully tuned-in Castlehead. [Ghop's second MCoQ live session, from this past August]

Maria's luminous dolls, up at the top, will take you to our lengthy, schizophrenic comments board, our playlist, and archived audio for last night's horrorcast™.

Coming soon, my end-of-year 2014 music and movies list; thoughtfully stewing now.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

thank you for saving the radio

Every once in a while, the My Castle of Quiet radio program gets away from me, becomes sentient, and doesn't need my help to achieve its aims. Last night was such a night; and an analogy that might make sense to many of's like hitting that "sweet spot" during an improvised music session, and you suddenly find yourself dancing just a few inches off the ground, and the "art," regardless of your hands-on participation, is much like Israel, in that it can well handle things itself. Ha!

Perhaps this had more than a bit to do with the fact that opening with "Reek of Putrefaction" (just one example, from a three-hour broadcast) chose itself, the idea-to-airwaves process temporarily airlifting me out of the situation, and as I type, I'm realizing that this is all just a long-winded way of saying I was "in the zone," but I do dislike falling back on clichés!

Playlist notices for vintage, live Black Sabbath, and once again, that phantasmagorical new LP by York Factory Complaint, Lost in the Spectacle.

Personal highs included a 2006 track by Swedish legends Unleashed | a track from the all-new Raspberry Bulbs album (!) | new Laster, on Broken Limbs cassette | an 11-min. compilation track by Hivelords (thanks, Dan!) | another song from the great, Zavod full-length | something from the Old Forest 1998 EPs, compiled and released on tape by Tour de Garde | a selection by terror-soundtrack-style maestros Mega Drive | Highgate, from the split with Venowl on Tartarus Recs. | and something from The Viewer cassette by Puce Mary.

Our still this week comes from Noboru Iguchi's colorfully absurd and bloody comic-book of a movie, Mutant Girls Squad, keeping the Japanese film tradition of "heavy flow" intact. Click on the unfortunate baker, to reach the audio archive and playlist for last night's horrorcast™


See you then!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Newfoundland is half off.

Deep discussion last night, of time zones, gas-mask fetish, and Rob Zombie movies. Newfoundland is half off. Dollar drafts every Tuesday from 5-7. Castle fun! One never knows what arcane, or pop-culture tangents WFMU's message boards will take!

Straightaway, I love the new Laster—it's everything a modern, black metal album should be—with song craft, ambient / piano diversions, some slower tempos to balance the always-present blast beats, and a hearty dipping into the shoegazer-gloom past. Highly recommended!

Praise on our playlist also for: One Dark Eye | A Pregnant Light (we heard an older track, though a new release looms as well) | 80s collage / concréte icons P16.D4 | Primitive Man, from the split 10" with Hexis, on Halo of Flies.

Not much more to add @ present, except to say thanks again for your pledges / support last month! The Castle forges ahead, blades drawn!

Click on Sheri Moon Zombie, atop a pile of sister-witches, in the climactic scene from Lords of Salem, to reach the playlist and audio archive for this week's horrorcast™.


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Blanket Fort Of Cacophony ... It's celery, don't worry

My Castle of Quiet now 57% toward our modest shift goal for WFMU's October Fundraiser; thanks to ALL who have pledged to MCoQ thus far. Still a way to go, in less than three days. ...

HUGE THANKS to Rodger Stella and Kyle Eyre Clyd for their monumental, mind-bogglingly good live collaboration; Castleheads lapped it up with fervor, myself too! As listener SiHV put it, "Looking out at the hellscape of north Dallas. This is good accompaniment." Hoping Kyle and Rodger had a great rest of tour...I know they had some vehicle issues. Hope you turned out to your local venue to catch their live energies!

Much praise on our playlist for our live guests; also, TRTRKMMR (split LP with Dead Times), the outstanding new album by York Factory Complaint, Energy Vampires (s/t CD), and John Lennon's "Mind Games," haha!

Personal highlights included new tracks by Ahna (new 12"), Nocnitsa (tape on Blutie Magie), Master's Voice (Nederland), Rodger Stella's Kosmische Dub, and a track by Casio-noise artist R.B.Z. (aka longtime supporter Ray Brazen.)

Thanks for listening as always, and thanks to listener Meatfucker for the lively discourse!

Our bloodied hand-grab up top comes from Brian De Palma's Sisters; click there to reach the archived audio etc. for last night's horrorcast™. Revisiting that film has been one of the highlights of my week thus far, it had been years.... Also enjoyed re-watching Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry, another harrowing 70s gem—that Susan George and her wonky teeth, utterly adorable!

Until next time...

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


Damned Damned Damned was my first UK-punk record purchase. I brought it over to Mike Craig's house, ripped off the shrinkwrap, said something like, "look! punk rock!" 'Twas all very new at that time, you see.

Everything about the album sung the heady promise of something we were very ready for—songs that energized, going straight for the gut, deftly written and executed, complemented by Nick Lowe's very "you are there" Basher production. The whole record felt so alive, and easily transferred that feeling on first listen. And that cover—with the band all licking pie off each other's faces and hair—it was a little bit disgusting, so bold, and unlike anything Mike and I had ever seen before. Who were these disaffected Brits? A new plateau of cool for us to aspire to.

My long way of saying that the post-theme opener of "Born To Kill" curried a quick flood of comments on our playlist, and yes The Damned have proven to be timeless good music, with contemporaries of course, but without peer.

Also noted on our relatively "quiet" playlist was an excellent, new track from Planning For Burial, from the split 7" with Liar in Wait on Broken Limbs Recordings. With a monumental Laster album soon to drop (on 11.4; fulfilling and exceeding the promise of their EP), and a new Caïna LP coming soon as well, plus loads of other great releases, BLR is without question a label to watch. In a post-Lifelover world, it's gratifying to see that (for serious lack of a better term), post-shoegaze black metal has found an extraordinary voice in bands such as these.

I was personally pleased to give Venowl's "Vacant Cellar" its WFMU debut (from a new split tape with the also-outstanding Highgate; sold out from the band, but still available from Tartarus Records), as well as new tracks from Cara Neir (Venowl split!, also on BLR), The Gate (new quintet LP), Side B of the amazing Uniform 12", a new track from FRKSE (Husere Grav split LP, on Divergent Series), and a song from the great, new 12" EP by Ahna.

Please remember that WFMU is fundraising until the end of October; you can support the station's effort to fully equip our new, ground-level performance space, Monty Hall, get swag, and nominate your pet for WFMU Mascot status. To pledge directly in support of My Castle of Quiet, see the white, rectangular widget above this post, it's sooooo easy, and huge thanks to those who have pledged thus far.

NEXT WEEK: Live jams from Rodger Stella & Kyle Clyde!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

We See Each Other...

Greetings Castleheads, friends, foes, sometime listeners, bands and labels,

My Castle of Quiet and WFMU have been "silently" fundraising since the 1st of October—this as opposed to our two-week, very loud, annual on-air marathon in Feb.-Mar.

We do run completely on donations, for all maintenance / improvements to our offices and studio site in Jersey City, as well as our transmitter site in West Orange, NJ.

We're working on getting our ground-floor performance space, Monty Hall, up to working standard, such that no gear or facilities need be shared with our on-air studios for live performance and music. You can also nominate your beloved pet to be named the WFMU Mascot for the year! (simply enter your pet's info in the "comments" field when pledging.)

So, if you can spare some coin, any coin, to support the station and the most-unique creative alliance we have forged over the years with the My Castle of Quiet radio show, please do so before the month is out.

Earlier this week, we presented Kraut-Out, nummer drei [archive here], the third in a series of much-in-demand / well-liked, full 3-hour broadcasts of wildly diverse 70s music from Deutschland. Week after next, our last show for the month brings a live collaboration from Rodger Stella (Macronympha) and Kyle Clyde (aka Penny Royale), Facebook event here.

To donate (and yes there is swag aplenty offered, depending on your pledge amount, see this page at WFMU's Web site for info), visit the My Castle of Quiet playlist page and use the handy white rectangle atop left to make your pledge.

At this moment, MCoQ is 33% of the way toward our modest pledge goal for the month. Thanks for your consideration, and your support!

Yours in darkness,
Wm. Berger

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Ihre Mutter säugt Schweine? Geschwindigkeitsbegrenzung?

As meme legend Doge might say, "much Teutonic!" ...And as I might say, "a Teu-tonic for the soul." Don't all groan at once....

Made a conscious effort last night, though Castle shows are often an equal mix of meticulous planning, and mood, to include the broadest-possible spectrum of all the Krautrock music I've collected and enthused over for three-plus decades now—the hard blues-rock, the "kraut-jazz," the Teuton folk, and the genres that fit more decidedly within the MCoQ format—the left-field electronic, the improvised, the dark, obscure, hypnotic "experiments." All subgenres of Deutsche-wildness were on the table.

Playlist comments lauded: the amped-up, ferociously riffing Guru Guru stylings of Franz K. | Thirsty Moon, their "departure" album, Blitz | the mystic-tinged Germanic-chamber-folk of Emma Myldenberger (@ Discogs) | and Popol Vuh, one of the many fine SPV reissues / remasters, most with bonus material.

To cite personal highs would just bracket the entire show, though I did enjoy slipping in an excerpt from Stockhausen's Sternklang, from the gloriously high-end 2CD reissue on Stockhausen Verlag, and the closing, with a longer selection from the first Krautrock record I ever bought [excluding the more-obvious, universal faves like Neu!, Faust, Can and Kraftwerk], Gilles Zeitschiff, one of R-U Kaiser's successful, albeit appropriated, Cosmic Jokers-releases of tapes culled from a massive jam session between Klaus Schulze, Ash Ra Tempel and Wallenstein members. Who could resist Gille, offering up her 1/4-inch headphone end for your cosmic injection?

Please remember that WFMU is fundraising for the month of October, in large part to fully vitalize our Monty Hall ground-floor performance / public space; you can also nominate your beloved pet to be this year's WFMU Mascot!

Please see the white "widget" above this post to directly support the My Castle of Quiet show; we're 33% toward our pledge total for the month, thanks!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Jed Hershon 1964-2014

I could ruminate for weeks to months over what to say about Jed Hershon. Everyone whose life Jed touched in one way or another surely never forgot the experience. He was a true, full-blooded NYC character—cantankerous bookstore clerk, prankster, outrageous grump, loving-generous friend, true artist, and nasty S.O.B. all rolled into one.

Jed was the only NYC-based friend I've ever had who made the NJ-transit ride out to Essex County (the horror!), met my son and visited my home, more than once. I've had Manhattanite / Brooklynite friends who I've known a lot longer who never made that trip, so I'll always remember Jed for that consideration.

We became fast friends in '08 or '09. Born three days apart in 1964, both raised in the NY area in semi-secular, Jewish families, both music freaks, with a shared interest in the occult, a lot was simply understood between us, and that friendship quickly led to Jed co-hosting the My Castle of Quiet program on WFMU with me several times over 2009-2010. Archives of those shows can be cherry-picked and listened to near the bottom of this page.

I thought Jed and I had a great, natural-if-somewhat-crusty rapport; we were one another's ideal foil for a time, though my practice of being 100% real on mic, "bringing the outside in," as Jed called it, caused some friction but also made for some great radio. ...I won't go into the details of our subsequent "breakup," as that's our business, and all was forgiven several months ago. We were talking again, and I'm glad, especially in light of his passing, that the guy knew I loved him and that our fences were mended.

Finally, to epitomize my friendship with Jed Hershon, it's probably best to say this:  I created the outline of a screenplay, back in 2010, for a film to be called Disposal, where characters based on Jed and myself "decide" to become killers, fed up with the many and constant challenges of NYC life. In a filthy, noisy Brooklyn brownstone, the characters first fall into, and then delineate, however crudely, a plan to be the 21st-century Leopold and Loeb, on a mass scale. ...Eventually, the bodies start to pile up, basement-burial space runs low, and "we" spend much of the film arguing about body disposal, whose turn it is to do what, etc. Eventually, one of those arguments crests to a head, and the character based on Jed ends up killing me, burying me along with rest, and moving on, with the police slowly closing in. ...

We shared equally the joys of lives lived with no holds barred, and the gnashing jaws of frustration, misanthropy and isolationism. Jed lives on in all our memories; I for one will never forget him, and I recall our friendship without the slightest regret.

Below are two collections, albums of Jed's sound art, shared on the Free Music Archive via the My Castle of Quiet curator portal.  I had a lot of fun designing the cover for Nine Rings of Hell, grafting the head of an odd photo-potrait of Jed onto the body of legendary conjurer Eliphas Levi.

Below also is our one collaboration, a piece I've always been proud of, called "Hitler Is Dead."

If there is an afterlife, Jed is there, stoned out of his mind, and laughing at all of us.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The sun is about to rise.....the castle of quiet is here. Get in if you can.

Good times last night! ...Even if I'm sometimes feeling like life is weighing me down, leaden weight on my chest, I can always "give good show," and it emboldens my week.

A blazing hour+ of black metal, breaking gradually into trails of dark, heavy noise and psychedelia. ...It was cool to see a bunch of late-breaking comments hit on the playlist; The Castle is often TOO QUIET from 1:30-3.

You liked: Ghast (new album!) | Recreant (awesome new album, and I can't thank Jillian enough for turning me on to this amazing band) (Btw, you can see Ides tonight live at The Meatlocker in Montclair; Ides live on MCoQ, 2012 Dec.) | Skullflower (previously unreleased track, from this.)

Personal highs included the aforementioned, as well as a song from the new Mayhem on Season of Mist, the Wolvhammer / Krieg split 7" on Broken Limbs, the outstanding debut 12" by Uniform, tracks from the Szamanka OST by Andrzej Korzyński, and a looming, brooding track from the Husere Grav / FRKSE split on Divergent Series [link @ aQuarius Records.]

Thanks for listening, as always, and please remember that WFMU is silently fundraising, and holding a mascot contest, all this month.

NEXT WEEK: KRAUT-OUT #3!  (v.1 / v.2)

Click on this week's screen capture, from Strip Nude For Your Killer, to reach the playlist, archived audio, and comments from last night's horrorcast™.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

don't threaten me with a good time, william

Forced to hold back a load last week by sudden illness, I was left with a vision of a perfect MCoQ show, which played out last night almost perfectly. ...Ideally, lots of rousing, careering black metal and punk the first 90 mins. or so, to be followed by scores & OST-type music and a hearty Krautrock blast at the finale. I pat myself on the back, which is not something I do every week, most certainly.

Apart from the music, my prevailing thought these past two weeks has been "people." Why is it so difficult for some to communicate, openly and freely? I've never felt like I had any time to do anything but, it comes perhaps too easily to me to just say how I'm feeling in any given situation, so when others cannot, when they veil and obfuscate, and approach their expression in a winding, snaky fashion, I don't understand. The time I may have "wasted" sleeping, is the time others have wasted not expressing themselves fully and without fear. I'll say this, it makes me deeply appreciate the people in my life who can just talk. Never, ever hold out on me!

Playlist-comment praise went to Motörhead's "Stay Clean," always a personal favorite; Заводь [Zavod], from Ukraine, their excellent album available here from Freak Friendly Diy; a 2012 Krieg track [from a 4-way split; we hope to host the USBM legends live, here at The Castle, very soon!]; and "Katmandu," a soundtrack cut from the always-good Piero Piccioni.

Personal highs included tracks by Cloud Rat, Hexis, Veranear, and Vintage Flesh (aka Reverend John Hex, also of Nostalgic Darkness, who we've heard on the show before.)

NOW THE BIG IMPORTANT NEWS: WFMU and My Castle of Quiet are now officially fundraising, more information at that link, but one thing we WON'T be doing is hawking our value ON THE AIR. This is our yearly, all-October, "silent" fundraiser, where we utilize our Web presence, and the collective Web homes of all our on-air personalities, to implore you to give us the financial support we need and rely on.

Special Castle events for the month include: Kraut-Out #3, coming much sooner than planned, as you all enjoyed Kraut-Outs #1 and #2 so much...I'm almost ready with a schön playlist; a live broadcast on our Oct. 28-29 show, from Kyle Clyde and Rodger Stella; Kyle has graced us with live music before [see link], and if you listen to WFMU/MCoQ, you know well Rodger Stella's many fine musical works. Lastly, a live visit from USBM legends Krieg is in the works, though that may come post-fundraiser.

SO PLEDGE, FRIENDS! Show your love for WFMU / My Castle of Quiet, and get swag. See the white, rectangular "widget" above this post to make a donation.

Our still this week comes from the very fine Nikkatsu "Roman Porno" / Pinku film, Tattooed Flower Vase, featuring, among many other great scenes, an excruciatingly long pussy-tattooing scene [no electric tools!.] She's one badass bitch, s'all I can say. Click on Michiyo to reach the streaming audio, playlist and comments for last night's horrorcast™.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

awesome singing from stillen burgmann

Pretty rip-roaring last night, if I say so myself. Waterfalls of blood sanguinated the faithful. One 3-year listener checked in for the first time via the comments, and it makes sense, that one would wait that long I mean, if comment at all, ever. We're a quiet bunch, by and large, not big on the hanging out, a log cabin in the wood somewhere would suit most of us fine. Am I right? Wrong? We hang out in our own personal cerebral Milky Ways, and meet up here once a week. Going over, enjoying, assessing, feeling that filthy surge when the blast beats hit, and the core is hard. I like My Castle of Quiet listeners, because you are neither the random horde tuning in, by chance (though of course that happens), the whole weekly working is rich with collective purpose, you know by & large what to expect, and that fact puts me at greater ease. It's not the hot request line.

The newest Wold release, Postsocial, continues to split psyches, mine included; I think it's the pride of Saskatchewan's finest work since the treasured and groundbreaking Screech Owl.

Love also for the wholly unique voice of the Romanian Siculicidium, and yes, I wholeheartedly agree; the band is just right at the crossroads of black, punk, with a ferociously original compositional style.

Personals highs for myself included the track by Asian Women on the Telephone, from Russia, some sort of mad, Amon Duul I-energized semi-rock improvisation, and I look forward to their next Faustian excursion. Also excited to see some great, new releases in WFMU's new vinyl; a "finally!" LP issue of Sinoia Caves' fantastic score to Beyond the Black Rainbow, courtesy of Jajaguwar and Death Waltz, just the labels to get THAT job done. The recent vinyl reissue of Nord's 1984 NG Tapes cassette is excellent, as good as any of the flawless head trips the Japanese electronic noise combo has bestowed upon us. Also of great note, the new E.P. by the UK's DiE, British hardcore just the way I like it done, the forthcoming/new 1959 by Ellorsith (Caligari Records), and an excellent CD reissue of Bernard Szajner's Visions of Dune, a 1979 work by the French synthesist, as good or better than his classic Some Deaths Take Forever (1980), the former wholly unknown to me until now.

To peruse this week's program archive, read the comments, and hear me retool an old Elton John favorite, click above, on the lovely Clara, from Neil Jordan's Byzantium.

Thanks for listening!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014


Not a whole lot of metal this week, one choice, solid set pretty much, but I move toward and away from things on a daily basis. I did drive home listening with great enjoyment to the 2013 album by Siculicidium--punk-fired bm, great driving music, with trumpet solos and other unexpected loftiness--suffice it to say that I haven't played it nearly enough on the week!

I'm always pleased to find that Castleheads take the ride with me, wherever I may go.

Playlist comments went out once again to the new and truly outstanding Spitzenqualität, as well as a new track from Moonknight, an excellent piece from a forthcoming tape release from Ellorsith, the ubiquitous (in Castle terms) Klaus Schulze, and amazing, new releases from Moth Cock and Lussuria.

...and thanks also to Felix of DA for all the excellent film discourse!

That pussy is out to get you! Click up top for this week's horrorcast™ archive.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

My mother is crying you son of bitch.

Click above for this week's horrorcast™ archive. ...Image from Guinea Pig 1: Devil's Experiment, a very romantic film, in the spirit of this week's show title. ...Can you really say that you love someone if you've never hung them in a bag overnight, or spun them in a chair until they were sick?

Thanks as always for listening!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Two whole weeks without the castle:( I didn't think I'd survive it. Welcome back ... Dj my funeral please

Spend more than a week away, and home is not likely to feel like home, not instantly. A few days of adjustment will be requisite. But that said, the DJ's chair @ WFMU was an easy slide back in, and will probably feel comfortable to me as long as I live. And such a nice welcome back from listeners! ...I'm one who by nature assumes that no one gives a damn what I do or where I go, if I live or I die, etc., and I'm not above engendering some self-fulfilling prophecy towards that end, either, so your kind words and accolades are appreciated perhaps more than you know.

I think it's become appropriate to refer to the particulate forms in the My Castle of Quiet radio show as "coitus" (the metal / punk / grind etc.) and "post-coital" (the noise, film scores, etc.), but I'm also not above flipping those scenes, mixing and mashing as the moment strikes.

Words on our playlist for:  Ancient Funeral Cult | Pallbearer (bought the CD used @ Beatnick Records in Montreal), and classic tracks from Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, and Vangelis (thanks to listener fleep for that last link; I was fortunate enough to find the original Barclay vinyl CHEAP in Montreal, at Sonorama (lots of great used vinyl there, with all genres represented) Also want to give a huge plug to Sound Central, the best store for my particular tastes in Montreal, where I found the Kenaz cassette and The Ropes 7" we heard last night.

Personal highs last night, and there were many, include the aforementioned Vangelis find, new tracks by Dhampyr, and Black Whispers (from Costa Rica), one selection from an excellent new full-length by Lussuria (Lussuria LIVE on MCoQ in 2011<<<), classic tracks from Kraftwerk (full DL / info / SoundCloud @ that link!; The CD itself is a boot...), Agent Steel (I played a different track, but this is their "anthem") and Antonius Rex (interesting, contemplative fan post on the Jacula / Antonius Rex "mythos"), and lastly, a great 2011 piece from Sky Burial, who as far as I can tell have no "bad material," as I like everything I've heard.

I want to get this posted, so I'll keep it short and just say thanks for listening! We have some interesting prospects for live music on the horrorcast™ in the cooker, but nothing ready for publication. ... Our film still this week comes not from a horror film, but from Mikhail Kalatozov's Cranes Are Flying, an elegant-but-brutal WWII tragedy; click there to reach our audio archives and playlist / message board for this week's show.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Pray to that pussy, worship that pussy

A different kind of show last night, less metal, more of a space-out carnivale. I'm mellowing with age, it was destined to happen! Yeah, just kidding, sort of.

"Take nothing I say as truth, tonight," I said. I often wonder if my mix of irreverence, folly, my human / accessible mic style, conveys a welcome contrast to the dark, death-obsessed, haunted music I play. I don't think about it too much, very little intention is involved, I just do what I do, but I do wonder. The "silent audience" of radio, invisible, judges me in secret. They like or they don't like.

Much well-deserved praise for the new Mr. Matthews track, as well as the Cabaret Voltaire classic (love that record!), and a selection from the new album by Krakatau (a band relatively unfamiliar to me, but worthy of a closer look, and the album is a good one!)

For my own, my favorite set of the night was the one that started with Endlos, and included Rufus Zuphall (been playing Phallobst to death recently), and recent discovery Polushon.

Our screen capture this week is from The Ballad of Narayama, a gut-wrenching depiction of rural life in early Japan, probably the Edo era, and the film ties back in its themes to our former guests Ubasute...the whole "take Grandma up the mountain" thing. Click on the pussy worship to reach the audio archives, playlist and comments for last night's show.


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Thousands and thousands of bats.

Very grateful to both Bleak and Hell Mary for playing excellent sets last night! As much as I revere all the music played on MCoQ, there's simply no substitute for a great live performance.

...Much Castlehead love on our playlist for both our guests, and we're all happy to oblige, and appreciate your comments! Listeners also remarked on our classic opener by Killing Joke, as well as selections from the Water Torture Discography CD, highly recommended, and our closing 10-12 minutes, selections from the Artemiev scores for Tarkovsky's The MirrorStalker, from a deluxe, new LP reissue on the Superior Viaduct label.

As always, many of the selections were to me personally / especially gratifying to hear; been carrying around that Prowls CD maybe 1-2 years! I listen to it at home, and am well-acquainted, and love to get that dusty improv stuff out there, too, as it's one of my other musical passions apart from extreme metal / Krautrock etc. Artists like Morphogenesis, Smegma (Jackie from Prowls' "mother" project), and worthy contemporaries like Moth Cock get me pretty excited. ...Morphogenesis 1994 live on YT:

Can also recommend the Enbilulugugal 2CD collection of their black metal / noize on Crucial Blast, it's pretty fuckin' mighty; mighty as well is the ALL-NEW Telecult Powers LP, their second full-length on vinyl, Black Meditations, on the Experimedia label.

NEXT WEEK:  I turn 50, holy fuck, and our special, live guests will be Joshua Slusher and his new-ish duo PRIVILEGE, from Brooklyn. Very much looking forward to their dark pulsations! See you then....

You can click now on our weekly screen cap up top, from the curious bit of filmmaking known as Subconscious Cruelty, an odd exercise in sexual / religious / visual nihilism, to reach the playlist, comments, and audio archive for last night's horrorcast™.