Saturday, May 31, 2014

STRIP NUDE FOR YOUR KILLER ... pre-title sequence and main titles

While not the greatest film by many a mile; many better Giallo-genre films were made at this time, the very height of the Italian sex-thriller cinema machine (1975.) Still, something inspired me to capture and share with you this odd, pre-title sequence, and the main-title street scenes, with music about as groovy as Giallo scores ever get (music by Berto Pisano.) ...No one was looking to outdo The Bird With the Crystal Plumage or anything, but the sense one gets form most Giallos is that there was a "the weirder, the better" standard, both in scripts and visuals. So enjoy! Though not depicted here, Strip Nude... stars the lovely and alluring Edwige Fenech.

...Known in Italy as Nude per l'assassino, director Andrea Bianchi also directed, and is perhaps most notable for creating the exceptionally bizarre Burial Ground (also scored by Pisano), a zombie drama that's as much laughable as it is fascinating—overall poor makeup and effects, but with such oddly fascinating scenarios as to rival the most clunky of Jean Rollin films. Yes, Burial Ground is the one where the odd-sized man child (who kind of looks like a young Mark E. Smith, to be completely frank) is still nursing his mother as an adult, and well, towards the end, the film becomes one giant, pro-weaning PSA, as the little man/boy becomes zombified, and in her attempts to soothe his panic, Mom gets her own breast quite brutally gnawed off! Clearly, as with the opening scene here, this director had some gruesome visions to share on the mother / child dynamic. ...

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

This show really is exceptional. I missed the first Grasshopper live set because I was setting rat traps under my house. Need more blood. Praise Satan for the archives.

Yes, a self-aggrandizing headline here, plucked from our playlist. ...I only do so when I feel the show has been truly up to and exceeding my own personal standard for the weekly broadcast, and last night's show just nailed it on all fronts—if I say so myself—definitely one of the top ten My Castle of Quiet shows, ever. A staggeringly great live guest, choice selections woven around their performances, and a lively playlist with a more-than-amusing discourse between us and our listeners. So THANKS!

Firstly, listeners were rug-pulled by Grasshopper's rendition of our weekly theme, Fabio Frizzi's "Zombie Theme," aka "Zombie Flesh Eaters," a classy, haunting rendition that might just have me switching off with the original from week to week, especially seeing as this version is an exclusive, as well as a brotherly representation of the longstanding relationship between Grasshopper and MCoQ. ...

This was followed by two outstanding live sets from Ghop, and as I said later in the "interview" portion of the show (in itself, wildly irreverent—thanks Josh, Jesse and Co.!) - if you'd asked me in 2009-10 if Grasshopper could possibly sound any more haunting / evil, it's likely that I would have said, "Hmm no, I don't think so," of course completely underestimating their capacity for true darkness in sound, evidenced by these sets.

More praise on the playlist for: Niedergang (bandcamp) | a track from Venowl's "Morton Feldman" session - truly outstanding! | Cave Ritual's s/t cassette from 2012; a great band, every release a raucous mess of heavy, Nederlandischer raw bm.

Listener Mike from MPLS said: 

I've only heard about a dozen of your shows, but this one is exceptional!

And this! Well, it's very heartening; I don't get choked up by too many playlist comments, but honest praise like this is about as good as it gets, especially when I consider that I'm doing a show the contents of which are most definitely not for everyone. Listener Mike sensed that I was "on a roll," and added some righteous Witches' Sauce to those thanks, everyone, again. ...For every Castle horrorcast™I'm approaching, reaching for this standard of excellence, in that particular arena of "doing what I do," so it's gratifying even more so when people take notice.

The better the program, the less need be said about it perhaps, so I'll conclude by saying that I got home and re-watched most of Martyrs, at the suggestion of several listener / friends, and liked it a great deal more the second time. Exceptionally, unwaveringly brutal, but with a purpose, and a great story that precedes / surrounds the worst of the captivity and torture scenes depicted in the film.

I like to use show-appropriate, compelling original photography on our playlist when I can (not that this is an open invitation, but oh hell, why not?! go for it), and this week's playlist image from Chromaa more than fit the bill. Click on the damaged, discarded Dracula PEZ dispenser to reach the archived audio, playlist and comments for last night's My Castle of Quiet.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Triumphant Return of Grasshopper—tonight on MCoQ!

The history of this amazing Brooklyn-based duo is interwoven with my own and that of the My Castle of Quiet radio program. Their music has been a mainstay of the show, as well as receiving significant play on several other WFMU shows. Music Director Brian Turner steered me toward their Kindertotenlieder CD in 2009, I went wild for it, saw them live on innumerable occasions, and became a huge fan PDQ. They were the second-ever band to play live on MCoQ in September of 2009, and their recordings have been grabbing attention on our playlist ever since. Their outstanding first vinyl release, the "Calling All Creeps" 12"—now long sold out—was also the first-ever release on my Prison Tatt label, now available only digitally, through the band, at that link one line above.

Their upcoming newest release, an album called Dark Sabbath: Symbols of Evil, coming soon from Hausu Mountain on LP and cassette, reveals yet another plateau of creepiness and aural transcendence, bone-chilling and uplifting at the same time. The combination of Josh and Jesse—their brass, woodwinds and synths—is wholly unique, haunting, sometimes jazzy, but always decrepit as dungeon air. Their talents continue to morph in staggeringly beautiful and unexpected ways.

Our program is hopefully a place where the duo feels entirely at ease, J & J having visited the show in the intervening years as a part of both the Hex Breaker Quintet and The Spiritual Switchboard, and I'm looking forward to tonight in a big way, knowing the band will cut loose and deliver the goods ad nauseam, ad hominem, and with a thousand shades of DARK.

(...Pay close attention to our opening minutes, as the usual "Zombi" theme kick-off will be more than a bit different from what you're used to!)

Ghop @ bandcamp
Grasshopper @ Voice of the Valley 2012, on the MCoQ vimeo channel

I dig myself out of the grave, yet again @ 12 mid.
GHOP @ 12:30 a.m. approx.
WMFU 90.1FM (Hudson Valley)
in Rockland County @ 91.9FM LIVE on the Web.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

I expect to be tortured into a sobbing worthless wreck

Starting on a wholly personal note, unrelated to the radio or music, I have of late been "re-learning" how to need people again, connect with friends etc. I've been an intense hermit for some time now; honestly, it feels off and one becomes uncomfortably disoriented, or at least I do. But connecting with others, your special people, and I know some pretty special ones—it's a slippery slope, spending some quality time with just one or two great people can remind you how truly alone you are most of / the rest of the time. It's a lot like sex, unfortunately! -the more you get, the more you want. Just a fact.

I never fail to see the negative—you could say if you were being judgmental—but shit, I used to be surrounded by people, for so much of my life! Moving also from one relationship into the next for so long, I forget what it's like to not have a woman around, but the last few years have (somewhat cruelly) reminded me about all the sleeping and waking and meals alone. Relative freedom is not a bad thing for a while, but everyone gets to missing that someone that grounds you in the world; I think it's only natural. ...Getting back to the radio, these are the things that I think about as I make my way to Jersey City every week, feeling like all this music, and by extension the films we discuss, really deserve to be shared with someone, and it's a big part of the reason that I keep doing My Castle of Quiet on the radio; always finding my tribe, in increasing numbers. Castle listeners are a rare breed, and in one sense, I'm NEVER alone on a Tuesday night. ...

As to great solo activities, I came home last night after the show, always keyed up, and watched Part I of the new Lars Von Trier film, Nymph()maniac. It was so very rich, impressive to me in a big way, and I haven't really embraced a Von Trier film since Dogville, or perhaps The Boss of It All. But, Nymph()... is better than those even—full, brutal, and broad in spectrum, similar to a work like the director's Kingdom series. To those who share my taste in film, it's HIGHLY recommended. I find his paths of storytelling very much like the way my own mind works, easy to grasp for me, challenging but incredibly stimulating at the same time...though it's dubious as to whether that's a compliment to either myself or the director. An excerpt from the new Zaklanie / Swamp Horse split cassette, also on Husk, also outstanding! The best work I've yet heard from this Russian project (Zaklanie, that is.).

Getting back to last night's horrorcast™, there was a lot to love, including the ever-present Haare, from his Doomsday Sunrise cassette on Cathartic Process. Listeners commented on the track by L.A.'s Tearist, who have become a favorite of mine in the neo-beat-based-cold-wave genre, as dirty as that seems, and not to tarnish the Satanic, horror-fueled vibes of the show, but the sound's been revived for some time now, such that some really good artists are emerging. I heartily recommend all their releases, downloadable at that linked page.

Also in the comments were Forgot from Russia, on the intriguing Soloshin S.N. cassette label; Alraune, from their two-song cs on Graceless Recordingsfull-length coming on Profound Lore very soon. Oh, and someone thought Glass Coffin sounded like "surf metal"—I suppose; it's definitely "twangy," in a dank, cobwebbed-basement sort of way. The new split LP with Harassor is outstanding.

To reach the audio archive and playlist for last night's horrorcast, click on the lovely Shir, from the inventive and richly humorous 2010 Israeli horror film Kalevet (Rabies.) It's a festival of bad behavior!

Next week, don't miss the return of Grasshopper; LIVE!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Yes, more torture! ... your the master of the macabre!
"@Wm. you are more than a 'weekly DJ' ya fuckin plunker!" ... It was a super-lively Accuplayist last night, which I deeply enjoy! Generally speaking, the more the merrier, irreverence welcomed. My boy Risky was alive with garrulous support! ...As were many others, Listener Howard in Portland, Listener coelacanth (I keep meaning to play that old track by Shriekback, by the way; one of my favorites of theirs), newly appointed My Castle of Quiet MVP hola-soymilk, Listener/friend/former co-host tracy, and my WFMU colleague bennett4senate, among several others!

Following a GREAT Dave Hill show, and a brief meeting / conversation with one of my NYC-punk heroes, Adny Shernoff of The Dictators (who was Dave's guest, along with my old pal Danny Hellman), a great, 30-minute track by Venowl set the evil, tortuous tone, opening the horrorcast™ like Abruprum meets Missing Foundation, and receiving much praise on our playlist. I have meant for a long time to more deeply investigate / absorb the works of Venowl, and as I went just now to their bandcamp page to link it, what did I find but THIS, their not-for-sale interpretation / "mashup" using the works of Morton Feldman, my all-time favorite composer of the 20th Century, "New York School." So, Venowl are up to some very deep stuff, and that split tape on Black Horizons with Jute Gyte is a definite winner.

Also snagging praise on our playlist, venerate-veteran black metal from Wehrhammer from the unstoppable Der Befehl album (thanks to Todd HG for the burn!); and a Husk tape track from Harassor, who also have an amazing new vinyl split out with Glass Coffin (more from that in the weeks to come!)

I copped some White Castle (last time, I swear) and went home and watched Michael Bay's Pain and Gain, and you know what? I always make much fun of Mickael Bay but this one was pretty damn entertaining! Boy, that Rock can act!

Up in just two weeks, the return of our very good friends Grasshopper!

In the meantime, you stream last night's archive, a pretty dark and swirling show if I say so myself, by clicking on "Private 'Pyle' Lawrence," above, whose unabated malice will take you to the archive page and playlist and comments.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

My Castle of Quiet names new MVP, for 2014 and beyond!

Our last My Castle of Quiet Most Valuable Player title was awarded in 2009, to Josh Millrod, of Grasshopper, and subsequently Hex Breaker Quintet. You can read the full post here. Grasshopper will be joining us in just two weeks, in a triumphant  live  return to the horrorcast™ (Ghop were the second-ever band to play on My Castle of Quiet, and never fail to make huge waves in our playlist.)

Even as presenter, I myself am not fully aware of the process that results in my naming of an MVP, but I know that it has to do with a variety of perceptions, on my end: An exuberant character and a rare personal energy on the part of the recipient, fandom / active participation in the My Castle of Quiet radio program (either as performer, supporter / listener, friend), a rare and inimitable wit that makes me laugh, never overstating itself, and finally, and most symbolically relevant, the presentation from myself to another human of an unusual hat.

This is not an award that is scheduled, or presented annually or at any sort of regular intervals; it has to do with your host and author being most inspired by the actions of the recipient, and that notion arising quite naturally that it's time to change the "status" as it were, and name a new MVP.

So, without further exposition, MCoQ's 2014 Most Valuable Player is Samantha Fahey, of Chicago, USA. Above, she sports one of the custom hats created and presented to me by Future Death Toll (my live musical guests several weeks ago; see video of their set at that YT link) -Samie thereby solidifying the presentation and claiming her title. These ARE exciting times.

Why? Because Samie is our newest in a now long-ish line of enthusiastic supporters (MCoQ cannot boast the sheer numbers of many of the more-popular WFMU shows, but it can boast that our listeners are tuned in and focused—something about the radio show speaks to them on a primal, human level—and My Castle of Quiet fastly becomes their favorite, or one of their top-favorite shows on WFMU. It takes a unique kind of person to ken what happens every week for three hours on My Castle of Quiet, to like the music in a big way, and to "get" my dubious, obscure charms on the microphone, and et cetera.

Congratulations, Samie! Samantha! You're the coolest, and My Castle of Quiet loves you back! Keep listening and keep chiming in on that Comments board. Please!

And if this doesn't really say it all, as I was typing this post, here's Samie's Tweet that went up in the interval:
I think I'm a little too excited for the Goddamn @mrdavehill Show and@Mycastleofquiet tonight *masturbates furiously* cc: @QuizGuy66

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

I've been waiting here for 13 agonizing minutes
Well, despite a total fumble of a startoff, and I won't lay blame, as everyone was trying to get me on the air, myself included, and it was a combine of tech problems / misunderstandings, the show last night still damn fine in retrospect. (The lost 13 minutes at the head pitted me in a funk that I didn't really break out of until this morning, when I listened to the show archive and realized how rough, ready and spitting it truly was!)

Our guests, Through Thorn and Brier, did what they came to do and played a LOUD, punchy, well-rehearsed set, with some more kudos and appreciation filtering in today, once people had a chance to hear our archive (linked above, under "witch breasts w/ rotting Bishop of Lust.")

Distinctions also on our playlist comments for DiE (hardcore from the UK; thanks to Reed D. for playing it first!- my EP just arrived in the mail today...always great to see one of those golden "Royal Mail" stickers); the new Fatalism on Eternal Death (note "Jean Rollin Beach" cover artwork!); and a great compilation track by Fear Konstruktor from this amazing 3x cassette set on Black Horizons, Music To Accompany The Films of Ingmar Bergman.

Not much to add at this moment, just having kind of a reluctant, lonely, slow-to-emerge Spring (i.e., I really wouldn't mind taking the Bishop of Lust's place in that scene above—I need a little out-of-the-house fun, another adult to mind-meld with, etc.) But I hold my own self back; that's another story.

What YOU need to know is that the end of this month means the end of the current WFMU schedule, and for us specifically, the return of Grasshopper! Their sound is always a triumph, their releases varied but all revelatory, and they've not been with us since Summer 2009 (I still love my Zombi animated gif!, almost five years (though Josh and Jesse have appeared on the show in the interim with other projects.) So get ready for THAT on our 5/27-28 horrorcast™.

Love and Nightmares, thanks as always for listening, Wm.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Through Thorn and Brier LIVE My Castle of Quiet set TONIGHT!

photo from Profane Existence

My Castle of Quiet has presented a remarkable variety of grind / punk bands as part of our ongoing live-music effort, and Through Thorn and Brier represent yet another highlight, another unique voice in the metal-punk hybrid subgenre, doing what they do not quite like anyone else.

It's obvious at first stroke that the band is serious and hardworking; their releases are direct, brief perhaps, and without one ounce of fat on them. The Good Grief EP is a bold, forthright, even "catchy" statement; 10 minutes of highly memorable wallop, and I find myself throwing it on often, and then pressing repeat a few x. The new LP (MLP? seems pretty full to me...) Failure Prone, sees the band still dancing with some short fist-pumpers, but also fleshing out their ideas across a few 6-7-minute songs that show off their abilities and still bring the darkness quite effectively ("Kicking Out The Coffin Nails" is a personal favorite.)

The most ready sonic comparison I can make, without thinking about it TOO much, is Cursed (a band I really loved in their heyday), but for more contemporary reference points, see Low Threat Profile, or Much Worse. I'm sure Castleheads (as they do) will gather their own impressions and reference points, but the reality is, of course, as with any really good band, that they sound like themselves more than anyone else—no band quite combines sly, sparing, articulate riffing with raw vocals and a "we're here!" throat-grabbing presentation like TTAB. This band has learned the value of quality over quantity, or giving the listeners a blood-boiling aperitif, delivering on the goods, but never overstating their case.

And the final kicker, the coup-de-grace? Through Thorn and Brier are from Hudson County, NJ, one mere Turnpike stop away form WFMU, and that means a lot, as one of the big reasons we're here is to present community arts, and on a personal level, I've been proud to present on MCoQ bands from Brooklyn, Long Island, New Jersey and the Philadelphia area. Catching amazing bands that pass through on tour is extremely rewarding, but there's an extra thrill when you're flying the banner of local talent. I don't follow football, so this is my version of rooting for the home team.

TTAB know how to write and execute a song with extreme prejudice, and are sure to be another unforgettable page in My Castle of Quiet live-music history.

I reluctantly leave the house sometime before midnight.
TTAB @ 12:30, 12:40 a.m. approx.
WMFU 90.1FM (Hudson Valley)
in Rockland County @ 91.9FM LIVE on the Web.