Wednesday, January 27, 2016

I'm chuffed as hell.

I notice more and more the emphasis people place on happiness. Of course, it's the jewel in the forehead of the idol of human existence, the only thing that really matters once all the achievements, successes and failures are washed away. You've made it this far, however far that is—but are you "happy"? But if you have to try to be happy, work on it, embrace certain practices, read certain books, turn your flesh inside out (figuratively) and experience some sort of rebirth—is it really worth it? If happiness doesn't come naturally, if it's not innate to your character, what is its value? And if achieved through great, external effort, is it "real" or "false"? Are you kidding yourself, denying your nature as an unhappy person, a "Negative Nancy"; one of those undesirable "glass half empty" people that at least in theory, no one wants around?

I'm fine in social situations, I know how to laugh and joke, be inclusive, make people feel interesting, appreciated, wanted, loved—and not one ounce of that is put on or affected—insincerity not being my strong suit. Still, at my core, in my mind, in my thoughts, alone, left to my tendencies, I am not a happy person and cannot recall a time when I ever have been. I could easily (and sometimes do) blame this on external factors—widespread anti-intellectualism, a possible Trump presidency, money forever greasing the wheels of progress rather than humanist ideals—but the truth is, I know me, and I spin negative, I wax negative, I ask the world, "give me a reason!" ...and having always been this way, isn't acceptance really the way to go? I don't have the inclination or desire to read all those Eastern philosophical tomes, and/or merge with the "cosmic continuum" (I assume the latter will just happen when I die.) Anyhow, that's my navel-gaze for the day, and fuck you if you think I'm being "too personal" (let's remember there are 1,000s of blogs and vlogs where inarticulates whine on about their shitty day; at least I have a full, shitty life under my belt.) ...and with that, being uniquely who I am fuels this radio program and my ability to do it and do it well, in singular, mold-breaking fashion.

Corker of a show last night, with a blazing live set from Imperial Trumpet, lurching, rough and greasy in all the best ways, or, as drummer Lorde Abravanel (Fizz, to those of us who know & love him) put it, "Hymns to the aristocratic spirit of antiquity in Militant opposition to modernity." I've said it before in other ways, but I feel privileged and uniquely poised to share new and exciting extreme metal, noise and punk in a weekly platform of terrestrial and Internet radio, and I'll always be grateful to WFMU for providing me that opportunity for as long as it lasts. BUT DOES IT MAKE ME HAPPY? Ok yeah, of course it does, and maybe that's what happiness is, for me at least, it's nights like these, "glimpses," the crack in the doorway that lets some light in, rather than to spring out of bed every day with gratitude for the life I was given (I know some people do that, I mean I assume that they do, but I cannot conceive of how that's actually done.)

Many a positive comment aimed at our first set of music (pre-band), with all-new or recent releases from Scumripper | Muerte | Mystic Inane | Bleak | Dr. Shrinker et al., and we blasted through our concluding 90 mins. post-band (by the way, you can buy the limited Imperial Trumpet demo tape @ House of First Light) with more exquisite grime from Salö | Obduktio | Khøleraä | Nazarene Whore | Lluvia | Abysmal Grief | ...and Future Blondes filled out our last 25 mins. with a new tape side.

Hopefully some of you noticed that I pumped up the online playlist with album-cover images, kind of late-breaking—but I remembered, and I find that doing so nicely punctuates our "umbrella aesthetic" at My Castle of Quiet. Once again, our weekly screen capture comes from the Italian ciné-oddity Tragic Ceremonyclick on our doom-maven organist to stream last night's full horrorcast™ and Imperial Trumpet's full set.

Lots of amazing live music coming to The Castle in February, with sets from Andorkappen (2/9-10); Desiccant + Hiroshi Hasegawa (2/16-17); and Cape of Bats (2/23-24.) Stay tuned to the MCoQ Facebook group for more information.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Hooray for full bush!

Ideally, the My Castle of Quiet radio program is an enthused gathering of passionate, like-minded souls, whose discussions of music and film etc. can comfortably veer off into equally zealous exchanges on pubic-hair preferences. Viva! I think it's what Jim Morrison meant when he used the term, "a feast of friends," and I like that we had a solid, gender-mixed, cross-generational group on the chats last night. Doing the weekly horrorcast™ is always rewarding for me personally, the "big charge" of my week—but even more so when I'm surrounded by a good group of vibey Castleheads.

No shortage of musical highlights last night (that unplanned week off always ensuring greatness), with noteworthy tracks by Oppressive Light, Black Sabbath, Dark Star (great top-ten NWOBHM albums of 1981 list here, at Play It Loud!), Dr. Shrinker, and new Ramleh (Crucial Blast) in our first set alone.

As the conversation veered away from music, to femme fur, archaic sex tomes, and the questionable eroticism of toes, I allowed the good times to er, roll through me, so much great music, old and new things I'm really excited about: Nordwind | 2009 Lifelover | Dry Insides (!!!!!) | Mystic Inane | Muerte (ad perpetuum) | Cape of Bats (of course; our guests on the upcoming Feb. 23 Castle show | new prog music from James Harlow (aka Jabladav) | ...and that amazing new Gate album, Michael Morley boldly re-shaping his solo sound yet again!

In other news, we have live music coming next week, our first for 2016, from Imperial Trumpet—more info & join the radio event here on Facebook.

Not much more to add except to say that last night quite innocently became Camille Keaton night, what with our smoochy screen capture above, and the unexpected Morricone score for What Have You Done to Solange? waiting for me in WFMU's new vinyl bin (see our last set.) You can hear the whole mess, and traverse the playlist and listener comments by clicking on that winning smile, from  Tragic Ceremony (click here for the full film on YouTube, a free watch—and trust me when I say that's it's some nicely bent, 70s Euro-crud.)

Thanks for listening... Speaking of film here's another one I really liked:

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

talons crossed!

Yeah, Herman Kopp's violin-rounds from Der Todesking are pretty damn special, and like I said last night, I wonder if early Mortiis, or the Burzum instrumentals, would sound quite the same if not for Kopp's work in general. I like Der Todesking better than Nekromantik, as much as it lacks the "group sex with a rotting corpse" aspect, it's always struck me as a more satisfying, cohesive film.

Also noted in the playlist comments, yes listener coelacanth, that Muerte LP is "pretty perfect," such that I scraped together non-existent dollars to secure a personal copy; last night we heard from Muerte's 2013 demo, still finding their sound, teetering a little closer to black metal than death rock, a ferocious first recording and a logical plateau to precede the current LP.

I was having fun with the Kenzo db image-upload feature last night, sharing images and record sleeves that dressed things up nicely, making for a View-Master®-like carousel of scrappy, stark, and colorful images. See the playlist and stream last night's horrorcast™ by clicking above, on that chick about to go banzai on her murderous, preadolescent cousin in The Children.

Personal faves included: Expander | Prison Moan | Leash [FREE JANN MOON!!! AAAHHHH!] | Cønditiøn | Negative Scanner | the great Velho | 1990-vintage Cabal | amazing, new Cape of Bats | last year's staggeringly good Clandestine Blaze album | Bosse-de-Nage | Arizmenda from the Desert Dances & Serpent Sermons v/a collection | 2002-vintage Down | great 2015 Wilt CD on NO PART OF IT | ...and The Antwerp Killer original score on Finders Keepers

Until next week, I leave you with this live Leash clip from Sept. 2015. Jann, you are in our thoughts!!