Friday, May 19, 2017

I zoned out for a few but the deep growl caught me attention lol

"Hold on to something that'll hold on to you."

In 1993, Gibby Haynes already had "the answer," and those Capitol-era, ascent-to-fame Butthole Surfers albums have a value that I didn't fully appreciate at the time; solid, crafty rock records that in their way still channel the bacchanal of earlier masterpieces. The continual thread of Haynes being a master songwriter could provide me with horrorcast™ openers for a few months at least, and maybe I'll go for it. ...and though at this point in history, the Butthole Surfers have become recognizable, they are not "ugh" recognizable, and I doubt they could ever be.

We also heard a moldy slab of funeral doom from Germany's Frowning | 1982-vintage M.B. stirred hungry souls | the SIRE full-length gets better every time I listen to it | ...also: Necroscythe | Pill Hag excellent 2-song demo | outstanding solo noise from Stroker | I'm only just cracking the surface of Crackdown, Âmes Sanglantes' massive, 8-cassette box on Hospital Productions (with similar offerings from (past Castle guest) Lussuria (already sold out!) and Dust Belt making a set, and for those who had $255 to drop, I'm sure quite worth it) | ...our show finishing on your belly with a great new piece from The Gate, and a new Alga Marghen LP of Ju Suk Reet Meate (Smegma) solo works from 1975-1980.

Probably the most worth-talking-about horror film I watched this week was Nathan Ambrosioni's Therapy, though not quite the jarring amazer that is the director's more-recent Hostile (discussed here previously), I'm just peripherally rapturous that someone with ideas carries on the tradition of 21st century French-language horror cinema; both features are well deserving of your time.

Take a break from the relative horror of the news, and envelop in something fantastic—pop out of your lock box, and DON'T BE GUTTED. Back with another My Castle of Quiet next week.

Friday, May 12, 2017

No Supertramp and no new Ulver!! Salut, Wm.!!

Pretty much the same thing, friend.

Vengeful ghosts, vengeful ghosts, VENGEFUL GHOSTS! If one believed classic Japanese literature, and the over-hammered plot trends of post-Ju-On J-horror (ugh), they are EVERYWHERE! No innocent soul is spared, doesn't matter what you've done or haven't done, these spirited spirits are pissed!!

And another thing—long, lustrous, black hair—nearly all of their women are born with it, so why is it so easily transmuted to the ABSOLUTELY TERRIFYING?!? I'm not scared of the hair. Maybe Japanese men are scared of their women. Hmmm?

At least with Kwaidan (1964), you know you are getting the OG Japanese terror, though even then, long hair is still not as scary as a tribunal of a dead clan and their attachment to one blind Biwa player. ...

This week, we heard black, mucky tons of new metal, from Cold Fell | SIRE | Cult of Eibon | A Pregnant Light | DARGARlegendary snarl from Villains | new punk from Iron Bars | Special Breed | Life Stinks | beaucoup crust 'n' grind from Toxicology | Escuela | Ground ...and a loverly last hour with Burial Hex | Magas | Magical Power Mako | new GAS, and more...

There was a lot more too, music and er, TALK, but nothing I could say or play now would match or challenge the in-the-moment. AND ANOTHER THING...

When did the Conservatives take even our opiates away?! Father Burroughs would be A-PALLED. Now, a good old pain slog is the province of West Virginian unemployed coal miner/Trump supporters? I think not. This week's Castle was brought to you by 10/325 Percocet and Bubble Kush, so fuck that noise. NO political subset has a commodity on any escape from the world-at-large, especially in its current, new state of FUCKIN' DUMB is the currency/rule of law.

In movies I wish you would see: Applesauce (we heard the trailer this week), Onur Tukel's 2015 Woody-Allen-meets-severed-limbs horror comedy; Always Shine (I've got two sisters, I love 'em both the same, sort of identity-politic horror); and not for nothing, but The Visitor (1978) is newly streamable on Shudder and still kicks ass, in both visually glorious and unintentionally funny ways.

Back next week, and hoping to stay with you through WFMU's summer, we'll see, as I'm already racking up the tentative special programming for same.

Meanwhile, click on "The Woman in the Snow" above, from the aforementioned Kwaidan—blue lipstick, yah! enjoy this week's horrorcast™ archive.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Understood it may not always connect, but trusting it will connect.

The shortest of nods today, as tomorrow, I go "under the knife" for real, in the early a.m. ...

Standout selections from Basarabian Hills (the pastoral and the black) | Scorpion Violente (their new 12" EP a mix of Giallo-film and Suicide essence) | two songs from They Feed At Night (thanks to Bobias B. Borris for the recommendation!) | a classic Warsaw track | new Jute Gyte | new Blue Sabbath Black Cheer Witch Hunt 7" | Sick Llama | new music from The Gate | Fire-Toolz (!!!) | new Richard Pinhas ...

Listeners seem to appreciate the expanded, perhaps more-adventurous horrorcast™ playlists that have honestly just naturally occurred in more-recent months, that "Quiet side of the Castle" traditionally reserved for our last hour, and sometimes receiving the greatest accolades, I'm spreading out that material more intuitively, trying to roll forward with what I really want to hear in the precise moment, worrying less about genre blocks.

Hope you like our playlist-topper image this week, not a screen capture, but a b&w production still from The Loveless (1981)—one perfect little moment not actually in the final film. Katherine Bigelow's first feature is most often discussed as an homage to The Wild One; for me, I see nods everywhere to Anger's Kustom Kar Kommandos and Scorpio Rising.

My Castle of Quiet returns in two weeks; thanks as always for lending your ears.

Friday, April 21, 2017

it scared me. But then the fear turned into love

This week saw a Cabaret Voltaire-minded opening, the premiere of a new Kenneth Anger / Brian Butler's Technicolor Skull track (tape out on Walpurgisnacht from Arcana Machine), new Rope Sect, old Sixx, new Snakehole, and Bauhaus holding up exceptionally well as it has. More new Cult of Fire and Black Cilice, Vanyar, Deathgod Messiah and Barghest, and unearthed greatness on 7" from Curved Blade. New Skullflower (!), Jason Lescalleet, and krautrock dreams with Planes rounded off our last hour.

Still in ill health, I remain not terribly verbose, but I can tell you these:

1. What to know about the Unicorn frappucino at Starbucks? You can't get one. Not at any location I tried. Starbucks is poison; don't go there.

2. From theoretical poison to real poison, a new study shows diet soda TRIPLES your risk of stroke and dementia. I told you so. Have a little of the real thing; always better than a frivolous dose of the laboratory-derived imitation.

3. Dollars to donuts the Paris shooting was perpetrated by a follower of Islam.
I-I-I-I-I-S-S-S-S-L-L-A-A-A-A-M! "The Religion of Peace," the only one globally that still kills people in its name.

4. Someone should do a double-feature screening of the great Living Doll (from 1990) and Love Object (newly added to Shudder.) Trailers below.

Friday, April 14, 2017

kimmy: hi Tony. more drums

Much obliged to IDES, who brought a more intense/focused version of the band I loved just as much in 2012 (their first appearance on The Castle); their songs and arrangements are great, their fury and sheer enjoyment intense. I only wish I could have provided more room for singer Jillian K. to tear it up! Treat yourself to their late 2016 cassette & digital album Born To Run In Place, and keep an eye here for upcoming live performances.

Other than our live guests, horrorcast™ torrid treats included a new track by Pharmakon, from a great new album on Sacred Bones |  new Cult of Fire, an Untitled EP and probably my favorite work of theirs to date | ...more new black metal from Ride For Revenge | Black Cilice | Verwoed | Curved Blade ...

Rounded out our three precious hours with two new experimental releases; selections from Lea Bertucci's great All That Is Solid Melts Into Air, and Incapacitants' Survival of the Laziest.

This post comes two days late, as I spent most of Wednesday and Thursday couch- or bed-ridden, in pain, not your problem but by way of explanation there it is; I was pretty much incapable of doing anything. Now I know what people mean when they say, "at least you've got your health." Is that idiom ever really appreciated until one doesn't?

Other than that, my viewing week included several pleasures, mostly thanks to the Shudder streaming service; an oddball, low-cost-but-very-enjoyable sex-doll fetish horror/drama called Love Object (with none other than Rip Torn is a supporting role!), and if you want to be scared, and I know you do (so rare for me, and a distinct pleasure for me when a movie can get under my skin), see Hostile, a Frenh film from 2015; both trailers below.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Oh, there have been times this program was the only possible medicine.


Click on the lovely (and bloody) Hannah Fierman, above from the film Siren, to stream this week's full, 3-hour, My Castle of Quiet horrorcast™.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Keep those hits coming!

Gotta keep moving, lest the twin weevils of laziness and anger take hold and tether me to the ground (or at least the couch.) 'Twas an indulgent blast indeed, engaging our first horrorcast™ post-
WFMU marathon, but it's important to note that this year's was a record-breaker, and I personally want to again thank all who pledged to My Castle of Quiet, especially those selfless souls who pledged off-air and within the past week, after our second and official "last" fundraising show on 3/14-15. The support and dedication you demonstrate to our program is most deeply appreciated!

As is the case with many of our DJs, marathon shows necessitate a slightly different approach on-air (more talk, and familiar, shorter selections), so what happens with many of us is that THOSE IDEAS start to build like a rush of water against the dam of our creative souls, so the week(s) of programming that immediately follow the annual fundraiser are typically a real kicker.

Though comment chatter was light, I know you were out there (both in the literal and figurative sense), and new material and releases dominated, from DARGAR (coming soon!) | Moloch (reissue on the Argento label) | Cold Fell | Vanyar | Barghest | Moros | Circle | Ride For Revenge | Occulted Death Stance | C. Lavender ... hope you enjoyed our mostly blackened and positively chilly fellowship.

Want to say a bit at this juncture (larger post to come) about the Rise William Rise various artists digital compilation, released only a few weeks ago, lovingly compiled by Don Sigal of Opposite Records, and featuring almost more friends of myself personally and more stars of our horrorcast than I can count (22, to be exact), the whole release designed to benefit ongoing medical expenses, tests and treatments resulting from the stroke that felled me last November. I couldn't be more humbled and grateful to all involved. Due to WFMU's norms and nonprofit regulations, my hands are tied a bit from promoting the release on air, but we did hear the diobio selection this week, and I do urge you all to check it out, as all purposes aside, it is a damn fine collection.

We heard once again the title track from IDES' Born To Run In Place, and I'm very pleased to announce that the IDES live appearance (rescheduled from December 2016 due to my health house of cards collapsing) is again ON, scheduled for My Castle of Quiet's April 11-12 broadcast (Facebook event to come.) Born To Run In Place is quite the achievement, one of the best punk albums of any year, and I'm excited to host the band for the second time and feature their great new material live and in person.

Click on the picture/screen capture up top, to stream the full archive for this week's horrorcast.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

fuck yah

Here I am...a day late, though definitely not a dollar short! My deepest thanks to everyone who pledged this week; 'twas a nice steady flow of pledges & other assorted good will, with "music appreciation" and talk of Sacramento, CA on the comments board (where apparently there lurks a respectable cadre of Castle folk)  ... Marcel Mirbeau, learning the way we do things (but try hard not to) on WFMU, pulled a six-hour air shift, co-hosting first for my show, then hosting his own.

Please help push WFMU toward our marathon goal of $1.3m, through this Sunday, when the fundraiser concludes with the Hoof & Mouth cracked-karaoke party finale. ...You can (and should) still pledge to My Castle of Quiet as well, simply by clicking here -

The usual good time pervaded this week (just with more talk than usual, and therefore less music), with "a tender Butthole Surfer tune" (as per listener upsetter5001); a personal favorite, plus heavy music and giveaways from Grafvolluth, Our Place of Worship Is SilenceMoros, Alexandra Atnif, The Gate, Drew McDowall, et al. ...yet more thrills with classic Germs, Witchfinder General, the trailer for Sleepaway Camp, and multiple selections from this year's My Castle of Quiet premium CDr  (still avail. for a pledge of $75 or more)—Shrieks, a collection of horror and cult film music and cinelogue.

Back next week with relative business as usual; more new and old black metal, punk, and noise (hint: a wealth of fresh material tends to build, like a flood behind a dam, over that two weeks of fundraising.) Thanks again & as always for your continued support of free-form WFMU, and our horrorcast™.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017


Please tune in tonight @ midnight to support free-form radio WFMU and the My Castle of Quiet program. We have great prizes to give away (Sleepaway Camp Blu-ray/DVD combo; Moros 1st cassette demo & sticker; the Primitive Man/Hexis split 10"; Our Place of Worship is Silence LP; Alexandra Atnif 2xCD; Drew McDowall Collapse LP, lots more)

I'll be joined by co-host Marcel Mirbeaupartying within and without the local storm. As always, lots of great new black metal and punk, horror themes etc. ...and speaking of "horror themes," you can pick up a copy of my premium CDr collection (made exclusively for the WFMU 2017 fundraiser) Shrieks, a collection of cult- and horror-film themes and dialogue ripped from home video, cautiously curated, for your pledge of $75 or more.

To pledge directly to My Castle of Quiet, at any time: click here


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Haha, yeah, I meant "blue" as in "dirty"

I love marathon time @ WFMU—I get to hang out with some of my favorite people, many of whom I don't see nearly often enough the rest of the year, and the atmosphere station-wide is that of a continuous party with a serious goal. Ribald and righteous—what could be better?

It's also always a pleasure and journey of re-discovery for me to recall marathons past, and revisit old My Castle of Quiet premiums, and we began last night's horrorcast™ with a wonderful song by Nuit Noire, a donation to my 2010 long ago it seems....

Jonathan Herweg & I brought the blue; I can't quite map out how that happens, but it happens, and the phone room was alive with giggles, and good cheer, thanks to your pledges, many of which came in the form of between-show interval & pre-marathon donations, so we started off the night kicking down the door considerably. Thanks for that, heads!

As always, music and context are the most important elements of our program, and favored selections included those by Arkona | Narcos | Moros [though we gave away a copy of their debut demo last night, Moros have a great new split available ^ check that link] | Uniform | Burnt Skull | DA | Leah P | John Wiese | and multiple selections from the 2017 My Castle of Quiet Marathon premium, Shrieks (available for a pledge to My Castle of Quiet of $75 or more; a curated collection of horror and cult film themes and cinelogue.) Click the link in that last sentence to donate, or simply use the dog & cow Flash widget above this post.


It seemed like the right week to rewatch Larry Cohen's It's Alive—I always forget what a bleak, serious film it is, and in turn what a sterling filmmaker Cohen was; a class act who always endeavored to make a good film, sailing above the obvious pitfalls of playing the killer infant tale for camp or laughs. Ah, Larry Cohen. So I hope you enjoyed last night's screen capture—the It's Alive baby looking almost poignant, peeking through that tall grass....

Thanks again to Jonathan, for helping me raise the roof and for being a perfect complement to our Castle-style banter, to the auteurs of horror and cult cinema for their craft, and to the musicians and labels for their music (and prize donations!), and to you, the My Castle of Quiet and WFMU listener for your support. All great reasons to live! You can even pledge to adopt one of us; see here. The WFMU 2017 Marathon continues; I'll be back next Tuesday night late, with co-host Kelly Jones. I'm so glad we had this time together.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Is Mardi Gras over yet?

It's a great "is that all there is?" moment at the end of The Revenant, works for me, though my one point of contention with this otherwise excellent movie is that we are reminded a bit too often that there's a fourth wall in the 1800s American hinterland—could've done without the bear's breath, other bits of condensation and light blood spatter—I mean, this is a movie, right? Feed my fantasy! But then suddenly it works, at the end, with that pleading look you are finally quite willingly pulled into the world of The Revenant. ...

You see how contemporary my concerns are, mildly obsessing over last year's Oscar favorite, or was it even the year before?

Ridiculously short today, creative energies reserved for putting the spit-'n'-polish on Shrieks, an audio compendium of musical high-points and dialogue from home-collection horror and cult DVDs and VHS, hope you enjoy.

The 2017 WFMU Marathon begins in just a few days (see that dog-and-cow Flash widget above this post to donate directly to My Castle of Quiet), and I'll be back next Tues. night/Wednesday morning, with co-host Jonathan Herweg, to tickle your fanny and your fancy, to entertain and inspire you to pledge your $ of support for freeform radio obelisk WFMU—a public programming and out-music giant since the late 1960s, and still listener-supported—that place we here like to call "home."

So, I'll catch you then. Thanks for tuning in last night; all manner of good times suited the horrorcast™ playlist, including works by Spitzenqualität, Moloch (UK) [see below], Neptune's Inferno, The Chasm, Beheat Gorum de Mentheurd, Final Boss, Burnt Hair, and Spiteful Womb, wrapping up with 30 minutes of full-course-meal sound on sound on sound by Arvo Zylo.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

It's subtle moments here on WFMU with peeps like you out there–bodies electric–that keep me running.

Why thank you, listener goober, that's high praise. I'm channeling Michael McDonald over here! ...or perhaps Walt Whitman is the classier reference to glean from your comment, yes definitely. Perhaps I was channeling Grandier. Perhaps I flatter myself.

This week's horrorcast™ traversed a well-heeled, familiar Castle cascade of soundtracky>grind>punk>black>heady electronics, the 3-hour mixtape approached flawlessness (and I'm my own harshest critic), so I can only assume Castleheads were all so enthralled, fingers too weak to comment, or out in the unseasonably pleasant weather, tripping the light fantastic, only to join us later in the streaming archive. I had fun, always do.

Our appreciated "strong start" featured a 2014 piece by Mega Drive, one of the finer 80s-horror-score retro projects around, and something brand new from Italy's Adamennon. Mincey masterpieces by Skuz and Thætas followed; remember, both are part of what looks to be a sweep-away grind show Monday, March 13 @ Brooklyn's Silent Barn. Other fan favorites included "Robot" by Pack, from an album chock full of hits, circa 1978, re-released by Ugly Pop in 2015 (glad I grabbed one before it seemingly sold out from everyone.) Contemporary rough edges came from Narcos, and Ohyda, Uniform and others. Healthy black servings, allowing me to stretch a bit, some served by Wither, Alkerdeel, Neptune's Inferno, and something great from the new Dumal full-length followed. Our last hour got predictably woozy, with something great I've been meaning to play on the show for three years by Panos Alexiadisnew work on Midwich from Viki; Monolake's "Cyan" (which actually prompted a phone call—which I answered!); and an excerpt from the progressively amazing Alexandra Atnif, the new tape, Session.2 is not to be missed.

It's more than timely to mention that the WFMU 2017 Marathon starts in less than two weeks (check that link for more info, to donate, and set your eyes on some swag previews), and I've got great things planned, including two shows co-hosted by two of my favorite people at WFMU; Jonathan Herweg (I referred to us as "The Rowan and Martin of Evil") and the quick-witted and charming Ms. Kelly Jones, with both I enjoy a free-flowing and damn funny rapport.

The My Castle of Quiet premium CD for 2017 is called Shrieks—something different, perhaps—a collection of cinelogue (dialogue and musical themes) from some of my favorite horror and cult-cinema oddities; hope you enjoy and are inspired to pledge therefor. Guess I better get to work on compiling that bitch! More info here as marathon time approaches rapidly.

Our screen capture this week was culled from the slow-to-build, but ultimately quite enjoyable Night of The Devils, another cinematic adaptation of Tolstoy's Wurdulak tale (we saw Mario Bava's in Black Sabbath), and when the kids with the pale complexions and bloodstained fingers are laughing at you, you're pretty much AT ODDS with the world.

Socks blown off this week by the obscure, French extreme-horror oddity Baby Blood, from the improbable year of 1990 ... Highly recommended, so enjoy!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Thanks for thinking of us lonely scumbags!

One week old, but keeps without refrigeration! ... Many of the kids I grew up around (some of the adults, too) would say, "Valentime's Day"—The Countess, Texas born and raised, had never heard that one; so, a Northeast (?) regional lazy-speech peculiarity, perhaps. No love was promoted (or harmed) in the context of our broadcast, holidays for me at least, not ever being a factor that drives My Castle of Quiet.

Posting the archive here now for sheer consistency, for any lack or gap... I was just too goddamn sick and weak to write anything last week.

Notes: 1999 vintage Lightning Bolt provoked a reaction; Neptune's Inferno, a BADASS "discovery," from 2014; R.I.P. Tony Särkkä, known to us all as It, visionary behind Abruptum, their CD-length dungeon rituals somehow making perfect, glorious sense—timed as those records were alongside the original 90s Scandinavian black-metal explosion—he'll be missed; the new Uniform LP continues to stand in front as one of the best records of 2017 so far, simply amazing; and last year's Total Abuse LP still wildly a favorite of this DJ. We ended last week's horrorcast™ (the concluding 90 mins. plus) with more of a bed/magic carpet of sound works, selections both harsh and melodic, even beat-based, dipping into my one Ambush 12", as well as works by KK Null, Leah P, Richard Ramirez, FRKSE, Hive Mind, and OPPONENTS live on our show in 2010.

That's it, really...the archive repost of LAST NIGHT'S horrorcast™ is coming later today. Thanks as always for listening, for your live comments and PMs [], and please remember that WFMU's 2017 Marathon begins 5th March, more details coming soon as to how our program will be staking its unique territory in the two weeks plus of festivities and fun-raising. It's always a party, and an exercise in camaraderie between our staff at large, and WFMU's wonderful and iconoclastic listeners. ...

Rock 'n' Roll and demons have always married well, and last week's screen capture comes from the movie Black Roses, a great slice of 1988 "good cheese"—those knucklehead rock boys never learn to properly vet those "willing" ladies that bounce happily back to the hotel room after the show, obviously, as shown above. Enjoy—

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

music school?

We are all of us demons. If no one has anything bad to say about you, you're doing something wrong. 

Still, I wish certain others were less silent about their reasons for turning away. I'd just assume have the confrontation and talk it out. I'm too old to worry about why specific individuals have a problem with me, almost too old to care, and I always try to do right by everyone to the extent of my capabilities.  You probably think this song is about you.

Amazingly tight, right? Solid and ballsy. Sid is even playing, and (mostly) hitting the right notes.

...Last night's excitement came in the form of old chestnuts by Butthole Surfers and Drunks With Guns, new works by M. Del Rio | IDES | Stinger | BIB | Mayhem | Inquisition | Abbath | Spiteful Womb | Sewer System | The Gate | ...and Alexandra Atnif

Thanks for listening, for indulging my penchant for longer pieces and musical extrapolations, for entering into the dialog of the playlist comments—I hope you got your punk on. I certainly did.

I leave you with this, because a film entitled Fertilize the Blaspheming Bombshell simply can't be all that bad, and any movie that starts with a torchlit procession of hooded figures is already demonstrating potential. ...

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Grim stuff

Granted, I haven't suffered the abuse and indignities that befall Laurent Lucas in Calvaire, but I now know well the meaning of The Ordeal. Given no other choice, I've embraced it, sort of. As many of you I'm sure already know, health stuff is hard to manage, and one must take an active hand in one's own wellness; It's an open-ended aeon, where progress/recovery passes so slowly as to be imperceptible.

Highlights of last night's horrorcast™ included: Moloch, 2008 vintage | new Magas, and Moon Pool and Dead Band, both on Midwich | another full album side from Old Tower | Burnt Hair | new Black Cilice single | new Inquisition album | new black metal from Voarm | new Uniform LP (!) | new Manateees LP | hits from yesteryear by The Gun Club, Steel Pole Bath Tub, and others ...

Keeping it quite short this week, as I'm off to "hospital" for more tests, and a possible procedure... Thank you all for tuning in, and for hearing the screams in the silence. I leave you with this, the trailer for Ghosthouse (1988, from FILMIRAGE, a name you can trust)--

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

in my boudoir I HOWL!

So desperate and barrel-scraping have my at-home Netflix DVD rentals become, that I rented & watched this Charles Band/Full Moon collection called Aliens Gone Wild!, featuring the "best" moments from 8 or 9 Full Moon-produced sci-fi/horror features. I can't even tell you which film this image above is from; what I can tell you is that everything about it appealed to me—from the wallpaper pattern & the weave on the bedding, to the muted color palette, and most importantly her hands and facial expression—what I interpret as, "I see death waiting for me; I know that I am moments away, and I am not afraid."

I am always compelled, despite a painful/limiting physical situation, to continue My Castle of Quiet's run as the not-quite-like-any-other-radio-show, people-either-really-get-it-or-they-don't iconoclastic enterprise, unique even within the alternative-culture bastion of WFMU. I mean why lie? I know that no one else quite does this, or would even think of or want to do this. And what inspires me? Why of course, the disarmingly steady of flow of great NEW music, which last night included but was not limited to:

A tape side by Jacksonville's Cays (which garnered much-deserved appreciation on our playlist, and also proved I wasn't misfiring by not coming punk and metal right out of the gate, as I most often do) | J Slusher & A Pleasure (creepy, urban electronica) | a fantastic, brass-based live-group improvisation from Blood Rhythms ...

And for my own, further rousing pleasures were derived from the Leah P Live in Japan 12" | Ramlord | Cioran | True Love | Maledicere from 2009 | Durazis | Bludded Head from 2014 ...

...So remember that look, and don't fear the reaper. Ideally Castleheads are engaged in some version of that expression/sentiment whilst listening, because what it carries above all is peace, for we are never at peace as long as we fear death, to say nothing of that fear leading to stronger stuff like religious faith and herd obedience.

Lastly, I'd like to highly recommend the first bit of cinema that brought me to silent applause this year, an Indian film unlike any you've ever seen, a mockumentary (most definitely not a comedy) about a sociopathic Mumbai rickshaw driver, a twitch-in-your-seat creepy little adventure called Autohead; trailer below.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Unpredictability, always preferred (sorry I didn’t hate 2016) … films and music

Every year, when viewed as a 12-month chunk, is a summation of losses and gains. Sometimes one outweighs the other, and sometimes, losses v. gains as measured by the populace at large tell a very different story than when measured by the individual. I didn’t end 2016 shaking my fist at the heavens for taking away some single-named musical greats; I had more, very personal reasons for both wrath and gratitude toward the year that was, not least of all the movies and music on the accompanying list.

In cinema, I always want to be surprised, shocked, and to have my expectations confounded, even dashed. This is precisely what keeps me passionate about film post-1980—otherwise, I’d just be watching my Michael Findlay and Jean Rollin favorites over and over. It’s movies like Cub, Victoria, and Lake Nowhere that cause me to continually take chances on contemporary cinema, while many others are content to mutter, “Conjuring 2 was pretty good.” No. No it wasn’t. Not nearly good enough.

Cub Let me take a wild stab here and guess that many, nay the majority reading this, have suffered the stigma of being the “weird kid,” with troubles the group didn’t want to bother to understand. Well, here is your triumph. This visually exquisite and tight thriller about a Belgian scout troop on a French holiday pulls no punches (animal abuse, multiple child deaths, gory endings for both male and female adults) and yet boasts a rounded, satisfying conclusion that will somehow have you (or I should say, had me) applauding that someone made a wholly original horror film with a continually surprising story that goes nowhere you’ll expect, and yet ends somewhere that makes absolute sense and will satisfy most viewers. You’ll feel like you “watched something” after Cub, and if you’re at all like me your mind will resonate with its images and shocks. Add to that the marriage of an artful and well-paced electronic score by Steve Moore, and this one is pretty unmissable.

Victoria A single-shot film, and Russian Ark it ain’t. A drama/action thriller, slyly tense from the get-go, Victoria tells the story of the eponymous heroine, a cafe worker from out-of-country, and one night in Berlin she spends with a charming, albeit thuggish, group of guys who end up needing her help direly. By morning, nothing will ever be the same. Victoria is a harrowing film experience, pretty much seizing the very definition of “thriller.” Fans of The Shield will remember how it felt to be shoulder-to-shoulder with the actors as grimy drug houses had their doors kicked in, and the camera in Victoria behaves in much the same way—you’re with this crew of unfortunate unprofessionals, as heists go panicked and awry, bullets fly overhead or just nearby, and death and disaster loom. I’ve already said too much.

The Corpse of Anna Fritz Ever seen a necrophilia/revenge movie? This one may be the first. Though The Corpse of Anna Fritz is played for tense thrills, (dead) serious all the way, after two viewings I couldn’t help but take away a “comedy” vibe from this Spanish oddity, simply because the bad decisions made by the trio of male characters escalates so unbelievably quickly, I felt like the devil on their shoulder laughing at them as they take the slippy slide into hell. Let me be clear: you have to be ok with corpsefucking (simulated, movie-style) to watch this movie; what’s depicted is brutal, no question, but just when that brutality is beginning to utterly sicken you, that’s when the unexpected gets rolling, and roll it does. A wild ride, and I’m glad I watched it twice.

The Witch Mainstream? Yes. Many of you reading this will have already seen it? Sure. But The Witch (or VVitch) warrants inclusion here simply because it is one of the best horror films made within the last 20 years. Director Robert Eggers held back his idea, until he could find investors that were willing to shell out for 17th-century-authentic fence posts, and that dedication to an idea, that creative passion, well in this case it’s a winner because it meticulously creates a world where you are lifted out of your theater seat or off your couch into absolute New-England-settlement realism, a time when witches were very real in the minds of the faithful, and the garden-variety horrible (like dead crops, disease, death and hunger) happened with regularity. Did I mention the allegory of feminine coming-of-age, and its “threat” to a good, Puritan family? That’s there too, The VVitch spares no one, and no awful possibility, for a family literally just trying to survive in the New World. Nothing that happens is expected, or even pleasant, but as the film concludes, you may be moved to spontaneous applause, and will definitely feel like, “goddamn, I watched a MOVIE there.” Indispensable, for both horror geeks and mainstream cineastes.

Crush The Skull It’s important to me every year to dig for the gold, to find those little films that are well made, often despite smaller budgets, because the acting, dialogue, situations, and most importantly the ideas are all solidly in place. You won’t understand the title until the very end, and it’d be a shame for me to ruin that moment for you. What I can say is that Crush The Skull is about a group of amateur thieves who case and choose the wrong house for robbery—the abode of a serial killer and captive torturer—and what sets it far apart from box-office boomer Don’t Breathe, that plot aside, is measurable; not only did Crush The Skull come first, but it’s fuckin’ funny, often hilarious. It’s horror-comedy, without any doubt, when severed heads still speak, and the moves of the killer(s?) are far from perfect, especially when one considers Hollywood’s record of flawlessness and omniscience when it comes to serial murderers. Great writing, fun cast, dynamite opening scene, so many good things to say about Crush The Skull, but just see it.

Green Room Here we go with another mainstream film that many of you reading will have probably seen already, but it’s that resonance, that “makes you think about stuff” quality, that helped Green Room bump a few perhaps lesser-known titles off of this list. Director Jeremy Saulnier (and in no small part actor/co-producer Macon Blair) impressed the hell out of me with their first joint effort, Blue Ruin, an ultra-twisted, modern Hatfields/McCoys bummerfest, and Green Room finds that team with more money, bigger-name talent, and a wholly different story to tell, that of some luckless punk rockers who end up witnessing a murder at a skinhead club, a gig they took out of desperation in the first place. From there, the whole house of cards tumbles, lots of characters you’ll like die horribly, and Patrick Stewart puts in an evil, nonchalant turn as the white-supremacist group leader. The ending to Green Room is equal parts bleak and triumphant, and anyone who hasn’t seen it at this reading might want to hop on, because I, among many others, eagerly await seeing what Saulnier et al. will produce next.

Darling A difficult proposition perhaps for some, because Darling is a contemporary re-imagining of Roman Polanski’s Repulsion, which so many of us know and love, but for me Darling does so with aplomb, hitting all the right notes at all the right times. Trading Paris for NY’s upper crust, blonde for brunette (the lovely and hypnotic Lauren Ashley Carter), and the slow descent into madness for supernatural/Satanic forces that may be controlling the show in this most-ritzy of Manhattan dwellings, Darling plays like a dream director Mickey Keating must have had about Repulsion, like that room that’s not your room but it is, and though the elemental parts are basically the same, stroboscopic/hallucinatory effects, supernatural rumbles, whispers, and Satanic messages carved into locked doors take the place of a rotten rabbit carcass on a plate, and cruel ladies at the beauty parlor. Darling is a cool film, and I recommend even skeptics give it a chance. It all ends up “nicely” with a song by My Castle of Quiet regulars Harassor.

Plague Town Ahh, Ireland. I’m such an Eire-o-phile that sometimes it hurts, but I wouldn’t want to be this hapless American family, who on a search for some ancestral roots, at first seem like they’re traipsing into predictable horror terrain, primed to be picked off one-by-one, but no, this town, aptly named, has other plans for some of them, and the combination of graphic gore, woodsy ritual magic, and the suggestion of birth deformities and inbreeding is positively creepy. That’s it, this little gem is ultra creepy, there are scenes that will make you squirm, and it’s clear the filmmakers had about two dimes to scrape together, but again, ideas, ideas, ideas—that is and always will be what good horror movies are all about—not bodycounts, not backwoods chases, not cliché after cliché, and homage after homage à la Rob Zombie. Plague Town is clever, and shockingly violent; a little tale of the Irish countryside that sits comfortably among the more puffed-up productions on this list.

Lake Nowhere Goddamn these people had fun. Lake Nowhere looks and feels like a rented, abused VHS from a crappy neighborhood video store (remember those?), and that effect (complete with mock trailers) could damn a film to dismissible corniness, but in Lake Nowhere, every piece of the puzzle fits beautifully, and its smartly concise 55-min. runtime will feel like a full meal. Even the premise threatens to underwhelm, as a group of a half-dozen or so friends retreat to a lake house (!) for some partying, r & r, etc.—BUT JUST YOU WAIT! One guy takes too long of a dip in the nearby lake and he comes back er, somewhat beyond life and death, and bloody, bloody violence ensues. To tell you any more would be criminal, but Lake Nowhere ends up as one of the subtlest, most-disturbing and memorable horror journeys I took this year.

The Duke of Burgundy Ah! The struggles of the Dom. No one understands. Well, now you can, in this perfectly hung fruit of a 60s-70s period piece, by director Peter Strickland. This might as well have been made in 1972, played on a double bill with something like Straight on Till Morning, the recreation of production design and most importantly the mood of that era are so palpable. In a palatial home, two beautiful women, one a bit younger, play out a tightrope-walk of a romantic/sexual dynamic that’s pretty much tense from the very first scene. Look deep into the crotch of those suffocating but oh-so-wonderfully seamed black stockings, because what’s there isn’t exactly as pretty as you’d like, and involves enormous compromise, patience and exhaustion. Ultra clever and otherworldly in its perfection.

Mystic Inane - ass't 7"s | Scumripper -s/t | Dry Insides - all | Cape of Bats - Violent Occultism, etc. | Wounds - III | Nordwind/Order of the White Hand - split | Muerte - all | James Harlow - s/t | Prison Moan - Parasite Hole | Pink Mass - SLVT KVLT | Steve Moore - Cub OST | Obduktio - s/t | Moros - Life Assisted Suicide | Vlk - Of Wolves' Blood | Total Abuse - Excluded | Graves at Sea - The Curse That Is | The Repos - Poser | Wet Ones - s/t | KK Null - Plasmagma | Cadaver Eyes - Class Mammal | Absolute Power - s/t | Alkerdeel - Lede | Hostium - The Bloodwine of Satan | Cherubs - 2 Ynfynyty + Fist in the Air | Verminaard - Wardens of a Light-Starved Realm | Haxen - s/t | Null & Void - The Immeasurable Dark | Slave House - s/t | Nurse - s/t | Crowhurst - II | Ustalost - The Spoor of Vipers | True Love - Meditating Through Illusion | Bleak - No Light, No Tunnel | Lead Sprinkler - Ne Pas Peindre Le Diable Sur Le Mer | The Gate - Live! | Finished - Cum Inside Me Bro | SIRE - s/t demo | OPPONENTS - Blood on the Streets | Vasculae - Head Against Wall | Istidraj - Metafizika | Street Sects - End Position | Thanatoloop - Torturadortorturado | Misery Ritual - I Hurt Because I Must | Our Place of Worship Is Silence - The Embodiment of Hate | Alexandra Atnif - 2CD | Jackie Ransom - Final Exposure | Architeuthis Dux - Submergence | Beheat Gorum de Mentheurd - The Voyage of Life | Orodruin/Old Tower - split | Virginia Creep - s/t EP | Uniform - Ghosthouse | Basarabian Hills - Groping To a Misty Spread | Lord Time - Mandatory Human Livestock Reduction | Sovereign - In The Abyss of My Soul | IDES - Born To Run In Place | Haare - Regression + Meditations | Narcos - White Dog | Hatchers - The Riverward Suite | Âmes Sanglantes - Human Pillar

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Tarkus saved my life once.

I like an old Melvins tune, how about youuuuuuuuu? I like some Mossy doom, how about youuuuuu?

"From the flight of the seagull, come the spread claws of the eagle, only fear breaks the silence, as we all kneel pray for guidance..." Feeling this way lately? Surprised that Emerson, Lake and Palmer can be at all relevant in 2017? Don't be. What's old is new again.

Bedazzling: IDES | Evocación | Seol | Sovereign | Cowardice | The Lowest Form | Ohyda | HOGG | Beheat Gorum de Mentheurd | Âmes Sanglantes | Architeuthis Dux


And there up top we have Hollywood's—nay America's—Golden Boy; actor, director, lover of wives and children, winner of awards, with not a scandal attached to his name, in a bit of a jam there in Drive (a tender moment for me especially because Christina Hendricks' head has just been blown clean off), but he'll make it. A REAL HERO, AND A HUMAN BEING. 

Expect the My Castle of Quiet 2016 wrap-up film list (with notation) and music dump to post tomorrow, or at the very least before week's end.

Thank you one and all for lending your ears and minds to last night's horrorcast™.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017


Sometimes, often, it just comes down to this—whatever nightmares you've endured, and whatever horrors you've perpetrated—a dead guy and his devoted dog tell the tale. Final. True. What a great and poignant moment from Jeremy Saulnier's Green Room; canines don't traverse in right or wrong, objective judgments—only the presence and word of their beloved master.

So, I'm back, rickety as fuck, but hell, the accumulation of absolutely great new black metal, punk, and noise "pulled me back in"—not that I ever thought I was out (in contrast to Michael Corleone)—it was just a matter of time, in this field of achingly gradual recovery in which I now live.


The new Uniform, deservedly so, was a dynamite highlight; their two-man strike force pushing a lot of contemporary heavy music to the cookie-cutter periphery. Also inspiring Castlehead commentary were Necromorbid | Devil Master | Ides | Patrick Cowley & Candida Royale ...

Personal highs and "discoveries" included the new Sovereign 12" on Seed Stock (rec. 2009) | The Lowest Form | BIB 7" | the Barghest / Thou split 10" | works by Haare | Black Sand Desert & Unsustainable Social Condition | Dolce ...


Oh and THAT LIST, that one I do every year, of films that made a resonant impression on me, and virtually all the new music that stopped me in my tracks in 2016, it's coming. I know how much you all LOVE those year-end lists, haha, but, myself somewhat derailed/uninspired by a twisted physical state, enthused composition didn't happen/was delayed. I figured just as well, let you recover from everyone's else's 2016 wrap-up—then I, with a week or two of hunkered-down writing, plus the benefit of a few weeks' hindsight, could er, dazzle—maybe even bedazzle, but I hesitate to set the bar quite that high. Anyway, keep your eyes peeled (and no, The Autopsy of Jane Doe is not on it); I'll do my best to shove it in your faces anyway.


Your multitude of welcoming comments on our playlist was just the juice that I needed, very much appreciated. Back next week.

Monday, January 2, 2017

MCoQ returns tomorrow night...yeah I dunno

Guts twisted, neck only now starting to hold straight—fuck it, I return. SEVEN WEEKS of radio is enough to miss. ...Whom else will bring you the decrepit roar and screech that you have come to expect?

Can't thank enough my WFMU colleagues who filled in (Jeff M., Jonathan Herweg, Prof Dum Dum, Michele), and the scores more fellow staff and listener friends who wrote concerned/kind/heartfelt emails & letters, sent dazzling care packages, and brought by homemade pierogi. You're a great group! Didn't realize I'd engendered so much good will over the years, but there you have it—truly, thanks!

Neuropathy is freezing my fingers as I type; not gonna lie—I got FUUUUCKED UP, and some conditions/symptoms are ongoing, but that said, I'm not one to go on at length about my personal maladies (hint: no one really digs it) and yeah, after weeks of forming Castle playlists in my head, I could stand the wait no longer.

So... Welcome to rice fields, motherfucker!

...And while you're at it, check out My Castle of Quiet's new logo & playlist-archive topper (for bold, new times) designed and executed by Matt Neatly, longtime Castle supporter, great friend, and all-around solid guy. And yes, Jean Rollin's heartbroken nun from Fiancée of Dracula remains.