Friday, August 31, 2012

Nein. Ist schwarze metal scheisse.

Since its genesis in the early 1990s, black metal is a genre that has transmogrified wildly, both informing and having been informed by the surrounding culture. As much as bm "hates," no musical style is an island, however badly it may want to be, and this cultural outflow and influx was/is inevitable. From the very beginning, there were bm bands that I loved to hate (names withheld), who commodified / slicked-up the music in a way that seemed to betray its arch, subcultural identity—with light shows, super-tight arrangements and virtuoso stylings. What impressed me, as a man already well into my 30s when I really started listening, was that bm was a genre of youthful enthusiasm, rage, frustration, and immense creativity, inspired by the darkest emotions, seemingly (to me, anyway) custom-designed for demo cassettes, 7" singles, and CDs and LPs that despite some production value, still sounded like they were recorded live to 1 or 2 microphones in some shitty basement. Black metal was my teenage eruption, the "youth" I missed out on, as I began grabbing up releases left and right, starved for inspiration.

As RB, last night's guest DJ, pointed out in our off-air conversation, the mid-1990s to early 2000s was a boom period, where black metal spread across the globe, and perhaps thousands of bands formed and released demos, and this period especially was extremely well-represented in RB's playlist. He's a deep collector, and his collection is a dazzling array of gorgeous CS-LP-CD covers that would easily fill several photography-fetish books, to say nothing of the sheer sound on these ragged musical artifacts.

Needless to say, the original, Norwegian template for the genre has morphed 1,000 times over, much to my and RB's delight (and presumably that of any deep bm fan), with each artist running down their own, unique, arterial road. In our fast-paced information age, black metal still strikes me as music that's passed hand-to-hand, ear-to-ear, individual-to-individual—a manic subcultural explosion that refuses to stop, or even rest.

Every selection from RB's pile was a gem (like a true WFMU DJ, he brought along twice the material req'd to fill the available time), and the arc of bm's history was represented thoroughly and comprehensively as his sets evolved. Noted in the playlist comments were Asmodee (pre-S.V.E.S.T.), Wulkanaz (unreleased LP preview!), Cult of the Lizard God, a track from Hardcore Devo Vol. 1 (!), and my own "noise-bridge" selection of HHL. It goes without saying that last night's selections were the mere tip of the hateful, blackened iceberg, especially when one contemplates what's potentially "out there" for the taking.

Check out last night's playlist and audio archive (with some stunning tape-cover scans embedded into the comments field!), by clicking on our Kung-Fu-cannibal fighters above—still taken from the eccentric, Chinese horror-comedy classic We're Going To Eat You.

Coming next week on My Castle of Quiet—an exclusive, live set from Sutekh Hexen! More info at the MCoQ Facebook group page > "join" the event!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Tonight on The Castle ... SEED STOCK RETURNS!

A second offering of nose-to-the-brimstone selections from RB, the creative force behind Raspberry Bulbs and Seed Stock Records, and a passionate black metal collector. RB returns to My Castle of Quiet for his second guest-DJ appearance (here's a link to Seed Stock broadcast/playlist #1.) A program of obscurities, demo cassettes, rare and out-of-print vinyl—basically, a boatload of black metal that many fans will be hard-pressed to find.

The last Seed Stock show wowed many MCoQ listeners, and inspired some (myself included) to go hard-digging for these tatty musical gems, so don't miss this second go-round of scarce and outstanding selections.


I turn all the crosses upside down @ midnight.
SS selections begin @ 12:15 a.m. approx.
WFMU 91.1 FM (NY/NJ)
WMFU 90.1 FM (Hudson Valley) live on the Web, with real-time accu-playlist and message board.

Friday, August 24, 2012

[...] one of the best radio shows on the planet!

Thanks, Schlockmaster! This morning, I need the compliment. The better the show, the harder the come down afterward I suppose, and last night's was a doozy, not only thanks to my selections, but to the vigorous, plate-shifting performance by Divorce Money! Just ... just ... Wow! Rene from DM was wearing a Joy Division t-shirt—just a logo, and Ian Curtis' "I am lost in this world" visage staring out. Some 10 hours later, I am thinking of the JD lyric, "I've been waiting for a guide to come, and take me by the hand." In that one line, which begins the first song on Joy Division's first "proper" LP, Ian Curtis summed up with such tremendous eloquence and poetry, mankind's yearning to hop a ride across the River Styx, to leave human pain and frailties behind forever. In one line, Curtis had already defined his career, made his grand statement. Some live life to the absolute fullest, jumping into its joys with a full heart and both feet—climbing mountains, white-water rafting, etc.—while a great many others, myself included, view what we have here as a "way station," a distantly familiar bahnof where we're not sure we quite belong. In fact, we're sure that we don't belong, but here we are.

Caught one member short, Divorce Money presented something far beyond the "expected"—not a reeling, live rendering of the songs from their 7" and tape—but a weighty, bottom-heavy, fit of mid-tempo gut punch; (perhaps the closest comparison I could make would be classic Flipper, or Missing Foundation) still very much a Divorce Money set though, flooded with that careening passion that I attempted to describe in the broadcast's advance promotion. DM's set will be coming soon to the Free Music Archive, by way of my curator portal there (of which I'm quite proud—could you tell?)

Noted in the playlist comments were Swollen Organs ("Sexy!" as someone remarked; Jimmy of The Communion's highgrade noise creations); Aerugo (top-shelf new black metal tape; eerie and cobwebbed in ways I'm at a loss to describe); wispy, ethereal, chamber anti-pop from DA; staggeringly great new work from KILT (US tour begins 9/4!), as well as a veritable flood of support for our live guests!

You may click on our heroine above, emerging as she is from a drop-tunnel that will set her out at The Heart of the World, to access the playlist and streaming audio of last night's horrorcast™.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Divorce Money LIVE on MCoQ radio, this Thursday night / Fri. a.m.

In our ongoing effort to ensnare the best, modern, tenebrous hardcore/punk bands, this week My Castle of Quiet presents a live set from Divorce Money.

Brooklyn's Divorce Money sound airborne, wicked and lurching—an 18-wheeler, flying off a cliff in alternating fast- and slow-motion. You can hear a few tracks from DM at their myspace page, linked above.

The band is part of a mighty, new generation of dark punk bands that have been on the rise since the turn of the millennium. With one cassette demo and a vinyl EP under their belts, Divorce Money have already established their mettle as an empowered, creative entity—ripe and ready for a My Castle of Quiet visit.

For fans of Drunkdriver, Veins, Salvation, Total Abuse, et al.

I count out my ammo (head shots only!), board up the windows, stock up on canned goods, etc. @ midnight.
DM @ 12:30 a.m. approx.
WFMU 91.1 FM (NY/NJ)
WMFU 90.1 FM (Hudson Valley) live on the Web, with real-time accu-playlist and message board.

Friday, August 10, 2012

*just* what the Voudoun Queen ordered

 Ah yes, slugluv, "much negativity" in my evening as well, and I only wish that last night's horrorcast™ had been as soothing and comforting for myself as it was for thee. I tend to dwell on crossed wires and miscommunications, and let them eat away at me; I'm always seeking "closure," or at least resolution, to conflicts, and sometimes it just isn't in the forecast.

...and as to "Voudoun Queen(s)," you got me thinking about Maya Deren, and how she bombarded her system with amphetamines and Cafe Bustelo, until it killed her. What a pleasure she must have been to deal with on her coffee highs, albeit one of the great artists and personalities of old New York. I certainly don't need any "speeding up" myself—my brain does that all for me—so I can only imagine the great choreographer chewing up the wallpaper at 3 a.m. ...Perhaps if she were around today, Maya Deren would be a Castle listener.
Let's hope so!

A hot poker through the breadbasket, one shovel of soft dirt over my face, and I call it a day. I keep asking; the non-existent Great Creator keeps not answering. Prayers of "convenience" unheeded. (Probably at the service of those that check-in regularly, rather than just when they have a problem.)

The antidote to an oppressive Summer—kill yourself! We desperately need some thinning of the herd anyway. Only problem, those most inclined to suicide would probably be the ones we'd prefer to keep around, as I don't see the vapid, privileged-Manhattanite party crowd getting self-reflective any time soon. I often think of Laura Huxley's idea of spraying a riotous crowd with LSD—all that mirror-looking in one place, all fast and sudden-like! Suddenly, a thousand black-mini-dress wearing, underfed nymphs all confronting their shallowness at once, Mommy-help-me tears flooding the streets and running into the gutters ... one CAN dream!

On our playlist, I'm thinking Vile Gash may just be the best band of the moment, that Deluded EP being the "Nervous Breakdown" for the current generation of punks. What a ride! Like a fast, fat-free Flipper, VG pound out flat all the rage, frustration and angst of the moment—a brief, sudden, very-well-written, angry post-it note. Take that, world!

Y'all liked our "roaring start," a classic track from Venom, Belketre, Tukaaria, and WOLD, WOLD, WOLD! Tracks from Death Factory, Alberich and Lussuria, which closed out our last half-hour, I found personally very gratifying, kind of like this rain that's falling now ... much-needed fuel for the soul.

I'm off-air next week, heading to WVa to play Voice of the Valley—come out for the 3-day festival if so inclined; it's well worth it, my performance (first solo set in more years than I can remember) notwithstanding; check that link for the full, three-day, two-stage event lineup. Castle favorites C. Lavender, Telecult Powers, Grasshopper, Bee Mask, Leslie Keffer and Bludded Head are all performing, amongst a great many others; Forma, Tiger Hatchery, Reviver ... the list goes on!

My Castle of Quiet radio returns in two weeks, with the rescheduled Divorce Money live appearance, followed the week after by Seed Stock Records' guest-DJ appearance Vol. 2!

Lots more planned for September and October, too, but I'll hold onto that news for an upcoming post.

Click on our doomed heroine, from Guy Maddin's Twilight of the Ice Nymphs, to reach the playlist and audio archives of this week's hard-boiled horrorcast.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Slightly waning, but I think werewolves can still change.

"Everyone needs it—Carotine!" I'm often thinking of song rewrites for advertising, etc., and that's what's been running through my head today. A dormant talent, one that I probably could have cashed in on long ago, were I the cash-in type. "Kerosene" is one of those songs that just never gets old, in fact, if you're sick of hearing it, ala "Stairway to Heaven" et al., there must be something WRONG with YOU. Big Black's "Kersosene" is a funky, raunchy and hard-hitting postcard of small-town American angst. A "danceable solution" to 20th century inertia, entropy and rage.


That entropy followed us into this century, though the energy on the street tells me that people are doing one of two things—they're either getting richer, or, for the majority of us, becoming even more pissed off and restless. Just have a look at what's been happening in Mexico, if you have any doubt.

On a personal level, I certainly haven't had a satisfactory night's sleep since the thermometer broke 88°F, and that changes your lens on everything, generally for the worse, though one does get to a point of "acceptance," where you come to resign yourself with never feeling quite well, the stinging eyes and mild hallucinations, etc. ... Unrest—rather than lack of rest—gives me a reason to get up in morning, and globally, things are moving beyond malaise and frustration, into action.

And yes, I've been playing more hardcore on the show these days (though it's always been there), mostly because there's so much great hxcx coming out lately, and also because it helps a lot with that feeling of wanting to run around, leaving Wm.-sized holes in the walls everywhere. Their rage and dark, detonating energy makes mine feel more "acceptable." FTW~!

Noted in the playlist comments were Salvation, Anu, the aforementioned Big Black anthem, Alma Negra (just look at that tormented youth in his KISS t-shirt!), the dulcet moanings of Forlis, and Alberich (live video at that link.)

Also want to say a special "hi" to my new friend Stefano, whose project Spettro Family references Italian horror and Giallo soundtracks in all the right ways—quite-pleasingly reminiscent, while not being repetitive, overtly derivative or "retro." I hope to get down to working on a collaborative track with SF in the coming week.

On that topic, I've been reminded recently that I do create sounds of my own, so accustomed to the role of curator I've become (and quite honestly, that's my "comfort zone"), with an invitation to play live and solo (eek!) at the Voice of the Valley festival in West Va., Aug. 17-19. More info at that link, but many friends and Castle favorites are also performing, my set coming up third on the "big stage," early evening on Saturday the 18th. Looking forward, and trying to prepare something that will actually entertain a few people!

Also want to take this moment and space to say to all the artists who've sent me music and have received back a positive response, first of all thanks, please know that I AM listening, and I WILL play your recordings in due course. No need to ask if I've already said "I like it." I could very easily fill out two shows a week, or an in-the-moment 4-to-5-hour broadcast, with all the material you've very graciously sent. I do however enjoy the challenge of letting my natural filter take over, and telling me what will make up the too-often fleeting 180 minutes on any given week's program.

And speaking of hardcore, we return next week with Divorce Money LIVE, don't miss it!!

Click on the still above (those tits don't seem quite attached, do they?), from The Blood-Spattered Bride, to reach the audio-archive options, playlist and comments board for this week's horrorcast™.