Wednesday, August 16, 2017

STREAMING NOW: MUCH WORSE // FUCKING COWARDS MPLS20170617- FULL FEATURE FILMS

THIS IS: 
PENGUIN CAT MEDIA #002, #003, #004

The full feature is here on this blog via YouTube, on my new channel PENGUIN CAT MEDIA! In this post, I am simultaneously releasing two entire sets for MUCH WORSE and FUCKING COWARDS, as well as a 3 song Video Demo for Much Worse’s upcoming LP, all filmed inside a finely archaeologically tuned sonic vortex that is the hallway shaped venue that is GRUMPY’S DOWNTOWN, a spectacular and historically significant venue here in Minneapolis, MN. See bottom of blog for “How It Was Made”, and lyrical content.

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MUCH WORSE- 3 SONGS 2017 (UPCOMING LP VIDEO DEMO)


MUCH WORSE MPLS20170716 FULL FEATURE FILM



FUCKING COWARDS MPLS20170617 FULL FEATURE FILM


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HOW IT WAS MADE: Currently, I’m fairly new to film-making and actively spend my free time reading and studying about it, I sought to animate the lighting set-up of these shows we film with absolutely still lighting, contrary to high dollar style venues, or low lighting set-ups. The house lights are simply never enough for us. 

The night before the show, I had stayed up till like 5am watching cool VHS tapes with two of the people who helped film, Vicki Carpenter and Daniel Gerritsen, both who have extended film backgrounds far beyond my own. Without their intuition, experience and advice, the quality of this shoot would have not been possible.

Early, around noon that day of the show, Ben Herreid (1/3 of Penguin Cat) and I arrived to the venue for what was to become a 10pm show that night, running on maybe 2-3 hours of sleep. With permission from the venue, we were allowed to crawl up and down the walls, scaling the heights of the room’s brick walls to attach our entire set-up of lighting, extension cords, and audio recorders. Using gaff tape and real redneck southern tricks up my sleeve, I came up with contraptions such as these (image below left).
DRUMSTICK TRIANGLE
GAFF TAPED TO
A TRIPOD WAND THING
WITH POWER SUPPLY
FOR AUDIO CAPTURE
DEVICE
I wanted the lights to emanate a "Metal Gear Solid 2" vibe. This was one of the most exciting parts, however, to direct this film from behind a drum set, with only one take to use in itself lied a purely theatrical challenge. The camera crew I was working with could not have done a finer job, many of which, like Jim Orput of the killer hardcore punk band NO SKIN, intuitively understand how to be in tune with extreme music aesthetics.

So, let’s rewind six weeks prior to the show: Jeffrey Truckenmiller tells me he has a brand spankin’ new band called FUCKING COWARDS featuring this guy I’ve heard so much about named Travis Bos. Jeff invites Much Worse to do a two band show at Grumpy's. In my mind, this was a perfect opportunity to shoot a full feature film of our two bands. I mean, why the hell not? For my band, we write the setlist six weeks in advance, and in our space, we record the audio for the entire set start to finish, once a week. Multiple practices a week, so that when we played this set, it was at it’s prime control. Missing even a single note or breaking up the tempo during this shoot constantly haunted my mind for 6 straight weeks, knowing the structures and tempos are grueling and extremely fast, and knowing that I wanted it done in one single shot.

The limitation to this BLITZ-FILM-STYLE puts the actual performance under tedious pressure to get it right in one take, in front of a live audience, as a means to maintain the honesty of what the performers are capable of, under realistic pressure. It’s much like an actor who consistently rehearses their lines and, oh wait, shit… you’re also the director of the same movie. Then afterwards, you’re the editor. Also you have about an hour’s worth of tape to use, so you better not screw up at all. Creative control is the epitome of DIY culture, right? I call it the epitome of fun. For this film, I feel like it’s an expressive success for the all around talent the Twin Cities have to offer.

The second after editing the ending of the final song “Sick Feeling” of the Much Worse set, I set the shot to my own face, to illustrate what it actually looks like to see the intense metaphysical stress that was making this live film come to a performing close. In my mind I was only thinking, “Did I do it? Did they do it too?” Weeks of anticipation and an entire day of building the set by ourselves, steamed off of me, and all I could feel was relief. I felt like I went skydiving. Now I want to go again. Next up on deck are sets we recorded for EX NUNS, and many more.

Shout out to FUCKING COWARDS for being one of the freshest and best all-star hardcore bands around town right now. All these guys in that band are extremely cool, and I hope one day I can bring a stack of records over to Travis’ house and go down the rabbit hole of history with such an extremely prolific performer. 

Special thanks to Jeffrey Truckenmiller for being a constant source of inspiration and actual fire up my ass to believe in this stuff.
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MUCH WORSE- 3 SONGS 2017 VIDEO DEMO LYRICS

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IMPERMANENCE
refined reactions, surrendered fists
and blatant distractions
numb thoughts, indifference
no happenstance
there’s no chance
deep state of sleeping late
less awake than
you even know, we are not shown
you are bestowed, mind all your own

can you accept your impermanence
will you remain in indolence

wrenching phantasmic dream, forensic team
malicious involvement
luring the crescent moon, a resting mood
tension revolver
surprise in present time
blurred party lines
praise on parade, hate and malaise
evolve the amazed, crazed and afraid

can you accept your impermanence
will you remain in indolence

faithful the tasteless leap
the crowding collections
piled upon the faltering heap
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MONARCH EFFECT
stranded, unshielded from sunlight invasion
abating sandtracks, treading abrasion
i just wanna crawl down in it
vermiculation infinite

knife to sarcophagus,
a message to the future

like i could sneak beneath this layer
nursing dust in my lungs
seeking for moisture deep underneath
90 seconds of solar relief

drown to death in thirst
drown to death in thirst

shrunken and drenched in sepulchre organic
to wake up inside these moisturous genetics
brain stem switch / a new set of parents
500 years since i drowned in the desert

message from a coffin
"you are your own creator"

uncovered promethean device
triggered memory
written by myself from an ancient generation
polysaccheride reanimation

drown to life in birth
drown to life in birth
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SUBSERVIENCE
connections lost
heads split transceiver
fragile nostalgia
burnt smell deceiver
a phony aroma
wired to your frame
only thinking as the others say

all pointless chatter as we rot in a privilige
all roads are blocked

killing our true convictions of their due executions
your eyes are not so closed
can't sleep from what your stomach knows

so you're laying low, full of bad vibrations
the sinking stones of inebriation 
we're all glassed away in multitudes
we all pray one day that we might burn right through

their plans in motion
ceaseless restriction
estimated cost: guaranteed extinction

a phony aroma, wired to your frame
only thinking as the others say


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--IRA

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

GEIGER COUNTER- s/t LP OUT NOW!!!

Greetings all,
Before I describe bits of making our new LP, I'll attempt to briefly describe the privilege of one of my favorite modern drummers in America, the one and only Joe B (Question, Condominium, Cognitive Dissonance + long history of killer punk), approaching me only a couple of months after I had moved to the twin cities in 2015. That summer, while staying up until 7:30am, listening to THIS PERFECT RECORD and other great hardcore punk records after a SKEMATA show with Jeff Young, he approached me to tell me that he would very soon be moving to Brooklyn, and thus sought me as his replacement of the drumkit after having heard some of my material. "Dude, it has you're style written all over it, you got this!", or something like that, is in the ballpark of what he said to me. Knowing him, I was just floored he would even ask me, especially since I was the new guy in town.

At first, upon agreeing to do it, I hesitated to practice with them until I could get in shape to even perform the songs so I could do justice for the insane pacing set forth by Joe's mastered style.  (if you don't believe me, then check out the Geiger Counter- Fear Tomorrow Demo HERE with Joe B on drums!!)

Grueling practice after practice in my space for two straight months to slowly pick the speed of the full-triple-note-discharge-beat up, I arrived to my first practice with Geiger Counter in September of 2015. "You're playing these songs really really really really fast," they'd tell me. I felt a sigh of relief, knowing I could actually pull this stuff off. It had felt like climbing a mountain to get my d-beat speed there to that point.

In all reality, I was scared to death to play these songs live, or even follow the demo with an LP. The demo was raw as hell and in my opinion it was just too good. How in the hell do I follow this? 

Try.
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In performing several shows and some brief midwest tours, getting to know these guys has been prolific to say the least. Their insane work ethic with music, records, and early morning practicing speaks such a fluent language to me. On top of the practices, I'm having to ride a bike or a skateboard with my cymbal bags, snare drum, kick pedal, and backpack with recording gear. Will Henke always has new records from the other side of the world to show everyone, nearly every time we hang out. Not to mention that his record label is hit-after-hit of killer hardcore punk releases. It's definitely worth checking out.

After a year and a half of writing this record and performing live with this band, we set up to record the LP in January of 2017 with Matt Castore. Easily one of my favorite recording sessions ever. Just went in and out and played the songs like butter, and Matt contributed to process in such a constructive way. He allowed me to be a goofball in his basement, probably something most people aren't used to.

Will, Kalvin and Charlie, collectively work hard to make sure the lyrics match the dark aesthetic of the bands sound, and reminisce of William Gibson novels meets futuristic dystopian poetry. To me, I'm highly impressed by the lyrical content (Posted below). The song structures are highly intuitive and slick to run through. Just fast and loud and it gets the job done. A real treat to play drums on. Our good friend Cole, a prolific Minneapolis noise artist, contributed to the special sound design of our LP. 

Our record release show was last Friday and it was filmed by myself and many friends. We performed live with Cole, and he was an excellent contributor to the set. I successfully played through the set with an injured leg, because this music and lifestyle tends to push the human threshold. In the very near future, keep an eye out for the footage to be finished soon on my new video channel, where I will be airing several edited videos very soon.

Before I link the record with the lyrics/art, I must first give a special thanks to one of my best friends in the universe, Jeffrey Truckenmiller for allowing me to borrow ALL OF HIS CYMBALS during recording this session. This past January I had completely ran out of money from visiting folks or the holidays, and thus ran out of usable cymbals. Jeff is a guy who believes in his friends, and is so kind to everyone. A very animated character. Believe me when I say it; that dude absolutely FUCKING RULES.
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GEIGER COUNTER IS:
Will Henke- bass/vocals/artwork
Kalvin Kinzer- guitar/vocals
Charlie Holtz- guitar/vocals
Ira Rogers- drums
Joe B- artwork
GEIGER COUNTER- S/T LP streaming NOW on Harakiri Diat
Available now through Desolate Records (USA) and Phobia Records (Europe)
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ART/LYRICS/ETC.








Thanks for tuning in.
--IRA ROGERS

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

MUCH WORSE- LIVE MPLS 20170311: PENGUIN CAT MEDIA

I just launched a new thing called PENGUIN CAT MEDIA.

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PENGUIN CAT MEDIA PRESENTS:

Much Worse

Live at Reverie Cafe, March 17, 2017, Minneapolis, MN, USA

Directed and Edited by Ira Rogers

Directors of Photography: Daniel Hoffstrom, Ben Herreid

Filmed using a bunch of cheap crap we had laying around.

Setlist:
Paranoid Death Trip Route
Beyond Simulacra
Monarch Effect
Face The Night And Dissolve
Vulgar Rarity
Psycho Thrills
Fathoming Hell
Mudbrain
Nothing New

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MUDBRAIN 1 MINUTE TEASER


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FULL PERFORMANCE


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--IRA

Monday, October 31, 2016

SHARDS- s/t LP (2010) FULL ALBUM STREAM + LYRICS IN VIDEO



RALEIGH NC HARDCORE PUNK
2010, Sorry State Records
Even waking up with blue paint and Matt Watson's pubic hair on my face after a mind bending 21st birthday about 7 years ago only increased my love for this killer band. I remember working the old pizza spot with Cam, and him telling me "yea we sat around and listened to TSOL and Germs and were like, fuck man lets just write a shit ton of songs this week." Cam's clever crusher drumming lays behind the coolest riffs you wish you made while Will Evans gives you lyrical content about drinking bleach, wishing your parents were dead, and existential meaninglessness. 10/10 for sure.
While I was 19, I was in a kind of shitty band myself, and upon seeing the first SHARDS show, in a brief song break, I remember loudly promising to Cam that I would quit my band and start playing hardcore. I feel like I was actually born the day that Shards played their first show, it blew me against the wall. They wrote these songs so quickly just a couple weeks before their first show, and it was so dialed in and decisive. That amount of assertion came to make me believe I could make hardcore punk like this too. Being buddies with these guys at Pizza University was my first stepping stone into playing hardcore. It's more than the record itself, but it was the characters involved in it as well.
It was after Shards broke up, that their other band (whatever brains) would have a 1am band practice while I ate 6 servings of shroom brownies and a lot of sake on my 25th birthday. That night, while they practiced without stopping, I thought that god was reaching through the ceiling from outer space to kill me while we were on fire in this small corridor. They shot a laser show in their room and set off fog machines while I was lost in my own mind and humping the bass cab. I broke a bunch of their stuff, and tore up someone elses drumset and threw the drums at them while they were practicing. Evan just kept going, I think. Let it be known, that they were COOL WITH IT AND DIDNT GET MAD. Matt Watson saw my mess during the practice and left after their set was run, so he could get married the next day (definitely a fact). Rich Ivey and the others found me with blood on my face face down on the pavement outside and dragged me indoors, and layed me on my side with my backpack as a pillow, so I wouldn't choke on my own vomit. I had no real clue of the destruction until they showed me photos about 2 days later. I broke some dudes shit and paid him for it.
This LP ruined my life and you should let it ruin yours too. 10/10 hardcore punk!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Let Will's lyrical content tell you the rest about how to make punk cool again.
Cameron is one of the greatest drummers in Raleigh, currently active in SKEMATA (drums) and DAVIDIANS (vocals). The other dudes were all playing different instruments in WHATEVER BRAINS and I think Evan plays in CRETE.
This LP kills, just like they did live, at every show. Relentless!!!

Love,
-Ira Rogers, Oct 31, 2016

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Some of my shitty art- summer 2016

My social media accounts kept getting wiped out by cops, so I guess I had to put my shit up on my blogspot. Enjoy.



this led to the police calling me

my response to the police 
--Ira Rogers

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Pollution- Nasty DNA 12" LP and CS

This post is years overdue, and the excitement I have for having listened to and to have witnessed several live shows by Brooklyn NY's short-lived hardcore band POLLUTION.

In summer of 2009, I had first heard of this band while hanging out after work with 3/5's of DEVOUR at some small house party in Raleigh, NC. They had played some select shows over that weekend with WORMEATERS from NJ. I sat there, sober at a party, gaining stimulus from hearing Matt LaVallee tell me about what in the hell they saw. The way he was talking was as if he actually saw a UFO. They literally could not describe Pollution to me at all. If we were speaking on the lines of influence and genre, then nothing they were saying made sense to me at all, and I immediately noted that as a great thing. Maybe something along the lines of "nothing can do justice to what they are live". "absolutely crushing", "seeing this band live will scare the ever living shit out of you", were select quotes I believe I remembered hearing that night.

This was reason enough for me to pick up the cassette copy of Pollution's NASTY DNA (limited to 100) at Richmond's No Way Fest 3. This was one of around 7 tapes I picked up that weekend. Skeptical of the hype, on my drive home, I rummaged my way through all the quick demos first which included a Total Wreck demo tape that was really cool, and much more. After hearing everything, I saved the Pollution tape for last, only because it was the longest one, and also due to the fact that I had developed expectations for it just a couple of weeks prior.

The first song "tiny.black.burns" hit and I immediately was putting my hand up to my forehead and my mouth was open. The second song, "Failure" starts with a guitar riff entirely dissonant, unsettling and tonally gritty; the drums begin and then I realize that I probably shouldn't be driving the car any longer. The crawling pace of "Upsidedown Trough" feeds back through the speakers what what can only seem as visually motioned tempos and vocal lines clearly illustrating a bleak and disgusting picture: 'capsized in the ocean // holy water wars // you can't just turn the thing around // how many times do I have to tell you // not to waste your time'. This can be related to on modern occasions and is immediately stark and realistic. The beastly mid-tempo slammer "drop.die" comes on next which makes me ask myself, "What in the hell am I listening to?" The songs were soul damaging, but carried these unforgettable hooks to them that seemed carefully, yet naturally written. I was nervous while hearing this and it actually made me feel like the world was ending. I was in disbelief of the riff in "shock.no exist". It carried itself with an ever-haunting tone and paced down to a crawl but everything cut just right in order to keep your attention.

This first listen unfathomably exceeded my expectations, and thus prompted me to drive the rest of the trip saying absolutely nothing and letting the tape automatically flip at least a dozen times for the remainder of the overnight drive back to Raleigh. The vocals were such a perfect balance of fury, poetry and clarity. No two songs were written alike each other, and also, no band ever sounded like this entire tape. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. When arriving back to Raleigh at around 5:30am, I pull out the lyric sheet and read through the entire tape. I don't think I was ever meant to sleep that night.

In 2009, picking up this tape was directly related to me wanting to start a new band. One month after waking up every morning and studying the careful writing, lyrical clarity, shocking guitar parts, and absolutely soul stealing drum parts, I remained on the edge of my seat for more of their releases.

About a month later at a Shards show in my basement in mid-July of 2009:
"Hey Ira, I like your drumming, do you want to try to play some music tomorrow? I play guitar and might have some riffs.", said to me, a 17 year old named Jeff Young. I had only seen him around at shows and had never hung out with him that much before.
"Come back over to my house tomorrow afternoon, you absolutely have to hear this Pollution record", I said back to him. I'm pretty sure this was how Jeff and I would end up starting a band called Stripmines.

Download (thank you to Cut & Paste blog for this- find them at http://cutnpasteyoface.blogspot.com )

--Ira

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Red Death- Permanent Exile LP

When I heard the 2014 demo tape that was released by this band, I was immediately repeating the tape over and over. I haven't worn out a tape in under a week since Matt LaVallee (Stripmines, Devour) let me sort of borrow an early Kieltolaki discography cassette tape. This is the band I had hoped these guys would start when guitarist Ace Mendoza and drummer Connor Donegan both made an exodus from Raleigh into Washington DC, to seek their own animated and well-structured DIY ventures. At the time the demo tape came out, I literally had no free time to review how I felt about it on this blog, seeing as I was sort of living between two cities both 1200 miles away from each other on and off for a little while. Simply enough, this LP makes a great cornerstone for a Vile Discourse review.

After seeing Red Death live at Nice Price Books in Raleigh, the anticipation for their newest vinyl release was similar to that of a new Star Wars movie. I had followed many of their projects while living in Raleigh, and was fortunate to see nearly every set ever played by Abuse., Last Words, and fortunately played some cool shows short-lived Macht Nichts, all which are precursors to Red Death.

My favorite song on the album has to be UNHOLY AGONY II. When they played it live, I could feel the beginning out, and heard the snare crack into a vicious down-tempo, I was in the middle of the floor spinning my hair around like Andrew WK. It's great on record, but still doesn't do justice to how I saw it live when they played Minneapolis two weeks ago. The breakdown tempo change in UNHOLY AGONY II is, to me, immediately noted as a clever tip of the hat from Ace to Raleigh's Jeff Young for his brutal and clever down-stroke riffing in Last Words. To me, that's probably the coolest thing you can do in respect to your previous bands, is add simple notes and clever homage to what you've done before. Instead of naming an ex-members list for themselves, the actions of Red Death speak much louder than words. You can feel and undeniably understand where they came from and what bands they were probably in or liked without creating a "for fans of" section at all. This LP does so perfectly!

The song Strategic Mass Delirium starts an intro of subtle limitations that immediately changes gears, and hits the nitro boost in what feels like a Celtic Frost style tempo change. Straight forward hardcore slamming riffing and writing on the bass on the song ALLEVIATE by Coke Bust's Nick Candela bring you an evolution of what sounds like a structure that couldn't fit on their Degredation EP, but twisted to fit the style of Red Death's more rock n' roll feel. The untamed guitars and feedback between and during tracks have clear nods to classic Raleigh hardcore titans such as Double Negative and CoC, but there are probably enough blogs and reviews saying the same thing already.

Chad's vocals are menacing and professional in a very tasteful way. Ranging dynamics from proto-thrashers and the diaphragm charges you may have heard on Infest's "No Man's Slave" LP (see the fast kick-drum tag in Unholy Agony II). Menacing and highly energetic, riotous snarl.

Connor slams one out of the ballpark with both the drum sound on the record and his keen ability to write great parts. The second song RUINOUS WRATH shows a nod to Raleigh's Brian Walsby and Reed Mullin which seem meaningfully intentional and logical for the song to have it's "Raleigh feel", while incorporating an evolution of it all by rewarding us with certain methods gained from Sepultura's Igor Cavalera. I remember seeing Connor play drums in a living room when he was like 16 or something and the only thing I could say to Jeff was, "Holy shit we have a new Brandon Ferrell now." It was like finding a long-lost Skywalker in a world that really needs great hardcore punk.

The brutality and fine production of this record pick up right where the fantastic and absolutely punishing LP by 'Abuse.' left off at the end of their band, and this offers something different and just all around cool. Every note is clear and concise, and it was everything I was hoping for when these guys started packing their bags. This record takes everything we've learned from Raleigh hardcore history and crams in together on wax. They just "get it". I can't recommend this record enough.

--Ira

Out now on Grave Mistake Records
Download here