Wednesday, August 16, 2017


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.





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).
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.


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
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
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