WED NOV 1 2017
MPLS Hardcore- EX NUNS, MUCH WORSE, NO SKIN, BLACKTHORNE
TRIPLE ROCK SOCIAL CLUB, MINNEAPOLIS, MN
Wednesday Nov 1st: This is a night of no-bullshit hardcore. Only $5. The three piece detonation of utterly furious and gravity-stomping hardcore aesthetic, EX NUNS will be performing for their US TOUR KICKOFF show. Also performing will be a rare and devastating force of unhinged speed, driven by the sleight of hardcore punk insanity, MUCH WORSE, performing exclusive and unheard tracks from their upcoming 2018 LP which will become their 5th vinyl release. BLACKTHORNE harnesses an uncontainable energy with cutting edge vocal hooks layered on quick bursts of minute-long cunning slammers. Highlighting the evening will be the masterful hardcore punk craft of NO SKIN, sending off their long-time drummer Pat McCabe, who is soon moving to Seattle, WA. Much of Pat’s life work has had him diligently involved in dozens of extreme genre projects in the Twin Cities over the years, and has crafted together a furious discography. With tactful precision and a brilliant and cerebral taste in the history of hardcore punk, they are certain to make sure you aren’t wasting your precious $5 on bullshit. Doors 8pm, show 9pm.
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).
GAFF TAPED TO
A TRIPOD WAND THING
WITH POWER SUPPLY
FOR AUDIO CAPTURE
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.
------------------------------------------------------------------------- MUCH WORSE- 3 SONGS 2017 VIDEO DEMO LYRICS --------------------------------------------------- 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 --------------------------------------------------- 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 --------------------------------------------------- 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 ------------------------ --IRA
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!!!
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.