Newsletter Archive January 21st, 2015

As per usual, you can skip the chatter and get right to the cold facts at the bottom of this email if you wish, thanks!

There’s two kinds of people in this world: those who do, and those who do not keep reptiles in their homes.   I can take one look at a fella and immediately know whether or not he is a keeper of the cold-blooded.  It’s a dander or something, the scent of molting flesh and electric heat on their clothing.  And whenever you go into the homes of these folks they always want to show you the critters,
“That’s Franklin, he’s shy, he never comes out from under that rock.”
“Ya don’t say.”
Not that they needed to visually demonstrate the critter’s existence.  One can smell the warm turtle water from the door.  Now, don’t get me wrong, some of my favorite people in this world have the typical array of pet slitherers; a turtle, a big lizard, some kind of albino snake named Louise that they’ve had since they were seven.  I don’t think these folks are weird or evil, at least not any more so than anyone else.

I’ve been thinking a lot about evil lately.  What is it?  Can a person be wholly evil?  Can individual actions be?  To the sacrificial mouse, the snake is likely the image of pure evil.  But to that same snake, I suspect evil is manifested in her own glass-walled prison.  Yet to her keeper, or captor, this confinement is an act of care and love.  In the field of storytelling, a well-constructed villain consistently sees him or herself as a hero, just in a different situation.

I grew up devoutly Christian.  In that religious tradition evil is embodied in Satan.  If something vicious, hurtful, or destructive happens, Satan is often shouldered with the blame.  But, this idea of an ethereal supernatural deity of malice just seems like such a preposterous fantasy to me.  A personal Satan is so overtly theatrical, overplayed, far-fetched.  If you ask me, old goatlegs has got “reptile keeper” written all over him.  Always down at the farmers market with his Ball Python in the front pocket of his overalls, trying to draw attention to his whole deal, making a big scene of it,
“Sandra’s hungry you guys, I gotta take her home!  Sandra needs to eat, she’s fatigued, I’m heading out!”

Upcoming Shows:
Sad Vicious Plays SF Sketchfest
This Saturday January 24th, 8PM, The Dark Room in San Francisco.  Get tickets Here.

Scott Plays Sketchfest Solo, Three Nights!
Saturday, January 31st 10:30PM at Cynic Cave in San Francisco.  Get Tickets Here.
Friday February 6th 8PM at Cynic Cave in San Francisco.  Get Tickets Here.
Saturday February 7th 8PM at Cynic Cave in San Francisco.  Get Tickets Here.

Recent Works:
I was enlisted by David Shrigley to record a vocal track that he wrote for his latest audio album. Listen to it here.
I also wrote and performed some very creepy vocals for Old Man Gloom’s newest album The Ape Of God.  Check it out here.
I was asked to be a lead actor in this awesome crime fiction podcast called Tales From The Swan Hotel.  Stream it here.
And finally, I was asked by some very kind curators from the UK to make a video for the ISEA Dubai 2014 show.  Here’s what I made.

Thanks for reading, keep in touch, and kindest regards,

-Scott Vermeire

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Newsletter Archive May 23rd, 2014

 Hi, thanks for looking.  If you don’t care to bother with my incessant yammering and make-believe you can just scroll down to the bottom and get the cold facts.

     Multi-tasking, the habit of doing two or more things at once.  As I write this I’m listening to music and typing at the same time, so I guess I qualify.  Multi-tasking has fascinated me ever since a dear friend started performing ambient-noise music.  At his shows I just thought, “People should really be doing something else while listening to this.”  The idea of a crowd of people watching a person fiddle with knobs seemed absurd to me.  I thought it might be better if they all brought jigsaw puzzles or playing cards and enjoyed the two at once.  But what do I know.  I often accuse myself of being hyperactive; it’s usually easier for me to do many things at once than just one thing.  It’s like I have a certain volume of concentration that desires to be filled and I prefer if it’s all taken up, something like that, not really sure.

Every few years a soft-left journal like the New York Times will publish a correlative “science” study that addresses the multi-tasking habits of men vs. those of women.  How like the countless hack comedians of the world do they appear to me at those times, “Men multi-task like this, and WOMEN multi-task like THAT, am I right!” fuh.  Personally, I’m more curious about the multi-tasking behaviors of the non-binary gendered, where’s that study?  I mean it’s 2014, am I right!  OK, I’ll stop.

Look, the reason I’m carrying on about multi-tasking is that I hereby invite you to join me and my cohorts from the Wonderment Consortium this Tuesday night from 7-9PM PST for the Live Radio Auction on 9th Floor Radio.  But, not all of you, dear reader.  I ask not for all of your attention, I ask not for your uninterrupted focus on what we do during the radio show, just part of it.  Because from 7-9PM this Tuesday we will be auctioning off a variety of wonderful items that could be yours.  We will be describing items and taking bids over the phone to raise money for a worthy organization, perhaps you’d like to call-in?  But, admittedly, there won’t be a whole lot going on.  So please, this Tuesday evening, put the kettle on, get out the backgammon board, or the knitting needles, or the trimming shears and turn some of your attention, but not all of it, to 9thFloorRadio.com.  I think you might really enjoy it.  Packard made a delightful promo video for the radio show HERE.

In other news, I’m hosting the best unconventional, experimental, and multi-media comedy show in SF called Talkies! Friday, June 6th at 8:30PM.  I really love this show, come check it out.  After that, Sad Vicious has a couple really big things coming up that I’m very excited to tell you about.  First, we will be in Los Angeles on June 14th playing two shows.  The first is at Echoes Under Sunset at 8PM.  Then we are at Tomorrow! with Ron Lynch at Midnight.  Please come check us out and let your friends know that San Jose’s Most Hated Band™ is planning some very special shows to entertain all the ‘industry people’ for whom we are sure to be performing.  And finally, back here in The Bay Area, Sad Vicious is headlining a show with Ron Lynch at The Berkeley Art Museum Friday, July 18th at 6PM.  Fun!  OK, once again in brief:

Wonderment Consortium Hosts ‘Live Radio Auction’
This Tuesday May 27th from 7 to 9PM PST
On 9th Floor Radio
Listen Online At: 9thfloorradio.com
Check Out The Promo Video HERE.

Scott Hosts Talkies!
Friday June 6th 8:30 PM
At Cynic Cave at Lost Weekend Video in San Francisco

Sad Vicious Spring Tour 2014: Welcome To Hollywood
Saturday June 14th Echoes under Sunset in LA at 8PM
Saturday June 14th Tomorrow! With Ron Lynch at The Steve Allen Theater in LA at Midnight

Sad Vicious Plays The Berkeley Art Museum
Friday July 18th at 6PM
At The Berkeley Art Museum

Thanks for reading and kindest regards,

-Scott Vermeire

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Newsletter Archive March 6th, 2014

    Did you know that I’m a swimmer?  That’s right, I started swimming about a year ago.  Two or three times a week I swim laps at my neighborhood pool, mostly freestyle, some backstroke.  The Temescal Pool where I swim is an outdoor affair.  It’s heated, run by the Oakland Parks and Rec Dept.  and it’s a mere 4 bucks per swim, not a bad deal.  
     Of course, this bargain does not arrive without downsides.  This is not the cleanest of pools.  The high school PE classes that are allowed to swim there often make big messes; candy wrappers, aesthetically weak graffiti, standard kid stuff.  Many of my neighbors won’t swim there because of this. They prefer to drive uptown to Berkeley for the finer pools.  But for me, at 4 bucks and a short bike ride away this is the pool.
     In the winter months, the pool hours continue well past nightfall.  Not many folks swim after dark, too cold I guess.  But it’s my favorite time to be there.  I like to do the backstroke at night.  I like looking up at the vast night sky, through the chlorine steam, and sensing that I am floating on the outermost veneer of the Earth, that though I am physically surrounded by a labyrinth of urban sprawl, I am also at the very brink of where this planet ends and the rest of the universe begins.

Come get trippy with me at these two upcoming shows.  And please forgive me for the very last minute notice:

This Friday March 7th at 10PM my band Sad Vicious hosts the best monthly show in San Francisco: Talkies at Lost Weekend Video.  Get Tickets Here.

Then, this Wednesday March 12th at 7:30PM I’m in a Competitive Improv Karaoke Powerpoint show in SF called Speechless.  It is really fun.  Get Tickets Here.

Thanks For Reading,

-Scott
http://www.scottvermeire.com

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Newsletter Archive September 11th, 2013

I’ve got a thing for pay phones, you know, like phone booths.  I like the way they look, I like the way they work, or more often don’t.  And different phones have different personalities.  This one is a big city pay phone, shoulder to shoulder with fifteen identical units who are all aiming for the same job in a fast-paced world “pick me, pick me!”  Meanwhile, that one stands alone, out on a lonely desert highway, a sentinel in the night, holding unto itself the many mysteries of the threshold where civilization ends and wilderness begins.
I’ve also taken notice of the pay phone’s slow, almost imperceptible disappearance from reality.  As the mobile phone reaches ubiquity, pay phones are no longer useful.  So, one by one, they are all just going away, poof.  Now, there’s this part of me that wants to turn this into a rant about technology, about how the internet is an over-glorified post office, library, and mail order catalog, about how those who are benefitting the most from new technology are the people and institutions who are hungry enough for power and money and control to convince the public that the promise of the future is still being made good by way of the newest consumer gadget, but no, that isn’t what this is about.
This is about the pay phone.  It’s going away, and it won’t be coming back.  And in my heart I want to do something to say to the pay phone “I adore you, I adore your filth, and your weird burn marks, and your gritty sound, and your smell of Carmex, and your pale blue fluorescent light cast gently on this one-way road to nowhere, and I want to celebrate you before you are gone.  I want to run madly through a downpour of rain into your glass and metal enclosure and dial your number and leave a message on your machine, and express to you in my own confused, uninformed, and overly sentimental way that I love you, and I’ll miss you, and I won’t ever forget you.”

 

It would be a pleasure to see you at any of these upcoming events:

This Friday Sept. 13th at 7PM:  Sad Vicious Slays Will Brown in SF, CA

This Saturday Sept. 14th at 7PM: ‘Sad Vicious Live’ taping in conjunction with Burger Records and Cynic Cave at Lost Weekend Video in SF, CA

Friday Sept. 27th at 7PM: Sad Vicious plays Hubris! At Lost Weekend Video in SF, CA

Wednesday Oct. 2nd at 9PM: Sad Vicious plays Life Changing Ministries in Oakland, CA

Thanks for reading and kindest regards,

-Scott Vermeire

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Newsletter Archive May 29th, 2013

If you happen to be driving across northern Nevada and pass through the town of Battle Mountain, I strongly suggest a stop at Roller Coaster Fireworks Outlet.  Among the combustibles there is a two-foot rocket that is shaped and colored like a massive golden phallus.  It’s called The Foreign Policy Maker.  Personally, I thought the naming convention was a little awkward.  I would go more with Foreign Policy Implementer, or Enactor, or Utility.  But then, what do I know about fireworks branding.
I was there with Mikael Lindahl, a Swedish artist and friend.  We were on our way back to Oakland after installing Mikael’s sculpture at the Center For Land Use Interpretation.  Upon entering the store we were appropriately profiled as not-from-around-here.  Mikael has long blond hair and I was wearing an Oakland A’s hat.  The shop owner, a man who looks, acts, and dresses exactly like Herman the military antiques dealer from The Simpsons promptly recounted a story to his colleague about a guy coming all the way from San Francisco to buy $500 worth of fireworks.  But he said the words “San Francisco” in this way that you so rarely hear it in the bay area.  It’s a way that you can say those words to denote a complete disdain for what they represent: SAN FRAN cisco.  Heavy on the first two syllables, light on the last two, like you’re saying “I HATE dentists.”  Yep, I get it, no sudden movements.
So after making my selections (24 roman candles, various types) I proceeded to check out.  While the owner bagged my purchases he also slipped two items into the bag: these things that look like incense sticks and are used to light fireworks.  I pointed to the objects and asked:
“Do you call these punks?”
Flatly he said “Yeah.”
I said “We used to call them that when I was a kid but I didn’t know if that’s what everybody calls them.”  I could see a change in his composure.  Somehow, my hazy childhood memory of things I associate with blowing stuff up resonated with him.
“Nothing smells like a punk.”  He said.
“Yeah, you’re right.”  I took the bag from the counter, and Mikael and I headed out.

Here’s some new stuff that my video club Wonderment Consortium just released.  I am especially proud of these because I wrote both of them (Click To Play):
Piedmont Punx
Scott V’s “Underground” Comedy Tour

And here’s some upcoming shows that I’ll be doing:

THIS SATURDAY JUNE 1ST: With Wonderment Consortium MC’ing the SFMOMA Closing Party 6PM to 12AM in SF, CA
June 3rd: With Sad Vicious at The Rite Spot in SF, CA

June 7th: Performing improv with Group Hug at the 11th Annual IO West Improv Festival in LA, CA
June 8th: Performing improv with Awkward Face at Pan Theater 8PM to 10PM in Oakland, CA
July 12th:  With Sad Vicious at WixLoungeSF.

Thanks for reading and kindest regards,

-Scott

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Newsletter Archive April 26th, 2013

Hello Friends,
Please join me this Sunday, April 28th from 12noon to 5PM at The Headlands Center For The Arts in the Marin Headlands for the Spring Open House.  My band Sad Vicious will be performing at 4PM in the Project Space with George Chen and Jane Sherman Harrison.  I’ve been an Artist in Residence at The Headlands for the last eight weeks and the Open House is sort of like a final show for the Spring residency.  So, if you are free on Sunday, please do drop by.  The Headlands is a lovely place to visit and very historical.  In fact, just yesterday I took the tour of the Nike Missile Site and got to put my hands on a de-commissioned Cold War era nuclear warhead.  The Nike Missile Site at The Headlands is the only remaining one of its kind in the US.  I couldn’t help but think about the strange interplay of this weapon against the backdrop of a contemporary arts residency.  As the tour guide for the missile site raised the 40 foot long missile into its firing position I had a vision of Warhol, Rauschenberg, Johns, Cage, and Duchamp straddling the missile in single file order, about to be blasted into the atmosphere, but rather than hooting and hollering like Slim Pickens’ character in Dr. Strangelove they were just sitting there, indifferent, smoking cigarrettes, passively gazing at the world, playing it cool.  After a few minutes the tour guide asked me if I had any further questions.  I said no and walked home.

Sad Vicious
with George Chen and Jane Sherman Harrison
Headlands Center For The Arts Project Space
Sunday, April 28th 4PM

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Newsletter Archive January 2nd, 2013

Happy New Year,

     I don’t want to waste your time.  I know you’re busy.  So I’ll keep this brief.  On the night of Friday, January 18th I will be offering a short presentation about the sustainable food movement: reflections on the past, and visions for the future.  I’ve also asked two of my favorite people from the local food world to join me as guest speakers.  This presentation is kindly hosted by Studio One Art Center in the heart of the Temescal neighborhood in Oakland, CA. This event is free of charge and complimentary snacks and refreshments will be served.  It will start promptly at 7PM so please arrive on time.  The event will conclude at 8PM which puts you at Asmara, Lanesplitters, or Pizzaiolo by 8:15, and after all this food talk you are definitely going to be hungry.  And there you have it, a brief invitation to an event that will be a value in both time and expense.  And, if I may be frank, I offer you this invitation with such emphasis on brevity and promised value because I really think you might like it.  I hope to see you there.

 Scott Vermeire Presents…

Food, Farming, and The Future

Studio One Art Center

7PM SHARP

FREE!

365 45th Street  

Oakland, CA 94609 

www.studiooneartcenter.net

     Also, I’m delighted to announce that Sad Vicious will be performing at SF Sketchfest this year.  If you haven’t been to an SF Sketchfest show in the past, you should know that this comedy festival is absolutely world class.  So, it’s a huge honor that Sad Vicious was invited to join the performers at George Chen’s Talkies event at Lost Weekend Video for the festival.  It’s a very small room so tickets will sell out fast.

Sad Vicious at Talkies

Lost Weekend Video

8PM February 1st

1034 Valencia Street  

San Francisco, CA 94110

Buy Tickets Here: http://www.ticketweb.com/t3/sale/SaleEventDetail?dispatch=loadSelectionData&a…

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