VOTM: What is the most unusual experience you've had at a reading?
STEVE: Being fairly neophyte at
fiction, nothing that unusual has happened at my handful of events. Yet. So I
will have to dredge through some memories.
Years ago Tennessee Williams
was speaking in LA.He was quite a bit out of it with drink. (What a shock.) A guy in the crowd came up to him afterward and was all over him with adulation--“Man you’re my idol--you’re the greatest--Sixteen Tons is my favorite song.”(He seemed to have mistaken him for Tennessee Ernie Ford.)The guy kept prodding him to sing a few bars--until Tennessee actually attempted to do so. With marginal results.
That guy in the crowd (to my eternal shame) was me. I was a snotty young provocateur back then. Could never do such a thing today. Though many around me where aghast, he seemed to enjoy it a bit.
I owe my soul to the company store.
Come see Steve read from his award-winning stories at The Mountain on Sunday, September 26 at 8pm.
Not only is a Lauren a super-talented musician who currently plays in the band The Measure, she's a talented visual artist as well. This outstanding poster is Lauren's second for Vermin.
VOTM: What's the most unusual experience you've ever had at a reading show?
DENITZIO: I think the weirdest situation I've been in at a show is playing a dive
bar in Texarkana and having the opening act be a comedian who made
amazing, somewhat offensive prank phone calls. Weird bands are one thing
but a comedian in an Arkansas bar that's across the street from a dry county in Texas pretty much takes the cake.
Come to the Mountain on Sunday, September 26 and you just might walk out with a show poster!
A trio of last-minute surprises for the Vermin on the Rocky Mount event tomorrow night at the Mercury Cafe in Denver:
1. Richard Nash will be serving as Honorary Master of Ceremonies! 2. Goodloe Byron will close out the night with a baller song or two on his gee-tar of death! 3. A limited run of special edition T-shirts with a Vermin spin on the Three Wolf Moon meme will be available in Denver!
Vermin on the Mount comes to Denver Thursday April 8 ay 7pm at the Mercury Cafe. A night of irreverent readings sponsored by Keyhole Press, featuring Matt Bell, Amelia Gray, Elena Passarello, Kevin Sampsell, Matthew Simmons & Rachel Yoder. Don't be bitten!
It's been ages since our last book release party and the rats at Vermin HQ have been hankering for some Chinatown cake. Vermin Sub Commandante MARK SARVAS comes through with a cracking good novel about a man at the crossroads. Since Mark is a long-time friend and Harry, Revised is a very fine book, we decided to throw a party -- with plenty of surprises in store for Senor Sarvas.
MARIANNE MEYERHOFF: The author of Four Girls from Berlin revisits her memoir about her childhood during the Holocaust.
TERESA CARMODY: Publisher of Les Figues Press, will be reading from Axel Thormählen's very cool book, just translated from the Swedish.
Nothing says Happy St. Patrick's Day like a Kiss Me I'm Vermin t-shirt!
If you can't/couldn't make it to the show on March 16, order yours directly from Vermin HQ by clicking on the "Email me" link to the left. Tell me your name, address, and size and I'll get back to you after the event. All orders will be held until Monday so that those in attendance get first crack at these limited edition American Apparel shirts.
Only $15 (includes shipping within the United States)!
It's a post-Valentine's Day round-up at the Mountain Bar in Chinatown with this fabulous foursome...
BRAD LISTI is the author of the best-selling novel
Attention. Deficit. Disorder. He presently has 19,717 MySpace friends without
having breasts or a band.
ANTOINE WILSON is the author of the novel The Interloper
from Handsel Press/Other Books. His short story “Home, James, and Don’t Spare
the Horses” was adapted into a short film that appears in issue two of
Wholphin, McSweeney’s DVD magazine.
PERRY CROWE is the author of the novel Deuced, which is set
in contemporary Los Angeles.
He also writes sad stories about elephants and other creatures for City Beat.
JOD KAFTAN is a Los Angeles writer who has written for Rolling Stone, the
New York Times and Salon. The son of Hollywood actors, Jod’s family photo album is ten thousand times stranger than yours.
Either it's nickel beer night at the carny bar or the first ever Vermin in San Diego! Last Saturday, the Vermin road show braved irregular train service and cars exploding on the freeway for a gig in Sailortown U.S.A.
Knowledge is the best weapon against ignorance, but a book upside the face is equally effective. Vermin heavyweight Sean Carswell read a story from his collection Barney's Crew about a bar-room brawl. Here he is teaching the crowd at Voz Alta the art of book combat. The technical term for this maneuver is a One-Two Spine Shatterer.
San Diego poet Lizz Huerta has wormed her way into our verminous hearts. Here she is strutting her stuff, and by "strut" I mean "ooze" and by "stuff" I mean, well, I'm not sure what I mean. Some pictures are worth a thousand words; this one leaves us speechless.
I had a feeling San Diegans wouldn't take the Angeleno invasion lightly, and they came hard with masked man of mystery Lou Chalibre with a whole range of tricks, trips, and stunts up his sleeve.
Lastly, Roy Kesey, an American guy married to a Peruvian diplomat living in China, busted out a bi-lingual reading, treating the audience to a selection from his debut novella, Nothing in the World, in English and from his unpublished novel, Pacazo, in Spanish. Here he is composing his thoughts (in Chinese):
Vermin on the Mount returns to Los Angeles on Sunday (yes, Sunday) June 25 with mischief and mayhem from Jami Attenberg, Chad Tsuyuki, Trinie Dalton, and Benjamin Weissman.
Just got back from the New York where I was representing Vermin at the OpiumMagazine.print #1 launch at the Happy Ending Lounge in Chinatown. It was one of the biggest crowds I’ve ever seen at a reading not held at an auditorium and I had a whole bunch of family drive in from Bay Ridge. Click here for some terrific pictures.
Irregular? Check. Irreverent? Double check. But the success of Vermin on the Mount is due to the eclectic mix of readers who take the stage. I'm willing to wager that Vermin on the Mount is the only reading series in town to feature a screenwriter reading a short story, a poet leading the audience in primal screams, a comedienne reading an essay, and a lawyer with the California Justice Department reading tales of the weird and the fantastic.
This is Jacob Forman reading from his excellent story "Lake Hollywood." His legs are long. He is probably a really good swimmer.
Here's the incomparable Lizz Huerta with the elegant one, Mark Sarvas. Mark is wearing a shirt that reads. "I'm blogging this." (Mark pretends to be a curmugeon, but deep down there's a hipster with a closet full of snarky t-shirts waiting to bust out.) Lizz is wearing, well, if you missed it, you missed it, but she's not called Scanda-Lizz for nothing.
Here's Daniel Olivas scowling into his book minutes after I revealed his other life as a crimefighter. Daniel, apparently, doesn't sleep, for in addition to writing books, he pens amazing reviews, and blogs.
Why this is this man so sad? This is Josh and he helps out with Vermin on the Mount. Handing out raffle tickets, minding the merch table, and generally being helpful when help is needed. On Saturday evening he got his bike stolen in Chinatown. This is a bummer because Josh is one of the good green citizens of LA who bikes to work, regularly uses the MTA, and doesn't own a car. The bike is a red Schwinn and was ganked in broad daylight outside a Vietnamese restaurant on Broadway. (Yes, it was locked.) If you have any info or, even better, a cheap/spare bike for sale/you're not using, please shoot me an email.
Verminoid Ben Ehrenreich will be reading Saturday night at Mark Allen's Machine Project Gallery at 8 o'clock. The gallery is located at 1200 North Alvarado just north of Sunset Boulevard. Also, reading are Jacob Forman and Tommy Tompkins, two fine young homo sapiens. Ben tells me that beer will be provided (!), but why not drop by Sav-On for an 18-pack of Pabst Blue Ribbon on the way over. It’s only 8 American pesos (!!) and a sure-fire way to make friends.
Vermin stalwarts Todd Taylor and Sean Carswell are kicking off a seven-city tour with whiskey poet James Jay on Wednesday May 25 at 7 PM at Flor y Canto in Highland Park. The reading marks the release of Sean’s new short story collection, Barney’s Crew, the title story of which Vermin regulars will remember from last November. The collection contains illustrations by Art Fuentes, the visual wizard behind The Legend of St. Vermentine and this Mt. Vermin poster. Todd will read from his collection of essays and interviews Born to Rock. James isn’t a member of the Legion of Vermin (yet) but we’re big fans of his work:
A boy’s knuckles swollen like bellies at a buffet
like a barrel cactus in a monsoon
like Cruelty conducting a staff meeting
like Crusaders rotting on the side of the road to Constantinople
like your lover’s wrists in policeman’s handcuffs
I went to school with James and he knows a thing or two about sore knuckles. I once tried to pick a fight with him while drunk in the woods. (Note to readers: Never start shit with someone who can bench press twice your weight.) The details are kind of dim but I woke up the next morning under a frozen sleeping bag in the bed of a pick-up truck. My head was sore, his hands were okay, and I was still invited to his wedding.
So come for the words. Stick around for the re-match.
Dylan Landis and Ben Ehrenreich, a fine pair of Verministas featured in the last reading, are having their work showcased at WordTheatre on Saturday to celebrate the second issue of Swink. Ben’s hilariously subdued “Waltraud” will be read by Jeremy Renner. Dylan’s excellent story “Breakage” will be read by Catherine Dent. Tickets are $40, so you’re gonna wanna hit the ATM first. The event is at M BAR, 1253 N. Vine St. (It’s in the strip mall.) Cocktails at 6:30. Buffet spread at 7:00. Readings (and more cocktails) at 8:00.
Friday the 13th we’re heading to Silverlake with some friends to check out David Francis at Skylight Books.
Then Saturday night we’ll be heading downtown for the Brewery Art Walk where Verminita Carlye Archibeque and friends are throwing an event called Poetry Soup. It’s a gathering of artists of every stripe imaginable. There’s drinking and performing and spontaneous hilarity. Also, soup. It’s at Studio 204 at the Brewery, which is located at 600 Moulton. The lofts will be open to the public from 11 to 6 but Poetry Soup is from 5:30 to whenever.