Sunday, May 17, 2015

Festival Check 2015

We're getting a late start on the Festival Checklist due to recent Baltimore goingson but here we go:

May SoWeBo Festival
May Maryland Deathfest

June Honfest

July Artscape
July Otakon

August BronyCon

September Hampdenfest
September Small Press Expo
September High Zero Festival
September Baltimore Comic Con
September Baltimore Book Festival

And if you're coming to town, we have a handy list on our links page for places to check out and things to do.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Read & Watch: Jimmy Giegerich

Executioner And Friend - The Slime Lord (Ep #1) is a new cartoon from cartoonist Jimmy Giegerich.

Check it out, and then be sure to check out some of his comics too:
Bits In Multiples Of Eight - edited by Jimmy, this is an 8bit-64bit Video Game Fan Art Book

Executioner And Friend (which the cartoon is an adaptation of) - a collection of short comics about an executioner, named Executioner, and his best friend, named Friend, and their adventures and mishaps in the Dungeon where they work

Fight Frogs - (which we're REALLY hoping also gets turned into a cartoon) a comic about three totally rad frog brothers named Crud, Scuzz, and Gorp who live in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, listen to heavy metal, rumble with gangs of animal men and party hard!

Ugs, Fugs & Grossos - a collection of drawings of ug-ass mugs, fug-ass fugs, and gross-ass grossos

Monday, January 05, 2015

Atomic Reading Club 2015: Gothic Horror

Atomic Reading Club Book Picks for 2015 - Gothic and Horror 

We're going to take a turn down a darker street for 2015, revisit some classics and maybe a few other titles you meant to check out. 

We're doubling up on comics this year. As always, you'll get 15% off the books, but if you choose to do the double graphic novel months, you'll get 40% off the two. 

January - Saga of Swamp Thing Book One by Alan Moore/various AND Hellblazer Vol. 1: Original Sins by Jamie Delano/various
February - My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier
March - Call of Cthulu and Other Stories by H.P. Lovecraft 
April - Outer Dark by Cormac McCarthy 
May - Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn 
June - Hell House by Richard Matheson
July - Let the Right One in by John Ajvide Lindqvist
August - Shadow Of The Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
September - Baltimore Vol. 1: Plague Ships by Mike Mignola/various AND Preacher Book One by Garth Ennis/Steve Dillon
October - Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix
November - The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks
December - Uzumaki (3 in 1 Edition) by Junji Ito

Discussions are always the last Tuesday for the month, 7pm, in Eightbar.

Monday, December 29, 2014

BaltoZine Roundup: 2014 Finale

The Baltozine Roundup is a regular feature wherein we take a look at what national periodicals are saying about Baltimore-area arts, events, people, and places. Be sure to pick up the magazines and read the full articles.

In the current issue of Under The Radar [#43], the Top Albums of 2014 feature both Future Islands' Singles and Wye Oak's Shriek in the top 10.

About Future Islands' Singles:
"This Baltimore trio has been working hard touring, recording and generally kicking ass for eight years. However, it was a performance on Letterman and sick dance moves that finally put these synth-poppers in the national spotlight they've long deserved. ..." -Austin Trunick
About Wye Oak's Shriek:
"...Wye Oak jettison the guitar and drums-dominated pop which has defined their prior three albums, instead favoring silvery synths, sawing cello, and a bedrock foundation of bass. The results dazzle ..." -John Everhart
There's also a Q&A with Wye Oak's Jenn Wasner in the 2014 Artist Survey.
"Speaking for myself, I try to go through life treating everyone I meet with kindness and respect. But hey, sometimes people are dicks. And sometimes those people also happen to make good art. This is nothing new. What's different now, it seems to me, is the urgency with which what was once considered the 'underground' now operates as a mirror image of the mainstream media circus. Honestly, I find the whole process exhausting and tedious. ..."

Magnet #118 has a store profile on Sound Garden, which has locations in Fells Point, Baltimore and Syracuse, NY.
"... 'Sound Garden is one of the few places in Baltimore City where you see everybody from Baltimore City,' says [owner Brian] Burkert, who credits his staff for making informed choices when it comes to stocking each section and making it attractive to a core constituency. 'The store isn't a reflection of my tastes so much as it's a reflection of my staff's tastes. We practically lost an entire generation to digital music and iTunes, because we weren't part of their lives. But the resurgence in vinyl has given our store new life and made it more relevant to younger people who now have something to collect and people who can talk about it with them and make smart recommendations. They become part of the culture at Sound Garden. ...'"
And in their "Year in Music 2014" section, they rank Future Islands' album Singles as #8.
"... Future Islands has been called synth-pop, but that's a flimsy label. The spine here is '80s new wave, sure, but the flesh, the heartbeat? Singer Samuel T. Herring's one-of-a-kind vocal theatrics, raised up from some place deep in both his throat and his gut. Heartache, longing, rage, gentle sentimentality - Herring paints with all these colors, often within the same song. ..."  

Razorcake #83 has a review of ADVLTS self-titled 7-inch EP.

"... ADVLTS kick out some catchy as hell punk rock that is pretty dern good, and has more going on, as revealed in subsequent listens. The soungs are wound tight, with the bass bouncing off the drums and the guitar jangling and scratching up next to them. ... If I was to keep some sort of 'best of...' list, then this would be in it for sure." -M.Avrg

And also a review of Wildhoney's Seventeen Forever 7-inch.

"Loud and heavy in a dreamy, summery way. These three pop songs are driven by pedal-heavy guitar that ebbs and swells in slow, shoegazey washes. ... Everything about this release is elegant, from the clean production to the minimalist labels. ..." -Indiana Laub

Beer Connoisseur #17 ranks Flying Dog's Gonzo Imperial Porter as one of the best beer's of 2014.
"Lovers of the original gonzo journalist, Hunter S. Thompson will embrace the dark, intoxicating beauty of Flying Dog Gonzo Imperial Porter. The potent, complex concoction was based on the Baltic porter style, and first brewed to celebrate Thompson, shortly after his death in 2005. ... The intense heavy hopping was schemed to cut through all the malt sweetness and high-starting gravity, and it was fermented with a combination of ale and lager yeasts..." - Bob Townsend

Big Takeover #75 has a review of Future Islands' Singles.
"Future Islands ... are just what the tired world of synthpop needed. ... this is an original sound. .... A must for fans of new sounds." -Tucker Petertil

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Introducing The Atomic Books Drone Initiative

In the fourth quarter of 2013, online mega-retailer Amazon startled many Americans when it announced its intention to violate public airspace and use its own unmanned drones to deliver tchotchkes, gizmos and gadgets, quickly, cheaply and dangerously.

Atomic Books owner Benn Ray says, "Once we heard Amazon's plans, we immediately began working with our drone-enthusiast friends to launch a fleet of Atomic Books drones as quickly as possible. And we're very pleased to announce the first of these will take to the Baltimore skyline today, with dozens more scheduled to come online by the end of the third quarter of 2014."

Ray explains that Atomic's drones won't be delivering books, "It's not our intent to use these drones to deliver books to consumers. We love the post office and fully intend to keep using them. Plus, using unmanned drones to deliver items just seems ill-advised. The Atomic Books drones fleet exists to protect Baltimore from Amazon's drones by destroying them in air."

So starting today, in Baltimore, you can look up and know Atomic Books is out there, protecting our skies.

Monday, March 31, 2014

BaltoZine Roundup: Eat & Drink Edition

The Baltozine Roundup is a regular feature wherein we take a look at what national periodicals are saying about Baltimore-area arts, events, people, and places. Be sure to pick up the magazines and read the full articles.

There are two regional recipes in America's Test Kitchen: Hometown Favorites.

Baltimore Pit Beef:
"Pit beef, Baltimore's signature sandwich, starts as a massive spice-rubbed beef roast that's grilled over a hot fire until it's thoroughly charred on the outside and a juicy medium0rare on the inside. Locals top the beef with sliced onion and plenty of tiger sauce (a horseradish-spiked mayonnaise), but what really sets apart pit beef is the salty, spicy, nearly blackened crust. ..."
Authentic Fried Chicken And Gravy:
"... While other regions of the country rely on a thick buttermilk batter and a deep-fat fryer to deliver a crusty crunch, Maryland chicken is simply seasoned, floured, and shallow-fried. This cooking method results in crispy, deeply golden chicken that, with a gentle tug, sheets off of the bone with its deliciously brittle skin still intact. But what really sets Maryland friend chicken apart is the creamy, black pepper-spiked pan gravy that's equally fit for drumstick dunking or mopping up with a biscuit. ..."
The premiere issue of Craft Beer & Brewing has a profile of Baltimore brewer, Brian Strumke (Stillwater).
"Some brewers are chemists, some are engineers, some are microbiologists, and others mechanics. Brian "Stillwater" Strumke of Stillwater Artisanal Ales is a musician - more specifically a DJ. To Brian, crafting a beer is like composing an electronic song, in which malt sweetness is the baseline and hop aroma hits a high treble note. If he is talking about the brewing process, it is likely a conversation riddled with allusions to electronica. Under the name Brian Stillwater, Brian traveled the globe for a decade producing and spinning progressive house music. He didn't discover his love for craft beer until he retired from his DJ career and moved back to Baltimore. ..."

Monday, March 03, 2014

Scott Wiener's Baltimore Pizza Crawl

Recently, pizza expert Scott Wiener, author of Viva La Pizza: The Art Of The Pizza Box was at Atomic Books to give a great discussion of the history and art of pizza boxes as well as the pies that come in them.

While he was in town, he took a quick tour of some of Baltimore's pizza joints.

Scott, on his Scott's Pizza Tours blog, explains:
"I recently spent 24 hours in Baltimore while in town for an awesome book event at Atomic Books. I hit 6 different pizzerias ranging from hometown classics to late-night fallbacks and a couple in-between. Here’s my road report… Baltimore, you truly are one strange pizza town. ..."
Be sure to read his full report