Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Dawn Culbertson Memorial

From the Fluid Movement list:

You are invited to remember and celebrate the life and works of Dawn C. Culbertson at an informal memorial service/tribute concert on Sunday, December 5 at 1022 Fawn Street in Little Italy, 7 PM.

Please bring some food or drink to share as well as your memories. Performances of Dawn's work or music she would have enjoyed are especially welcome -- bring your musical instruments and singing voices.

Don't you dare dress up.

P.S. If anyone has any CDs of Dawn's lute or Evil Pappy music, please email Keri at kburnestonATyahoo.com

We're sold out of the Evil Pappy Twin CDs. So if you've googled it and came to a blank page in our catalog, it's because they're gone!

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Shopabout Part II

Shine Collective
3554 Roland Ave.

Walls, walls, everywhere goddamn walls! Sick of paint? Faux finish? Sick of wall paper? Sick of paneling (even ironic paneling)? Sick of posters, calendars, fabric and all that other crap we stick on our walls to give the illusion we're looking at something neat? Try some wall decals. Shine has a wide selection, but we're partial to the video game character looking ones. $47 for the small ones (pictured) and $50 for larger sizes.

The True Vine
1123 W. 36th St.

Holidays mean holiday music. This CD contains a bunch of turn of the century holiday music to give a family get together a nice ecclectic soundtrack. Oh, by turn of the century, we're referring to 1800s-1900s, not this last one. $17.

1005 W. 36th St.

Back to that wall thing. Okay, say you have someone on your list that won't dig wall decals? Try some nice, imported-from-Mexico, wall ornaments in various shapes sizes, colors and styles. Also, be sure to check out the fuzzy virgin statues (not pictured) and the Jesus ash tray (also not pictured cuz we're dicks like that). Wall hangings start at around $35 and go up from there, depending on size.

Passion Fish
1129 W. 36th St.

What the hell kind of place is Passion Fish exactly? Well, it's "contemporary art and vintage nonsenese." This Eden picture meets both descriptions nicely. Only $30 (I think. It was dark and the sticker was on the back and I was confused.)

927 W. 36th St.

It's cold. And it's gonna get colder. And you know what? No one ever looked bad in a vintage leather jacket. The ones pictured start at $59.

There are many, many more stores here on the Ave, with many, many more unique and cool items worthy of gift-giving. But we're pooped out already. Next year we'll have to start with a plan.

Don't forget the Miracle on 34th Street starts tonight! The Magical Lights of Hampden!

Friday, November 26, 2004

Dawn Culbertson

Just heard the shocking news, from Artmobile:

Dawn Culbertson collapsed and died at the BFMS [Baltimore Folk MusicSociety] Thanksgiving night dance at St. Mark's-on-the-Hill parish hall Thursday November 25th. She had Thanksgiving diner with several BFMS friends at Diane and Carl Friedman's house, and arrived near the end of the dance. She danced a few contra dances and seemed fine. I danced the last contra and the closing waltz with her. While chatting during the cleanup, she slumped to the floor. Judy (Meyers, an RN) and Eileen Newburn (also an RN) attended to her, and they and Bob Eckhardt immediately began CPR, while Dan Brandt called 911. Emergency assistance arrived within about ten minutes, and worked diligently and intensely before taking her to Northwest Hospital. However, it seems likely that she had died immediately.

I go into these details because I think it's important to know that she had a lovely time the last few hours of her life, she seemed to die suddenly and without pain, and that knowledgeable assistance was immediately offered.

Dawn was one of the highlights of our Annual I Hate the 80s Night for the past 2 years. There's nothing like hearing "Hot for Teacher" sung to a lute.

Mommy, What's a Molotov Cocktail?

Burn, Christmas! Burn!! is an anti-Christmas, um, Christmas book. You know, the kind of book that makes you think about how fucked up consumerism is and how corporate greed hurts elves and did you know, elves make your $9 Target shirts, not little children in third world countries?

Don't buy it. For chrissakes, the elves will come and burn down your house!

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Dirty Found

It's in! It's in!

Maggie didn't even wait to take off her scarf and jacket before she dived into the issue.

All pre-orders will start shipping out today! You lucky bastards.

Turkey Watch

Just waiting for all the turkeys, brined, fried, smoked, whatever, to start flooding Flickr.

Flickr is all about food!

If you've noticed our Flickr Zeitgeist Badge on the right only displays new photos from my contacts and friends. The above link shows you all new photos being posted.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004


I hate shopping. I hate going to the mall.

But you know what? I don't have to leave Hampden to shop. Here's our little Holiday Gift Guide Picks. But we haven't finished walking around the Ave, so more to come on Friday. See, I'm also lazy. And if you're lazy, perhaps if you ask nicely, we can add on some of these items to your online orders from us. Wait, that's way too complicated.

(Descriptions of the items were written by Benn. He just made them up.)

Ma Petite Shoe
832 W. 36th St.

Sure, everyone thinks this shoes & chocolate boutique as the place for women to indulge their sweet tooth as well as their insatiable need for stylish shoes (and it is), but they also have stylish shoes for men!

Rose's Cookies
842 W. 36th St.

The holiday season can be so cruel to those who can't bake, what with all the cookies flying around. This year, impress your loved ones with some cookies from Rose, she won't mind if you take all the credit, it happens all the time.
Cookies start at 60-cents each/$6.95 per dozen.

Oh! Said Rose
840 W. 36th St.

Anyone who doesn't care for a stylish handbag as a gift clearly isn't a woman. The bags in this picture start at $34.99 and go up from there. So, they're stylish AND affordable!

Fat Elvis
833 W. 36th St.

Fat Elvis is a treasure chest of vintage household goods. From toasters to coasters, you'll find the perfect quirky vintage gift for the perfect, quirky vintage loved one. Check out their vintage cookbooks from 75-cents and up!

In Watermelon Sugar
3555 Chestnut Ave.

The best way to drink is to drink with class. And a tiki mug is the perfect container for the rummy in your life.

Wick-edly Sent
3606 Falls Rd.

Nothing screams cleanliness like a brick of pate. Mm... clean, whipped liver... These handmade soaps look not unlike a brick of pate and are sold by the slice. The perfect gift to give to get that "what the hell is this" expression out of someone.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

School Him!

Jason Kottke wants to know what he's missing about comics!

There Is Nothing Wrong in This Whole Wide World

Photo by J. Mayer.

So I've been resisting looking at this art project by Chris Cobb. For one week, this past week, Adobe Books in California, let this artist rearrange all their books into the color wheel.

Anyone who has ever worked in a bookstore probably let out a huge groan when they first heard about this. What a nightmare!

But it sort of helps out when a customer asks, "Um...I'm looking for a book. The cover is red." At least you have a red section now.

I have to say that it looks beautiful. And sort of magical. And this is the part of the spectrum that I would be attracted to - the pinks and the reds.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Have Yourself a Very Waters Xmas

Yup. It's real. And they'll be in the store next week.


Hey, Microcinefest starts tomorrow!

Whatever you do, don't go to microcinefest.com.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Rumors Put to Rest

Well, the rumors were close. The next "The Simple Life" isn't set in Hampden, but Ellicott City.

Reportedly, Hilton and Richie are staying with an Ellicott City family this week - "reportedly" being the operative and recurring word in the not-so-simple local arrangement. Reportedly, everyone who agrees to be filmed with the stars has to sign a confidentiality agreement that, if broken, may well result in a spin-off reality show called "Extreme Bankruptcy." Money doesn't talk.

The Eisner episode is scheduled to air in February. Then, the family can tell friends what Paris and Nicole were like in real life, if there is such a thing anymore. After the show airs, we can learn what they ate and wore and said inside the Eisner home. Do they floss? Wax? Waxed floss? Do they snore? Would they ever come to Timonium? We do have a new Eckerd's ...

Alas, until February, our simple imaginations must run wild and cheap.

Tin Man on the Move!

Tin Many Alley is moving away from Philly to NYC!

Their last exhibit this year, Ultra-Murder Death Squad, works by Tim Biskup and Andrew Brandou, opens November 20th and runs through December 24th, with the Opening Reception on Saturday, November 20th 6pm-10pm.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Love to Hate the 80s

Calling out for photos taken this past Saturday at I HATE The 80s Night!

I was too busy to take any. You know, too busy doing the Wild Thing.

Saturday, November 13, 2004


The new Regional edition of Print Magazine is chock full of band/show posters. Especially the Washington/Baltimore section.

I guess that's what you get when you have a band made up of graphic designers. One more step in the spread of Design-core. Or is it that rock posters are taking over the world? Hmmm, which is more compelling, the music or the art?

Also, congrats to Scott Sugiuchi for getting four of our event posters in the issue.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Don't You Forget About Me

If you're getting your 80s outfits at Galvanize, ask for your 20% discount! Say you heard it from the Mobtown Shank.

So which Breakfast Club kid were you?

I could relate to all of them, except for the jock (I played tennis, not exactly a team sport). I was mostly the nerd and the weirdo. Poor kids, having problems with the pressure to conform in one way or another, trying to figure out how to be happy and how to meet or fight the expectations of society. Ultimately, I was pretty disappointed by the movie at the time. I think it made me cry.

Whew, I'm so glad the 80s are over.


Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Zippy or Ziggy?

The Baltimore Sun is doing an "extreme makeover" for their comics page.

Vote for the comics you'd like to save!

Wow, that list is like a freaky time warp.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Friday Webabout

It's time again for the nominees for the Utne Independent Press Award.

And also, time again for the Night of 100 Elvises. You can purchase your tickets here starting this weekend.

And don't forget next weekend, our 4th Annual I HATE THE 80s NIGHT.


Ok, yes...I've let the NaNoWriMo thing go untouched the past few days.

BUT, I've got a plan. Write-Ins.

Evergreen Cafe, on 501 W. Coldspring Lane, across from Alonso's. Every Sunday this month.

Just show up between 1-5pm (come earlier, stay later if you'd like) and plan to write like a mutherfucking writing machine.

Or, you know, get a muffin.

All Better Now - Thanks!

Ah! I feel refreshed. It's a sunny beautiful day here in Baltimore, and there are a ton of new great books to be read. What's hip and cool? Friends.

Thanks to everyone for your supportive emails, phone calls and visits to the store. Honestly, I've lost my sense of dread. Just knowing that so many people even outside my regular circles, from first time customers to old aquaintances to sales reps to fellow bloggers, have commiserated with me or given me pep talks (I like that "invisible network" idea!), have just made me feel so much more positive about the future.

Not that any problems are solved. But just knowing that a community exists, not just a group of lost and depressed individuals, makes everything seem a little brighter.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Mamas Teach Your Children

The reading for Mamaphonic is this Sunday, Nov 7th, from 7-9pm.

Moms always make everything all better.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004


The number one selling item today.

So much for a united nation, right? We're sold out, by the way.

B has the right attitude.

And Nolan Strals captures the right feeling (via geekpunk.org).

Here's an outlet for your feelings and opinions:


Dear Readers:

The Philadelphia Independent will publish a free national edition reflecting on the presidential campaign and life in America over the next four years. The issue will be released on Friday, November 12. It will be a full-size broadsheet with an increased print run FREE to the people of Philadelphia and elsewhere. All contents will also be posted online.

We want you to submit writing and original artwork about how you feel about what's happened, and where we might go from here.

Your thoughts needn't be polished so long as they are immediate, honest and address the situation at hand. Our purpose is to get a collective sense of how the city and the country are feeling and reacting, and transmit that to as many as possible as soon as possible.

SUBMIT WRITING: From 20 to 1,000 words. We want eulogies, interviews, essays, reports from the ground, vows, declarations, future plans, calls to action, interviews, accounts of how you voted & why, sequences of stunned expletives, and all other quality ideas and information, whatever you think might speak to everyone else right now. Send them to EDITORS@PHILADELPHIAINDEPENDENT.NET. The big questions that we want answers to are: What went wrong? What happens now? What should we take away from this? But you needn't limit yourself to those.

SUBMIT ARTWORK: Send as a TIFF or JPEG file to
EDITORS@PHILADELPHIAINDEPENDENT.NET. Or stop by with a ZIP disk or CD at 1026 Arch Street, 2nd Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19107. Black and white only, please, 300 dpi or greater.

Please forward this email to anyone else who might be interested in contributing.

We know this deadline is a short one, and we thank you in advance for any time you can set aside to reflect and contribute. We're looking forward to reading and sharing your thoughts.

Take care,

The Editors


You know that show where a bunch of people on a plane crash land on a strange island where there are scary monsters that only they can see?

This post isn't about that.

I am devasted. Surprisingly, completely devasted.

Just the other week I was going on about how I didn't feel alone. And yet today, I couldn't feel more alienated from my fellow Americans. Where am I? Who are you people?

The issues that seem to freak the "majority" of Americans is passe subject matter in our store. What consenting adults choose to do, the lifestyle of different sub-cultures, the sight of a female breast whether for titillation or breast-feeding in public, none of it gives us pause. Hell, almost all of that banal crap has been the subject matter for America's old favorite tv show, "Friends", but now it seems obvious that that shitty show is too scandalous and progressive for this country.

But you know what? Fuck Canada! I'm not taking my marbles and going elsewhere. I'm American and I will remain in America. I still believe that that can be something that I'm proud of being. I believe that I have a place here, and places like Atomic Books can only help.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Shit, I'm Drunk

Man, those election breakfast burritos were goooooood.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Fire Dancers

You know it's Halloween pretty much all year round here at the store, but how often do you get to see Fire Dancers?

Maggie got some great pics from yesterdays festivities here on the Avenue.

I'll have some of mine posted later, but alas, my battery died just as things got started.


So. First Day of that NaNoWriMo thing.

Slowly, everything goes haywire. It's just one thing after another. It's all a conspiracy to ruin my first day and make me lose my momentum. All the typical things that keeps anyone from doing anything.

And then the cliche. My computer explodes!

Well, not really. The store keyboard just stopped working. Nothing I typed would come up, only random windows would start opening and menus would drop down. I thought it was a virus.

Still, it's not like I was planning to write my novel on the store PC. But if it had been a virus I would have been up all night trying to fix it.

All we had to do was switch keyboards. Seems fine now. I'm able to blog, as you can see.

Oh, what next? Besides the fact that every time I think the word "novel", I keep hearing Neal Pollack singing, "I wipe my ass upon your novel!"...

The Book Shelf

One of the best things about Flickr are the notes you can post on your photos, and others.

Perfect for talking about specific books on your shelves. To explain yourself when you're not around. "I don't know where that Star Trek novelization came from!"