Tuesday, February 24, 2009

In a time before blogs roamed the Earth, Xeroxed zines were king.

Long before the days of high school suburbanite dance parties and “Hook your iPod up to the sound system and drink for free ‘DJ nights’” the Ottobar stood for something...I dunno, more honest? Surly bartenders slung dollar Bohs and saluted wholesome, family friendly topics, like porno and Satan. Little known bands like At the Drive-In and Death Cab for Cutie pulled grateful crowds that wrung every drop of air out of that cramped and flimsy main room. Hang around in the upstairs lounge long enough, and you might've found yourself being stalked by Otto, the namesake barcat. And if they gave out a “Best of Baltimore” award for nastiest men’s room, that one behind the stage would have been a lock. Rose tinted days-gone-by, I know. Still, back then Mike, Todd, Tecla and the others would go that extra mile to make sure you thought they didn’t give a fuck, even though you knew that deep down they really did. Case in point, Ottozine.

This little freebie mag, thrown together with loving carelessness, full of spite and vice, represents a moment in time and a venue in its prime. That's not to say that I don't enjoy the occasional trip to the current Ottobar, an even decade later...but while the name may be the same, that place is gone forever.

Click thumbnails to engorge

Ottozine Cover

Ottozine Pages 2-3

Ottozine Pages 4-5

Ottozine Pages 6-7

Ottozine Pages 8-9

Ottozine Pages 10-11

Ottozine Pages 12-13

Ottozine Pages 14-15

Ottozine Back Cover


joshsisk said...

this was before my time (i first went to the ottobar in 2001) but i think the ottobar is still pretty cool because of mike's fun little projects like "DJs" and projects he books that probably wouldn't fly at other venues, like the recent "new years" variety show that was in late february. times have changed but the ottobar owners still seem to have a good sense of humor!

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