Arthur Magazine Returns

Josh Baron on December 26, 2012

The California-based counter culture magazine Arthur has returned to print. Founded in 2002 by Jay Babcock and shuttered six years and 32 issues later, it became the bible for a burgeoning renaissance of psychedelic music. If No Depression was ground zero for folks like Uncle Tupelo and The Jayhawks, Arthur was ground zero for psych folk artists such as Devendra Banhart and Joanna Newsom along with helping break bands like The Black Keys, Six Organs of Admittance and Brightblack Morning Light to wider audiences.

While Relix had already begun to focus on the new psychedelic movement—notably with our 2008 cover story of Jerry Garcia defined as Rock’s Original Hipster alongside artists such as Oldham, Animal Collective and Sonic Youth, and our April/May 2010 cover devoted to The New Psychedelic– we aimed to at least help carry Arthur ‘s torch once it folded because we thought the music they were documenting was not only important but very relevant to our own roots. Our dedication to covering Arthur-friendly music can be seen in every issue we publish whether in our album reviews, profiles or features. (It should also be noted that Arthur devoted plenty of left-leaning ink to politics and socio-cultural issues that railed against the Bush Administration which reigned for the entirety of the magazine’s first life cycle.)

Conversely, Arthur covered the Grateful Dead several times, helping to revitalize interest in the band’s work from a new movement of music and culture that blurred the lines between hipster and hippie.

Notably,Arthur returns not in a traditional magazine format but rather as a giant-sized 16-page broadsheet in partnership with Portland, Oregon-based Floating World Comics at 15" x 22.27" with advertisements only on the back cover. (That’s the size of a traditional newspaper.) Individual issues can be ordered here for $5.

Issue #33 features a career-spanning interview with this late great America guitarist Jack Rose conducted by Brian Rademaekers just months before his death three years ago, a conversation with sparkling Luciferian artist Frank Haines, Stewart Voegtlin on Waylon Jennings’ dark dream, columnists and reviews and much more.

The next issue is due out March 1 and Babcock promises “more pages and more wildness.”

Relix sends a hearty congratulations to Jay and Arthur. WELCOME BACK.