Arthur magazine is back, but ArthurFest?

Los Angeles Times: Buzz Bands: Kevin Bronson

L.A.’s counterculture core is smiling a little more this week with the news that Arthur magazine has come back from the dead. Whether that means the magazine will return to mounting its music and culture celebration, ArthurFest, remains to be seen.

Of course, the spirit of Arthur — champion of the freak folks, waver of the herbal flag and thorn in the side to all things bloated and consumptive — never went away, even after the magazine drowned in a pool of bad blood between co-founders Jay Babcock and Laris Kreslins in January.

Some of the material intended to run in the ill-fated issue No. 26 is being posted at the Arthur website. There’s still good reading from myriad contributors at the Magpie blog run by Babcock. And there is still fellowship to be found at the weekly Echo Park Social(ist) & Pleasure Club on Thursday nights at the Little Joy.

Babcock — now in hock after having bought out Kreslins’ share of the publication — also says an ArthurFest documentary is nearing completion; a “unique Arthur benefit performance” is in the works; and the mag’s compilation album “So Much Fire to Roast Human Flesh” (an anti-military recruiting benefit) is out.

And what about ArthurFest? “No comment,” Babcock says.

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About Jay Babcock

I am an independent writer and editor based in Tucson, Arizona. In 2022: I publish a weeklyish email newsletter called LANDLINE = https://jaybabcock.substack.com Previously: I co-founded and edited Arthur Magazine (2002-2008, 2012-13) and curated the three Arthur music festival events (Arthurfest, ArthurBall, and Arthur Nights) (2005-6). Prior to that I was a district office staffer for Congressman Henry A. Waxman, a DJ at Silver Lake pirate radio station KBLT, a copy editor at Larry Flynt Publications, an editor at Mean magazine, and a freelance journalist contributing work to LAWeekly, Mojo, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Vibe, Rap Pages, Grand Royal and many other print and online outlets. An extended piece I wrote on Fela Kuti was selected for the Da Capo Best Music Writing 2000 anthology. In 2006, I was somehow listed in the Music section of Los Angeles Magazine's annual "Power" issue. In 2007-8, I produced a blog called "Nature Trumps," about the L.A. River. From 2010 to 2021, I lived in rural wilderness in Joshua Tree, Ca., where I practiced with Buddhist teacher Ruth Denison and was involved in various pro-ecology and social justice activist activities.

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