By Chris Richards
December 25, 2012
When the aughties weren’t horrifying, they were tough. Wars raged, SARS spiked, economies crumbled and America decided that its pop singers would be elected to fame via reality television, which, while pseudo-democratic, remains humiliating for all parties involved.
We needed a friend. Someone who could tell a weird joke, hip us to unheard music, teach us how to forage for food in the wild, or give us crash courses in magic. We needed Arthur.
A decade ago, free stacks of the counterculture magazine began materializing at coffee shops, bookstores, nightclubs and galleries across the country. These unsuspecting little newspapers were packed with fantastic reads — articles for, by and/or about rockers, radicals, astrologists, herbalists, poets, punks, believers, debunkers, cooks, comedians, cartoonists and Dolly Parton. But in 2008, as the great recession sent so many indie publications into death spasms, the magazine went kaput.
Four years later, Arthur has risen. “It’s good to be alive again, doing something that we love,” writes editor and co-publisher Jay Babcock in the magazine’s new issue, which features a definitive interview with late outsider guitarist Jack Rose and an almost hallucinogenic appreciation of Waylon Jennings’s finest album, “Dreaming My Dreams,” by Stewart Voegtlin.
And then there’s the biggest surprise: You can actually hold this thing — a beautiful, 16-page broadsheet — in your hands…
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