Whether he is making his own original music, collaborating with a fellow respected musician, or creating his unique visual artwork, Joseph Arthur brings a spark of understated genius to everything he touches. It just so happens that Joe is gearing up to release his first solo album in three years (wow!) entitled Come Back World, and that means it is my pleasure this week to give you a little taste, with the single and video for the sublime “Streetcar,” which features guest vocals by Ben Harper. Continue reading Video Clip of The Week: Joseph Arthur, “Streetcar”
Singer / Songwriter and fine artist Joseph Arthur and former REM guitarist Peter Buck are a couple of guys who don’t need a little blog like The ‘Gig to give them press, because they are both hugely successful in their own rights. But this space is never about obligation, but rather it is about what is desired in the moment when I go hunting through my ridiculously clogged in-box to pick out your Sunday Jam. Because I love Jospeh Arthur to pieces, and R.E.M. were a band of immeasurable importance to me back in my college days, so it is my pleasure to turn you on to their new thing, Arthur Buck, and the paisley-powered-powered video for “Are You Electrified?”, which is all kinds of crazy great. In addition to live-action footage of Joe and Peter, the video also feature Joe’s original artwork!
The Arthur Buck collaboration was established after the pair met up in Mexico near the end of 2017. They wrote eight songs in three days and on the fourth day, performed them for a handful of Baja locals near Buck’s home. Arthur says, “My first thought was, ‘Hey, I’ll get Peter to play acoustic guitar on some of the stuff I’m working on!’ So I started showing him songs. But he was like, ‘That’s cool. Now check this out.’ And he started playing chords and whatnot. So I put my guitar down and began singing over his changes, and it was magical. It was easy. And these great songs just started popping out.”
Since their initial meeting, the pair have been steadily working on their debut with basic tracks being recorded at Type Foundry Studio in Portland, OR with Arthur producing at his studio in Brooklyn, NY. The vibrant collection captures the spontaneity at the heart of the project – right down to the 1-2-3-4 count off from Buck that begins the proceedings – with sounds and styles mashed together in a unique and interesting manner. “It was all new songs, and it was spontaneous,” Buck says. “And the great thing about working that way was that it didn’t have to be anything in particular. It was liberated from any expectation. It was free.”
The two musicians have a history that stretches back decades; among other pairings, Arthur opened many shows for R.E.M. in the early 2000s, while Buck has backed Arthur on numerous occasions. Both Arthur and Buck have said that these songs differ from their other recording projects and while speaking with Rolling Stone last month, Buck said “It was really spontaneous and kind of magical in its own way, as [being in Mexico] we were kind of disconnected from everything.” Arthur added, “All of a sudden it was like I had this musical partner and friend, and that relieved the music of the burden of the self, if that makes sense.” Of his new bandmate, Buck stated, “Joe is going through that searching period we all go through in life. And those experiences he’s having make this a very forward-looking record, lyrically. The music has a questing kind of feel. We were making it up as we went along.”
Arthur Buck will be released on June 15th, 2018 via New West Records. Enjoy!
A true multidisciplinary artist if ever one existed, Joseph Arthur is not only an astoundingly talented Musician and Painter, but one of the kindest and coolest individuals I’ve had the pleasure to meet. It is genuinely exciting to continue to cover Joseph’s career as he blows minds for a living here in New York City. Joseph has a new exhibit of original paintings up now called Phone Calls from Leviathans (such a great title) at Amy Li Projects, which is inside this Button Store:
Fortunately, these paintings of Joe’s are also displayed in the window, to help catch your eye as you approach!
Artist and Musician Joseph Arthur is back at Able Fine Art in Chelsea with another solo show featuring bold new digital prints that represent the next step forward in his ever-evolving body of work.
In this new series, fans will recognize the almost indigenous images of Joseph’s very organic and abstract style of painting combined with a distinctive angular design aspect created on his iPad. The results are simply stunning.
Joseph Arthur’s tenth (tenth!) studio album dropped this past Tuesday (June 11th) and it is once again proof that the New York-based, wildly prolific musician and multi-media artist never runs dry of engaging ideas. Joe performed The Ballad of Boogie Christ front to back (with a few old favorites thrown in at the end) at the Bowery Ballroom last evening, and fans came out to pack the room despite a cold and windy rain working up a frenzy on the streets outside.
For a fan like me, who’s been following Joseph’s career since his 1997 debut, Boogie Christ is a bit more of straightforward “rock” album, bolstered by strong Bob Dylan influences, that still dips into the arena of Arthur’s gorgeous, subtly nuanced ballads.
Although it’s always a kick to experience Joe’s one-man-band performances, last night he was accompanied by a full band – including a saxophone! – which allowed him to rock out a bit more, being freed up from carrying the entire evening on his nevertheless very musically capable shoulders.
Joe will be touring nationally throughout the month of June and you can find tour dates in your area at This Link. He’ll also be performing on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno on Friday June 21st, so be sure to tune in or set your DVRs! The Ballad of Boogie Christ is available from Joseph Arthur Dot Com and wherever fine music is procured.