Saturday, January 10, 2009

Two tickets to Paradise

I was sad to read here that the delightful free music/culture tabloid Arthur is ceasing print publication unless and until a publishing partner materializes. (And just a few moments later, I learned about a gardening magazine also biting the dust.)

On the bright side, Arthur still has an online presence, including a fine blog, where at the moment you can pay tribute to the late Ron Asheton with some bootlegs and hear/read Brian Eno's thoughts on Gaza. And this might just be the time for me to shell out for this 2004 Devendra Banhart-curated compilation CD

featuring folks like Joanna Newsom, Vashti Bunyan, Six Organs of Admittance, Antony, and Iron and Wine. Even more enticing is the DVD of archival footage of the Living Theater's Paradise Now and other landmarks of experimental/political theater circa 1968-69. I've read about these plays since I was a teenager, and it's wild to finally find out what they looked and sounded like. Judging from this promo trailer, they were very, very shrill:

Not the kind of thing I'm going to want to watch on a regular basis, but as an artifact of a crucial yet bygone era, there's no way I'm going to pass it up. Meanwhile, here's hoping Arthur returns to print ASAP.

PS. In brighter news from the publishing world, according to Boing Boing you can now find every incarnation of the Whole Earth Catalog/Review online. Like the Living Theater, this was a staple of my adolescence, even though I was about 10 years too late to the party. Check it out, right here!

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