2000/12/31

2000 Gigography




Here is the list of concerts by Joseph Arthur in 2000 *.

If you own an audio / video recording and an "unavailable" concert, thank you kindly send me an email to whenyoucryyoureyesarehollow@gmail.com



2000-01-22 The Elk's Lodge, Sundance, UT USA 
2000-01-23 The Elk's Lodge, Sundance, UT USA 
2000-02-18 Fillmore, San Francisco, CA USA 
2000-02-29 KCRW Radio, Santa Monica, CA USA 
2000-02-29 Conga Room, Los Angeles, CA USA
2000-03-04 Holy Joe's, Toronto Canada
2000-03-13 Canal + TV, Paris France 
2000-03-14 Playlist, France Inter Radio, Paris France
2000-03-14 Coliseum, Porto Portugal
2000-03-15 Coliseum, Lisbon Portugal
2000-03-16 La Riviera, Madrid Spain
2000-03-17 Zeleste, Barcelona Spain
2000-03-19 Le Zenith, Toulouse France
2000-03-20 Patinoire Meriadeck, Bordeaux France
2000-03-21 FNAC Italiens Instore, Paris France 
2000-03-22 Palais Omnisports de Bercy, Paris France
2000-03-23 Amphitheatre, Angers France
2000-03-24 Le Zenith, Caen France
2000-03-25 Le Zenith, Lille France
2000-03-27 FNAC Instore, Strasbourg France
2000-03-27 Hall Rhenus, Strasbourg France
2000-03-28 FNAC Instore, Lyon France
2000-03-28 Palais des Sports, Lyon France
2000-03-29 Le Summum, Grenoble France
2000-03-31 Le Dome, Marseille France
2000-04-01 Palalido, Milan Italy
2000-04-03 Palasport, Modena Italy 
2000-04-05 Palacisalfa, Rome Italy
2000-04-06 Palacisalfa, Rome Italy
2000-04-07 Palaevangelisti, Perugia Italy
2000-04-09 Teatro Tenda, Florence Italy
2000-04-11 FNAC Instore, Clermont-Ferrand France
2000-04-11 Maison des Sports, Clermont-Ferrand France
2000-04-13 Volkshaus, Zurich Switzerland
2000-04-14 Theatre im National, Bern Switzerland
2000-04-15 Arena, Geneve Switzerland
2000-04-17 Stadtgarten, Koln Germany
2000-04-18 Logo, Hamburg Germany
2000-05-01 WBAI Radio, New York, NY USA
2000-05-02 Knitting Factory, New York, NY USA 
2000-05-05 The Grog Shop , Cleveland, OH USA
2000-05-06 Coffee Beanery , Royal Oak, MI USA
2000-05-07 Schuba's Tavern , Chicago, IL USA
2000-05-08 400 Bar, Minneapolis, MN USA
2000-05-12 T.T. The Bear's , Cambridge, MA USA
2000-05-13 Jailhouse Rock Cafe , Montreal Canada
2000-05-14 Mercury Lounge , Ottawa Canada
2000-05-15 Ted's Wrecking Yard , Toronto Canada
2000-05-18 WXPN Radio, Philadelphia, PA US
2000-05-18 The Point, Bryn Mawr, PA USA
2000-05-19 The Grog Shop, Cleveland, OH USA
2000-05-20 Coffee Beanery , Royal Oak, MI USA
2000-05-22 400 Bar, Minneapolis, MN USA
2000-05-25 T.T. The Bear's , Cambridge, MA USA
2000-05-27 Jailhouse Rock Cafe, Montreal Canada
2000-05-28 L'Autre Caserne, Quebec City Canada
2000-05-29 Ted's Wrecking Yard, Toronto Canada
2000-05-31 Knitting Factory, New York, NY USA
2000-06-02 The Grog Shop, Cleveland, OH USA
2000-06-03 Coffee Beanery , Royal Oak, MI USA
2000-06-04 Schuba's Tavern , Chicago, IL USA
2000-06-05 Q101 Radio, Chicago, IL USA
2000-06-05 400 Bar, Minneapolis, MN USA
2000-06-10 CBC Radio, Toronto Canada
2000-06-10 Mercury Lounge, New York, NY USA
2000-06-12 CBS TV, New York, NY USA
2000-06-13 Fletchers, Baltimore, MD USA
2000-06-14 Nightclub 9:30, Washington, DC USA
2000-06-16 Cotton Club, Atlanta, GA USA
2000-06-18 WXIA TV, Atlanta, GA USA
2000-06-19 Gypsy Tea Room, Dallas, TX USA 
2000-06-21 La Zona Rosa, Austin, TX USA
2000-06-24 Glastonbury Festival, Glastonbury UK
2000-07-05 WXPN Radio, Philadelphia, PA USA
2000-07-06 Lion's Lair, Denver, CO USA
2000-07-07 Liquid Joe's, Salt Lake City, UT USA
2000-07-09 KDVS Radio, Davis, CA USA
2000-07-09 The Brickyard, Sacramento, CA USA
2000-07-11 Cafe du Nord, San Francisco, CA USA
2000-07-12 Luna Park, Los Angeles, CA USA
2000-07-13 The Hi-Bar, Santa Barbara, CA USA
2000-07-14 Nita's Hideaway, Tempe, AZ USA
2000-07-15 Java Joe's, San Diego, CA USA
2000-07-16 Fingerprints, Long Beach, CA USA 
2000-07-17 Virgin Megastore, San Francisco, CA USA
2000-07-18 Cafe du Nord, San Francisco, CA USA
2000-07-19 Luna Park, Los Angeles, CA USA
2000-07-21 Dante's, Portland, OR USA
2000-07-22 Baltic Room, Seattle, WA US
2000-07-23 Starfish Room, Vancouver Canada
2000-07-25 Cafe du Nord, San Francisco, CA USA
2000-07-26 KACD Radio, Santa Monica, CA USA 
2000-07-26 The Roxy Theatre, Los Angeles, CA USA
2000-08-18 Regal Harvest House, Boulder, CO USA
2000-08-29 Nightclub 9:30, Washington, DC USA
2000-09-05 Berbatis Pan, Portland, OR USA
2000-09-05 Music Millenium Instore, Portland, OR USA
2000-09-06 Fillmore, San Francisco, CA USA 
2000-09-08 Soundbreak.com, ? USA 
2000-09-08 The Palace, Los Angeles, CA USA
2000-09-09 Street Scene, San Diego, CA USA
2000-09-12 La Zona Rosa , Austin, TX USA
2000-09-13 Trees, Dallas, TX USA
2000-09-15 Axis, Boston, MA USA
2000-09-18 Metropol, Pittsburgh, PA USA
2000-09-19 Bowery Ballroom, New York, NY USA 
2000-09-20 Bowery Ballroom, New York, NY USA
2000-09-22 St. Andrews Hall, Detroit, MI USA
2000-09-23 Vic Theatre, Chicago, IL USA
2000-09-26 Nightclub 9:30, Washington, DC USA
2000-10-03 WFUV Radio, New York, NY USA
2000-10-04 Q101 Radio, Chicago, IL USA
2000-10-27 West Strand Grill , Woodstock, NY USA
2000-11-09 La Laiterie, Strasbourg France
2000-11-10 Aeronef, Lille France
2000-11-11 La Cigale, Paris France 
2000-11-12 Olympic, Nantes France
2000-11-13 Le Bikini, Toulouse France
2000-12-09 Waterloo Brewing Company, Austin, TX USA
2000-12-11 The Roxy Theatre, Los Angeles, CA USA


LAST UPDATE : 2018-06-17


* : Here is my source. You should check the amazing work of Xavier & his team !!
The complete JA Gigography is available here : http://lonelyastronauts.com/gigography.html



REVIEW : Come To Where I'm From - Ink 19



by Bryan Tilford, 2000-08-15


If you’ve heard other Real World releases or just plain thought they were a little too “out there” for you, take note; Joseph Arthur is from an unusual country for them – the USA. These songs are firmly rooted in positive, upbeat pop, smoothly bopping and frolicking about – though some are more serious, more embracingly lamentous. Throughout are some noticeably hopeful and creative applications of that traditional song form.

The music is largely coated with a fuzzy, rich pastoral backdrop, simple but effective with a slick diversity and exploratory nature. Each track sticks its finger into a different flavor of the pop pie, as well as sprinkling a few serendipitous surprises here and there. And then there’s “Cockroach,” featuring some aurally distinct ultra-eclectic sonic relationships. 
“Ashes Everywhere” interjects a harmonica solo plodding along like a waking Neil Young. Other times Joseph grabs a shortcut into Peter Gabriel or Robbie Robertson territory, add a pinch of raw and grit.

“Eyes On My Back” comes in like a lost early solo Lennon demo but evolves into quite a splashy event. In a somber and introspective “The Real You,” Joseph reveals “I have to redeem myself forever and forever, you can hear it in my song.”

Joseph Arthur has definitely accepted music into his soul. Come to Where I’m From is his testimony of that penetration.

REVIEW : Come To Where I'm From - Brainwashed



JOSEPH ARTHUR, "COME TO WHERE I'M FROM"

Jason Olariu 


Following up his "Vacancy" mini album from last year, Joseph Arthur returns to the scene a bit wiser.
Lacking a lot of the sound experimentation featured on his debut album, "Big City Secrets", the theme of "Come To Where I'm From" seems to be perfecting the art of song craft. 

Beginning with the bittersweet acoustic-led "In The Sun", which has been a long-time live favorite of Joe's fans and was also recorded by his mentor/label boss Peter Gabriel for a Princess Di tribute album, I had a bad feeling J.A. has gone soft and has given up his cutting edginess for more AOR-driven pop balladeering. 

"Chemical" and "History", with their flickering sounds fluttering around the song's jangly pop heart like butterfly wings of distortion, are refreshing reminders that no matter how radio-friendly Joe gets, he's still head-and-shoulders above most of his pop-driven peers. Giving further props to Tom Waits, such as "Bottle Of Me" from "Big City Secrets", "Invisible Hands" is a late-night lovers lament, with it's big drums, echoey guitar, and whispered vocals - personal, sensual, and enticing. 

"Come To Where I'm From" is, essentially, both homage to the genius of the late Jeff Buckley and a promise to carry on in the creation of ecstatic, groundbreaking music. 

Beautifully honest and sublime.

REVIEW : Come To Where I'm From - Les Inrockuptibles


Jusqu'ici, seule la France avait répondu à l'appel chancelant du premier album de Joseph Arthur, Big city secrets, disque sorti il y à trois ans à peine trouvable aux Amériques. Une farce que se chargera de corriger l'impressionnant Come to where I'm from. 

On se souvient d'un Joseph Arthur se décrivant comme un chanteur par défaut, parce qu'il fallait bien une voix pour porter ses textes. On a aujourd'hui envie de le condamner à écouter son magnifique Tattoo, qui révèle une voix insoupçonnable il y a trois ans. Il faut dire que, après les Anglais précieux des studios RealWorld, Joseph Arthur a depuis Vacancy (son terrifiant mini-album sorti l'an passé) confié sa voix au vénérable Texan T-Bone Burnett : un type en santiags dans le hamac qui, en chassant ici à la Winchester les mauvaises vibrations, en traitant les chansons aux alcools euphorisants de cactus, a appris à Joseph Arthur les vertus du relâchement. 

Pourtant, même domestiqué, Joseph Arthur reste sauvage, incapable de vraiment quitter le confort morbide de sa bulle, ce refuge de l'immaturité où il trouve encore les mots à ses maux. Mais alors que ses textes avaient parfois tendance à flirter avec l'autocomplaisance sur Big city secrets, son écriture se fait ici moins diffuse, plus sèche. Visiblement, sa bulle possède désormais des fenêtres sur l'extérieur. Certes, Joseph Arthur a toujours le blues, mais il se soigne avec violence au lieu d'en faire un élevage in vitro. Et s'il écoute toujours du blues, il a découvert qu'il pouvait suer sur des machines, notamment grâce à Tricky. Une évolution qui l'entraîne un peu plus loin dans ce no-man's land entre coutumes américaines (folk, country, blues) et us laborantins (concassage des rythmes, sympathie pour les machines). 

Un vaste refuge pour les flous artistiques où, de loin, ce grand escogriffe évoque une sorte de Tom Waits sans la bouteille, un Bob Mould qui se soucierait d'élégance, un Vic Chesnutt travaillé à la gégène, une Suzanne Vega dégriffée, décoiffée.

REVIEW : Come to Where I’m From - Opuszine.us



I hope everybody besides me might now see him as Morrissey’s American counterpart.

Peter Gabriel’s new protege has been compared to many kings of mope — Nick Drake, Leonard Cohen, Jeff Buckley, Joe Henry — and these comparisons are not out of context at all. Even some of Gabriel’s influence can be heard. However, my comparison might be a little more daring than all of those that have been mentioned. The year 2000 claimed for a new Stephen Patrick Morrissey to call its own, and was very impatient to wait for the breakup of Belle and Sebastian, Travis, or any other of those bands compared to The Smiths (and would they produce a new Moz anyways?). So, Joseph Arthur, in spite of belonging to a new and powerful generation of “mopers” with intelligent lyrics (along with Elliott Smith, Cat Power, Dianne Izzo, and some others), seems to have all the requirements to be the (possibly) only legitimate heir of Morrissey’s post-Smiths legacy.

Not only does Arthur share Moz’s clever and witty way of writing histories about loneliness, heartbreak, despair, and intimate goings-on (Joseph only excludes Moz’s sexual ambiguity from his book of themes), but also Moz’s way of singing. While not sharing Stephen’s distinctive silky, croony pitch, he does share the same expression of passion and intensity that lets us feel every word’s meaning.

Where Arthur differs with Morrissey is that he writes his own music and plays almost all of his instruments. But Arthur does not use that as an excuse for a huge ego. Instead, our guy is smart enough to ask for help from such great talents as T-Bone Burnett (Sam Phillips, U2) for production and Markus Dravs (Bjork, Peter Gabriel), for programming. The result is an undeniably delicious and eclectic record with poetic and brutally honest songs.

“Ashes Everywhere” is the theme with a folky feeling, but constructed in a very delicate way. In the same style, but with more rhythm and a Nick Cave-ish violence, is “Creation or a Stain.” We find “Chemical” to be a theme that could easily fit on any Beck record, due to its mixture of folk and modern techno rhythms. “Exhausted” is the answer to Richard Ashcroft’s “New York” melodies, with more rock and less technology. “Invisible Hands” seems like it was originally written by Mark Sandman (who himself has had a heavy Leonard Cohen influence), but adapted to Joseph’s way. The rest are beautiful songs which recall some of the best work of Nick Drake (“Cockroach”), Morrissey (“Eyes on My Back,” “Tatoo” ) and sometimes both within the same song (just listen to “In The Sun” and the beautiful ballad “History”).

In a few words, Joseph Arthur might hopefully now have the recognition that his talent deserves… And everybody besides me might now see him as Morrissey’s American counterpart (or, if you prefer, the next Morrissey).


Written by Pekky Marquez.

REVIEW : Come To Where I'm From - AllMusic


AllMusic Review by Evan Cater

Note : 3,5 of 5 stars


With Come to Where I'm From, Joseph Arthur shows a willingness to ease up on the stifling angst that dominated his previous efforts. To be sure, the album still has more than its share of gut-wrenching misery -- there's no shortage of lines like "I feel like taking a razor blade and on my wrist write an invitation" -- but this time out, the anguish is balanced by healthy doses of self-awareness and a winking sense of humor. 

"Ashes Everywhere," a wistful guitar and harmonica breakup ballad, induces intentional chuckles with its meandering, dopey melody and lines like "I'm just trying to be all that I can be without destroying you or joining the army." In the ferocious and whimsical rap "Creation or a Stain" -- a strange sort of crossbreed of Beck, the Beastie Boys and OMC -- Arthur whines about "a guy in my head" and says, "I've come back from the dead so anything can happen/ I'm obsessed with tragic endings standing out like Eric Clapton." In addition to the somewhat lighter tone, Come to Where I'm From exhibits a more polished and accessible sound, without sacrificing the adventurous spirit that has been Arthur's greatest asset. 

Arthur undoubtedly benefited greatly from the shrewd ear of veteran producer T-Bone Burnett, a master of art-folk melancholy whose resumé includes records by the Wallflowers, Counting Crows, Elvis Costello, and Sam Phillips. Burnett's input seems to have had the effect of honing Arthur's untamed talent. The melodies are tighter and catchier, demonstrating more restraint without seeming constrained. The U2-influenced "Chemical" has the sound of an alternative-radio hit. Arthur, who once described his music as "someone trying to heal over experimental folk-rock," is clearly still hurting. But somehow it seems significant that he's now able to sing, "I'm trying to enjoy the pain."

COVERART : Come To Where I'm From


























K7 (thank you Benji!)







REVIEW : Come To Where I'm From - Pitchfork


By Spencer Owen; April 11, 2000

Note : 7.4


Joseph Arthur wants to be an enigma. I mean, really badly. He wants to be your unique, personal, do-it-yourself, enigmatic folk/pop singer/songwriter, and he'll do whatever it takes to get there. He'll cover his album art with weird, tribal drawings he made himself. He'll play more than just guitar if you want, sometimes even harmonica. He'll even experiment with different genres on a couple songs. In his liner notes, Arthur cryptically refers to himself as "benzo," and gives his supporting musicians equally puzzling aliases like "darkstar" and "lovehammer." He packs his lyrics with surrealist imagery that could pertain to traditional love or loss, but what he really wants is for you to ask: "Is that actually what he means? Could it be deeper than this?" Yet, as the album's final seconds tick to a close, the real question at hand ends up being: "Does it matter?"

And the answer? Well, no. But you knew I was going to say that. On his second full-length,Come to Where I'm From, Arthur's self-imposed pseudo-enigma status is more easily discarded than decoded. There are enough solid songwriting chops behind the facade to sustain him, and there's just as much-- if not more-- to be said for the production. T-Bone Burnett, Rick Will, and Arthur himself each take co-producer titles, and what results is a raw, endearing sound that blends each instrument perfectly while remaining crisp as a bell. It's some of the best production and mixing this side of Tchad Blake, who also happens to mix two of these songs, probably not all that coincidentally.

As already established, Joseph Arthur's at his strongest when his ambiguously mystical lyrics don't get in the way, and most of the time, they don't. In "Invisible Hands," the line "There are things we cannot know/ Invisible hands who guide the show/ From up above" doesn't hold significance as a spiritual revelation, but rather, simply as a way to meld his vocals with the subdued and effective melody. The track's rhythmic base pulses as Arthur moans and hums through the track's five minutes while guitars, harmonicas, and subtle buzzes of feedback float in and out. It's this eerie tone, and not the prose contained within, that provides him with the mysterious atmosphere he's tried so desperately to achieve.

And then there are those times when the embittered victim in Arthur spills haphazardly onto his lyric sheet. On "Creation or a Stain," Come to Where I'm From's most painful moment, he sort of, well, tries to rap about it. Actually, it isn't a rap as much as a failed Patti Smith impression. But whatever it is, Arthur manages an off-the-scale reading on the Rock Bottom lyricist detector: "I'm a walking crucifixion/ I'm a fucked-up memory." Over the course of its trying four-minute length, the track condemns all corruption, and laments the beggars and starving people of the world. And all this over the same two chords!

Better for Arthur to stick to what he knows best. His most substantial material doesn't go for the throat, the heart, or even the intellect, but the ears. "Cockroach," one of Where I'm From's standouts, is built solely on ambient street sounds, a folksy acoustic guitar progression, and a drumkit that sounds like it's made of rocks. It seems to recall memories-- possibly even actualmemories-- of bygone days busking on urban street corners. The song is enhanced by the occasional delayed fuzz lead, supportive female backing vocals, and the subtle, haunting echo of Arthur's voice as he sings his heart out with every line.

So I suppose it's safe to let Joe into your home. He's pleasant enough, and moderately talented. Plus, he's got quite a few nice tunes in his repertoire. But lay down some house rules first: make sure he sticks to his more musical material, don't ask him where he gets his lyrics, and never let him make you call him "benzo." It's not very becoming of him.


COVERART : Live At The Gypsy Tea Room





REVIEW : Come To Where I'm From - Libération



AVEC SON TROISIÈME ALBUM, LE RIVAL ÉCORCHÉ DE BEN HARPER PREND CORPS. L'OSSATURE JOSEPH ARTHUR.

Par Hélène LEE— 18 mars 2000 à 23:32


Joseph Arthur tient une sculpture, sorte de robot macabre hérissé d'allumettes calcinées. 

«Un truc comme ça paraît sombre. Pourtant, en le faisant je me suis bien marré.» Il triture l'objet, sans la moindre déférence, finit par en arracher des bouts. «Peut-être que la musique fonctionne comme ça. Exprimer les choses les rachète. Et c'est ce qui touche les gens. L'évidence que les autres aussi en chient, ça a quelque chose de réconfortant.» Sous la provocation narquoise, les thèmes de la destruction et de la rédemption hantent Joseph Arthur. Crawling on Bones, son troisième enregistrement, à peine moins viscéral que le premier, Big City Secrets, écume les épaves des mêmes naufrages: «Les murs saignent, j'hallucine/ Je suis sous la roue qui tourne et je n'arrive pas à la ralentir (") Mon imagination m'épuise» (Exhausted).

Autodérision. A 28 ans, Joseph a «une vieille âme». Cure de désintoxication à 14 ans, antécédents psychiatriques" Au bout des dérives, de job en job, de sofa en sofa, un message de Peter Gabriel sur le répondeur; c'était il y a cinq ans. En 1997, Big City Secrets sort donc sur le label Real World. Une voix vomit des peurs, bredouille des secrets, s'asphyxie sur fond de guitares déliquescentes. My Dad Is On Prozac reste un classique: «Papa est sous Prozac/ Je crois que je ne veux plus le voir/ Il me fait me sentir dangereux.» Pourtant, le son, magma de guitares acoustiques et d'effets, est sensuel, et certaines chansons évoquent le calme après la tempête, la jouissance d'être en vie; dans les textes les plus sombres, l'autodérision veille.

Comme souvent ­ Ray Charles, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Marley­, c'est la France qui réagit la première: 10 000 albums vendus. Le style low-key, les textes vaguement mystérieux, s'inscrivent dans la ligne de Ben Harper, Tim Buckley. Malgré le peu de réaction aux Etats-Unis, Virgin décide de continuer à travailler Big City Secrets. Le temps passe, avec, pour le chanteur le tourment de voir s'entasser les nouvelles chansons sans pouvoir les sortir. «Depuis que j'ai arrêté de boire et de me foutre en l'air, c'est la seule chose qui me reste, dit-il d'une voix traînante. Je suis tout le temps en train d'écrire, de peindre ou de jouer.» Pour patienter, il lâche huit titres au mini-label Undercover, en 1999.

Vacancy est trash, les distorsions des guitares menacent les textes, mais le charme délétère est là. D'autant plus évident que les musiques moins soignées. Le titre caché, I'm Going out Tonight, est un fragment saisissant, où une voix à la Tom Waits beugle en contrepoint d'un piano lyrique. La pochette (dessinée par Arthur lui-même) est nominée aux Grammys, l'album écoule ses 10 000 exemplaires. 

A l'automne, Joseph Arthur, en tournée avec le groupe anglais à la mode Gomez, débarque au Café de la danse avec sa guitare acoustique et un bric-à-brac de câbles et de machines, associés à toutes sortes d'effets delay ou distorsion. Au milieu de ce capharnaüm sonique, il meut son long corps avec précaution, écrasant une pédale de la pointe de sa chaussure grise à bout carré, suscitant un labyrinthe de boucles au-dessus duquel il expédie sa voix samplée tourner dans les cintres. Le public est scotché. Farce? 

Cette semaine, Joseph Arthur débarque à nouveau, en première partie cette fois de Ben Harper. Et sort enfin son troisième disque. On l'aura attendu, ce Crawling on Bones... Dès la première écoute, on sait qu'on tient quelque chose. Mais quoi? La séduction est si flagrante qu'on se méfie. C'est sûrement un grand disque; peut-être une grande farce. Forcément, un album qui intrigue. Il attire dans des eaux croupies, joue les confidences sur l'oreiller ­ «Je m'imagine encore en train de te laver les cheveux/ J'aurais voulu laver tout ton désespoir»" Et puis, tout à trac, l'incongru: «Avec le potentiel d'un fusil chargé/ Je pourrais être frais comme du chewing-gum durci», ou «Jésus est venu sur terre mourir pour mes péchés/ J'ai besoin qu'il revienne mourir encore pour moi»" 

Ouaf-ouaf, ricane celui qui, à 5 ans, décidait de fabriquer une marionnette «qui ferait flipper toute la classe» (et mettait sa menace à exécution). Il y a des moments prenants, où l'on sombre dans les guitares lentes comme une houle, psych-outées à la limite de la nausée (Invisible Hands, The Real You). Il y a aussi des chansons classiques, à la composition soignée, tel le superbe Chemical, sorte de Lucy in the Sky postmoderne. Le producteur, T. Bone Burnett, s'est glissé dans le monde du chanteur, a joué son jeu des parodies pop, des guitares déjantées. Pas une chanson ne ressemble à l'autre, toutes présentent ce son unique, murmure traînant sur déchirement de soie, qui devrait accrocher le public roots de Ben Harper. Au fait, est-il bien sage pour Harper de se faire précéder de ce jumeau pervers? 

Erratum Joseph Arthur. Dans notre édition de samedi, nous avons titré à tort Crawling on Bones le nouvel album de Joseph Arthur, intitulé en fait: Come from where I Am (Real World/Virgin). 

Joseph Arthur est très attendu ce soir à Bercy en première partie de Ben Harper. 


TAB : COME TO WHERE I'M FROM (2000)





Click on a title to see the tab.


"Chemical"
"Creation or a Stain"





COVERART : In The Sun (MaxiCD EU)









INTERVIEW : 2000 Joseph Arthur Comes to Town (by The Raft)



For the first five minutes Joseph Arthur plays us his new song that he wrote 2 days ago. He first explains it is a pop song. It certainly is and 1 week later the tune is still rattling round my head lodging after only one hearing. The interview can then begin in earnest.

'This is me and this is me sitting in a room with a guitar crushing down onto my head. This is where I dream'

This is an unexpected start to the interview, Joseph Arthur holding up his guitar to camera and reeling off his first of many intriguing sound-bites. Still I am a professional and am not phased (yet !) I had recently been reading through Joseph's diary extracts from life on the road. He has been touring around the globe for some time now with the likes of Gomez and Ben Harper and chronicles his experiences in his on line tour diaries. Prolific and expressive they deserve publication in their own right.

I begin with a Paris extract - In Paris - It's easy to become....... "Oh you're just going on about the bad ones !!!"

Are you going to publish any of the diary extracts.

"Well it is published on to the web which is great because we can publish and it so doesn't have to be good ! Even our shit - which is bad probably - I say fuck it - it's more fun to take a chance !"

I continue .... In Milan ; the audience are crowding like snakes and when the voodoo sticks are rubbed together nothing happens.....

"I was trying to describe different states of performance but there are some more positive one in there ! (Joseph reiterates for about the 3rd time.) They are probably just not as fun to read."

Correct, we English just love to love the negative side. I finally deliver the line that I have been trying to get to ; Do you find it hard putting on performance after performance ?

"Usually no, it kicks ass !! But it happens. It's interesting to document what happens inside the performers head - when you do interviews typically you are not being real as it is so posed. In a way - I give more of myself - like interviewing myself."

So have you got to know any of your touring partners well ?

"We recorded a song with Gomez in Los Angeles called 'I Donated Myself to the Mexican Army' which came out really well."

The new album in entitled 'Welcome to Where I'm From' so it is only right that I should enquire into where Joseph is actually from !

"I used to live in London so it's strange walking round as you see a lot of ghosts. I had a life here. I'm from Ohio originally from but live in New York now."

So....."The album is like an invitation . I am experimenting with being open as opposed to experimenting with being closed which I did before - but that didn't work. I am trying to connect with people but that is very dangerous to do as people often resent it when you try and connect with them. Some people resent it - some people appreciate it. The people that do try and connect are usually very sensitive and so when they stumble upon the people that resent them trying to connect they sometimes get hurt. So it's dangerous to try and connect. But you only live once."

Well one thing is for sure - Joseph is fond of the word 'connect'. Maybe I'm on to something ?! Maybe it is time to turn the conversation around to philosophy. So what is your outlook Joseph ?

Nonplussed in the slightest he points to a hanging picture behind us : " Roses embalmed in gold pictures." Errrghhhh ? " I think that means I'm trying to value life. I'm just kidding !!....I'm trying to trap life into it's value.I believe in god. I don't think that he is particularly punishing. I do sacrifice lambs though !

OK right, so who do you look up to ?

"I don't have any heroes except for anybody ! I listen to a lot of Miles Davis, Nirvana, Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Beatles and I love Andy Warhol and De Kooning in terms of art."

Well that was reasonably straightforward. Music or art - one choice please ?

"I get obsessive about the music and the painting at different times. Music is more my wife and paintings are more my girlfriend on the side........... not that I condone that sort of behaviour.. I'm not suggesting that !"

Joseph Arthur was recently nominated for a Grammy for the packaging to his previous release. Did you enjoy the Grammies ?

"It's fun. I should have start writing the tour journal then. It was a gas. I didn't expect that we would win, to get nominated it was just sheer outrageous. I knew in my heart there was no chance we could win - well 95% sure... I didn't prepare a speech - it's daytime - no one really cares. It was late and we were dressed up as we were going to the parties afterwards any way. It was funny though as we found out after about 5 minutes that we had not won so we left as there was no other reason for us to really be there. And then we went to eat some Mexican food and went to the parties. It was an honour. I didn't really think of it until I saw the programme and then saw how much attention they had given it. It wasn't til after we had not won that I felt honoured by it."

What got you in to it in the first place ?

"Some way to redeem my life.....I was full of terminal self- hatred right from Kindergarten on. I just remember like being really heavy when I was really young I never was a kid. I was just really young but I was always an adult. I think I had a strange upbringing but I think that I am just a strange person with a strange upbringing but then I think everyone has a strange upbringing. They're all fucking nuts ! Mine was no exception to that rule but I think there was something a bit strange to begin with like with my mind - a bit unusual .."

Time was nearly up but I had to ask the seemingly obvious....Do you take drugs?

"I don't take drugs. I used to take drugs but then found out that they are really bad for you. Somebody said "Hey they are really bad for you" so I thought "Shit, I better stop taking them".

Finally after the most surreal but engaging 20 minutes I asked what he had got up his sleeve for the rest of the year ?

"I'm gonna go to New York and see if she'll go out with me (points to girl on magazine).... If my girlfriend sees this I'm just kidding !... I'm going out on the road forever...I've been on the road forever which is why I'm so scattered and weird.."

At the end Joseph asked if we could take out the bit that he had a strange mind. For someone that had been stranger than any one that I had ever spoken to I found that really endearing. Joseph Arthur composes music, poetry, sculpts and paints all with a depth that someone with just one of those skills would be willing to accept the artist's sufferance for. If that meant that Joseph Arthur is in turmoil I wouldn't like to say - using the foil of abstract comedy I was kept well away from his true persona. But you can draw your own conclusions from his notes from the road.


2000/12/09

2000-12-09 - Waterloo Brewing Company, Austin


On Stage :

Solo concert


Setlist : 

mercedes
in the sun
prison
exhausted
invisible hands
history
big city secret
i donated myself to the mexican army

Recording :

Sadly, there's no audio recording of this event. 
If I am wrong, thank you to inform me by email.






2000-12-09 - Waterloo Brewing Company, Austin


On Stage :

Solo concert


Setlist : 

mercedes
in the sun
prison
exhausted
invisible hands
history
big city secret
i donated myself to the mexican army

Recording :

Sadly, there's no audio recording of this event. 
If I am wrong, thank you to inform me by email.



2000/11/11

2000-11-11 - La Cigale, Paris



On Stage :

Solo concert


Setlist :

i donated myself to the mexican army
toxic angel
history
in the sun
prison
mercedes
big city secret
exhausted
invisible hands


Recording :

2000-11-11 Cigale





2000/11/09

2000-11-09 - La Laiterie, Strasbourg




On Stage :

Solo concert, for the Festival des Inrockuptibles


Setlist : 

toxic angel
i donated myself to the mexican army
in the sun
prison
the real you
history
big city secret
exhausted
mercedes
invisible hands


Recording :

There's a audience recording of this event. 






2000/10/27

2000-10-27 - West Strand Grill, Woodstock


On Stage :

Solo concert


Setlist : 

toxic angel
in the sun
history
redemption's son
prison
exhausted
innocent world
i donated myself to the mexican army
big city secret
mercedes


Recording :

Sadly, there's no audio recording of this event. 
If I am wrong, thank you to inform me by email.





2000/09/27

INTERVIEW : 2000-09-27 Come Undone: An Interview With Singer/Songwriter Joseph Arthur (by Gail Worley)



As musical genres mutate to serve the demand for creative innovation, singer/songwriter Joseph Arthur takes the one-man-band concept to a level that renders an accompanying band obsolete. Armed with his acoustic guitar, a dozen effects boxes, and the endless adaptability of two Jam Man’s, Arthur accompanies himself with beats (drummed out on the body of his guitar, which is elaborately decorated with his own abstract drawings), loops, and his own free-form backing vocals. 
Delay pedals and volume controls create dynamics and layers of sound. What begins as fairly sparse fills out quickly, becoming a gorgeous, circular buildup of interlocking samples, vocals and guitar patterns that’s truly hypnotizing.



“It’s not just a loop playing and then another loop of the same thing,” Arthur explains, seated in the conference room of Virgin Records’ Park Avenue office. “You can bring things in and out and create some life in there. I have established beats, but I try to keep [the show] as improvisational as possible. That’s just more fun for me, and I think people sense that.” 
The experience is all the sweeter when squeezed into the small venues Arthur’s been touring in support of his sophomore release,Come to Where I’m From.

Standing over six feet, with dark, tousled hair and wire framed glasses, the 28 year-old Akron, Ohio native bears a strong resemblance to either John Lennon or the Verve’s Richard Ashcroft, depending on the day. Arthur has an easy-going charm and endearing, quick wit and can be somewhat self-deprecating. He remains somewhat incredulous when recalling the fairytale-like career break that dropped into his lap when Peter Gabriel mysteriously got a copy of his demo tape. Impressed with Arthur’s songs, Gabriel phoned Arthur and invited him to record for his Real World label. “I was just straight-up out of the music store, working [for] minimum wage. All of a sudden, I’m at Real World (Gabriel’s studio in England) making a record. I was really freaked out,” he laughs. That album, 1997’s, Big City Secrets, turned critics’ heads but did little commercially. Arthur says Come to Where I’m From is “closer to what my sound is.”


You seem kind of shy on stage. How does it feel right now to be in the middle of a critical buzz?

Last night (at NYC’s Mercury Lounge) people told me it was a good show, but I felt like it could have been better. Maybe I only feel that way because it’s New York. [But] I feel good. I was feeling more of that insecure, shy-guy thing last night. Sometimes I’m much more self-assured than that but I’ve been going through this kind of weird insecurity crisis in the last week, on stage. I think it has something to do with being tired but you do sometimes get into that head space [of thinking] ‘How is this entertaining for anybody?’ I start philosophizing while I’m performing and it drives me crazy. I start going down to the nuts and bolts of what performance is, like ‘This is a strange ritual that people come into a room and you’re before them.’ I think, because I’m alone, it’s sort of raw and a naked sort of experience in a way, so it even accentuates the absurdity of performance. Plus a New York audience is a little bit cool, even though I think they are appreciative. It makes me go more inside myself.

It’s obvious that you were making a major connection with your audience. I actually heard people talking about you before the show like you were some kind of sacred teen idol. It was wild.

That’s pretty insane, isn’t it? What does that mean?

I think it’s exciting.

It is exciting. I don’t know how I take it. To be honest with you, I don’t mean this to be bad or harsh, I just don’t take it that seriously. I love it, it’s fun. I’m really happy that people are receiving the music and it’s fun to travel around and have people be into it, but I think in retrospect it’ll trip me out more. When I’m in the moment of it, it’s so surreal that I just go with it.

I’ve been going back and revisiting Big City Secrets over the past few days, which is a great record…

Thank you, yeah. I always thought that record was better than the attention given it. Not to say that people didn’t appreciate it, but nobody seemed to hear it. But I don’t want to go into that.

Before I started listening to it again, after maybe a year of not hearing those songs, I didn’t expect to hear much of a difference. But when I put it up against the new record, there seems to be a huge leap in your creative style. It sounded like on Big City Secrets there was a very apparent Peter Gabriel-esque overtone. Come to Where I’m From is so much more raw, so much more like you. What are your thoughts on that?

Well, I made the first one at Real World. I gave a lot of the control to the producer, Marcus Strauss, who is a very strong producer-type, in that he had his own vision as well, and he brought it to that record. I look at that record as somewhat more of a collaboration between me, him and the other [musicians involved]. Then, with T-Bone [Burnett, producer of Come to Where I’m From], he was more of a support-of-my-vision kind of producer. I’m not saying one’s better than the other, I’m just saying they’re different styles. [This record] was made in America and I was more sure of what I wanted to do and that the fact that what I wanted to do was OK.

A lot of the press that you’re getting, the critics, I know what they’re trying to say, but I don’t necessarily agree with that point of view…

Yeah, me too…

Everyone belabors the point of saying you evoke influences of Leonard Cohen and Kurt Cobain and all of this horrible sad death…

Yeah, the ‘horrible sad death’ thing, I don’t get that either, I don’t see it. When people say [the record is] ‘seriously dark’ I’m like ‘Really?’ I mean, I know that it goes there but that’s not the overwhelming tone. And the comparison thing, it’s usually very flattering people that they’re comparing me to. So, on that level, I like it. But on another level I’ve been compared to so many different people that it starts to be like ‘Well can’t you just say that maybe I have an original sound?’ Because really, I’ve been compared to, it’s like 20 different people.

One review said “Come to Where I’m From is the diary of a ravaged man.” I had to ask myself “Am I not getting this?”

I would just say that it goes to that, because that’s part of being a human, but it certainly doesn’t remain [there]. It’s more rounded than that. It’s a documentation of a time. It’s hard to explain but I’m glad that you say that because I agree. I don’t think it’s super dark.

Do you get inspired by anything in particular? Do you have any method for how your songs get written?

I think there’s that element that you can’t control, definitely. But a lot of it to me is just about hard work. Maybe there is something real brass tacks about it as well. If you write a lot of songs, you’re going to write a lot of bad songs and then you’re also going to get lucky and write some good ones (laughs). I think it’s that simple, and it is mysterious, but then you could say that about everything in life. We’re mysterious, so of course creativity is mysterious and spiritual because everything is mysterious and spiritual. But it’s also a lot about needing it. If somebody needs [creative expression] to be redeemed or just to live happily, then they’re going to excel at it. I like to just do a lot of things and then when something happens [that’s] good, for me, it does come easily after struggling a lot on things that didn’t work out.

Speaking about hindsight being 20/20, did you feel like the title the album maybe means more to you now that you look at the songs all together in this package?

The title has grown on me so… (long pause) of course people ask, but I just say I don’t know what it means. And I really don’t know what it means, the title, but it has grown on me. Each time I’m finished with something I just think about going on to the next thing. It’s hard to let go, but once I’ve let go then I’m just detached from it, in a way. I mean, I hope it does really well and I’m thrilled that people like it and are giving it good reviews. Beyond that, just [having] people coming up to me and say “I love your record,” that’s really great to hear. But I’m already thinking about what I’m going to do next.

With “Chemical,” some reviewers have tagged you as sounding like Beck…

Right, OK, If you’re going to go there, let’s go there.

I could see a comparison to something off Mutations, maybe. But I’m sure you weren’t even thinking of Beck…

Verse one and verse two [of “Chemical”] slightly sound like Beck. Let me say I like Beck, but my music has so nothing to do with Beck’s music – and that’s not putting down Beck at all. Whenever I read somebody saying “It’s like Beck!,” I just go, “OK, this person has not heard my music at all. Out of all that I’ve written, one thing comes up sounding a little Beckish, it’s gonna happen, isn’t it? I don’t go home and have Beck posters on my bedroom wall and go “If only I could be the next Beck!” There was something in The Village Voice about that, and I was just like “Is this guy kidding me? Has this guy heard my music at all?”

There’s a lot of humor in your music, also.

Right, I like to be funny without being ironic. I think it’s cool to mix seriousness with humor within the same song rather than just going fully joke rock.

What’s the difference between, say, playing for a few hundred people last night and being in front of 17,000 when you played with Ben Harper in France?

In some ways, it’s easier to play in front of huge audiences, because you’re sort of detached, in a way. I think the absurdity of performance is more obvious in a smaller setting than in a huge setting. Maybe you wouldn’t expect [that], but if it’s you and five people in a room, it seems more embarrassing for everybody. Whereas if it’s you and 17,000 people in a room it’s like “OK, this is a huge event we’re all condoning it, so it’s OK.”

Also, if you’re in front of that size crowd, don’t you have lights in your face and you can’t see anyone anyway?

Yeah, you just close your eyes and go out and do it. I’m pretty good [at not being nervous]. It was the Paris show where it was 17,500 people and I was pretty nervous. I start getting edgy, like “OK, should I wear this jacket or should I just go in a T-shirt?” And then I obsess about it and it becomes a huge thing, know what I mean? I’ll just find one thing to obsess about and do that until someone says “OK, now you gotta go on stage.” And then I’m, “OK, I’m fine.”

Tell me the Lou Reed story.

It was the first time I was going to play, in front of Peter (Gabriel), in New York because he had gotten my demo tape through a freak accident. I had met his daughter like a week before and she was at the Fez, which is where the show was, and she said ‘Oh, my Dad’s running late because he’s picking up Lou Reed. They’re going to be bringing Lou Reed’s DAT player to record the show.’ And I was like “What?’ (laughs) Because I was deep into Lou Reed for awhile so that was too much to fathom. I was already at my brink playing for Peter but I knew that Peter liked my songs so it was just a matter of playing them and trying to do a good job. Then, with Lou, it added this whole other weight as well, so it was overwhelming. I wrote about it in Musician magazine actually.

How did you write the song “Exhausted”?

I was at Real World when I wrote that, and Real World is a very closed environment, in a way. It’s out in the country and I don’t do well out in nature. I like all of this animosity around me ’cause it makes me feel calm, for some reason. When I was out in nature I just needed to get out of there, so I think that’s what inspired [the chorus] “I’ve got to get away from here,” just being surrounded by myself the whole time.

I agree. I’d much rather be in NYC than stranded out in the suburbs.

I like distractions.

Manhattan affords someone like you a great place to be anonymous and just blend in. Do you think that’s going to change if people start recognizing you?

I don’t know. It’s funny because it goes back to what you said at first. ‘Cause I start to think “Am I famous now?” and when I walk down the street I wonder “Do people recognize me?” because I don’t feel famous, so it’s strange. But I don’t think anybody knows who I am when I walk down the street.

It’s nice to be lost in New York.

Yeah, ’cause when I say “anonymous,” I’m just talking in the general sense of how nobody cares what you look like or what you’re doing. Even if you are famous, I don’t think it’s that big of a deal. Most people here don’t even know that I’m a woman (laughs).



2000/09/19

2000-09-19 - Bowery Ballroom, New York


On Stage :

Solo concert
Opening for The The


Setlist : 

toxic angel
history
in the sun
big city secret
exhausted
prison

Recording :

The concert was recorded from the audience.





2000/09/08

2000-09-08 - Live at Soundbreak.com



"Live at Soundbreak.com" is a Virgin promo CDr recorded live on September 8, 2000



If someone could send me a picture of this CDr, it will be so nice.



Setlist :

Tattoo
Redemption's Son
In the Sun
I Donated Myself to the Mexican Army
Invisible Hands



Recording :






2000/09/06

2000-09-06 - Fillmore, San Francisco



On Stage :

Solo concert
Opening for David Gray

Setlist :

redemption's son
in the sun
history
big city secret
exhausted
innocent world
prison


Recording :

An audience recording of this event is available.

2000-09-06 Fillmore mp3




2000/07/26

2000-07-26 - The Roxy Theatre, Los Angeles


On Stage :

Solo concert


Setlist : 

tattoo
toxic angel
eyes on my back
history
in the sun
big city secret
exhausted
the real you
i donated myself to the mexican army
redemption's son
prison
innocent world
bed of nails
speed of light
mercedes
invisible hands 


Recording :

Sadly, there's no audio recording of this event. 
If I am wrong, thank you to inform me by email.



2000-07-26 - KACD Radio, Santa Monica


On Stage :

Solo radio session


Setlist : 

in the sun
tatoo


Recording :




2000/07/25

2000-07-25 - Cafe du Nord, San Francisco


On Stage :

Solo concert


Setlist : 

tattoo
toxic angel
eyes on my back
history
in the sun
big city secret
exhausted
the real you
prison
redemption's son
speed of light
i donated myself to the mexican army
crying like a man


Recording :

Sadly, there's no audio recording of this event. 
If I am wrong, thank you to inform me by email.



2000/07/22

2000-07-22 - Baltic Room, Seattle




On Stage :

Solo concert


Setlist : 

history
toxic angel
in the sun
big city secret
exhausted
i donated myself to the mexican army
innocent world
prison
invisible hands
mercedes
speed of light 


Recording :

An audience recording of this event exists.


 

2000/07/18

2000-07-18 - Cafe du Nord, San Francisco


On Stage :

Solo concert


Setlist : 

crying like a man
bed of nails
mercedes
redemption's son
in the sun
prison
eyes on my back
i donated myself to the mexican army
innocent world
big city secret
exhausted
speed of light 


Recording :

Sadly, there's no audio recording of this event. 
If I am wrong, thank you to inform me by email.












2000/07/17

2000-07-17 - Virgin Megastore, San Francisco


On Stage :

Solo instore preformance


Setlist : 

tattoo
termite song
in the sun
history
this heart will swallow us
exhausted
invisible hands
i donated myself to the mexican army
innocent world
crackerjack box

Recording :

Sadly, there's no audio recording of this event. 
If I am wrong, thank you to inform me by email.



2000/07/15

2000-07-15 - Java Joe's, San Diego


On Stage :

Solo concert


Setlist :

No information


Recording :

Sadly, there's no audio recording of this event.
If I am wrong, thank you to inform me by email.


Poster :




2000/07/13

INTERVIEW : 2000-07-13 Arthur's Theme (by Eric Waggoner)






Joseph Arthur is in the middle of a long series of phone interviews from the U.K., where he's currently recording. Out of hundreds of variations on the same questions, what's the one thing he doesn't want to be asked?

"Oh. Ahhhh . . . 'How did Peter Gabriel get your demo tape?'" he finally answers in a slow, drawn-out baritone.

You can't fault Arthur, who once wrote a poem titled "Interview Nightmare," about not wanting to tell the Gabriel story again. It doesn't take long, really: Ohio-born Joseph Arthur, a young and very talented songwriter, had moved around, played local venues and done some recording before landing in Atlanta in the mid-'90s. While there, a variety of personal and artistic projects he'd put his energy into went south, all at once. In the middle of everything crumbling around him, he made a solo four-track demo tape of new songs: dark, brooding material he created in a room in his small apartment, sleeping bags tacked up over the windows to shut out the world.

Eventually he came out of his funk a bit, got a job selling guitars at a music store and began passing his tape around to friends and record labels. One evening, he returned to his place, stowed his bike in the bathroom as he always did, and found a message on his answering machine. It was Peter Gabriel, calling to tell Joseph Arthur that he wrote great songs, and that he'd call back.

Which is how a young tunesmith and former guitar hawker from Akron became the first non-world music artist to be signed to Gabriel's Real World label.

It's a fantastic story, of course, but it's been told enough; and at any rate, Joseph Arthur isn't and never was Gabriel's protégé. His latest album, Come to Where I'm From, is a remarkable record, and every bit his own. An arresting mix of lyrical frankness and noisy but nuanced production from Arthur, T-Bone Burnett and Rick Will, Come to Where I'm From is equal parts raw emotion and sophisticated sound manipulation -- think Daniel Johnston's or Lou Barlow's home recordings with a touch of Latin Playboys and you're getting close (Tchad Blake of the Playboys, in fact, mixed three of the songs onCome to Where I'm From), but not all the way there .

Joseph Arthur, you see, is a seriously inventive person. Touring solo, he uses digital recording equipment to create backing tracks by beating on his guitar, breathing into mikes, playing simple rhythms and strumming basic chords, looping them, layering them one by one, and playing and singing over his self-created-on-the-spot rhythm samples. Then, one by one, he removes the layers he's built, allowing the audience to watch him disassemble the song right in front of them. It's a process he began during a previous tour, and one which informed the sound of Come to Where I'm From: "That album was influenced by the live performances because I knew I could do it, experiment that way. I followed more my own instincts on this one." The resultant sound is both intimate and raucous, somehow recalling noisy outings like Tom Waits' Bone Machine and quiet DIY efforts like Lou Barlow's Another Collection of Home Recordings simultaneously.

In addition to writing and performing music, Joseph Arthur is an accomplished visual artist who creates the art for his album covers and packaging. In fact, he's already been nominated for a Grammy, though you might not remember; it was for Best Recording Package, for 1999's Vacancy EP (he lost to Asleep at the Wheel's Ride With Bob).

He's also a chronic road journalist and poet in the vein of Patti Smith (and yes, the comparison is carefully made). Joseph Arthur, in short, is an artist with a lot of creative outlets, and as Kris Kristofferson once said of John Prine, he might be so good we'll have to break his thumbs.

All this energy notwithstanding, Arthur's take on what he does is decidedly egalitarian: "Well," he says quietly, and pauses. "What are the limitations? Don't you decide what the limitations are? Some people decide, 'Well, I want to be a musician,' so they do that. And some people say to me, 'I can't sing.' And I say, 'Man, you can. . . . I mean, someone else might have a prettier voice or whatever, I don't know what your voice would sound like . . . but you can play to your strengths.' Decisions are a limitation as well. I'm up for freedom. I like people who take chances."

Taking chances isn't always appreciated in a culture that assumes that individual talent expresses itself in only one medium, and here we have to go beyond musical comparisons to get the full measure of Arthur's reach. Henry Miller had to go to France, and Paul Bowles to Africa, to find out what they were capable of; and Patti Smith and Antonin Artaud received only belated recognition for their visual art. Arthur knows, even if he doesn't boast the ego to claim it for himself, the tradition he's working in: "All those names, man. I like them all." In Arthur's extensive body of work, only part of which is musical, there are echoes of Frank Zappa's vision of a lifetime's artistic output as a single project unfolding over time, in a number of different media.

"I agree with that, definitely," says Arthur. "I think because I'm coming at it sort of through the back door, putting the art on the album covers and not, like, doing gallery shows, it's easier for people to accept. That resistance [to artists working in multiple media] isn't just in the States; I find it, too, in England. But really, I haven't had too many problems with it. People seem to accept it." People very likely accept it because they have no choice; Arthur's talents are simply too great to dismiss. But along with his technical skill comes a disarming openness that grows more evident with repeated listenings.

In an interview with National Public Radio in 1997, the year of his first release (Big City Secrets), he referred to his music as the sound of "somebody struggling to heal over experimental folk-rock with an identity crisis." At first blush, that disarming description might apply to any dozen slowcore/emo performers; but in the few years since Big City Secrets, Arthur's lyrics have gotten as unpredictable and rewarding as anything in Paul Westerberg's glory era. From the new album's "History": "You're your mama's shit eatin' grin and your daddy's double chin/You're the first pair of shoes you ever went to school in/And you're the kid pretending she's in prison/Behind the bars of a jungle gym." Or, from "Ashes Everywhere": "I can't deal with what you have done/Reincarnate I wonder who I might become . . ./I don't have nothing, now I want me some/First some of you, then some of everyone."

Like J. Mascis, another semiconfessional songwriter whose voice his slightly resembles, Arthur has been criticized for simply undergoing therapy aloud. But he isn't merely howling, or opening a vein and letting it drip onto DAT; what lifts Arthur's work above simple catharsis is both the skill with which he executes it and the articulate, dynamic project that his art has become.

Take his Web site, for example (www.lanset.com/kthalken). "When I first started looking around, I was sort of surprised at how uninvolved people are with the medium. The woman who started the Web site is very content-oriented. And it seemed strange that so many [band-related] Web sites were just another advertising arm. I think of what's going on with our Web site as part of the whole artistic project."

Arthur's pride in the content of the Web site is tough to dispute. To take only the most obvious example, it actually forces the visitor to hunt for links to buy his music (hint: It takes at least two clicks and a lot of scrolling). Assuming that in a hype-saturated business anyone who wants to find Come to Where I'm From via Amazon.com or Tower Online can do so pretty easily, Arthur's Web site forgoes the hyperventilating what-the-critics-are-saying copy found on 99 percent of band sites in favor of (get this) actual substance; visitors can look at Arthur's artwork, track touring information, read full biographies of his collaborators and access sound and video files without having to wait for a thousand gigabytes' worth of Flash or Quicktime files to load. He regularly posts entries from his tour journals, including poems and straight prose ("Instant publication," he says, tongue firmly in cheek, "whether it's good or not"). The primary colors are black and olive, the primary page content is straight text, and the site is absolutely filled to bursting with material.

And lest you think his site is entirely self-contained, be advised that you, yourself personally, can post reviews of his albums and anecdotes from his concerts. Judging from the quality of the posts currently available, however, you'd better have at least a few synapses firing. There are scant posts along the lines of "New Joe album Roxxx!" or "the Toronto show was AWESOME!!!" The overall quality of the public entries on Arthur's Web site, particularly the show anecdotes, is exceptionally high -- not just for inclusion on a Web site but as examples of the language; and not all the reviews are without reservation ("Sometimes he can be a mealy-mouth," says one otherwise positive post, apropos of Arthur's vocals). This kind of interactivity, in a business filled to the teeth with fluff PR campaigns masquerading as official Internet sites, borders on the revolutionary.

It also gives a good impression of what Joseph Arthur's fan base is like. As one listener, also named Joe, offers of Come to Where I'm From, "I still feel like I have a cool secret that no one knows about." The secret is out, undeniably; but there's no getting around the fact that the relationship Arthur is creating with his listeners is symbiotic and distinctive, particularly given the very personal nature of his writing. Is he worried, then, about the possibility of fans connecting too closely, wallowing in his suffering vicariously?

"I've thought a lot about that," he says, "especially in terms of the songs about despair. But I think when I've been really down, I've looked for that, that kind of connection. You know, people go into therapy or meetings, and they say, 'I'm really fucked up, and this is what fucked me up.' And other people say to them, 'Yeah, I'm really fucked up, too,' and it helps, the connection. It makes them feel better."

There's that word again. But if we're to take therapy as a metaphor, is there an end to it? Will we ever come through the other side, healed up?

"Maybe . . . but then other things happen. Getting validation doesn't take away the feeling. I'm stillworking through it. Someone else can tell you, 'I feel the same way,' and it helps, it's nice, but it doesn't negate it. I don't have any answers for that."

Nonetheless, Arthur's the one writing these deeply personal songs. Does it feel dangerous for him to do so?

"I don't know," he says, and laughs a very open laugh. "Maybe I'll regret it."