The introspective lyrics and gentle acoustic pop is just one side of Joseph Arthur. His Brooklyn home-base, dubbed "The Museum of Modern Arthur," is both art-space and recording studio, and last year saw a show of his paintings at Toronto's 360 Gallery.
If his creative output is wide-ranging, it's also been a circuitous route for the Akron-born singer-songwriter: playing bass in an Atlanta band; solo signing in the 1990s with Peter Gabriel's Real World label; breaking through in 2000 with Come to Where I'm From. While he's best known for spiritual ballads like "In the Sun" and his one-man looping shows, Arthur's ouvre extends to widescreen driving rock, like "Can't Exist" from 2004's Our Shadows Will Remain.
The multi-disciplinary artist is in Pittsburgh this week participating in an appropriately multi-genre quarterly event called Liquid Sundays -- "a way for us to recognize the unbelievable talent we have in Pittsburgh," as organizer Ryan Phipps describes it. "We are really excited to be hosting Joseph Arthur and so many talented artists."
The event, held at J. Verno Studios in the South Side, will include performances by local rock bands The Harlan Twins and The Long Time Darlings, free beer and wine, and a wide range of local artists working in photography, mosaic, graffiti, puppetry, even lasers. It sounds like a lot to cram into Liquid Sundays' four-hour time slot.
But with such a wide-open forum, will Arthur be playing ... or painting? Word on the street is that in addition to his music performance, he'll also paint a mural.
Liquid Sundays, feat. Joseph Arthur, Harlan Twins and Long Time Darlings. 6-10 p.m. Sun., June 6. J. Verno Studios, 3030 Jane St., South Side. $15 ($12 with T-shirt donation). 21 and over. 412-526-9036 or www.liquidsundays.com
- Both sides now: Joseph Arthur