• Artwork by Arik Roper

We've been there: getting drunk on a handle of cheap whiskey or high on nature's candy, listening to music out in the woods with some friends. You're surrounded by the rustle of the trees, the crackle of the fire, and the snaps of twigs caused by some creature hunting prey. Just beyond where light turns to darkness, someone who drank too much whiskey (or just took too many drugs) is passed out on the ground, and will later wake up covered in spiders and other insects that have mistaken the human body for a log. Oh lord, have we been there. But wasn't it great?

Well, those heady, peaceniks over at Arthur Magazine think so, and have made an excellent new compilation, Blackout, featuring the likes of San Francisco's Moon Duo, Thrill Jockey psych barons White Hills, and Psychic Ills related-project Messages. Blackout will either touch your deepest spiritual core if listened to while meditating in the forest, or wrestle with your brain after eating few wild Psilocybin mushrooms. The eight-track compilation, compiled by Arthur editor Jay Babcock (a key instigator of New Weird America's progressive, cult-ish "under-the-counter" culture), is available to download for as little as $4.20. It's a small price to pay for some of today's most psychedelic, folky, experimentalists. Plus it helps a great magazine/webzine that continues to further and alter our ears and minds. (I would love to see you in print again, Arthur!)